In this paper, I will attempt to explain why authoritarianism regimes such as the one in North Korea, still continues to govern even though the government is one of the more corrupted types of government still in existence today. The word authoritarianism is defined as, “a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc. )”(Word Net) There are currently many countries in our world that are not democratic societies.
There are authoritarian regimes that still exist today. Probably one of the more well known authoritarian regimes is the government in North Korea. North Korea gained its independence from Japan in the year 1945. Kim Jong Il is currently the leader of North Korea. The mismanagement of economics through the 1990’s has made North Korea rely heavily on international aid to feed its population. North Korea has expanded their resources to help develop a military of about one million soldiers. Central Intelligence Agency) “North Korea’s long-range missile development, as well as its nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs and massive conventional armed forces, are of major concern to the international community. ” (Central Intelligence Agency)
The government in North Korea is a big part to blame for the economic struggles. In President Bush’s first State of the Union Speech he declared North Korea as part of the “Axis of Evil. ” President Bush also went on to say his goal was, “”to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends with weapons of mass destruction. He singled out Iraq, Iran and North Korea, claiming these states “and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil arming to threaten the peace of the world. ” (Fact Sheet) “The United States must act against these regimes by denying them the “materials, technology and expertise” to make nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and provide them to terrorists, Bush said. ” (Fact Sheet) North Korea is currently a communist-state one-man dictatorship. Under a communist-state one-man dictatorship elections are held but there is nobody to run against the leader.
For instance in September of 2003 there was an election held in North Korea. Kim Jong Il and Kim Yong Nam were the only nominees for the positions and nobody opposed them. (Central Intelligence Agency) The government controls the people. The government rules a lot of what the people of North Korea can do or say. For the executive branch in this country, Kim Jong Il has been the ruler since July of 1994. Kim Yong Nam is the president of its Presidium and he also has the responsibility of representing state and receiving diplomatic credentials. Central Intelligence Agency) As for the legislative branch, the ruling party approves a list of candidates who are elected without opposition, but some seats are held by minor parties. (Central Intelligence Agency) The judicial branch of North Korea consists of a central court, and the judges are elected by the Supreme People’s Assembly. The way this government is set up is very different than the way the democratic states are set up. In a democratic society the people get to vote for leaders and high ranking officials. While in these authoritarianistic regimes, the people have no say in who is going to run their country.
There have been many North Koreans that have tried to escape either to China or South Korea. Few people have made it across the boarders safely. However, if they fail to escape and they are captured by the North Korean military they will be tortured or even executed in some cases. (Pearson Education) “North Korea, one of the world’s most secretive societies, has been accused of egregious human-rights violations, including summary executions, torture, inhumane conditions in prison camps, which hold up to 200,000 prisoners, and denial of freedom of expression and movement.
Access to the country is strictly limited and North Korea’s domestic media is tightly controlled, making it difficult to substantiate the accusations. ” (Pearson Education) I believe a huge part of why North Korea is actually still in existence is because the military has so much control on the people. Of course no country wants to start a war with North Korea because of their military strength and their nuclear weapons. “A number of stabilizing elements assist the regime’s efforts to maintain internal order.
The society seems united in popular support for the party, and the people have a strong sense of national pride. Kim Il Sung, by all indications, truly is admired and supported by the general population. ” (Federal Research Division Library of Congress: Pg 275) It is difficult for people that are from a democratic government to actually understand why authoritarianism governments work. Most all of the authoritarianism governments that I know have a strong following from their people.
Whether the masses like the leader because he is helping the economy or helping a food shortage situation is another story. Personally I think these people in these countries are so afraid of what the leader might do to them or their family that they just do what they are told. Of course these people have never had it any other way. They don’t know what it is like to have a democracy. They don’t know what it is like to voice their opinion. The people in North Korea didn’t get to choose where they wanted to be born.
If we had a free world I’m sure when some of those people realized that there are better governments in the world that won’t control your every move then they would leave the country. It is just not that easy for anyone to just get up and go to China or South Korea. People born into democratic societies should be thankful that they can enjoy the freedoms that they have, because there are other parts of the world where the idea of having rights is completely out of their control. There is no possible way the people can over throw the government in North Korea.
North Korea has too strong of a military. One way the government will get overthrown is if it is done internally. The second way it will get overthrown is if they go to war with another country and they lose their power. “Indeed, research on Korean communism has become the pursuit of an avocation, meandering off the mainstream of contemporary social science. Most students of Korean communism have come under the influence, in varying degrees, of the lingering legacy of Kremlinology and the advancing model of Chinese studies.
Following the general lines of development in Chinese studies in the 1960s and 1970s, research on Korean communism has shown an uneven advancement. On balance, research and knowledge concerning North Korea’s domestic politics and economy have developed more rapidly and significantly than the study of its foreign policy, which has remained neglected and underdeveloped. (Kim Pg:282) The economy in North Korea is struggling. Due to flooding and the lack of arable land, the people in North Korea are at a food shortage. Massive amounts of international food aid have allowed people of North Korea not to starve. Central Intelligence Agency) Mal-nutrition and poor living conditions still exist heavily in North Korea.
As with everything else in the country, the government has the right to control the food and economic conditions. The religions that are practiced in this authoritarianism government are traditionally Buddhist and Confucianist, with some Christian and syncretic Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way. ) “Autonomous religions activities now are almost nonexistent; government sponsored religious groups exist to provide illusion of religious freedom. (Central Intelligence Agency) Like other authoritarianistic governments such as Cuba, Iran, Afghanistan, and Iraq until not to long ago, the regimes will last until somebody does something about it. The United States ended the authoritarianism regime in Iraq because we had enough military power to overtake Sadaam Hussein. The U. S. troops are still over in Iraq trying to force the Iraqi people into having a democracy. The Iraqi people that have voted so far on the new leader of their country is not a man that the United States wants to have them run their country.
Sadaam Hussein would still be in power and have complete control of Iraq if the United States didn’t take him out of power. The military balance in South Korea is much stronger then North Korea. In case of another North Korean invasion, the South Korean military only has about 600,000 people while the north has around one million. However these numbers are misleading because of the fact that these numbers don’t include the superior training, equipment, and logistical support that the south has. Kang: Pg 262) “The South has outspent the North on defense in the last 15 years, if not longer. ” (Kang: Pg 262) North Korea’s nuclear threats are a grave concern for South Korea and the rest of the world. The Soviets were building bombs in the 1950’s and China developed a nuclear bomb in the early 1960’s. North Korea didn’t start trying to assemble nuclear weapons until South Korea became a threat to them because they were overtaking North Korea in a lot of areas during the 1970’s. Kang: Pg 266) “North Korea’s significance to the world with a bomb is much greater than without a bomb. ” (Kang: Pg 266)In conclusion, there are many reasons why the authoritarianism regime in North Korea is still up and running to this day. There is simply no way that anyone can overthrow the government unless it is done internally. The people located in these authoritarianism regimes usually like the leader, and agree to what he says. These people didn’t choose where they wanted to be born just like nobody in a democratic state had an opinion as to where they would like to be born.
It is sad that most all of the money spent in North Korea is aimed toward building up a better military and not helping out with the economy or the food shortages. The only way these people know how to live is to be ruled by a dictator. Until the United States or some other world power takes down North Korea, the authoritarianism regime will continue to govern.