What it was like to teach essay writing to North Korean college students: They all chose topics criticizing America.
Stephen Williams stashed this in Foreigners
It must have been deeply confusing to approach his writing on Juche like an essay. In his country there was no proof, no checks and balances—unless, of course, they wanted to prove that the Great Leader had single-handedly written hundreds of operas and thousands of books and saved the nation and done a miraculous number of things. Their entire system was designed not to be questioned and to squash critical thinking. So the form of an essay, in which a thesis had to be proven, was antithetical to their entire system. The writer of an essay acknowledges the arguments opposing his thesis and refutes them. Here, opposition was not an option.
I stared across at him and felt a familiar sick feeling. Perhaps this was only the beginning. The questions they would have. The questions they should be asking. The questions they would realize they had not been asking because they did not imagine they could, or because asking meant that they could no longer exist in their system.
This will take some doing to unravel. Amazing this kind of willful ignorance is possible now.
An entire nation brainwashed? Or does it only seem that way?