Autocracy encourages bizarre and brutal behavior
January 3, 2014
Reports out of North Korea state the country’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, fed his disgraced uncle to starving dogs. Jang Song-taek was supposedly stripped naked, along with his aides, put in a cage, and then 120 starving dogs were set on them. In December, we learned that Jang, who was said to be included in Jong-un’s inner circle of advisors, was executed, or so we were told by North Korea’s KCNA English-language news agency.
“Despicable human scum Jang, who was worse than a dog, perpetrated thrice-cursed acts of treachery in betrayal of such profound trust and warmest paternal love shown by the party and the leader for him,” the website reports.
A man worse than a dog, fed to dogs? The story is implausible and the source untrustworthy, as Adam Taylor at Business Insider notes, but the prospect of a communist dictator dealing with an enemy in such a brutal fashion is hardly surprising.
Consider what happened in “Democratic Kampuchea,” formerly Cambodia, when Pol Pot and the communist Khmer Rouge took over. In a four year period in the late 1970s between two and three million Cambodians were executed, starved, died of disease, or were worked to death in forced labor camps. This genocide was a direct result of Pol Pot’s “one step” communism more radical than anything Mao came up.
Mao, however, remains the preeminent mass murderer of the 20th Century. He killed nearly 80 million Chinese, far more than Hitler and Stalin combined. Stalin, however, was no slouch – his death toll exceeded seven million. Uncle Joe starved millions of Ukrainians to death and sent millions more to their deaths in gulags. Untold numbers died as a result of numerous political purges.
Kim Jong-un’s grand daddy, Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s autocratic leader, had 1.6 million of his fellow North Koreans liquidated in purges. Millions wasted away in his concentration camps. Kim served as inspiration for other murderous dictators, including Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko, who slaughtered a few hundred thousand Africans.
Communist rulers like Stalin and Mao feed on purges and political execution. The Marxist Leo Trotsky was killed with an ice axe by an undercover NKVD agent in Mexico under direct orders from Stalin. During Mao’s so-called Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, students were encouraged to murder their teachers. Mao’s philosophy would later inspire Jerry Rubin, the co-founder of the Youth International Party, who called for middle class kids in America to murder their parents.
Communist dictators know few limits when it comes to eliminating their enemies. Islam Karimov, an official in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, who later became the party’s First Secretary in Uzbekistan, liked to boil dissidents to death.
Considering the brutal history of communism and other autocratic forms of government, it is entirely possible Kim Jong-un fed his uncle to the dogs. For many Americans, the idea seems outrageously cruel and bizarre, but in North Korea, China under Mao, and the Soviet Union under Stalin, such psychopathic behavior is business as usual.