SOCIALISM IS A SCIENCE
Treatise published in Rodong Sinmun, organ of the
Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea
November 1, 1994
Socialism is a science. Socialism has been frustrated in a number of countries, but scientific socialism is as alive as ever in the minds of the people. The imperialists and reactionaries are fussing about the “end of socialism”, with regard to the events in some countries which had been building socialism.
The renegades of socialism try to justify their despicable betrayal, claiming that the ideal of socialism itself is invalid. However, the truth cannot be concealed or obliterated. The crumbling of socialism in various countries does not mean the failure of socialism as science but the bankruptcy of opportunism which has corrupted socialism. Although socialism is temporarily experiencing a heart-rending setback because of opportunism, it will without fail be revived and win ultimate victory for its scientific accuracy and truth.
Socialism is the ideal and the revolutionary banner of the popular masses who are fighting for independence. The masses achieve their independence by means of socialism and communism.
The people’s independence was ruthlessly trampled upon in the hostile class society. Where there is oppression, there will be resistance; where there is resistance, revolution will break out. The popular masses have vigorously struggled to win their independence for a long time. During this, class societies have changed and the struggle of the masses for independence has developed. However, the only changes brought about when hostile class societies were replaced, were in the forms of oppression of the popular masses’ independence; the masses were not freed from social and political subordination.
The failure to attain the masses’ independence in hostile class societies was because all these societies were based on individualism. Individualism is the product of private ownership. Society, based on private ownership and its product, individualism, inevitably splits into hostile classes, produces class antagonism and social inequality, and is accompanied by the exploitation and oppression of the popular masses by a small ruling class. History shows that independence for the masses cannot be realized in a society based on individualism. A historical review of the development of human society proves that, in order to realize the masses’ independence, a society based on individualism must be replaced by a society based on collectivism, by socialism and communism.
Capitalism has turned individualism into the unlimited greed of a handful of capitalists; it has precipitated antagonism in the society of individualism to the utmost. Meanwhile, the masses’ struggle for independence has entered a new stage of development. Ours is an age of independence, when the popular masses have emerged as masters of their own destiny, as masters who dominate the world. This shows that the transition of a society based on individualism to a society based on collectivism is an inevitable demand of historical development.
Collectivism is man’s intrinsic need. People can exist and develop only when they work as a social collective. People can transform nature and society and meet their desire for independence, not as individuals, but only through collective cooperation among members of society. If people are to live in a social collective, they must meet both the collective and individual demands for independence. The collective demand for independence is the common requirement of members of society for the existence and development of the social collective. The individual need for independence is the need as an equal member of a social collective; it is the need which should naturally be met through collective efforts in return for his contribution to society. The individual need for independence fundamentally differs from selfish greed, which ignores the collective and subordinates everything to the interests of an individual. Both the collective and individual needs for independence can be satisfied to the fullest only through collectivism. Individual demand divorced from collectivism becomes selfish greed. Such greed encroaches upon the demands of other members of the collective for independence, and hampers the unity and cooperation of the collective. Collectivism alone makes it possible to strengthen the unity and cooperation of the collective, to stimulate the creative zeal of all collective members and to properly combine both the collective and individual demands for independence and thus fully meet them. Because working in a social collective is the mode of man’s existence, and because man’s demand for independence can be satisfied only through collectivism, society based on collectivism, socialist and communist society, is the most progressive society which conforms with man’s independent nature.
Certainly, collectivist principles are not fully applied in all spheres of social life immediately after the establishment of a socialist system, because in socialist society the vestiges from the old society remain for some time. The survival in socialist society of the remnants of the outmoded societies is a passing phenomenon. With the development of socialism, these vestiges are gradually overcome and collectivist principles are implemented more fully in all areas of social life.
Although socialism is an inevitable stage of historical development and socialist society is the most progressive one which conforms with man’s independent nature, socialism will never be realized spontaneously. In order to realize socialism, we must prepare the revolutionary forces capable of doing this and evolve a correct method of struggle. Unless the revolutionary forces and the method of struggle are prepared, the desire for independence of the popular masses who aspire after socialism will remain a mere wish.
The idea of eliminating exploitation, oppression and social inequality, as well as the private ownership on which these are based, and of setting up an equal society based on public ownership, was put forward by utopian socialists a long time ago. However, the utopian socialists, despite their sympathy for the misery of the exploited working masses, failed to see them as the revolutionary force capable of burying the exploitative society and building a new society. They considered that the irrational aspects of capitalist society could be corrected by enlightening people and appealing to the “good will” of the exploiter class. It is an unscientific illusion to expect “good will” from the exploiter class, whose nature is greed. The utopian socialists’ expectation of “good will” from the exploiter class was their historical limitation.
The exploiter class and their stooges put forward the “theory of class cooperation” and tried to block the struggle of the exploited working masses against exploitation and oppression. Within the communist movement, reformists and revisionists demanded “class cooperation” and seriously harmed the revolutionary movement. Today, traitors to socialism are also clamouring for a return to capitalism, harbouring illusions about capitalism and expecting “aid” and “cooperation” from the imperialists. History shows that to expect “good will” or “class cooperation” from the exploiter class is to make a mess of the revolution.
Marxism combined the demands of working people who aspire to socialism, with revolutionary forces and a revolutionary fighting method. Marxism made clear that contradictions existed between the productive forces and relations of production in capitalist society; that these contradictions could be resolved through the class struggle of the exploited working people against the exploiter class; and that the working class would take charge of and lead this class struggle. Thanks to Marxism, the inevitability of the collapse of capitalism and the victory of socialism was proved, and the demands of exploited working people who aspire to socialism were linked with practical revolutionary forces and a revolutionary fighting method capable of meeting their demands. Socialism was thus converted from a utopian scheme into a science, and a revolutionary change took place in the history of humanity’s struggle for liberation.
However, the theory of socialism in the preceding age, based on a materialist outlook on history, was not free from historical limitations. This theory did not regard the social and historical movement as a movement of the motive force, as a movement which begins and develops on the initiative and through the role of the popular masses, its motive force, but as a natural historical process which changes and develops due to material and economic factors. According to the materialist outlook on history, the more the productive forces develop in a capitalist society, the more intensive the incompatible contradictions between the productive forces and relations of production and the antagonism between the exploiter class and the exploited class grow, the more the working class and other revolutionary forces develop in strength and, accordingly, the more the revolution matures. Seeing material and economic factors as fundamental in the revolutionary struggle, the preceding theory of socialism failed to raise the task of strengthening the motive force of the revolution and enhancing its role as the basic way to carry out the revolution.
As for the influence exerted by the development of productive forces in capitalist society, we must not approach it from only one side. The development of the productive forces in capitalist society intensifies the bipolar differentiation which results from the increasing imbalance between rich and poor. It sharpens class contradictions, while at the same time, it provides the monopolists with increasing possibilities to spend part of their high profits on soothing class contradictions. In addition, the development of the productive forces results in the expansion of the rank of industrial workers by their incorporation of peasants and other petit bourgeois classes, and also in an increased proportion of workers engaged in mental and technical labour in the productive sectors, as well as those in non-productive sectors.
Of course, objective conditions have a great influence on the revolutionary struggle. But the decisive factor in the victory of the revolution lies not in objective conditions, but in how to strengthen the motive force of the revolution and how to raise its role. Whether in a developed capitalist country or an underdeveloped one, socialism can emerge victorious if the motive force of the revolution is strengthened and its role enhanced through efficient work. History shows that socialism first triumphed in relatively backward countries, not in the countries where capitalism had developed. The experience of our revolution, which has advanced under the banner of the Juche idea, shows that if we strengthen the motive force of the revolution and enhance its role, we can not only avail ourselves of the given objective conditions but also turn unfavourable objective conditions into favourable ones and ensure the victory of the revolution by turning a misfortune into a blessing.
The limitations of the preceding theory based on the materialist outlook on history have been revealed more clearly in the course of socialist construction since the establishment of the socialist system.
In general, the more a society develops, the greater the role played by the popular masses, the driving force of social movement, becomes. This is because their independent consciousness and creative ability increase with the development of society. The role of the popular masses as the driving force of social movement is raised to an unprecedented level in socialist society. Socialist society develops thanks to the creative power of the popular masses, who are armed with a high level of consciousness and are united as one. In socialist society, the transformation of man, his ideological remoulding, becomes a more important and primary task than that of creating the material and economic conditions of socialism. Only when precedence is given to the transformation of man, will it be possible to strengthen the driving force of the revolution and increase its role, and thus build socialism successfully. If the ideological remoulding of the popular masses is regarded as a matter of secondary importance and the work of strengthening the driving force of the revolution and enhancing its role is neglected in socialist society, while attaching decisive importance to the objective material and economic conditions and concentrating only on economic construction, the building of socialism as a whole cannot be carried out properly and economic construction itself cannot avoid stagnation. These practices were very apparent in some countries which had been building socialism in the past. Taking advantage of this, the renegades of socialism carried out “reforms” and committed counterrevolutionary acts, destroying the socialist economic system itself.
In the past, the founders of Marxism evolved socialist theory by putting the main stress on material and economic conditions. This is to do with the fact that it was regarded as an important historical task to disprove the bourgeois reactionary theory which consecrated capitalism and preached its “eternity”, while maintaining mysticism and fatalism. But now, the renegades of socialism are advocating the material-is-almighty doctrine and the economy-is-almighty doctrine in order to restore capitalism, of which they harbour illusions.
Putting socialism on a new scientific basis was regarded as a very urgent task, not only to overcome the historical limitations of the preceding theory of socialism, but also to defend socialism against all kinds of opportunist distortions and imperialist attacks.
The historical task of putting socialism on a new scientific basis was successfully solved by the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung, who created the Juche idea and, on this basis, evolved an original socialist theory. The respected Comrade Kim Il Sung discovered the philosophical principle that man is the master of everything and decides everything. He explained a new law which governs social movement, the movement of the motive force, and he thus put socialism on a new, scientific basis. The socialist and communist cause as clarified by the Juche idea is the cause of the popular masses for their complete independence. Socialism as scientifically systematized by the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung is man-centered socialism and socialism centred on the masses. Ours is a socialism where the popular masses are the masters of everything, where everything serves them, and which is developing through their united efforts. The Juche-orientated theory of socialism scientifically clarified the essence of socialism and the law governing its development, by placing man at the centre. On this basis, the theory explained that if the building of socialism is to succeed, a vigorous struggle must be waged to occupy the two fortresses of socialism and communism, the ideological and material fortresses, and that here, absolute precedence must be given to the struggle to take the ideological fortress.
The scientific accuracy and truth of the Juche-orientated theory of socialism have been proved by the practical experience of our revolution. Our people began to wage the struggle for socialism in the backward circumstances of a colonial semi-feudal society. They had to carry out the revolution and construction under unusually difficult circumstances. Despite this, our Party could successfully blaze the trail for socialism by constantly making its main task that of firmly uniting the popular masses around the Party and the leader, organizationally and ideologically, as required by the Juche idea, thus strengthening the driving force of the revolution and enhancing its role. our Party is increasing the political and ideological might of our revolution in every possible way by giving definite priority to the transformation of man, to ideological remoulding, in all work in the building of socialism, while at the same time, strengthening our self-reliant national economy and defence. As a result, it is vigorously advancing the revolution and construction without vacillation, even under the present complex circumstances. Practical experience clearly shows that our socialism, the embodiment of the Juche idea, is the most scientific and viable socialism.
Our socialism is based on the Juche-orientated view of and attitude to man.
The view of and attitude to man are the basic questions concerning what view and attitude one has in one’s understanding of the development of society and the revolution. They constitute the standard for the scientific character and validity of ideas and theories, and of lines and policies. The scientific character and truth of our socialism lies in the fact that it is based on the absolutely correct, Juche-orientated view of and attitude to man.
The Juche idea has given a scientific definition of man’s essential qualities, for the first time in history.
Understanding man’s essential qualities is not merely a matter of science but a socio-political issue which reflects class interests. Throughout history, serious philosophical arguments have taken place on this issue between progressive and reactionary classes.
The reactionary ruling classes and their mouthpieces distorted man’s essential qualities in the interests of the exploiting class in order to justify their exploitative society. Philosophical arguments on man’s essential qualities formerly boiled down to two dominant views; one regarded man as a spiritual being and the other considered him a material being. According to the religious, idealist view, which regards man as a purely spiritual being, man is a product of a certain supernatural, mysterious being and his destiny is also decided by the latter. By means of their religious idealist view of man, the reactionary ruling class and its spokesmen preached that the miserable lot of the working masses who suffered exploitation and oppression was their unavoidable fate and therefore, they had to submit to their predestined lot. The view which regards man as simply a natural, biological being makes it impossible to understand the qualitative difference between man, who acts purposefully and consciously under the regulation and control of consciousness, and a biological being which is governed by instinct. The reactionary ruling class and its spokesmen used this view to justify capitalist society, which is ruled by the law of the jungle. Having recourse to the reactionary viewpoint and attitude towards man, the renegades of socialism are restoring capitalism through the introduction of bourgeois liberalism and the capitalist market economy.
Man is neither a purely spiritual being nor a simple biological being. Man is a social being who lives and acts in social relationships. The fact that man is a social being is the major quality which distinguishes him from other biological beings.
Marxism defined man’s essential quality as the ensemble of social relations. This definition rendered a historic service by shattering the unscientific, reactionary view which regarded man as a purely spiritual being or a simple biological being. However, the definition of man’s essential quality as the sum total of social relations does not provide a comprehensive elucidation of man’s own essential qualities. Consequently, it cannot correctly explain the relations between man and the world, or the position and role of man in the world.
The Juche idea has, for the first time, found a scientific solution to the question of man’s own essential qualities. On this basis, it has thrown a new light on his position and role in the world.
In the past, too, many attempts were made to elucidate man’s essential qualities by dealing mainly with his own features, for example, attempts to define man as a speaking, working, or thinking being. These attempts, however, all dealt with some aspects of man’s actions, which are the expression of his essential qualities.
Man is a social being with independence, creativity and consciousness. Herein lie his essential qualities.
Independence is an attribute of social man, who wants to live and develop independently as the master of the world and his destiny, free from any fetters or restrictions. Creativity is an attribute of social man, who transforms the world and shapes his destiny purposefully and consciously in order to meet his needs. Consciousness is social man’s attribute. It regulates all his activities for understanding and transforming the world and himself. Independence and creativity are ensured by consciousness. Man is distinguished qualitatively from animals, which act instinctively, in that he conducts independent and creative activities with consciousness. The course of man’s activities is the process whereby he expresses his independence, creativity and consciousness. Independent, creative and conscious activities constitute man’s mode of existence.
Man as a social being with independence, creativity and consciousness is inconceivable outside his developed organism, especially his highly developed brain. His developed organism is the biological basis of his independence, creativity and consciousness. However, the organism itself does not give birth to independence, creativity or consciousness. Man’s independence, creativity and consciousness are social attributes which are formed and developed through a socio-historical process, where he acts in social relationships.
Because he has independence, creativity and consciousness, man can shape his destiny through his own efforts. The fate of a biological being depends on how it adapts itself to its objective environment. A biological being is a part of nature and its fate is decided by objective environments, so to speak. Unlike biological beings, man is the master and transformer of the world. He shapes his destiny on his own, by transforming the objective world to meet his needs. With the development of his independence, creativity and consciousness, man’s position and role as the master and transformer of the world are strengthened. This is expressed in his transformation of nature and society. As man’s independent ideological consciousness and creative ability develop and his role increases, social wealth increases and social relations improve. In historical development, each generation starts with the social wealth and social relations created by its predecessors, in other words, with the existing objective conditions, and uses these. These objective conditions have an important effect on social development, but these conditions themselves are the historical product of man’s independent, creative and conscious activities. They are also used and developed by man. Favourable as the existing objective conditions may be, if the independence, creativity and consciousness of man, who exploits and develops these conditions, are not high and brought into full play, society cannot develop quickly. Even if objective conditions are disadvantageous, society can rapidly develop when man’s independence, creativity and consciousness are high and put into full effect. This means that the historical process of social development is decided by the level of development and of mobilization of man’s independence, creativity and consciousness. For a long time, the exploited working masses wanted to live in an equitable, new society free from exploitation and oppression, but they could not fulfil their desire in the past because their independent ideological consciousness and creative ability were not high and their role was at a low level. Man transforms nature and society and develops history. With the rapid development of his independent ideological consciousness and the enhancement of his role, the development of society and history is promoted and the revolution and construction are successfully speeded up. The history of social development is, in the long run, the history of the development of man’s independence, creativity and consciousness, so to speak.
Because he is independent, creative and conscious, man is the most precious and powerful being. Man is the only master and remaker of the world. Nothing in the world is more precious or powerful than man.
However, bourgeois reactionaries do not regard man as the most precious being, but as a means for material production and an insignificant being who possesses only labour power, which is bought and sold as a commodity. They also consider him a powerless being dominated by money, not as a powerful being who shapes his destiny through his own efforts. The betrayers of socialism are restoring capitalism and eliminating all the popular policies established by socialism. They regard unemployment and poverty as means for pressurizing people, in order to force them to compete, and in order to increase labour intensity. They grovel at the feet of imperialists, expecting “aid” and “cooperation” from Western capitalist countries, instead of believing in the strength of their people. All this is due to their reactionary bourgeois view of man.
Man-centred socialism is based on Juche-orientated socio-historical principles, which provided a new scientific clarification of the law of socio-historical development, by focusing on man. Socialism centred on man is the most scientific socialism. It makes everything serve man and solves every problem by enhancing his creative role, based on the Juche-orientated view of and attitude to man. Our socialism champions and thoroughly ensures man’s independence, and quickly improves and gives full play to his ideological consciousness and creative ability in order to strengthen, as never before, the position and role of man as the master and transformer of the world, and to press on with the revolution and construction.
The Juche idea also newly clarified the essence and the value of man’s life.
When man is regarded as an organic body, his life means a physical life. However, he is not a being who only leads a physical life. The Juche idea indicated, for the first time in history, that a man has socio-political integrity, as well as a physical life. Physical life is a man’s life as an organic body, whereas socio-political integrity is a man’s life as a social being. Socio-political integrity is the life which is unique to man as a social being.
For a man, physical life is valuable. Only when he has a physical life, can he acquire socio-political integrity. In this sense, we can say that the material life which implements the demand for physical life is the life which implements his primary needs. As man is a social being who is different from a simple biological being, his demand for material life constantly increases as his independence, creativity and consciousness develop and as society develops. His material life affects his socio-political integrity. A stable and sound material life fully guarantees his demand for physical life, and at the same time, it constitutes a material guarantee for the maintenance and development of his socio-political integrity.
For a man, physical life is precious, but his socio-political integrity is more precious. It is the intrinsic need of man as a social being to value his socio-political integrity more than his physical life. If a man only seeks to satisfy his demand for physical life, and not his demand for a socio-political life, his life can never be an honourable one, no matter how affluent he is. Such a material life will be reduced to a deformed and abnormal life, no better than an animal life, and will run counter to man’s intrinsic nature.
Independence is the life and soul of man. Man, an independent social being, desires to live independently, free from any subordination or shackles. The fact that man lives independently means that he lives as the master of the world and of his own destiny, maintaining his position and exercising his rights as such. Only when man lives as a social being, exercising his right to independence and implementing his demand for independence, can he be said to enjoy a dignified life, maintaining socio-political integrity. If he loses his independence and is subordinated to others, he is as good as dead socially and politically, even though he is alive. Man’s desire to live independently is realized, first of all, through an independent political life. When man is subordinated socially and politically, he cannot lead any kind of independent life.
As socio-political integrity is man’s most precious life, a noble life for him is to maintain and exalt socio-political integrity. Man receives socio-political integrity from the social collective.
The social collective is the parent body of man’s socio-political integrity.
Therefore, the worth of man’s life depends on how he is connected with the social collective. Man’s life becomes noble when he is loved and trusted by the social collective; it is worthless when he is forsaken by it. Man enjoys the love and trust of the social collective when he considers the interests of the social collective to be dearer than those of individuals and when he faithfully serves the social collective. In the final analysis, the greatest value and worth of man’s life is to lead an independent and creative life, enjoying the love and trust of the social collective, while at the same time combining his own destiny with that of the social collective and serving it heart and soul. This is the way for man to enhance his socio-political integrity and lead a worthy human life as a social being.
Today, the bourgeois reactionaries and renegades of socialism regard the exploitation and domination of man by man as something normal and consider man as a base being who only pursues his own material desires. This clearly demonstrates the reactionary nature of the bourgeois viewpoint and attitude towards the essence and worth of man’s life.
True human life, which enables everyone to enhance their most precious socio-political integrity and fully meet the demands of their physical life, can only be realized admirably in a socialist society based on collectivism. In this society, people are free from all manner of exploitation and oppression, domination and subordination and can lead an independent and creative life in social, political and all other areas. In socialist society, we must organize people’s organizational and ideological life properly, as well as their cultural life, in order to enable them to lead an independent and creative life, with a high consciousness and an ability which befits the masters of society. People can make great contributions to society and the collective and lead a worthy life as proud members of society and the collective, only when they are fully equipped with an independent consciousness and have comprehensively developed creative ability, through their revolutionary organizational and ideological life and their moral and rich cultural life.
Our socialism is genuinely man-centred socialism. It regards man as most precious and fully meets his intrinsic requirements. It thus enables everyone to keep and greatly enhance their socio-political integrity. It also fully meets the demands of their physical life. Man-centred socialism enables all members of society to live in harmony, enjoying the love and trust of society and the collective, and to lead a completely noble and worthy life, while working devotedly for society and the collective with a high degree of consciousness and creative ability.
Our socialism is based on the Juche-orientated view of and attitude towards the masses of the people.
The truth and advantages of socialism are demonstrated in the people’s support of and trust in it. Now that our socialism is based on the Juche-orientated view of and attitude towards the masses of the people, it has become the most advantageous and powerful socialism and enjoys the people’s absolute support and trust.
The masses of the people are the motive force of history. The masses of the people means a united social community which centres on working people, due to their common demand for independence and creative activity.
The phrase “the masses of the people” assumes a class character in class society. An exploiter society is divided into the exploiter class and the exploited class, or the ruling class and the ruled class, depending on who owns the means of production and who controls state power. The exploited class, the ruled class, forms the majority of the masses of the people. The class structure of the masses of the people is not immutable. It changes as social history develops. In capitalist society, not only workers and peasants, but also working intellectuals and many other classes and strata which champion and struggle for independence, form the masses of the people. In socialist society, all people are transformed into socialist working people, so everyone is a member of the masses of the people. Of course, in socialist society, too, the manoeuvres of minor hostile elements continue and traitors may appear in the revolutionary ranks. Therefore, it is also necessary in socialist society to clearly distinguish between the masses of the people and elements hostile to them.
The phrase “the masses of the people” reflects a social and class relationship, but it is not merely a class concept. Naturally, the masses of the people consist of different classes and strata. In order to distinguish whether one is a member of the masses of the people or not, his social and class status should be considered, but this must not be regarded as absolute. Man’s ideas and behaviour are not subject solely to the influence of his social and class status. If he undergoes revolutionary influence and acquires progressive ideas, he can serve the masses of the people regardless of his social and class status. The basic criterion for deciding whether one is a member of the masses of the people or not is not one’s social and class origin, but one’s ideas. The ideological foundation on which to unite people from all walks of life into the masses of the people is not just the idea of socialism and communism. Anyone who loves the country, the people and the nation can serve the people and accordingly, is qualified to be a member of the masses of the people.
From such a point of view, at every stage of the revolution, the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung united everyone who was ideologically ready to serve the fatherland, the people and the nation into one revolutionary force, and he successfully carried out the revolution and construction. Our Party trusts people of different classes and strata who are interested in the revolution. It considers them everlasting companions, not chance fellow travellers, on the road to revolution, and it is leading them along the road to socialism and communism.
The class nature of the imperialists and reactionaries makes them antagonistic to the masses of the people. Accordingly, they are afraid of the word “people” itself. Frequently using the word “nation”, they try to cover the class confrontation and conflict of capitalist society. The traitors to socialism also try to disguise their anti-popular manoeuvres with the word ”citizen”. They purport to be building a “society for citizens”. It is true that one can often hear reactionaries and traitors hypocritically using the word “people”. But those hostile to the people, the betrayers of the people, cannot hide their anti-popular nature, just because they use the word “people”. “People” is a noble word that only those who are faithful to the people, can say proudly, the communists who fight and devote themselves wholly to the interests of the masses of the people.
The great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung regarded the people as “Heaven”, since his youth. He ensured that the country, the army, monuments and many noble and beautiful things in the country were named after the people. Because our socialism regards the people as such valuable beings, it has become a socialism centred on the masses, the most advantageous socialism which fully embodies the demand of the people for independence.
The masses of the people are the masters of everything in society. This is because everything in society is created by the masses of the people.
The popular masses possess the greatest creative power for transforming nature and society. An individual’s strength and wisdom are limited, but those of the popular masses are unlimited. If there is an omniscient and omnipotent being in this world, it is none other than the popular masses. By drawing on their unfathomable strength and wisdom, the masses create everything in society, they advance history and drive the revolution forward.
The popular masses transform nature, develop the productive forces and create material wealth. Of course, the capitalist class takes an interest in developing the productive forces in order to gain more profit, but capitalists do not create material wealth with their own hands .The masses create ideological and cultural wealth directly, and also produce progressive thinkers, prominent scientists and talented men of art and literature. The exploiter class also put forward their own ideological and cultural mouthpieces, but the ideas and culture they produce obstruct a moral social life and development. The masses transform society. The reactionary exploiter class is only interested in maintaining and consolidating the outmoded exploitative system, not in social transformation. The farce of “reform” staged by the ruling bourgeoisie is essentially aimed at extricating themselves from the crisis of capitalism. Social transformation on progressive lines can only be carried out by the awakened and united popular masses. Since everything in society is created by the masses, they must naturally be the masters of everything. Only in socialist society, where state power and the means of production belong to the people, can the masses be the real masters of everything in society.
Since they are the masters of everything in society, the popular masses must occupy the position of masters. They must exercise their rights, fulfil their responsibility and role as masters and enjoy a worthy and happy life as masters.
As they are the masters of everything in society, the popular masses must hold the position of masters and exercise their rights as such.
The popular masses’ desire for independence is to occupy the position of masters and exercise their rights as such. Independence is the lifeblood of the masses, and their independent status and right to independence are the basic conditions on which their destiny depends. As they are the masters of state and society, the popular masses must occupy the position of masters and exercise their rights as such in politics, the economy, culture and in all other fields of social life.
In order to thoroughly champion and implement the popular masses’ independence, it is necessary to formulate all lines and policies by making them reflect the masses’ desire for independence and carrying them out in reliance on the efforts of the masses.
The popular masses’ desire for independence is the criterion for judging the correctness of lines and policies. The only way to avoid subjectivism and tortuous events in the revolution and construction is to mix with the masses and listen to what they want. The masses are teachers of everything. The masses’ desire for independence, when integrated into a system, will become ideas, lines and policies. When formulating its lines and policies, the working-class party must always go among the masses and listen to their desires. In doing their work, officials must also begin by listening to the masses’ desires. Even in complex and difficult circumstances, our Party has been able to establish the best socialist system and develop it continuously, because it has laid down its lines and policies by going among the masses. It is also because it reflected the masses’ desire for independence in its policies and carried these out by relying on their efforts. This is the secret of the triumphant advance of socialism in our country, an advance which has been made along an absolutely scientific path, without the slightest deviation or setback.
In order to champion and realize independence for the popular masses, we must totally safeguard the independence of the country and nation.
Our Party’s consistent revolutionary principle is to achieve independence in politics, self-sufficiency in the economy and self-reliance in national defence. Our Party and our people have treasured the independence of the country and nation. They have thoroughly implemented the revolutionary principle of political independence, economic self-sufficiency and self-reliant national defence despite the pressure of the imperialists and dominationists. They have thus firmly safeguarded national sovereignty and dignity and continue to advance. They consistently adhere to their convictions and hold the socialist banner high.
The imperialists now violently interfere in other countries’ affairs and trample upon other nations’ sovereignty. They try to justify these acts under the excuse of “defence of human rights”. Human rights can not be conceived separately from the independence of countries and nations. Human rights can never be ensured for people who are dominated by foreign forces. Human rights are rights to independence which must be exercised by the people in the political, economic, ideological, cultural and all other spheres of social life. The “human rights” advertised by the imperialists are privileges of the rich, privileges to do anything on the strength of money. The imperialists do not recognize the right of unemployed people to work, or the right of orphans or people without support to eat and survive, for instance, as human rights. As they do not grant working people elementary rights to existence and as they pursue anti-popular policies and policies of racial and national discrimination and colonialism, the imperialists have no right to speak about human rights. The imperialists are the most heinous enemy of human rights. They violate the people’s right to independence and interfere in the internal affairs of other countries on the pretext of “defending human rights”. We will never tolerate any imperialist interference or arbitrariness aimed at infringing upon the sovereignty of our country and nation, which we will staunchly safeguard.
The popular masses, as the masters of everything in society, should fulfil their role and responsibilities.
Only then can they defend their position and rights as befitting masters. The revolution and construction are undertakings for the popular masses and are their own undertakings. They must be responsible for and must solve all problems arising in the revolution and construction through their own efforts.
In order to make the popular masses fulfil their responsibility and role as masters of everything in society, their consciousness as masters should be enhanced. To this end, priority should be given to ideological transformation and political work, over all other undertakings. This is an intrinsic requirement of socialist society. In socialist society, where the popular masses are the masters of state and society, the main driving force of social development is the high revolutionary enthusiasm and creative initiative of the masses, who are equipped with independent ideological consciousness and who are united rock-firm behind the Party and the leader. It is only when all members of society are transformed in a communist way and their revolutionary zeal and creative initiative are boosted by giving priority to ideological transformation and political work, that they can press on with the revolution and construction and fully demonstrate the advantages of socialism. In socialist construction, therefore, efforts must always be concentrated on educating the masses of the people and on boosting their revolutionary enthusiasm and creative activeness, by giving priority to ideological transformation and political work. There is no other master-stroke for propelling socialist construction than that of giving priority to ideological transformation and political work, in order to enhance the role of the masses. Trying to move a man by means of money contradicts the intrinsic nature of socialist society; the advantages of socialism cannot be demonstrated by that method. Such a capitalist method cannot enhance the people’s revolutionary enthusiasm or creative initiative and, worse still, it may degenerate the socialist system itself and throw it into jeopardy. By giving definite priority to ideological transformation and political work, our Party could dynamically advance the revolution and construction and display the advantages of socialism to the full, relying on the masses’ great revolutionary enthusiasm and creative initiative. The high revolutionary zeal and creative initiative of the popular masses, who are united firmly behind the Party and the leader, is the source of the strength on which our socialism centred on the masses can demonstrate its advantages and invincibility as the most scientific socialism.
In order to make the masses of the people fulfil their responsibility and role as the masters of everything in society, their creative strength should be cultivated. This is an important matter to which primary attention should always be given in the revolution and construction. As the popular masses create everything in society, the success of the revolution and construction depends on how to train the people into powerful beings. Training them into powerful beings means developing their creative ability along with their independent consciousness. In capitalist society, the popular masses’ demand to boundlessly develop as independent and creative beings cannot be realized properly. The imperialists and capitalists need slaves who produce surplus value and follow them obediently, not independent and creative people who have been brought to their independent consciousness and who are developed in many ways. That is why they resort to every possible means and method to degrade working people into slaves of capital, degenerating them ideologically and deforming their creative ability. The popular masses’ demand to develop into independent and creative beings can be fully realized only in socialist society. Our Party has established the most superior socialist education system and a system under which the entire population studies. It is running these at the expense of the state and society, and is thus brilliantly carrying out the task of bringing up all members of society as full-fledged builders of socialism and communism. As a result, our people are pressing on with socialist construction and they are solving every problem through their own efforts and wisdom under the banner of self-reliance even in an extremely difficult situation.
The masses of the people must enjoy a worthwhile and happy life as the masters of everything in society.
Material life occupies an important place in their worthwhile and happy life. It forms the basis of social life. As they are the masters of state and society in socialist society, the masses of the people should lead an affluent and civilized life. By stepping up economic construction, our Party has consolidated and developed the socialist economic system and built a powerful socialist and independent national economy. It has thereby laid solid foundations for satisfying the people’s material life through our own efforts. The potential of the independent national economy we have built up through self-reliance and fortitude is quite enormous; it is a valuable asset for providing a moral and stable material life for everyone. We must continuously invest great effort into the construction of the socialist economy, in order to further strengthen the country’s economic power and steadily improve our people’s standard of material life according to socialist demands.
What is essential for the masses in their worthwhile, happy life is to lead a dignified life, while adding lustre to their socio-political integrity and enjoying the love and trust of the social community.
Naturally, the people need to live such a life, but this is impossible in the exploiter society. The exploitation and oppression of man by man is incompatible with love for and trust in the people; there cannot be genuine love and trust between the exploiter and the exploited. In capitalist society, the personal value of man has been converted into an exchange value and is appraised by means of money and wealth. Here, love for and trust in the masses is inconceivable. The bourgeois reactionaries’ advocacy of love which transcends class is a crafty act to disguise the reactionary nature of the capitalist exploiting society and to pacify contradictions between classes. The preceding theory of the working class laid bare the reactionary nature of the hypocritical love which transcends class, advocated by the bourgeois reactionaries. It made clear that, in class society, love also assumes a class character. The fact that love assumes a class character does not mean that love and trust can be exchanged only between people of identical social and class status. The relationship of love and trust between people can be established between those who, despite the difference in their social and class status, fight together to defend the independence of the popular masses and who carry out creative activities together.
When the socialist system is established, class contradictions are eliminated and relationships between people are transformed from those of contradictions and mistrust into those of love and trust. In socialist society, love and trust flourish in the social community and between its members and among the individuals in society; they are demonstrated in the most sublime form between the leader and his men. When all members of society proudly maintain their socio-political integrity with the result that the leader and his men, and the Party and the people are all tied by love and trust and the whole of society has been transformed into socio-political organism, their life is the most worthwhile and beautiful life. The society that has realized this is a most solid and dynamic society.
Socialism centred on the masses fully embodies comradely unity and cooperation and the relationship of love and trust in all spheres of social life. It transforms politics into politics of love and trust. Love and trust constitute the essence of politics in socialist society, where the masses of the people have been transformed from objects of politics to the masters of politics. We call the politics of love and trust, benevolent politics. Although the imperialists embellish bourgeois politics and sling mud at socialist politics, clamouring about things like the “multi-party system” and “parliamentary democracy”, black cannot be made white. Bourgeois politics, as a plutocracy, are the harsh and crafty politics of oppression and plunder.
In order to realize genuinely benevolent politics in socialist society, a political leader who unfailingly loves the people must come forward.
A political leader of socialism should be a master in leadership but, first of all, he must be a man of virtue who loves the people boundlessly. This is simply because socialist politics is, in essence, benevolent politics. An incompetent political leader of socialism may bring about a delay in the development of socialist society, but one who has no virtue may betray the people and even lead socialism to ruin.
If the politics of love and trust are to be exercised in socialist society, the socialist party in power must be built into a motherly party.
The working-class party is the leading political organization of society; accordingly, the way the state organs and all other organizations in socialist society serve the people relates to how the party is built. Building the party as a motherly party is a prerequisite for making state organs and all other organizations in socialist society into servants of the people. Building the party as a motherly party means that the party should become a genuine guide and defender of the people, which takes meticulous care of the destiny of the popular masses under its charge, just as a mother deeply loves her children and looks after them warmly. In the past, the party was regarded mainly as a weapon in the class struggle. The working-class party should naturally wage class struggle; however, all Party activities must, to all intents and purposes, proceed from a boundless love for and trust in the people. It must give priority to defending the people’s interests and it must fight against those who violate their interests. Not a few parties lost the support and trust of the popular masses and came to an end in the long run. This is because they were not built as motherly parties which take warm care of the destiny of the people under their charge. They degenerated into bureaucratic parties which wielded power and abused their authority.
If the socialist ruling party is to be built as a motherly party, all cadres and party members should be educated in the spirit of boundless love and sincere service for the people.
In order to sincerely serve the people, one must first think of the people before oneself and regard the pleasure and pain of the people as one’s own. Loyal service to the people is a communist’s sacred duty. Herein lies the true value of communist’s life. A man who works for the revolution enters the working-class party not for his self-interest, fame or authority, but to serve the people more faithfully. Those who undergo hardship before anybody else, and put it before pleasure, and who take charge of difficult tasks on their own, while giving credit for success to others – they are the true communists and members of the working-class party. In order to bring up those party members, ideological education should be intensified among them so that they serve the people devotedly.
It is important while building the socialist ruling party as a motherly party to thoroughly transform the cadres in a revolutionary fashion and to actively struggle against the abuse of power, bureaucracy, irregularities and corruption among them, which are the main factors that obstruct the implementation of benevolent politics in socialist society. Socialism is opposed to all privileges. With the establishment of the socialist system, the privileged class disappears. As long as the people possess state power and the means of production, the privileged class cannot come into being in socialist society. But if a struggle is not waged against the abuse of power, bureaucracy, irregularities and corruption in socialist society, some ill-prepared cadres can deteriorate ideologically and become divorced from the masses, and thus grow into a privileged class. However good the policies pursued by the party and state may be, they cannot be carried out properly if the cadres resort to abuse of power and to bureaucracy, because all policies of the party and state are implemented through the cadres. If the cadres exercise privileged power, act bureaucratically and indulge in irregularities and corruption, the socialist party in power will lose the support and confidence of masses and, without their support, the party cannot maintain its existence. The historical lesson shows that it is tantamount to digging its own grave for the socialist ruling party to tolerate the abuse of power bureaucracy, irregularities or corruption among the cadres.
Our Party saw through the danger of the deviations that could manifest themselves in a ruling party early on, and it has tirelessly struggled against them. Under the Party’s slogan, “We serve the people!”, our cadres are now faithfully serving the people as their servants. But we cannot in the least neglect struggle against the abuse of power, bureaucracy, irregularities and corruption, because they are rooted in the vestiges of outdated ideas, and because the imperialists continue their schemes of ideological and cultural infiltration in order to implant anachronistic ideas in our country. We should continue to vigorously wage educational work and an ideological struggle among cadres to root out these deviations.
Our Party’s politics are characterized by love and trust and are benevolent politics. They constitute the basic factor that defines our socialism’s advantages and invincibility. Thanks to the benevolent politics of the Party and the leader, our people enjoy a most worthwhile and dignified life. Their noble socio-political integrity is enhanced under our own style of socialist system, which is centred on the popular masses. It is a true feature of our society that all its members form a large harmonious family. They trust, love and help each other, and enjoy a worthwhile and happy life together.
In our country, everyone regards and supports the leader as they would their own father. They trust and follow the Party, regarding its embrace as that of their own mother. The leader, the Party and the people form one socio-political organism, and share the same destiny. The whole of society overflows with communist morality. For instance, one devotes one’s own life without hesitation to save one’s revolutionary comrade from danger, and young men and women become life companions of honourably disabled soldiers and take warm care of orphans and old people without support, as they would their own relations. This is a proud result of the benevolent politics of our Party.
The vitality of the benevolent politics of our Party finds expression not only in our people’s noble spiritual and moral traits, but also in their upright and equitable material and cultural life, which improves as the days go by. All our people are free from worries about food, clothing and housing. They continue to learn throughout their whole life and enjoy long lives in good health, thanks to free and compulsory education and free medical care. In our country, the state provides stable jobs for all able-bodied working people. It looks after the whole population under its responsibility and even takes warm care of those who have temporarily lost the ability to work, those without this ability and old people without support. Aged revolutionaries and war veterans, honourably disabled soldiers and meritorious people enjoy their worthwhile life under the state’s care, held in the people’s high esteem and love.
The younger generation is basking in the great benefits of the Party’s benevolent politics. They are successors to the revolution, and the future of our country and nation. The future of the revolution and the destiny of the country and nation depend on how they are brought up. Therefore, their upbringing cannot be the sole responsibility of their parents. In capitalist society, where the future of the younger generation depends on their parents’ purse, they cannot avoid falling victim to social inequality and social evils. Due to the aggression and intervention of the imperialists and the plunder of the exploiter class, many of the young generation throughout the world lose their lives or are maimed by war, social conflict, disease and hunger or they wander about the streets, committing crimes and degenerating. By contrast, in our socialist society with its benevolent politics, the state brings up all the younger generation. Our Party and state accord them the warmest love and solicitude. In our country, they study to their hearts’ content under the best ll-year universal compulsory education system, and are supplied with school uniforms and school things by the state. Thanks to the warmest love and care of the Party and the leader, the state and society, our younger generation is growing up happily without envying anyone.
All the popular policies enforced in our country today prove the superiority of our own style of socialist system, which is centred on popular masses. These policies emanate from the noble love of the Party and the leader for the people. Benevolent politics is the traditional method. Its historical root had already been created by the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung in the days of the anti-Japanese revolution and was further deepened and developed by him as the revolution and construction advanced.
The respected leader Comrade Kim Il Sung was the benevolent father of our people, who cherished the warmest love for them. Under the motto, “The people are my god”, which he adopted when he was young, Comrade Kim Il Sung mixed with people, shared weal and woe with them and devoted his all for them, throughout his life. Because it held the respected Comrade Kim Il Sung, who was endowed with the noble virtue of boundless love for the people, as its leader, our country could record a brilliant history of genuine politics for the people, benevolent politics. Our Party continues to carry forward the brilliant traditions of benevolent politics established by the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung. Our Party’s benevolent politics are politics of extensive love and trust; the Party loves and trusts people from all areas of society, without discrimination. In this sense, we call our Party’s benevolent politics all-embracing politics. They are politics of invariable love and trust. Our Party is responsible for everyone’s socio-political integrity and guides this. Even when a man has committed an error, our Party does not put him in the cold but re-educates him, to lead him onto the right track. It shows constant care for him, so that he will exalt his socio-political integrity to the last.
The noble love and trust shown by our leader and Party for the people have produced unfailing loyalty to the Party and the leader from the people. Our people have been well-known since olden times as a diligent and courageous people with a strong sense of justice, a noble sense of obligation and a high sense of decorum. Our people’s fine traits now flourish and develop in every respect, based on new spiritual and moral qualities. Our people are deeply grateful to the Party and the leader for their benevolent politics and work heart and soul to repay the favour with loyalty. Our people’s loyalty to the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung is shown on a nobler plane today, after they suddenly lost their fatherly leader. It is our people’s unshakable will to loyally uphold the respected Comrade Kim Il Sung forever as the leader of our Party and revolution. Under the leadership of the Party, our people are working with redoubled efforts to win fresh victories, true to the behests of their fatherly leader Comrade Kim Il Sung. No other people are equipped with such noble spiritual and moral qualities as ours. They are unfailingly loyal to the Party and the leader, and work devotedly for their country, society and the collective. We take great pride in having such excellent people. For our Party to have trained ours into such an excellent people is its great achievement and a brilliant victory for its benevolent politics.
Our Party’s benevolent politics are the source of the single-hearted unity of the leader, the Party and the people. The single-hearted unity of the leader, Party and people, based on love and loyalty, is the most solid unity, and our own style of socialism, rooted in this single-hearted unity, is ever-victorious.
People throughout the world express their great admiration for our socialism, saying that it is the most ideal socialism. This is because our socialism is genuine socialism centred on the popular masses, which fully applies the principles of love for and trust in the people.
The reason why our own style of socialism, centred on the popular masses, is an invincible socialism which enjoys their full support and trust is that here, the popular masses maintain their position and exercise their rights as the masters of the state and society. They discharge their responsibilities, play their role as the masters and lead a worthwhile and happy life in such a capacity.
Our Party will invariably and fully pursue genuine politics for the people, benevolent politics which regards the popular masses, the masters of everything in society, as supreme beings and bestows everlasting love and trust on them. Our Party and people are faced with the heavy yet honourable task of carrying forward and consummating through generations, the socialist cause of Juche which was initiated and led by the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung. As it has always won victories in the past by believing in and relying on the people, so too in the future, our Party will accomplish the socialist cause of Juche by believing in and relying on them.
Man-centred socialism, socialism centred on the popular masse, is absolutely scientific, and the most advantageous and powerful socialism. For its scientific accuracy and truth, socialism is sure to be victorious.