26 April 2007
The misguided rationality of Kim Jong Il
Shinzo Abe says Kim Jong Il is a "rational" man. Ok, let's analyze two of his major positions, one of which he has recently considered changing:
1. keep his country poor as shit by following a defunct economic plan
2. pursue nuclear weapons
Ok, as for the first one, a command economy obviously doesn't work. Now, that's not to say it's bastardized opposite, neolibtardation (World Bank, IMF, and the Chicago School) works either. I'm not going to get into the development economics here, but in general, protected capitalism with incremental openings and free-trade agreements mixed with MORE money devoted to education than to pensions works (see Asian tigers, esp South Korea) and the headupass (NK, Cuba) and IDBwhore (HIPC) approaches do not work.
But let's focus more on the second one. Consider countries that have nuclear weapons and countries that don't have them:
That's a graph I made recently when I was writing a paper about the escalation into militarized conflict. I used logit to analyze 95 cases where a challenger state threatened a defender state with invasion. The Y-axis shows the probability that war starts and the X-axis shows the ratio of the challenger's military capabilities to the total military power of the two states. So like if it is .5 they are evenly balanced and if it is 1 then the challenger has all the power and the defender has nothing. The blue line shows what happens when the defender state does not have nuclear weapons--the likelihood of dispute escalation rises in proportion to the challenger's relative military strength. If the challenger is much tougher and the defender doesn't have nukes, the challenger will invade. The purple line shows what happens if the defender has nukes. Basically, if you have nukes nothing else matters--YOU WILL NOT GET INVADED.
So yeah, this data has been around for years. I assure you that all of the mad scientist dictators bent on world domination have seen regression results just like this. Pursuing nuclear weapons works. (Ok, it's September 12th, who should we invade? Afghanistan or Pakistan?)
Kim Jong Il recently told the US, China, Japan and South Korea that he was going to lay off the nukes in exchange for some money. His economy is so fucking retarded that he's broke and he can't sustain a dictatorship for much longer, so he's going to sell out the nuke program for some quick cash. Now THAT is irrational.
Even though I hate hippies, I do agree with them that nuclear proliferation is prolly a bad thing for the world. But I'm not talking about what is good or bad, I'm talking about what's rational. If Kim Jong Il had half a brain he'd stick with the nukes and start making the compromises on the economy! Then he could get some cash, continue to pay for the nuke program and the soulless dictatorship of evil, and guarantee that no one fucks with him or his country ever again.
So if you're the leader of a country and whenever you go to the United Nations you get a sneaking suspicion that everyone is talking shit, ask yourself, Do the popular kids think I'm a weasel-fucker? (you know who you are) Now, to be honest only 3 of those pariah states have any chance in hell of getting together the cashmoney to buy or develop some nukes, and only 2 of them ever would. So really, Sudan and Somalia, sorry no one cares about you until you can produce some decent terrorists. Cuba, we all know what's going to happen to you on prom night...and yes, by wearing all that spandex you ARE asking for it.
As for the 3 real contenders, you've got Iran, NK and Venezuela... Yes, Venezuela actually could get their act together and hunt down some nukes, but I GUARANTEE you that they will never do it. (I will save my "Venezuela is NOT a threat and Latin America is NOT turning left" speech for another post) Ok, so Iran and NK you're our only real players. So AhmadRashad and Lil' Kim, I'm sure you already got this memo, but if you were rational you would:
1. invest in education and make some trade alliances to build up your economic base and
2. hit the turbo jets on your nukes programs before the COW fucks you up.