NK Witness goes on Summer Vacation



As we sign off for a two-week break—assuming nothing catastrophic or unexpected happens--we leave you with the following from Tocqueville’s Democracy in America (v. II, part II, ch. 4). It’s relevance to North Korea should be obvious, and particularly in the wake of revelations that London-based diplomat Thae Yong-ho has defected:

“Despotism, fearful by nature, considers the isolation of individuals as the best guarantee of its own survival, and typically does its best to encourage it. No vice of the human heart is more supportive of despotism than egotism; a despot readily forgives his subjects for failing to love him as long as they don’t love each other. He does not ask their help in governing and is satisfied as long as they make no claim to govern themselves. He considers restless and disruptive those who wish to work together for the common good, and, transforming the natural meaning of the words, he considers good citizens those who shut themselves off.”

More From

Related Topics