The River That Winds Through Utopia

by Thomas Hurley

I think that North Korea is the closest thing we have to paradise on Earth. This is surely a controversial statement, but one that is well-warranted. For starters, it’s one of the few countries not ruled by vapid materialism and consumption of products. Because North Korea cuts itself off from the world, they will never be bombarded with ads and mass media and all the shallowness that comes with it. North Koreans will never care about how many basketball shoes or flat-screen TVs they can own before they die, or which celebrity parasite or sportsball player made the news. North Koreans will never pursue a life of drinking and drug use and sexual promiscuity just because they were told it was cool. In a way, I envy the North Koreans for being so ignorant of all the depravity of the world. North Koreans focus on issues more relevant and meaningful to their lives, and ironically, this makes them freer than the average Westerner, trapped in a cage of his own vices.

Another great thing about North Korea is their dedication to the natural world. Many other countries have raped and pillaged their environments in the pursuit of wealth. Sure, North Korea has a couple cities, but they’re so underpopulated that it’s functionally similar to living in the countryside. More than any other regime in history, North Korea has understood the Communist ethos. Over the course of several decades, North Korea has gradually decreased the powers of the state to the point that most people now live in small collectives, producing and using resources according to ability and need. Meanwhile, the rest of the world uses an artificial system of supply and demand that is regularly manipulated by the politicians and the rich to keep the cash flowing.

Since technology always leads to a decrease in civil liberties, North Korea’s lack of industrialization means that most people are free to do whatever they want. The greatest trick the West ever pulled was convincing the world that North Korea is a technocratic hellhole surveillance state. I would bet that the USA, an alleged democracy, actually conducts more surveillance of its citizens than North Korea. The North Korean government only exists to conduct bombastic displays that keep the rest of the world on its toes and ensure their country doesn’t just get annexed by China or South Korea. Since it’s a one-party state, North Koreans don’t have to deal with slimy politicians who use the system as a means to get more power and wealth for themselves at the expense of others. North Koreans don’t have to partake in the farce that is voting. They know full well that electoral politics is a charade and the real power is always wielded by a small group. All North Koreans have to do is repeat a catchy slogan once in a while. If you’re some turnip farmer in the North Korean wilderness, I bet your life will be completely unchanged by politics.

Even though North Korea may seem like paradise, the people there still have to work. Paradise doesn’t mean the end of working, it means the end of meaningless work. Most North Koreans are either farmers or manual laborers. This means that there is less of a gap between their labor and output. A farmer plants seeds, tends to them, then harvests the plants that grow. There’s a clear goal, the production of food to sustain yourself. A manual laborer is paid for the service he provides, and uses the money to buy food. There’s more steps for the laborer, but he can still clearly see the goal. Degenerate westerners often work surrogate activities in utterly meaningless jobs. Some office drone sits hunched in front of a screen all day filing Excel spreadsheets. What is the end goal of this work? What is accomplished from filing the spreadsheets? It’s literally busywork that exists to justify its own existence. The spreadsheets have to be filed because they have to. This is basically the adult equivalent of giving a child a toy vacuum to run on the carpet and let them think they’re helping. The farther removed people are from their goal of acquiring food, the more unhappy they become. I sincerely doubt there is any North Korean who sits in his garage huffing carbon monoxide because he’s been stuck in an entry level position in the same miserable office job for twenty years. You go to South Korea, however, and you’re confronted with a cascade of bugmen rushing to accomplish absolutely nothing. Really, this is also true of the urban-rural divide in many countries.

One problem with North Korea is that sometimes, people don’t have enough food. This is often because of the government, which is another good reason for the abolition of the state. In a communist utopia, people would just produce food on their own rather than have an organization control the means of production. It’s how rural communities got by for thousands of years. Even in America, people still go hungry, so can the US really criticize North Korea for the same failures? At least North Koreans aren’t fat and disgusting like many Americans, since North Korea lacks any processed foods. I think the US is actually way more villainous, because they sell low-quality chemical slop and make fruits and vegetables and meat too expensive to afford. This ensures poor people stay unhealthy and poor, because now they’re addicted to the chemicals and their fat bodies require constant doctor’s visits. It’s basically a completely legal drug operation. North Koreans don’t have this, so instead they go hungry sometimes. While this can be preferable to eating literal garbage, it means that North Koreans are shorter and skinnier than other groups of people. That’s really the only thing holding them back. I bet if North Koreans were just a little taller and more muscular, they would utterly dominate the world.

Thomas Hurley

[Back to Essays]