578. Increase (VII)
The regions depicted in the above photograph are occupied by people from the same race, with the same average intelligence, and who speak the same language. They also share a culture, a history, and a climate. Yet the 25.9M people who live in the peninsula’s northern zone live in darkness—both literal and metaphorical—while the 51.3M people who live in the south live in the light, albeit mostly generated by Samsung smartphone screens. What is the difference between these two regions? Ideas.
If you speak to computer nerds you will often be told that politics is irrelevant because technology will make everything better in the end—as with Moore’s law, more a tendency than a true law, we will move towards improvements in living conditions at an inevitable rate. “Politicians? Left and right? So over. I don’t think in those terms anymore.” Similar views can be heard pop musicians—just let people enjoy what they want to enjoy. Chill, bro. Chill. Even the small businessman: “It doesn’t have anything to do with me. Who cares what people think?”
The image above confirms that politics matters—in particular, the ideas that govern a society matter. It also gives the lie to “IQ nerds”—for sure, IQ is real; and yet the North Koreans, as smart as the South Koreans, have enjoyed very different outcomes—since they very smartly believe something entirely different from the South. They smartly build nuclear weapons, whereas the South Koreans smartly build smartphones—and yet they are still prisoners of an idea no matter how brilliant their capacity to solve problems. Similarly, the progressive liberal who talks about indigenous culture must concede that the two Koreas are governed by ideas, Marxism-nationalism and liberal democracy, that are Western. The Korean mind has been reformatted to run Western ideas—the West divides Korea.
When a Westerner looks at the above picture he mainly thinks about how underdeveloped the nominally Communist North has become in its competition with the liberal-democratic South. The picture tells us something about free enterprise—unfortunately, the Westerner, himself slightly sick on ideas, would be more likely today to attribute the South’s success to its commitment to “human rights” and “liberal democracy”, not its commitment to free markets and property. Additional: a Muslim who looks at the same map might attribute the North’s darkness to its atheism, and then perhaps add that really both Koreas are “dark”—Koreans being overwhelmingly khafirs who are yet to hear the Prophet’s message.
This is not to make an error in another direction—to say that “the idea” is everything whereas biology, language, and geography are irrelevant. The North Koreans, even under Juche thought, can still build a nuclear-armed missile—the Somalis, under any idea, never will. And, of course, an idea influences biology: change the idea, change the biology—and the biology feeds back. In the West it is popular to place adverts that promote mixed-race couples and transsexualism—these adverts are driven by an idea that changes biological reality through new hybrids and through the sterilisation of extant lines.
The most profound isolation on earth must exist in North Korea; for in the North it is a capital crime to make even the simplest observation that contradicts “the idea”—so that all citizens must live behind a rigid mask if they are to survive; a mask rigid even by conformist Asian standards. Think about the man who returns to his sparse apartment after work with thoughts and doubts; his own observations bubble beneath the mask. He folds his khaki trousers and shirt over his chair and lies on his bed. He knows it is not true, and yet every sign and every person says it is true. Unlike Westerners, especially those who through histrionic self-aggrandisement call themselves “dissidents”, he has no forum or Twitter account—to confide what he sees is to risk death; and so, even in a crowd, he is as alone as if he were on the Moon’s dark side.