(White House photo)

Ideologically, North Korea stopped being communist 30-40 years ago. Like Starbucks, they found one good gimmick, in this case, raw power, then hung themselves by their own petard trying to grow it.

Certain laws apply about going from true-believing Marxist ideologues in 1945 to power and privilege-seeking pipsqueaks 60 years later. It takes no more than three generations for any ideology, including some religious institutions, to have their founding beliefs turned into a thinly-veiled protection racket for the pursuit of wealth, power and privilege. And a protected line of succession.

The best kept secret in the USSR was the fact that by the Brezhnev era there were precious few true believers left. By natural law, every apparatchik (bureaucrat) subordinated every stated mission of his office to the survival of that office. At the top of that heap, every communist was in on the power grab, lusting for all the things that could only be had in America and Europe, and would never be produced in the USSR. (Besides, they didn’t know how. I know, I saw a Soviet cassette player in ’91, all steel, weighting about 12 pounds. I’d have liked to see Lebron strapping that to the side of his head strolling down 3rd Avenue in Cleveland.) When I visited there in ’91-’92 party leaders went to great lengths to put on the appearance of sharing the enforced austerity of a managed economy with the proletariat, hiding their wealth in dachas in the woods, where they would spend the bulk of the warmer months in decadent luxury.

Something like this has existed in North Korea for years, 20% haves and 80% desperately poor have-not’s. This math has never worked for totalitarians.

The façade of cheap suits and beer gone, when communism came out of the closet in America in 2008, Van Jones was wearing $800 suit. And no one ever accused Valerie Jarret of wanting to share the open-toilet privations of Mao during the Long March in order to reach the Marxist dream.

The same beat goes on in socialist Europe where their most noble houses will some day be seen as dynastic pikers compared to the European Union. Its Court of Auditors, one of the integral wings of the EU, is going on 43 this year, but by design it will some day witness its 543rd year in power, if it can sell this global world order to the rest of the world, especially America, The EU exists solely for the purpose of keeping its Court of Auditors and all its other constituent bureaucracies alive[…]

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