Does either Mexico or North Korea meet the standards of happiness according to Aristotle?

Wendy B

Period 5- Honorbound

Straight away North Korea and Mexico would not have any similarities much less with the type of governments and lifestyle each provide for their citizens. To begin with North Korea, “ isolated and maintains strict restrictions on travel, press, and ideology.”[1] Allowing the communist leader, Kim Jong UN, to influence a whole country. Compared to Mexico, whose government based on a democratic government, in which the people have an opinion. Each country dealing with particular dilemmas, for example the corruption within the Mexican government and the problems North Koreans’ face with both short-term and long term affect living in a communist lifestyle. These two countries have distant economy, government, and other important factors. Although Mexico and North Korea have different types of government achieve the true happiness for their citizens according to the philosopher Aristotle? In addition, Marx’s remarks towards North Korea’s communist government set up.

Throughout the semester we had to read some works of great philosophers like Aristotle and Marx. What exactly did Aristotle mean by true happiness for a citizen part of a society. True happiness is to live our lives with reason and virtue. Each person varies with his or her own happiness, for instance, some people may find their happiness by working on something for their whole entire life, while someone else would have a distinct happiness. “ That happiness is something final and self-sufficing, and is the end of all that man does.”[2] To truly live to the fullest we have to fulfill happiness, not just the desire of the feeling of happiness, but meeting our end goal. For a typical person would like to graduate from college, find a job to sustain themselves and their future families, finally towards the older age they seek for retirement. At least that is what we are taught to do with our lives, or else we would not be following or fulfilling societies’ expectations

Beginning with Mexico, currently facing with the disappearance of forty-three students. After weeks of intense investigation and still on going investigation there is still forty-two bodies to be found and fifty-nine suspects in custody. “In September [forty- three students] were abducted by police on order of a local mayor and are believed to have been turned over to a gang that killed them.” [3]. Aristotle would not agree that the true happiness of the students was to die in such a harsh way. These students believed that their happiness was to protest for their rights, although it did not end well. It is difficult to achieve true happiness when the government itself is corrupted. In the disappearance of the forty-three students, the true colors of the government showed clearly. As a citizen in any society, you try to get through life, which is what people think that is their end goal.

Another example of the people of Mexico are not living their life in happiness according to Aristotle, is the ongoing Drug War that never seems to end and does not seem like it is going to end anytime soon. Since 2006, the death toll rose rather quickly. Reported by CNN “more than 60,000 people have been killed from 2006 to 2012.”[6] And the numbers have grown. If “kind of life is the life of contemplation: we will treat of it further on”, maybe for drug lords like “ El Chapo” or a drug cartel like Los Zetas that is their life in living with virtue [7]. Yet they are other 122.3 million people living in Mexico. The people have the most influence in which candidate they would like to put in office. The citizens can no longer trust their government, which is supposed to protect their citizens. This drug war is coming in between their true happiness. It distracts the people from finding their virtue; people are being killed, scared to find their calling, or are deceived by the drug cartels.

Then there is another great philosopher Marx. Expressing his opinion on communism. A government type still used today in a couple of countries like Cuba, North Korea, and multiple other countries, which are considered some of the poorest countries. Communism “ is a socialist philosophy that calls for an international revolt of workers against capitalism to bring about a worker’s utopia.” [4]. Marx did not create communism, but “he did give it new meaning. In a communist society, the community owns political and economic power, and the wealth is distributed among the people according to need.” [5]. There are prime examples of countries that have a communist government but have failed to their people. For example Cuba is in the list of one of the poorest countries. They do not allow their people to leave Cuba, making it difficult to seek for a better life in another country.

Then there is North Korea withholding any western influence. Controlling what information goes into North Korea and also what information leaves. From a young age they learn to love their leader. Very similar to Cuba, it is very hard, close to impossible to leave North Korea. It is just as hard to get into Korea, not that many people would like to travel to North Korea, since it is just as hard to leave. Last year in Ms. Paul’s class we look at a map comparing North Korea and South Korea at night. South Korea shines bright like a diamond, on the other hand North Korea is dark and dull. Clearly showing how communism affects North Korea, if the ratio of electricity to South Korea is so drastic. Karl Marx had wanted communism, but the out come of it is far worse than the benefit. The idea of communism is suppose to help all the people, rather is hurting a majority. Has the ideal of communism changed, that it no longer complies with what Marx wanted? Does the definition of communist modify as the generation proceeds in the years? What Marx had in mind for a communist community maybe very different from a modern day communist country. Most people in communist country have higher poverty rates while in a republic democrat country has.

North Korea is another example of people is not living up to the standards of Aristotle. Not having a say in anything, like entertainment, travel, and so on is not true happiness. Each person has a different purpose, and the way the people fulfill can vary. Therefore, the people of North Korean are not living in happiness. They cannot reach happiness, since they are not able to find their end goal. A communist type of lifestyle is not a lifestyle if you would like to live a life full of contemplation or in happiness.

Both of Mexico and North Korea have faulty governments. Neither type of governments would satisfy Aristotle famous definition of happiness. Each have the cracks within the system, which is making the people, suffer. There are so many problems that the country cannot pinpoint the problems to help their citizens achieve happiness. What is better or at least attempts to help their citizens? A nation in which had completely zero say so in their lives. If someone would like to break the system or a commit, an action that Kim Jong Un and his people would not agree on, they would punish them. On the other hand, the Mexican citizens have a great influence in what they want in their country. Where people can get away with harsh crimes for example murder and mass murders, the guilty can go on with their lives. At the moment, there is no control, and the officers nor the federal officers can control the people. This drug war has kept the people from accomplishing a life full of contemplation. Neither of the countires is living to the standards Aristotle has set for society.


[1] Accessed December 10, 2014.

[2] Accessed December 10, 2014.

[3] Remains could be those of 43 missing Mexican students (CNN)

By: Castillo, Mariano, and Rafael Romo.

[4] “Aristotle.” Pursuit of Happiness. Accessed December 10, 2014.

[5] “Aristotle.” Pursuit of Happiness. Accessed December 10, 2014.


Accessed December 10, 2014.

Accessed December 10, 2014.

“Aristotle.” Pursuit of Happiness. Accessed December 10, 2014.

Aristotle, and Martin Ostwald. Nicomachean Ethics. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1962. Print.

“Communism.” Accessed December 10, 2014. Korea government.

Remains could be those of 43 missing Mexican students (CNN)

By: Castillo, Mariano, and Rafael Romo.

“Mexico Drug War Fast Facts.” CNN. November 18, 2014. Accessed December 10, 2014.



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