Nils O Mollberg (Swe)

Socialism is a science – introduction and analysis

Socialism is a science was published on November 1 in Rodong Sinmun, the daily paper of the Workers Party of Korea.This work was of great importance as it summarizes some of the basic principles on which Korean socialism is based. The work was published during a difficult time in the history of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The Soviet Union’s dissolution and transition to capitalism in 1991 deprived the country of an important trading partner and in 1994 the great leader Kim Il Sung passed away. In the capitalist world, it was assumed that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would return to capitalism when the great leader Kim Il Sung no longer led the country. But these hopes on the part of the reaction were shattered. In ”Socialism is a Science” Kim Jong Il explains the basic principles on which Korean socialism is based. The work is also an ideological defense of socialism and an attack on those who have abused and corrupted socialism for their own sake.

In ”Socialism is a Science” Comrade Kim Jong Il further develops the Marxist theory and explains the place of man as a creator, a creative being who strives for independence. The failures of the real-socialist countries are also analyzed to highlight the differences between this corrupt socialism and Korean socialism.

When Marxist theory developed as a science in the 19th century, for the first time, scientific revolutionary theory was formed that set the liberation of the people as its goal. But at the same time, there were some limitations in the materialistic view where the victory of socialism was seen as inevitable on the basis of material factors, which led to an underestimation of the role of ideological development. Furthermore, many viewed the people’s struggle for independence and socialism as completed through the victory of the revolution and the ideological struggle was thus over. Instead of developing the working class into an ideologically trained ruling class, the focus was on technology and industrial development.

When the people were not schooled ideologically, a space was created for the degeneration of socialism which in turn led to these parties losing the support of the people. Therefore, the ideological struggle and education must be in the first room to defend socialism. At the same time, the working class party must actively counteract abuse of power, bureaucracy, irregularities and corruption among its cadres. In the Soviet Union such tendencies grew and an ideologically dilapidated party elite came to abuse its power, lose the support of the people and thereby undermine socialism. Kim Jong Il wrote:

”Our Party saw through the danger of the dviations 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 caders are now faithfully serving the people as their servants. But we cannot in the least neglect the 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 vage educational work and ideological struggle among caders to root out these deviations.”

The fight against bureaucracy, corruption and abuse of power that Kim Jong Il describes is only possible if the masses of the people are ideologically trained and are the real masters of society and the revolution. If the masses of the people are to be the masters of society and the revolution, then man’s place in the world and society must be understood in a scientifically correct way.

Man is a biological being, but unlike animals, we are not guided by our instincts or helpless in relation to our world. Man has a unique ability to

transform the world according to his own will, to adapt the world to his own needs. By reshaping the world, man behaves both as a creative and independent being guided, not by instincts, but by his consciousness and the choices he makes. But man does not live in isolation, man is a distinct social and political being. Therefore, it is natural for man to create societies. When we are born, we will therefore be part of a society created by previous generations, a historical process that we ourselves become part of. Since it is man who creates society, she can change it in a conscious, independent way only if her ideological understanding of it exists. Therefore, ideological understanding is a prerequisite for the struggle for an independent and social life, for socialism.

By reshaping society, man can achieve real freedom in the socialist society. In the socialist society, the individual is part of a collective that is driven by an ideological conviction towards a common goal. Through socialism, the good qualities of man can be fully expressed and she can become the true master of society and nature. In the socialist society, man is not reduced to a tool for economic gain or to become a slave under the will of others. In the socialist society, the needs and wants of the masses of the people are put at the center.

In order to realize human-centered socialism, the working class party must be an integral part of the people, only with the popular masses as a basis can socialism be realized and defended. By being part of the masses of the people, the ties between the masses of the people, the party and the leader are strengthened. The party and the leader depends on the support of the masses of the people, and the masses of the people depend on the party and the leader’s guidance. In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, socialism has continued to evolve on these grounds and a monolithic consensus has emerged. Comrade Kim Jong Il wrote:

”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.”

The value of a theory can only be measured by contrasting it to reality. The revisionist and reactionary nature of distorted socialism in the Soviet Union was expressed in betrayal of socialism and a return to capitalism. Instead, in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, socialist development continues victorious and successful. Dear leader Comrade Kim Jong Il’s work ”Socialism is a science” explains the theoretical foundations for this development and is thus a significant contribution to Marxist theory.

Kim Jong Il’s significant work ”Socialism is a Science” was written as a polemic against those who felt that socialism through the fall of the Soviet Union proved to be erroneous and outdated. But the ideas that Comrade Kim Jong Il brings forth are universally valid and do not only have significance for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or former Soviet states.

In his work, Comrade Kim Jong Il emphasizes the crucial importance of ideological struggle for the development of society. Comrade Kim Jong Il writes:

“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.”

The necessity of the ideological struggle becomes evident if we look at the development of today’s capitalist societies. Capitalist society has

strengthened class contradictions and led to huge and growing class divisions. People have been reduced to goods to buy and sell, human is seen as a tools for profit maximization. Around the world, dissatisfaction grows among the broad layers of the population. But instead of directing this anger towards the capitalist system, a reactionary nationalism has been strengthened, a nationalism aimed at concealing the real contradictions and putting workers against workers. Kim Jong Il described this strategy with the enemies of socialism in the following words:

“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 maneuvers 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 nobel 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.”

With the strengthened contradictions within capitalism and the continuing of the capitalist crisis, the hypocritical parties that said they were fighting for the masses of people were also revealed. The reformist social democracy has lost its support in more and more countries as it has become clear that it is only intended to preserve capitalism and that it is unable to fulfill human needs. Comrade Kim Jong Il wrote:

”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.”

Through its lack of ideology and illusions in capitalism, the Social Democratic parties became a brake on historical development. By pursuing an anti-popular liberal policy in the name of socialism, it has caused enormous damage to the struggle for real socialism and independence. In order to resurrect the people’s struggle for freedom, independence and dignity, to realize the historical task of the working class and other oppressed classes, the ideological struggle for socialism must prevail. Only when the ideological understanding is there can the masses of the people become masters of the revolution and liberate themselves, only then can we build a socialist society.

Nils O Mollberg, Chairman of the Swedish group for the study of the Juche Idea

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