General Secretary Kim Jong Il said.
“Taking a man-centered attitude towards the world means approaching the world from the viewpoint of interests of man, the master of the world.”
To approach the world proceeding from the interests of man means to observe and approach the world in the perspective of realizing man’s interests. Namely, this means to see whether a certain thing and phenomenon is favorable or unfavorable to man, how to turn unfavorables to favorables and how to make favorable into more favorables.
Some people may think that it is natural that man pursues favorables escaping unfavorables. But this is not always correct.
For instance, one day, General Secretary Kim Jong Il received a document concerning the building of a new factory in Hamhung area.
After taking detailed knowledge about its production capacity and equipment to be installed, he was very satisfied that the building of the factory could solve another urgent problem in the building of the socialist economy.
He asked the official concerned of the building site.
Listening to the answer that there is a good place in the upper part of Songchon River, he glanced at him as if surprised and asked whether it would give inconvenience to the life of the people in Hamhung who would use its water. The official said that they could keep the water from being polluted if refinery system is well built.
But General Secretary Kim Jong Il shook his head and “canceled” the document, saying that he would study more.
Afterwards, he asked about the opinion of the officials in the place and sent experts to make concrete survey into the area. And he asked to select other place and make sewage disposal and purification service, when it is reported that it is no problem at initial stage but it will give affect when the factory expands after some time. As a result, the Songchon River can remain clean as ever.
This is, indeed, brilliant embodiment of the Juche-oriented attitude and standpoint that places man’s interests in the fore and approach everything in his interests.
What can we learn from this historical fact?
This tells that everything man does is not favorable to him, accordingly it is important to observe everything putting in the first place the essential demand and interests of a social being to live and develop independently and creatively free from fetters of nature and social bondage.
What is necessary, then, to approach the world proceeding from the interests of man?
First, it is necessary to keep it as top principle to defend independent rights and interests of man in all activities. It means to keep it as fundamental purpose to defend his independent rights and interests in all activities of cognition and practice.
Purpose defines target, task, means and method of cognition and transformation and decides the result. It is therefore very important to set up correct goal to successfully conduct cognitive and practical activities.
Since the activities to cognize and transform nature and society take place against diverse things and phenomena, its concrete purpose can be different. But the concrete purpose ultimately should be oriented to defend man’s independent rights and interests. In other word, all the concrete purposes should be set proceeding from the fundamental purpose to defend his independent rights and interests.
As a matter of fact, purpose reflects man’s demand, interests, the condition of its realization, determination to reach the result. To keep it as top principle to defend independent rights and interests is the fundamental demand coming from the purpose of all cognition and practice. To fail to set it as the purpose to defend independent rights and interests is against the nature of cognition and transformation and has no value at all.
Let’s take an example.
Since long before, people have studied nuclear physics. It is useless to say that the use of law of atomic movement is favorable to man. But their sincere efforts to understand the law of atomic movement were misused by imperialists and reactionaries who are pursuing domination, subjugation, war and aggression and thus resulted in the production of nuclear bomb at the cost of as much as 2 billion dollars. Report on the damage of A-bomb dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki tells that if the science which should serve people is abused for wrong purpose, it will give huge disaster and pains to humanity.
This fact tells that if man’s activities are to serve him, they should be oriented towards defending his independent rights and interests and all sorts of wrong standpoint and attitude should be rejected.
To approach the world proceeding from the interests of man is, secondly, to make all problems arising in cognition and practice be oriented to realizing people’s demand for independence. This means that the process of cognitive and practical activities should contribute to the independent life of people. For this end, it is very important to define the targets of cognition and practice in combination with the demand for independence.
The correct definition is a sure guarantee for the successful activities of man. Man has inexhaustible creative ability to cognize and transform all things and phenomena in the world.
But man cannot cognize and transform the world at once. The people in each generation try to understand and transform the world with life demand and creative ability that have been socially and historically defined. People raise life demand and satisfy it with creative ability, and in this process they further develop their ability and raise higher demand.
If those things which have nothing to do with people’s independent demand and interests become the targets of cognition and transformation, they cannot be correctly cognized or transformed, and even if they are cognized and transformed, they are like a man wearing an ornamental knife without putting on trousers.
As a result, it is important to keep it as top principle to defend man’s interests and is also important to select those necessary for realizing urgent demands as targets of cognition.
In order to make all problems arising in cognition and practice serve the realization of people’s independent demand, it is also important to select the means and methods for better realization of their demand for independence.
For the success in this work, correct means and methods should be applied. Means is thing and phenomenon used by man to attain the purpose while method is mode of activities to attain purpose. The purpose defines means and method that, in turn, guarantee the attainment of the purpose. Correctly set goal can be attained only by the corresponding means and methods.
Since the purpose of cognitive and practical activities is to defend man’s interests, the means and method ought to serve defending realizing his interests.
Although the purpose is correctly set, if the means and method infringe upon his interests, it can not score success in cognitive and practical activities, failing to display independence, creativity and consciousness.
In the past people in some socialist countries felt it good after their stomachs are full. They claimed therefore that they should develop productive forces and introduce any methods whether it is socialist or capitalist, while introducing capitalist mode of management. As a result, socialism was degenerated, eventually bringing about tragic event of the fall of socialism.
What does this fact tell?
This tells that only when the means and methods of cognitive and practical activities are selected on the principle of defending man’s interests, can the activities be the process of enhancing people’s independence, creativity and consciousness, thus successfully attaining their goal of defending man’s demand for independence.
In order to defend man’s demand for independence and interests, it is also important to evaluate the result of cognitive and practical activities with the criterion of his demand for independence and interests.
Correct evaluation of this is prerequisite for the further development of man’s activities. The criterion of evaluation is how much they serve the defending of his demand for independence and interests.
As you know, man is the most superior and powerful being in the world, and everything valuable in the world is created by man. Therefore, man is the most valuable being and nothing in the world is more precious than man.
All things and phenomena in the world have value as long as they serve him. Herein lies the reason why the degree of serving man’s demand for independence and interests becomes the criterion of evaluation.
Today in capitalist countries, they have mammonist value system with which they value money or gold more than man and evaluate value of things with the criterion of money. As a result, in this society, there prevails such abnormal events as that not only things but also man’s personal value convert into exchange value.
Therefore, a little after the emergence of capital, Shakesphere criticized the irrationality of capitalism based on mammonist value system in his play.
“Gold! yellow, glittering, precious gold!
Thus much of this, will make black white; foul, fair;
Wrong, right; base, noble; old, young; coward, valiant
And give them title, knee and approbation.”
We must in any cases repudiate inhumane mammonist viewpoint of reactionary exploiting class and ruling class that claim they don’t care for the future and life of people for money, and must evaluate everything with man’s demand for independence and interests as criteria.
The Juche-oriented standpoint and attitude towards the world proceeding from the interests of man–this aims at realizing independence and makes everything serve man, thus enabling the cognition and transformation to proceed in correct direction. Herein lie validity and power of the Juche-oriented standpoint and attitude.