|The fruits of Communism|
Could North Korea then be described as an arbitrary monarchy? Again, no. North Korea is not a monarchy of any kind. The fact that the country has been ruled by father, son and grandson in turn no more makes them a monarchy than the fact that the Pope is elected makes the Vatican a republic. There is actually no hereditary succession in North Korea. Most people do not realize this. Kim Il-Sung was the first President of North Korea. His son, Kim Jong-Il, never succeeded to that office, nor has his son. Confused yet? Well, you should be because this is how far into never-never land North Korea has fallen. Kim Jong-Un and Kim Jong-Il were never President of North Korea because Kim Il-Sung (who died in 1994) is STILL the President! There is no “The King is dead, long live the King” in North Korea. Nope, living or not, Kim Il-Sung is the “Eternal President” of North Korea and always will be. Kim Jong-Il was “Supreme Leader”, he gave the orders and he was in total control, but he was not the President. The President of North Korea, for the last 18 years, has been a dead man. Christopher Hitchens once described North Korea as a “necrocracy” for this reason.
|Where the money goes|
To a large extent, North Korea is, thankfully, an almost unique aberration in the world in the extent of its horror. It is less like any sort of a country at all and more akin to a vast slave labor camp. The level of self-deception on the part of the leadership and brainwashing on the part of the public has reached a level that I doubt any other country has ever reached. Even those regimes with which North Korea is friendliest; the PRC, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic have all in at least some small measure (with the possible exception of Laos which is a puppet of Vietnam in any event) realized that the path they started out on was a failure and have been making at least some changes in an effort to improve things. North Korea has not. It is the picture of a totally arrested society where anything that sustains them is credited to their “Great Leader” and all of their colossal ills are blamed on South Korea and the United States, making any effort at improvement useless to even consider. Given this, North Korea almost defies categorization or any effort to understand the place or apply any sort of reason to it at all. Everyone who has ever visited North Korea has been shocked that such a place could possibly be real. Every journalist I have ever seen interviewed after visiting North Korea has said the same exact thing, that it was an Orwellian nightmare brought to life.