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Dystopia has arrived. The DPRK issue.

Popularity 2Viewed 3239 times 2017-5-6 19:57 |System category:News| DPRK, conditioning, media, conrol

Dystopian “1984” has arrived

Many years ago George Orwell wrote “1984” as his vision of a possible future that was based upon fear and dis-information; a very small ruling party enjoying extreme wealth and power at the expense of the people. Such situations arise as a consequence of revolution or wars. For Orwell it was a Russian revolution and a world war.

In countries like Russia, Cambodia and China extreme ideas about changing society and politics by extreme action resulted in the purges and terror of the Stalinist era, the “Killing fields, and starvation after the cultural revolution. Ultimately these attempts to change society failed to varying extents because of a lack of conditioning of the people and the lack of control over the media. Terror only controls people for a short time and eventually leads to reactions against the regime either by its people or by other powerful leaders wishing to take power. For ultimate control a government must have complete control of the media, thereby enabling the complete indoctrinisation of people over time. This, with the establishment of constant fear creates the perfect “1984” dystopia. All of these elements have been present in North Korea under the Kim family’s communist dictatorship. More worrying is the movement towards ultimate control in America in the last few months.

A background to all this and the foundations for a future dystopia are the situations in the Middle East, the increasing militarism of Putin’s Russia, and the popular moves away from traditional politics in the UK and in France and Germany. Fragmentation and chaos creates an easier path for a country to descend into “1984” control, ostensively for the good of its people, but ultimately for the good of its rulers.

People are greatly influenced by the media and by fear. In a democracy they are easily encouraged to choose the path that promises what they think is better, even if it is not. In the UK, politicians fed on the unjustified fears of its people concerning immigration, and were encouraged by the imagined halcyon days of the “great” empire. People voted to leave the European Union without seriously considering the future or whether the information fed to them was true or sensible. The same reactions were clear in the American presidential election, and are clear in voting trends in France and Germany. President Trump was elected on the basis of fears about unemployment and immigration. He appealed to patriotism and the lost “greatness” of the USA. Just like North Korea, he is taking advantage of potential threats from terrorists and other countries.

The threat of attack or harm is a wonderful way to explain deprivation, starvation, unemployment etc. By placing blame on another group of people distracts people from the truth and focuses their anger elsewhere. In “1984” the constant existence of an imagined war enabled all ills and hardships to be explained. People’s hatred was directed away from their government and towards the “enemy”.  In the DPRK it is the Western world, and the USA in particular who are said to be the enemy and the cause of all ills in the country. Spies and traitors are blamed for failures. In Nazi Germany it was the Jews who were blamed and in America today it is immigrants.

For a society like “1984” to exist, fear must be constantly maintained. Aside from threats of terrorism and war, a culture of perpetual fear is created in North Korea and in Middle Eastern countries. Everyone is encouraged to spy and inform on each-other for reward. The accused are publicly punished, put to death, and their whole family sent to prison or death camps. Any suspicion of  rebellion or disagreement with the rulers is punishable. Apparently Kim Il-sung purged possible threats to his position, even from his own family. President Trump has replaced long serving and experienced people in government and in the Judiciary with his own supporters. Lies about the opposition are called “alternative truths” and the media is accused of spreading “false information” when it criticises his administration.

President Trump and Kim Il-sung both regard the media as the most powerful danger or asset. Control of the media is essential in maintaining control. “1984” describes the “Ministry of truth” where history is re-written, facts are distorted and where lies are made truths. It is from here that the penalties for unacceptable thoughts are broadcast. So it is in the press offices of governments, and most obvious in North Korea where “news” is constantly played to the country through loud speakers. The latest worrying invention is Google’s ability now to put made up words into the mouths of videoed people. What you see, as well as what you read, can no longer be believed. The “alternative truths” voiced by all politicians in the UK on both sides about leaving the EU were totally confusing and encouraged voting on the basis of feelings rather than facts, as was the case in the US presidential election.

It is through control of the media that indoctrination can develop. In the DPRK, for two generations, the process has begun at birth and continues until death. People are conditioned to believe whatever the media says. Many now believe that the Kim family are gods who care for them. Conditioning has become so entrenched that many are able to accept two opposing “facts” as true at the same time, just as described in Orwell’s “1984”, which he called “doublethink”. They accept Kim Il-sung as a benevolent god, yet witness his corruption, brutality and rich lifestyle while they starve.

The terrifying reality is that the Kim regime is clever, yet irresponsible and careless of the consequences of its actions. Kim Il-sung is likely to make a pre-emptive nuclear strike on another country if he feels he is going to lose power. Millions of deaths will mean nothing. His control is almost absolute. The success of conditioning and his propaganda in his own country has made him confident that other countries will believe outrageous, ridiculous comments and threats. America is now led by an administration that encourages fear, defames and punishes opponents and attempts to control the media. It now threatens Kim Il-sung and ironically it appears that only the Communist administration of China can influence these two and prevent catastrophe!

The horrors of “1984” are now proved to be a possibility, and are now features of the DPRK. They can become features of any country whose rulers realise the power of fear, conditioning and total media control.

Ted Mason .   May 2017

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)

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Reply Report TedM 2017-5-8 17:32
You are clearly an intelligent and educated person with sound opinions. Most of this blog concerned the situation in North Korea and the threats it poses, particularly with reference to Trumps actions. I would welcome your comments on this, but please avoid insults. They are not constructive or sensible.

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TedM

Education management advisor and English teacher

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  • Dystopia has arrived. The DPRK issue. 2017-5-8 17:32

    You are clearly an intelligent and educated person with sound opinions. Most of this blog concerned the situation in North Korea and the threats it poses, particularly with reference to Trumps actions. I would welcome your comments on this, but please avoid insults. They are not constructive or sensible.

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