04 February 2010

Update to an edit

I edited this post to announce that there was evidence that North Koreans were actually fighting back against their government for recent policies designed to end the "black markets" for food. Apparently, the violence (or something) worked; North Korea is backing off.

This is exciting news, for many reasons. For one, it does help prove that no state, not even the most authoritarian, is completely immune to pressure from below. Second, it's showing that some reporting from the new sources in North Korea is legitimate. It's an exciting idea, people smuggling out news like this.

But, most importantly, it shows that the popular ideas of North Koreans may not be as accurate as I had thought. How twisted and brainwashed are they, if they are willing to fight against their own regime? Is it just the most brainwashed who are allowed to interact with foreigners? It would make sense for North Korea to try to keep any North Koreans who even thought of dissenting from being allowed near outsiders to maintain the Potemkin village of happy, starving peasants.

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