By Jeff Rutherford
The brutal dictator Kim Jong-un and his militaristic communist government appear schizophrenic and paranoid that America is out to annihilate North Korea. The totalitarian dictator acts out his apparent paranoia by diverting resources from feeding and housing the estimated 25.4 million people in his country to developing, testing, and demonstrating dangerous nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
This frightening behavior scares the hell out of other nations in the region, elicits warnings and sanctions from the international community including the toothless United Nations, and attracts displays of deterrent military strength from the United States and its Pacific Rim allies.
This starts the next cycle of North Korea accusing its enemies of plotting to annihilate it, and bragging about its supposed military capability to attack the United States itself. Each effect becomes the subsequent cause. It’s a self-fulfilling, self-reinforcing loop.
It is obviously NOT the United States’ goal to provoke North Korea into starting a devastating regional war. (Honestly, it could ONLY be regional at the current time, since their missile testing record is dismal, and the Pacific Ocean is huge.) No other nation in the world, including China and Russia, is accusing the United States of seeking to start a war with North Korea.
On April 21st, all 14 members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) condemned North Korea’s missile launches – which are in violation of numerous previous UNSC resolutions. North Korea’s predictable response: they released a statement saying that the UNSC “must distinguish who is responsible for the current severe situation of the Korean peninsula being aggravated to the brink of war and should behave impartially and with caution. The root cause of current aggravated situation of the Korean peninsula is none other than the Untied States (sic)….”
See the cycle? And what do you think the chances are that North Korea will stop launching ballistic missiles?
Question: Why does North Korea’s totalitarian government behave this way, in effect throwing more and more gasoline on a fire of their own making?
Answer: Although the North Korean government’s saber-rattling pronouncements and dangerous weapons tests are aimed towards the outside world, the actual intended audience is their own beleaguered and starving people. As George Orwell explained brilliantly in his 1949 novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” the best way for an iron-fisted and compassion-less communist dictatorship to keep its population in acceptance of a hopeless existence is to be in a perpetual state of war with the outside world — as an excuse to keep the population from rising up in revolt. Within Orwell’s novel, he wrote a book-within-a-book entitled “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism” by a fictionalized author named Emmanuel Goldstein. Here are four paragraphs from this chilling book-within-Orwell’s-book:
“Nor was it a satisfactory solution to keep the masses in poverty by restricting the output of goods…. Goods must be produced, but they must not be distributed. And in practice the only way of achieving this was by continuous warfare. The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent. Even when weapons of war are not actually destroyed, their manufacture is still a convenient way of expending labour power without producing anything that can be consumed….
In practice the needs of the population are always underestimated, with the result that there is a chronic shortage of half the necessities of life; but this is looked on as an advantage. It is deliberate policy to keep even the favoured groups somewhere near the brink of hardship, because a general state of scarcity increases the importance of small privileges and thus magnifies the distinction between one group and another…. The social atmosphere is that of a besieged city, where the possession of a lump of horseflesh makes the difference between wealth and poverty. And at the same time the consciousness of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of survival.
War, it will be seen, accomplishes the necessary destruction, but accomplishes it in a psychologically acceptable way. In principle it would be quite simple to waste the surplus labour of the world by building temples and pyramids, by digging holes and filling them up again, or even by producing vast quantities of goods and then setting fire to them. But this would provide only the economic and not the emotional basis for a hierarchical society….
It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going well or badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist.”
You can read all 25 pages of Ch 9 of “Nineteen Eighty-Four” here, (of which about 85% is the book-within-a-book). In fact you can read Orwell’s entire novel for free at that link if you wish.
The existential threat that Kim Jong-un feels most deeply is not an attack from the United States, but an uprising from his own propagandized and brutally oppressed people. He is not illogical, just purely evil.