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A North Korean textbook on The Philosophy of Juche

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Soviet cogitations: 758
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Jan 2008, 19:10
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 22 Jul 2014, 05:48
I found this textbook on Archive.org which is a North Korean textbook criticizing the "bourgeois" philosophies of Freud, Darwin, James and Sartre. It was published in North Korea by the Foreign Languages Publishing House
http://www.archive.org/details/GuidingLightOfDestiny

It is also hosted at the U of Oregon Asia library http://e-asia.uoregon.edu/taxonomy/term/589

It is one of the few Juche textbooks, which rather than being solely concerned with the immediate practicalities of socialist construction actually engages the philosophical foundations of Juche as well as criticizing prominent trends in Western philosophy. It calls for the need to get beyond dogmatic Marxism-Leninism. For example it claims that reactionary idealistic philosophies such as Existentialism, pragmatism, freudianism, personalism emerged to fill the gap in human nature that had been left by Marxism. Because Marxism failed to explain the nature of man, imperialist idealistic philosophies exploited this opening to peddle their own reactionary views.

Freud, Dewey, Camus are criticized as follows:
Quote:
Other views about man, which have exerted a great influence on human life, are
the biological and eroticist views. There are many varieties of these views, but their
essence is that man as a being is dominated by his instincts. The pragmatist John
Dewey said, “Man is an instinctive biological being which can maintain its life by
adapting itself to the living environment.” Pragmatism postulates that man is born 12
with immutable “acquisitive”, “bellicose” and “hiding” instincts, and that man acts
according to the “selective taste” of these instincts. Thus it justifies aggression and
plunder on the ground of human instinct. In effect, it lays the philosophical base for
the “American way of life”.

The social psychologist Sigmund Freud said that “sexual instinct (libido)” is
inherent in man and controls all human activity. Drawing upon the ancient Greek
myth about Oedipus who killed his father and married his mother, not knowing that
the latter were his parents, Freud named this unconscious sexual instinct in humans
the Oedipus complex, and traced the motives of human action to it. Attributing all
the causes of social evils to the suppression of the “sexual instinct”, Freudians
preach that “sexual liberation” is the panacea for all such evils. Freud himself lived
a dissipated life, touring various European countries and preaching “sexual
liberation”. In the 1920s idle rich women in capitalist countries are said to have
been so influenced by Freud that they believed they would be happy if they were
embraced by him just once.

Another view about man that has exercised an evil influence on contemporary
human life is the existentialist view. It qualifies man as an “individual isolated from all
social relations” and characterizes the present age as that of “human crisis”.
Existentialists say, “There is a cliff behind man and a dark abyss in front of him. Even
the ground he is standing is giving.” Such being his situation, man is seized with
uneasiness and fear of death. The only way open to him is that of sorrow, pessimism
and degradation. A maniacal existentialist once said, “We are convicts of life who
have been sentenced to death and are waiting for their turn.” Existentialism therefore
advocates full enjoyment and hedonism, saying that it is in human nature to enjoy
every moment: “Enjoy every moment while we are alive because we do not know
tomorrow”; “Let’s eat and drink as we please instead of building, accumulating and
endeavouring for society and posterity. Because we will die tomorrow”. It further says:
“You and I are destined to die. Why should we strive to live and fight against others?”;
“The only way to evade the horrible reality is not resistance to the reality but suicide.”
After all, existentialism aims at paralyzing the spirit of independence among people
and making them powerless beings, obsessed only with “death”, instead of being
committed to the struggle for freedom and democracy. My advice to the miserable 13
existentialists, who regard considerateness and beneficience for others as of no good,
would be to kill themselves first, if only to avoid the “pain of an isolated individual.”
Then we would hail their “death” as a “paean to existentialism”. The height of
ridiculousness!


The limitation of Marxism was that it understood man as a material being but not a social being. Labor creates social relations, but Marxism failed to clarify why man works. Value must be determined from a social and not a objective standpoint.

I found this review which summarizes many of its main points

Quote:
In the Guiding Light of Destiny, Ko Pong has written a book which is more than a philosophical text for its own sake, more than a mere scholarly discourse ( and as a scholarly discourse it is deserving of high praise).This is one of those rare treasures, like the Juche Idea itself, which is philosophical insight actually impacting the livelihood of the masses, that has its thumb on the pulse and heartbeat of humanity's sacred struggle for emancipation, a multi-millennium quest of identity and independence.

With all of the anti-communist propaganda we are fed, in the United States, it may seem bizarre to many of my colleagues that President Kim Il Sung and Marshal Kim Jong Il would be compared favorable to the greatest and most historically impacting of philosophers and social scientists, but this is exactly what Ko Pong bravely argues. From page one, we are taken on a historical course of discovery and achievement as mankind attempts to answer the question "Who are you?" . Here again we have a valuable tool for breaking down the years of lies and slander directed against these esteemed thinkers and leaders, so that we in the US, were it is most needed can study their lessons.

Paragraph by paragraph, we are taken through a course of comparative philosophies as human evolution matures and grows, in the words of the author, "Thousands of Years of Groping for the Guiding Light of Destiny". Sadly, we find, that never is the most burning question, millennium after millennium, ever answered.

President Kim Il Sung was the man responsible for ultimately answering the question "Man who are you?" while in the course of establishing the Juche idea.
Comrade Kim Jong Il, has said
" The Juche idea expounded that man is a social being with independence, creativity, and consciousness and this gave a perfect philosophical elucidation of man."

I fear a short review can never give full testament to the 20 chapters and 103 pages of wisdom found in this book. Living in the decadent US capitalist-imperialist society, were such backwardness exists, and were noble statesman and geniuses of social science like President Kim Il Sung and Marshal Kim Jong Il are falsely slandered as barbaric and Bonapartist "dictators" it refreshing to find in The Guiding Light of Destiny, a book even the most naive of elements can understand and use and open the door to the whole treasure chest of knowledge coming out of Pyongyang.

Ending the book is a nine page poem entitled "Long Live the Juche Idea" written by Illi Reza Cozyaster, head of the Kimilsungism Study Group of Iran. I would like to share with you a few stanzas that most impressed me.

Head up, head up.
You are the master of the world.
You are controller of everything.
You are immediately this world.

Juche placed at the high position of master
Man, who was a slave of Providence.
Power and material
In the several thousand-year-long history of shackles.

Oh, the name of Juche
All people look up to
Is Kim Il Sung
Kim Jong Il.
Juche-Kim Il Sung
Juche-Kim Jong Il.

If I were a betting man, I would bet that I am one of the first people, if not the first, to read this great book in the US. I received it in the mail from the National Democratic Front of South Korea Mission in Pyongyang for some activities I was assisting in conducting, for Marshal Kim Jong Il's 62nd birthday, as per my duties as chairman of the Songun Politics Study Group (USA).

This book immediately stuck out at me, as if a holy biblee or a transporter to the mind of Pyongyang's revolution. I have since read it, in full, nearly a dozen times, and I have referenced it continuously.

The material coming out of Pyongyang is absolutely amazing, and in stark contrast to the junk books on "globalization" coming out of the US, which with all due respect, lack any coherent ideological theory or understanding. Even by the high standards of the Foreign Language Publishing House in Pyongyang, I find this book particularly enjoyable and enlightening. The Guiding Light of Destiny is nothing short of a work of genius and passion.
Kamran Heiss
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Soviet cogitations: 237
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 22 Jul 2014, 22:45
I find amusing how can some people claim that a country were power is passed from father to son can be marxist at all, worse, that this system can develop a philosophy so profound as to discredit Freud, Sartre et al...

There's nothing more personalist than the heritage system. Its the pure continuation, as if the son was the father reincarnated, of a kind of private property.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 22 Jul 2014, 23:12
Only a non-materialist communist could claim that a particular political set-up could never be utilized. Conditions dictate form afterall.
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Soviet cogitations: 237
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 22 Jul 2014, 23:31
Pls enlight me about wich material conditions dictate a personal ditactorship that is passed from father to son as if it was a medieval royalty.

Because in a true marxist country there is at least one party, that is at least marxist enough to guarantee sucession via election, at least within the party ranks.

How the ruling party in Korea can be so weak to the point of only being able to find sucession of power among the same family ?

I am even turning a blind eye to the fact that the ruling person is but the same for his entire life, until he is suceeded by his son. (what happened to, say, ruling for something like 4 years and being suceeded by another comunist from the party ?).

As much as people indoctrinated by "idea juche" think that Kin il sung was the Genial Guide of Humanity, Genial leader of peoples etc... I think if his idea is soo good and comprehensible, he could very well teach it to others to the point of having them being able to lead the country for a while.

Wait ! He was not president for his entire life ! He was prime minister, leader of the party and president. See ? How democratic...

I propose the following dilemma for those capable of defending such aberration (its something shared with stalinists, but at least stalin did not name his son as leader of URSS) :

1 - Is marxism science ?
2 - Can science be teached ? (IE.: Can it be communicated ?)
3 - If it can be teached, can it be teached to the point where the teacher knows nothing more than the student ? (IE.: Can it be communicated in totality ?)
4 - If science can be teached to the point of being perfectly comprehended by others, can it happen that a group of persons share the same ideas (by being teached about the same science) ?
5 - If a group of people (potentially infinite - if there where infinite people willing to learn the science) learns and share the same concepts, can they be interchangeable ?
6 - If they are interchangeable, would it be more legit - as to avoid a personal ditactorship - to divide time in power between all those that are capable of governing ?
7 - If we can divide time in power between people, do we need to share it via death and sucession as a kind of royalty ?
8 - if we dont need a royal sucession system were power passes from father to son, can we choose people in the party (assuming that the party is more than willing to learn about marxism) to head the country ?
9 - If we can choose from inside the ranks of the party, can they be elected (by the party or by the people) ?
10 - If someone heads the power from the momment it reaches power to his death, and his son assumes afterwards, can we detect that this sucession system was choosen to avoid power struggles across the party ?
11 - If there are indeed power struggles across the party, can we assume that this is because the party is not interested in marxism, or that the party is not at all versed in marxism ?
12 - If the party is not interested in marxism, can be that they are facading being marxist, while all they want is power itself ?
13 - Can it happen that not all of the people in the party are power hungry but that power has corrupted the leadership of the party to the point where the risk of power going into the hands of someone wrong becomes so great that it must be the son to assume the power ?
14 - If the last question is true, how can we prevent the son being power hungry itself ?
15 - If the 13º question is not true, can it be that the party is not well versed in marxism enough that they would not be able to govern the country and the father decided to invest all his time teaching marxism to the son ?
16 - If the last question is true, do you really need a full life to teach marxism ? Is it that hard ? Maybe, its not science ?

i will stop there, to wait for your answers.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Mar 2005, 20:08
Embalmed
Post 23 Jul 2014, 00:01
I expected it to be good, but it looks like more Kim Jong Il-era word salad.
Image

"Bleh, i don't even know what i'm arguing for. What a stupid rant. Disregard what i wrote." - Loz
"Every time is gyros time" - Stalinista
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 11:33
Pioneer
Post 23 Jul 2014, 13:47
None said that North Korea is anything even near democratic. It is obviously not my ideal system. However, I'd rather see the son succeeding the father, than to have a leader who's an agent of imperialism who'll reinstate capitalism in NK (see USSR).
I want to stress the fact that NK isn't entirely m-l. It actually looks more like a nationalistic socialism with strong stalinist elements. That said, in my opinion it is far better for a worker to live there than in any other imperialist country on Earth.
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Soviet cogitations: 237
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 23 Jul 2014, 14:12
Last post can be resumed as false dichotomy phallacy.
Soviet cogitations: 12389
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 23 Jul 2014, 14:35
Socialist Scion of the Sun God wrote:
Existentialism therefore
advocates full enjoyment and hedonism, saying that it is in human nature to enjoy
every moment: “Enjoy every moment while we are alive because we do not know
tomorrow”; “Let’s eat and drink as we please instead of building, accumulating and
endeavoring for society and posterity. Because we will die tomorrow”.

Someone seems to have conflated Existentialism with Epicurean philosophy, and gotten them both wrong in the process.

And why is it that the article mentions no previous Korean or East Asian philosophy, such as Confucianism? Does the leadership of DPRK not recognize any precedents or antagonists besides those borrowed from the West? Or does Juche exist to replace them all, with the exceptions of the Dynastic and Fuhrer principles?
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Soviet cogitations: 237
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 23 Jul 2014, 15:38
One thing that existentialism states is that while you are free, you burden the whole weight of the consequences of your choices.

So if you live only to eat, have sex, etc (anything usually associated with hedonism) you end up not being able to do it someday...
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Soviet cogitations: 14444
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 24 Jul 2014, 01:05
AldoBrasil wrote:
Pls enlight me about wich material conditions dictate a personal ditactorship that is passed from father to son as if it was a medieval royalty.

Aside from the clear distinction between Kim rule and royal rule, which I will not delve into here because it should be fragging obvious that the Kims are not treated as Kings (which is a fundamental aspect of Royalty), apparently the conditions are those of Northern Korea. This is what we have precisely because of materialism.

AldoBrasil wrote:
Because in a true marxist country there is at least one party, that is at least marxist enough to guarantee sucession via election, at least within the party ranks.

The WPK does have internal elections from what I understand. The problem is that it's just party cadre. Also you should stop using statements like "true marxism". That's pretty idealist bro.

AldoBrasil wrote:
How the ruling party in Korea can be so weak to the point of only being able to find sucession of power among the same family ?

... It's North Korea? Basically the most arid and useless part of Korea. And also their ability to conduct even basic trade is severely restricted. Imperialists are who keep the Kims in power by never releasing the pressure off the Korean people.

AldoBrasil wrote:
I am even turning a blind eye to the fact that the ruling person is but the same for his entire life, until he is suceeded by his son. (what happened to, say, ruling for something like 4 years and being suceeded by another comunist from the party ?).

Term limits aren't always a good idea, nor a bad idea. If they're called for they're called for otherwise I do not consider them a requirement. The whole reason the sons keep getting picked is precisely because Korea is at war and having a Kim up on top is a direct statement about military security. The Kims mean quite a lot in this war.

AldoBrasil wrote:
As much as people indoctrinated by "idea juche" think that Kin il sung was the Genial Guide of Humanity, Genial leader of peoples etc... I think if his idea is soo good and comprehensible, he could very well teach it to others to the point of having them being able to lead the country for a while.

Juche is dumb. It's not really an ideology at all.

AldoBrasil wrote:
Wait ! He was not president for his entire life ! He was prime minister, leader of the party and president. See ? How democratic...

I don't care about circuses of democracy. They don't make me any more free having them.

AldoBrasil wrote:
I propose the following dilemma for those capable of defending such aberration (its something shared with stalinists, but at least stalin did not name his son as leader of URSS) :

Stalin's son was a pud and everyone knew it.

As for your list of questions you seem to be drawn to a great man view of Korea which is fundamentally incorrect. Kim il-Sung didn't need to be leader for life, he was, he didn't need to teach the people either nor did he have the ability to teach all the Koreas about communism. The party cadre was there all along.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 24 Jul 2014, 01:39
Quote:
Aside from the clear distinction between Kim rule and royal rule, which I will not delve into here because it should be fragging obvious that the Kims are not treated as Kings (which is a fundamental aspect of Royalty), apparently the conditions are those of Northern Korea. This is what we have precisely because of materialism.


Because they dont use the "title" king they are not a monarchy, right ?

Theres a bird that squacks like a duck.
It flies like a duck.
It has the same colors as a duck.

But hey, its not a duck !

Quote:
The WPK does have internal elections from what I understand. The problem is that it's just party cadre. Also you should stop using statements like "true marxism". That's pretty idealist bro.


And how so it always happens that the leader or his son (when he is dead) got elected ?
Strange "coincidence"....

Quote:
... It's North Korea? Basically the most arid and useless part of Korea. And also their ability to conduct even basic trade is severely restricted. Imperialists are who keep the Kims in power by never releasing the pressure off the Korean people.


At least with that i agree...

Quote:
Term limits aren't always a good idea, nor a bad idea. If they're called for they're called for otherwise I do not consider them a requirement. The whole reason the sons keep getting picked is precisely because Korea is at war and having a Kim up on top is a direct statement about military security. The Kims mean quite a lot in this war.


I am sure term limits are a good idea. Besides, what does kim il sung, kim jong il and the other i forget the name, have that is so unique that only them can rule the country ? Are they from another planet ?

Quote:
Juche is dumb. It's not really an ideology at all.


Juche is like those religious sects.

Quote:
I don't care about circuses of democracy. They don't make me any more free having them.


But why ? Maybe thats because burgeoise representative democracy creates a false split between politics (where you can elect someone) and economics (where you cant elect the owner of coca-cola) castrates the whole concept ? What can we do to avoid this ? Maybe the soviet is a good solution ?

Quote:
Stalin's son was a pud and everyone knew it.


Dont know what pud means.

The questions are a way to demistify stalinist dogmas (and other similar ideologies). People usually fall in contradiction when questioned that way, as a mounting sequence of small questions with small answers, because they usually follow contradictory ideas.
Soviet cogitations: 673
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Mar 2011, 14:10
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 28 Jul 2014, 18:51
I think a major reason why the sons succeed their fathers is because the absurd cult of the Kims has made it pretty much inevitable. I can't really imagine some random bureaucrat or military officer taking power and being able to effectively perpetuate it in the absence of the "great/dear/supreme leaders." North Korean politics are uniquely "personalized" in a way no other government was. The two countries that come closest are Romania under Ceaușescu and the much more moderate example of Cuba.
Soviet cogitations: 12389
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 29 Jul 2014, 21:32
Ismail wrote:
I think a major reason why the sons succeed their fathers is because the absurd cult of the Kims has made it pretty much inevitable. I can't really imagine some random bureaucrat or military officer taking power and being able to effectively perpetuate it in the absence of the "great/dear/supreme leaders." North Korean politics are uniquely "personalized" in a way no other government was. The two countries that come closest are Romania under Ceaușescu and the much more moderate example of Cuba.

There seems to be a divide in Western opinion between those who view Kim as having inherited the mantle of power from his father in purely old school dynastic fashion and those who believe that a cabal of top military Generals (war lords) holds all the power and uses (hides behind) Kim as a convenient figure head and lightning rod.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
Soviet cogitations: 673
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Mar 2011, 14:10
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 31 Jul 2014, 05:55
From what I've seen it was a case of his father wanting his son to succeed him and the son relying on the military for support after the father died.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 Oct 2004, 15:15
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 31 Jul 2014, 08:55
Calling it a monarchy is a bit unfair if we're going to be exact. There's no succession law enshrined in the constitution, no mechanism by which such a succession might take place. It's true that the position of "leader" has passed down from father to son twice now, but this is no automatism as it is in proper monarchies.

For instance, all the European royal families have primogeniture, where the eldest child succeeds, whereas in the DPRK, Kim Jong-il's first son was basically disinherited. There is at least the pretense of power struggle, at least the pretense that the next Kim has been elected for his leadership qualities. It's more flexible that way. The Kims may or may not be interested in building a dynasty, but they don't have to do it if all their children are useless.

Of course, the whole situation, with the apparent dynasty-building is deeply problematic for any number of reasons, but when people insist that it's a monarchy, it's just to get some sort of emotional response. But there are plenty of historical precedents for this kind of succession in republican state forms. Like when Cromwell passed the Protectorate down to his son, although he didn't keep it for long. Or the House of Orange-Nassau during the Dutch Republic. I'm sure there are more examples like that. All of them carry monarchic elements, but I don't know anyone who claims that they were "actually" monarchies.
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Soviet cogitations: 758
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Jan 2008, 19:10
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 02 Aug 2014, 05:47
According to Kim Jong Il's official biography, he was already beginning to see the limitations of the theories of Marx and Lenin, when he was only a college freshman in 1960.

Quote:
In the first period of his university days Comrade
Kim Jong Il read through numerous works of former classes
such as The Communist Manifesto, The Capital, Imperialism,
the Highest Stage of Capitalism and State and Revolution. In
some pages he went through he pointed out the limitations of
the theories. For instance, he wrote: "This theory does not suit
our era," and "It is confined to describing the matter in outline,
but has not unfolded the theory any further." He also elucidat-
ed his viewpoints on the given problems.
Kamran Heiss
Soviet cogitations: 12389
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 02 Aug 2014, 05:52
It doesn't exactly take a genius to come to the conclusion that some of the forecasts and general rules of thumb laid down by Marx in 1865 aren't going to suit the needs of the present century, or even the 1950's of Kim's time. That being said, Kim's solution to basically hand the running of the country over to the military wasn't exactly inspired, to say the least.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Soviet cogitations: 237
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 02 Aug 2014, 13:18
You stabilish a father to son sucession line to avoid power struggles like the ones which hapened in the roman empire (where emperors where put in power by the military). But this has a side effect of telling us democracy is dead in NKorea. (Because in a democracy the power strugles are solved by vote)
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