The Null Device

An American in North Korea

An American tourist's account of North Korea, that bizarre bastion of fetishistic neo-Stalinism and insular paranoia.
The spectacle was something I'll never forget, though perhaps not for the reasons Mr. Huk and his countrymen intended. The show was so precise as to be robotic. No one outside the group, everyone buried within it. All done with a flair and focus that was chilling to behold. The model of mass unity that was being held up as proof of greatness and independence smacked of mindlessness. Of course everyone in the performance was human, with their own hopes, dreams and desires. This though was something to be eliminated, not tolerated or encouraged. These were things that still had to be rooted out in an effort to build the utopian, Juche-centered society. The zeal in Mr. Huk's voice spoke not of a country, but of a cult.

(via Reenhead)

There are 8 comments on "An American in North Korea":

Posted by: kenny http:// Fri Oct 18 00:46:39 2002

http://www.house.gov/international_relations/lee0502.htm thirteen years in the life of sun-ok lee http://www.plastic.com/article.html?sid=02/10/16/21540652 [via plastic]

Posted by: mianfiNN http:// Sun Oct 20 02:48:53 2002

North Korea was never a socialist state, nor was the USSR from the day the Bolshevik Party was swamped with middle-class professionals and OLD TSARIST OFFICIALS. This happened because there was no revolution in an industrialised country that had a working class able to control and run the country's industries independent of the ruling class parasites who benefit from super-exploiting workers and the environment. What we need is genuine, international socialism, with no compromise with any ruling class, but rather a desire to overthrow all the capitalists so that we can eliminate the super-rich corporate executives. The elimination of corporate executives and of profit will allow planning where the needs of people and the environment come first and where increasing the obscene profits of millionaires is NEVER the question. That is what socialism is all about, not a bureaucratic totalitarian state like Stalinist Russia, Maoist China, Yugoslavia or North Korea.

Posted by: mianfiNN Sun Oct 20 02:48:59 2002

North Korea was never a socialist state, nor was the USSR from the day the Bolshevik Party was swamped with middle-class professionals and OLD TSARIST OFFICIALS. This happened because there was no revolution in an industrialised country that had a working class able to control and run the country's industries independent of the ruling class parasites who benefit from super-exploiting workers and the environment. What we need is genuine, international socialism, with no compromise with any ruling class, but rather a desire to overthrow all the capitalists so that we can eliminate the super-rich corporate executives. The elimination of corporate executives and of profit will allow planning where the needs of people and the environment come first and where increasing the obscene profits of millionaires is NEVER the question. That is what socialism is all about, not a bureaucratic totalitarian state like Stalinist Russia, Maoist China, Yugoslavia or North Korea.

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org Sun Oct 20 04:54:15 2002

Interesting. (a) What's your view on Cuba? Worker's paradise sabotaged by American sanctions, or just as bad as the others? and (b) how do you propose to square socialism with human nature, or do you believe the neo-Marxist view that there is no such thing as human nature and everything is conditioned?

Posted by: alex http://fnord.org Mon Oct 21 14:55:28 2002

"(...) What we need is genuine, international socialism (...)"

There are a number of 'wands of wishing' deep in the dungeons of Gehenomm. Go look. http://www.nethack.org/

Posted by: xuezhide hao Wed Nov 27 22:08:08 2002

Karl Marx claimed that a socialist revolution had to occur in an ADVANCED, INDUSTRIALISED, IMPERIALIST nation for it to succeed. He was right, because it is only the experience of the working classes in those countries that makes workers' control of the means of production and all the benefits in terms of rational planning to meet the needs of people and the environment rather than planning to meet the obscene profits of a tiny minority possible.

When such a revolution does not occur, the ruling classes of the imperialist countries will inevitably use force to regain control of any backward country in which a revolution might occur. This was why the Russian Civil War killed so many people, and when the ESSENTIAL revolution in Germany failed, Russia succumbed to a counter-revolution led by Stalin, middle-class professionals and old tsarist officials who had joined the Bolsheviks after the Civil War.

Had there been a revolution in Germany, we would not be seeing such environmental disasters as the drying

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org Thu Nov 28 03:12:52 2002

The problem with Marxists and neo-Marxists of pretty much every stripe is that they believe that there is no such thing as human nature and that human behaviour is 100% caused by environmental conditioning, and consequently ignore the problem of whether such a utopia is sustainable. The other problem is orthodox Marxism (like Christian Fundamentalism or a comprehensive conspiracy theory) is a closed belief system impervious to disproof, at least in the hands of a lot of its believers. If reality contradicts scripture, reality is at fault, and there is certainly some quote from Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Mao, Guevara, Hoxha or whoever which can be used to hand-wave around it, or some categorical distinction from Marxist theory which can be applied to get results that make sense.

There was a good article in the Onion recently about the state of affairs in a Marxist student share-house demonstrating the failure of Marxist economics. Of course, your average true believer would just hand-wave away such demonstrat

Posted by: Geoff http:// Thu Mar 30 08:36:45 2006

what was the reasons for the russian civil war?

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