North Korea's Juche literally self-reliance Idea was improvised in the s for thepurpose of cutting off the Soviet Union's influence, and as ameans to purge Kim Il-sung 's political rivals. At that time, thede-Stalinization movements were raging in the Soviet Union afterthe death of Stalin, who had helped Kim Il-sung seize power, andalso criticism against Kim Il-sung was growing within North Koreafor the failure in the Korean War. Now Juche Ideology is utilized by the ruling hierarchy inPyongyang as an ideological weapon to justify its dictatorshipand hereditary power succession plan on the domestic scene, as ameans to justify its closed-door system externally, and as anideological tool to achieve a Communist revolution in the South. The North Korean Constitution stipulates in Article 3 that theNorth Korean government "shall make the Juche Ideology of theWorkers' Party the guiding principle for all its actions," andthe Workers' Party Charter also states in a preamble that "theWorkers' Party is guided only by Kim Il-sung's Juche Ideology andrevolutionary thoughts. At thesame time, North Korea began to use the catch phrase to intensifythe personality cult of Kim Il-sung and to justify his monolithicleadership. Entering the s, North Korea put up the so-called "the fuehrer doctrine," explaining that "the Suryong Leader is an impeccable brain of the living body, the masses can be endowedwith their life in exchange for their loyalty to him, and theParty is the nerve of that living body.
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Kim Il-sung — developed the ideology, which was originally viewed as a variant of Marxism—Leninism until it became distinctly Korean in character  while it incorporated the historical materialist ideas of Marxism—Leninism and strongly emphasized the individual , the nation state and its sovereignty.
Such principles include moving the nation towards claimed jaju "independence" ,  through the construction of a jarip "national economy" and an emphasis upon jawi "self-defence" in order to establish socialism. The practice of Juche is firmly rooted in the ideals of sustainability through agricultural independence and a lack of dependency.
The ideology has been described as a version of Korean ethnic ultranationalism  which eventually developed after losing its original Marxist—Leninist elements. The word was coined in to translate the concept of Subjekt in German philosophy subject , meaning "the entity perceiving or acting upon an object or environment" into Japanese. The word migrated to the Korean language at around the turn of the century and retained this meaning.
In today's political discourse on North Korea , Juche has a connotation of "self-reliance", "autonomy" and "independence". Official statements by the North Korean government attribute the origin of Juche to Kim Il-sung's experiences in the Anti-Imperialist Youth League in in his liberation struggle against Japan. The speech had been delivered to promote a political purge similar to the earlier Yan'an Rectification Movement in China. Hwang Jang-yop , Kim's top adviser on ideology, discovered Kim's speech in the late s when Kim, having established a cult of personality ,  sought to develop his own version of Marxism—Leninism into a North Korean ideology.
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. Gregorian calendar dates are used for years before while years from the year of Kim Il-sung's birth are described as " Juche years".
When used, " Juche years" are often accompanied by the Gregorian equivalent, i. Kim believed that Juche's principles could be applied around the world, not just in Korea.
Many prominent party and government officials, public figures, representatives of revolutionary and progressive organizations, scientists and journalists from more than fifty countries attended. An excerpt from the opening speech says:. Regardless of the opposition forces, the determination of the people and their strength and conviction are not measured by territorial dimensions, possession of advanced technology, still less, opulence or riches.
For those who wish to forget the lesson of history so easily and so quickly, Algeria, Viet Nam sic , Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Angola — and closer to us — Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Azania are excellent examples which make them deeply reflect on.
What we want is not the perfection of political independence alone. The evil forces craftily manipulate the economic levers in order to perpetuate their supremacy and reduce us to vassals and eternal mendicants.
The International Institute of the Juche Idea was established [ by whom? Kim Jong-il first mentioned Kimilsungism in the s  and it was introduced [ by whom? It is interchangeable with the juche [ sic ] idea". The idea of Juche , which constitutes the quintessence of Kimilsungism, is an idea newly discovered in the history of mankind".
The revolutionary theory of Kimilsungism is a revolutionary theory which has provided solutions to problems arising in the revolutionary practice in a new age different from the era that gave rise to Marxism—Leninism. On the basis of Juche idea , the leader gave a profound explanation of the theories, strategies and tactics of national liberation , class emancipation and human liberations in our era. Thus, it can be said that the revolutionary theory of Kimilsungism is a perfect revolutionary theory of Communism in the era of Juche.
According to analyst Shin Gi-wook, the ideas of Juche and Kimilsungism were in essence the "expressions of North Korean particularism over supposedly more universalistic Marxism—Leninism". As well as stating that the WPK was "the party of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il", the conference proclaimed Kimilsungism—Kimjongilism as "the only guiding idea of the party".
Guided by Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism, we should conduct Party building and Party activities, so as to sustain the revolutionary character of our Party and advance the revolution and construction in line with the ideas and intentions of the President and the General.
Marxism—Leninism presented a series of opinions on building of Socialism and Communism, but it confined itself to presupposition and hypothesis owing to the limitations of the conditions of their ages and practical experiences [ North Korea would not encounter such difficulties because of the conceiving of Juche.
The political and ideological might of the motive force of revolution is nothing but the power of single-hearted unity between the leader, the Party, and the masses. In our socialist society, the leader, the Party, and the masses throw in their lot with one another, forming a single socio-political organism. The consolidation of blood relations between the leader, the Party and the masses is guaranteed by the single ideology and united leadership. Unlike Marxism—Leninism, which considers improvements in the material conditions of production and exchange as the driving force of historical progress known as historical materialism , Juche considers human beings in general the driving force in history.
The theory turns the Great Leader into an absolutist, supreme leader. Unlike the Joseon dynasty , where there was a huge gap between the upper and lower classes, North Korea had adopted the concept of a gathered-together "people". Instead of a strict social hierarchy, North Korea had in theory divided the nation into three classes, namely peasant, worker and samuwon intellectuals and professionals , where each was just as important as the other. The samuwon class consisted of clerks, small traders, bureaucrats, professors and writers.
This was a unique class that was created to increase education and literacy of North Korea's population. Normally, Communist nations would value only the farmers or laborers, thus in the Soviet Union the intelligentsia was not defined as an independent class of its own, but rather as a "social stratum" that recruited itself from members of almost all classes: proletariat , petite bourgeoisie and bourgeoisie.
However, a "peasant intelligentsia" was never mentioned. Correspondingly, the "proletarian intelligentsia" was exalted for bringing forth progressive scientists and Marxist theoreticians whereas the "bourgeois intelligentsia" was condemned for producing "bourgeois ideology", which were all non-Marxist worldviews.
Language reforms followed revolutions more than once, such as the New Korean Orthography in North Korea which failed due to Korean ethnic nationalist fears of precluding Korean unification , or the simplification of Chinese characters under Mao Zedong a consequence of the divergent orthographic choices of Taiwan and the People's Republic of China , or the simplification of the Russian language after the revolution in Russia and consequent struggle against illiteracy, known in Soviet Russia as Likbez Likvidaciya Bezgramotnosti , liquidation of illiteracy.
They believed in rapid industrialization through labor and in subjecting nature to human will. By restructuring social classes into a mass of people who are theoretically all equal, the North Korean government claimed it would be able to attain self-reliance or Juche in upcoming years.
This is questionable, because the country suffers massive food shortages annually and is heavily dependent on foreign aid. In the view of some observers, Juche is not mere rhetoric, but rather an ideal of self-reliance that North Korea has attempted to put into practice. Based on On the Juche Idea , Kim Jong-il argued: "Independence is not in conflict with internationalism but is the basis of its strengthening". However, it soon asserted its independence from both the Soviet Union and China.
Though it rejected de-Stalinization , it avoided taking sides in the Sino-Soviet split. As the Communist bloc split, introduced market reforms and collapsed, North Korea increasingly emphasized Juche in both theory and practice. North Korea was admitted to the Non-Aligned Movement in and began to present itself as a leader of the Third World. It fostered diplomatic relations with developing countries and promoted Juche as a model for others to follow.
National survival has been seen as a guiding principle of North Korea's diplomatic strategy. In On the Juche Idea , Kim Jong-il stated: "In order to implement the principle of economic self-sufficiency, one must build an independent national economy". After the devastation of the Korean War, North Korea began to rebuild its economy with a base in heavy industry, with the aim of becoming as self-sufficient as possible.
Commentators have often pointed out the discrepancy between the principle of self-sufficiency and North Korea's dependence on foreign aid, especially during its economic crisis in the s. In On the Juche Idea , Kim Jong-il stated: "Self-reliance in defense is a fundamental principle of an independent sovereign state".
North Korea has attempted to put this into practice. It has developed its own nuclear missile. Some South Korean scholars categorize Juche as a national religion or they compare its facets to those of some religions. For instance, Juche has been compared to pre-existing religions in Korea notably neo-Confucianism and Korean shamanism due to their shared familiar principles.
North Korea is officially an atheist state although the native religion Cheondoism is tolerated and even maintains a political party , but some argue that it maintains a cult of personality identical to a religion. The ideology teaches that the role of a Great Leader is essential for the popular masses to succeed in their revolutionary movement because without leadership they are unable to survive.
The personality cult explains how the Juche ideology has been able to endure until today, even during the North Korean government's undeniable dependence on foreign assistance during its famine in the s. Through the fundamental belief in the essential role of the Great Leader, the former North Korean leader Kim Il-sung has become the "supreme deity for the people" and the Juche doctrine is reinforced in North Korea's constitution as the country's guiding principle.
Juche' s emphasis on the political and sacred role of the leader and the ensuing worshipping by the popular masses has been critiqued by various intellectual Marxists. The religious behavior of Juche can also be seen in the perspectives of the North Korean people through refugee interviews from former participants in North Korea's ritual occasions.
One pertinent example is the Arirang Festival , which is a gymnastics and artistic festival held in the Rungnado May Day Stadium in Pyongyang. All components of the festival, from the selection of performers, mobilization of resources, recruitment of the audience and publicity for the show have been compared to facets of a national religious event. The Arirang Festival has been described to demonstrate the power of the North Korean government to arrange a form of religious gathering.
It has done so by "appropriating a mass of bodies for calisthenic and performative arts representing the leader as the Father and his faithful followers". Charles K. Armstrong argues that familism has transformed itself into a kind of political religion in the form of Juche.
With the emergence of Juche as North Korea's guiding political principle since the s, the familial relationship within the micro-family unit has been translated into a national, macro-unit with Kim Il-sung representing the father figure and the North Korean people representing his children. Juche is thus based on the language of family relationships with its East Asian or neo-Confucian "resonances of filial piety and maternal love". Armstrong also notes that North Korea has actually transferred the " filial piety of nationalism in the family of the leader himself" by positioning Kim Il-sung as the universal patriarch.
The cult of personality surrounding Kim expanded into a family cult when Kim Jong Il became the heir apparent after assuming important posts in the WPK and military in the early s.
Throughout the s, the North Korean regime became increasingly nationalistic—at least, in its official pronouncements—leading Kim Jong-Un to state that "Socialism of our Style" was really "Socialism without Socialism". Instead, Kim stresses the importance of the Korean people's blood, soul and national traits, echoing earlier Korean nationalists such as Sin Chaeho , Yi Kwangsu and Choe Namson. He no longer has any interest in applying Marxism—Leninism to the North Korean situation; indeed it is no longer useful for the country".
Armstrong says that "North Korean Communism would not only be quite distinctive from the Soviet model, it would in some respects turn Marxism—Leninism upside-down". Brian Reynolds Myers dismisses the idea that Juche is North Korea's leading ideology, regarding its public exaltation as designed to deceive foreigners. He argues that it exists to be praised and not actually read.
Having seen the extent to which North Korean university students actually believe in Juche , Abt says it is "rather absurd" to describe the ideology as "window-dressing" for foreigners. He also questions how only three decades of Japanese occupation could simply upend the impact of "thousands of years" of history in Korea. Dae-Sook Suh has stated that Kim-Il Sung had failed to explain the difference between socialist patriotism and nationalism which Kim stated he opposed. Suh also criticised Kim for allegedly failing to explain how Marxism—Leninism has been applied to Korean conditions.
In both China and Vietnam , where Marxism—Leninism is promoted by the state, Juche has been widely criticized and ridiculed, which is even stronger in the former due to China's contribution to the Korean War was reportedly to be ignored by the North Korean leadership. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Political thesis formed by Kim Il-sung. Torch symbolizing the Juche ideology at the top of the Juche Tower in Pyongyang. North Korea. Workers' Party.
State Affairs Commission. Recent elections Parliamentary:
If you were to ask a Korean, they would tell you that they follow Juche, political theory and philosophy unique to Korea and first conceptualized by president Kim Il-Sung. It certainly has its roots in traditional Marxism the Workers Party of Korea began as the Communist Party of Korea but it has since embraced what it considers an entirely unique philosophy. So what is Juche exactly? As in… The word.
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The Juche idea means, in a nutshell, that the masters of the revolution and construction are the masses of the people and that they are also the motive force of the revolution and construction. The Juche idea is based on the philosophical principle that man is the master of everything and decides everything. It is the man-centred world outlook and also a political philosophy to materialize the independence of the popular masses, namely, a philosophy which elucidates the theoretical basis of politics that leads the development of society along the right path. Establishing Juche means adopting the attitude of a master towards the revolution and construction of one's country. It means maintaining an independent and creative standpoint in finding solutions to the problems which arise in the revolution and construction. The realization of independence in politics, selfsufficiency in the economy and self-reliance in national defence is a principle the Government maintains consistently.