It seems to me the problem the world has with North Korea and its dictator Kim Jong-Il getting nuclear weapons of mass destruction boils down to two main points. First, North Korea is a communist dictatorship that cannot ever be trusted, and so its getting such horrible weapons is a horrible threat to most, if not all of us. Second, it is a clear violation of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The first problem is real but misunderstood, while the second is pure baloney. It is baloney since the NPT is nothing but a multi-state attempt to keep the knowledge of how to make nasty nuclear bombs within a small group. The overall aim of the treaty is not to save human kind from the horrible effects of nuclear war; it is to save the nuclear power oligarchy from competition. There is no reason why “new” nuclear powers should be trusted less than current nuclear powers. Unless you wish to keep the trump card while playing it over and over in international politics.
The problem of North Korea (and other countries) violating the NPT thus has nothing to do with us as individuals or citizens of the civilized West. It has only to do with “our” heads of states wishing to protect their special powers.
The other problem is the real one: the North Korean government isn’t to be trusted with lethal weapons. And to be honest, Kim Jong-Il seems like a real nut. But on the other hand, there are there any Prime Ministers or Presidents who could or should be trusted with such things? Most of them cannot be trusted with limited powers in government or even with small amounts of money.
The problem here has nothing to do with the specific nature of the North Korean government, which, I’m sure, is one of the most screwed up on the planet. It also has nothing to do with the North Korean leader, the cultified Kim Jong-Il. And it has nothing to do with the official ideology of his totalitarian state, “communism.”
Rather, it has to do with a much deeper problem. It has to do with the problem of rule and specifically the structure of government itself. As Lord Acton so wisely stated, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The problem of corruption should be obvious, be it the obvious corruption of “banana republics” or the more “civilized” campaign contributions and dealings in parliament. Corrupted people cannot be trusted, who knows who placed the higher bid and thus gets the full worth of the bribe?
Judging from our politicians, not only does power corrupt; the corrupted are obviously also attracted by power.
A North Korea with the recently acquired knowledge and ability to produce nuclear-based weaponry simply points to a much greater and widely spread problem: the problem with government per se. Since power corrupts, we cannot trust the ones with power. Then how can we trust them with the weapons to protect us from foreign threats; especially since we are at the same time forcefully disarmed by our “protectors.”
The real question here is: Can we trust political power with weapons to destroy us and our earth? Can government be trusted?
The questions are radical, but it should be obvious we, i.e. humankind, are in need of some radical change. We have, as a species, had more than a thousand years of experience of political government. What has it given us?
On the world level the result is at best racism and international “tension,” but wars and world wars as well. On the domestic level we’re experiencing excessive taxation and regulation, violations of constitutional rights and personal integrity, as well as executions and government control of young people’s minds through public schooling. In other countries, and during wartime, we’ve seen work camps, torture, and persecution.
The answer should thus be obvious. No, we cannot trust government. Perhaps we should abolish it altogether and get rid of the danger once and for all.