The article included is very well written. I agree with every single point and it would be pointless to comment much because I essentially would repeat the article. The author brought up many points that are important but often overlooked and tied them together.
Originally posted in the North American Juche-Songun Ideas Study Group
- There is much ignorance among Americans of where Juche is situated on the political spectrum, even amongst Communists very few understand the Juche positions on various important matters such as the role of Stalin, the Sino-Soviet split, post-1976 China, anti-imperialism in the Third World etc….and so this article will try to address the subject of Juche’s position within the international communist movement in brief.
- The Great Leader Comrade Kim Il Sung began his political career first and foremost as a Marxist-Leninist, he studied, admired and followed the ideas of Marx, Lenin and Stalin as the sole way for oppressed peoples to achieve liberation. Juche was created originally as a Korean application of ML to their own conditions much as Maoism began as an application of ML to China. Looking at the period pre-death of Stalin in 1953, Juche and Maoism were nearly identical, not a shock as China and Korea were both backward, feudal, colonial societies, in that both shared the concept of a transition state before socialism (new/national democracy) the innovation of a revolutionary peasantry, the necessity of people’s war to achieve revolution, the need for patriotism and defence of national integrity, self-reliance in the struggle and not depending on foreign parties or nations, and upholding the USSR as the first and leading socialist nation under Comrade Stalin.
- After the passing of Comrade Stalin and the rise to power of the revisionist clique, Kim Il Sung and the DPRK stood with China and all other anti-revisionist forces in opposing Khruschov’s betrayal of socialism, his abandonment of proletarian dictatorship, his peaceful-coexistence nonsense rejection of class war, and his attempts to dominate and lord over other socialist nations.To this day the DPRK preserves the great memory of Joseph Stalin and considers the fall of the USSR to be a result of revisionism.
- However, beginning circa 1966, China and Korea began to diverge widely. Although both nations opposed the USSR as a revisionist nation, the Juche belief that each nation’s party has final say over their own nation’s matters led the Koreans to consider that the ultimate responsibly of defeating Russian revisionism rested solely upon the shoes of the Russian people alone. For geopolitical reasons Korea needed to remain allied to Russia to oppose the still menacing US imperialists who occupied the southern half of their nation; Korea’s line can be summed up then as opposition to Soviet revisionism domestically but support for the USSR internationally against imperialism. Mao and China took a different view, viewing the USSR as an enemy nation equal to the US and hence began to have strike with the Koreans who had remained Russian allies. Looking back on all this, one can clearly see that the Korean line was correct. While the revisionists did sell out their country ultimately to imperialism, from the point of view of class struggle the primary contradiction always was between the proletariat and capitalism with the US as the main capitalist power; any contradiction with the USSR was then secondary to the global anti-US struggle. Mao’s line of equal opposition to the US and Russia isolated him at first and led to his eventual reconciliation with US imperialism in the 1970s and his support for imperialist puppets who murdered communists in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.
- Furthermore, Kim Il Sung opposed China’s Cultural Revolution. While the Koreans do in fact accept Mao’s premise that a bourgeoisie can arise within a revolutionary Party holding state power, and hence the necessity of a strong ideological mass-movement to counter it as well as enforcing that the Party cadre are never isolated from the people and are made to work with them, Korea was not in a position (due to the ever present threat of the resumption of the Korean War by the US) to throw itself into mass internal upheaval the way China did and it viewed the Chinese effort as premature due to the need to build a united society for defence against imperialist invasions. In this, Kim Il Sung’s line was akin to those of Liu Shaoqi or Peng Dehui in China. The Koreans viewed some of the actions of the Chinese Red Guards as veering towards ultra-leftism and anarchism because of the lack of Party-led discipline in China at this time; in turn some Chinese began attacking the DPRK and calling for its’ overthrow. Relations were quite bad between China and Korea for a couple of years in the late 60s but ultimately cooler heads in China, led by Mao to his credit, suppressed the extremists and relations were friendly once again and remained so throughout the final period of Mao’s life.
- With the mutual opposition to both rightist Soviet revisionism and leftist Maoism, Juche can thus be seen as a centrist ideology much as Stalin was also a centrist between Trotsky and Bukharin. During the 60s and 70s Kim Il Sung began promoting Juche as the correct ideology for revolution, as it was based on national self-reliance a Juche nation would not become entrapped by social imperialism nor would it abandon the global anti-imperialist fight. As only the people of a nation can determine what the revolutionary idea will be for that nation, Juche Korea never attempted to dictate to others in the manner that Russia and China did, and Korea thus built great relations with nationalist-socialist leaders such as Nasser in Egypt, Kadhafi in Libya, the Ba’ath party in Syria and Iraq, and the Islamic revolution led by Imam Khomeini in Iran, seeing all these forces as the genuine expression of the people’s revolutionary will.
- Now to discuss post-Mao China and the emergence of Dengist “market socialism”, the Koreans oppose Dengism in their country and refuse to “open up”, but as with everything else see Dengism as a matter for the Chinese communist party to resolve and continue to have good friendly relations with China. In several official publications, the DPRK has referred to China as revisionist and would obviously prefer that China returns to the socialist path, however they are understanding of the fact that Dengism arose due to the low level of productive forces within China and the need for development. China need not have adopted markets, had it gone on the self-reliant way or improved relations with the USSR, but again that is a matter for the Chinese people to deal with by themselves.
- As Juche-idea followers, it is our duty to support all nations that are truly independent of imperialism, are contra-USA, and are ruled by a government that reflects the national culture and tradition as well as the people’s wishes.