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Samizdata quote of the day

Life in New Malden is just unimaginably better than in that in North Korea

– North Korean defector Kim Joo-il, stating the obvious from (where else) suburban London.

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21 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Well, at least one immigrant is trying to make the best of a new life.

  • Jake Haye

    “When the regime in Pyongyang collapses, my aim is to rebuild it with the lessons I have learned in the UK. We will have proper education, decent social welfare, and a transport and tax system.”

    Which would suggest that his disagreement with the NK regime is confined to a few policy details rather than anything fundamental.

  • Patrick Crozier

    We should perhaps point out that there are an awful lot of Koreans in New Malden.

  • Patrick Crozier

    Actually, the article does rather make that point. A lot.

  • Paul Marks

    A good point. People, such as myself, who hate their lives and hate how things are going in the place they live need to be told COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS.

    We could indeed be living in North Korea – and there are plenty of people in London (not all that far from New Maldon) who think this would be a good thing – they really do share the same principles as the North Korea.

    And in other places it is worse – in London the Reds are nutty people in universities (but is it not bad that we do not care who educates the next generation?), in New York City they include the Mayor.

    Indeed one can look higher than that. The high ranking person now spending his Christmas in 50, may sincerely believe that the “wrong people” are in charge of Cuba and North Korea, but he believes that their fundamental principles are CORRECT and that the private property based principles of the Bill of Rights, British or American, are WRONG.

    The radical “disconnect” between the outcomes people want (and I accept that Mr Obama sincerely wants people to be happy) and the principles they adopt (in this case socialism) is total.

    It is as radial as the “disconnect” between the outcome that someone like Douglas Haig wanted, and I accept that General Haig sincerely wanted a great victory, for July 1st 1916 (a battle of which I am reminded when I visit Kells in Country Antrim – for the banners are on the lampposts) and the tactics they adopted.

    It is not enough to want, to sincerely want, a good outcome – one must use the methods that will naturally tend to the result that one wants.

    One must NOT just assume that good intentions are all that matters – and then, when one’s methods lead to dreadful results for vast numbers of other people, blame everyone – accept one’s self.

    If Mr Kim in North Korea is really “not interested” in learning about the principles of economics (which would lead him to restore private property rights and restrict the role of government), then he should step down from his position.

    Mr Kim is not his father or his grandfather – he has not been in charge of the socialist country for very long. But unless he changes his ways, his principles, he is just as responsible as they are.

  • Michael Jennings (London)

    Which would suggest that his disagreement with the NK regime is confined to a few policy details rather than anything fundamental.

    Such as mass starvation, the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of people for political reasons, and a couple of other fiddly things. Minor details, yes.

  • Mr Ed

    …We will have proper education, decent social welfare,…

    He’s not been in the UK that long then, one can imagine that if Chinese apples caused him wonder, he might be rather starry-eyed about just about anything in the UK. Send him to Lambeth Council for a month’s re-education, and he might be a bit more sober, poor chap. I do wonder why the North Koreans had a friendly British figure in a propaganda film. Let’s blame Harold Wilson.

    As the Sage of Kettering points out, there are many in London (and elsewhere) who see North Korea for what it is, and relish the prospect of imposing such a system here. Of course, when they do it, it will be different, as they, or those they approve of, will be in charge, and they are nice and wise… Leftists here must be truly miserable, all that frustrated bloodlust, all that bonemeal fertiliser for the Collective Farms still walking around, talking and laughing, being with their families, enjoying their properties, interests and hobbies, some even liking that cheeky chap who drinks pints.

  • I’m with Michael Jennings here. To compare, say, a Swedish-style social democracy with North Korea is ridiculous. OK, we might complain about smoking bans and various bans on all sorts of things but it is not the same think as out and out totalitarianism.

  • It’s only a matter of degree, surely.
    Once we’ve agreed that we’re taking things from people by force, and giving them to other people then we’re well on the way. And that’s merely the property aspect of it. Similar points could also be made on speech, denunciations and secret trials.

  • Chip

    The natural state of man may be free, without chains etc.

    But the natural state of society is the imposition of power over others. Usually the extreme imposition of power.

    Only recently have we managed to temper this inclination. But the tendency is there, always, and evident in different degrees from creeping censorship in the UK to North Korea.

  • Dom

    If it’s only a “matter of degrees”, Wh00ps, it’s degrees measured in light years, surely.

  • James Waterton

    I like the bit at the end of the article where the defector bumps into the NK diplomatic staffers in the shop he works in. They don’t have enough money to pay for what they’ve selected to buy; he offers to lend them some. They refuse.

    It must be a helluva job keeping people who’ve been posted overseas indoctrinated.

  • Mr Ed

    A reminder from (even) the BBC that in North Korea, human ashes are used as fertiliser for want of better.

    And the London Embassy of the DPRK recently held an art exhibition inside the Embassy.

    I wonder if those diplomats denounced each other for contact with a defector and being offered money?

    And Dom, in terms of degrees, are we talking arcs or temperature?

  • James Waterton: “It must be a helluva job keeping people who’ve been posted overseas indoctrinated.”

    They have family at home.

  • Paul Marks

    I was not comparing London, or Sweden to North Korea – I was comparing the doctrines of some of the important “intellectuals” in these places with those of the North Korean regime – because they are the bleeping same.

    And ideas have consequences.

    If one has the idea that infantry tactics do not matter one gets things like July 1st 1916 (and so many other occasions).

    And if one has the idea that collective should control everything then one gets something like North Korea.

    The problem is not skin colour or slanted eyes.

  • Paul Marks

    As for our own societies, they are doomed.

    The financial system is a vast credit bubble and the state tries to provide all the basic things of life (education, health, income support, old age provision…..) for the vast majority of people. The numbers do not add up – the math does not work.

    If we were the favoured province of a Galactic Federation (with many other planets working to subsidise us) this would work fine.

    As we are not – we are bleeped.

    So what will come after the fall of our system?

    The rebirth of Civil Society?

    Or a new Dark Age?

    I do not know.

  • Laird

    Paul, my bet would be a new dark age.