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The Ideology of North Korea

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With rising tensions between Korea and the United States, it is quite literally very important to study and understand the ideology of North Korea and how contrariwise it really is to the interests of the United States and other nations. The ideology was founded by Kim il-sung and was further developed by Kim Jong-il and currently is being built on by Kim Jong-un.

Kim Il-sung was the revolutionary leader of the Korean people, who led for many decades and guided his people to a new light. He led the anti-imperialist revolution and led the unified struggle to defeat Japanese imperialism as it encroached upon the Korean peninsula.

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Japanese military occupation was completely defeated and slashed out on August 15 of 1945, nearing the end of World War Two as a whole. Kim il-Sung was a major leader of the fight to liberate Korea. Kim, too, with aid from China and the Soviet Union, led the lofty struggle against the United States and South Korean anti-communists in 1953, and although the Koreas were thereafter not reunified, the North Korean post-war rehabilitation through agricultural collectivization and industrialization showed gigantic leaps with food problems being solved, with heavy industrial output expanding with things such as the mass construction of machinery and automobiles, with light industrial output, too, expanding in the fields of glassware food production and the such, not to even mention the great advances in agriculture. This was all done based on the ideas put forth by Kim il-Sung and the principle of self-reliance.

The leading Party of the North, the Workers’ Party of Korea had in 1945 introduced itself as Marxist-Leninist, but it changed. Although Kim il-Sung talked about Juche as early as 1955, Juche was first outlined as a philosophy in the way that the North Koreans put it into practice on April 14, 1965, at that time, Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism, the set of ideas which encompass Juche, was not founded.

Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism claims to be the embodiment of the theoretical achievements of Marxism-Leninism, claiming to go beyond it:

The Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist idea is based on this principle that mankind is the master of everything there is and they as a collective decide everything, including their fate and destiny. This is in stark contrast to the traditional Marxist view that man is not at the center of everything, but that matter in all life is, and that man is not important to the dialectical processes of the universe. Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism therefore would be classified as being dialectical idealism by Orthodox Marxists. The masses, taking influence from Mao’s writings, in Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist texts say that they are the motive force in construction of North Korean country, and that nothing can be built without them. That is to say, they are the cornerstone of life and civilization. They build the canals, they make the foods, they make the blueprints and make the housing, they make clothing, so on, and henceforth that’s why they are cornerstone of everything, for they are the working class that works on everything and makes everything. Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism regards the main factor in all human development the man because mankind plays the definitive and decisive role in transforming the world through various means.

Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism takes as one of its foundations the belief in self-reliance; also known as Juche. Essentially, its adherents believe that rather than a foreign power bring revolution, the masses of people within the nation must prepare and build revolution. Revolution cannot be imported nor exported, basically, is what this says regarding making change and the such. Adherents of Juche see that doing things must be done internally by the people of any given country because the people, as stated in Point 1, are the cornerstone of society. They can do anything, and once they come to power in revolution, adherents to Juche believe that economically, the country can depend on no other than the masses and their production. Trade is not necessary to sustain the economy, only promoting production is, for that’s the only way to develop productive forces and benefit society. This is the Juche component.

Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism puts a large emphasis on strengthening the unity of the masses and the guiding Communist Party through political agitation and propaganda. Kim il-sung had stated that “…[T]he lack of Juche in propaganda work has done much harm to Party work”, so it’s obvious Kim would have wanted a Party guided by his ideology to lead the masses. Propaganda is the promotion of political ideas and perspectives, so Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist propaganda in North Korea is up everywhere, from in speeches in the workplace, to offices, to even inside hotels, to promote viewpoint of Workers’ Party of Korea.

Juche advocates, or at least in North Korea, a new socialist industrial management system which is titled the Taean Work System, based off of the Taean Electrical Machinery Plant which Kim il-Sung visited and he had a good grasp of the structure of the plant and liked it. Likewise in Yugoslavia, with their former market-socialist system, this is pretty much a centralized system of democratic management by the working class. It’s basically where the producers fulfil their role as masters to manage the economy and it incorporates a mass line in economic management. The North Korean economy as of today is mostly state-owned industry, with workers constitutionally entitled to democratic control of the means of production.

Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism, in North Korea, recognizes the existence of only three different classes in their Korean society, there is no “bourgeoisie” or antagonistic classes according to this and there’s minimum class contradictions, if any. Everyone lives in unity. The classes are the proletariat, the peasant, and the prominent artist/intellectual (samuwon). Marxists typically don’t regard this as a Marxist analysis of class, showing a major divide.

Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism advocates the importance of what is called an ‘Ideological Revolution’, where the masses are implanted with socialism, learn to enjoy work, and uphold the ideology of Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism and neglect ideologies which oppose it.

In North Korea, Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism believes in passing down the great achievements of Kim il-Sung to generation to generation. It advocates honoring Kim Il-Sung before any other leader, with all loyalty, but sees that Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un, as successors, are wholly paramount to the struggle for socialism.

Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism, in North Korea, strives for the national reunification of Korea with the ideal of ‘By Our Nation Itself’ at the head of all decision making. What the ‘By Our Nation Itself’ principle states is nothing more than self-mastery, that to strive for national unity you must pursue anti-interventionism by foreign powers and that the Korean people themselves should be the ones to reunify the Koreas into one. This is essentially a United Front, related once more to the Maoists in China, that calls upon all people, regardless of religious or political beliefs, to join in the patriotic struggle for unification and the demolishment of the artificial borders separating the two Koreas put there by the United States in the Korean War.

In short, these core principles are cardinal to the North Korean guiding ideology which the Workers Party of Korea upholds. To this day, the North Korean state uphold the banner of Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism and call for continuing efforts to raise high socialist industrialization and modernization with the eternal thought of Kim il-Sung in mind.


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