Twenty years ago the great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il, the successor to the great leader comrade Kim Il Sung ,wrote the classic work “Giving Priority to Ideological Work Is Essential for Accomplishing Socialism “. This work was written in the period some four years after the collapse of socialism in the former USSR and some other socialist countries.
At the time there was much soul searching as well as apprehension amongst supporters of socialism. Why was socialism frustrated? What can be done to successfully build socialism and avoid the pitfall of the restoration of capitalism? People racked their brains. Why they asked , what had had gone wrong ?
Although this a short work it contains very powerful ideas .
Comrade Kim Jong Il, with remarkable clairvoyant theoretical wisdom, provided the answers in his work. Comrade Kim Jong Il explained the reason for the frustration of socialism in a nutshell
“The most serious lesson of the collapse of socialism in several countries is that the corruption of socialism begins with ideological corruption, and that a break-down on the ideological front results in the crumbling of all socialism’s “fronts and ends in the total ruin of socialism.
The above quote is very true . In many socialist countries the ideology of socialism became corrupted . After the 20th Congress of the CPSU in the USSR some socialist countries moved to the Right and greatly downplayed ideological work which in turn led to setbacks on other fronts such as the the economy . I witnessed this when I visited Hungary in 1988 and 1989 there was a complete absence of any kind of socialist ideological work. One the ideological front of socialism crumbles then all other fronts crumble and socialism is frustrated and collapses.
Socialism is completely different to capitalism and cannot grow up within the framework of capitalism as it is a new idea that rejects the exploitation of human by human. Socialism of course fully reflects the class demand of the working class .
One of the things that impressed me about this work when I read it the first time was the profoundly robust and combative defence of socialism and the role of ideological work under socialism which is all the time attacked by the imperialists as “indoctrination “ “regimentation” etc. Comrade Kim Jong Il tears this apart
“The basic task of ideological work in socialist society is to colour the whole ofsociety with socialist ideology.
The development and consummation of socialist society is nothing other than the transformation of all realms of social life as required by socialist ideology. Themost important task in this regard is arming all members of society with socialist ideology, in order to colour the whole of society with a single ideology. Ideologicalwork in socialist society must serve the purpose of colouring the whole of society with socialist ideology.
In any society, the ruling class tries to bring about the unchallenged predominance of its own ideology. In capitalist society, where the society is split into classes andPeoples interests conflict, one ideology cannot hold undivided sway and it isinevitable that different ideas exist. The imperialists and their mouthpieces claimthe existence of these ideas is a source of pride for the “free world “ However,progressive ideas can never develop freely in capitalist society, where the means ofpropaganda and education such as the ma ss media are in the hands of monopolycapitalists and reactionary rulers. The reactionary bourgeois ruling class toleratesprogressive ideas to some extent, to make capitalist society seem democratic; but when they are considered the slightest threat to its ruling system, it mercilessly suppresses them. Outwardly, different thoughts appear to be tolerated in capitalist
society, but all kinds of thoughts throughout it are, without exception, none otherthan various forms and expressions of bourgeois ideology. The freedom of ideology talked about by imperialists is a deceptive slogan to dress upunder the signpost of freedom their oppression of progressive ideas in capitalist
society and their resorting to every method to propagate reactionary bourgeois ideas. It is a deceptive slogan to justify their ideological and cultural infiltration into
This is one of the most brilliant expositions of the role of ideology under socialism and capitalism that I have ever read . Although capitalist society may appear pluralistic and democratic outwardly because of the existence of many different ideas in fact they are but a reflection of bourgeois ideology we can see this apparent in some so-called parties that call themselves communist or socialist but attack countries like the DPRK and continually prettify imperialism.
In the work, Comrade Kim Jong Il turns his attention to the dangers to socialism posed by revisionism “Revisionism is a counter-revolutionary, opportunist ideological trend which emasculates socialism’s revolutionary principles. The greatest harm of revisionism is that it denies the position and role of the party and leader in the revolution and construction; it weakens the role of socialist power, creates illusions about capitalism and disarms people ideologically. In the long run, revisionism abandons socialism and leads to capitalism. We must have a clear understanding of the reactionary nature of revisionism and its dangers, and must strongly oppose and reject all sorts of revisionist trend”
This is a very apt but trenchant expose of revisionism and the reactionary role in plays in destroying socialism. It was revisionism that brought down socialism in many countries of the world . Comrade Kim Jong Il sees straight through it and correctly calls for the Korean people and WPK to reject and oppose all forms of revisionism.
The great leader comrade Kim Jong Il clearly defines the nature of socialism pointing out that
“Socialism is incompatible with private ownership and the capitalist market economy.”
This deals a telling blow against those who advocate “reform” and “opening up “ and the So-called “plurality of ownership. Therefore socialist ownership of the means of production must be consolidated. If this is not done comrade Kim Jong Il warns that
If remnants of old society in socialist society are encouraged to grow, or capitalist economic management methods are introduced into socialist economic management, or worse still, if capitalist ownership is revived by encroaching upon socialist ownership, this will result in the economic, material basis of socialist ideology being pulled down, and conditions created for the growth of individualism, selfishness and other bourgeois ideas
. Another danger is the infiltration of bourgeois culture and ideology by the imperialists but Comrade Kim Jong Il is acutely aware of this;
“Through their ideological and cultural infiltration into other countries, the imperialists are working ceaselessly to affect people with ideological diseases, disintegrate those countries from within and then put them under their domination and control. The imperialists’ ideological and cultural infiltration is a way for them to be aggressive and to intervene under the guise of “cooperation” and “exchange”. It is a vicious means of counter-revolutionary subversion, by which to paralyze people’s sound ideological consciousness and to corrupt and make people degenerate by means of reactionary bourgeois ideological poison.”
These days the imperialists desperately try to destroy socialism by infiltrating degenerate Western pop culture into socialism and through so-called “ exchange”. It was once said Comrade Kim Jong Il correctly says that the simple but effective remedy to the maladies of revisionism and bourgeois ideological and cultural infiltration is to imbue people thoroughly with socialist ideology, Thus the socialist state must give priority to ideological work.
Therefore the work “Giving Priority to Ideological Work Is Essential for Accomplishing Socialism “ is a most invaluable work that gives answers to key questions in building socialism and should be studied by all .