On eliminating dogmatism and
formalism and establishing Juche
in ideological work

Speech to Party Propagandists and Agitators

December 28, 1955

Date: December 28, 1955
Source: Kim Il Sung: Selected Works, Vol. I, pp. 582-606
Transcription: Victor Barraza
HTML Markup: Salil Sen, 2008
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2008). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit "Marxists Internet Archive" as your source.

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 propaganda work also cannot have been faultless.

It is to be regretted that our propaganda work 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 proper 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? And why do our propagandists and agitators fail to go deeply into matters, only embellishing the fašade, and why do they merely copy and memorize foreign things, 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 precisely in the Korean revolution. This, the Korean revolution, constitutes 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 all for the purpose of correctly carrying out our own revolution.

By saying that the ideological work of our Party lacks in Juche, I do not mean, of course, that we have not made the revolution or that our revolutionary work was undertaken by passers-by. Nonetheless, Juche has not been firmly established in ideological work, which 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 and know 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, before anything else.

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 our people are educated in the history of their own struggle and its traditions, can their national pride be stimulated and the broad masses be aroused to the revolutionary struggle.

Yet, many of our functionaries are ignorant of our country's history, and so do not strive to discover and carry forward its 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, too, may be attributed to their negation of the history of the Korean literary movement. They closed their eyes to the struggle of the fine writers of the "KAPF" — Koreen (Coreen) Artiste Proletarienne Federation-and to the splendid works of Pak Yon Am, Chong Da San and other progressive scholars and writers of our country. We told them to make a profound study of those things and give them wide publicity, but they did not do so.

Today, ten years after liberation, we have all the conditions for collecting materials on our literary legacy and turning it to full use. Nevertheless, the propaganda workers remain wholly indifferent to this.

As the Fifth Plenary Meeting of the Party Central Committee it was decided to actively publicize the history of our people's struggle and valuable cultural heritage, but workers in the field of propaganda failed to do so. They went so far as to 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 tens of thousands of Korean youths and students rose against Japanese imperialism; it played a big part in inspiring the anti-Japanese spirit in broad sections of the Korean youth. As a matter of course, we should publicize this movement widely and educate youth and students in the brave fighting spirit displayed by their forerunners. Our propaganda workers have failed to do so. Instead, Syngman Rhee has been making propaganda of this movement in his favour. This has created a false impression that the Communists disregard national traditions. What a dangerous thing! It will be impossible for us to win over the south Korean youth if we go on working in this way.

So far propaganda work in this respect has all been dropped and laid aside, though no one has ever given instructions to. Newspapers do not write about it, nor is any meeting held to commemorate it. Things like the Kwangju Student Incident ought to be taken up by the Democratic Youth League. The Kwangju Student Incident is an excellent example of the struggle of youth and students of our country against imperialism.

The same must be said of the June Tenth Independence Movement. This was another mass struggle in which the Korean people rose against Japanese imperialism. It is true that the struggle was greatly hampered by the factionalists who had slipped into it. Considering that even after liberation, the Pak Hon Yong-Li Sung Yop spy clique crept into our ranks and wrought mischief, it goes without saying that in those days the factionalists could carry on subversive activities more easily. But, even so, was the struggle itself wrong? No, it was not. Although the struggle 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 even to the March First Movement. If you work in this way, you cannot expect to lead along the right path the progressive people who have a national conscientiousness, let alone the Communists. The lack of leadership by a Communist Party was the principal cause of the failure of the March First Movement. But who can ever deny the fact that the March First Movement was a nation-wide resistance movement against Japanese imperialism? We ought to explain to the people the historic significance of this movement and educate them by its lessons.

Many past revolutionary movements ended in failure in our country because of the scoundrels who managed to install themselves in the leadership of those movements, but there can be no denying the struggles waged by the people on those occasions. The popular masses always fought well with courage. Pak Chang Ok may have denied this arbitrarily. But no true Marxist-Leninist dare deny the people's exploits in their 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. Then, did they mean to say that the "KAPF," in which Comrade Li Gi Yong and other prominent proletarian writers of our country worked as its very core, was an organization of no importance? We must highly value the fighting achievements of those people, and develop our literature around them.

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 lectures on Korean history. During the war the curricula of the Central Party School allotted 160 hours a year to the study of world history, but very few hours were given to Korean history. This is how things were done in the Party school, and so it quite natural that our functionaries are ignorant of their own country's history.

In our propaganda and agitation work, there are numerous examples of extolling only foreign things, while slighting our own.

Once I visited a People's Army vacation home, where a picture of the Siberian steppe was hung. That landscape probably pleases the Russians. But the Korean people prefer the beautiful scenery of our own country. There are beautiful mountains such as Mts. Kumgang-san and Myohyang-san in our country; there are clear streams, the blue sea with its rolling waves and the fields with ripening crops. If we are to inspire in our People's Armymen a love for their native place and their country, we must show them many pictures of such landscapes of our country.

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 shown there, but not a single diagram illustrating the Three-Year Plan of our country. Moreover, there were pictures of huge factories in foreign countries, but there was not a single one of the factories we were rehabilitating or building. They do not even put up any diagrams and pictures of our economic construction, let alone study the history of our country.

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

Here is a ridiculous example. Even in attaching a table of contents to a booklet, foreign ways are aped and it is put in the back. We should learn, as a matter of course, from the good experience of socialist construction, but what on earth is the need of putting the table of contents in 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 in the front of a book, shouldn't we?

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

The lack of Juche in propaganda 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 struggles in the past are attending the Central Party School; until recently they had been 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 formerly taken part in revolutionary activities; he had been left in his post as chief of a county interior service station for eight years. This is quite an improper attitude toward revolutionaries.

Today our functionaries have become so insolent that they show no respect for their seniors. They have been allowed to fall into such a habit, whereas Communists naturally have a higher moral sense than any other people, and hold their revolutionary seniors in high esteem.

In our People's Army a vigorous struggle has been waged to uphold the revolutionary traditions and, as a result, most of the people who had taken 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, they all did return, with the exception of the dead. The foreigners were greatly impressed at 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 in the past had taken part in guerrilla warfare or in local revolutionary movements. That is precisely why our army is strong.

Ten years have passed now since our Party was founded. Therefore, the Party members should naturally be educated in the history of our Party. If our functionaries are not educated in the revolutionary history of our country, they will be unable to carry forward our fine revolutionary traditions, nor will they be able to realize which direction to take in their revolutionary activities.

We should study our own things in earnest and be versed in them. Otherwise, we shall be unable to solve creatively in keeping with our actual conditions the new problems that confront us one after another in practice.

As a matter of fact, the form of our government should also be fitted to the specific conditions of our country. Does our people's power have exactly the same form as in other socialist countries? No, it does not. They are alike in that they are based on Marxist-Leninist principles, but their forms are different. No doubt, our platform, too, 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, the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland existed before our country was liberated.

Our functionaries often commit errors due to lack of a clear understanding of these matters.

Some people even think it strange that the agricultural co-operative movement is progressing rapidly in our country. There is nothing strange about this. In the very past, the economic foundation of the Korean peasantry was very weak and the land was barren. Under Japanese imperialism, the peasant movement developed and the revolutionary spirit of the peasantry ran very high. What is more, the peasants were tempered politically through the democratic construction after liberation and during the bitter war. So, it is natural that the agricultural co-operative movement should be making rapid progress in our country today.

Comrade Pak Yong Bin, on returning from the Soviet Union, said that since the Soviet Union was following the line of easing international tension, we should also drop our slogan against U.S. imperialism. Such an assertion has nothing to do with revolutionary vigilance. The U.S. imperialists scorched our land, slaughtered our innocent people en masse, 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 U.S. imperialists conflicts with the efforts of the Soviet people to ease international conflicts with the efforts of the Soviet people to ease international tension. Our people's condemnation and struggle against the aggressive policy of the U.S. imperialists towards Korea are not contradictory, but conductive to the struggle of the people of the world for lessening international tension and for defending peace. At the same time, the struggle of the peace-loving people the world over, including the Soviet people, to ease tension creates more favourable conditions for the anti-imperialists struggle of our people.

Pak Chang Ok was ideologically linked to the reactionary bourgeois writer Li Tae Jun in that he did not try to study the history of our country and our realities. Besides the remnants of bourgeois ideology in his mind, he had the conceited idea that 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 Li Gwang Su was a talented man, and that, therefore, it would be advisable to give him prominence. But I pointed out it would be a wrong to do so. Li Gwang Su wrote a novel, The Wife of a Revolutionary, in which he insulted the revolutionaries discharged from prison. Li Gwang Su was a villain who used to rave that the Korean people and the Japanese imperialists came of "one and the same ancestry and roots." Therefore, I told them that it was totally unthinkable to give prominence to such a man, and never allowed them to do so.

Some comrades working in the Propaganda Department of the Party tried to copy mechanically from the Soviet Union in all their work. This was also because they had no intention to study our realities and lacked the true Marxist-Leninist spirit of educating the people in our own merits and in the traditions of our revolution. Many comrades swallow Marxism-Leninism whole, instead of digesting and assimilating it. It is therefore self-evident that they are unable to display revolutionary initiative.

We have so far failed to take measures for a systematic study of our country's history and our national culture. It has been ten years since liberation. And yet, we have failed to tackle the matter energetically; we have conducted it only in a hit-or-miss way. We had few cadres before, but now we have scholars, funds and materials, and have sufficient conditions foe conducting it. This is quite possible if only you make a good study and organize the work. Every effort should be made to unearth our national legacies and carry them forward. True, we should be active in learning from what is progressive internationally. But we should develop 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 simply and form a wrong idea that we need not learn from foreign countries. That would be quite wrong. We must learn from the good experiences of socialist countries.

The important thing is to know what we are learning from. The aim we pursue in learning 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 Ga I, Kim Jae Uk and Pak Il U once quarrelled stupidly among themselves over the problems of how to carry on 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? What is the need of being particular about "fashion" in wartime? When we carry on political work to strengthen our People's Army and win battles, any method will do so long as our aim is achieved. Yet Ho Ga 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 the actual conditions of our country.

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

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

In learning from the experience of the Soviet Union there is a marked tendency just to model after the external forms. Once Pravda puts out a headline "A Day in Our Country," our Rodong Sinmun carries the same title: "A Day in Our Country." What of the use of copying even this sort of thing? The same is true of clothing. When there are very graceful Korean costumes for our women, what is the use of discarding them and putting on dresses which are unbecoming of them? There is no need to do this. I suggested to Comrade Pak Jon Ae to see that our women dress in Korean costumes as far as possible.

Just copying the forms used by others instead of learning Marxist-Leninist truth brings us no good, only harm.

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

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 level of preparedness of our people, dogmatic errors will result and much harm will be done to the revolutionary cause. To do so 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 make a study of it, grasp its essence and properly apply it to our realities. Instead, 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 problem of establishing Juche I think it necessary to touch on internationalism and patriotism.

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

It would be wrong to advocate 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, our liberator and helper, 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 consolidate solidarity not only with the countries of the socialist camp but also with the working class of the whole world both for communist construction in their country and for the victory of 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 precisely an internationalist and vice versa.

If we cast aside all that is good in our country and only copy and memorize foreign things in ideological work, it will certainly bring losses to our revolution, and thereby prevent us from properly carrying out our internationalist obligations to the international revolutionary cause.

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 first day of its entry into our country : "Korean people!...You have happiness in your own hands….Koreans must make themselves the creators of their own happiness." This statement is perfectly correct, and if we fail to act accordingly, we may lose broad segments of the masses.

The formalism of our propaganda workers also finds expression in exaggerating things in propaganda 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 Chong Ok more than once against it. Pak Chang Ok made mistakes because he could not break away from "all" type of bombast he had created. Later, he took a fancy to the superlative of the Chinese ideograph "great," and abused the adjective "great." I do not know whether this practice was due to his ignorance of Chinese ideographs or to his erroneous ideological viewpoint.

When propaganda work is conducted with such exaggeration without any substance to it, 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 when wrongly used it may cause our work to fail. In future, such a practice should be discontinued thoroughly.

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 character and tasks of our revolution to help study the documents of its April Plenary Meeting. So, I will not make any further comment on this.

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

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

Our struggle for the peaceful reunification of our country boils down to two points — to carry on construction successfully in the northern half and to conduct effective political work towards the southern half. If we fortify the democratic base by promoting socialist construction in the northern half and arouse the people in the southern half to the liberation struggle through effective political work directed to the southern half, the peaceful reunification of our country can be realized.

Political work towards the southern half means strengthening the influence of the northern half and inducing its broad popular masses to support us. To this end, socialist construction in the northern half should be carried on successfully. The living standard of the people should be raised and the economic foundation strengthened in the northern half through successful economic construction, and the entire 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 southern half who are constantly inspired by the socialist construction in the northern half.

A man who came over from the southern half some time ago said: "Syngman Rhee says in his propaganda that the northern half has a population of only 3 million and there is nothing left in Pyongyang but heaps of ashes. But I have seen here that the bridge over the River Taedong-gang has been restored to its former state and Pyongyang is being built into a much more beautiful city than ever before. Syngman Rhee has told a whopping lie." This is what will happen when we carry on construction successfully.

In 1948 when a joint conference of political parties and social organizations from north and south Korea was held, we did not have much to our credit in construction in the northern half. 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 northern half at that time remained here.

This is what Kim Gu 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 wicked people, but as I have found here this time, you are broad-minded and generous people with whom I can fully co-operate. I will co-operate with you by all means. I am old now, and have no ambition for power. If I do not go back to south Korea, Syngman Rhee will certainly clamour that I have been detained. And it is my desire to go back and give publicity to the fine things I have seen here. So I must go back at any rate. Do not think that I am going to collaborate with the Yankees. When I return here later, please give me an apple orchard, as I want to live in peace in the countryside for the rest of my life." Kim Gyu Sik, too, spoke in the same vein. After that, Kim Gu fought against the Yankees.

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

Before liberation, the mere words that in the Soviet Union the working class held power and was building socialism made us yearn boundlessly for the Soviet Union where we had never been. How then can the people in the southern half possibly help yearning for the socialist construction of our people in the northern half who are of the same ethnical stock with them?

That is why successfully construction in the northern half is more important than anything else.

As can be seen from the above, when the people in the southern half are roused to action against U.S. imperialism and the Syngman Rhee regime by successful socialist construction in the northern half and through effective political work directed towards the southern half, the peaceful reunification of our country can be materialized.

This is the internal factor making it possible to achieve peaceful reunification.

The external factor conductive to the country's peaceful reunification should likewise be taken into consideration. If we succeed in maintaining peace for a five to ten years period, China, with her more than 600 million population, will grow incomparably in might, not to mention the Soviet Union, and the power of the whole socialist camp will be further strengthened.

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 been ever more intensified, and many countries have been achieved 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 against imperialist aggression.

All this is a telling blow to imperialism, especially U.S. imperialism. When the forces of peace, democracy and socialism grow stronger, the U.S. imperialists will finally be compelled to withdrawn from Korea.

Of course, the struggle for the country's peaceful reunification is an arduous and protracted one. But when we grow stronger and the forces of peace, democracy and socialism are further strengthened internationally, we will be able to achieve peaceful reunification. This is one prospect of the development of the revolution in Korea and of the country's reunification.

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

We, however, do not want this prospect. We desire the first prospect, that is, reunification by peaceful means, and we are struggling for its realization.

No matter what the prospects of the country's reunification may be, it is more important than anything else to strengthen our Party and steel the Party spirit of its members.

In case negotiations start between the north and south, and then the barriers between them are torn down and we come to work among south Koreans, will it not be able necessary for our Party to be 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, the membership being one million out of a population of 10 million. Indeed, this is not a small proportion. But, when compared with the total population of Korea, 30 million, one million is by no means large.

In south Korea the growth of the Party's force cannot help but be seriously limited, because the underground movement is conducted there in 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 with our training a large number of Party members in the far northern half from now on and assigning them evenly to work in the north and south after reunification? There is nothing wrong in this. Yet, at the time of the Fourth Plenary Meeting of the Party Central Committee Ho Ga I insisted that the Party close its doors in spite of the fact that it had a membership of no more than 600,000. Then the Party criticized his view and has since continued to increase its membership.

The point now is to give a good education to our one million Party members. Among our members there can sometimes be found those who even lag behind the non-Party masses. But even so, these people must not be expelled from the Party. They must be kept in the Party and educated; if they were expelled, our Party's strength might be weakened. This is all the more so since ours is not the only party.

It is our invariable organizational line to train the nuclei of the cells constantly while building up a mass party. By the nuclei we mean those Party members who are aware of communist truth and are capable of holding to the road of revolution without vacillating. It is difficult to arm the one million Party members overnight with an equal degree of communist consciousness. We must follow the line of training the nuclei first and then gradually raising the level of consciousness 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 and thus all Party members become core element, and even if not all but only 50 per cent of the Party membership does so, it will be a good thing.

In the development of our Party into a mass political party, the merging of the Communist Party and the New Democratic Party was of great significance. As a result of our correct organizational line and energetic struggle to win over the broad working masses, our Party has now developed into a mass political party embracing one million members. This success has by no means been easy to gain, but has been achieved through extremely hard struggles.

We demand and fight for democratic rights and liberties in south Korea — freedom of speech, the press, assembly and association—which are perquisites 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 for free political struggle in the north and the south, whoever wins over 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 have all of them 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 efforts to the organizational and propaganda work of the Party, instead of being engrossed only in economic campaigns. Party cells must be built up well and Party members educated through the nuclei of the cells. It is particularly necessary to temper the Party spirit of those members who hold leading posts — ministers, vice-ministers and bureau directors. Vigorous educational measures should be taken to fortify the Party spirit of the entire membership.

Our Party's composition is very complex. All sorts of people have joined our Party — those who once belonged to the Tuesday group and the M-L group, those who were affiliated with the Toiling People's Party after liberation, and others. Many were under the influence of the fractional elements in the past. These people are to be found both among responsible cadres in the central organs and among the members of the Party Central Committee.

Not all of the people are worthless. Education will make them all useful. But this education must not be conducted through a short-term campaign. Long, persistent education and criticism are needed.

A determined struggle must be fought to arm every Party member firmly with our Party's ideology and eliminate all remnants of bourgeois ideology persisting in the minds of Party members and working people. The Party spirit of our members should be tempered thoroughly, until their shortcomings and ideological maladies are 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 gone so far. Therefore, it is especially important to remould the ideas of those leading cadres who have been influenced by Ho Ga I or Pak Il U and help them establish the Party's ideological system. This work must be undertaken by the Department of Organizational Leadership and the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Party.

What is important in the education of Party members is to make them, especially the cadres, establish a mass viewpoint. Because this is lacking, bureaucracy continues to manifest itself. This is a grave shortcoming in our Party work.

In order to achieve our lofty aims of reunifying the country and building socialism and communism, we must win over the masses. We must clearly know what great losses bureaucracy can cause to the revolution.

Listening to the voices of the masses and championing their interests is an entirely different matter from basing one's work on misleading opinions current in the streets. The latter has nothing in common with the revolutionary mass viewpoint. By the masses we mean the main masses we are relying on — the workers and 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 official or a functionary 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 a long time? Why was it that the Japs failed to destroy us although they had a formidable armed force? Because the guerrillas had the correct mass viewpoint and the support of the masses. When we were wounded and entered a village, the peasants took care of us as though we were their own sons; they would manage to get rice, which they could hardly afford themselves, and boil it for us. Even the peasants living inside the earthen walls of the concentrated villages set up by the Japs, managed to send food to us 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 own lives. All Party members have to learn from the attitude of the guerrillas towards the masses.

In the days of Japanese imperialist rule everything was imposed upon us by force — compulsory military service, compulsory labour draft, 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? Such a party will not only be unable to win in the revolution, but also 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?

Our laws and decisions are indisputably excellent. But all this will come to nothing if, in the course of putting them into effect, our functionaries impinge on the interests of the masses. You must bear this in mind and further strengthen educational work among Party members so that they can liquidate bureaucracy and acquire a correct mass viewpoint. If at least 50 per cent of all Party members acquire a correct mass viewpoint, it will mean a great change for our Party.

At present quite a few Party members are not firmly equipped with a correct mass viewpoint. The situation is especially worse among the cadres. Whether a Party member has a correct mass viewpoint or not also depends on his Party spirit. So tempering Party spirit is also of decisive importance in this respect.

Further, it is important to cultivate faith and optimism regarding the prospects of the revolution in the minds of the Party members. Without firm faith in the final victory of our cause and without optimism regarding the future of the revolution, under any and all circumstances, it would be impossible to overcome the difficulties one inevitably encounters in the course of the 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 high-toned spirit and combativeness to withstand any difficult.

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

When the defeat of Japanese imperialism was near in sight, some people in the guerrilla detachments lost faith and deserted. This was partly because of certain formalistic defects in our propaganda work at that time. In those days propaganda about the Soviet Union was of special importance, and this is how we propagandized: "A big clash will certainly 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 be able to achieve independence." That was wrong. Though we were right in our propaganda about the contradictions between the socialist state and the imperialist countries, we failed to propagandized the truth about the developments. As a result, when in 1941 a treaty of neutrality was concluded between the Soviet Union and Japan and a non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Hitler Germany was signed, some elements in the ranks of the guerrillas lost hope for the future and faltered. These waverers deserted our ranks, saying that after 10 years with the guerrillas, they had a dark future, uncertain whether they would have to spend there another 10 or 20 years. So we explained the revolutionary situation and the truth of revolution fully to the guerrillas. After that, there were no more deserters.

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

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

Another important thing is to struggle properly against all sorts of anti-Party tendencies. If we had not had the experience of fighting the Minsaengdan in Kando before, we would not have been able to give appropriate leadership to the struggle against the counter-revolutionaries in Korea, especially during the war.

The Japs organized a counter-revolutionary espionage organization called Mingsaengdan and smuggled it into the revolutionary districts in Kando. Then they resorted to the vile trick of alienating the Koreans from the Chinese and inciting strife among the Koreans. For some time those in the revolutionary camp fell victim to the enemy's crafty scheme, going the length of killing one another. As a result, many people lost their lives without any justification.

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. There was a danger that we might possibly play into the hands of the Yankees and ruin many persons.

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

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

The experience acquired in the course of the struggle against the Park Hon Yong clique and in the counter-espionage 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 so and suspect everybody, in the end you will find yourselves suspicious of your own shadow.

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

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

Further, the work of propaganda and agitation should be stepped up among the broad masses. Education of the masses of the people in socialist ideology should be the main content of the work of propaganda and agitation. What is most important in this connection is to give the workers and peasants, especially the workers, a clear understanding that they are masters of power. When they have such intense consciousness, the workers will do everything as masters—take good care of their places of work, machines 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 are masters of power, the peasants 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 master. When we were engaged in revolutionary activities in the past, who could ever have got us to do so for money? We fought without sleep, forgetting hunger, because we had realized that by making a revolution we could not only improve our own lot but also save our country. The workers will likewise throw all their energy and zeal into their work when they become clearly aware that their labour is for their own happiness and for the prosperity of society.

Long, persistent education is needed to get all the working people to have such consciousness. We must patiently educate the masses and unite them around our Party still more closely.

In conclusion, I should like to make a few remarks about our newspapers. Our papers still fail to discharge their duties fully.

The central task of 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 Minju Choson is to mobilize the masses to implement the policies of the state by explaining to them and giving them a full understanding of the laws and regulations of the people's power and the policies of the state. The organs 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 to distinguish one form 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 are 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 account of them, eliminating the shortcomings hitherto revealed and strive to raise our Party's ideological work to a higher level.

Kim Il Sung Internet Archive  |   Marxists Internet Archive