Frankie Leflore/Hansson Afternoon Class
While there are many different forms of government there are two distinct variances: those that rule for the common good and interest of their community and those that “rule with a view to the private interest, whether that be on or of the few, or of the many.”(Book III: Chapter 7, Aristotle). The true forms of the government are those that rule for common good of their people. Those nations are the ones that flourish and prosper, unlike the governments that rule out of self-interests or private interest of other people.
For example, North Korea is currently struggling economically due to their totalitarian rule by their government. Their economy is suffering tremendously because of their obsessive effort to manage every single thing in their country consequently stifling their people’s potential. North Korea’s government is holding them back and effectively placing poverty on them. The GDP per capita in North Korea has been on a steady decrease since 1990, where it was $2,850 USD, and is now currently $1,800 USD. Their GDP per capita is at a pitiful world rank of 197. Due to the continuous denial of change and opportunities to prosper, it will become increasingly more difficult to control their people and could quite possibly end in disaster for the country and/or the current government system (Cia.Gov).
Another example of how the government of North Korea rules in such a way that allows them to have total control is by traditionally denying their people of free speech and isolates them from the outside world by not allowing internet access except for a select amount of group officials. The extreme control that the government places onto their people results in them smuggling cell phones and Hollywood DVDs which is highly illegal but very lucrative. These actions may result in either future abolishment of their government because they realize how controlled they truly are or even harsher restrictions put on by the North Korean government. The government is so set on having complete control over their people that is resulting in a tragic country to live in.
Corruption is all too common in the world nowadays and North Korea is no exception. Corruption, especially within the government, has run ramped and since the economic collapse in the 1990s. The economic downturn has thus urged many North Koreans to go about atypical routes to make money, many of them highly illegal. Purchasing cell phones near the border from China and them selling them, for example, has proved to be a very lucrative business despite the fact that it completely goes against the regime. This new way to private wealth has led to bribes to government officials largely in part to the government’s inability to pay them proper wages.
The government type in North Korea is clearly communist led by a single man dictatorship. Unfortunately, Kim Jon Un is more drastic than his father, who is also his predecessor, Kim Jon Il. Un continues the denial of free speech from his people and keeps them locked and stagnant both physically and mentally. North Koreans are unable to leave the country which doesn’t allow them to fully comprehend how brainwashed and cut off from the rest of the world they truly are. Furthermore, the press, television, and internet is entirely controlled by the government which allows them to even additionally control their people as to what they think, hear, and say.
The “perversions” that Aristotle writes about are the governments that “rule with a view to the private interest” and it seems to be the worst kind of government (Aristotle, Book III: Chapter 7). Unfortunately, North Korea falls into this category as the government only acts in a way that permits them to have total power over their people subsequently empowering themselves further.
We’ve all learned and heard about the horrific concentrations camps the Nazis ran many decades ago but tragically a similar thing is happening in our world today. Genocides, like the concentration camps, were something that as a community we swore that we would never let something like that ever happen again. But something all too similar is occurring in North Korea at a camp called Camp 14. This camp is an extension of the communist dictatorship of North Korea as a way to control their people and severely punish the people who act out, typically in a political manner. Recently, a young man named Shin Dong-hyuk escaped Camp 14 is the only person known to be born inside the camp and escape it. Around 150,000 people are said to be imprisoned at the camp and are forced to do manual labor in mines, factories, and fields surrounded by an electric fence. Shin Dong-hyuk recalls a girl being beaten to death over stealing a few kernels of corn. Camp 14 dates back to North Korea’s first dictator, Kim II Sun, in the 1950s. This was his idea of destroying a family’s lineage of revolting against the regime. Sun’s logic was that if a grandfather opposed the regime then his sons and grandson would as well which led him to the idea to have “3 generations of punishment”. North Korea’s killing of an entire family is something entirely unique to North Korea, according to David Hawk, human rights investigator. North Korea denies that there are any political prisons within their borders but suspiciously will not allow anyone to inspect Camp 14 and other sites. Among physical evidence on this body, Shin’s story is legitimate according to Hawk due to how perfectly his story matches up with other escapees (Cbs News Article).
“Of forms of government in which one rules, we call that which regards the common interests, kingship or royalty; that in which more than one, but not many, rule, aristocracy; and it is so called, either because the rulers are the best men, or because they have at heart the best interests of the state and of the citizens.” (Aristotle, Book III: Chapter 7) While North Korea is ruled by a single person it is far from ruled in such a way that “regards the common interests” or have the “the best interests of the state and of the citizens”. North Korea, under the current and past communist’s dictators, has created one of the world’s least open economies. Despite Un’s focus on the economy and especially the renewal of special economic zones with China, “firm political control remains the government’s overriding concern, which likely will inhibit fundamental reforms of North Korea’s current economic system.”
Also, many necessary statistics in order to accurately judge a country, like unemployment rate and population below the poverty line is incredibly hard to find if at all possible/available. This is convenient for North Korea’s government because the correct stats are most likely very bad and would shed even more light on how terrible they are. North Korea is famous for hiding important things like this from not only the world but more importantly their own people.
These facts and events all point to how ignorant and wicked the government of North Korea is and how incredibly distant they are from ruling for the common interest of the people. While the country is ruled under one person, Kim Jong Un, he has proved to be a selfish person and continues to worsen North Korea is almost every single way imaginable. He denies his people of countless natural and human rights which devastates the economy and quality of life. If the communist dictatorship of North Korea does not begin to improve soon it will surely continue to be its own demise. The other alternative which I see could happen, especially with such an ignorant, radical leader like Un, is the foolish thought to launch nuclear missiles at other countries. They have idiotically threatened to launch missiles at the western area of the United States which will not end well for North Korea.
Aristotle, and Benjamin Jowett. Politics. Los Angeles, CS: Indo-European, 2009. Print.
“Central Intelligence Agency.” The World Factbook. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 June 2013. <https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/kn.html>.
“John Locke: Natural Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property.” : The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 June 2013. <http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/john-locke-natural-rights-to-life-liberty-and-property>.
“North Korean Prisoner Escaped after 23 Brutal Years.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 02 Dec. 2012. Web. 25 June 2013. <http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57556662/north-korean-prisoner-escaped-after-23-brutal-years/?pageNum=3>.