May 3, 2005

My Favorite ex-Trotskyist and the Truth About North Korea

Christopher Hitchens, an apostate Trotskyist and man-about-town, writes pithily and grasps certain basic realities of the modern world that are beyond the ken of many, here reminds us of the truth about North Korea. Fairly close to Hell-on-earth.

Hitchens contends that

It seems to me imperative that the human rights movement, hitherto unpardonably tongue-tied about all this, should insistently take up the case of North Korea and demand that an underground railway, or perhaps even an overground one, be established.

This assumes the "human rights" movement to be balanced and sincere. Part of it no doubt is, but much of it is infected with the concept of "No enemies on the left."

It also calls into question the concept common on the left that idealizes asceticism, especially when imposed upon others. North Korea demonstrates what this concept is like in practice.

Hitchens points to this satellite photo, showing South Korea ablaze with light, and North Korea plunged into darkness.

This country is probably, along with parts of Africa, the absolute nadir of human existence in this age. I await Michael Moore's and Sean Penn's contribution to this discussion, but I'm not holding my breath.

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