A REVIEW OF THE SPEECH GIVEN BY PRESIDENT KIM IL SUNG "THE PRESENT SITUTION AND THE TASKS OF OUR PARTY" ON OCTOBER 5TH, 1966 TO THE WORKERS' PARTY OF KOREA CONFERENCE
October, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the speech made by President KIM IL SUNG to the conference of the Workers' Party of Korea, on October 5th, 1966. This speech by KIM IL SUNG can be seen as the point when the WPK clarified its distinctive policy lines on domestic and foreign affairs, without following the lines of another party, country or revolution. The conference was held at time when the anti-imperialist struggles in Asia, Africa and Latin America were intensifying, with Vietnam being the flashpoint in the conflict with US imperialism.
Ever since 1956, the International Communist Movement had become divided into many wings. Modern revisionism had seized power in the CPSU and other ruling communist and workers' parties in Eastern and Central Europe. The modern revisionists were gradually eroding the revolutionary principles of socialism and were attempting to impose their band of revisionism upon the rest of the international revolutionary movement. In response to revisionism, a leftist, indeed left opportunism had developed. In May 1966, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was launched in China, next door to the DPRK. Although there were some positive aspects to the Cultural Revolution, in general it was leftist nihilism in its character and methodology.
The October 1966 speech by KIM IL SUNG consists of three sections; On The International Situation & Problems Arising In The International Communist Movement, On The Acceleration Of Socialist Construction and On the Situation of south Korea & south Korean People. In this talk, I wish to focus on the international part of "The Present Situation And The Task Of Our Party".
KIM IL SUNG begins his speech with the fundamental position that US Imperialism is the number one target of the world's progressive peoples. No amount of manoeuvring by the imperialists can check the national liberation struggles or halt the onward march of socialism throughout the globe. KIM IL SUNG made it clear during his speech that US imperialism is the main force of aggression, an international gendarme, the bulwark of modern colonialism and the most heinous enemy of working people within the United States itself and internationally.
KIM IL SUNG defines in the following quotation what stand the Communist and Workers' Parties should take inregard to US Imperialism: " US Imperialism is the No.1 target in the struggle of the world people. It is the primary task of the Socialist Countries and the Communist and Workers' Parties to enlist and concentrate the broad Anti-Imperialist forces in the struggle against US Imperialism. Only fighting resolutely against the it can world peace and the revolutionary struggle of the peoples be crowned with victory.
At the present period the attitude towards US Imperialism is a major yardstick by which to judge the position of the Communist and Workers' Parties. Communists should always hold fast to the principled position of opposing imperialism, and US Imperialism above all. Particularly today when the US Imperialists are expanding their aggression in Vietnam, all the Socialist Countries should take a still tougher and more relentless attitude towards them. We must never tolerate renunciation of principle and comprise with US Imperialism in international affairs.
Socialist Countries should not dissolve their anti-imperialist struggle in diplomatic relations with the Imperialists States or weaken it, just because they maintain such relations. They must also adhere to the class principle in diplomacy and bring pressure to bear upon US Imperialism, exposing and condemning its policy of aggression and war."
KIM IL SUNG's point was that Communist and Workers' Parties have it as their duty as revolutionary organisations to put the struggle against US Imperialism, first and foremost. In the speech, KIM IL SUNG emphasised that their should not be only protests, but concrete actions against imperialism. Having diplomatic and trade links with the Capitalist Countries by the Socialist Camp, should not weaken or stop anti-imperialist struggle. History demonstrates that concessions made to imperialism, only cause the imperialists to become aggressive and arrogant. The only principled stand by a revolutionary movement, a communist party and a socialist country is to resolutely oppose imperialism and assist those fighting it.
KIM IL SUNG in his 1966 speech observed the tendency of the US Imperialists to maintain and indeed to have cordial relations with the large Socialist Countries, while at the same time, trying to swallow up one by one the small, developing and divided anti-imperialist nations. During the mid-1960s, it was the DPRK, Cuba, Vietnam and the GDR which were at the forefront of confrontation with US Imperialism. The same strategy is employed by the US Imperialists in the early 21st century against smaller independent and non-aligned countries. The DPRK is still on the target list of the US Imperialists and remains undefeated.
KIM IL SUNG believed that the optimum way of defeating US Imperialism, was to disperse its resources to the maximum, everywhere in Asia and Africa, Latin America and Europe. It was this strategy of going on the offensive against US Imperialism, which would guarantee the security of the Socialist and Progressive Countries, in the short and long term. KIM IL SUNG used the struggle of the Vietnamese People against US aggression, as a criterion on how sincere one was or not, in opposing imperialism. On the issue of Vietnam, KIM IL SUNG regarded that the Socialist Countries and Revolutionary Movements should pool their assets and not engage into endless polemics, at a time when Vietnam was bombed by the US military. The Cuban Revolution had the full support of the WPK and the Korean People. As with Vietnam, KIM IL SUNG called for the unconditional support of Cuba, as a Socialist Revolution on the frontline.
The imperialists will never leave their colonies and neo-colonies without a struggle, infact the wealth and power of the Western World is built upon the blood and bones of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America. KIM IL SUNG made the point time and again that only determined anti-imperialist struggle, however arduous, is the key to national and social liberation.
KIM IL SUNG goes on to analyse the causes and effects of the division among the International Communist Movement and the Socialist Countries since the late 1950s. During his conference speech, KIM IL SUNG took apart the origin and the nature of modern revisionism. Modern Revisionism distorts the Marxism-Leninism and emasculates its character, on the pretext of changed conditions and creative development. Moreover, the Modern Revisionists spread illusions about imperialism and rejected the concepts of the class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Due to the immense damage precipitated to the cause of communism, by the actions of the Modern Revisionists, KIM IL SUNG emphasised that the Workers' Party of Korea cannot neglect the fight against opportunism, the WPK is still extremely vigilant on the spread of Modern Revisionism and was able to defeat the factionalists in December 2013.
Equally. left opportunism and sectarianism posed a challenge within the ranks of the International Communist Movement. KIM IL SUNG in his report categorized Left Opportunists as failing to take into account the altered circumstances and dogmatically reciting isolated propositions of Marxism-Leninism, mouthy super-revolutionary slogans and splitting the revolutionary forces. Certain parties which claimed to be anti-revisionist, rejected any form of international anti-imperialist solidarity. KIM IL SUNG was able to counter this false position. The Workers' Party of Korea will not commit the leftist error of rejecting solidarity on the plea of combating opportunism and will not on the other hand, commit the rightist error of giving up the fight against revisionism, on the grounds of defending solidarity work. KIM IL SUNG reiterated the stand that the WPK will struggle against both right and left opportunism, while upholding the banner of anti-imperialism.
KIM IL SUNG made it clear that the duty of ever Communist is to defend the Socialist Camp and it unity. The renegades of the revolution must not be drawn into the Socialist Camp and at the same time, nor must this or that Socialist Country be artificially excluded from it. In reality, both positions would undermine the unity of the Socialist World. The Great Leader uses the expression "We cannot allow anyone to destroy socialism, when it was built with the blood of the working class of the whole world".
At the time in question, there was a tendency to exclude a Communist Party or a Socialist Country which did not fit into the schemes and patterns of the larger parties and states. KIM IL SUNG was absolutely against the practice of excluding and indeed pushing fraternal parties and countries the class enemy. Unity is everything in dealing with the Socialist Countries and Communist Parties, Communists should never allow themselves to be carried by prejudices and subjectivity. The Kimilsugnist-Kimjongist view of how principled a revolutionary movement, a national liberation movement, a communist party and a socialist country is in its attitude towards US Imperialism and whether they actively oppose the imperialists in their actions. KIM IL SUNG believed that there are different categories of people who are in opposition to imperialism. Some sections repent of their past mistakes and join the struggle. Then there are other elements who join the anti-imperialist fight from the pressure of events. Around these groups are the core of consistent anti-imperialists, who are leading by their example. The enemy should be attacked, but allies who make errors should be criticized and led back to the right path. The WPK's basic strategy of global independence, is direct its main spearhead against US Imperialism. KIM IL SUNG knew from his vast revolutionary experiences of fighting Japanese and US Imperialisms, that a broad front is necessary on the road to the ultimate triumph.
Among the splits of the 1960s, there were calls from the "Pro-Soviet", "Pro-Chinese" and "Pro-Albanian" Communist Parties for the Workers' Parties of Korea to join in with their own versions of the International Communist Movement. Even today in 2016, so-called experts on North Korea, have extreme difficulties in defining the ideology and practice of the DPRK; is it Maoist? is it Stalinist? is it Militarist or Nationalist? To quote KIM IL SUNG " Certain people now attach the labels of centrism, eclecticism, opportunism and the like to our party and other Marxist-Leninist parties. They allege that we are taking the road of unprincipled comprise and straddling two chairs. Why should we throw away our own chair and sit down uncomfortably, straddling two chairs belonging to others? We will always sit on our steady Marxist-Leninist chair. Those who accuse us of straddling two chairs when we are sitting on our sturdy chair, are themselves no doubt sitting on a chair which leans either to the left or right.
The slanders against our party merely prove that our party not only opposes right opportunism but is also uncompromising with left opportunism, firmly adheres only to the principled stand of Marxism-Leninism.
All Communists have their own standpoint and tell right from wrong, a party cannot be indiscriminately regarded as subscribing to the policies of other parties or taking the cue from them, just because it has connections with those parties, regarding others with suspicion is a specific characteristic of great power chauvinism and sectarianism. Great power chauvinism suspect others for no reason and like to divide people into different sides, we will not take any side. If someone asks us which side we are on, we will answer that we are on the side of Marxism-Leninism and the side of revolution".
The revolution and construction in each country is carried out by the efforts of its own people under the leadership of its own party. A revolution in one country is not replica of another, so to have one prevailing formula imposed upon every revolutionary party and movement would be extremely counter-productive. What maybe suitable for a revolution in country A, may not be agreeable for the revolution in country B. Revolutionaries should work out their own strategy and tactics based upon the circumstances confronting them.
Given the situation within the International Communist Movement at that time, KIM IL SUNG demanded the WPK maintain its chajusong and originality more firmly. Independence was and is the treasured principle, which runs through all the activities of the Workers' Party of Korea and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. The independent position put forward by KIM IL SUNG had nothing to do with isolationism and nationalism, and is closely linked with proletarian internationalism.
The Workers Party of Korea has had a proud record of internationalism over the last seven decades. During the Vietnam War, the DPRK provided materials and volunteers to the Vietnamese People's struggle. The DPRK has always enjoyed cordial relations with the most countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and holds the development of the Non-Alignment Movement as a foreign policy objective. Korean agronomists built and maintained two agricultural research institutes in Guinea and Tanzania. It was the WPK which has kept the International Socialist Movement afloat after the disastrous counter-revolutions of the late 1980s - early 1990s. The Pyongyang Declaration of April 1992, has been signed by well over 300 Communist, Workers, Revolutionary-Democratic, Socialist and National Liberation Parties and Movements, from all parts of the world. If a party has a large membership or just a small one, the WPK will maintain reciprocal relations in the spirit of equality and internationalism.
We can regard the October 1966 conference of the Workers' Party of Korea, as a manifestation of the Juche-based external and internal lines of the WPK and the DPRK. The polices set out in the speech "The Present Situation & The Tasks of Our Party" were further enhanced by KIM JONG IL in his 1978 work "Let Us Increase The Party's Fighting Efficiency And Bring About A Fresh Turn In The Building Of Socialism". KIM JONG IL promoted the application of the revolutionary slogan "Let Us Live Our Own Way" to all sectors of DPRK society.
The WPK Chairman KIM JONG UN has advanced and consolidated the Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist concept of self-development in the undertakings of the party and the state. At the Seventh Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea, in May 2016, KIM JONG UN upheld and expanded the Songun-orientated lines of Korean style socialism. Following the Juche revolutionary course, the DPRK has now become an ideological-political power, a nuclear weapons state, an economic giant, a youth power and a sports & cultural power.
The Korean Revolution does not sit on anyone else's chair and does not follows the fashions and trends of others, but sits steadfastly on the chair of Songun, Independence and Socialism. Can I urge the audience to study the Great Leader President KIM IL SUNG's work "The Present Situation And The Tasks of Our Party".
A transcript of a speech given by Shaun Pickford to the National Seminar of the Juche Idea Study Group of Britain, The Chadswell Centre, London UK, on October 1st, 2016.
Shaun Pickford is the Secretary General of the Juche Idea Study Group of Britain, the Secretary of Staffordshire KFA and has been to the DPRK on KASS courses six time concurrently.