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Interesting little shifts

History has shown us that communist nations are frequently obsessed with symbolism. Even the most mundane alterations to edifices physical, ideological, political – you name it – can signify profound shifts within the hidden inner workings of such regimes. North Korea provides a timely example.

The dead communist arsehole sadly departed Kim Il Sung is infamously referred to as the Great Leader by brainwashed communist apparatchiks adoring and grateful beneficiaries of the socialist Juche revolution. Kim Jong Il, Kim Il Sung’s repugnant spawn son is now also termed “Great Leader” at the official North Korean website, the Korean Friendship Association. Interesting. Kim Jong Il used to be known as “Dear Leader”.

(See http://www.korea-dpr.com/pmenu.htm for further details – the KFA bounces all embedded links to its precious virtual domain)


His grandmother, Kang Pan Sok, his grandfather’s younger brother.

A “that explains something” moment regarding Kim Jong Il’s lineage, gleaned from his “brief” 160 page history fielded by the ever-admiring KFA. Found here (pdf).

10 comments to Interesting little shifts

  • felix

    History has shown us that communist nations are frequently obsessed with symbolism

    History shows us that non-communist nations are frequently obessed with symbolism also.

  • The Last Toryboy

    Someone at Samizdata HQ (well, Perth, Australia I suppose!) must have been having a dull day to read through that…

    for “fun” I tried to read the glorious biography of the Dear Leader, to read about all his good works, but after a page the eyes were closing, the synapses turning off.

  • The Last Toryboy

    Standing by for smite control!

    I’ve never seen that one before. I must be a regular now, I’ve been through the rite of passage!

  • Although there’s not much with which to disagree in your post, I’d just like to say that your strikeouts had me in stitches.

  • veryretired

    There will come a day, as there always does, when the survivors of this maniacal lunacy will be free to write and speak about what it meant to live through this nightmare. What their feelings will be toward a world which allowed the repression, starvation, and bestial cruelty of ths NK regime to continue on year after year, decade after decade, I can only imagine.

    I will fearlessly predict two things.

    The stories circulating currently about how terrible life is in NK under the psychotic rule of this malignant little toad will turn out to be mild compared to the true depths of depravity and cruelty to which that society has sunk; and

    The same people, and their intellectuel and moral heirs, who have managed to ignore every bit of information that has come out of the opened archives of the collapsed Soviet Union, and has been published by the former colleagues and regime insiders about the madness of Emperor Mao, will continue to run down to Havana, and Caracas, and anywhere else they can find some unrepentent Marxist in the process of ruining another hapless country in order to trumpet the superiority of the “socialist miracle”.

    I am not a particularly religious person, but I do believe that if there is a hell, it is a very small and select club. It is reserved for those who betrayed everything it means to be a human being, and they exist there in their true forms, like the portrait of Dorian Gray made alive.

    And hell is waking up in that demonic form, and looking around at the other grotesque, perverted images of something not quite human, and realizing that it is the judgement of the Universe that THAT place is exactly where you belong, and those creatures are your true peers.

    It may be fantasy, but it helps me when I have to accept the fact that the likes of the “Dear Leader” are men just like me. It would be easier if they were ugly green aliens from the planet Mongo.

    But then I might be tempted to forget that Lord Acton was very, very right.

  • castillon

    History has shown us that communist nations are frequently obsessed with symbolism.

    To echo another poster, I would say that same is true of any state since such critters were founded. Heck, it is even true of tribal entities. Humans like symbolism.

  • Apologies for the delay in publishing your comment, veryretired.

  • Castillon and felix have missed the point. Sure, all states rely on symbolism to justify their existence. However, historically communist nations have used it (and continue to use it) in a very unique way, where a minor change in title or a slightly altered photograph or logo or monument or slogan are the only visible manifestation/s of what can be very profound alterations within a highly opaque power structure.

    You can bet your bottom dollar there are good reasons behind Kim’s title changing from “Dear Leader” to “Great Leader”. Something has shifted within the NK power structure that precipitated this change – probably a shift in favour of Kim. Regarding the details; we can only guess.

  • veryretired

    Thank you, James, but it is unnecessary to apologize. Nothing I say is terribly urgent. These posts are a pleasant and diverting chance to express the meandering thoughts that have been wandering around in my mind since God knows when.

  • Midwesterner

    “Blake wrote of the Marriage of Heaven and Hell. If I have written of their Divorce, this is not because I think myself a fit antagonist for so great a genius, nor even because because I feel at all sure that I know what he meant. But in some sense or other the attempt to make that marriage is perenial.”

    I’m not sure if this is a non-sequitor or not. In The Great Divorce CS Lewis writes, as always, with many allegorical interpretations possible. I read in it the juxtaposition of people who live in imaginary ‘realities’ verses people who live under the laws of nature (God’s laws, for Lewis).

    It is easily one of the best allegories I’ve ever read. The gray people so embody the socialist mindset. They have an entirely egocentric view, rather than an egocentric viewpoint.