Who Cares About Park Yeon-mi
By Bryan Caplan
At the 2015 Students for Liberty conference, my sons and I were privileged to hear North Korean defector Park Yeon-mi share her story of self-liberation from totalitarian oppression. But her talk got me thinking.
On the surface, there is nothing uniquely libertarian about her journey or her views. Virtually every mainstream thinker, regardless of ideological standpoint, would agree that the North Korean regime is diabolically evil, and cheer Park’s successful jailbreak. But libertarians are still exceptionally interested in her story – and eager to embrace her as a heroine. It’s very hard to picture her receiving a major speaking offer at a liberal or moderate convention. And it’s not even clear that many conservatives would be interested, either.
I could be wrong, of course. For all I know, Park’s in multi-partisan, pan-ideological demand. But assuming I’m right, what gives? If almost everyone agrees that North Korea’s government is horrible, why are libertarians so much more likely to take stories like Park’s to heart?
P.S. My answer would start here.