A Freedom Strategy for North Korea | Freedom House

A Freedom Strategy for North Korea

The Freedom Collection

By Arch Puddington

During Soviet times, the Kremlin had a policy of carefully rationing the release of American movies.  The authorities kept the number of Hollywood films limited.  And they kept a careful eye on the political message, giving priority to plots which showed the United States at its worst.

Soviet audiences thus saw an America where the rich exploited the poor and the powerful persecuted the weak, and decent, ordinary people were forced into a life of crime.

Yet as emigres reported, filmgoers often got a message much different from the one the cultural authorities intended.  They understood the stories as entertainment, not a lesson in dialectics.    And they zeroed in on the details.  Kitchens, for example.  Ordinary Soviets had communal kitchens; Americans, even under conditions of exploitation, had spacious kitchens of their own.

The Soviet experience reminds us just how subversive the mundane facts of daily life in free countries can be for societies where censorship and isolation are the order of the day.  There are few such societies in the age of the internet.  The worst may be North Korea.

Read the rest of the article here: http://www.freedomcollection.org/news/2014/10/a-freedom-strategy-for-nor...

Photo Credit: Roman Harak / CC BY-SA 2.0

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