Watching the funeral of Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang streaming over the internet, I see the main propaganda techniques they seem to prefer:
- Many images of Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung
- Rousing music
- Large crowds, or the appearance of them
- Rousing oratory
The music and oratory appear designed to rouse, I should say. To my ears they sound like the Andrews Sisters music sounds to our ears today — so over the top and one-sided that they sound inauthentic.
They, presumably the government-run media, layer sounds of people crying uncontrollably over the music and video, as if the people are crying loudly non-stop. The video of the parade I just watched showed crowds in the snow, but standing or milling about, not crying. They cut occasionally to groups of people crying, I guess somewhere else.
Some of these groups appear not to cry authentically, but I can’t tell for sure. I don’t believe that all the people are forced to cry. I expect some react to Kim Jong Il’s death as people here would react to some religious events, which lead people to cry and show other strong emotions. North Koreans learned their leaders had supernatural powers like we learn about our gods. Why shouldn’t they feel overwhelming emotions like religious people here to?
People cried and screamed over the Beatles here too. I’m sure the government is motivating people to cry there, but I bet many people are crying sincerely as sincerely as people cry here at the deaths of people they’ve never met, like celebrities or other media figures.
Read my weekly newsletter
On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees