At first sight it would seem that there couldn’t be two countries more different than the third-generation dictatorship of North Korea and the 200-year old democracy of the United States of America.
Instead of accepting the strong propaganda of both countries – state propaganda in the case of North Korea and private media in the case of the United States – we will take a lesson from capitalism and try to see where the resources are being channelled. Tell us where you put the money and we’ll show you what you value.
In the first week of this year, North Korea announced another nuclear test, the fourth we know about. There is no doubt that it was a nuclear explosion; the rest are details, propaganda and counter-propaganda. One of the most militarised countries in the world shows that the decisions about where to apply its resources are motivated by the logic of violence.
It is very sad that nuclear weapons are still being used. The world needs to free itself from them and the terrible danger they represent. And don’t come to us with the hypocrisy of nuclear weapons states who have no moral authority to criticise North Korea being themselves the possessors of thousands of nuclear weapons. Let them take the first steps to dismantling their bombs before making empty condemnations.
Also in the first week of the year, the president of the United States of America, a country that likes to call itself the Land of the Free, publicly stated that the most powerful nation on the planet is a hostage. To what? To weapons of the same logic of violence. While he cries sincerely for the US victims of guns, a tear must also be spared for the thousands killed by his armed forces around the world in the same period, victims of all types of weapons; guns, drones, and laser-guided bombs dropped by the tonne on Syria and so many other countries.
While a large part of the North Korean population is living in misery, together with the 32 million inhabitants of the USA who don’t know if they will be able to eat tomorrow, both governments are afflicted by the same sickness: the violent response to conflicts. The suffering of a large part of their populations could be resolved if part of the resources directed to military purposes were instead directed to people’s basic needs and human rights.
That violence is an illness, we were already told a long time ago by the WHO.
As humanists, we know that violence generates violence in an endless chain.
Only active nonviolence can save these patients.