In a more serious vein than my last North Korea post, it is worth noting that North Korea's social structure more closely approximates that of George Orwell's 1984 than even the Stalin-era Soviet Union. For example, the entire North Korean population is rigorously sorted into three categories: "Core" (trusted supporters of the regime), "wavering," and "hostile." The "hostiles" make up some 25% percent of the population and are ruthlessly discriminated against in every aspect of life, as North Korea expert Kongdan Oh explains at the above link:
An individual's political loyalty is likely to be re-examined anytime he or she comes to the attention of the authorities, for example when being considered for a job, housing, or travel permit. One's political classification is not a matter of public knowledge, nor is it known to the individual, but it is recorded in the personal record that follows every North Korean throughout life, and of course becomes part of the record of that person's children and relatives as well.
Only people classified as politically loyal can hope to obtain responsible positions in North Korean society. People classified as members of the wavering class are unlikely to be considered for membership in the Korean Workers Party. People who fall into the hostile class are discriminated against in terms of employment, food, housing, medical care, and place of residence.
This tripartite division of the population is very similar to that of 1984, where the people were divided into the Inner Party, the Outer Party, and the downtrodden Proles. Of course, this is no coincidence. After all, Orwell's fictional Oceania was modeled on Stalin's USSR, and the same can be said of today's North Korean regime. However, even the Soviet government never classified the entire population quite as rigidly as North Korea does.
Related Posts (on one page):
- North Korea - A Real-Life 1984:
- Communism Provides Pizza for the Masses - Or at Least the Communist Party Elite: