By Maggie Koerth-Baker at 8:30 am Thu, Jun 2, 2011
Aha found it. “National Geographic: Inside North Korea”. It’s on Netflix WI FWIW.
probably just as true or untrue as any of those studies.
Btw, for all those that bring up the North Korean food shortage again and again. How likely is it that said shortage comes from there being a trade blockade?! It is the very same shit we have seen happening related to trade blockades of other nations, the people starve while the military rebuild and the elite goes on partying.
Very Likely. They’re still in a state of declared war against the USA.
How likely is it that that is the only reason for China being #1 on their list is that China is just about the only country in the world that WILL trade with them?
This study sounds right. When you point a pistol at someone’s head and ask them, “You’re happy, right?” they will be happy.
Two reasons why China is #1 on this list. Firstly, in the Confucian political hierarchy, China (specifically Han China) is always king. Korea was a tributary state to China until the end of the Joseon era in the late 19th Century. Secondly, Chinese are the one Non-Korean ethnic/political group that some North Koreans have limited contact with, and it would be obvious that they are better off, or at least widely believed.
turn_self_off: Korea, particularly the mountainous north, has always been prone to irregular and unreliable harvests and exploitative and poor food surplus management by a small, ruling elite. Although the trade blockade cannot be ignored as a factor, there are bigger, older and more internally political reasons why North Korea is prone to food shortages and famines.
those are some carefully Chosin word right there.
Kim on! Chollima them alone!
Life is better in the North 40
Not *that* far off the mark:
Happiest nations have social services, good schools & health care (U.S. not on list)
+1 to that response.
Also, happiness is a state of mind and it all depends on your values and percieved reality.
Unlike what the west (americans especially) is trying to doctrinate, consepts of what is `right`, `just` and how things should be constructed are very subjective. There is no correlation between the parameter of misery and external reality.
People 1000 years ago were not any less happy then today, while the reality was far worse than in North Korea in all aspects we consider as important…
So while I am very doubtful as for the validity of the given research, it is quite possible that with given `education` the North Korean are infact on an average, happier than Americans…
I’m getting great enjoyment from the Wonkette comments. They have snark with extra snark.
Hilarious. Everyone knows german scientists proved the happiest nation on earth is germany, and the least happy nation is cuba. Don’t believe those american scientists why want to trick you into believing the US are the happiest nation on earth, scientists from iran always debunked that myth.
All just cheap propaganda.
I guess they figured if they put themselves at #1 it’d be too obvious.
Actually, in Germany it is commonly known that the Danes are the happiest people. It appears to me that in Denmark it’s alright to not be politically correct. As in, they have a more old-fashioned form of freedom of speech.
There is a claim that once basic needs are covered, happiness have more to do with who you spend you time with then how much goodies you can accumulate.
Antinous, North Korea does have products to trade such as walnuts, mushrooms. Japan and South Korea bought both before both countries cut off most trade with them.
I refute this “rigorous study” as it fails to account for all the happy mutants in US. There’s like infinity of them, gosh.
Please everyone reread that article, it says “least” happy! Not most happy which means USA has a frown most of the time. .
Maggie; I don’t understand this post. If the list is “for the least happy” and the United States is the “most unhappy” then the U.S. would be first on the list. Then you post that North Korea comes in second “behind” China.
1. United States
2. North Korea
Or: 1. United States 2. North Korea 3. China
First Second Third
Leading Follows Follows
Leading Before/After After
Above Below Below
“Behind China” is a strange choice; “behind” means that North Korea is “following” China, not “followed by” China; that would place China first. So either your post has some underlying jab I’m not getting, or something needs to be changed. I am a very three dimensional reader, I hate that the written flow of English is from left to right. In this case, something can be “behind” as placed in a sentence flowing from the left to the right, but it also means “in front of” literally.
Seriously? Seriously? Seriously? SRSLY?
Why is everyone ragging on him for pointing out that the way it’s written is confusing?
I understood what was implied when I read it, but I too was confused by the wording as the way it’s worded is ambiguous and can go either way (without the context of the surrounding sentences).
That is the net for you, a whole lot of people that can do nothing but take the abuse from their PHB all day. Bitching about insignificant details online allows them to vent in relative anonymity.
Drunk at the office again, huh?
When we finally hire a copy editor, I’ll put your name on the list. ;)
A rigorous study by North Korean government researchers has declared that the United States is the least happy nation on Earth. North Korea itself came in second behind China as the most happiest.
I’m glad you cleared that up for yourself.
Btw, for all those that bring up the North Korean food shortage again and again. How likely is it that said shortage comes from there being a trade blockade?!
Trade blockade? They don’t have anything to trade. North Korea has been a failed state for decades. The economy of North Korea consists of demanding food from neighboring countries in return for not starting a war.
We could give them most favored nation status for purposes of trade, and you’d still just hear the sound of crickets on the docks.
Obviously, you haven’t been keeping up with the news at KCNA. The renowned Pyongyang Daily Necessities Factory has just announced that it is producing a new portable toothbrush! No doubt, the reason why other countries aren’t as happy is that their toothbrushes are of the non-portable variety. Imagine how great it would be if North Korea could share this advanced technology with the rest of the world!
And South Korea went from farmers to a industrial stronghold to rival Japan in the same period. Trade is more then simply about goods in and goods out, raw materials in and refined product out is also a option. Question is how to bootstrap it all.
See, you cant eat your way to happiness. You dont even need to eat at all to be happy. Just ask North Korea!
To all the people who have already or are going to go on and on about how people are really happy in North Korea because they are not materialist slobs like the U.S.: Please go there. Visit. If you find true happiness there please stay. I’m quite happy here, thank you. Just remember, the grass is always greener.
Re: the eye patients who thanked “Dear Leader” instead of the Humanitarian Opthamologist for restoring their eyesight. They were being filmed for a documentary. So of course they would thank Dear Leader.
It would be interesting to see who they would thank off-camera, after being assured that their interviewer wasn’t a snitch and that the room wasn’t bugged. Most would still probably thank Dear Leader on the off-chance that they were being lied to about their safety. Why risk telling the truth when one instance of trust can result in a stint in a labor camp?
Kim Jong-Il (and his pop) studied and implemented Stalin’s and Hitler’s techniques, creating the atmosphere of paranoia and fear that helps keep a totalitarian state strong. And keeps the ruling elite in power so they can continue to enjoy the western luxuries they buy overseas while their people subsist on a near-starvation diet. Vile bastards.
I am sullenly self-satisfied in my gleeful discontentment. And in the category of running like dogs, jerking of the knees and imperialistic sentiment; I should hope we are at least a contendah.
oh KJI: there’ll never be another quite like you. . .psychopathic murdering Narcissist that you are.
And #’s 14 15 and 16: I would scold you for excessive dogpiling, but I see it all happened in the same 90 seconds. . .like those two guys that invented the locomotive at the same time!
Just goes to show, if you wanna comment ’round these here parts. . .you better have your facts Googled and your T’s crossed. . .
otherwise. . .it’s like a rabid pack of jackals mobbing the weak and the sick!!
uh oh. . .gotta keep up with the herd. . .see ya!
Of course they’re happy. Their god lives on Earth, just a few hundred miles from them…
I recently watched a documentary (can’t remember where offhand, sorry!) where an eye doctor went into the southern part of North Korea and treated hundreds of patients, restoring a good amount eyesight to many of them. There are no doctors who can do it inside the country, they lack the infrastructure.
Every single one of the doctor’s patients thanked THE DEAR LEADER for returning their eyesight. NOT the humanitarian doctor who volunteered his time and did the work.
Trade blockade? Give me a break turn_self_off. This isn’t fucking Star Wars. If trade was allowed – and Antonius is right, there is no economy for them to trade with – you think the elite of the country is going to share that newfound trade wealth with the populace? It’s not a free country, everything done by anyone is at the behest of the state.
Perhaps. But without a people, there is no nations to rule…
And even the nutters up top at NK hopefully has the brain cells to figure that out.
>> Perhaps. But without a people, there is no nations to rule…
Without a population? Other nations do help feed them, we are not without pity of course. And of course we help by sending doctors etc. The population is not going to disappear tomorrow, whatever gave you that idea?
>> And even the nutters up top at NK hopefully has the brain cells to figure that out.
folie Ã plusieurs
It’s hard to interpret subtext in media about North Korea, because information is tightly controlled and journalists are pretty biased, but…it seems like Kim Jong-il has become fairly unpopular within NK and that his son-ccessor, Kim Jong-un, might not be batshit crazy. So there’s some hope.
You might not like his methods, but Kim Il-sung was a dynamic leader; Kim Jong-il is one of those creepy losers who lives off his parent’s copyrighted works.
“…that his son-ccessor, Kim Jong-un, might not be batshit crazy.”
We can be sure of his mental stability. Only a true gifted, nay, divinely inspired general could have led last year’s decisive military victory against some small south Korean hovels in a remote fishing village! DPRK FRVR!!1
Teehee, I am so stealing that: Kim Jong-Il, the Stephen Joyce of geopolitics.
It’s not propaganda, though, or not “just” propaganda. Citizens of totalitarian states are told they’re happy so damn often that they come to believe it, and they have little outside data to compare their lives against: that and other social conditioning makes them, for all intents and purposes, happy. Read Barbara Demick’s Nothing to Envy, which has some pretty interesting case studies and firsthand reports of North Koreans who absolutely love what for us would be a totalitarian nightmare. There’s a scary truth lurking behind all the cheap LULZ this report is getting: “He loved Big Brother,” etc.
Similar to how in the western world people are told over and over again that they are not happy unless they buy brand X widget, using their pre-approved credit card, that will make the opposite sex mate with you the moment you reveal it?
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