Idea on Popular Masses, the Subject of History Clarified by the Juche Idea

S. U. Debyatih Chairman,

Belorussian Vitebsk Association of the Juche Pedagogy

The idea on the popular masses is based on the philosophical principle that man is the master of everything and decides everything. That man is the master of everything means that he is the master of the world and of his own destiny. That man decides everything means that he plays the decisive role in transforming the world and in shaping his destiny.

The Juche idea proceeds from the fact that man has socio-political integrity along with physical life. Man is a material being, but man is not a mere material being. He is a special product of the evolution of material world and the social development. As a result, man is free from the natural world. He is a social being with independence, creativity and consciousness.

Man is a social being with independence. Independence is an attribute of social man who is desirous of living and developing in an independent way as master of the world and his own destiny. With independence, man throws off fetters of nature, opposes social subjugation of all forms and makes everything serve him.

Man is a social being with creativity. Creativity is an attribute of social man who transforms the world and shapes his destiny purposefully and consciously. With creativity, man transforms nature and society to be more useful and beneficial to him by changing the old 2 and creating the new.

Man is a social being with consciousness. Consciousness is an attribute of social man, which determines all his endeavours to understand and reshape the world and himself. With consciousness, man understands the world and the laws of its motion and development, reshapes and develops nature and society as he desires. Consciousness guarantees independence and creativity of man, the social being, and ensures his purposeful cognition and practice.

Independence, creativity and consciousness are man’s social attributes which take shape and develop socially and historically. Nothing in the world but man lives and conducts activity in social relationship. Man maintains his existence and achieves his aim only in society. Independence, creativity and consciousness are peculiar to man, the social being.

The question of the subject of history is a basis in understanding the development of society, the development of revolution, with the Juche-oriented attitude and point of view. The Juche idea clarified that history develops through the masses’ struggle to transform nature and society. The social movement is governed also by universal laws of the material world. But the social movement has its subject, whereas there is no subject in the natural movement. Natural movement takes place spontaneously through interaction of material elements which exist objectively. In contrast, the social movement is caused and developed by the volitional action and role of the subject. The subject of the social movement consists in the masses of the people.

Chairman Kim Jong Il said.

Without the masses there would be no social movement itself, nor would it be conceivable to talk about historical progress.”

Although they are the subject of history, the masses of the people do not hold the same position and play the same role in all ages and in all societies. In the class society, unaware of their social status and class relationship and their strength, the working masses can not unite into a political force. Only by seizing state power and the means of production in their hands and by establishing a socialist system can the working masses free themselves from exploitation and oppression and make history consciously as true masters of the world and their own destiny.

The whole course of class societies has been a history of acute struggles between the makers of history and the reactionary of history, between the masters of revolution and the targets of revolution, that is, between the working masses and the reactionary exploiting class. Society has been advanced and developed through these struggles.

In the socialist society the working masses undergo a radical change in their status and destiny, and their position and role are enhanced. This is due to the revolutionary leadership and struggle of the working class. The process of development of a socialist society under the leadership of the working class is the process of working-classizing the whole society. When the whole society is reshaped completely on the pattern of the advanced working class under its leadership, the position of the popular masses, the subject of history, would be remarkably stronger, and their role in pushing forward the historical progress and revolutionary development incomparably higher.

Only under correct guidance, would the masses, though subject of history, be able to occupy the position and perform their role as the 4 subject of socio-historical development. If they are to hold their position as subject of history and fulfill their role as such, the popular masses must be brought into contact with leadership. Combination of guidance with the masses is a very important question especially in the revolutionary movement, the communist movement, which is carried out by the working class and the broad masses of other people. Without correct guidance, the communist movement would not be advanced victoriously because this movement itself is a highly conscious and organized one involving serious class struggle.

The question of guidance in the revolutionary movement, the communist movement is precisely the question of leadership of the party and the leader to the masses over the popular masses.

Only when they receive correct guidance from the party and the leader, can the working class and the masses of other people be able to vigorously develop the serious and complicated revolutionary struggle to transform nature and society, achieve national liberation and class emancipation, build a socialist, communist society with success and run it properly.

The struggle to transform nature is to create material conditions for an independent life, free from fetters of nature.

If people are to live and make progress, they must produce material wealth by harnessing nature. Only through the transformation and conquest of nature, can they free themselves from its fetters and prepare material conditions for their independent life.

The struggle to transform society is to provide the people with social and political conditions for their independent life, free from class and 5 national subjugation. Only when they remove the old social system and set up a social system which provides the masses of the people with independence, will they be able to become true masters of the world and their destiny and lead an independent life.

The struggle to remould man is to create ideological and cultural conditions for his independent life, free from shackles of outdated ideas and culture. That is why, transforming society, harnessing nature and remoulding man consist of the main element of the masses’ struggle for independence.

Comrade Kim Il Sung said that man is the most precious and powerful being in the world, and that remaking nature and transforming society is for man and by the man. He said that, therefore, the most important in developing society is to train the people to be more powerful beings. He also said that, in order to press ahead with the revolution and construction, top priority must be given to the work with man, that is, the work of reforming man. He said that success of all works depends on the work with man. He also said that education is an important sector of the work with man. He said that education is to train people to be social beings who are fully prepared mentally, morally and physically.

Comrade Kim Jong Il said that the course of building socialism and communism is the course of steadily improving social relations so that man’s independence and creativity can be made more effective in line with the rising of the people’s ideological and cultural level and the strengthening of material and technical foundations of society. He clarified that the basic aim of education in the Juche idea is, in short, to equip the popular masses, the subject of the revolution, with the 6 revolutionary idea of independence, ensure the unity of the idea and purpose within the revolutionary ranks and encourage the masses to maintain their position as masters and play their role as such in the revolution and construction.

The DPRK was not the first socialist country in the world. The USSR was the first one. But the DPRK, instead of copying others’ experience, studied and applied it creatively in line with its own specific reality.

We can take mass movements as an example. The most well-known one among them is the Chollima Movement.

Mass movement in the DPRK, as all-people movement, made a point of remoulding man, training new human of communist-type rather than doing economic task. It is definitely based on Comrade Kim Il Sung’s unique theory of giving precedence to the ideological revolution while pushing forward the technological and cultural revolutions simultaneously. Mass movements in the DPRK can be not only socio-economic phenomena but also socio-pedagogical phenomena. It means that the Korean people not only established their country with difficult labour and lay foundations for future national prosperity but also prepare themselves into men of new Juche- and communist-type, and in this process its working people cultivate their characters as the subject of social history.