Kim Jong-il’s Funeral Procession

by Roger Alford

“He looked up again at the portrait of Big Brother. The colossus that bestrode the world! The rock against which the hordes of Asia dashed themselves in vain! … He was back in the Ministry of Love, with everything forgiven, his soul white as snow…. He gazed up at the enormous face…. O cruel, needless misunderstanding. O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.”

~ 1984

One Response

  1. That’s perfect Roger, thank you. 

    We have here, I think, a perfect illustration of the need to resort to Freudian-inspired, or neo-Freudian, group psychological explanations that understand the importance of the mechanisms of personal and especially group identity if we are to make sense of such behavior (the critical assumption or presumption being that we can make sense of such behavior). Of course we have milder and more often smaller-scale versions of this behavior in our society and in the history Western civilization generally wherein, for example, security and well-being are tied to dependence on power figures. Outside of malign power relations, strictly speaking, we find similar psychological mechanisms at work in the relation between some celebrities and their fans: witness the reaction to the death of Michael Jackson.

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