Talk to the Staff of the Science and Education Department

of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea
December 30, 1963

I am going to touch on some questions which arise in our revolution and construction, and which must be solved by the social sciences today.
  It can be said that our Party has two major revolutionary tasks which it has been carrying out and must continue to carry out in the future. One is the socialist revolution and construction in the northern half of Korea, and the other is the revolution in south Korea and the reunification of the country.

So far we have achieved a great deal in the course of the revolutionary struggle and in construction. We were able to score great victories and successes in the revolution and construction because our Party worked out correct policies-and showed originality in carrying them out. Needless to say, in leading the revolution and construction our Party has been guided by the general principles of Marxism-Leninism and has taken into account quite a few problems which were set forth or solved in practice by the founders of Marxism-Leninism. However, our Party solved most problems in a unique manner, by creatively applying the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism in conformity with the historical conditions and national characteristics of our own country. We used our own brains and relied on our own efforts in solving some questions which Marx or Lenin did not raise and could not foresee in view of the conditions prevailing in their time.

As you all know, Marx lived in the era before the rise of monopoly capitalism and accordingly created the great Marxist theory on the basis of his analysis of the social relations of his time, thus tolling the knell for capitalist society. But Marx did not have the opportunity to lead the socialist revolution and socialist construction in practice. Lenin created Leninism, the Marxism of the epoch of imperialism, which is governed by the law of the uneven political and economic development of the capitalist powers. Mobilizing and organizing the Russian working class, he successfully led the October Socialist Revolution. This opened up a new era in the history of mankind. However, to our regret, Lenin died soon after the victory of the October Revolution, before he had the chance to lead the building of socialism. Taking over Lenin’s work, Stalin carried out the collectivization of agriculture and pushed ahead with socialist industrialization in the Soviet Union. But he too died before he could see the complete victory of socialism, much less lead the construction of communism.

In most cases, therefore, we had to use our own brains and find our own solutions to the theoretical and practical problems of the revolution and construction, after the triumph of the socialist revolution in our country.

We must do the same today-and all the more so in the future. In order to achieve the complete victory of socialism and gradually progress to communism, we must continue to be guided by the universal principles of Marxism-Leninism, but, on many questions, we must blaze a path for ourselves. It is important for us to work out our revolutionary strategy and tactics by generalizing and systematizing the practical experience of our revolution and construction, in keeping with the laws governing social development in our country.

On the basis of the materialistic dialectical method of Marxism-Leninism, our social sciences must develop a theory which will prove, explain and draw deductions from the correctness and creativeness of what we have already done and what we propose to do. Only then can we find a new orientation for our further advance and continue to make progress.

Our social sciences have not yet produced a theory to explain and develop even a number of problems which we recognized and raised long ago-have they?

These include, for example, the importance, in industrial management, of work with people, and the question concerning the utilization of industrial methods of management in agriculture. I asked those concerned to prepare a book on Industrial Administration, but in their outline of the book they did not say a word about work with people. More than once I have stressed that work with people must be regarded as essential, but their outline was incorrect and I had them correct it. Solving the peasant and agricultural questions after the completion of the socialist cooperativization of agriculture is quite a new problem for any country, and one which is extremely complex and difficult to solve. We have already introduced an excellent system of agricultural management which will enable us to solve the socialist rural question correctly. Yet, our scholars are still unable to demonstrate to the full the correctness and vitality of our new system.

Also, I have repeatedly raised some matters of principle concerning communist education and asked the scholars concerned to write a school textbook on communist education, but it is not ready yet.

There are, indeed, quite a lot of problems awaiting theoretical solutions in all branches of the social sciences, including political economy, history and linguistics.

In each branch of these sciences, we must give a lead. Unless we can now evolve theories which will permit satisfactory explanations of things,  we can make no further progress.

Political economy is in a position to give a theoretical elucidation of the problem of eliminating the distinctions between town and country, and, in practice, the solution of that problem is possible. Furthermore, we must make an in-depth study of the conditions under which the difference between mental and physical labour can be eliminated and provide a theoretical and practical answer to this problem.

The science of history, too, still has many questions to be gone into. That of the birth and development of capitalism in our country must be fully explained. This question should be gone into in detail and developed theoretically in accordance with the laws that govern social development. In addition to this question, the science of history must also elucidate the facts about ancient Korea, slave society and the origin of the Korean nation. We must correctly appraise the scholars of the silhak school. I am told that a draft Party history has been prepared. It must be completed quickly.

In the field of linguistics it is necessary to push ahead vigorously with the improvement of our vocabulary, which is fundamental for the development of the Korean language. In what direction should we develop our language? Seeing that the country has not yet been reunified, it should be developed by stages. We should begin with improving the vocabulary and not tackle the problem of the form of our letters until after reunification. In my opinion our Korean Dictionary contains more words of Chinese origin than of Korean. When coining new words, we should form them from Korean root words so as to develop our language. At present, however, most new words are coined by mixing Chinese characters. As for our characters, we must go into whether we should continue to use the present form or not. Our spoken language has good articulation but our written language has some shortcomings in its form.

We must also make a theoretical study of the problem of national reunification. Pedagogy, too, is faced with many problems which call for theoretical and practical solutions.

In order to find new theoretical answers to these different problems, it is very important to work properly with scientists and university teachers.

But we are not up to the mark in educating people in the sphere of science and education, in arming them ideologically or in organizing and mobilizing them.

So far, we have confined our work chiefly to the training of scientists, getting them to study and solve the problems arising in postwar reconstruction and in building the foundations of socialism. But things are different now. We must strengthen our work with scientists, both natural and social, and creatively solve many of the new, theoretical and practical problems which crop up in the course of our revolution and construction.

In order to do this, it is very important to establish Juche in the sphere of scientific research. Only by establishing it firmly, will we be able to do scientific research along the right channels, as required by the Party. In fact, all our achievements in scientific research over the past few years are due primarily to the struggle to establish Juche. The success of our research into vinalon is positive proof of this.

We must rally scientists closely around our Party and continue to push ahead with the work of arming them with our Party’s Juche idea. Thus we will get all of them to imbue themselves thoroughly with this idea-we live in Korea, we are and will be guided by our Party’s ideology and theory, and we will have nothing to do with flunkeyism or dogmatism.

If we slight the work of imbuing our scientists and university teachers with our Party’s ideology, or fail to do it properly, scientific research itself will not go well and our younger generation will not be educated to become competent people useful to the revolution. Whether or not our students will be brought up to become true revolutionary intellectuals depends largely on the scientists and the teachers who teach them.

We must not only firmly arm the scientists and teachers with our Party’s Juche idea, but further temper them through organizational life.

Our country has only a few women scientists at present. We must train many more and raise the level of their qualifications.

With a view to carrying out more satisfactorily the tasks which face the social sciences, we have separated the Academy of Social Sciences from the Academy of Sciences. We are planning a conference on the work of the social sciences. I will have a talk with linguists and also meet natural and social scientists to discuss the compilation of an encyclopaedia. On that occasion I will speak in greater detail about the concrete tasks confronting the social sciences.

I would now like to refer to what specific measures should be taken to solve our rural question more effectively, in conformity with the aforesaid principles.

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