The YAL chapter at Georgia Tech was pleased to work with Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) to host a presentation on the current state of liberty under one of the most oppressive governments on earth. Though it’s often fun to mock Kim Jung Un and the absurd claims and technical failures of his regime, we sometimes forget that North Koreans are humans, entitled by virtue of their humanity to the same rights we claim by virtue of ours. But rather than dwell on the horrific state of liberty in the hermit kingdom, the LiNK team’s presentation was one of optimism, reflecting a commitment to North Korean freedom within our lifetimes.
Although not all of YAL’s priorities fall within the scope of the LiNK organization, LiNK’s priorities coincide perfectly with ours, specifically the advancement of human liberty. So I was eager to work with them when they contacted me on somewhat short notice. The event was fairly easy to put together and we were able to make the necessary coordinations for a venue and tabling space. LiNK has teams of unpaid interns called “nomads” who drive around the country and give presentations at universities, churches, homes, wherever. If you provide a location with a projector and a sound system (like most college lecture halls these days), they bring everything else. The organization also makes tabling and promotion easy by providing pre-designed graphics and flyers that you just need to add the event details to and print out.
The informative presentation was well-received by those in attendance. After giving an overview of the history of North Korea and how it came to be in the condition it is today, the presentation described how North Koreans are working together to increase their own freedom despite the actions of their government. Although the nomad team probably wasn’t familiar with the term, the libertarians in the audience knew that what they were describing was a perfect example of agorism in action. Millennials in North Korea, though still brainwashed to some degree, are increasingly aware that they are being denied freedom and that it is wrong. Rather than seeking self-preservation by reporting their neighbors for infractions, people are increasingly cooperating with each other to keep secrets from the state and create black markets to acquire everything from the necessities of life, to outside information, to radios and DVD players. This is the story of the North Korean pursuit of freedom that you never hear in the mainstream media. There is reason to be optimistic for the future of North Korea.
To my fellow YAL chapter leaders, consider reaching out to the LiNK organization. Many campuses have LiNK chapters called “rescue teams” that would probably be happy to work with you. Unbeknownst to both YAL and the national LiNK organization, there is even one at Georgia Tech. One of their officers came and talked to us while we were tabling and they were eager to collaborate with YAL on future events. If you are looking for an event to host that appeals to people across the political spectrum and provides an opportunity to network with other organizations on campus, LiNK events may provide that opportunity.