Vale Little Kimmie Sick

By DeusExMacintosh

As a nation mourns (and the Internet boggles) we pause to offer our sincere condolences to the people of North Korea on the occasion of their Dear Leader’s funeral….

We also offer some fan service to our male readers – hotpants and swords, that’s all I’m going to say.

Ain’t no party like a? Pyongyang party, ’cause a Pyongyang party is ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY


  1. Posted December 29, 2011 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    Are we having fun yet?

  2. kvd
    Posted December 29, 2011 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    The animated figures stand
    Adorning every public street
    And seem to breathe in stone, or
    move their marble feet.

    And to answer the question: no.

  3. Posted December 29, 2011 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Creepy. Kiwi political scientist Xavier Marquez (don’t you love a globalised world?) has some revealing posts on cult of personality.

    How do you signal loyalty in a society where loyalty is compulsory? Really extravagantly.

  4. Posted December 29, 2011 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Watching North Korea do its totalitarian thing has provoked me into posting on the atavism of totalitarianism.

  5. kvd
    Posted December 29, 2011 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Lorenzo, that is very a interesting read, as always. If you have the time and inclination I’d be very interested in your ‘forward projection’ of how a reunification of S and N Korea might work out?

    For a moment ignore the Chinese implications, and imagine that Sth and Nth undergo something similar to East and West Germany: where would you expect resulting differences to be, and: how would the past histories of East Germany and North Korea affect your thinking?

    On the other hand, feel free to ignore, and accept my wishes for a more settled New Year 😉

  6. Posted December 29, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Lorenzo and kvd, there’s a new post that raises the Korean reunification issue (at least tangentially) at the top of the blog. Enjoy (if you can); the whole business is depressing.

  7. Posted December 29, 2011 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    kvd: South Korea: pop 48.9m
    North Korea: pop 24m.

    West Germany 1990: pop 63.3m
    East Germany 1990: pop 16.1m.

    So, West Germany outnumbered East Germany almost 4:1. South Korea only outnumbers North Korea 2:1.

    South Korea: GDP pc $31,750
    North Korea: GDP pc $1,900

    West Germany 1990: GDP pc $15,300
    East Germany 1990: GDP pc $9,700

    East Germans had about half the income of West Germans. North Koreans have about 1/16th of the income of South Koreans.

    Trying to reunite the Koreas would be an enormously greater drain on South Korea than absorbing East Germany was on West Germany. (I gather that watching the cost of German reunification cooled some South Korean ardour for reunification.) Indeed, the raw figures hide the difficulty since North Korea is significantly further from a market economy than East Germany was.

    Also, the Soviet Union (which had clear veto rights) was in some stress and open to a “leveraged buy out” (Helmut Kohl essentially paid them lots to forgo their veto). China has an effective veto and South Korea has much less to play with. (Though having US troops withdraw would be an obvious card to play.)

    It is hard to see reunification of the Koreas as being other than an expensive mess and requiring both regime collapse and Chinese acquiescence.

  8. kvd
    Posted December 29, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] thanks. Supports my own thought that when or if S-N reunification happens, I and my descendants will be long dead, or living on Mars.

  9. Posted December 30, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Reunification doesn’t HAVE to happen and that may not be what either party wants.

    Autarky may be economically impossible but with a 25 million population something closer to self-sufficiency should be possible. Modern China and the historical precedent of Rome suggests that they could certainly tolerate some form of authoritarian capitalism (which still suits what is traditionally a pagan culture – monotheism is not mandatory, look at Japan) and their socialist tradition might evolve into something gentler like the Citizen’s Income as a cushion against the choppy social effects of emerging competition.

    First they just need to concentrate on feeding everybody, and capitalism would assist with that.

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