If you lived in North Korea, you might think your government had attacked a U.S. aircraft carrier which was approaching the country. You would probably think North Korea had the capabilities to hold their own against the U.S. including “super mighty” preemptive nuclear strikes which could hit mainland USA.
But we live in America, so we believe that North Korea is a backward communist country where the people are oppressed by their government and starving in the streets. Their leader is an insane dictator who talks a big game while the country sits on the brink of collapse.
And this might be close to the truth. We don’t really know though because all of our information about North Korea is imparted to us from the media and our corrupt government which controls them. In that sense, what we know about the world is not so different from what North Koreans know about the world. It is really just a matter of degree.
Here is how news is reported to make us feel superior and safe against North Korea (but not so safe that our government couldn’t have a nice excuse for another war.)
Reclusive North Korea regularly threatens to destroy Japan, South Korea and the United States and has shown no let-up in its belligerence after a failed missile test on Sunday, a day after putting on a huge display of missiles at a parade in Pyongyang…
The North has said it has developed a missile that can strike the mainland United States, but officials and experts believe it is some time away from mastering the necessary technology, including miniaturising a nuclear warhead.
When you think about it, I really don’t honestly know if North Korea is as poor or oppressive as we are told. I have seen the few documentaries which came out of North Korea, and I have seen Hollywood fiction, and I am not confident in my abilities to truly tell the two apart.
I have seen the pathetically low budget videos that North Korea supposedly shows their people in order to convince them of their military superiority to the USA. But again how could I really tell if these are authentic or fabrications by our own government?
There is a war of propaganda, and it is tough to tweeze the truth from the lies. I do actually believe North Korea is an oppressive regime and their people are starving, but how do I really know the degree of propaganda that has skewed my image of the rest of the world?
I could conceive of a world in which the USA has vastly more control over the media than we even understand, to the point where our entire vision of the world is skewed. In fact, I did conceive of this type of world and wrote a novella about it.
In Flight Grounded, the protagonist gets first-hand experience about what methods the U.S. government uses to control the minds of their people. Like North Koreans, Americans’ vision of the world is massively manipulated to make them support the regime in control. So intense is the mind control and propaganda, that people mistakenly believe America is the freest and most prosperous country on earth when in reality it is on the bottom of the list of economic superpowers.
Could that be the truth? Could America’s regime actually be the joke of the world, with Donald Trump looking as ridiculous to foreigners as Kim Jung-Un looks to us?
What if we didn’t really bomb Afghanistan with the mother of all bombs, and what if we didn’t really hit Syria with rockets? Could we be fed lies from our very own Kim Jung-Un in Donald Trump? Could his failed tests be reported as real strikes?
Of course, this all could be the case. We really don’t know. And while I still believe it is possible in the United States to get a pretty informed vision of the world, it is a helpful reminder that things are certainly not exactly how we perceive them, and events are possibly far different than they are presented.