Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Power of Brainwashing in North Korea

*The Power of Brainwashing in North Korea*

*By Thomas Lifson/ Source: **American Thinker<>

Amazing as it seems to Americans, there is actual grief, with spontaneous
tears flowing for Kim Jong-il, late dictator of North Korea.

Absolute tyrannies which create a cult of personality around the leader are
capable of brainwashing their populace to such a degree. Stalin, after all,
is still recalled nostalgically by some elderly Russians, and his death
caused an outpouring of genuine grief, too.

With media and social control, mind control can follow, so that people
sincerely mourn monsters.

It is a sobering lesson for political realists who live in a media
environment aligned with a "god-like" leader seeking additional sway over
the fate of the nation.

Kim's father, Kim Il-sung, initially was a Soviet pawn, who went into exile
in the USSR before returning to lead part of the resistance against the
Japanese. Following WW II, Kim launched an invasion of the South with
Soviet and Chinese support, a war that almost succeeded, until General
McArthur launched the brilliant Incheon landing behind their lines.

Following the war, confined behind the ceasefire lines just north of Seoul,
KIm Il-sung imitated Stalin's totalitarian, paranoid style of governance,
kept it, refined it, extended it, and passed it on to his son.

Drawing on deeply rooted Korean historical experiences, Kim the elder
created the ideology of juche, or self reliance, moving his satellite state
into a more independent and distant orbit, essentially a declaration of

The recently deceased Kim Jong-il, raised to inherit power, was if anything
more high-handed than his father, and was even more of a voluptuary,
indulging in the most expensive Western luxuries such as cognac and
expensive automobiles. He enjoyed the favors of a joy brigade of
attractive, very young women, of course, for there were no limits at all to
his impulses, and certainly no moral system rooted in anything higher than
his whims.

In order to cement the loyalties of subordinates who ran the security and
military apparatus that kept the population under control, Kim passed out
lagniappes like booze, cars, and, it is rumored, orgies.

So how could anyone with any shred of humanity mourn such a monster?

Charles Hutzler of the Associated Press provides some insight:

...the mass mourning over the death of dictator Kim Jong Il is being driven
by a mix of forces. Loss and fear of an uncertain future -- the same
emotions that many feel at the death of a loved one -- become contagious in
crowds. Added to that are the perils of crossing a police state.

Totalitarian cults of personality are aimed at creating a sense of
dependence on the leader. He is the protector, the "helmsman" (as Mao liked
to be called) who takes care of the helpless. To be sure, Obama is no Mao,
Kim or Stalin, but to my eyes he attempts to assume a similar role as
protector of the helpless, a group with the Occupy Movement now defines as
99%, basically the entire country, minus the parasitical kulaks in the one
percent. I find the odor of a personality cult that has been around him
ever since he entered the race for the presidency disturbing.

Hutzler emphasizes the pressures toward conformity, both from the police
state watching eyes, but also from the human impulse to conform to what
others around them are feeling.

It's the bandwagon effect: a powerful urge to belong to a group that impels
people to behave in ways they might not ordinarily.

"Mourning, like laughter, is contagious in a social network," said Scott
Atran, an American anthropologist who studies the psychology of groups at
France's National Center for Scientific Research. Smoking and obesity,
among other traits, he said, are often tied to the influence of a person's
social mix.

"People usually believe they are slightly exceptional to the norm. But if
they want to be part of the group they overexaggerate and go toward the
extreme of what they think the norm is," Atran said

In many ways, our own media seek to create a bandwagon effect. With
radically decreasing effectiveness. North Korea has no such problems. The
internet doesn't exist, and the state carefully orchestrates everything in
the media:

[North Korea's] government rigidly defines social norms and portrays the
leader as a protective father who keeps the nation safe and is deserving of
total obedience in return. The message is inculcated through absolute
control over the school curriculum and the media.

"Bad things have happened to North Koreans who refused the cult of
personality around Kim Jong Il.

Fortunately, nothing bad happens to Americans who refuse the cult of
personality around Obama. We are nothing remotely like a totalitarian
state. But we do have political and media factions who have studied and
learned from the techniques of mind control practiced in Communist states.

When they control a situation, as they do at many universities, political
correctness is used to control discourse. And race card is frequently
played to demonize critics of Obama, and now Eric Holder.

The big problem they face is that truth is so corrosive, and without
absolute social and media control, cynicism can poison the propaganda. That
is what happened to the Soviet satellites, and then the USSR itself. North
Korea is the unique exception, a hermit kingdom, isolated from the rest of
the world and its intoxicating flow of information.

Celebrate (media) diversity!

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