Wherever government fails in its basic purpose of protecting life, liberty, and property, and instead deprives its own people of those very things, you find tyranny.
We have too many examples in our world today.
|Kim Jong-un with missiles|
image from here
According to the Human Rights Watch 2016 World Report, conditions in North Korea look pretty grim. Human rights violations include: “extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortion, and other sexual violence in North Korea.” A UN Commission of Inquiry says the “gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world.”
What does that look like on the ground?
Food is scarce. People are on the verge of starvation. They have no communication with the outside world to back up suspicions that the rest of the world is not even worse off, as they are told. Those who try to escape into China are detained and returned to detention, forced labor, or public execution. Yet some are still willing to attempt to escape. Among women who “successfully” escape, chances are high they will be enslaved into forced marriages or the sex trade.
Dynastic dictator Kim Jong-un is presented as a god to his people. Apparently they don’t expect much from their deity, since he recently murdered his brother (older brother, who had the greater claim to leadership, if I understand correctly). There is no other deity allowed, since religious belief is systematically quashed.
While their leader must know better (he was educated in the West), they believe they are the most powerful force on earth—because that is what they are told, and they have no access to information to discredit that lie. North Korean indoctrination would put Orwell’s 1984 world to shame.
Meanwhile, they have developed nuclear capability and are attempting to move beyond rudimentary delivery technology.
There has been saber-rattling, as a rule, annually every spring. They have done this with impunity for years, because of the rest of the world’s unwillingness to put a stop to it. This year the difference is a new US President who is an unknown quantity, but not one to suffer bullying. China is stepping up, because they now know that, if they do nothing to control their rogue vassal, the US will. And China doesn’t want increased US power in their vicinity.
The North Korean situation wouldn’t be what it is, if the war had been completed back in the 1950s. It continues, in the form of a cease fire, with enemies remaining enemies, and no progression such as Japan and Germany made after WWII. Stalemate may not last forever.
Meanwhile, South Korea flourishes economically and in many other ways, creating a contrast with the northern part of the peninsula that ought to be instructive to all the world.
Venezuela is resource rich: oil, coal, bauxite, iron, gold, and natural beauty. Nevertheless, most of its population now lives in poverty.
No food. It has become a real problem. Millions have cut back to one or two meals a day. Millions have lost, on average, 19 pounds.
Inflation is at over 50%. Money is controlled, and its value too low to bring in much from the outside. Travel, particularly travel by citizens with money, is limited. There had been a practice of crossing the border to Bolivia to get better exchange rates, but that was quashed.
|empty supermarket in Venezuela|
image found here
Government is corrupt and ineffective. Crime feels similar to living in a war zone, with over 90% of crimes remaining unsolved, including murder.
Following the death of Hugo Chavez, his successor, Maduro, won election by only 2%, meaning nearly half of the people are still willing, so far, to say that they don’t like the way government is failing them.
We’ve known people from Venezuela. It wasn’t always like this. While it wasn’t America, it was livable and prosperous. Now people can’t get hold of toilet paper or bread, and there seems to be no way out. But, while it’s obvious from the outside that the fault of this swift demise of a country is socialism, government has done a pretty good job of claiming the fault lies with the business class.
Many radio and TV networks simply had their licenses revoked. The last remaining dissenting TV station was sold in 2013, and then announced its policies would be changing. Venezuelans have voted for socialism time after time, but you have to wonder whether they can be informed voters when they have no access to truth in the media or from their government.
It’s essentially impossible to be living in Syria during the ISIS war without participating. Everyone else is a refugee or target of genocide.
Getting basic food and shelter for the refugees is a worldwide problem. Many have crossed into Turkey. Others elsewhere. Some have been transported afar, to Europe or America. There’s a preference to stay nearby, as refugees, in hopes that the enemy will eventually be rooted out, and they could return to their homeland. Others have given up hope, and their best future lies in finding work and a new life elsewhere.
If there is one thing ISIS is certain not to do for people it governs, it is to protect their lives, liberty, and property. Murder, genocide, and rape are expected activities from this regime. The savagery is hard to imagine.
By comparison, Sweden looks much less bad. But there are invading hordes of Islamic people—some are peaceful Muslims, even refugees, but others are Islamists who hate anyone not like them, and the Swedes are definitely not like them.
In an effort to welcome these people, and show openness and tolerance, the Swedes have over-tolerated their behavior, which includes rape with impunity. Government and media spin—remove demographic information from reports—so that it doesn’t look like it’s caused by the invading hordes. Because there is more fear of being labeled as bigoted than there is fear of its own population being raped.
A government, or media, who tells this lie—at the expense of the safety of its own people—is tyrannical. Add to that the corrupt control of businesses, and what seemed to be the world’s example of “successful socialism” is not so exemplary. Success, in business, in fact, comes only as they move away from the socialist model toward free markets.
There are other tyranny/savagery zones in the world. Anywhere there is war, you’ll find those conditions. But sometimes even without war.
Try France, which, like Sweden, has welcomed in enough Islamists that terrorism is becoming part of daily life.
Or, closer to home, Chicago, where murder rates make it look like a war zone. Or many parts of our southern border, controlled by drug gangs.
Tyranny goes hand in hand with savagery. And poverty.
The way out is toward freedom that comes from a government limited to its protective role, free markets and their attending prosperity, and civilization of people living corruption-free lives.
The way to freedom, prosperity, and civilization—all three together—is a known path. But the peoples of the world don’t seem to be aware. And the suffering continues, and spreads.
Ending tyranny for all the world will probably only happen when Christ returns to reign personally on the earth. In the meantime, we can at least spread the right way to our children, and our own circle of influence, and hope for better.