A Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits -- or Prison
The problem with socialism, as Lady Margaret Thatcher once famously said, is that “eventually, you run out of other people’s money.”
But the other problem is that a socialist, fascist, or communist state never runs out of inventive ways to regulate other people’s lives -- all in the name of “equality.”
The new mandate by North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un is a case in point. The exalted and glorious leader, fresh from winning gold medals in pairs skating and the two man bobsled, has a divine word aimed at easing the complexities of the lives of North Korean men and their barbers.
According to BBC news, from here onward, all men must now have the same haircut as the Dear Leader, who has his hair shaved up the sides of his head, retaining a sort of pompadour at the top. In short, North Korean men all have to look really, really terrible. One disaffected guy dared to leak a complaint to Radio Free Asia: "Our leader's haircut is very particular, if you will. It doesn't always go with everyone since everyone has different face and head shapes." An escapee from the Hermit Kingdom wrote in the Korea Times, "Until the mid-2000s, we called it the 'Chinese smuggler haircut.' ”
Back in the days of the ancien regime headed by Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un’s “pampered, pompadoured, ponce of a poltroon” predecessor, men could choose among ten selected socialist hair styles. (Women could choose from eighteen coifs.) But now Kim Jong-un’s decidedly unfunny order demands that every Korean male must look like the leader they are forced to adore.
By now most readers know the horrors of the North Korean regime go far beyond mandated hair styles. The absolute repression in that morally scorched and benighted land goes even beyond that of Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia. The place resembles Hieronymous Bosch’s depictions of Hell. It is filled with monsters who resemble human beings but who are demonic in behavior. As the Mirror reports, the horrors of the current North Korean regime rival those of the Third Reich. President Kim Jong-Un’s monstrosities included drowning babies, forcing abortions, roasting victims over open fires, forcing abortions and the exterminating entire families. There is even indication he had his uncle and family devoured by 120 starving dogs.
But in addition to the larger horrors inflicted by the exalted Dear Leader, he seems to have plenty of time to invent smaller tortures aimed at crushing absolutely any expression of individuality. Kim Jong-un has taken egalitarianism to heights matched only by his ego. He is hell bent on creating a nation of clones.
But creation of clones is what radical egalitarianism always attempts to achieve. The complete suppression of individuality (including right here in the land of the free), the ridiculous attempts to suppress the differences between the sexes, is inevitably the result of a deformed notion of what “equality” means. For radical egalitarians, “equality” means eradication of all differences. The butcher, the barber, and the candlestick maker must all be undifferentiated in thought, word and deed as is inhumanly possible.
The effort to create absolute equality always results in violence.
As Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn wrote in his essay entitled “Operation Parricide: Sade, Robespierre and the French Revolution,”
“Hadn’t Goethe already told us that legislators and revolutionaries who announce Freedom and Equality simultaneously are frauds and charlatans? When there is no such thing as a ‘natural equality,’ it can only be brought about by raw violence. In order to bring equality to a hedge, one needs garden shears.
[…] “The drive for identity and equality, brought to a boiling point by hate and envy, prove the truth of Benjamin Constant’s words: ‘In some epochs one must travel the entire gamut of madness in order to come to reason again.’ Everything even remotely different was damned and persecuted. Conformity celebrated orgies.”
In France, the garden shears showed up in the form of a guillotine.
In North Korea, the shears aimed at producing conformity are so finely sharpened they show up in the form of barbers’ scissors.
In the cases of both France of old and contemporary North Korea, there are lessons to be learned concerning the fiendish conflation of “freedom” and “equality.”
The two terms are inherently unequal.
Freedom demands an “inequality” characterized by a fluid class hierarchy. Freedom demands individuation allowed by flexible and varied institutions and structures. Freedom demands the ability to follow one’s God and order one’s life according to conscience.
Absolute equality demands eradication of individualization. Absolute equality demands absolute conformity. Absolute equality demands an absolute state.
To the right of the photo provided in the aforementioned BBC article, the reader will note a decidedly unsmiling military officer. Everyone else in the picture is looking appropriately ecstatic at the sight of Jon-un’s partially shaved head. Smiles all around! The mildly dissenting military leader’s cheerless countenance will almost certainly be noted by North Korean thought police. He and perhaps even his family will be appropriately punished. They may either be sent to prison camp or will be executed because they did not conform.
There’s a lesson for Americans in the tragic story of North Koreans.
American leftists are gripped by a draconian notion of “equality,” an “equality” amounting to erasure of the individual soul. It is hell bent on enforcing its agenda. There is no end to the “good” that radical egalitarians have in mind for the masses. They are increasingly resorting to the force of the law and regulatory power in order to achieve their ideal of radical egalitarianism.
We, the masses so despised by the elite who know better than us how to run our lives, have to fight for our freedoms. If we don’t, we will soon begin to feel the consequences of “equality” as understood by the Left.
Before things degenerate further, and we find ourselves and our children ordered to shave our heads, it’s time to give the government and its regulatory agencies a severe trim.
It’s past time for a shave and a haircut.
Using sharp scissors.
Fay Voshell is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org