Sunday, November 16, 2008

North Korea under Songun resembles Fascism more than Stalinism

As if Stalinism itself wasn't bad enough. Here is a PDF speech by Kim Jong-Il, the bad baddy bad guy, explaining the Songun idea. What is Songun? The work explains it as two fold: first, that the military has superseded the working class as the vanguard of North Korean politics, and secondly, that this change has been necessary in order to bring about a cultural and ideological change in North Korea in order to make it a more fully socialist country. Songun in the document means in practice that all of North Korean society is organized along the model of the People's Army, with military values and ethics rewriting North Korean culture. This is a clear echo of the military worship of Fascist regimes and movements throughout Europe, particularly that of the Romanian fascist Corneliu Codreanu, who said that the new man would be forged from the type of military discipline and culture that were present in World War I's army. Italian Fascism and Nazism also preached about the new man, who had military discipline and martial values, with both Fascist street fighters in Italy and the SS as a whole in Germany declared to consist of representative people of the new order. Extreme nationalism, which is obviously a bourgeois concept, goes hand in hand with military discipline in the document by Kim Jong-Il, or whoever wrote it for him.

In regards to Socialism and how the Songun idea fits into Socialism it's comparable with the use of the secret police, the Stasi, of East Germany in the country's early days to forcibly collectivize agriculture, the idea being that the political police were a disciplined and loyal revolutionary force. Another way of saying it would be that Songun is like what would happen if the KGB was designated as the motive force of socialist revolution. The military is loyal to the Party and so is the Party's way of effecting this cultural revolution (which isn't labeled as a Cultural Revolution because North Korea doesn't want to be officially allied with Maoism). The change to Songun happened several years after Kim Il-Sung's death, interestingly enough.

While North Korea might have been a totalitarian Stalinist dictatorship under the elder Kim, under Kim Jong-Il it appears to have mutated towards a form resembling Niyazov "Turkmenbashi''s Turkmenistan, a dictatorial form of government that goes towards combining nationalist celebration of the country's culture with socialist traditions that existed before the fall of the Soviet Union. North Korea differs from Turkmenistan and other post-Soviet Central Asian states in that it still declares itself to be Socialist and hasn't officially rehabilitated some sort of mystical religion as official culture, although informally this influence is clearly present in North Korean propaganda.

(Here is a link to North Korea's official English Language propaganda organ on the web)

1 comment:

Ludwik Kowalski said...

1) What follows are links to four OpEd articles posted last week by a retired Montclair State University Professor, Ludwik Kowalski

2) Excerpts from Kowalski's book on Stalinism, for those who know very little about it, are at

Please share the above links with those who might be interested.