Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Stunted Development

According to Strategy Page, as North Korea moves toward chaos with the imminent succession crisis looming when Kim Jong Il dies, South Korea and China are increasingly concerned about the primitiveness of the refugees that are making it out of that prison state:

South Koreans are growing increasingly anxious at the difficulties North Korean refugees are having in adapting to life in a prosperous democracy. There are over 17,000 refugees in South Korea now, and the children do not do well at school. Few get into a university. The adults do poorly in establishing prosperous careers. These refugees are among the most enterprising North Koreans, because of the planning they had to do, and risks they had to take, to get out of the country. But these people are obsessed with basic survival, not personal improvement and advancement, as in South Korea, and the rest of the world.

Sixty years of police state rule up north, plus the 1990s famine, has seriously crippled the initiative and ambition of the northerners. It appears that the North Koreans are much more psychologically damaged, than were the East Germans (and east Europeans in general) after their communist dictatorships collapsed in 1989. This just makes South Korea, and China, even more anxious about a collapse of the North Korean government, while would leave China and South Korea to deal with refugees, and picking up the pieces in general.

Meanwhile, those Norks who can are preparing to flee once the end comes:

Some senior officials are making escape plans, gathering portable wealth and cultivating connections in China that would be useful for a getaway. There is a growing consensus that Kim Jong Il will be gone within three years, and that after that, chaos.

The North Koreans have managed to stunt the development of three generations of their people by forcing them to live in a Marxist paradise. There's a lesson here for the rest of the world: The fewer freedoms a people have the more dehumanized they become.