In defense of scientific socialism
– an immortal work of historic significance
The 20th century saw two international movements for liberation: the working class movement against capitalist exploitation for social liberation and the movement of the oppressed peoples against colonialism and imperialism for national liberation. The unity of these two movements brought historic victories to the world peoples during the first half of the century and led to the establishment of a considerable number of socialist countries.
However, towards the end of the century this progressive trend in world development was reversed when several countries abandoned the socialist road of development and the socialist ideals of class and national liberation, and restored capitalism, of which they harboured illusions. That was a severe backlash in the global peoples’ struggle for independence and for a just and peaceful world.
One country that did not succumb to this reverse tendency, but defiantly and proudly kept the banner of socialism high, was the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea under the leadership of the great leader President Kim Il Sung and the supreme leader General Kim Jong Il.
The latter in several documents explained the tragedy of the world socialist movement and drew important conclusions, relevant not only for the Workers’ Party of Korea, but for progressive people all over the world. One outstanding document was his treatise Socialism is a Science, published by the Rodong Sinmun, organ of the Central Committee of theWorkers’ Party of Korea, on November 1, 1994, where he stated:
“The crumbling of socialism in various countries does not mean the failure of socialism as a science, but the bankruptcy of opportunism which has corrupted socialism.”
He then went on to explain the traits of socialism and of the Korean style of socialist system, as well as some reasons for the setback of socialism in some countries.
Essential in his description of socialism is its revolutionary class character, its collectivism, its focus on the masses of the people, and the emphasis on the need to constantly strengthen the motive force of the revolution and enhancing its role. Material progress,the development of the productive forces and economic construction, although essential, is not the fundamental thing. A high level of consciousness and unity are the necessary prerequisites for people’s power and for the development of socialist society.
Resisting the pressure of imperialists and dominationists, the Workers’ Party of Korea and the people of the DPRK follow the road of political independence, economic self-sufficiency and self-reliant military defence.Even if objective conditions are disadvantageous, society can rapidly develop when man’s independence, creativity and consciousness are high and put into full effect, he pointed out.
An essential trait in Korean socialism is the relationship of love and trust, comradely unity,mutual helpand cooperation between its members. The leader, the Party and the people thus become like a large harmonious family with the motherly party caring about all people.
The Party,in order to fulfil its role,must mix with the masses and listen to what they want.All cadres and party members must be trained in the spirit of boundless love and sincere service to the people.
“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 its cadres.”
While dismissing reformist and revisionist ideas about “class cooperation”, he pointed out that man’s ideas and behaviour are not subject solely to the influence of his social and class status, and that a person’s social and class status must not be regarded as absolute.
“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. […] 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 is leading them along the road to socialism and communism.”
Today, a quarter of a century after this treatise was published, it is still highly relevant. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has made remarkable progress and is a solid fortress in the world peoples’ struggle for independence against imperialism.The Korean Workers’ Party and people, under the leadership of Chairman Kim Jong Un, are forcefully proceeding along the road they themselveshave chosen, building their unique form of scientific socialism, a precious gift to mankind.
Christer Lundgren, Chairman of the Swedish-Korean Friendship Association.