Economic self-sufficiency is the guiding principle to implement independence in the economic field.
To implement independence in economic field is important issue to consolidate independence of a country and ensure Juche in ideology, independence in politics, self-reliance in defense and provide the people with independent and creative life materially.
What, then, does it mean to be self-sufficient in the economy?
General Secretary Kim Jong Il said:
In order to implement the principle of economic self-sufficiency, one must build an independent national economy.
Building an independent national economy means building an economy which is free from dependence on others and which stands on its own feet, an economy which serves one’s own people and develops on the strength of the resources of one’s own country and by the efforts of one’s own people.
In other words, this means to build independent national economy.
The building of independent national economy has two contents; one is to build the economy that serves the people, and the other is to build the economy that depends on one’s own resources of the country and the strength of the people.
It is one of the essential contents of building independent national economy to build the economy that serves the people.
To build the economy that serves the people means to build the economy that can satisfy diverse and ever-increasing material need with one’s own production.
Such an economy is the economy multi-sided and comprehensive in its structure.
When the economic structure becomes multi-sided and comprehensive, one can satisfy diverse and ever-increasing material need with one’s own production. So the economy that serves the people in that country should be multi-sided and comprehensive in structure.
Such an economy should be also based on latest science and technology.
That is necessary to satisfy ever-increasing material need on one’s own efforts and liberate the people from arduous labor.
The latest science and technology means high level of scientific and technological basis of the economic activities and makes it possible to rapidly grow production by enhancing productive efficiency and thus makes the national economy serve the people’s independent and creative life.
It is the other essential contents of building independent national economy to build the economy that develops depending on the resources of the country and the strength of the people.
The direct agent of building the economy is the people. And their country has raw materials and fuels to build and develop the economy that serves the people. Of course, one can use foreign strength and resources in building the economy. But it is impossible to build the economy according to one’s will and desire, when depending on foreign raw materials and fuel.
Dependency on others means the deprivation of one’s economy, which is subjugated.
This can be understood by the fact that many developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America that managed the economy depending on foreign capital received millions of dollars of “emergent relief fund” again from the “IMF” and “World Bank” after the destructive financial crisis and thus had to be under the submissive “mandate” and imposed upon severe “adjustment of structure”, losing economic self-sufficiency.
The economy that depends on the resources of the country and on the strength of the people is the economy that develops depending on one’s own raw materials, technique, and national technical personnel. One’s own resources, technique, and national technical personnel are inevitable factors for the building of an independent national economy.
Only depending on these factors, is it possible to build self-sufficient economy.
The building of an independent national economy has the essential contents of building the economy that serves the people and develops depending on one’s own resources and strength of the people. This makes it possible to make economic self-sufficiency.
Why, then, is it necessary to be self-sufficient in the economy?
That is because economy is the material basis of the social life.
In other words, this means that social life cannot have material guarantee apart from the economy.
In social life are political life and cultural life. But these lives cannot exist apart from material conditions. Man can lead political life only when he eats and gets dressed, and for this end, he should have different material means.
So is the case of the cultural life. It is impossible to lead cultural life such as education, art, literature, sports and public health, apart from the material means. In this sense, the economy is called as material basis of social life.
This being the case, only when one is independent in the economy, is it possible to ensure independence of the people in all fields of social life.
When one is independent in the economy, one can consolidate the independence of a country and lead an independent life.
Economic self-sufficiency is one of the important criteria of an independent sovereign state.
Although one is independent in politics, it is meaningless, if one is dependent in the economy. In other words, that country is independent country in name but not actually. Apart from the economy, social life is inconceivable. How can the country that is dependent in the economy be called as an independent sovereign state?
The country that depends on others in economy will follow others and cannot be free from subordination as slaves in debt.
In the past many countries were deprived of their countries and had to live colonial slaves’ life. Today many countries gained political independence but cannot be completely free from the domination and subjugation of the imperialists.
That is because these countries were dependent and backward economically.
If a country is not independent economically, that country begs to others, eventually being subjugated economically and bringing no meaning to the political independence.
Economic self-sufficiency is necessary to live on one’s own efforts.
Korean proverb goes:
The money in the father’s pocket is no better than that in one’s own pocket.
It is more so in the relations among countries.
As long as there is country and border, economic life is made with a country as a unit, so each country should manage its economy on its own efforts.
Dependency on others is a wrong idea. Begging to others is shameful.
It is therefore important to be self-sufficient in the economy to live on one’s own efforts. When one is independent in the economy to produce what one needs mainly on one’s own, one can lead a dignified life.
In this process, one can import what one needs through foreign trade. One can buy certain things, not all things. If one buys all things, one will spend a lot of money and consume a lot of time.
For instance, in Korea, when it tried to produce tractors, others claimed that a small country do not need to produce them when it buys them from other countries. Anti-party reactionaries went against the production of tractors, saying that it didn’t pay.
At that time President Kim Il Sung said that if Korea buys 3,500 tractors annually, it would take more than ten years to buy 35,000 tractors and stressed that Korea should produce them on their own although it spends a lot of money. So Korea produced first one as a sample and further produced many tractors.
What would be the result, if it bought them instead of building a tractor factory?
Then it would have begged them even today, failing to mechanize rural economy.
This tells that economic self-sufficiency leads to dignified and independent life.
Economic self-sufficiency is the inevitable condition for ensuring Juche in ideology, independence in politics, and self-reliance in defense.
Economic self-sufficiency is the material conditions to ensure the principle of Juche in ideology.
To establish Juche in ideology means to arm the people with independent ideological consciousness. If one is dependent in the economy, being subordinated, one will have bad idea such as flunkeyism and dogmatism that go against independent ideology. What is the reason, then?
That is because one is dependent on others economically.
If one is weaker than others and dependent on others, one will look upon others. When one is self-sufficient in the economy, one can manage the economy on one’s own, enhance national pride and self-respect and establish Juche in ideology.
Economic self-sufficiency also makes it possible to maintain independence in politics.
If one is economically dependent, one is not free in political field. In this case, one should follow the instruction of others.
When each country is independent in economy, it can repudiate others’ interference and pressure and ensure independent politics.
Economic self-sufficiency also makes it possible to keep the principle of self-reliance in defense.
If one is dependent on others in the economy, one cannot build powerful military industry. If so, it is impossible to equip the army with modern weapons, nor arm the people militarily, nor make the whole country a fortress.
If a country has no powerful military industry, it had to import huge amount of military equipment from other countries but it would be difficult.
In order to adhere to the principle of self-reliance in defense, it is necessary to provide with weapons and combat equipment on one’s own, and for this end, it is important to build powerful self-sufficient economy.
Like this, economic self-sufficiency is inevitable requirement for realizing people’s independence in all fields of social life.