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Anthile
19-12-2011, 04:54 AM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16239693

Seems like a bad year for America's enemies.

In other words:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHJoj9IqeKg

DigitalSignalX
19-12-2011, 05:03 AM
If the way his son has behaved in the past is any indicator, it's just going to be "more of the same" rather then a chance for having them entering the 20th century socio-economically, let alone the 21st.

Kaira-
19-12-2011, 05:37 AM
Homefront anyone? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6NiAGu4_8s#t=27s)

On more serious note, I do believe we are in a treat for "meet the new boss, the same as old boss".

soldant
19-12-2011, 05:57 AM
Dictator dies, world keeps spinning. My rather excited American friend is currently treating himself to a continuous chant of "Go America!" Apparently natural deaths are now the direct result of American justice.

Nalano
19-12-2011, 06:48 AM
Dictator dies, world keeps spinning. My rather excited American friend is currently treating himself to a continuous chant of "Go America!" Apparently natural deaths are now the direct result of American justice.

Well, I'm American and I know that this isn't revolutionary and he has a successor, just like he was for Kim Il-Sung. But then, I live "on an island off the coast of America," according to some.

gwathdring
19-12-2011, 07:45 AM
I'm also American, and have a sense of perspective about such things. Most of us are alright, you know. ;)

Of course, I was one of the only people on my floor last semester who didn't get creepily excited and patriotic about the death of Osama Bin Laden. That was an extremely uncomfortable evening. Most of them were reasonable, rational people about it the next day, though.

Keep
19-12-2011, 07:49 AM
Well, I'm American and I know that this isn't revolutionary and he has a successor, just like he was for Kim Il-Sung. But then, I live "on an island off the coast of America," according to some.

It's Cuba, right?

Rakysh
19-12-2011, 08:18 AM
I don't get the gloating. Because if it went the other way, there'd be uproar. Mind, hypocrisy towards North Korea is standard procedure.

Nalano
19-12-2011, 08:26 AM
It's Cuba, right?

The salsa endlessly playing on the streets would certainly give that impression.

Lukasz
19-12-2011, 09:45 AM
I don't get the gloating. Because if it went the other way, there'd be uproar. Mind, hypocrisy towards North Korea is standard procedure.
so true.
Just saw in TV few reports on his death from around the world and I think one was of BBC (British at least) which cancelled its normal programs and replaced them with some classical music. That was quite a nice gesture, wonder whether they do that for all leaders.

Keep
19-12-2011, 10:34 AM
The salsa endlessly playing on the streets would certainly give that impression.

"Hey I'm dancin' here!"

QuantaCat
19-12-2011, 11:20 AM
so true.
Just saw in TV few reports on his death from around the world and I think one was of BBC (British at least) which cancelled its normal programs and replaced them with some classical music. That was quite a nice gesture, wonder whether they do that for all leaders.

You missed the country music they played for Osama Bin Ladens death.

Althea
19-12-2011, 11:38 AM
I honestly don't know what to say or think.

I'm certainly not in support of the North Korean peoples being used as what was essentially a big toy box, nor of their indoctrination nor oppression. I think that was despicable, but what can we do about it? Or, really, what *should* we do about it?

But at the end of the day, whether he was evil or good, another human being has died. He was someone's son, someone's father, the revered leader of a nation. We should at least be decent about it out of respect for those people, not necessarily the man himself.

DiamondDog
19-12-2011, 12:07 PM
When does his clone activate?

Vexing Vision
19-12-2011, 12:11 PM
I'm surprised there aren't any conspiracy theories just yet, or did I miss them?

Althea
19-12-2011, 12:14 PM
I'm surprised there aren't any conspiracy theories just yet, or did I miss them?
I did wonder if he actually died, if I'm honest.

Skalpadda
19-12-2011, 12:24 PM
But at the end of the day, whether he was evil or good, another human being has died. He was someone's son, someone's father, the revered leader of a nation. We should at least be decent about it out of respect for those people, not necessarily the man himself.

I think you can respect a population without respecting the figurehead of a government that's essentially holding that population prisoner, both physically and culturally. I appreciate that your point was "let's not be dicks about it" though.

squirrel
19-12-2011, 12:28 PM
Fuck yeah.

Joy to the world, joy to Mr. Kim Jong Il who was liberated from one hell of the worst feudalism throughout the whole human history - feudalism in the holy name of communism!!

Yahoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo~~~~~~~~~

Scumbag
19-12-2011, 12:40 PM
I'm going to miss ol' Kim in a way due to a rather childish soft-spot for modern tinpot dictators.
Think its slightly amusing that if George Bush Jr. did not make a fuss over him I doubt he would have been in the public spotlight at all (that is if a man shrouded in such mystery could be considered to be in the spotlight).

Anyhow, on to the tasteless stuff:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIO4Uw36-JE
NOTE: Pro-Japanese anime propoganda lulz

Xercies
19-12-2011, 12:41 PM
Wow i just listened to the news about it and they are really digging in the message that North Korea has Nuclear weapons. i think the woman said Nuclear weapon state about 6 times.

Rakysh
19-12-2011, 12:59 PM
Conservapedia's take on it is my favourite reaction so far: "North Korean Communist dictator Kim Jong Il dies at age 69 of a heart atttack [6] Kim Jong Il is featured in Conservapedia's atheism and obesity article."

squirrel
19-12-2011, 01:06 PM
Wow i just listened to the news about it and they are really digging in the message that North Korea has Nuclear weapons. i think the woman said Nuclear weapon state about 6 times.

"They have nukes, so light them the fuck up!!"

Joseph-Sulphur
19-12-2011, 02:47 PM
I don't get the gloating. Because if it went the other way, there'd be uproar. Mind, hypocrisy towards North Korea is standard procedure.
You'll forgive me if I take some pleasure in the fact that a man who has personally caused the deaths of thousands (if not tens of thousands) of people has kicked the bucket.

Rakysh
19-12-2011, 02:51 PM
I wont forgive you for that massive oversimplification of the world, history, and the very nature of cause and effect, no.

westyfield
19-12-2011, 03:01 PM
I'm going to miss ol' Kim in a way due to a rather childish soft-spot for modern tinpot dictators.

Same. One of my friends was quite sad when Gaddafi bought it because he was one of the few remaining 'properly mad', eccentric dictators.

Althea
19-12-2011, 03:12 PM
Miss Kim Jong-Il no longer, as you can always go on Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things (http://kimjongillookingatthings.tumblr.com/).

Joseph-Sulphur
19-12-2011, 03:18 PM
I wont forgive you for that massive oversimplification of the world, history, and the very nature of cause and effect, no.
Right. Let me guess, its all the west's fault?

SMiD
19-12-2011, 03:38 PM
Miss Kim Jong-Il no longer, as you can always go on Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things (http://kimjongillookingatthings.tumblr.com/).

And here I was worried about what to do today. You are a god-send.

Scumbag
19-12-2011, 03:43 PM
Same. One of my friends was quite sad when Gaddafi bought it because he was one of the few remaining 'properly mad', eccentric dictators.

Gaddafi was a bit of a loon who seemed to constantly dodge whatever the world would throw at him to knock him off the throne, even if it ment going back on what he said. Sure during the start of the uprising he said something along the lines of "Yes the people are angry with the way the officials are holding me back! I shall possibly go out to the streets and join them!" Weird old guy.

Soooo... now there is Ahamadinejad (even if he is just Khameni's puppet) and Mugabe left. For some reason I cant respect Mugabe in any way shape or form though.


Miss Kim Jong-Il no longer, as you can always go on Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things (http://kimjongillookingatthings.tumblr.com/).

You have made my day. Kim looking at a door filled me with excitement!

Rakysh
19-12-2011, 03:46 PM
Right. Let me guess, its all the west's fault?
Nope, it's the wider systems at play within both global geopolitics and at a national level within North Korea. Kim Jong Il was both a creator and a reflection of North Korea, and him dying isn't going to make the military go "Oh well, that's that then. No more internment camps."

Okami
19-12-2011, 03:46 PM
Miss Kim Jong-Il no longer, as you can always go on Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things (http://kimjongillookingatthings.tumblr.com/).

The saddest thing about his death is, that we won't see new pictures of Kim Jong Il looking at things. Though it looks like his son http://kimjongunlookingatthings.tumblr.com/] will continue the family tradition. (http://kimjongunlookingatthings.tumblr.com/), so there's still hope.

Drinking with Skeletons
19-12-2011, 04:36 PM
Seems like a bad year for America's enemies.



I know its popular to bash the U.S. and make us out to be the feudin' hillbillies of the planet--and not completely without reason--but the guy was an absolute nutjob who was constantly threatening South Korea and Japan and was probably an immense headache for his Chinese allies. Hell, it wouldn't surprise me if they assassinated him in the (probably vain) hope that his successor will be more manageable.

Point is, he wasn't just America's enemy, but everyone's, unless you value oppressive regimes and/or totalitarian Communism.

Joseph-Sulphur
19-12-2011, 04:53 PM
Nope, it's the wider systems at play within both global geopolitics and at a national level within North Korea. Kim Jong Il was both a creator and a reflection of North Korea, and him dying isn't going to make the military go "Oh well, that's that then. No more internment camps."
I never claimed that his death would end the dictatorship in NK.

Rakysh
19-12-2011, 04:57 PM
If he's caused those deaths though, surely now they'll stop, no? Isn't that how causes work?

Althea
19-12-2011, 05:11 PM
The saddest thing about his death is, that we won't see new pictures of Kim Jong Il looking at things. Though it looks like his son http://kimjongunlookingatthings.tumblr.com/] will continue the family tradition. (http://kimjongunlookingatthings.tumblr.com/), so there's still hope.
I don't know if to laugh or facepalm. Or laughpalm.

Joseph-Sulphur
19-12-2011, 05:47 PM
If he's caused those deaths though, surely now they'll stop, no? Isn't that how causes work?
I used the word "caused", the past tense.

Xercies
19-12-2011, 05:53 PM
"They have nukes, so light them the fuck up!!"

Do they though? You can't say their a secretive state and then say they have nuclear weapons. how do you know that? Because they told you. It could be propaganda.


For some reason I cant respect Mugabe in any way shape or form though.

Thats because Mugabe hasn't really done anything crazy, he just made peoples lives a misery and killed people who opposed him. So much of a boring dictator. To be crazy you have to wear weird clothes, and do strange things like kidnap a film director to remake godzilla for North Korea, or stare at things.

Smashbox
19-12-2011, 05:59 PM
http://www.asianoffbeat.com/CrazyPictures/kimonhorseback.jpg

A tearful state TV broadcaster reported that Kim died due to "overwork" after "dedicating his life to the people."

Also of note: Kim Jong Il no longer looking at things (http://kimjongilnolongerlookingatthings.tumblr.com/)

Althea
19-12-2011, 06:06 PM
Also of note: Kim Jong Il no longer looking at things (http://kimjongilnolongerlookingatthings.tumblr.com/)
Oh no, now that's just bad...

Smashbox
19-12-2011, 06:19 PM
Oh no, now that's just bad...


No longer looking at eggs (and the eggs are sad)


Made me laugh out loudly at work.

Vexing Vision
19-12-2011, 06:43 PM
I have no idea who Nando's are, but now I want to buy stuff from them.

http://www.pharside.co.uk/funniness/nandos-breaks-their-silence-on-the-death-of-kim-jong-ii/

Lukasz
19-12-2011, 08:45 PM
They are South African fast food chain and this is one of their ads
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1EX--vdxh4

DigitalSignalX
19-12-2011, 09:07 PM
Anyone notice Kim jong-un looks a lot like an Asian Totalbiscuit?

Lukasz
19-12-2011, 09:15 PM
http://www.republictrooper.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/totalbiscuit1.jpg
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/12/19/article-2075995-0F38A89600000578-338_468x439.jpg

DigitalSignalX
19-12-2011, 09:39 PM
Exactly. All he needs is a slick tophat, and he could host the next GSL.

Smashbox
19-12-2011, 09:52 PM
I bet he plays Starcraft. And anyone who plays against him throws the game.

Skalpadda
19-12-2011, 09:56 PM
http://www.asianoffbeat.com/CrazyPictures/kimonhorseback.jpg

A tearful state TV broadcaster reported that Kim died due to "overwork" after "dedicating his life to the people."

http://img502.imageshack.us/img502/7047/kimjongkiin.jpg
In their tongue he's Dovah-Kim! Dragonborn!

(I'm so sorry)

Smashbox
19-12-2011, 10:07 PM
More like

http://i.imgur.com/gSUar.jpg

DigitalSignalX
19-12-2011, 10:28 PM
rofl @ your avatar smash

http://img834.imageshack.us/img834/7360/dsxicon.jpg

I made a transparent backed PSD of the helm if anyone wants to make their own pics

download link (http://www.mediafire.com/?xn5bg3l5qaj580n)

Scumbag
19-12-2011, 10:43 PM
http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/gizmodo/2011/07/missiles_on_the_us_capitol.png

Just a quick reminder of North Korean military ideals, if the link works.
Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but that poster was created in the past decade.

Keep
19-12-2011, 10:50 PM
Holy moly is that poster disturbingly badass!

Dowr
19-12-2011, 10:59 PM
Hooray... I guess.

Smashbox
19-12-2011, 11:05 PM
It's less dramatic to blow up the buildings in North Korea.

Scumbag
20-12-2011, 01:24 AM
I guess Koreans dont like American architecture.

http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/gizmodo/2011/07/red_soldier.png

Few more here. (http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/07/the-most-insane-north-korea-propaganda/) I used to collect pics and videos I found over the years, but a format killed most of it two years ago. Loads of weird vids of old MiG aircraft flying over Seoul and bombing it to peices (for freedom) or news reports stating how The great and wonderful Dear Leader Kim Jong Il faced down the corrupt and greedy Western diplomats with his superior interlect and abilities with diplomacy. Some really weird and intresting stuff.
Have a gut feeling the modern Kims are more figure heads with the illusion of power placed on their shoulders for both the people and the leaders themselves to think they have. Imagine the military now have more real power there now.

Rakysh
20-12-2011, 01:53 AM
I used the word "caused", the past tense.
I don't understand. He caused them; that is, you feel he was the only reason those deaths happened. Those deaths continue to happen. He is no longer a valid reason due to current circumstances. However, the deaths continue to happen. Therefore, he cannot actually have been the sole cause for those deaths. How does you using the past tense change any of that?

Smashbox
20-12-2011, 03:39 AM
news reports stating how The great and wonderful Dear Leader Kim Jong Il faced down the corrupt and greedy Western diplomats with his superior interlect and abilities with diplomacy.

>_<
10char

Rii
20-12-2011, 07:01 AM
You'll forgive me if I take some pleasure in the fact that a man who has personally caused the deaths of thousands (if not tens of thousands) of people has kicked the bucket.

No, I won't.

Nalano
20-12-2011, 10:05 AM
But at the end of the day, whether he was evil or good, another human being has died. He was someone's son, someone's father, the revered leader of a nation. We should at least be decent about it out of respect for those people, not necessarily the man himself.

Three things.

1) People die all the time. Almost two people die every second. Eighteen people died while I typed this point out. Why cry over them?
2) "Revered" leader?
3) We should refrain from joking about him out of respect for the people who suffered under his regime? You forget what actually happens when the people actually get their hands on tin-pot dictators (http://ethiopiaforums.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Gaddafi-dead-photo.jpg).

Althea
20-12-2011, 10:40 AM
1) People die all the time. Almost two people die every second. Eighteen people died while I typed this point out. Why cry over them?
Generally, those two people a second don't end up being global news. We should still have at least a veneer of decency.


2) "Revered" leader?
That is perhaps how he saw himself, and I've not met any North Korean peoples so I couldn't tell you how true it is, but that was - at least - the image he had.


3) We should refrain from joking about him out of respect for the people who suffered under his regime? You forget what actually happens when the people actually get their hands on tin-pot dictators (http://ethiopiaforums.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Gaddafi-dead-photo.jpg).
I'm fine with joking about people dying, but there's a time and a place for it. The ones above are harmless, I'd say, but there's obviously going to be some more controversial ones. Out of even just a sense of decency, they should be kept to places or groups where they're acceptable. You know, Sickipedia et al.

soldant
20-12-2011, 10:43 AM
Three things.

1) People die all the time. Almost two people die every second. Eighteen people died while I typed this point out. Why cry over them?
2) "Revered" leader?
3) We should refrain from joking about him out of respect for the people who suffered under his regime? You forget what actually happens when the people actually get their hands on tin-pot dictators (http://ethiopiaforums.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Gaddafi-dead-photo.jpg).
This, times a thousand. Asking people for respect and calm is like asking for rain to stop falling. Kim Jong-Il set up a personality cult based off that of his father, and along with his military leaders plunged North Korea into economic crisis with piss-poor management, and then told them it had to be done and they were better off. And they believe him with every second of their lives. The man has been the subject of jokes for ages, just the same as any other political figurehead. The fact that he's dead changes nothing.

There's no great, esteemed dead here. Just a tyrant who had the fortune to die by natural causes, instead of the angry wrath of the public or a successor.

Joseph-Sulphur
20-12-2011, 03:10 PM
I don't understand. He caused them; that is, you feel he was the only reason those deaths happened. Those deaths continue to happen. He is no longer a valid reason due to current circumstances. However, the deaths continue to happen. Therefore, he cannot actually have been the sole cause for those deaths. How does you using the past tense change any of that?
I'm sure you understood what I meant, so I'm just going to leave you to it.

I agree with Nalano, I feel no obligation to be 'decent' towards the man or his family. For crying out loud, his son is overweight in a country where people eat grass and shoes to survive.

This reminds me of everyone being so disgusted at the way those nasty, barbaric Americans were so excited by Bin Laden's death.

Rii
20-12-2011, 03:24 PM
I cried when I learned of Bin Laden's death. Not for him, but for the perpetuation of the cycle of hatred and violence that his death represented, and the unwelcome reminder that much of humanity continues to delight in savagery, hunting in packs and howling at the moon.

Joseph-Sulphur
20-12-2011, 04:06 PM
I cried when I learned of Bin Laden's death. Not for him, but for the perpetuation of the cycle of hatred and violence that his death represented, and the unwelcome reminder that much of humanity continues to delight in savagery, hunting in packs and howling at the moon.
I see. Well, surely his death represents a break in the cycle of vengeance? Especially since the drone strikes are making it very unlikely that AQ will be able to pull of another attack in the US.

jryan
20-12-2011, 04:22 PM
I don't understand. He caused them; that is, you feel he was the only reason those deaths happened. Those deaths continue to happen. He is no longer a valid reason due to current circumstances. However, the deaths continue to happen. Therefore, he cannot actually have been the sole cause for those deaths. How does you using the past tense change any of that?

You are, in essence, arguing that people shouldn't be pleased with the capture or death of a major drug kingpin who was guilty of ordering the deaths of many people on the grounds that their arrest doesn't end crime.

Kim Jong Il was a horrible person who did terrible things and it is good that he is dead. What is your proposed alternative?

Rakysh
20-12-2011, 04:25 PM
Accepting that there are wider causes beyond the presence of the individual? Kim Jong Il was a horrible person who did terrible things, but it doesn't make a blind bit of difference whether he is dead or not.

EDIT: just to clarify further, there's no point in being pleased with the capture or death of a drug kingpin because that does nothing to change systems and society which created that kingpin in the first place. There will simply arise another one.


I'm sure you understood what I meant, so I'm just going to leave you to it.
You credit me far too highly, I'm afraid.

Smashbox
20-12-2011, 04:52 PM
I don't really want to get into all the reasons why KJI was a completely reprehensible person, as I'm sure you all know them, (did you know for instance that North Koreans are on average 4.5 inches shorter than South Koreans due to severe malnutrition?) but if his death brings us one step closer to the collapse of the unspeakably irresponsible Kim dynasty, all human beings should rejoice.

jryan
20-12-2011, 05:01 PM
i don't really want to get into all the reasons why kji was a completely reprehensible person, as i'm sure you all know them, (did you know for instance that north koreans are on average 4.5 inches shorter than south koreans due to severe malnutrition?) but if his death brings us one step closer to the collapse of the unspeakably irresponsible kim dynasty, all human beings should rejoice.


Ding! Ding! Ding!

Xercies
20-12-2011, 05:06 PM
ah but it won't since he has a son and it seems to me he will be the next leader and his son will probably be the next one. The only thing I can see toppling the regime is if they have a revolution. Not if some guy who already has placed a king style progression on the country dies.

Smashbox
20-12-2011, 05:11 PM
I think it's a foregone conclusion that it will collapse in the long-term, namely when Beijing's desire not to be inundated with North Korean refugees is outweighed by its frustrations with NK's constantly abusive relationship. "Better pump money into our economy or we're going to become your problem."

We'll probably see reunification in our lifetimes.

Rakysh
20-12-2011, 06:19 PM
if his death brings us one step closer to the collapse of the unspeakably irresponsible kim dynasty
I'd be really grateful if someone could provide any evidence whatsoever for this. Because I haven't seen any. Once again I'm going to have to re-iterate, things aren't bad in North Korea because the man in charge is "evil". It's so, so much more complex than that, and the man at the top dying isn't going to have any effect on the wider systems at play. The "great man" theory of history is bunk, and has been known to be bunk for more than a century. That's why history books are more than just the biographies of "great men", or at least should be. It's such a 19th century way of looking at the world.

Smashbox
20-12-2011, 06:35 PM
He could not rule alone, of course. I'm not promoting the 'great man' theory. He is (was), however the center of a huge cult of personality, deified by schools, etc. Of course NK's shit situation isn't his fault alone.


I'd be really grateful if someone could provide any evidence whatsoever for this.




South Korean diplomats have long warned that the death of Kim Jong-il was one of the landmark events that could accelerate a sudden unification of the peninsula. Lee Myung-bak, South Korea’s president, has repeatedly warned his people to expect such an outcome. Yet Kim Jong-il, in the last year of his life, may have done just enough to prevent such a meltdown.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/70c4a102-2a56-11e1-8f04-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=rss#axzz1h631xcYO

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204791104577108112994979238.html

Joseph-Sulphur
20-12-2011, 06:42 PM
I'd be really grateful if someone could provide any evidence whatsoever for this. Because I haven't seen any. Once again I'm going to have to re-iterate, things aren't bad in North Korea because the man in charge is "evil". It's so, so much more complex than that, and the man at the top dying isn't going to have any effect on the wider systems at play. The "great man" theory of history is bunk, and has been known to be bunk for more than a century. That's why history books are more than just the biographies of "great men", or at least should be. It's such a 19th century way of looking at the world.
"Wider systems at play"? You seem to think that you've found some incredibly profound concept but you're just spouting vague ideas and meaningless phrases at this point.

Rakysh
20-12-2011, 06:53 PM
Thanks, Smashbox, although the first line of that WSJ article is "Kim Jong Il's sudden death rids the world of one more murderous dictator, but the tragedy is that it probably will not soon rescue the North Korean people from the national dungeon he sustained for 17 years" which is kinda my point. I'd also say that that deification controls him and his successors as much as it gives them control, but anyway. If his death does actually become the defining moment of the fall of North Korea, then I suppose I'd be... retroactively happy? Iunno. I'm just sceptical about that being the case, for the reasons outlined above.


"Wider systems at play"? You seem to think that you've found some incredibly profound concept but you're just spouting vague ideas and meaningless phrases at this point. The "wider systems at play" include the culture of North Korea, the propaganda of the government, the governmental institutions, the history and pretty much all of its society. Those things are still, by and large, the same. I don't think it's a particularly new concept that causation in something as complicated as international politics is equally complicated, but I would say that it's a fairly important basis for conversation about that subject. Are you seriously continuing to suggest that Kim Jon Il dying is going to make any serious difference? If so, what difference?

Joseph-Sulphur
20-12-2011, 07:09 PM
The "wider systems at play" include the culture of North Korea, the propaganda of the government, the governmental institutions, the history and pretty much all of its society. Those things are still, by and large, the same. I don't think it's a particularly new concept that causation in something as complicated as international politics is equally complicated, but I would say that it's a fairly important basis for conversation about that subject. Are you seriously continuing to suggest that Kim Jon Il dying is going to make any serious difference? If so, what difference?

What I said was:
You'll forgive me if I take some pleasure in the fact that a man who has personally caused the deaths of thousands (if not tens of thousands) of people has kicked the bucket. Not "You'll forgive me if I take some pleasure in the fact that potentially thousands of deaths have been stopped now that he is dead".

Rakysh
20-12-2011, 07:17 PM
has personally caused
My mistake. Still, the point stands (which is handy, really).

Joseph-Sulphur
20-12-2011, 07:52 PM
My mistake. Still, the point stands (which is handy, really).
As the (living) Dear Leader or whatever he's called he could easily have ended the medieval situation in which North Koreans live.

Nalano
20-12-2011, 08:02 PM
There's no great, esteemed dead here. Just a tyrant who had the fortune to die by natural causes, instead of the angry wrath of the public or a successor.

That really is the metric by which we rate dictatorships, isn't it? That the despot staves off his enemies long enough to die through natural means.

Rakysh
20-12-2011, 08:06 PM
Could he though? Would the other elites in Korea let him, seeing as that would jeopardise their wealth and power? The fact that he'd probably have been deposed by outside forces by now if he hadn't focused governmental action on nuclear proliferation also constricts his option significantly. What I'm trying get at on a larger scale is that while it's comforting to say "yeah, this guy's basically just evil and that's all there is to it" it's far more important to actually look at motives and that sort of thing if you want to actually get anything from a discussion about this kind of thing. Because there's not much you can do with "yup, he's just evil" but with an eye to the real if more prosaic reasons for his actions you can actually gain from the discourse.

Nalano
20-12-2011, 08:10 PM
We should still have at least a veneer of decency.

[...]

That is perhaps how he saw himself, and I've not met any North Korean peoples so I couldn't tell you how true it is, but that was - at least - the image he had.

No. You know why you've never met any North Korean peoples? Because they can't fucking escape.

I'm sick of the idea that we have to be tolerant to intolerance. That we have to be decent to monsters. That Princeton professors would argue that the best thing for Libyan stability would have been for Qaddafi to be taken to the Hague, have a five year drawn-out court case where disinterested Europeans debate just how much of a monster he was, and then exiled to house arrest in some island far away from Libya. No. He got what was coming to him.

Meanwhile, Kim Jong-Il, after starving his country and oppressing his people in a ridiculous farce, got away with it. No, there's no reason to be decent, and especially no reason why you'd expect me to uphold his "self-image."

Joseph-Sulphur
20-12-2011, 08:36 PM
Could he though? Would the other elites in Korea let him, seeing as that would jeopardise their wealth and power? The fact that he'd probably have been deposed by outside forces by now if he hadn't focused governmental action on nuclear proliferation also constricts his option significantly. What I'm trying get at on a larger scale is that while it's comforting to say "yeah, this guy's basically just evil and that's all there is to it" it's far more important to actually look at motives and that sort of thing if you want to actually get anything from a discussion about this kind of thing. Because there's not much you can do with "yup, he's just evil" but with an eye to the real if more prosaic reasons for his actions you can actually gain from the discourse.
Clearly there is an elite that has power in North Korea which extends beyond the Kim family. But the nature of the dictatorship means that the entire ideological foundation of the state rested on Kim Jong-Il. If he wanted to make the whole house of cards collapse he could. A radio broadcast where he veers off the script and proclaims the communist party corrupt and opposed to the people's interests, for example, would most likely prompt a nationwide uprising. His personal authority also controlled at least a section of the military elite.

Yes, I do know why NK has always pushed for nuclear weapons. You argue it 'constricts his options', but only if his aim is to stay in power. My point is he could have looked beyond his own personal gain and ended the suffering of millions.

@ Nalano, I agree with your general sentiment but the ICC is international, nations from all over the world participate, not just Europeans.

Smashbox
20-12-2011, 09:11 PM
The fact that he'd probably have been deposed by outside forces by now if he hadn't focused governmental action on nuclear proliferation

Nope, the Soviet Union and China are almost solely responsible for them not having been deposed long ago.

soldant
21-12-2011, 01:26 AM
What I'm trying get at on a larger scale is that while it's comforting to say "yeah, this guy's basically just evil and that's all there is to it" it's far more important to actually look at motives and that sort of thing if you want to actually get anything from a discussion about this kind of thing. Because there's not much you can do with "yup, he's just evil" but with an eye to the real if more prosaic reasons for his actions you can actually gain from the discourse.
There is no incredible mystery here! KJI is not a misunderstood man painted as evil by US propaganda. He was a megalomaniac nutjob who absolutely loved the personality cult he inherited from his father. His motives were staying in power and acquiring more, if possible. There was no hidden agenda or great mystery here, sometimes things are as brutally simple as they seem and there's no man behind the curtain. Kim Jong-il loved his personality cult and loved power. And that's all there was to it.

The reason you won't find North Koreans say a bad word about their country is because they'll be killed for doing so, literally. Look at the interviews with the defectors to see how it really is. Pyongyang is just a big facade, a gilded mask hiding the ugly truth of a country which spends a ridiculous amount of resources on building a massive army while it can't even adequately feed its own populous. They preached self-reliance and drove their economy into the ground. To take a holiday there means you'll be kept by state-appointed tour guides at all times, and you won't be talking to the regular people. Just with government officials.

You're acting like North Korea is some misunderstood nation painted as tyrannic by the US government and friends. This isn't like "Iraq has WMDs", this is fact.

Nalano
21-12-2011, 02:01 AM
There is no incredible mystery here! KJI is not a misunderstood man painted as evil by US propaganda. He was a megalomaniac nutjob who absolutely loved the personality cult he inherited from his father. His motives were staying in power and acquiring more, if possible. There was no hidden agenda or great mystery here, sometimes things are as brutally simple as they seem and there's no man behind the curtain. Kim Jong-il loved his personality cult and loved power. And that's all there was to it.

The reason you won't find North Koreans say a bad word about their country is because they'll be killed for doing so, literally. Look at the interviews with the defectors to see how it really is. Pyongyang is just a big facade, a gilded mask hiding the ugly truth of a country which spends a ridiculous amount of resources on building a massive army while it can't even adequately feed its own populous. They preached self-reliance and drove their economy into the ground. To take a holiday there means you'll be kept by state-appointed tour guides at all times, and you won't be talking to the regular people. Just with government officials.

You're acting like North Korea is some misunderstood nation painted as tyrannic by the US government and friends. This isn't like "Iraq has WMDs", this is fact.

Funny how some people take an (understandable) suspicion of the US government to such an extreme as to take tin-pot dictators for their word.

By the way, who here's at least flipped through Guy Delisle's Pyongyang?

Keep
21-12-2011, 05:09 AM
You're acting like North Korea is some misunderstood nation painted as tyrannic by the US government and friends. This isn't like "Iraq has WMDs", this is fact.

The US has WMDs. Does that make them evil?

(Nah I'm just trolling)

I'd interpret a lot of North Korea's actions as being concerned first and foremost with securing North Korea's own ass - mixed with a healthy serving of securing Kim Jong Il's ass.

If you explain something by appealing to character ("He's power-hungry"; "he's crazy"; "he's a megalomaniac") you're not being factual. Actions are better explained through motivations.

Nalano
21-12-2011, 05:10 AM
If you explain something by appealing to character ("He's power-hungry"; "he's crazy"; "he's a megalomaniac") you're not being factual. Actions are better explained through motivations.

If you define a politician as a man whose primary motive is to get and retain power, dictators are consummate politicians.

Keep
21-12-2011, 05:11 AM
If you define a politician as a man whose primary motive is to get and retain power, dictators are consummate politicians.

I am totally ok with that.

Nalano
21-12-2011, 05:23 AM
I am totally ok with that.

That then being the case, I call into question your dismissal of "character traits" like being power-hungry and megalomaniacal.

Keep
21-12-2011, 05:32 AM
That then being the case, I call into question your dismissal of "character traits" like being power-hungry and megalomaniacal.

It's fairer? Saying someone is power-hungry means forcing yourself to interpret even their attempted altruistic acts as somehow furthering the power-hunger. Saying they often acted in order to preserve their power allows for the possibility that hey maybe sometimes they act otherwise too.

Also this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_attribution_error).

Rakysh
21-12-2011, 08:46 AM
Kim Jong-il loved his personality cult and loved power. And that's all there was to it.

But then you've committed a cardinal sin, which is stopping asking why. Why does that personality cult work there, why has he kept power where other places have failed, how has he managed to quell the popular uprising, all that stuff. I fully realise it's a terrible place, I'm just more interested in why that's the case than passing moral judgement on him, because just doing the latter doesn't get us anywhere. Suspicion of the US works the same; I don't think Bush was evil, I think he was disingenuous and controlled by his upbringing and outside interests. You seem to have decided I'm this tyranophile (cheers for that term, Hitchens) but I'm not, I just don't care for moral judgement of historical figures. That's mostly a reaction to 9/11, really- you can't discuss the real reasons for it happening, you have to just pass moral judgement on the terrorists otherwise you hate freedom. Saying there were outside circumstances that lead to North Korea being the way it is today isn't justifying Kim Jon Il's actions, it's just saying they're understandable, which is a completely different thing.

Nalano
21-12-2011, 10:01 AM
It's fairer? Saying someone is power-hungry means forcing yourself to interpret even their attempted altruistic acts as somehow furthering the power-hunger. Saying they often acted in order to preserve their power allows for the possibility that hey maybe sometimes they act otherwise too.

Saying somebody is "power-hungry" doesn't mean you actually think he's a cartoon villain (http://images.icanhascheezburger.com/completestore/2009/5/7/128861759087905000.jpg). I can call Dick Cheney Darth Vader without actually thinking he chokes aides with the Force. Hell, by your definition I can't even call Hitler Hitler because he painted and owned a dog.

I think you're attributing a viewpoint that I don't have.

BobsLawnService
22-12-2011, 11:16 AM
Wow. This thread has blown my mind.

Rakysh
22-12-2011, 11:28 AM
How so?

Stupid 10char grumble grumble.

squirrel
22-12-2011, 12:42 PM
Nope, the Soviet Union and China are almost solely responsible for them not having been deposed long ago.

Hey, that's not fair.

Xercies
22-12-2011, 08:09 PM
China is best buddies with North Korea, hadn't you heard? They were all about mourning his death and showing friendlyness to the North Koreans.

Nalano
22-12-2011, 08:18 PM
China is best buddies with North Korea, hadn't you heard? They were all about mourning his death and showing friendlyness to the North Koreans.

More like the inbred son who's chained in the basement.

Smashbox
22-12-2011, 09:19 PM
More like the easily distracted man with bombs strapped to him but who has a short attention span and is in your house and won't leave and will be agreeable for a short while if you give him a plate of eggs but when the eggs are gone he starts talking about how he wants to detonate again and you have to find a really exciting TV show for him to watch.

Nalano
22-12-2011, 09:24 PM
More like the easily distracted man with bombs strapped to him but who has a short attention span and is in your house and won't leave and will be agreeable for a short while if you give him a plate of eggs but when the eggs are gone he starts talking about how he wants to detonate again and you have to find a really exciting TV show for him to watch.

I like mine better.

Grizzly
22-12-2011, 10:41 PM
China is best buddies with North Korea, hadn't you heard? They were all about mourning his death and showing friendlyness to the North Koreans.

I get the feeling that China only does that so that NK will actually listen to China. Just in case NK risks destabilizing the entire region or something.

Rii
23-12-2011, 12:04 AM
Something I read on the internets:

2011 has been a bad year for dictators: Gaddafi, Kim Jong Il, Steve Jobs...

Fumarole
23-12-2011, 12:17 AM
Dictator dies, world keeps spinning. My rather excited American friend is currently treating himself to a continuous chant of "Go America!" Apparently natural deaths are now the direct result of American justice.Yeah, some of us aren't that bright. For instance, when the Boston Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup last spring, the drunken Bostonian crowds were chanting "USA! USA! USA!" in the streets even though most of the players for Boston were Canadian, with only a handful of Americans on the roster.

soldant
23-12-2011, 01:20 AM
But then you've committed a cardinal sin, which is stopping asking why.
No I haven't. Stating that the man was just a self-loving nutcase doesn't mean that I don't bother to ask why that happened. Kim Jong-il's personality cult works most probably because people followed him out of respect for his father, who managed to leverage himself off a war for reunification and extreme propaganda that insisted the north was right and that the evil imperialists (or the threat from without) was what was really stopping the two Koreas from being one, like it should be. A xenophobic attitude to the west (but mostly the US) along with a long-term goal of reunification kept the people listening, while Kim Il-sung brought out all these supposed gifts and accomplishments. A totally controlled state media kept the personality cult and hatred alive.

There's no great mystery here: North Korea is isolationist and on near-total lockdown. Over in other controlled countries information still filters through unofficial channels. Over there there's nothing, and the continual bombardment of state media ensures that there's no other viewpoint out there. Any sort of deviation is treated harshly.

Kim Jong-il and his entire government wanted to keep an iron grip on power, thanks mostly to the work of his father and his personality cult (with near religious worship), but they were also somewhat incompetent at the same time. Their philosophy of Juche should be enough to prove that. Kim Jong-il's actions have less to do with "outside influences" and can directly be attributed to him wanting to maintain power and his personality cult. If the US suddenly disappeared tomorrow, North Korea would still be the same. They'd transfer hate to some other entity, because it keeps the industry moving.

And it's perfectly legitimate to pass moral judgement on world leaders. Since we've already mentioned Nazis, I'll use Hitler as a perfect example of where you can pass moral judgement on a world leader. Kim Jong-il's actions are "immoral" if you count being self-serving at the expense of the entire country as immoral. I'd say he was more incompetent coupled with self-adoring and being surrounded by sycophants, which is a dangerous combination (and led to starvation).

Theblazeuk
23-12-2011, 01:50 AM
I am extremely happy Kim Jong Il is dead. I only wish it could have been painful, earlier and that it might somehow better the lives of the North Koreans below the indulgent elite.

Sadly they will continue to starve and suffer and most will have no idea how much different the rest of the world is. The whole country is a stark reminder of how knowledge is power and ignorance is control.

As for making moral judgements of historical figures, Kim Jong Il was only a historical figure from this week onwards. Until then he was a contemporary figure - and even beyond that level of admitted conceit, this is effectively saying you can't make moral judgements of anyone you don't personally know. Which is perhaps a noble idea but a ludricous one.

Nalano
23-12-2011, 02:11 AM
I am extremely happy Kim Jong Il is dead. I only wish it could have been painful, earlier and that it might somehow better the lives of the North Koreans below the indulgent elite.

Sadly they will continue to starve and suffer and most will have no idea how much different the rest of the world is. The whole country is a stark reminder of how knowledge is power and ignorance is control.

As for making moral judgements of historical figures, Kim Jong Il was only a historical figure from this week onwards. Until then he was a contemporary figure - and even beyond that level of admitted conceit, this is effectively saying you can't make moral judgements of anyone you don't personally know. Which is perhaps a noble idea but a ludricous one.

Yeah, I don't need historical perspective to understand that Dubya was a disaster.

Rakysh
23-12-2011, 02:20 AM
And it's perfectly legitimate to pass moral judgement on world leaders. Since we've already mentioned Nazis, I'll use Hitler as a perfect example of where you can pass moral judgement on a world leader. Kim Jong-il's actions are "immoral" if you count being self-serving at the expense of the entire country as immoral. I'd say he was more incompetent coupled with self-adoring and being surrounded by sycophants, which is a dangerous combination (and led to starvation).

Regardless of whether it's legitimate, is it at all useful? And as to the first thing, fair enough, that's one reason, but you can't deny that for many people he's a self serving nutcase and "that's all there is to it." When in fact, as you've just said, there's rather a lot more.

EDIT: and Nalano, anyone who thinks he can predict what people will think in the future has far too great a faith in his own powers of prophesy.

soldant
23-12-2011, 03:56 AM
Regardless of whether it's legitimate, is it at all useful? And as to the first thing, fair enough, that's one reason, but you can't deny that for many people he's a self serving nutcase and "that's all there is to it." When in fact, as you've just said, there's rather a lot more.
There isn't really much more to it at all. He really was just a self-serving tool who loved power. The other things didn't cause the lust for power, they just enabled it, much like Hitler's rise to power following the economic collapse in Germany post-WW1. If he didn't enjoy the personality cult, near deification, and the benefits it brought, none of that would have happened in the first place. The incompetence is the most galling factor of the whole lot though, and it sickens me to think of how many suffered under Juche and the pathetic attempts at building a communist paradise. Let it be a lesson: state-planned centralised economies don't work.


EDIT: and Nalano, anyone who thinks he can predict what people will think in the future has far too great a faith in his own powers of prophesy.
Oh I don't know, I predicted the Australian Steam price hike for CoD4 6 months before it happened. I therefore am a prophet. Would you like me to tell you your fortune, kind sir?

Nalano
23-12-2011, 04:12 AM
Let it be a lesson: state-planned centralised economies don't work.

Or, y'know, cults of personality around despots don't work as effective modes of governance.

soldant
23-12-2011, 06:16 AM
Or, y'know, cults of personality around despots don't work as effective modes of governance.
Didn't work so well for the Soviet Union either... and maintaining tight control is the only way to really get a planned economy in action.

Nalano
23-12-2011, 07:57 AM
Didn't work so well for the Soviet Union either... and maintaining tight control is the only way to really get a planned economy in action.

You mean the cult of Stalin? Y'know, the guy who fired all his generals right before a war.

soldant
23-12-2011, 08:25 AM
You mean the cult of Stalin? Y'know, the guy who fired all his generals right before a war.
I'm not really good at history, but I think the union lasted after Stalin died... actually I'm pretty sure I can remember seeing it on maps up to the very early 90s. I seem to remember the economy still being the same after Stalin died too...

Or to be less sarcastic: you're entirely correct that Stalin did create a personality cult around himself (and Lenin, who still decays very, very slowly in his tomb) but it's not to the same extent as you see in North Korea... and hasn't got much to do with the problems with centralised state-planned economies. These kinds of cults make it a bit easier to force people to accept it, but that's about it. It's an issue of governance, not hero-worship.

Nalano
23-12-2011, 08:43 AM
Or to be less sarcastic: you're entirely correct that Stalin did create a personality cult around himself (and Lenin, who still decays very, very slowly in his tomb) but it's not to the same extent as you see in North Korea... and hasn't got much to do with the problems with centralised state-planned economies.

It has everything to do with hamfisted public governance, which makes for bad policy. It's not exactly like great implementation comes out when the ruling party keeps purging itself.

But seriously, you can't knock all planned economies because of Stalin and Mao, considering just about every economy in the world right now is at best a mixed economy.

The Mechanical Aggressor
23-12-2011, 09:40 AM
Everytime I see a video of the North Koreans weeping en masse about Kim Jong Ii's death, I'm reminded of the Two Minutes Hate from "Nineteen Eighty Four". It's the same principle in reverse.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16297811

soldant
23-12-2011, 09:51 AM
It has everything to do with hamfisted public governance, which makes for bad policy. It's not exactly like great implementation comes out when the ruling party keeps purging itself.

But seriously, you can't knock all planned economies because of Stalin and Mao, considering just about every economy in the world right now is at best a mixed economy.
Heh, I like how you cut out my part blaming it entirely on governance. So you're basically agreeing with me?

Mixed economies are good. The planned economies aren't, nor are the fully free markets where basic services are run purely for profit. Pretty much everybody else runs a mixed economy with varying levels of government intervention on essential services (like health). The command economies have pretty much died out, and with good reason. Market forces are too good at building efficiency in economies.

NecroKnight
23-12-2011, 11:19 AM
Everytime I see a video of the North Koreans weeping en masse about Kim Jong Ii's death, I'm reminded of the Two Minutes Hate from "Nineteen Eighty Four". It's the same principle in reverse.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16297811

This is all either fake sorrow or these people are all heavily brainwashed.

squirrel
23-12-2011, 11:26 AM
China is best buddies with North Korea, hadn't you heard? They were all about mourning his death and showing friendlyness to the North Koreans.

That's standard diplomacy. Plus, what do you expect the Chinese government to do? Express our truthful joy, "Tonight I am going to opening my bottle of 100 year-old champagne to celebrate, yahoo~~~"? They have nuclear missiles with range over our capital city (field test proven).


More like the inbred son who's chained in the basement.

And South Korea is American's inbred son? I heard that those coward South Koreans plan to relocate their capital city southward with the relocating US military stationing in SK.

Nalano
23-12-2011, 12:20 PM
Heh, I like how you cut out my part blaming it entirely on governance. So you're basically agreeing with me?

The economic model shifted under Khrushchev and again under Gorbachev, just like China's economic model shifted post-Mao under Deng. Bathed in sarcasm as the first half of the quote was, it still wasn't the meat of your post.


And South Korea is American's inbred son?

I hate to point it out to you and break your rabid patriotism, but when people want to have diplomatic relations with South Korea, they don't have to go to Washington DC to set them up. Meanwhile, not only does China often have to speak for the Kim estate when it comes to foreign relations, but they're also dealing with a longstanding refugee problem 'cause citizens keep escaping their "ally."

soldant
23-12-2011, 12:36 PM
The economic model shifted under Khrushchev and again under Gorbachev, just like China's economic model shifted post-Mao under Deng. Bathed in sarcasm as the first half of the quote was, it still wasn't the meat of your post.
The part about governance was in the 2nd, serious part of my post. Quite clearly it was my main point since you seemed to be drawing some conclusion that command economies fail because of personality cults, not the problems inherent with trying to plan an entire economy at every step of the production and distribution lines... and then on the scale of a whole country.

And the economic model did shift, but ultimately the USSR dissolved and moved into a more capitalist system. Even China has shifted that way. North Korea is one of the few command economies left in the world (the largest if I recall correctly, I can only think of Cuba as another example off the top of my head). Hell even NK are experimenting with some private enterprise now! Everyone else turned their backs on it and moved to a mixed economy because it's superior. Trying to run a large country with a command economy is fighting a losing battle.

squirrel
23-12-2011, 01:06 PM
I hate to point it out to you and break your rabid patriotism, but when people want to have diplomatic relations with South Korea, they don't have to go to Washington DC to set them up. Meanwhile, not only does China often have to speak for the Kim estate when it comes to foreign relations, but they're also dealing with a longstanding refugee problem 'cause citizens keep escaping their "ally."

On the table, under the table, that's the only difference I see.
You Yanks pull out of Korea and all the problems will be solved.
And refugee problem is Kim Jong Il's fucking fault, not ours. Yet we have to pay the bill. Please dont pour salt on our wound.


Hell even NK are experimenting with some private enterprise now! Everyone else turned their backs on it and moved to a mixed economy because it's superior. Trying to run a large country with a command economy is fighting a losing battle.

I recalled that few years ago NK invited a Chinese businessman (surname Yeung, but I cant remember his full-name) to run a special economic zone modeled after Shen Zhen as such experiment. "Unfortunately" Mr. Yeung was arrested by our own authority for corruption charges before he could take the post. Some speculated it's a message from Beijing to protest against any fundamental change of NK policy. But no matter what Mr. Yeung is truly guilty of financial fraud, that is a fact. He ran a publicly listed agricultural business which actually did very little to actually grow crops.

But the problem of NK is pretty much irrelevant to ideology of communism. Kim Jong Il is simply the worst kind of feudal lord in human history. He exploited his people without reservation. And in the name of communism, he could mobilize the whole nation's resources for his own well-being to a level no feudal lord could dream of. Kim Jong Il is a fucking traitor of communism. Be burnt in hell you scum!!

Speaking of which, I dont think Soviet model of economy is a total failure. It's truth they built a robust industrial foundation without generating much immediate economic benefit for the generation who built it. Yet look at the whole Eastern Europe. Eastern Europeans are highly educated and therefore formed themselves a very well established scientific work force. That's how IT industry starts to thrive there. Capitalism is the ideology leading to the harvest, but who lays the seed? Of course, I understand that fundamentalist communism had brought suffering to Eastern Europe, and also to my country, so I really see no reason to go back. Cuba is not doing very well, but at least Cuba people are too far from starving. Plus, Cuba has a very sound medical care system.

Althea
23-12-2011, 01:12 PM
But the problem of NK is pretty much irrelevant to ideology of communism. Kim Jong Il is simply the worst kind of feudal lord in human history. He exploited his people without reservation. And in the name of communism, he could mobilize the whole nation's reason for his own well-being to a level no feudal lord could dream of. Kim Jong Il is a fucking traitor of communism. Be burnt in hell you scum!!
Last I checked, Korea didn't use Feudalism, but hey...

Serenegoose
23-12-2011, 01:54 PM
Last I checked, Korea didn't use Feudalism, but hey...

It's a monarchy, they just didn't call the guy 'king'. He ruled by proclaimed divine right, he inherited the position from his father (and passed it to his son) and owned everything, including the people. If it looks like a feudal monarchy, walks like a feudal monarchy...

soldant
23-12-2011, 03:03 PM
Speaking of which, I dont think Soviet model of economy is a total failure. It's truth they built a robust industrial foundation without generating much immediate economic benefit for the generation who built it. Yet look at the whole Eastern Europe. Eastern Europeans are highly educated and therefore formed themselves a very well established scientific work force. That's how IT industry starts to thrive there. Capitalism is the ideology leading to the harvest, but who lays the seed? Of course, I understand that fundamentalist communism had brought suffering to Eastern Europe, and also to my country, so I really see no reason to go back. Cuba is not doing very well, but at least Cuba people are too far from starving. Plus, Cuba has a very sound medical care system.
Australia has an excellent public healthcare system (despite how much people bitch about it) and we're capitalist. We also provide Commonwealth Support Places for university degrees of pretty much any type so long as you're an Australian citizen, drastically reducing the cost of university education. Did I mention we're capitalist? This is the benefit of a mixed economy; private enterprise flourishes so that inefficiency and issues with consumer goods are resolved, while still ensuring a degree of social welfare so that people aren't totally left behind. This is different to the US, but since everyone assumes every western nation is like the US the socialists suggest that capitalism as a whole is the root of all evil.

The command economies tend to be terribly inefficient, particularly on large scales and particularly if they're centralised, and they also tend to put "unimportant" things very low in priority, which is mostly consumer goods. And I don't mean "worthless crap you don't need" but pretty much anything that doesn't fuel the fires of industry or feed the population. Higher education can flourish just as much under the mixed economies as it might have in command economy countries. A focus on education doesn't have to be tied to an economy (though it can definitely be of benefit), though under a command economy you can more easily force people into particular roles. Which is a loss of freedom.