It’s showtime in North Korea
People Magazine: “’North Korea has great beaches,’ Trump told reporters. ‘You see that whenever they’re exploding cannons into the ocean. I said, “Boy, look at that view. Wouldn’t that make a great condo?”’ Trump said he advised Kim that instead of pursuing his nuclear ambitions, he should build ‘the best hotels in the world’ on North Korea’s coastline to boost the country’s economy. ‘Think of it from a real estate perspective,’ Trump said.”
Sometimes a war is necessary, in order to do business. Necessary for the people making war.
Sometimes the threat of war is enough. It spurs growth.
—Here’s a shoreline of brand new condos. Move-in ready. Restaurants, hotels, shops, synthetic streets emerging from barren land. Let’s build a modern city. Let’s build ten. This could be how North Korea is shaping up.
Instead of a nuclear catastrophe, bring in the usual players, the giant construction companies, the electric-power utilities. They know how to put it all together.
As I wrote some months ago, for Trump the business of America is business, period. Let’s make a deal. You may like it, you may hate it, but there it is. That’s how he’s always rolled.
Environmental problems, pollution, earthquakes from fracking? Minor issues. Just keep building. The investors make piles of money. Tourists show up. The local backwater culture never saw anything like it? They’ll adapt. They’ll get used to it. Call it democracy, monarchy, dictatorship, socialism, who cares? There’s cash on the table.
The new North Korea may eventually look like a hundred versions of Dubai side by side. War and sanctions are the threats; business is the solution.
Trump has that viewpoint. Jobs will come, projects will climb upwards and sideways. Does it feel like a new era of capitalism or crazy gloss and shine? Depends on who you are. Are you nestled in the top tier of profiteers, or are you making beds and delivering meals in brand new hotels? Are you a janitor three floors below ground level making your daily rounds, or are you booking a suite thirty floors up in the air?
Kim understands the whole game, because he has China as a model. Repressive rule from above, along with active zones of volcanic capital investment and massive production of goods.
Foreign banks and financiers are popping champagne corks. The North Korean government will find a way to make hay while the sun shines, too, even if they have to back the manufacture of a synthetic sun. They’ll invent a new bank, they’ll invent new money out of air, they’ll say it’s “for the people.” A small farmer scratching out a meager existence on frozen land will turn into a waiter in a luxury restaurant in a city that was never there until yesterday. Voila. French cuisine spiced with kimchi.
Bring on the golf courses. The tennis courts. The equestrian show places, the NBA game of the week.
Absolute duty to the government leadership and its mottos of socialism will find translation into duty and obedience to the companies and corporations transforming the landscape. “We have the best workers in the world!” And those workers will unite under the rubric of money. Same tune, different lyrics.
Trump thinks, “Show me a shithole country, and I’ll show you a future of unlimited profit.” Only now he doesn’t have to worry about losses on the books and bankruptcies along the way. He doesn’t have to worry (if he ever did) about cooking the accounting ledgers. He’s both business and government. The whole North Korea renovation WILL BE cooked books—and it’s entirely acceptable, because it will be measured by expansion, visible to the world in hundreds of ways.
Anybody who is anybody will get his piece of the action. And no one who is anyone will ask questions.
A history of frozen wastelands and brazen population control will, one day, appear as a mere footnote in a Pyongyang museum. “Yes, it was once that way, but under our immortal leadership, we have triumphed and become entirely modern. Now we rule by edict and force in order to build a paradise for every citizen. Triple bacon burgers! Nachos! Rodeo Drive!”
Sort out the difference between low and high consumer culture according to what’s in your wallet.
It’s Showtime in North Korea.
This is the mouth-watering prospect for investors.
As I say, Kim knows the new model just by looking at China. He loses nothing in the way of control. He just plays from a different deck of cards—all aces.
Of course, in order for a titanic deal to go through, China will have to be included. No doubt, behind the scenes, they’ve been at the bargaining table. The Trump “trade war” with Xi Jinping has a number of moving parts.
Ready, set, go. Crony capitalism rides again.