Reports from North Korea indicate that the nation has fallen below Mordor as a desirable place to live.
[O]rganized protest was impossible. But many expressed their anger by discarding the worthless currency.
Some threw it into the wind from motorbikes, others made bonfires or tossed the money into the ocean, according to North Korea Today, a newsletter produced by a Seoul-based Buddhist charity with sources in the country. Arrests followed, the newsletter reported, and at least one man was executed — not only because the law requires the old notes to be turned in, but because desecration of the image of the nation's late founder, Kim Il Sung, whose portrait was on the currency, is considered treason.
But that's not all.
Even in the days of communism, there were reports from Eastern Bloc and Cuban diplomats about the paranoid character of the system (which had no concept of deterrence and told its own people that it had signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty in bad faith) and also about its intense hatred of foreigners. A black Cuban diplomat was almost lynched when he tried to show his family the sights of Pyongyang. North Korean women who return pregnant from China—the regime's main ally and protector—are forced to submit to abortions.
There is a story that could only have come from Stalinist Russia, in which a rural Communist Party holds a gathering to celebrate Stalin's birthday. After the first toast, to Stalin, the assembled burst out in rapturous applause. And applause. And applause.
No one wants to be the first to stop clapping. Finally, after ten minutes, a high-ranking official ends the ovation by sitting down, to the relief of everyone in the room. Several days later, that official is arrested.
That story couldn't have come from North Korea because the Kim regime, unlike Stalin, has succeeded in killing off humor.
The next time someone tells me that communism is "good in theory," but wasn't applied properly, or that the noble experiment was corrupted by Stalin or some defect in the character of the Russian people (because the Germans would have carried it out so well), or just some idiot wearing a Che t-shirt, I'm going to point out the example of North Korea, where communism hasn't just been properly applied.
It's been perfected.