North Korea claims that capitalism doesn't work. Squid Game proves that it doesn;t function
Squid Game is a lot of things. It's a bit depressing. It's also the most-watched original series that Netflix has ever produced. And, according to North Korea, it's also a sign that capitalism doesn't work.
According to state media, [Squid Game] helps people see the terrible reality of the South Korean society in which human beings are driven into extreme competition and their humanity is being erased, according to the paper. The show follows "several people who are forced to live a hellish life, struggling with unimaginable debt, in squalid competition to obtain the money prize that goes to only one winner."
The Squid Game, which started streaming on Sept. 17, is centered on a desperately indebted group of people in South Korea. They're first lured into a deadly tournament of children's games -- "Squid Game" is the name of.a popular schoolyard game in South Korea -- but many of them decide to return, realizing the games may be their only chance to win the money they need to survive. The odds of survival aren't great -- think of the Hunger Games, which only features contests like red light, green light and marbles.
Squid Game has become an unexpected hit all around the world. Despite Netflix being banned in the country, it's been widely watched in China. In South Korea, Squid Game was responsible for so much online activity that a broadband provider sued Netflix for rising network costs. South Korean politicians have seized on its popularity, criticizing opponents for corruption and incompetence.
Evidently, the country's communist neighbor couldn't resist the same impulse.
"It is the present South Korean society where the number of losers in fierce competitions, such as employment, real estate, and stocks, rises dramatically," the North Korean propaganda reads. It further asserts that Squid Game shows "the reality of living in a world where people are judged only by money."
Since 1950, North and South Korea have been engaged in a civil war, though active military action between the two Koreas ceased in 1953. After 30 years of war and military rule, South Korea was proclaimed a democracy in 1986 and has the world's 12th largest economy today. Meanwhile, three generations of the Kim clan have ruled North Korea. Its GDP is estimated to be about $27 billion, compared to South Korea's $1.5 trillion.
"Under the rule of Kim Jong Un, the third leader of the nearly 75-year Kim dynasty,the totalitarian government intensified repression and maintained fearful obedience using threats of execution, imprisonment, forced disappearance, and forced labor," Human Rights Watch stated in a 2020 report.