The crimes against humanity perpetrated by the North Korea communist regime are 'strikingly similar' to those of the Nazis according to Michael Kirby, the Australian judge who headed the United Nations inquiry set up to investigate the abuses. Kirby said the commissioners had written to Kim Jong-un, the young despot who inherited the North Korea leadership upon the death of his father, to say they would recommend the matter to the International Criminal Court. Although this may be cold comfort to those who continue to suffer in North Korea and their relatives in the South, it is encouraging that someone in the usually ineffectual UN has had the backbone to state the facts as evidenced by the accounts of more than 300 witnesses. The video in this Sky News article shows the stories of a mother and son who escaped from the hideous North Korean political prisons and even these brief accounts are tear-inducing.
The comments by Michael Kirby are interesting in view of my last post reviewing Jonah Goldberg's book about the fascist origins of the modern political left-wing. Many of today's so-called 'liberals' claim sympathy with Marxist doctrine and some even go so far as to defend the genocidal regimes of Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung. Few challenge them on these sympathies. And yet, as Michael Kirby points out, Marxism as it exists in North Korea is indistinguishable from Nazism. The evidence about North Korea has been available for many years but there have been many in the West, including in my own country, who have defended this most indefensible regime. I do not accept ignorance as an excuse any more than we now accept that as an excuse for the collaboration of many in Occupied Europe with the Nazis. People who excuse the North Korean regime, and who defend Marxism, are complicit in these crimes.
The common factor in all dictatorships is the subjugation of individual to the interests of the state. It is the belief that individuals should be forced to live their lives for the benefit of the collective - whether that is defined as the nation, the race, or the proletariat - and this is the moral slippery slope that ultimately leads to North Korea. Once you have decided that individuals should be forced to live their lives for the benefit of the collective, there is ultimately no sacrifice of the individual that you can't or won't justify. You start with supposedly noble, altruistic aims and end up with concentration camps. It is the moral dilemma defined by the joke about the millionaire and the pretty woman - once you've established the principle, all that's left to argue about is the price.
In respect of the immediate problem (if you can call a problem that has existed for 60 years 'immediate') presented by North Korea, the world must now back up the courage shown by Michael Kirby and his team and force the North Korea leadership from power and release its subjects from slavery. Just as we judged our forefathers by their response to Nazism, so we will be judged by our response to North Korea's awful Marxist regime.