It turns out, as in the well-known joke - “stolen” spoons were found, but the sediment still remained. That is, it is obvious that about the DPRK we are supplied with a lot of abundant misinformation, trying (and quite successfully!) To create an image of a sort of “Mordor”, an ominous kingdom of darkness. Why - quite understandably, the world plutocracy is annoyed by the fact that there is a small country in the world that allows itself to live by its own rules, which differ from the norms and guidelines of global capitalism.
I must say that we know very little about the DPRK. The media provides information very, very dosed, focusing on bikes about terrible reprisals. North Korea is trying to present a sort of reserve "barracks socialism" and the last stronghold of "communist dogmatism." Meanwhile, just the DPRK is one of the most unorthodox socialist countries, which seems to be one of the main reasons for the survival of socialism there - and, moreover, of the present, and not “market”, as in the PRC. Here, first of all, it is necessary to touch upon the Juche ideology, which is enshrined in the constitution and is official. In principle, it is more than ideology. We are talking about some kind of philosophy and even something of a sacral tradition. Juche is an ancient philosophical term used by medieval Korean thinkers. “Chu” means “master”, “cho” - “nature, essence, substance, body”. Several of his interpretations are given - “originality”, “main part”, “self-reliance”, “thing from the point of view of the subject”, “man as the master of himself and the surrounding world”. Here are combined the “elements” of religion, traditionalism and socialism. And in the center of everything is placed the subject, resolutely overcoming and subjugating the surrounding reality.
No matter how strange it seems, but “Jucheheism” intersects with “early” Marxism, more precisely, the ideas that Marx expressed in his “Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of the Year 1844”. In them, he developed a theory of alienation, according to which a person opposes both the reality around him and his own active nature, alienated from himself. The revolutionary philosopher states a state of “self-alienation.” A person is characterized by "an attitude ... to his own activities as something alien ... this is self-alienation, whereas the discussion above referred to the alienation of a thing." Throughout its history, a person is engaged in precisely that which overcomes this alienation, and it is possible and necessary to bring this process to the end in the course of the free activity of public individuals. Then he will become a true subject who has restored his destroyed universal integrity. All this is very consonant with the senses laid down in the word “Juche” - Marx’s “social individual” is called upon to become just such a subject of “chu” who will be master of “che” - body, nature, substance, etc. Actually, only the worldview as “Juche” can become the spiritual and political backbone of a small country with limited resources, which, nevertheless, strives for genuine subjectivity and independence.
In the subject, volitional overcoming and conquest of all external, is the essence of Marxism - the original teachings of Marx. All the rest is political-economic superstructures, made, both by himself and his followers, to many of which he treated ironically, saying that if what they are talking about is Marxism, then he is not a Marxist. Subsequently, these "Marxists" paid so much attention to the so-called. “Objective preconditions” necessary for the transition to a new stage of social development. As a result, revolutionary, in fact, Marxism, was reduced to the level of social reformism, called to “improve” capitalism, waiting until it “ripens” to socialism. Social democracy, which has chosen this “objectivism”, has now “forgotten” about Marx, having finally turned into a “left-liberal” movement. In Marxism, however, there was and is a “subjectivist” direction, which seeks not so much to conform to objective conditions (although this is important), but rather to overcome them, based on a scientific approach. The most prominent representative of this revolutionary trend was V. Lenin, who believes that Russia does not necessarily have to go through all the stages of the development of industrial capitalism, and it can use the already existing industrial structure to carry out a socialist revolution. Opponents of Lenin from among the social reformists often reproached the leader for being reactionary, in an attempt to push socialism into a "backward", agrarian and patriarchal country. In a certain sense, these accusations are true, the Bolsheviks really scooped their energy in the non-bourgeois, agrarian-communal mentality of peasant Russia (S. Kara-Murza writes a lot and interestingly in the fundamental work “Soviet Civilization”). Therefore, they managed to overcome the then supporters of Westernization, which would inevitably turn Russia into the periphery of the West. Bolshevism was strong because it activated traditionalism. And this was typical of some other non-Western countries - in particular, for China and, most importantly, for our conversation - North Korea. Jucheism is in the semantic field of the Tradition, which is based on the desire to overcome the alienation between the Absolute and man, in the course of which man himself becomes “perfect”, reaching the state of some higher “I”.
By the way, in North Korea, unlike in many other communist countries, there has never been any struggle with religion. In addition to the ruling Labor Party of Korea, there are two other parties in the country - the Social Democratic Party and the Party of Young Friends of the heavenly path. It includes adherents of the religious movement "Chondogyo" ("Heavenly Way"), which emerged in the nineteenth century. It is characterized by the interweaving of the “elements” of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism. The followers of the “Heavenly Way” emphasize the unity of God and man (moreover, the Absolute does not exist here separately from the human person), but at the same time refuse to recognize their equality. Hence the demand to contribute in every way to the improvement of human society on earth. In the country's parliament and its presidium, 50 members of the PDDP are sitting, it has 10 thousands of members, and this refutes the claim that the party is just one of the departments of the TPK Central Committee. An interesting fact is that the party leader Ryu Miyon was married to Choi Toxin, the foreign minister of South Korea (1961 – 1963). Together they fled to the DPRK. In South Korea, by the way, there are also sympathizers of North Korea. Some of them emphasize left-wing ideas, socialism, others are convinced nationalists who put the idea of a united Korea above all. Against them, it happens, the real repressions unfold. So, last year, three members of a moderate United Progressive Party were arrested on charges of organizing a coup d'état, serving only for the cooperation of two Koreas. The Supreme Court of South Korea passed a ruling by which music that glorifies the DPRK is illegal. In the 2010 year, for storing audio files with marches of North Korea, a woman was sentenced to four years of imprisonment, who was even tried under a pseudonym - “Song” (translated from English - “song”).
And here it is impossible not to overlook the fact that it was the DPRK that repeatedly proposed to the South to create a single Confederation. Kim Il Sung emphasized: “The North and the South should think about unification, putting the interests of the nation first. Classes, ideologies exist in the presence of a nation. Communism, nationalism, faith in God are powerless when there is no nation. You should not rely on other teachings, if they do not care about their people. If we have a national idea, then our task is to unite all patriots into a single force. ” It is worth noting that here the idea is being held that the ideology of nationalism is not at all identical with the nation and can be separated from it.
The ideology of the DPRK is full of powerful, traditional symbolism that leads to the meanings of the Tradition. “The symbols of the“ sun ”and“ stars ”play an important role in mythology, - notes O. Gutsulyak in his research. - Since 8 July 1997 of the year in North Korea, a new “chuchkhe counting” has been adopted, the beginning of which is 1912 year - the year of birth of Kim Sung Joo, who took the name of Kim Il Sung (“Rising Sun”). The son of Kim Il Sung Kim Jong Il, who is believed to be born in Pektusan secret guerrilla camp in a timbered hut on North Korea's highest and most respected mountain - Pektusan (Samdzhiyon county), and the names “Sun of the Nation” and “Great Man Who Descended from Heaven” at that moment a double rainbow and a bright star appeared in the sky. In 1992, state sculptors embossed a huge 216 meter-wide inscription on Mount Päktusan: “Pektu, the Holy Mountain of the Revolution”, and soon Kim Jong Il received the title of “Bright Pectusan Star”. In accordance with the North Korean legend ... Hwanun, the father of the founder of the first Korean state, Kochoson, came down from the sky to the mountain. At the top of the mountain in the crater of the volcano is the Heavenly Lake, from which originates the river Sungari ”.
Juche goes beyond the limitations of inherent in both idealism, which closes itself in abstract spirituality, and materialism, which places faceless matter at the forefront. At the center of Juche is a person understood as a subject that connects the spiritual and the material. It is clear that here it does not mean only the personality of a person - especially in the liberal-individualistic interpretation. The subject of Juche is also a collective subject, which is embodied in the people, in the nation. In essence, Juche is nationalism, but only radical socialist.
Here is a brief, but very capacious characteristic of this curious teaching, given “from the side”: “The masses act as the subject of the public movement. A nation with a high sense of national pride and revolutionary dignity is invincible. In contrast to the capitalist economy, which seeks profit, the main goal of a socialist independent economy is to meet the needs of the country and the population. The people of each country must fight not only against aggression and enslavement, for the consistent defense of their independence, but also against imperialism and dominationism that encroach on the independence of the peoples of other countries. To establish a nationwide and all-state defense system, it is necessary to arm all the people and turn the whole country into a fortress. A revolution is a struggle for the masses to realize their needs for independence. To sit with folded arms, waiting for all the necessary conditions to ripen, is tantamount to giving up the revolution. In order to work out the correct view of the revolution, it is imperative to put in the basis of education a feeling of selfless devotion to the party and the leader. ” (A. Alexandrov. "Juche Ideas").
Well, this is ideology, politics. But what about the economy? It is believed that the national economy of the DPRK is a purely centralized, command-administrative economy of the so-called. "Barracks-communist" type. But this, again, is another myth. In the DPRK, there has never been some kind of stagnant, stagnant system. There have been attempts to reorganize the system of planned economic management. In this regard, it was initiated the preparation of planning tasks not only from above, but also from below.
Moreover, the country began “market” reforms designed to create conditions for private business in a “market-free” and planned socialism. The directors of factories and factories had the opportunity to independently set wages and introduce many additional incentives. In agriculture, there are farms, and the collective farms have the right to dispose of the surplus of the crop. Many distribution restrictions are eliminated.
Here it would be interesting to refer to the opinion of A. Lankov, a professor at Kukmin University (Seoul): “Over time, the North Korean business began to grow and take on more and more complex forms: private workshops (mainly engaged in the production of consumer goods), exchange - even private baths. Subsequently, those who rose in small business, began to open and larger enterprises - for example, mines and saltworks. (“Leader’s Man: How Businessmen Live in North Korea”)
All this is like a function of a socialist economy, sometimes a private enterprise is difficult to distinguish from a state enterprise, so intertwined is it all. As such, there is no capitalist structure, but there is an effective use of personal activity - for the benefit of the entire economy of the country. A. Lankov notes: “The attitude of the North Korean authorities to everything that happened was and remains ambivalent. On the one hand, from time to time they campaign against private business. In particular, such actions were actively carried out in 2005 – 2009 (however, even then it was usually not the case for arrests — they were limited by economic pressure). On the other hand, the authorities tolerate entrepreneurs ... "
It is clear that the leadership of the party and the country itself does not focus on these reforms, not wanting to propagandize "market values", involving many people in it. Here is the opinion of another expert, the regional director for Asia and Africa and the head of the regional projects management of the Russkiy Mir Foundation, G. Tolorai: Even if there are reforms, they will be called differently. But if we put aside the conversation about the conceptual apparatus, I want to remind you that in North Korea and before Kim Jong-un they tried to change something. Obviously, some changes are being carried out now ... reforms should not always be accompanied by complete openness. It was the Chinese model - “reform and openness”, and let the DPRK create its own. It is possible. " (“The DPRK is on the threshold of reforms.” The interview was taken by O. Kiryanov, published in the Russian newspaper. ”)
No matter how you feel about the North Korean model of socialism, one cannot but admit that the DPRK is a country that has managed to combine identity with dynamic development. One-dimensional judgments are irrelevant here.