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From Nothing to Envy via Alex Tabarrok:

North Korean propaganda has also been very effective because unlike leaders in Eastern Europe, Kim Il-sung “wasn’t merely the father of their country, their George Washington, their Mao, he was their God.” Here is Nothing to Envy:

Broadcasters would speak of Kim Il-sung or Kim Jong-il breathlessly, in the manner of Pentecostal preachers. North Korean newspapers carried tales of supernatural phenomena. Stormy seas were said to be calmed when sailors clinging to a sinking ship sang songs in praise of Kim Il-sung. When Kim Jong-il went to the DMZ, a mysterious fog descended to protect him from lurking South Korean snipers. He caused trees to bloom and snow to melt. If Kim Il-sung was God, then Kim Jong-il was the son of God. Like Jesus Christ, Kim Jong-il’s birth was said to have been heralded by a radiant star in the sky and the appearance of a beautiful double rainbow. A swallow descended from heaven to sing of the birth of a “general who will rule the world.”

To us this sounds ludicruous but I think Demick is correct when she writes:

…consider that their indoctrination began in infancy, during the fourteen-hour days spent in factory day-care centers, that for the subsequent fifty-years, every song, film, newspaper article, and billboard was designed to deify Kim Il-sung; that the country was hermetically sealed to keep out anything that might cast doubt on Kim Il-sung’s divinity. Who could possibly resist?

3 Responses to “Why I Shudder at the Thought of Government Day Care”

  1. Harry says:

    As they say, it takes a village to raise a child.

  2. Rod says:

    When my son was a little kid, my wife and I came to the conclusion that Sesame Street was infected with subtle propaganda and that a daily diet of Bert and Ernie and Big Bird would turn him into a liberal. Instead, we let him watch the Road Runner (Acme products) and Looney Tunes (Duck Season, Rabbit Season) instead. He grew up to be a libertarian with a good sense of humor.

    At the time, nearly every other parent we knew thought we were nuts. For one thing, Sesame Street had received numerous awards from the educational establishment for teaching the alphabet, numbers and colors. Who were we to set our kid back five years when he was only three? And wasn’t Sesame Street the best baby sitter in the world? And weren’t we racists for thinking Roosevelt Franklin had a political agenda?

    Since then there’s been a push to have the public schools offer such things as all-day kindergarten and to feed kids breakfast and a late-day snack so the kids wind up spending more than 50 percent of their days at the government school. In their idle time, the kids can use the school’s computers to browse topics like saving the whales or suing on behalf of the green-eared kangaroo rat. They even take care of religious instruction: worship the planet and save it with EPA regulation; stop global warming; stop globalization. Kids can even wear pink to see what it’s like to demonstrate for Code Pink. Name the whales after peoples’ heroes: Vladimir, Leon, Karl, etc.

    Meanwhile, there are fewer and fewer kids each year in Sunday School, and fewer kids checking in with mom when they return from the government schools. Ten and eleven year olds walk home together for who knows what. Western culture is circling the drain.

    I suppose it’s unrealistic to go back to the Father Knows Best days. It takes two good earners to afford the $350,000 house and the Volvo and Audi in the garage. And even Catholic school is getting expensive, although I’d even consider it now if I were a protestant parent. I’d rather see my kids in Catholic school uniforms than brown shirts and Lederhosen, which is where we are headed some day. Lucky for me: my son is grown and has escaped Sesame Street and the rest of it. Unlucky for him when he has kids, hopefully in the not-too-distant future. Which reminds me — time to convert my federal reserve notes into some more unbroken packs of Marlboros.

  3. Rod says:

    And Luckies, as good as Marlboros as a medium of exchange.

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