While visiting family and friends in Korea earlier this month, I had the quite eerie and haunting opportunity to visit the “demilitarized” border zone between North and South Korea, one of the most authoritarian regimes in the entire world, and one of the freest and strongest economies in Asia, respectively.
Check out the contrast between the two in the following photographs I took:
Standing at an observation post, and gazing across the river into the North, I saw an empty wilderness. With the aid of binoculars I could see a few random buildings with no signs of life or activity, reminiscent of Soviet-style wooden decoys of a building’s facade, erected to give the false impression of prosperity and human activity.
By contrast, all I had to do was turn around and look into the South to see a bustling skyline of towering buildings and moving cars inhabited by affluent, healthy, free people with enough to eat and the liberty to pursue their own individual interests and happiness. Could the difference between (comparative) liberty and authoritarianism be any more clear than this?
Which side would you want to live on? Should the United States be more like the North, with centralized government programs to take care of us from cradle to grave, or more like the much freer South?
I also took video. The sound gets better after the first few seconds of wind: