|China to the left, Japan to the right, and S. Korea below, make N. Korea look very dark indeed.|
From space North Korea is an environmentalist's dream. There is nothing to halt energy consumption like totalitarian repression and anticapitalist poverty. (And nothing thumbs one's nose at filthy capitalism like keeping one's people dirt poor and miserable.) With that level of energy production there is sure to either be starvation, or a smaller population due to past starvation.
Fascist China, having roughly survived the Mao personality cult, is doing better than North Korea which is a personality cult. North Korea does have nuclear capability so even if the energy production per capita is nil. You'd think that the only industry in North Korea is nuclear weaponry.
Here is what one thoughtful person wrote about the idea that the picture above says something about "socialism":
North Korea is not a socialist state. It is a dictatorship pretending to be communist. There is nothing remotely related to socialism in such a state and no economic philosophy at play in such a state. Anyone making such a suggestion that it is truly an uneducated moron. England is a socialist state. Most of out [sic] democratic allies are as well. The US is socialist in many areas. We don't use the term, but the economic basis for things like Medicare is socialism. And it was socialism at play when George W. Bush briefly took over much of our banking and auto industry. So learn what the word means and what it doesn't. The lack of electricity and the starvation in North Korea has nothing to do with socialism and everything to do with a crazy dictatorial family in power.The commentator Nathaniel Lack is apparently "well spoken" and considers himself fairly educated. Yet some people of various political leanings maintain that "socialism" properly applies to systems in which government owns the means of production. (Ed Brayton might consider Lack uninformed.) Because of the association of fascism with the "national socialisms" of Spain, Italy, and Germany, particularly Germany, there is some pervasive confusion over what "fascism" applies to. If one accepts Mussolini's definitions then what Lack calls "socialist" may be more properly called "fascist," or more generally, "collectivist." In that vein, N. Korea is more likely a socialist country in which the elite ruling oligarchy consists of one person. He may not be the sort of dictator that Clinton aids or celebrity actors are chummy with, but N. Korea is socialist nonetheless, as commended in the movie World War Z.
The lack of electricity and the starvation in North Korea has nothing to do with socialism and everything to do with a crazy dictatorial family in power.Socialism did put all means of production in the hands of the State so... "nothing" is a strong word. I wonder if Lack would be prepared to admit that the lack of economic recovery over the last 6 years has nothing to do with capitalism and everything to do with ... something else.