KIM IL SUNG

ON ELIMINATING DOGMATISM AND FORMALISM AND ESTABLISHING

JUCHE IN IDEOLOGICAL WORK

Speech to Party Information and Motivation Workers

December 28, 1955

 

Today I want to address a few remarks to you on the shortcomings in our Party’s ideological work and on how to eliminate them in the future.

As you learned at yesterday’s session, there have been serious ideological errors on the literary front. It is obvious, then, that our information work also cannot have been faultless.

It is to be regretted that it suffers in many respects from dogmatism and formalism.

The principal shortcomings in ideological work are the failure to delve deeply into all matters and the lack of Juche. It may not be correct to say Juche is lacking, but, in fact, it has not yet been firmly established. This is a serious matter. We must thoroughly rectify this shortcoming. Unless this problem is solved, we cannot hope for good results in ideological work.

Why does our ideological work suffer from dogmatism and formalism? Why do our information and motivation workers only embellish the facade and fail to go deeply into matters, and why do they merely copy and memorize things foreign, instead of working creatively? This offers us food for serious reflection.

What is Juche in our Party’s ideological work? What are we doing? We are not engaged in any other country’s revolution, but solely in the Korean revolution. This, the Korean revolution, determines the essence of Juche in the ideological work of our Party. Therefore, all ideological work must be subordinated to the interests of the Korean revolution. When we study the history of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the history of the Chinese revolution, or the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism, it is entirely for the purpose of correctly carrying out our own revolution.

By saying that the ideological work of our Party is lacking in Juche, I do not mean, of course, that we have not made the revolution and that our revolutionary work was undertaken by outsiders. Nonetheless, Juche has not been firmly established in ideological work, and this leads to dogmatic and formalistic errors and does much harm to our revolutionary cause.

To make revolution in Korea we must know Korean history and geography as well as the customs of the Korean people. Only then is it possible to educate our people in a way that suits them and to inspire in them an ardent love for their native place and their motherland.

It is of paramount importance to study and widely publicize among the working people the history of our country and of our people’s struggle.

This is not the first time we have raised this question. As far back as the autumn of 1945, that is, immediately after liberation, we emphasized the need to study the history of our nation’s struggle and to inherit its fine traditions. Only when we educate our people in the history of their own struggle and its traditions, can we stimulate their national pride and rouse the broad masses to revolutionary struggle.

Yet, many of our officials are ignorant of our country’s history and so do not strive to discover, inherit and carry forward our fine traditions. Unless this is corrected, it will lead, in the long run, to the negation of Korean history.

The mistakes made recently by Pak Chang Ok and his kind are due to their negation of the history of the Korean literary movement. They closed their eyes to the struggle waged by the fine writers of the “KAPF”–Korea Artista Proleta Federacio–and to the splendid works of our progressive scholars and writers. We urged them to make a profound study of excellent cultural heritages and give them wide publicity, but they did not do so.

Today, ten years after liberation, we possess all the conditions for collecting material on our literary legacy and putting it to full use. Nevertheless, our information workers remain wholly indifferent to this.

At the Fifth Plenary Meeting of the Party Central Committee it was decided to publicize the history of our people’s struggle and our precious cultural heritages, but workers in the field of information failed to do so. They did so much as forbid the newspapers to carry articles on the anti-Japanese struggle of the Korean people.

The Kwangju Student Incident, for example, was a mass struggle in which scores of thousands of Korean students and other young people rose against Japanese imperialism. It played a big part in inspiring broad sections of Korean youth with the anti-Japanese spirit. Information workers should have publicized this movement widely as a matter of course, and educated our students and other young people in the brave fighting spirit displayed by their forerunners. While they have failed to do this, Syngman Rhee has been making use of this movement in his propaganda. This has created the false impression that the communists disregard national traditions. What a dangerous thing! If we go on working in this way, it will be impossible for us to win over the south Korean youth.

Up to now, such publicity and education work has been dropped and laid aside, though no one has ever given instructions to this effect. Newspapers do not write about it, nor is any meeting held to commemorate it. Events like the Kwangju Student Incident ought to be taken up by the Democratic Youth League. This incident is an excellent example of the struggle waged by our students and other young people against imperialism.

The same must be said of the June 10 Independence Movement. This was another mass struggle in which the Korean people rose up against Japanese imperialism. It is true that the struggle was greatly hampered by the factionalists who had wormed their way into it. Considering that even after liberation, the Pak Hon Yong-Ri Sung Yop spy clique crept into our ranks and wrought mischief, it goes without saying that in those days the factionalists were able to carry on subversive activities more easily. But, even so, was the struggle itself wrong? No. Although it ended in failure because of a few bad elements who had wormed their way into the leadership of the organization, we cannot deny its revolutionary character. We should learn a lesson from that failure.

No publicity has been given either to the March 1 Movement. If you work in this way, you cannot expect to lead progressive people with a national conscience along the right path. The lack of Communist Party leadership was the principal cause of the failure of the March 1 Movement. But who can deny that it was a nationwide resistance movement against Japanese imperialism? We ought to explain the historic significance of this movement to the people and use its lessons to educate them.

Many revolutionary movements in our country ended in failure because of the scoundrels who managed to get themselves into the leadership, but no one can deny the people’s participation in those struggles. The masses of the people always fought courageously. Pak Chang Ok may have taken upon himself to deny this, but no true Marxist-Leninist dare deny the people’s exploits in these struggles.

When I asked Pak Chang Ok and his followers why they rejected the “KAPF”, they answered that they did so because some renegades were involved in it. Did they mean to say then that the “KAPF”, which had as its very core prominent proletarian writers, was an organization of no importance? We must value the achievements of the struggle of the “KAPF” highly.

What assets do we have for carrying on the revolution if the history of our people’s struggle is denied? If we cast aside all these things, it would mean that our people did nothing. There are many things to be proud of in our country’s peasant movements of the past. In recent years, however, no articles dealing with them have appeared in our newspapers.

In schools, too, there is a tendency to neglect courses on Korean history. During the war, the curriculum of the Central Party School allotted 160 hours a year to the study of world history, but very few hours to Korean history. This is how things were done in the Party school, and so it is quite natural that our officials are ignorant of their own country’s history.

In our information and motivation work, there are numerous examples where only things foreign are extolled while our own are slighted.

Once I visited a People’s Army rest home, where there was a picture of the Siberian steppe on the wall. Russians probably like that landscape. But we Korean people like the beautiful scenery of our own country. There are beautiful mountains such as Kumgang and Myohyang in our country. There are clear streams, the blue sea with its rolling waves and fields with their ripening crops. If we are to inspire in our People’s Army men a love for their native place and their country, we must display more pictures of our own landscapes.

One day this summer when I dropped in at a local democratic publicity hall, I saw diagrams of the Soviet Union’s Five-Year Plan on show there, but not a single diagram illustrating our own Three-Year Plan. Moreover, there were pictures of huge factories in foreign countries, but not a single one of the factories we are rebuilding. They do not even put up any diagrams and pictures showing our economic construction, let alone study the history of our country.

I noticed in a primary school that all the portraits on the walls were of foreigners, such as Mayakovsky and Pushkin, but there were none of Koreans. If children are educated in this way, how can they be expected to have national pride?

Here is something ridiculous. Foreign ways are aped even in attaching a table of contents to a booklet, for it is put at the back. We should learn, as a matter of course, from the good experience of other country’s socialist construction, but why on earth is there a need to put the table of contents at the back of a booklet in foreign style? This does not suit the taste of Koreans. As a matter of course, we should put it at the front of the book, shouldn’t we?

In compiling schoolbooks, too, material is not taken from our literary works but from foreign ones. All this is due to the lack of Juche.

The lack of Juche in information work has done much harm to Party work.

For the same reason, many comrades do not respect our revolutionaries. At present more than 100 comrades who took part in revolutionary struggle in the past are attending the Central Party School, but until recently they were buried in obscurity.

We sent many revolutionaries to the Ministry of the Interior, but many of them were dismissed on the ground that they were incompetent. At the Central Party School, I once met a comrade who had taken part in revolutionary activities, yet he had been left in his post as chief of a county internal security station for eight years. This attitude towards revolutionaries is entirely wrong.

Today our officials have become so insolent that they show no respect for their seniors. They have been allowed to fall into such a habit, in spite of the fact that communists naturally have a higher moral sense than others and hold their revolutionary seniors in high esteem.

In our People’s Army, a vigorous struggle has been waged to uphold revolutionary traditions and, as a result, most of the people who once took part in revolutionary activities have become either regimental or divisional commanders.

If we had not organized the People’s Army with old revolutionary cadres as its core, what would have been the outcome of the last war? It would have been impossible for us to defeat the enemy and win a great victory under such difficult conditions.

During our retreat, certain foreigners predicted that most of our army units, trapped by enemy encirclement, would not be able to get back. But we were firmly convinced that all of them would manage to come back. In fact, all of them except those who were killed returned. The foreigners were greatly impressed by this and said there were few armies like ours in the world. How did this come about? The explanation is that our army cadres were comrades who had taken part in guerrilla warfare or in local revolutionary movements in the past. That is precisely why our army is strong.

Ten years have passed since our Party was founded. Therefore, Party members should naturally be taught the history of our Party. If our officials are not taught the revolutionary history of our country, they will be unable to carry our fine revolutionary traditions forward, nor will they be able to know which direction to take in the struggle, or show enthusiasm and initiative in their revolutionary activities.

We should study our own things in earnest and get to know them well. Otherwise, we shall be unable to solve new problems creatively in keeping with our actual conditions, problems that crop up one after another in practice.

As a matter of fact, the form of our government should also be suited to the specific conditions in our country. Does our people’s power take exactly the same form as that in other socialist countries? No. They are alike in that they are based on Marxist-Leninist principles, but the forms they take are different. There is no doubt, too, that our platform is in keeping with the realities of our country. Our 20-Point Platform is the development of the Programme of the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland. As you all know, this association existed before liberation.

Our officials often commit errors because they do not clearly understand these matters.

Some people even think it strange that our agricultural cooperative movement is progressing rapidly. There is nothing strange about this. In the past, the Korean peasantry’s economic base was very weak. Under Japanese imperialist rule, the peasant movement grew and the revolutionary spirit of the peasantry ran very high. What is more, the peasants were tempered politically through the building of democracy after liberation and during the bitter years of war. So, it is natural that the agricultural cooperative movement should be making rapid progress in our country today.

Pak Yong Bin, on returning from the Soviet Union, said that as the Soviet Union was following the line of easing international tension, we should also drop our slogan against US imperialism. Such an assertion has nothing to do with revolutionary initiative. It would dull our people’s revolutionary vigilance. The US imperialists scorched our land, massacred our innocent people, and are still occupying the southern half of our country. They are our sworn enemy, aren’t they?

It is utterly ridiculous to think that our people’s struggle against the US imperialists conflicts with the efforts of the Soviet people to ease international tension. Our people’s condemnation of and struggle against the US imperialists’ policy of aggression against Korea are not in contradiction with, but conducive to the struggle of the peoples of the world to lessen international tension and defend peace. At the same time, the struggle to ease tension on the part of the peace-loving people the world over, including the Soviet people, creates more favourable conditions for the anti-imperialist struggle of our people.

Pak Chang Ok was ideologically linked to the reactionary bourgeois writer Ri Thae Jun in that he did not study the history of our country and our realities. Besides the remnants of bourgeois ideology in his mind, he was conceited enough to think he knew everything, without even studying the realities of our country. Consequently, things went wrong. The harm he did to our ideological work is very serious.

After liberation, he and his ilk said that since Ri Kwang Su was a talented man, it would be proper to give him prominence. But I pointed out it would be wrong to do so. Ri Kwang Su wrote a novel, A Revolutionary’s Wife, in which he insulted revolutionaries let out of prison. He used to rave that the Korean people and the Japanese imperialists came from the “same ancestry”. Therefore, I told them that it was absolutely unthinkable and impermissible to give prominence to such a man.

Some comrades working in the Information Department of the Party tried to copy everything mechanically from the Soviet Union. This was also because they had no intention of studying our realities and lacked the true Marxist-Leninist approach to educating the people in our own merits and revolutionary traditions. Many comrades swallow Marxism-Leninism raw, without digesting and assimilating it. It is self-evident, therefore, that they are unable to display revolutionary initiative.

Information workers have so far failed to take proper measures to study our history and national culture systematically. Ten years have passed since liberation, yet they have failed to tackle the matter energetically. They have conducted it only in a hit-or-miss way. We had few cadres before, but now we have scholars, funds and material, and sufficient conditions for doing it. It is quite possible if only you make a good study and organize the work. Every effort should be made to discover and promote our national heritage. True, we should energetically learn from what is progressive internationally. But we should develop the fine things of our own while introducing advanced culture. Otherwise, our people will lose faith in their own ability and become a spineless people who only try to copy from others.

Hearing us say that it is necessary to establish Juche, some comrades might take it in a simple way and get the wrong idea that we need not learn from foreign countries. That would be quite wrong. We must learn from the positive experience of socialist countries.

The important thing is to know what we are learning for. Our aim is to turn the advanced experience of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries to good account in our Korean revolution.

During the war, Ho Ka I, Kim Jae Uk and Pak Il U once quarrelled stupidly among themselves over how to do political work in the army. Those from the Soviet Union insisted upon the Soviet method and those from China stuck to the Chinese method. So they quarrelled, some advocating the Soviet fashion and others the Chinese way. That was sheer nonsense.

It does not matter whether you use the right hand or the left, whether you use a spoon or chopsticks at the table. No matter how you eat, it is all the same insofar as food is put into your mouth, isn’t it? Why need one be fastidious about “fashion” in wartime? We do political work to strengthen our People’s Army and win battles, and any method will do so long as our aim is achieved. Yet Ho Ka I and Pak Il U squabbled about such a trifle. This only weakens discipline within the Party. At that time, the Party centre maintained that we should learn all the good things from both the Soviet Union and China and, on this basis, work out a method of political work suitable to our actual conditions.

It is important in our work to grasp revolutionary truth, Marxist-Leninist truth, and apply it correctly to our actual conditions. There should be no set rule that we must follow the Soviet pattern. Some advocate the Soviet way and others the Chinese, but is it not high time to work out our own?

The point is that we should not mechanically copy the forms and methods of the Soviet Union, but should learn from its experience in struggle and from the truth of Marxism-Leninism. So, while learning from the experience of the Soviet Union, we must put stress not on the form but on the essence of its experience.

In learning from the experience of the Soviet Union there is a marked tendency merely to model ourselves on the external form. If Pravda puts out a headline “A Day in Our Country”, our Rodong Sinmun carries the same title: “A Day in Our Country”. What is the point of copying this sort of thing? The same is true of clothing. When there are very graceful Korean costumes for our women, what is the point of discarding them and putting on clothes which are unbecoming? There is no need to do this. I suggested to the Women’s Union officials that our women dress in Korean costumes as far as possible.

Merely copying the forms used by others instead of learning the truth of Marxism-Leninism does us no good, only harm.

In both revolutionary struggle and construction, we should firmly adhere to Marxist-Leninist principles, applying them in a creative way to suit the specific conditions and national characteristics of our country.

If we mechanically apply foreign experience, disregarding the history of our country and the traditions of our people and without taking account of our own realities and our people’s political level, we will commit dogmatic errors and do much harm to the revolutionary cause. This is not fidelity to Marxism-Leninism nor to internationalism. It runs counter to them.

Marxism-Leninism is not a dogma, it is a guide to action and a creative theory. So, Marxism-Leninism can display its indestructible vitality only when it is applied creatively to suit the specific conditions of each country. The same applies to the experience of the fraternal parties. It will prove valuable to us only when we study it, grasp its essence and properly apply it to our realities. But if we just gulp it down and spoil our work, it will not only harm our work but also lead to discrediting the valuable experience of the fraternal parties.

In connection with the question of establishing Juche, I think it necessary to touch on internationalism and patriotism.

Internationalism and patriotism are inseparably linked with each other. You must realize that the love Korean communists bear for their country does not conflict with the internationalism of the working class but fully conforms with it. Loving Korea is just as good as loving the Soviet Union and the socialist camp and, likewise, loving the Soviet Union and the socialist camp is just as good as loving Korea. They constitute a complete whole. For the great cause of the working class knows no frontiers and our revolutionary cause is a part of the international revolutionary cause of the working class throughout the world. The supreme goal of the working class of all countries is to build a communist society. The only difference, if any, lies in the fact that some countries will do this earlier and others later.

It is wrong to stress patriotism alone and neglect internationalist solidarity. For the victory of the Korean revolution and for the great cause of the international working class, we should strengthen solidarity with the Soviet people and with the peoples of all the socialist countries. This is our sacred internationalist duty. The Soviet people, on their part, are doing all they can to strengthen solidarity not only with the countries of the socialist camp but also with the working class of the whole world, both for the building of communism in their own country and for the victory of the world revolution.

Thus, patriotism and internationalism are inseparable. He who does not love his own country cannot be loyal to internationalism, and he who is unfaithful to internationalism cannot be faithful to his own country and people. A true patriot is necessarily an internationalist and vice versa.

If we cast aside all that is good in our country and only copy and memorize things foreign in ideological work, we will certainly bring losses to our revolution, and thereby fail to fulfil our obligations to the international revolutionary cause properly.

In the report to the Second Party Congress, I quoted the following passage from the statement of the Commander of the Soviet army, published on the day the army entered our country: “Korean people!...You hold your happiness in your own hands!... Koreans must create their own happiness themselves.” This statement is perfectly correct, and if we fail to act accordingly, we may lose broad segments of the masses.

The formalism of our information workers also finds expression in exaggeration in information work. For example, such bombastic expressions as “all have risen,” “all have been mobilized,” etc., have long been in fashion in speeches and articles.

We advised Pak Chang Ok more than once against it. Pak Chang Ok made mistakes because he could not break away from this “all” type of bombast he had created. Later, he took a fancy to the superlative of the Chinese ideograph “great”, and used this adjective everywhere. I do not know whether this practice was due to his ignorance of Chinese ideographs or to his erroneous ideological stand.

When information work is conducted with such empty exaggeration, it will lead people to be carried away by victory and to become easy-going. This bad practice is also responsible for the false reports handed in by junior officials.

The use of an adjective may seem a simple matter, but its wrong use may spell failure in our work. In future, this practice should be completely stopped.

Now, I should like to refer to a few other immediate problems in ideological work.

The Party Central Committee has issued written material on the nature and tasks of our revolution, to help in the study of the documents of its April Plenary Meeting. So, I will not make any further comment on this.

I would just like to stress once more the prospects of our revolution. Our revolution has two prospects. One is the peaceful reunification of our country, and the other is its reunification in circumstances in which the forces of imperialism are drastically weakened by a big war.

We, of course, have been striving with all our might to realize the first prospect.

Our struggle for peaceful reunification boils down to two points–to carry out construction successfully in the northern half of the country and direct effective political work towards the southern half. If we strengthen the democratic base by promoting socialist construction in the north and rouse the people in the south to struggle for liberation through effective political work directed to the south, peaceful reunification can be realized.

Political work directed towards the south means strengthening the influence of the north on the people in the south and getting the broad masses there to support us. To this end, socialist construction in the north should be carried out successfully. The living standards of the people should be raised and the economic base strengthened in the north through successful economic construction, and all the people should be rallied around our Party. Then, no matter how desperately Syngman Rhee may try, he will never be able to dampen the fighting spirit of the people in the south, who are constantly inspired by socialist construction in the north.

A man who came over from the south some time ago said: “Syngman Rhee says in his propaganda that the north has a population of only three million and there is nothing left of Pyongyang but a heap of ashes. But I have seen here that the bridge over the Taedong River has been rebuilt and Pyongyang is being built into a much more beautiful city than before. Syngman Rhee has told a blatant lie.” This is what will happen when we carry out construction successfully.

In 1948, when a joint conference of political parties and social organizations from north and south Korea was held, we in the north did not have much to our credit in construction. But all the right-wing personalities of south Korea came to us, with the exception of Syngman Rhee and Kim Song Su. The joint conference was of very great significance. Many of those who came to the north at that time remained here. This is what Kim Ku said: “I have found north Korea to my liking. I have seen many communists both in Shanghai and in south Korea (if he met any, they must have been those of the Tuesday group or the M-L group), but north Korean communists are different. I thought before that communists were narrow-minded and evil people, but I have found here that you are broad-minded and generous with whom I can cooperate fully. I will cooperate with you in every way. I am old now and have no desire for power. If I do not go back to south Korea, Syngman Rhee will certainly claim I have been detained. I want to go back and make known the fine things I have seen here. So I must at all events go back. Do not think that I am going to collaborate with the Yankees. When I come back here later, please give me an apple orchard, for I want to live in peace in the countryside for the rest of my life.” Kim Kyu Sik, too, spoke in the same vein. Afterwards, Kim Ku fought against the Yankees.

As you all know, Kim Ku was a nationalist. From the beginning he was against both imperialism and communism, and he came to us with the intention of negotiating with the communists. In view of the fact that even Kim Ku, who once regarded communism as an inveterate enemy, changed his ideas of our endeavours to build up the country, it is quite easy to imagine what workers, peasants and public figures with a national conscience in south Korea will think once they come and see the northern half of the country.

Before liberation, merely to hear that in the Soviet Union the working class held power and was building socialism made us yearn greatly for that country where we had never been. How then can the people in the south not yearn to see the socialist construction in the north carried out by our people who are of the same stock as them?

That is why successful construction in the north is more important than anything else.

Thus, when the people in the south are roused to action against US imperialism and the Syngman Rhee regime through successful socialist construction in the north and effective political work directed towards the south, peaceful reunification can be brought about.

This is the internal factor which makes peaceful reunification possible.

The external factor conducive to peaceful reunification should likewise be taken into consideration. If we succeed in maintaining peace for a five to ten year period, China with her population of more than 600 million as well as the Soviet Union, will grow incomparably stronger and the power of the whole socialist camp will be even greater.

Parallel with the growth of the might of the socialist camp, the national-liberation movement of the peoples in the colonial and dependent countries has constantly been intensified and many countries have won national independence. The peoples of India, Indonesia, Burma and other independent states in Asia and the peoples of the Arab countries are fighting for peace and against imperialist aggression.

All this constitutes a telling blow to imperialism, especially US imperialism. As the forces of peace, democracy and socialism grow stronger, the US imperialists will finally be compelled to withdraw from Korea.

Of course, the struggle for the peaceful reunification of our country is an arduous and protracted one. But when we grow stronger and the international forces of peace, democracy and socialism become more powerful, we will be able to achieve peaceful reunification. This is one prospect for the development of the revolution in Korea and for reunification.

The problem of reunification might also be solved by war, not by peaceful means. If the imperialists unleash war on a worldwide scale, we will have no alternative but to fight, and then it would be quite possible for us to defeat the US imperialists in Korea by our own strength. Although it would be rather hard for us to fight against US imperialism single-handed, we should be able to defeat it relatively easily if it is compelled to disperse its forces all over the world. In that case we would sweep the forces of US imperialism from Korea and achieve the reunification of the country. This is the other prospect for the development of the Korean revolution and for reunification.

But we do not want this prospect. We desire the first prospect, that is, reunification by peaceful means, and we are struggling to achieve it.

No matter which prospect for the country’s reunification comes about, the most important thing of all is to strengthen our Party and steel the members’ Party spirit.

In case negotiations start between the north and the south, then the barriers between them are torn down and we go to work among south Koreans, what will things be like if our Party is not strong? Only when our Party is strong, can it take advantage of such a favourable situation.

The proportion of our Party membership to the population is now one to ten, as we have a million members out of a population of 10 million. This is indeed not a small proportion. But, when compared with the 30 million population of Korea, one million is by no means large.

In south Korea the growth of the Party cannot help but be seriously limited because the underground movement there is carried on under extremely difficult circumstances.

After reunification, it will be difficult to carry on our work with a small number of Party members, although the number will grow in south Korea, too. What is wrong if we train a large number of Party members in the northern half from now on and assign them to work both in the north and the south after reunification? Nothing. Yet, at the time of the Fourth Plenary Meeting of the Party Central Committee, Ho Ka I insisted that the Party close its doors in spite of the fact that it had no more than 600,000 members. The Party criticized his view at the time, and has continued to increase its membership.

The point now is to educate our one million Party members well. Among our members there may be some who lag behind the non-Party masses. But even so, these people must not be expelled from the Party. They must be kept in and educated. If they are expelled, our Party might be weakened. This is all the more so since ours is not the only party.

It is our consistent organizational line to constantly train the core of the cells while building up a mass-based party. By the core we mean those Party members who know communist truth and can follow the road of revolution without vacillating. It is difficult to arm the one million Party members overnight with an equal degree of communist thinking. We must follow the line of training the core elements first and then gradually raising the political level of all Party members.

Our line is to educate Party members with the help of core members. So, since the Fourth Plenary Meeting, the Party has put special emphasis on the question of training the core members of the cells. It will be all the more gratifying if their number increases from five today to ten tomorrow so that all Party members become core elements. But even if only 50 per cent of the Party membership does so, it will be a good thing.

The merging of the Communist Party and the New Democratic Party was of great significance in turning our Party into a mass political party. As a result of our correct organizational line and energetic struggle to win over the broad masses of the working people, our Party has now become a mass political party embracing one million members. This success was by no means easy; it was achieved through extremely hard struggles.

We fight for democratic rights and freedoms in south Korea–freedom of speech, the press, assembly and association–which are prerequisites for the peaceful reunification of the country. We aim at securing conditions for our own free activities in the southern half, while allowing political parties of south Korea to conduct political activities freely in the northern half.

When a situation is thus created in which political struggle in the north and the south is free, whoever wins more of the masses will win the day. Therefore, it is of the greatest importance to strengthen our Party and the Party spirit of its members.

In order to steel the Party spirit of our members, we should get all of them to make a constant and deep study of the documents of the Fourth and Fifth Plenary Meetings of the Party Central Committee.

Our comrades must direct more effort to the organizational and information work of the Party, instead of being engrossed only in economic campaigns. Party cells must be built up well and Party members educated by the cell core. It is particularly necessary to temper the Party spirit of those members who hold leading posts–ministers, vice-ministers and bureau directors. Throughout the Party, vigorous educational measures should be taken to fortify the Party spirit.

The composition of our Party is very complex. All sorts of people have joined it–those who once belonged to the Tuesday group and the M-L group, those who joined the Toiling People’s Party after liberation, and others. Many had been under the influence of the factionalists. These people are to be found both among senior cadres in the central organs and among the members of the Party Central Committee.

Are all of these people worthless? No. Education will make them all useful. But their education must not be conducted in a short-term campaign. Prolonged, patient education and criticism are needed. We must wage a determined struggle to arm every Party member firmly with our Party’s ideology and eliminate the remnants of bourgeois ideology which persist in the minds of Party members and other working people. Our members’ Party spirit should be steeled until their shortcomings are overcome and their ideological maladies completely remedied.

We were too late in criticizing Pak Chang Ok and Ki Sok Bok. If they had been criticized at the time of the Fifth Plenary Meeting of the Party Central Committee, things would not have gotten into such a mess. Therefore, it is especially important to remould the thinking of those leading cadres who were influenced by Ho Ka I or Pak Il U and help them arm themselves with the Party’s ideological system. The Organizational Leadership Department and the Information and Publicity Department of the Party must take up this work.

The important thing in educating Party members is to get them, especially the cadres, to establish a correct viewpoint on the masses. Because this is lacking, bureaucracy continues. This is a grave shortcoming in our Party work.

In order to achieve our lofty aim of reunifying the country and building socialism and communism, we must win over the masses. We must be clear on what great losses bureaucracy will cause to the revolution.

Listening to the voice of the masses and championing their interests is an entirely different matter from basing one’s work on misleading opinions heard in the street. The latter has nothing in common with the revolutionary viewpoint on the masses. By the masses we mean the working masses we rely on–the workers and the peasants, and our allies who support and follow us. We should listen to them and defend their interests. Everyone, whether a Party worker, an administrative worker or an official in a social organization, must work consistently in the interests of the revolution and the masses.

How was it possible for the anti-Japanese guerrillas to hold out for such a long time? Why was it that the Japanese failed to destroy us even though they had a formidable armed force? Because the guerrillas had the correct viewpoint on the masses and the support of the masses. When guerrillas were wounded and entered a village, the peasants took care of them as though they were their own sons. They managed to get rice, which they could hardly afford for themselves, and cook it for them. Even the peasants living inside the earth walls of the concentration villages set up by the Japanese, managed to send food to them outside the walls.

The masses supported and protected us in this way because we had always defended their interests and fought for them at the risk of our lives. All Party members must learn from the guerrillas’ attitude towards the masses.

In the days of Japanese imperialist rule everything was imposed upon us by force–compulsory military service, compulsory labour, compulsory delivery of farm produce, etc. We are resolutely opposed to such practices.

A party divorced from the masses is like a fish out of water. With whom can the party carry out the revolution if not with the masses? A party divorced from the people not only cannot bring the revolution to victory, but will eventually find its very existence endangered.

It is solely for the purpose of protecting the interests of the masses that the party puts forward its programme and seizes state power. Therefore, would it not be against the aims of the party and the revolution to encroach on the interests of the masses?

It is beyond dispute that our laws and decisions are excellent. But they will all come to nothing if, in putting them into effect, our officials harm the interests of the masses. You comrades must bear this in mind and intensify educational work among Party members so that they can liquidate bureaucracy and acquire a correct viewpoint on the masses. If only 50 per cent of all Party members acquire this viewpoint, it will mean a great change in our Party.

At the moment quite a few Party members are not firmly equipped with the correct viewpoint. The situation is especially bad among the cadres. Whether a Party member has a correct viewpoint on the masses or not also depends on his Party spirit. So, tempering Party spirit is of decisive importance in this respect, too. Further, it is important to imbue the Party members with faith and optimism regarding the prospects of the revolution. Whatever the circumstances are, we must have firm faith in the final victory of our cause and optimism regarding the future of the revolution. Otherwise it will be impossible to overcome the difficulties one inevitably encounters in the course of revolutionary struggle.

In order to make our Party members indomitable fighters who are always optimistic about the future of the revolution, it is necessary to intensify their Marxist-Leninist education. Without a clear understanding of the laws of social development and the inevitability of the triumph of socialism and communism, one can neither have faith in victory nor have the lofty spirit and combativeness to withstand any difficulty.

Let me give you an example of vacillation and defection in the revolutionary ranks that was caused by a lack of knowledge of the laws of social development and of a clear understanding of the trend of developments in a complex situation.

When the defeat of Japanese imperialism was in sight, some people in the guerrilla detachments lost faith and deserted. This was partly because of certain formalistic defects in our information work at the time. In those days information about the Soviet Union was of special importance, and it was propagated in the guerrilla army that “A big clash is bound to occur some day between the Soviet Union and the imperialist states, because fundamental contradictions exist between them. Then, Japanese imperialism will perish and our country will attain independence.” That was wrong. Though it was right to propagate about the contradictions between the socialist state and the imperialist countries, the truth about current developments was not explained. As a result, when a non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Hitler Germany was signed and a treaty of neutrality was concluded between the Soviet Union and Japan in 1941, some elements in the guerrilla ranks lost hope in the future and faltered. These waverers deserted our ranks, saying that after ten years with the guerrillas they only saw a dark future, uncertain whether they would have to spend another 10 or 20 years fighting. So we explained the revolutionary situation and the truth about the revolution fully to the guerrillas. After that, there were no more deserters.

There is no doubt that sooner or later we shall see the great revolutionary event come about. That event, as I have already said, may either occur peacefully or non-peacefully. Whatever form it takes, we must always be prepared to meet it.

In order to meet this great revolutionary event, the members’ Party spirit should be steeled. They should be educated to have a correct viewpoint on the masses, faith in victory and optimism regarding the future of the revolution.

Another important thing is to struggle correctly against every anti-Party tendency. If we had not had the experience of fighting the “Minsaengdan” in Jiandao in the past, we would not have been able correctly to lead the struggle against the counter-revolutionaries in Korea after liberation, especially during the war.

The Japanese set up a counter-revolutionary espionage organization called “Minsaengdan” and infiltrated agents into the revolutionary districts of Jiandao. Then they resorted to the vile trick of alienating the Koreans from the Chinese and inciting strife among the Koreans. For a time those in the revolutionary camp fell victim to the enemy’s crafty scheme, going to the length of killing one another. As a result, many people were killed without any justifiable reason.

This experience proved very useful when we dealt with the case of the Pak Hon Yong clique. We adhered strictly to the principle of drawing a sharp distinction between spies and non-spies. We emphasized this many times in the Political Committee. If we were not vigilant we might play into the hands of the Yankees and ruin many persons.

Of course, the struggle must be relentless. Otherwise, some spies may escape punishment. But the struggle must always be carried on as an ideological one.

Those who were influenced by Pak Hon Yong cannot all be his ilk or spies. But his ideological influence still remains in their minds. We must fight against this.

The experience acquired in the struggle against the Pak Hon Yong clique and in the counterespionage campaigns should be made fully known to the Party members so that they may wage a rigorous struggle against espionage agents and correctly distinguish the spies from others. If you do not do this, but suspect everybody, in the end you will find yourselves suspicious of your own shadow.

In order to disintegrate our ranks from within, the enemy always plots to make people distrust one another and set them at odds. You must learn to discern clearly and combat such plots and slanders concocted by the counter-revolutionaries. Party members should be educated in such a way that they can spot spies, waverers, nepotists, parochialists and factionalists.

Such a struggle can be conducted properly only when the cadres and all members of the Party have a high political level. Without attaining a high level of Marxist-Leninist knowledge, Party members cannot properly carry out such a difficult task. In order to enable them to fight skilfully against the counter-revolutionaries, it is necessary to intensify their Marxist-Leninist education and, at the same time, acquaint them with our extensive experience in the fight against the counter-revolutionaries.

Further, information and motivation should be stepped up among the broad masses. Education of the masses in socialist ideology should be the main content of our work of information and motivation. The most important thing in this connection is to make the workers and peasants, especially the workers, clearly aware that power is in their hands. When they are highly conscious of this fact, the workers will act as the masters in everything–take good care of their places of work, machinery and equipment, work hard, maintain good discipline and effectively combat counter-revolutionaries.

The same is true of the peasants. If they realize that the working class is not only their ally but also their leader, and that they too hold power in their hands, they will work their land well, take good care of their implements and willingly pay the tax in kind.

Everyone will show enthusiasm when he realizes that he is the master. When we were engaged in revolutionary activities in the past, who could have got us to do so for money? We fought without sleep and forgot our hunger because we realized that by making revolution we could not only carve out our own destiny but save our country. The workers will likewise throw all their energy and zeal into their work when they are clearly aware that their labour is for their own happiness and for the prosperity of society.

Prolonged, persistent education is needed to get all the working people to become as politically conscious as this. We must patiently educate the masses and unite them more closely around our Party.

In conclusion, I should like to make a few remarks about our newspapers. Our papers still do not fully discharge their duties.

The central task of the Rodong Sinmun, our Party organ, is to educate the Party members through day-to-day explanation of the Party’s lines and policies and their fighting tasks. The central task of the Minju Joson is to mobilize the masses to put state policies into effect by fully explaining the laws and regulations of the organs of people’s power and the policies of the state. The papers of the General Federation of Trade Unions, the Democratic Youth League, and other organizations should likewise be edited in accordance with their respective characteristics and tasks.

Our newspapers have no specific features which distinguish one from another. This is a big failing. Whether this is because they are all furnished with material by the Korean Central News Agency or because some of them are limited in space, I do not know.

Here, too, much formalism and dogmatism can be noted. I think it necessary for you to look into this matter seriously.

I have so far touched upon some problems arising in the ideological work of our Party. I hope you will take note of them, eliminate the shortcomings revealed and strive to raise our Party’s ideological work to a higher level.


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