A society living very basic lifestyles so their government can keep a highly trained military force? Compulsory physical and military training? An idealism based on equality? Keeping incredibly private affairs and not wishing to involve themselves in their neighbours business? A society shockingly and worryingly different to those that surround, or surrounded, it?
Recent missile fire into South Korea has prompted me to learn a little more about the North and South divide. I have always been aware that they are supposedly pretty strange, but I was not entirely sure why people stated this. Of course there are many differences between Sparta and North Korea, but clearly they would not be identical as they are thousands of years in time apart, the likeness to me is quite extraordinary.
Many countries throughout time have looked at Sparta as something to aspire too, though that does apply to much of the Ancients. Even I am quite struck by their (the Spartan) ways, their sheer motivation and devotion to their way of life (at their peak) was something I could never imagine any nation managing now. Oh how I was so wrong! Funnily enough, this makes me look at North Korea in a new light. Sure their ideology and society may not be familiar with us, it is foreign and ‘wrong’ in our western democratic eyes, but will it be a civilisation we look back in awe at in the future?
Sending open missile fire for no good reason is not something I necessarily applaud, but I would be a hypocrite if I was believed myself to be a fan of the Spartans but not the North Koreans. I would not be at all surprised if the majority of what we see in the news are fabricated stories, twisted intentionally so we only read and hear what they want us to. So if you liked 300, think twice next time you hate on those ‘crazy’ North Koreans!