It’s true that the regime lies all the time, and lies to its own people, and that there is a omnipresent propaganda system based to a large extent on lies. There is also rewriting of history.
However, there were some serious problems with this video. Frankly, this shit is just straight up anti-Communist propaganda from the capitalist BBC.
First of all, the hostess discusses the rewriting of history about the Korean War. According to the North, the Americans poured across the border and invaded North Korea. This did not occur. But according to this BBC crap, it was the North Koreans who actually poured across the border. This lie is what almost all Americans believe about this war.
I would definitely say that the North Korea was the aggressor in the initial stage of the Korean War. However, speaking technically, the two sides had been attacking each other back and forth across the border for some time before the war started. The best analysis of the actual start of the war is that both sides simultaneously attacked each other. The Western media will never tell us this. Who’s rewriting history now?
The central lie of this video, as with all Western capitalist propaganda about North Korea, is the “Communism starves the people” lie. Actually, Communism does not starve the people. Other than brief famines during rapid collectivization, Communist regimes have generally done a much better job at insuring that everyone gets enough to eat than capitalist regimes.
There are shortages of certain foodstuffs, and there is a lack of variety, but definitely, everyone’s stomach gets fed. In China, the USSR, Cuba, Vietnam and the East Bloc, huge strides were made in in basic nutrition. To this day, the former nations of the USSR have very low rates of malnutrition. Communism is great for filling your belly.
If Communism per se is to blame for North Korea’s food crisis, how is that North Korea was able to feed its people just fine from 1945-1993, for 47 years. Did something change in 1993? The system is the same. If anything, there is much more capitalism in the system now than during 1945-1993, yet the food problem is much worse. How does this argument make sense?
Another argument of this video is that North Korea’s electrical power problems are caused by Communism. Yet there were no electrical power problems from 1945-1993. The system is the same now as then. What changed?
The problems of the system really have nothing to do with Communism, central planning or any of that. The truth is that the system collapsed in 1990. The USSR was selling North Korea oil at 10 cents on the dollar. The whole system, from heavily mechanized agriculture to oil dependent industry, relied on this cheap oil. In 1990, the subsidy collapsed and suddenly they had to pay the world price for oil. Overnite, the price of oil went up 10X. It would be as if here in the US we suddenly had to pay $30/gallon for gas. What would our economy look like? Come on.
The 10X increase in the price of oil collapsed the economy. There was no oil to run the heavily mechanized agriculture. There was no oil to run the oil dependent industries. Factories were shuttered. Agricultural production collapsed. Here it is, 17 years on, and things are not much better. They still can’t afford oil to run their farms or industry. That’s why you see bicycles in the video and cows working in the fields. Most of North Korea’s machinery broke down, and there was no money to replace it. The central problem is that the state is broke.
The North Korea haters are asked what exactly North Korea should do to remedy this crisis. They don’t seem to have any answers. I honestly think that the state is doing the best it can to provide people with electricity and food, just as it always has. It’s just that agricultural production has collapsed along with electricity production, and it’s going to be hard to get them going again with empty state coffers. I don’t buy that the state is deliberately starving people. That’s what capitalist countries do.