I posted a photo of the Korean Peninsula in the photo album of a pro-communist group on facebook a few months back. I challenged anyone who does not believe in free markets to explain why North Korea’s economic situation was as terrible as it was when South Korea has accomplished far more economic development. South Korea, which is unfortunately more socialist than I would like it to be, has a relatively free economy especially when compared to North Korea. For those of you who are wondering what the photo is, it is a night image of the Korean Peninsula and it shows the obvious lack of electricity in the northern half of the Korean Peninsula.
Naturally, people had excuses for North Korea’s lack of electricity. One individual suggested that this image is photo-shopped to promote capitalist propaganda. Another suggested that North Korea is a false communist state because true communism would have brought superior economic development to the north of the peninsula. Someone else suggested that the North Koreans were extremely wealthy but cared so much for the environment that they turned off all their lights at night. One person jokingly said that the single dot of light in North Korea happened to be Kim Jong Il’s house.
What I see in these excuses is a refusal to admit that total statism is not the best way to run a society (assuming that wealth and prosperity are the objectives of a good society). I realize that most people who disagree with libertarian ideals are not communists who want total power vested in the government. I’m certainly not trying to call non-libertarians the “c” or “s” words (communist or socialist). The point I am trying to make is that a limited government has its role and any more government than that is unnecessary and detrimental to society. As we can see in the extreme example of North Korea – a country whose government has gone above and beyond what is the proper role of government – it can make a huge difference.Published in