What If North Korea Wasn’t Communist?

What If North Korea Wasn’t Communist?


Hello and welcome back to Life’s Biggest Questions,
I’m Ron McKenzie-Lefurgey. Well, here we are again. North Korea. The enigma. Some of us know very little about the country,
and some of us know far more than we would have liked. It’s a country of strife and struggle, largely
due to its shady political past (and terrible political present). But what would have happened if the communism
that brought North Korea to ruin had never been taken up? Let’s explore. Make sure to throw us a thumbs up if you enjoy
this video, and subscribe to Life’s Biggest Questions for more like this! Now get ready, it’s time to answer the question,
what if North Korea Wasn’t Communist? Before we get into the changes that could
occur without communism, we should probably go over the political landscape and history
in North Korea. Due to the Soviet occupation of the northern
part of Korea at the end of World War 2, communism was quite popular in the area, and became
the predominant ideology in the North when it split from the South. While for some years they used a more classical
version of communism, they slowly began shifting, using the term “Juche” (jew-cheh), meaning
“self reliance”. This referred to a rather creative application
of Marxism-Leninism, used unofficially from the 50s to the 80s, before being officially
instated in 1982 by Kim Jong Il. Juche put a great deal of importance on the
individual and the nation as distinct from others, and contributed to North Korea’s stubborn
refusal to engage positively with other countries. This idea of Juche was used to justify many
of the policies and actions of the North Korean government, and contributed greatly to the
iron hold they currently have over the population. The supposed goal was to gain independence,
national economy, and self defense, in order to establish socialism. Unfortunately, this self-sufficiency led to
the people of North Korea being neglected. They were expected to overcome nature itself
and somehow grow food where it wasn’t possible. This caused a dwindling of a number of resources,
with many going hungry, particularly those outside of the city’s capital, who generally
had first dibs on the food. The North Korean brand of socialism was very
different from other kinds, like that found in Soviet Russia. They maintained family lineage and nationalism,
putting that above class struggle, allowing for a social hierarchy that would not be cool
under Stalin. Stalin would not have approved with the nationalism
of the country, and particularly the ironically fascist elements of it. This leads many to claim that while North
Korea may seem Stalinist, in reality it’s much more similar to nationalist ideologies,
or even a monarchy. So now that we have an idea of the political
situation in North Korea, we can discuss what would change. Well first of all, we could get into annoying
technicalities and argue that it already is far enough from classic communism that it
isn’t communist. Many see North Korea as essentially a monarchy
at this point. But that’s no fun. So, let’s look at what would happen if North
Korea never took on the tenets of communism, and never used Juche to their advantage? Without communism, it’s arguable that Kim
Jong Il wouldn’t have had enough power over the people to begin his family’s reign over
the country, and couldn’t instate Juche. Juche was a significant factor that allowed
Kim Il Sung to develop a cult of personality around his family, similar to the rulers of
the ancient world who were regarded by their subjects as Gods. It allowed power to be passed onto his son
Kim Jong Il, and later Kim Jong Un, and permitted the government to gain absolute control over
the people, using propaganda and strict laws to keep them ignorant and in line. Without communism, and the Juche ideology
that came from it, there’s a chance that North Korea would not be led by the brutal dictatorship
we know. If this was the case, things could look a
lot better for the North Koreans. Without Juche, no longer would the people
be starving, relying on foreign aid to survive. The supposedly communist government made enemies
of its farmers in the 90s when it cut their own food rations in favour of those in Pyongyang
and the military. Under, say, a capitalist democracy, it’s possible
that content farmers, along with trade with other countries, would allow them to import
food from other areas, up their economy, and thrive, rather than simply surviving. We need only look to South Korea for a decent
look at how the North could have been had they not split off and created their own communist
nation. Despite the fact that the South lived under
various brutal regimes themselves for many decades, their people are doing far better
now than the North Korean people. Life expectancy in the north is 69.5 years,
compared to 81.37 years in the South. The GDP per capita in the North Is $1800,
compared to over $35,000 in the South. People in South Korea are even 3-8 cm taller
on average, due to the malnutrition of their Northern brethren. Clearly, if you’re a North Korean, the grass
really is greener on the other side. It could also be that without the tension
brought about by communism, and the later domination of the Kims, North Korea would
be more willing to reunify. South Korea is in favour of peaceful reunification,
and if the people of the North weren’t captives being kept in the dark by an evil dictator,
they may share the same views. The Korean war may have never even happened
without the influence of Stalin and communism. And now we return to our question: What if
North Korea Wasn’t Communist? Well, one could make a very good argument
that it ISN’T communist anymore, rather a dictatorial monarchy with complete control
of its citizens. However, if it NEVER had Communism or the
influence of Juche, it could be that the Kim family would not have been able to develop
the cult of personality, and may not have instituted their dynasty. This would lead to a much healthier relationship
with other countries, happier and healthier lives in its citizens, and could even open
the gates to reunification with the South. Thank you for watching Life’s Biggest Questions,
I hope this was interesting and informative, and maybe even inspired you to look into it
further on your own. If you liked this video, please thumbs up
and subscribe to the channel down below. While you’re down there, let me know what
changes you think would happen if North Korea was never communist. Until next time, I’m Ron McKenzie-Lefurgey
with Life’s Biggest Questions, wishing you the best of luck, on your quest for answers. Foreign aid often needs to be sent in, simply
because the rulers are too stubborn to change their ways. One important thing to note is that North
Korea is not a classic communist country. There are certain difference between the communism
seen in North Korea and that of, say , Soviet Russia.

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100 thoughts on “What If North Korea Wasn’t Communist?

  1. North Korea is a socialist state, just like the others in the past; the USSR, China, Cuba, etc

    Just socialist states, with the hope of a communist future

  2. The only likely way North Korea would not have been communist is if South Korea won the Korean War and you should have focused on such a scenario.

  3. North Korea isn’t a communist country, they are a totalitarian state socialist country. The title made me cringe. Fix it.

  4. Communism is not an ideology. They are facist, due to japans occupation of them, during second world war. Communism is an economic system.

  5. North Korea is not communist anymore resent news says that North Korea has secretly removed all communist references from their constitution.

  6. If the NK leaders were so pure and powerful. Why do they need glasses???? Why do they get fat???? Those poor people need to rip fatboy apart as he screams how powerful he is…. I wish i had 5 minutes with fat boy. He wouldn't walk away.

  7. The day that Kim Jong Un is removed from power weather that be by a public uprising, War with the U.S or the classic way of Assasination, the world will be a much better place and North Korea would be able to rebuild with a better worldwide reputation with other countries especially the United States and its allies. It will unfortunately be a while till this happens but I see hope in the distant future for the millions of suffering North Korean citizens

  8. Communism it self is somthing inpossible to achieve, many countries who are communist are in fact socialist or nationalist socialist like North Korea.
    For instance China is not communist it is socialist with 'Chinese characteristics' and the USSR also was not communist, it was socialist. My point is : No country is or was ever was communist they were socialist either nationalist socialist or 'regular' socialist.

  9. Sorry but you seem to forget it's Kim Il Sung who instated Juche, not Kim Jong-Il.
    Kim Il Sung was the first leader of North Korea until 1994, when he died, that's when Kim Jong-Il took over.

  10. Its hilarious how people (Americans) just throw around the word "Communism" and consider anything they want Communism haha.

  11. If North Korea was never communist, acting as a buffer state next China , then we’d have higher political tensions during the time of Mao’s reign, in fact it was because of Mao fearing having an American ally on its doorstep that it intervened and pushed the US and it’s allies back below the 38th parallel, ending in a stalemate in 1953 that’s still in effect to this day. But now it really cannot be called communist anymore. NK is, in practice, a totalitarian monarchy like Imperial Japan was in WWII, only it’s wrapped up in the flag of Stalinism.

  12. Feeling so bad to those people who live in the north bcause of starving issues and many etcs..but his supreme leader looks fat rather than his people who look thin af..poor to those kids….u cant build ur own country if u cant feed ur people..

  13. if north Korea was never communist. the economy of in north korea would be a lot better probably similar to south korea economy. a better relations with USA and rest of world.

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