Non-Viable National Economies

In: Social Issues

Submitted By GIFTKABASO
Words 4612
Pages 19
Grace Lee 105
Korea

The Political Philosophy of Juche
Grace Lee
Introduction
The political philosophy known as juche became the official autarkic state ideology of the
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in 1972.1 Although foreign scholars often describe juche as “self-reliance,” the true meaning of the term is much more nuanced. Kim Il Sung explained: Establishing juche means, in a nutshell, being the master of revolution and reconstruction in one’s own country. This means holding fast to an independent position, rejecting dependence on others, using one’s own brains, believing in one’s own strength, displaying the revolutionary spirit of self-reliance, and thus solving one’s own problems for oneself on one’s own responsibility under all circumstances.
The DPRK claims that juche is Kim Il Sung’s creative application of Marxist-Leninist principles to the modern political realities in North Korea.2
Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il have successfully wielded the juche idea as a political shibboleth to evoke a fiercely nationalistic drive for North Korean independence and to justify policies of self-reliance and self-denial in the face of famine and economic stagnation in North
Korea. Kim Il Sung envisioned three specific applications of juche philosophy: political and ideological independence, especially from the
Soviet Union and China; economic self-reliance

and self-sufficiency; and a viable national defense system.3 This paper begins with a discussion of the three key components of the juche ideology – political, economic and military independence – as promulgated by the DPRK. The second section is a discussion of the ideological origins of the juche philosophy, followed by a third section on the philosophical bases of the juche idea. The paper concludes with an examination of juche as a political body of thought and an evaluation of the success with…...

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