I have yet to come across a Communist leader who actually lives as they preach. Because at the heart of Communist ideology is equality for ALL in every aspect of life. Usually equality in poverty, but I digress.
The Communist regime preaches to their people that everyone should be treated equally. Equal salaries, equal housing, equal job categories, equal suffering (but once again, I digress), etc. And to get to this classless, moneyless and stateless social order Utopia isn't a very pleasant experience. But, the rewards are supposedly worth all the pain and suffering and death. And yet I haven't ever met a happy fulfilled Communist.....ever; only wannabe Communists who think they know what Communism is all about....until they are hit with the reality of their dream.
So, if we look at the old Communist run East Germany as an example (as that's the only former Communist country I've ever visited), everyone lived in the same type of housing - boring grey boxes, with as many people crammed into each building as possible. Everyone drove the same little model basic car; buildings weren't maintained; hospitals were old and dank with backward technology. No one wanted to do more than the other as everyone ultimately received the same recognition and salary - a street sweeper was equal to a rocket scientist etc. East Germany was a grey country with a grey outlook. No one knew how to laugh or how to have a good time. Every time you saw an East German on TV, they looked sad and were trying to escape their country.....and the women looked like men. So I guess they were even trying for equality with the sexes back then without knowing it. Even when the sun was shining, everything looked grey.
Berlin only came alive again after the Wall came tumbling down. Yes, apparently the East Germans were fed up with the joys of Communism. Go figure.
One of the few parts of a Communist country which does function very well is, of course, the ...........military. They usually have the best of the best. Actually, most of the males in Communists countries end up in the military, as that's where they're guaranteed a feed and a warm place to sleep. They may earn a pittance, but at least they have a job and a roof over their heads. And the regime needs a well-run military to keep the pesky populace in check. And to shoot those trying to escape in the back (as was the case in East Germany, and now North Korea).
The other part of a Communist country which lives pretty well is the government. Well, I mean, what else do you expect? They must be exhausted at the end of each day after trying to keep the populace in control and not letting anyone escape to freedom. So, of course it's to be expected that the important government officials and the elite have a warm bath, plenty of good nourishing food and a good wine to celebrate the end of another Utopia day.
But, you would think that if they really believed the Utopia that they impose on their people, then why, oh why don't they themselves live as the people do? Why not go the whole hog and embrace the equality they want for everyone else?
Why do we keep hearing about these hypocritical dictatorial Communist despots being wealthy beyond anyone's imagination?? While their own people scrape a pathetic life together and serve their new god, the government?
Go through every one of the current despots and they're all richer than any Western Capitalist leader (the antithesis to their ideology): Chavez (oops, dead) is worth $2 billion; the Castro Brothers are worth $2 billion. Mugabe was worth $1 billion in 2001 (according to Wikileaks), so one can only imagine what he's worth today......
And now we hear that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is worth around $5 billion. This as his people - and army - starve.
See why I'm so disappointed in these hypocrites. If it's good for the people, then surely it's good for those who impose the ideology, eh?
Here are some photos of the old East Germany vs. Germany re-united today. If you'd like to see more of these stunning pictures, here is the link.
The before photos were taken in 1991, and the after from 2001-2003. Note the old cars and crumbling buildings of the Russian ruled East Germany, compared to the restored buildings post re-unification.
THIS is what Communism is all about.
A huge network of secret slush funds owned by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un have been discovered during a joint US-South Korea investigation, Seoul-based newspaper Chosun Ilbo reports.
As much as $5 billion linked to Kim was found in foreign bank accounts in other people's names, the paper reported. Intelligence agencies reportedly believe that North Korean accounts exist in Austria, China, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Russia, Singapore and Switzerland.
"Since the launch of the Lee Myung-bak administration in February of 2008, South Korea and the U.S. have been tracking more than 200 North Korean accounts that appear to be linked weapons of mass destruction and export of drugs, counterfeit money and cigarettes," one diplomatic source told the newspaper.
Another source elaborated on the scheme, saying that "the regime uses minor banks that are relatively less stringent in screening their account holders or opening accounts using the names of foreigners or companies."
The Chosun Ilbo had previously reported that dozens of accounts linked to Kim were found in Shanghai and other parts of China.
These accounts are thought to contain hundreds of millions of dollars, but Beijing reportedly refused to allow them to be included in the new UN sanctions adopted last Thursday.
Following that report, the South China Morning Post reports that the news has led to fresh calls for China to clamp down on its neighbor.
If this happens, the repercussions for North Korea could be big.
Ellen Kim, assistant director and Fellow of the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told BI, "This could have a real impact on the North Korean regime if China actually follows through. The key to the [effectiveness] of the sanctions is China."
The Chosun Ilbo reports that most of the money in the foreign accounts comes from North Korean businesses attached to the military or other government entities. The money is reportedly used by Kim to buy luxury goods for himself and his allies.
Knowledge of North Korea's illicit foreign funds has been around for a while, but the exact nature of North Korea's foreign currency businesses is murky and, by most accounts, illegal — the Chosun Ilbo reports that the Russian mafia is being used to launder the money, for example.
Foreign currency is, however, vital for a sanctions-stifled state that stopped paying its debts 20 years ago, and has a worthless local currency (the won).
The most well-known of the foreign currency state enterprises is Room 39 and Room 38, secretive organizations believed to be in charge of controlling North Korean executives' foreign currency funds.
One 2007 report estimated that the these funds netted North Korea $500 million to $1 billion a year, via a variety of methods, including widespread counterfeiting of US dollars (at least $45 million according to a 2006 US congress report), foreign hotels and restaurants, and even reports of gold smuggling and drug trafficking.
A 2009 Washington Post story talks about an enormous international insurance scam being conducted by the group.
Conflict over foreign money between Kim and the military is believed to have been one possible factor in last year's ousting of North Korean military chief Ri Yong-ho.