Friday, March 21, 2008

Socialism and its lack of calories

Apparently there are some drawbacks to devoting all one's resources to nukes: North Korea's food shortage is worsening and now extends even to party loyalists:
A dire food shortage across North Korea has become so acute it has started to affect the country's elite in the capital, Pyongyang, reports say.

Aid agency Good Friends says food rations for some parts of the city have been cut by up to 60%, while others have seen their supplies cut off completely.

Only citizens who show absolute loyalty to leader Kim Jong Il and his regime are allowed to live in Pyongyang and are considered better off than their fellow countrymen.

But the food situation, which has mostly been felt in rural areas where rations have been suspended since November, has now spread to the city, according to the South Korean aid agency.

"Even ranking officials have run out of their (rationed) food supply, while a ban on (private) trade is strictly maintained," said an unidentified city official quoted by Good Friends.

"It is nothing but a death sentence." ....

A famine gripped North Korea during the 1990s, reportedly killing up to two million people.

The detail about only party loyalists being allowed to live in the capital city is a typical communist policy. The USSR had a similar policy for restricting who could be in Moscow. To enforce the policy, Russians were required to have internal passports which documented where they were allowed to be or to live. (Somehow, in a communist people's paradise, the government has a strong need to control the people.)

During 1958-2961, when Mao forced farmers into communes, China experienced "the worst famine in human history." This was a part of Mao's Great Leap Forward:

To chase their steel production targets, peasants abandoned their harvests and melted their sickles and woks in backyard furnaces. Officials reported that grain production doubled in 1959, when in fact it fell by a quarter. The Communist Party siphoned grain from the countryside, starving peasants were barred from leaving their foodless villages....

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