The New York Philharmonic consorts with the enemy

As long as I’ve hit music once, I might as well again: Terry Teachout wrote an excellent column on The New York Philharmonic’s decision to play in Pyongyang, North Korea:

For three days earlier, Zarin Mehta and Paul Guenther, the president and chairman of the Philharmonic, had shared a platform with Pak Gil Yon, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations, and announced that America’s oldest orchestra would be playing in Pyongyang next February. It horrified me — no other word is strong enough — to see them sitting next to a smirking representative of Kim Jong Il, the dictator of a brutally totalitarian state in whose Soviet-style prison camps 150,000 political prisoners are currently doing slave labor.

This column is particularly salient because I’m going to post about The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy shortly, and if Hitler has a modern heir he is Kim Jong Il. Camp 22 in North Korea is a modern descendent of Hitler’s “work” camps.

EDIT: The promised post is here.

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