Opinion: North Korea - An Extreme Case of Modern Feudalism

Tyler Mc.

One of the things that should not make a return is feudalism: a system that was based on the holding of lands in fief or fee and on the resulting relations between lord and vassal. As someone focused on writing about libertarianism, my opinion on feudalism and absolute monarchies are obviously negative and one of the things I like about Game of Thrones is that for most of its run, it showed the horrors people had to go through living under the feudal system. However, one example of why feudalism should never make a comeback is starring at us from across the Pacific Ocean: a little hermit kingdom that is known as North Korea.

For those who do not know, North Korea is a totalitarian dictatorship under a command economy where the state controls all property. One of the things that makes it pretty different from other 'socialist states' is that other states did not necessarily have everything run by one family. Say what you want about the USSR, but that nation eventually fell because someone like Mikhail Gorbachev could work their way up and implement reforms to end the Soviet Union without having to be related to previous Premiers. In North Korea, everything is run by members of the Kim family with no one else having any chance of working their way up the ranks.

North Korea has literally been described, thanks to the way it is run, as an absolute monarchy by thinkers like Bong Youn Choy of the Research Committee on Korean Reunification and Michael Sheridan from the UK newspaper The Times. Like people with a cult of personality who led because they claim God or the Gods chose their family or that their families were gods, the Kim family has a cult of personality that treats their rule as divine. The point of all of this is to remind people how terrible life was under feudalism compared to now. Sure, there were kings and rulers who were nicer than the current rulers of North Korea, but unlucky people could end up with their own Kim family controlling their life, conducting mass executions, and having no say over how their state governed them because a powerful cult keeps the ruling family around. For every good king people got under feudalism, they would get several Kim Jong-uns who would only do the bare minimum to keep enough people alive to justify their rule while treating everyone else like toys to break whenever they feel like it...

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A person working in cybersecurity and living in the United States who loves to write about topics like U.S. history, technology news, and a bit of philosophy.

Wingate, NC
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