Independence is the most essential and fundamental attribute of man, the social being. As man has independence, he becomes a man, and it is inconceivable to think of man without the independence.
Man is a being with independence, that is, an independent social being.
General Secretary Kim Jong Il said.
“Independence is an attribute of social man who is desirous of living and developing in an independent way as master of the world and his own destiny.”
Independence, one of the essential features of man, is an attribute of social man who is desirous of living and developing in an independent way as master of the world and his own destiny.
On the strength of this quality, man throws off the fetters of nature, opposes social subjugation of all forms and puts everything at his own service.
Independence is, first of all, an attribute that opposes subjugation and fetters of all forms.
It is one of the most important features for man to live not to be shackled to the surrounding world.
Animal is totally subordinated to nature, because it is a part of nature. The animals can not maintain their existence when they do not adapt themselves to the given conditions and circumstances of nature.
For example, monkeys and elephants in tropic areas can not live when they are moved to the polar zone where polar bears live. This is because monkeys and elephants can not stand the cold of the North Pole and they are not good at fishing like polar bears. This tells the existing mode of animals is to live in the subordination of the outside world.
But man is aware of himself and separates himself from the surrounding world and even lives in confrontation with the world, unlike the animals. Herein lies the first step man takes to free himself from the subordination of the surrounding world.
Man struggles to free himself from the subordination of nature.
The blind strength of nature that surrounded people fetters man’s life activity and life considerably. But man uses the strength of nature instead of yielding before it, thus surviving and developing.
Man does not want to live in subordination to others socially. Therefore, man wages struggle to free himself from the subordination as long as there is social subjugation and fetters. No one likes to live being subordinated by others. The struggle of the slaves against slave system, the struggle of the farmers against feudal system, the struggle of the working class against exploitation and oppression of the capital and the struggle of the oppressed people against colonial ruling system are the struggles to free the popular masses from social subjugation.
The process in which man survives and works as a social being is the process of struggle to free himself from subjugation and fetters of all forms. People conduct continuous struggle against fetters and subjugation of the outside world unlike all other material beings. Herein lies one of the aspects of the contents of independence, man’s basic attribute.
Independence is, next, an attribute of subordinating the surrounding world according to one’s will and demands.
It is one of the important features of man to subjugate and dominate the surrounding world in conformity with his demand and interest without being subordinated by anything.
Man is the only being that can maintain his life through dominating the world. Since man freed himself from the animal world, he regarded the surrounding world as his arena of existence and activity and further expanded the scope of his domination in conformity with the increase of his ability and strength.
The process of man’s activity is the process of subordinating and dominating more phenomena and things in nature. Man ceaselessly transforms, changes and dominates the society as well as nature according to his demands. That man dominates society means that man makes social relations and social wealth serve himself in conformity with his demands. Here that man dominates society has nothing to do with the subjugation and domination of man by man. That man subjugates and dominates man is an act which is fundamentally contrary to social nature of man. This is because the subjugation and domination of man by man is the act to infringe upon and obliterate independence, the essential attributes of man. That reactionary exploiting classes and dominating classes exploit the popular masses is an act to infringe upon and obliterate independence of man, so it has nothing to do with man’s independence.
Like this, man does not confine himself to fighting against subjugation of the surrounding world and dominates it, thus being an independent being.
The quality to oppose subjugation of all sorts and the quality to make the surrounding world serve man’s demand are the contents of independence, so they are interlinked and expressed in the activities of the people.
If one of the qualities is missing it is impossible to have independence, the essential attribute of man or if one of the qualities is missing, the other qualities cannot be formed. These aspects that constitute independence are expressed in a uniform way in the activities of the peoples.
The decisive factor that defines man’s independence is independent ideological consciousness.
This consciousness means the awareness of the master of one’s own destiny and signifies the will to shape one’s destiny by one’s own initiative. In other words, this consciousness is a social consciousness that reflects intrinsic demand and interests of social being who is desirous to live and develop as the master of the world and destiny. Only when a man has the consciousness of independence can he conduct conscious activity to conquer nature and actively struggle against the oppressors who encroach and trample upon his independence.
Finally, the consciousness of independence is the guarantee that enables man to have independence and this consciousness proves that man has independence.
Independence is the life and soul of man. When independence is referred to as man’s life and soul, it means social and political integrity
Man has a physical life and also social political integrity. The physical life is what keeps a man alive as biological organism; social and political integrity is what keeps him alive as a social being. As man is a social being, social and political integrity is more valuable than physical life. Accordingly, if man is deprived of his social and political integrity, he is as same as the dead although he is alive.
What is the difference between man’s life and animal’s life, if the life of man is simply eating, dressing and keeping on his life? Therefore, people fight against oppressors for independence, social and political integrity, as long as they are alive.
In history there are many righteous people who devoted their lives for the independence of the popular masses and for the freedom and happiness of the people.
There are many stories about the heroic soldiers who devoted their valuable lives for the independence of the country and freedom of the people in the long course of the Korean revolution under the banner of the Juche idea.
“I am a youth of liberated Korea.
Life is valuable.
So is the hope for the bright future.
But my life, my hope and my happiness
Are less valuable than the destiny of my fatherland.
I have only one life,
But no life, no hope and no happiness
Are so noble, so beautiful and so great
Than to devote my only one life
For my only one fatherland.”
This poem written by Hero Li Su Bok who devoted his life at the age of 18 in the severe June 25 Korean War goes down for ever in the Korean history and powerfully encourages tens of thousands of people to the sacred struggle for the independence. Although the physical life of Hero Li Su Bok is 18 years old his valuable social and political integrity is still alive and will be immortal generation after generation.
Social and political integrity is so valuable and immortal that it cannot be bartered for anything.
Perhaps some people may doubt if the physical life has no value at all. Of course, the physical life is valuable for man. So people have wanted for a long life in good health and for this, they develop cultural fields such as public health and sports.
But to simply maintain the physical life for man can not be the fundamental purpose of life.
The physical life has value only when it serves glorifying social and political integrity.
Social and political integrity of man is maintained through the struggle to defend and realize independence. Social and political integrity of an individual is given and maintained through the struggle for the country and nation, for independence of the popular masses.
Those who do not make the struggle for the country and nation, independence of the popular masses, pursing only indolence and pleasure of individual can neither have social and political integrity nor be an independent social being nor lead a man’s life.
Indeed, independence is the basic attribute that keeps man alive and the life and soul of man, social being.