Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Mind Control of Modern Dictators is Scary
I'm sure coercion and fear play a big role but North Korean waitresses in Beijing apparently broke down in floods of tears on hearing the news. A defecting North Korean, now in South Korea on Sky News testified that 'we all hated him' and I'm sure that is true as well. Maybe the conclusion is that totalitarian dictators have a unique way of messing inside their subjects' heads. From birth north Koreans are immersed in a pressure cooker world of nationally drilled adulation which must leave some residue of genuine affection. Yet the day to day life of little food, monotonous hard work and no outlet for real emotions must make the whole population of the maverick state candidates for in depth counselling.
It was not so different with Stalin: queues of people in Moscow waiting to file past his coffin many in helpless tears. Such adulation is not the sole preserve of communist tyrants. Gadaffi's final act displayed crowds prepared to prostrate themselves in support of the 'Great Man' right up to the end. Not so different either with Bashar al Assad. My brother, who visited Syria just before the trouble started told me his highly intelligent guide talked admiringly of 'Our Leader' as if he was a colossus of integrity and benign benificence.
It's beyond belief that a man responsible for impoverishing his country and appalling hypocrisy regarding his own luxurious lifestyle(five hair stylists always on hand and a £5000 a year bill for the best cognac) could be mourned in a way which made the Dina aftermath seem hugely restrained and dignified. At such times one is grateful for our deeply cynical attitudes towards politicians not to mention our awful rottweiler press.
Festive greetings comrade.
Links to this post: