A progressive idea plays an important role in socio-historical progress. When the popular masses are guided by a progressive idea, they can be a powerful creator of history. Of course, it does not mean that all progressive ideas play the same role in socio-historical development. Their role is different according to how they represent the aspirations and interests of the popular masses and how correctly they show the path which must be followed in struggle. There were ideas which reflected the aspirations of progressive classes of society even before the emergence of the working class. But due to their historical and class limitations the trends of thought in the past age could not but be hampered in the role they played in social development. The revolutionary ideas of the working class alone can correctly reflect the demands of the time and the aspirations of the popular masses and give a powerful stimulus to socio-historical development by inspiring the people to wage the revolutionary struggle. The revolutionary ideas of the working class are originated by distinguished leaders.
It can be said that the history of the communist movement spanning a hundred and scores of years is a history of working-class leaders creating and developing revolutionary ideas, a history in which these ideas have been applied to transform the world. In the mid-19th century Marx and Engels propounded Marxism. Thus they highlighted the historical mission and a path of liberation that had to be followed by the working class that appeared on the arena of struggle and stimulated the fight against capital, ushering in the rise of the international communist movement. Lenin developed Marxism and advanced Leninism in accordance with the new historical conditions whereby capitalism had entered the phase of imperialism, with the result that he inspired the working class and the rest of the people to the struggle to destroy imperialist strongholds and to achieve freedom and liberation. This marked the beginning of transition from capitalism to socialism. Our leader created the great Juche idea after acquiring a deep insight into the requirements of a new era when the oppressed and humiliated masses of the people became masters of their own destiny. Thus he developed their struggle for independence onto a higher plane and opened up the age of Juche, a new era in the development of human history. The revolutionary idea of the working class emerges as the reflection of the mature demand of history and the revolution in their development. When the leader embarked on the road of revolution, a new development was taking place in the struggle of the working class and the popular masses against exploitation and oppression. On the world arena, the influence of socialism, which had won its first victory, grew strong, and the revolutionary struggle of the working class and the liberation struggle of the peoples in colonies and semi-colonies were intensified sharply. In an attempt to stop the revolutionary advance of the masses and weather the serious political and economic crises they were passing through, the imperialists further increased their plunder and oppression of the people. In many countries contradictions and antagonism between revolution and counterrevolution were intensified, and the masses of the people whose sovereign rights had been trampled down for a long time rose up in a struggle for their class and national liberation. A new age was approaching, in which the revolutionary movement made progress in a broad and diversified way on a worldwide scale. In order to advance the revolution under the new historical conditions, the working class and the people of every country, conscious of being the masters, had to solve all problems in accordance with their actual situation. In our country, this was a particularly important matter because of the peculiarities of historical development and the complexity and arduousness of the revolution. The Korean revolution demanded more urgently that the popular masses hew out the path of revolution in an independent and creative manner. The Juche idea was created on the basis of such a practical requirement of the Korean revolution.
The revolution is a struggle to meet the masses’ desire for independence by enlisting their strength. It is a struggle of the masses to free themselves. When they are armed with the revolutionary idea and united into an organized political force, the masses can emerge victorious in the revolution. The duty of revolutionaries is to go among the popular masses, masters of the revolution, to educate, organize, and inspire them to a struggle. The revolutionary forces, too, should be trained from among the masses, and all problems arising in the revolutionary struggle should likewise be resolved in reliance on their wisdom and strength. However, the communists and nationalists who were allegedly engaged in the national-liberation movement in our country in the 1920s gave no thought to the need to go among the masses to educate, organize, and arouse them into waging a revolutionary struggle. But divorced from the masses they were only engrossed in the scramble for hegemony and empty talks. They did not unite the masses but divided them by factional strife. In the first years of his revolutionary struggle, the leader saw through their mistakes and took a road different from theirs, the genuinely revolutionary road which led him to be among the masses and to rely on them in the struggle. He elucidated the truth that the masters of the revolution are the masses of the people and that when one goes among them to educate and mobilize them one will be able to register victory in the revolution. This is one of the starting points of the Juche idea. The revolution in each country should be carried out responsibly by its own people, the masters, in an independent manner, and in a creative way suitable to its specific conditions. Independence and creativeness are the inherent requirements of a revolutionary movement, the communist movement.
The Korean revolution which opened the age of Juche could not advance even a step forward unless it was conducted in an independent and creative way from the start. It was a difficult and complex revolution which had to deal with the tasks of the anti-imperialist, national-liberation revolution, with formidable Japanese imperialism as the target, and those of the anti-feudal, democratic revolution simultaneously. It was an arduous revolution which had to hew out an untrodden path. What is worse, a strong tendency towards flunkeyism appeared in those days within our anti-Japanese national-liberation movement and communist movement to hamper the advance of the revolution. The nationalists and self-styled Marxists followed the evil practices of flunkeyism and factional strife which had resulted in the country’s ruin in the past. They did not try to carry out the revolution by their own initiative but dreamed of achieving independence by depending on foreign forces. At that time, those who were allegedly engaged in the communist movement formed their own party groups and called frequently at the Comintern to gain its recognition. And they endeavoured to imitate mechanically established theories and experience of others, without taking into consideration the historical conditions and specific realities in our country where a colonial and semi-feudal society was in existence. In this way, flunkeyism and dogmatism were very serious obstacles in the way of revolution. Drawing on serious lessons derived from such flunkeyism and dogmatism, the leader clarified the truth that a revolution should be carried out not by anyone’s approval or instruction but by one’s own conviction and on one’s own responsibility and that all problems arising in the revolution should be solved in an independent and creative way. This is another starting point of the Juche idea. As stated previously, the leader advanced the Juche idea, a new revolutionary idea, on the basis of practical experience and lessons gained in the revolutionary struggle.
The leader has conducted ideological and theoretical activities invariably based on the revolutionary practice, and developed and enriched the revolutionary idea and theories in the course of giving answers to problems arising in the revolutionary practice. Only on the basis of revolutionary practice can one apply existing theories in accordance with the interests of the revolution and actual conditions in one’s own country and search for new truths and create new ideas and theories. In his early years of revolutionary activities, the leader was well versed in Marxism-Leninism. But he did not confine himself to applying Marxism-Leninism to the Korean revolution but pioneered a new phase of revolutionary theory from a steadfast Juche-based standpoint and resolved the problems arising in the revolutionary practice from a unique angle. The leader discovered the truth of the Juche idea in the course of the struggle against bigoted nationalists and bogus Marxists, flunkeyists and dogmatists, while hewing out a new path for the revolution. Finally, he explained the principles of the Juche idea at the Meeting of Leading Personnel of the Young Communist League and the Anti-Imperialist Youth League held at Kalun in June 1930 and put forward a Juche-oriented line for the Korean revolution. This was a historical event which heralded the creation of the Juche idea and the birth of the Juche-oriented revolutionary line. At the time of disorder when national reformism, “Left” and Right opportunism and all other unsound ideas were prevailing, the leader still in his teens gained an insight into the trend of the times, the desire of the people and the law of historical development, expounded the truth of Juche and thus opened the road of independent development for our revolution. The Juche idea has been perfected as the guiding idea of revolution in our age in the practice of the Korean revolution.
The guiding idea of revolution cannot be made perfect by one effort at a moment. It emerges through the generalization of experience in the revolutionary struggle, on the basis of the conditions of the times and history; it becomes perfect as an integrated ideological and theoretical system when its truthfulness is verified and its content is enriched during the protracted struggle. The leader led to victory the revolutionary struggles at different stages and the work in all fields of politics, the economy, culture and military affairs. In this course, he himself gained a wealth of precious experience and generalized it to steadily develop the Juche idea in a profound manner. The history of the leader who has led the arduous Korean revolution for more than 50 years, is a history in which he created the Juche idea and perfected it as a unique ideological and theoretical system in the great revolutionary practice. As stated previously, the Juche idea emerged on the basis of the requirements of a new age when the masses of the people appeared as the masters of history and of a rich experience gained in the revolutionary struggle. So it has become the great guiding idea of revolution in our age.
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