On the basis of the principle that the popular masses are the subject of social history, the Juche idea clarifies that the socio-historical movement is an independent, creative and conscious movement of the popular masses. This is the clarification of the essence, character and motive force of the socio-historical movement, therefore it becomes the elucidation of the peculiar law of the socio-historical movement as the movement of subject that is different from one of the motion of nature.
Leader Kim Jong Il said.
“The social movement aims to achieve the independence of the popular masses and the development of society means that the struggle of the popular masses to achieve independence is intensified.”
The principle that the socio-historical movement is the independent movement of the popular masses is a major principle of the Juche outlook on social history which considered the socio-historical movement on the basis of independence of the popular masses, the subject of history. This principle gives a correct elucidation of the essence of the socio-historical movement.
If you cast a glance at human history which has registered innumerable anecdotes and events, you may think that the socio-historical movement takes place and the current of history is settled due to the volition and action of the prominent persons like a “ king” or “hero”. Therefore, a certain scholar in the past said that if the nose of Cleopatra, Queen of ancient Egypt, had been a little low, the European history would have been changed. This means that if the nose of Cleopatra, who fascinated Caesar and Antonius, famous generals of ancient Rome, with her pretty features to make them her lovers and thus made it impossible for Roman Empire to largely extend its territory of domination over Egypt and the Middle and Near East, had been a little sharp (at that time the sharpness of the bridge of the nose was the standard of beauty), the territory of the Roman Empire would have been changed and the history after that would have become different. Socio-historical movement, however, is by no means the accumulation of accidental events that may change in one way or another according to a caprice and will of a specific person.
As the Juche idea clarifies, the socio-historical movement is the independent movement made by the popular masses to live and develop as masters of the world and their destiny free from all sorts of subjugation and subordination.
Then, what is the reason why the socio-historical movement is the independent movement of the popular masses?
In a nutshell, it is because the popular masses are independent beings who have independence as their attribute.
It is an intrinsic demand of the popular masses to live independently free from all sorts of subjugation and subordination. Independence is life and soul of the people, and defending it is an absolute demand and basic right of the people that can never be deprived of. Therefore, socio-historical movement is caused with defending and realizing the people’s independence as fundamental purpose.
As we feel often, the social movement takes place in quite diverse and complex forms. The social movement has various forms of movements such as production activity to create material wealth, class struggle, national liberation struggle, revolutionary struggle and anti-nuclear peace movement. All of these struggles are, from the viewpoint of the objective of its’ transformation, largely divided into the struggle for social reform, the struggle for natural transformation and the struggle for human remoulding. These three transformations are the basic forms of the socio-historical movement and the fundamental objective of them all lie in defending and realizing independence for the popular masses.
The work of social reform is the struggle of the masses to provide themselves with social and political conditions for their independent life, free from class and national subjugation.
If they are to live and act independently, people must destroy the outdated social system that tramples upon independence and set up a social system that provides them with independence.
In general, all activities of people are conducted through their social cooperation. The relation of social cooperation between peoples is, however, not always formed in conformity with the people’s desire for independence and interests. Whether the relation between peoples becomes the relation of independence and equality or the relation of domination and subjugation depends on social relations, social systems. This shows that the social relation, the social system becomes an important condition for the realization of independence for the masses.
The popular masses realize their social and political independence by improving social relations through the transformation of society.
The work of natural transformation is the struggle of the masses to create material conditions for an independent life, free from the fetters of nature.
If they are to live on, people must have means of life. As people can not live breathing only air like “supernatural beings” do in a legend, they need something to eat. They also must have clothes and houses necessary to avoid death from cold. These means of life are not things that have been previously given in nature and do not come from heaven of its own accord. People must make means of life necessary to live by using various materials and by means of the creative labor. Nature moves and changes continuously, and its’ courses are not always favorable to man. Sometimes it is fine and rains adequately to be favorable to farming, sometimes flood and drought make unfavorable conditions for farming. Only when they overcome these caprices of nature, can people realize independence in the relation of nature.
When we say the fetter of nature, it means that people fail to make necessary means of life easily and freely as much as they need, and that they suffer damage from natural phenomena such as flood and drought.
Such fetters of nature exist because the productive forces have not yet been developed high and the power of nature has not been tamed completely.
Therefore, in order to be free from the fetters of nature, it is necessary to develop the productive forces and thus prevent all kinds of damages from the blind and destructive power of nature. Only by doing so, can people realize independence in the relation of nature and lead a bountiful material life to the full.
The work of human remoulding is the struggle to strengthen the subject of history by developing people to be more powerful social beings mentally and physically. In other words, the struggle of the masses to create ideological and cultural conditions for an independent life, free from the shackles of outdated ideas and culture is the very undertaking to transform man.
If man is to lead an independent life, man himself must be an independent and creative being.
If man lags behind in ideology and is backward in civilization, he can not lead an independent and creative life though the social system is progressive and the material life is bountiful.
We must not regard an independent and creative life simply as being well dressed, satisfying one’s appetite and having good houses. Of course, it is important for man to be well clothed and eat to his heart’s content in a good house, too. What is more important, however, is that man does worthy work for the sake of society and collective as a member of full-fledged master of society who is not subordinated to anyone. If man is to live on like this way, he must make himself an independent and creative being with sound thoughts, a great stock of knowledge of nature and society, high level of cultural attainments and healthy body.
From this, people undergo the work to transform man and through this transformation they realize independence in the relation of themselves.
The purpose of all socio-historical movements is to defend and realize independence of the people and therefore socio-historical movement becomes their independent movement.
It is an obvious fact shown by the protracted history of development of human society that socio-historical movement is the independent movement of the people.
Since the division of society into antagonistic classes, the people have continuously conducted social revolutions to oppose exploiter class and exploiter system and to overthrow the old exploiter system. The history of social revolution to overthrow the exploiter system is the history to provide socio-political conditions under which the people can enjoy independent life free from all sorts of social subjugation.
It was a progress in the working people’s struggle for independence that slavery system and feudal system had been collapsed by slaves’ riot, the first struggle of the exploited working masses for independence and by the anti-feudal struggle of the peasants in the Middle Ages. But these struggles only replaced the chains of slavery with the chains of feudalism and again with the yoke of capital, without getting rid of class domination and oppression.
The establishment of socialist system after eliminating capitalist system was a historic change in the people’s struggle for independence. After the establishment of socialist system through socialist revolution, all sorts of exploiter class and system that trampled down the peoples’ demand for independence were eliminated and the people could enjoy independent life as masters of state power and means of production.
The prolonged history of human society is the history in which the people have fought to free themselves from fetters of nature and enhance their ideological consciousness and cultural level.
Since its origin, humanity has increased social wealth and developed productive forces, expanding its scope of domination over nature.
People have cultivated plants and bred animals, without being satisfied with the ready-made things in nature. With the emergence of primitive agriculture and animal husbandry, the people could use the laws acting in nature according to their demand, expanding their scope of domination over nature.
In the process of conquering nature, people have produced production tools, the means of conquering nature and on this basis changed freely the things in nature, thus doing industrial labor to produce material wealth necessary for them. The handicraft industry that has emerged as appendage of primitive natural economy separated from agriculture to develop into independent economic sector, and became industry while being equipped with machines along with the emergence of capitalism. The modern industry has considerably developed, shaping a new scientific and technical sectors, and agriculture and husbandry are industrialized. The process of development of industry was the process in which the peoples’ dependency on natural and geographical conditions has been reduced and the scope of domination over nature expanded.
Humanity has struggled not only to remake nature according to its demand for independence but also to develop its ideology and culture.
In the inception of human society, people’s level of ideology and culture were very low. In the process of remaking nature and developing collective life, the primitive peoples began to separate themselves from the surrounding world and take independent attitude towards the surrounding world and gradually accumulated knowledge, technology and production experience. And in this process, primitive art was created. But the primitive people were captured by primitive religion of mystifying natural strength and blindly worshiping it.
In the process of development of class society, people acquired class consciousness, the independent consciousness against social bondage and on the basis of production experience created various valuable art and literature and sciences such as astronomy, mathematics and dynamics.
This historical fact tells that the socio-historical movement is the people’s independent movement to defend and realize their independence.