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Staff, T.F.E. (2013, Mar 6). Juche Overview. Faithology.
Staff, The, et. al. "Juche Overview" Faithology, LLC. Last modified March 6, 2013.
Faithology, LLC, 2012. (Accessed May 20, 2013).. Juche Overview.
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- Last Updated: March 6, 2013
- Originally Published: July 22, 2012
is a political utilized in North Korea. Though it is not actually a religion, it is practiced with similar fervor. It was first implemented around 1955, when Kim Il Sung 金日成 (April 15, 1912 – July 8, 1994) served as Prime Minister. The ideology of Juche originally indicated that developing countries should be able to rely on their own resources in order to develop.
The strongest influence on Juche was- . This ideology was originally developed by Karl Marx (May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883) and was later implemented in Russian politics by Vladimir Lenin (April 22, 1870 – January 21, 1924). However, the hierarchies inherent in Confucianism also had a hand in influencing Kim Il Sung’s ideology.
At its core, the Juche ideology was meant to assist developing countries during the 20th century. It professes that developing countries should be allowed to develop on their own and be treated equally by the rest of the world rather than being subordinate to a foreign power. Eventually, Juche came to be defined within North Korea as political independence, self-reliance in regards to the economy, and strong national defense. It was viewed as a revolutionary political theory intended to allow the masses to achieve independence.
Kim Jong Il 金正日 (February 16, 1942 – December 17, 2011) secretly became the successor to Kim Il Sung around 1973, but was publically introduced in this role in 1980. Under Kim Jong Il, Juche was transformed from a simple political guideline to the supreme doctrine of North Korean faith. In this new context, it became a political ideology of independence for all North Koreans.
: Juche does not take the place of any religion, so one may practice the Juche philosophy while belonging to another religion. However, the vast majority of Juche adherents do not otherwise practice religion.
Communal Production: Following Marxism-Leninism, Juche requires a society to originally lack a central state government and social classes so that every citizen can communally own the means of production.
Political and Economic Independence: Developing countries should be allowed political independence rather than to be subjugated or otherwise influenced by a foreign power. This independence is to foster the growth of their own country in their own way and by their own means. Developing countries should also be allowed to be economically self-reliant.
State Defense: Developing countries should be able to defend themselves rather than rely on another foreign power.
of Leadership: North Koreans worshiped the late general, Kim Jong Il, as a hero until his death in December 2011. Critics of the Juche idea often claim that Kim Jong Il has been deified by his people. It is unclear whether his son and successor, Kim Jong Un 金正恩 (born c. January 8, 1984) will be worshiped to the same degree.
North Korean Life: Juche is the ideal towards which the life of every North Korean is meant to be focused.
- Despite its intellectual origins with Karl Marx, Juche itself was established in 1955 as a political thesis instituted by Kim Il Sung.
- In 1972, Juche was listed as the official state ideology in the constitution of North Korea.
- In 1982, Kim Jong Il authored the definitive statement on Juche: "On the Juche Idea." He redefined Juche into a more cultic ideology, transforming it from a simple guideline into an article of faith for North Koreans.
- After his death in 1994, Kim Il Sung was designated the “eternal President” of North Korea.
- The future of Juche is uncertain with the death of Kim Jong Il in late December 2011.
An Introduction to Marxism-Leninism
Karl Marx was a German social theorist. By 1848, he and Friedrich Engels (November 20, 1820 – August 5, 1895) had developed what is now called Marxism, an ideology of communism. Marxism depended on the creation of a society without social classes or state government. This society also commonly owned means of production such as factories. Engels and Marx then published their opus on communism, Manifesto, in 1848.
This form of communism—often labeled Marxism—was then further developed by Vladimir Lenin in 1917. Lenin’s Communism—called Leninism—adapted Marxism for use in Imperial Russia. Together, Marxism-Leninism denotes the general communist ideology as adaptable to other nations.