What does it mean that independence, creativity and consciousness are social qualities?
General Secretary Kim Jong Il said.
“Independence, creativity and consciousness are man’s social qualities which take shape and develop socially and historically.”
That the essential features of man are social qualities means that they are not given by nature but take shape and develop socially and historically.
Generally, people say that inborn gift and abilities are important in man’s activity. For example, one should be slender in the build to be a dancer, one should have long fingers to be a pianist, one should have long legs and strong muscles to be a runner and one should be intelligent to be a scientist.
This proves that man’s independent, creative and conscious activities are closely linked with his peculiar physical organism and with natural and biological function rooted in it.
As man has physical organs and structure including highly developed brain, hands and legs for upright walking, he can conduct thinking activity to understand the surrounding world and working activity to transform nature.
In other words, as he has most developed and perfect organism, he has thinking and working functions which are not available in other animals, with the result that he can have independence, creativity and consciousness.
Then is it necessary to regard independence, creativity and consciousness as inborn qualities and biological qualities? Never. The most developed physical organism and its peculiar functions are material, natural and biological foundation that enables man to have independence, creativity and consciousness but independence, creativity and consciousness do not come directly from the foundation.
A boy grew up in the group of animals in the forest in India in the 60s of the 20 century. He cried like animals instead of speaking, and crept like animals instead of walking. In a word, although he has human physics, he behaved like animals.
This shows that the essential features of man are not given by nature.
The essential qualities of man have been formed and developed historically when people live in society.
Independence, creativity and consciousness are social attributes that are shaped and developed socially and historically. That is because man is a social being.
Animals make only instinctive activities to adapt themselves to the change of the surrounding world or use ready-made things in nature, but man’s activities to create new things that do not exist in ready-made forms are material cortex of thinking, and the activities presuppose language, the means for exchange of wills. The activities to transform consciousness, language and nature are only possible by forming social relations with man.
Human ancestors in the primitive stage accidentally made the first “labor” of biological and instinctive forms like picking fruits with sticks and cracking shells with stones in the course of group life, and with continuous repeat, physical organism necessary for thinking and labor were gradually shaped and developed and in this process, social relations were originated in group lives.
Social relations provided objective conditions that stimulate and accelerate the transition from the origin of consciousness and language, “labor” of biological and instinctive forms to the conscious labor.
The emergence of man, an outstanding material being, is synchronized with the formation of labor, consciousness, language, developed physical organism and the formation of society.
Man’s physical structure and function, consciousness and language and labor are man’s peculiar criteria that are fundamentally different from all other material beings. The formation of social relations are fundamental conditions for the formation and development of all criteria.
The completion of man’s physical structure and origin of consciousness, language and labor are social products. They have social characters.
Man’s consciousness is social consciousness and language is the means of man’s social intercourse and labor is social activity. Man stopped to be a simple biological being who moved blindly according to his instinct, since he formed social relations and became an outstanding being who transforms nature and society purposefully and consciously, putting an end to the process of the evolution and entering onto a new stage that developed socially.
This tells man could have social attribute since he lives in the society. Herein lies one of the important reasons why independence, creativity and consciousness, the essential attributes of man are social attributes formed and developed socially and historically.
Man’s independence, creativity and consciousness are not immutable or abstract attributes but concrete attributes that are formed and developed socially and historically. This is found in manifestation of personality.
People in a society have conditions in which they can have independence and creativity of certain contents and levels, for commonness of socio-historical condition and life.
The people who live in a society, have different backgrounds and life records, education and practice, and accordingly they have different contents and levels of ideological consciousness and knowledge, the contents and levels of technical function.
Everybody has independence, creativity and consciousness suiting to their independent ideological consciousness and creative ability acquired through social life and social practice.
Man’s independence, creativity and consciousness are not immutable but concrete social attributes that ceaselessly change and develop along with history.
First of all, the contents of independence and its degree of realization change and develop historically.
The contents of man’s desire for independence and its realization are not the same in every stage and period of social development.
Man desires to live independently free from fetters of nature and social subjugation but cannot escape from fetters and subjugation of all forms in a time. Through the long period of struggles, man has gradually freed himself from fetters of nature and social subjugation and raised the levels of desire for independence and struggles for its realization in conformity with the concrete socio-historical conditions and his preparedness.
Slaves raised it as their demand for independence to free themselves from inhuman subjugation and bondage from slave owners, while the working class fought to abolish all forms of subjugation and bondage of man by man free from capitalist exploitation and subjugation.
This shows the fact that man’s independence is the concrete attribute which develops continuously along with history.
Man’s creativity is also the concrete social attribute that develops socially and historically. That man has creativity means that man has a creative ability and that creative ability is formed and ceaselessly develops in social practice to reshape nature and society. The history of the development of science is the development of cognitive ability, and the history of the development of productive forces is the one of man’s practical ability to transform nature.
Since the crude stone age to the latest scientific technical successes like information equipment and automatic machines including computers and robots and biological engineering and nano technology, the process of the development of social productive forces and science and technology was the historical development of man’s creative ability. This proves the fact that man’s creativity is a concrete attribute which is formed and developed socially and historically.
Man’s consciousness is also the concrete attribute that has different contents and levels according to historical age.
Man’s consciousness depends on the contents of ideology and knowledge or its levels of development. As consciousness is social attribute that determines man’s cognition and activity, the more man’s activity is strengthened to develop society, understand and reshape the world, the higher consciousness man requires. On the other hand, people are deeply aware of their demand and interests according to the development of social life and social practice and foster their strong will and strength for its realization.
This proves that independence, creativity and consciousness are not unchangeable abstract attribute but a concrete attribute that ceaselessly develops along with history.
Another reason is that they are attributes that are inherited to generations through social practice and education.
Let’s take an example of a baby. A newly born baby does not recognize its mother for the time being not to say of ideology and knowledge. But it knows to cry and suck milk when hungry. He sleeps when sleepy. It does all these things without learning. This tells man, as living organism, inherits instinct from parents biologically but not ideology and knowledge.
Through family education, school education and social education and through his direct social and practical activities, man acquires independent ideological consciousness and creative ability to be human being.
Like this, independence, creativity and consciousness are social attributes because they are formed and developed through social education and practice.
These prove that man’s independence, creativity and consciousness are social attributes that are formed and developed socially and historically.
So far, we studied about socio-historical character of the essential features of man. The Juche idea clarified scientifically that man is a social being with independence, creativity and consciousness, thus putting an end to the philosophical dispute about man’s instinct and unscientific and reactionary opinions of all forms of man, giving the most philosophical clarification of man.
Man is the most developed and powerful being in the world and is the great being who dominates and transforms the world. This was powerfully demonstrated and man’s dignity and value reached a highest stage.
Herein lies the great turning significance and historical exploits that give complete Juche explanation to man’s intrinsic issue.