AUG 24, 2014  

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the stellar pursuit of poverty

The photo on the right is rather popular on the web. Thatís OK, itís perplexing, it carries a message. What is the message?

Now the game starts to get interesting. The accompanying web comments, without exception, prescribe the darkness to North Koreaís economic backwardness, they tell the story of wealth and poverty, and in their irresponsible simplification (typical of web writings) of social values they are, in essence, anti-communist propaganda. But if socialism is dead and communism is intellectually bankrupt, morally defunct, as they say, why does the capitalist West care at all?

Yes, North Korea is a poor country measured by GDP per capita ($1,800 by CIA 2011 estimate, world rank 167 out of 195). Poor country with nuclear bomb and long range rockets - technics with huge energy consumption. So, people of North Korea donít waste energy on excessive street lighting. No night shopping, no glamorous signposts for all sorts of night life. And, with so many enemies around, why allow easy night targeting?

 

night darkness of North Korea

Now, seriously, I donít think the above militant explanation does it. The western connotations on the darkness of night North Korea are tainted by the western perception of poverty. It is in the rich West that people living below poverty level exhibit a propensity for violence, fatherless homes, exotic culture, and slovenly living. Even lower IQ, genetically "explained", is sometimes attributed to those people besides labeling them as Christian sinners .This subconscious bias makes it worthful to use North Koreaís darkness for the anti-communist propaganda.

  And that is farcical because communism is also a religion, one with rather high moral and social standards. The photo on the right would be, on that sense, more informative if for the white spots the gray shades are introduced: one for neighborhood crime and drugs, second for broken families, third for unemployment and luck of a vision to the future, fourth for racism and chauvinism, fifth ...
 

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Krešimir J. Adamić