North Korea: development of national capitalism

HERE IS THE WHOLE TEXT (not yet proofread).
All the quotations (Karl Marx, Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, Mao Zedong, Guy Sabatier...) are taken from "official" translations published on internet, except the second part of Sabatier's quote in note number 10 (still in Spanish).

Submitted by Blesk on February 10, 2018


In 2008, the government of the United States, under the administration of George Bush, requested North Korea to disarm and suspend its nuclear program. Since then, the diplomatic tensions between both military powers have become more acute and during the year 2017 they were accentuated again after the nuclear tests that the Pyongyang leadership began. The consequence has been the United States to massively dispatch troops and war arsenal to the Japanese and South Korean territory, and that’s how every day threats, intimidations and provocative statements appear in the political tribunes of both blocs.

And why should all this conflict not occur, when the United States are one of the protagonists involved in the contest? We all know that the State commanded from the White House acts as a gendarme, which heads the main armed wings of world capitalism. It is well known that the United States military operates from bases in various corners of the planet, over land and sea, that its official army shares tasks with international coalitions, private military companies, secret services, military advisers, torture masters and it even finances “rebel” and “opposition” groups… These actions generally aim to defend their imperialist interests, either to replace some governments with others more in line with their dynamics… either while acting simultaneously against all kinds of insurrectional movement that the police and army local cannot stop. On the other hand we see that despite some failures of the Pentagon in the imposition of State terrorism all over the world, despite the notable disadvantages of its official army to conquer territories and impose social peace and good business performance (in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, etc.) or despite its relative loss of hegemony, the United States continues to occupy at the top one of the main positions where the warlords reside, along with Israel, England, France, Germany, China and Russia.

But the facts mentioned above are something that few will question, however talking about North Korea is somewhat more “delicate”, since it is from here that we are obliged to be more precise in what we want to expose and delimit. The reasons for this lie in the absurd accusations that the leftist fauna showers on us, because in the face of our strong refusal to join the campaigns of “support for North Korea against the US imperialist monster”, we are immediately pigeonholed under any of the following nicknames: “anticommunists”, “petty bourgeois anarchists”, “pro-Yankees” and even “CIA agents”. Obviously, we do not have the slightest interest in discussing with those recalcitrant leftists who roam in conspiracy delusions. The important thing is to bring to light all what until now remains untouchable and is behind this modern iron curtain.

The root of confusion lies in the mystification of what is in each hemisphere.

Economy centralized in a national State + the development of the productive forces based on heavy industry + the guarantee of social security in terms of pensions, education and health for all citizens = Communism. That formula is a generalized definition that has been forged on the basis of what happened in the countries that call themselves socialist. But underneath all that rotten mud of ideology there is a reality that is little talked about; what is completely logical because the bourgeois power will never question in a deep and serious way the bases of its domination. Detractors and defenders of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea rest on the same material basis pertained to the running of this world subsumed to the dictatorship of the economy. The radical critique of Capital unmistakably affirms that the DPRK is a capitalist bastion as any other country on the globe, and according to what has been written before, the repulsion and aversion that this provokes to those who refuse to see beyond the immediate is evident.

The complete incomprehension of what Capital is and what is the nucleus that gives it birth to it, leads to consolidate distortions that for decades have had a significant social impact. For liberalism, communism is a State system that centralizes the economy and shields the State with an ideology and a rigid military system; while for the leftists Capitalism is the “accumulation of the means of production by a few individuals who benefit from the surplus value, a system where wealth is unequally distributed”. To be limited to understand both concepts in such a way only leads to disaster. A wrong understanding leads to another equal one and if the concept of capitalism is wrong, that of communism will be wrong too. However, not only are simple concepts at stake, but a whole social practice that materialized in the direction taken by the historical events of the 20th century. If the conflict between North Korea and South Korea / Japan / United States is generally understood as a supposed contest between capitalism and “communism”, this shows how mystifications acquire a material force in reality, managing to impose grotesque ideological aberrations that reinforce the dynamics and functioning of capitalism. For this reason, if we are to be incisive in this aspect, it will not be for the inveterate defense of concepts, but to overthrow the whole of practices whose ideological sustenance nourishes the counterrevolution all over the world.

Cannibal dictatorship or developed nation?

Our analysis goes against the conventional bourgeois, liberal and democratic positions that articulate the “critique” of the North Korean regime based on “arguments” that simply contrast the “differences” of this country against the self-proclaimed “Western democracies”. If we go back decades ago through the media propaganda, we find this false critique in various news reports under the same line: “it is an authoritarian, repressive regime, the Kim family is a monarchy that inherits the power, people there have no freedom of expression, there is no development, there is no growth, there is no right to use the internet, the current leader Kim Jong-Un is a megalomaniac with a desire for destruction”, in short, they constantly point out that it is nothing but a regime that has failed.

However, the response of the regime’s partisans jumps to the defensive with its own arsenal of propaganda, trying to counteract any critique. Foreign agents from countries such as Spain, Mexico, Chile and Cuba (among others), who for many years hold important diplomatic posts in North Korea, have played an important role in disseminating evidences showing that in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) there is development, not only technological-military, but also of trade, and productive forces are comparable to those of many countries that are governed by free market or mixed economy. Indeed, the Pyongyang’s central government has managed to build extensive urban centers composed of huge concrete structures, as well as monuments, freeways and spaces for recreation and leisure, such as bars, restaurants, stadiums, parks, billiards, shopping centers, supermarkets, beaches, water parks, art museums, theaters, religious temples, golf courses, etc. In the same way, the export and manufacture of communication technologies have been consolidated (prototypes of iPods and touch screen mobile phones, which circulate for commercialization inside and outside their borders). It is a latent fact that the Pyongyang’s government has managed to preserve a country where there is nothing to choose between the citizen misery there and that in the so-called ‘Western democracies’.

We do not question what the spokesmen of the North Korean republic are making known about such an “exemplary country”, so where does our disagreement lie? In the fact that even denying the versions full of myths and exaggerations that the powerful news agencies at the service of the United States and the European Union sell us daily, is not enough to understand the root of the problem; and even lesser if it is now done from the perspective of claiming North Korea as a worthy example to follow and support. The defense of North Korea by leftism and Social Democracy has several edges, but synthetically it deals with this formula: “What bothers the damned Yankee empire is the independence and capacity of North Korea to be self-sufficient. The fact that a small nation achieves to develop outside of the neoliberal predatory system of the damned imperialist gringos makes them sick. To know that they have nothing to win from a sovereign nation completely unhinges them because it shows to the world that they are not necessary to be successful and without their intervention.”

Starting from this discourse, our purpose will be to carry out a balance sheet that decries and questions how “anti-imperialist, revolutionary and anti-capitalist” the system that is built in North Korea and its State ideology would be. For this we will focus on two fundamental aspects of its theoretical bases:
1- The Social Democratic conception of socialist transformation: no rupture with Capital.
2- The defense at all costs of nationalism as a means of strengthening capitalist management of the state and exacerbating the imperialist war.

Kim Il-sung (on the left) and Kim Jong-il (on the right). Their dynasty takes the place of the bourgeoisie and their successors are in charge of managing the business of their company-State.

In capitalist society, the science of urban planning not only focuses on ordering space through its phallocentric aesthetic modeling, which is apologist for order and military discipline. The main function of urbanism is to structure and invigorate the space for the circulation of commodity and the mobilization of the repressive forces of the State, in order to crush all proletarian insurrections.

In the DPRK, elections are held to appoint parliamentary representatives. Mechanisms of the bourgeois State and democratic putrefaction remain standing; but their peculiarities lie in “popular” and “anti-imperialist” rancid paraphernalia.

The Juche, mystical positivism whose background is the continuity of Social Democracy

After almost four years of war, at the end of the Korean War in 1953, the territory was divided into two parts: the South supported by the US and the North by the USSR and China. The Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), the one and dominant party to date in its region of origin, is a party faithful and adept to the political line called “the Juche”, which was created by the first president of the denominated Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: Kim Il-sung (who received an ideological education in China and the USSR); and later developed by his successor Kim Jong-il.

The Juche is based on Marxism-Leninism (ideology created by Stalin); it is spiced up with an anthropocentric philosophy, a national mysticism, and the “Songun” (giving priority to militarism). All these principles are constructed and intertwined from a religious and paternalistic rhetoric. We can define it roughly with the words of Kim Jong-il himself:

“The immortal Juche idea is a man-centered outlook on the world, and an ideology of independence; it is a great guiding ideology of our era that sheds scientific light on the way of championing and realizing the independence of the masses and of the country and nation (Sic!). Our Republic, which incorporates the great Juche idea in its State building and State activities, is a people-centered socialist country in which the people are regarded as God, an independent socialist State with a strong Juche character and national identity, and an invincible socialist power that prevails over any enemy, however formidable, and overcomes every manner of trial and hardship by dint of Songun. Our Republic is a genuine people’s country, a people-centered socialist State that upholds the masses of the people as the masters of the State and society, and serves them.” [1]

Despite the particularities that abound among the statements of all “Marxists” officials, like Stalin, Mao, Hoxha, Tito, Ho Chi Min, Castro and Lenin himself, if we intend to go beyond the discursive rhetoric and the specificities, we can see that the differences with the Juche doctrine are superficial. The Juche is more than everything a recycling of what represents the historical party of Social Democracy.

What is Social Democracy? The party and ideology of Capital that behind the socialist, radical, progressive or revolutionary mask, fulfills a function of framing the class struggle in order to bring it back to citizen normality by all possible means (reformism, parliamentarianism, managementism, trade unionism), towards the defense of democracy, its order, its institutions and all the structures that maintain running the production, circulation and valorization of commodities. We grasp Social Democracy in its broad historical sense; therefore when we use that concept we do not refer exclusively to a party, an organization, a militant or a theoretician from a specific country or era. Far from that we make reference to everything that constitutes a party that houses the methods of channeling proletarian struggles towards the defense of Capital’s interests.

It is then no wonder that behind all the fetishistic spectacle of the hammer and sickle that prevailed in the so-called socialist countries, where numerous party leaders, deputies and presidents vociferated from their platforms (adorned with red flags) speeches “against imperialism”, “against capitalism” or “in favor of armed struggle”, while insisting upon and praising vehemently the same mechanisms, ideologies and structures that make up the society of Capital: homeland, nation, culture, work, school, progress, development, industry, army, family… democracy!

The so-called “communism” raised by the whole party of Social Democracy, lacking any radical rupture with the fundamentals of Capital, only intended to socialize the miseries of this system, while leaving intact all the elements that make up the functioning of the existing order. Although there is no longer the USSR, nor the socialist block of Eastern Europe, and the few remnants of that era such as Cuba and Sandinista Nicaragua subsist in infamy, the existence of the DPRK is considered as the last bastion referring to “communism”. It thus has a minimal and considerable influence on various groups and support committees. However, more relevant than its influence abroad, is its ability to impose State terrorism and indoctrination on the proletariat to contain it in its role as a docile democratic citizen. All this shows that Social Democracy continues to strongly print its counterrevolutionary program affirming all the progressive and reformist elements that ensure the continuity of this modern slave society.

Development of national capitalism

Like the dissolved Soviet Union, China and other “socialist” satellite countries, North Korea has within its ideological conglomerate (reflected in extensive volumes compiled by the Kim dynasty) broad sections devoted to dealing with the “economic issue”. It is precisely there, where the connotations of the Social Democratic essence lie at the moment of conceiving and “understanding” capitalism.

Let’s have a look at the pearls of the bourgeoisie that are to be found in the intellectual anthology of the founder of the Juche: Kim Il-sung; as well as that of his main continuator: Kim Jong-il.


“Socialist society has unlimited potentialities to incessantly develop the economy at such a high rate as is inconceivable in capitalist society (Sic!), and the further socialist construction advances and the stronger the economic basis grows, the greater become these potentialities.
In capitalist society production cannot steadily grow, the process of reproduction being periodically interrupted and much social labor wasted owing to the overproduction crises. In socialist society, however, all the labor resources and natural wealth of the country can be most reasonably made use of, and production can be incessantly raised according to plan. This possibility of production growth will ever increase according as the equilibrium among the branches of the national economy is rationally preserved and the country’s economy is kept in better shape with the strengthening of the economy- organizing functions of the state of the proletarian dictatorship and the rise of the level of economic management of the functionaries. Since the socialist state controls coordinately and realizes production and distribution, accumulation and consumption according to plan, it can allocate a large amount of funds to accumulation and carry on socialist extended reproduction (Sic!) steadily on a big scale by using the funds most reasonably.
And the production relations of socialism open a wide scope for an unrestricted development of the productive forces, and the socialist state, by making use of this possibility, can rapidly develop technology according to plan.
It is a law-governed process of building socialism and communism that the outmoded technique be replaced by a new technique and the new one by a yet newer one, that manual labor be mechanized, mechanization develop to semi-automation, and semi-automation on to automation. It is a palpable truth that in socialist society with the rapid development of technology, labor productivity increases constantly and production develops at a high rate.” [2]

The Kim family dug up the corpse of Bernstein and Kautsky from the afterlife to affirm the same fallacies that exhort to continue the reproduction of capitalism. The State planning system is a recurrent practice of bourgeois socialism; but State control, mixed economy and free market are modalities of the same mode of production, and therefore none is exempt from the effects of economic anarchy that characterizes the market.

The method of Kim Il-sung tries in vain to overcome some of the contradictions of Capital, granting work to all the proletarians to put an end to the unemployment rate. But, what hides behind this “great success” is that it is only contemplating the local aspect, since the State that now exercises the accumulation of Capital is bound to be a competitor more in the international arena. When the State is overwhelmed by the competition of other economies that no longer depend solely on the exploitation of the labor force because they have increased productivity thanks to new technologies, then the decline begins: unemployment appears or the extension of the working day intensifies, this situation develops more and more abruptly to the point of becoming unsustainable. This reason led to the collapse of the USSR, while China survived thanks to its opening to liberalize the market and North Korea has been carrying out the same measures for a couple of decades. In fact, it is easy to notice how lately many of the countries “opposed to capitalism” have not hesitated to accept that their socialism is a combination of policies that open up the market and private investment. Cynicism, fraud, misrepresentation… or maybe all what is mentioned as a whole?

In fact, the quagmire of historical falsifications in which they are anchored makes them incapable of perceiving that capitalism is essentially a constant movement and a global social relations that subsumes everything, that is to say a process that does not recognize borders and is totalitarian, in which prevails the production of autonomous units that compete to valorize themselves. To conceive that a country or a block of countries can split off from this process is completely absurd and innocent. Governments or Statesmen do not shape the direction of the economy, but conversely it is them who are obliged to act and make decisions according to the needs of economic development, that is to say the increase in the rate of profit. Both in the extinct socialist blocs and today in North Korea, there has been no communism or dictatorship of the proletariat, only the designs of the dictatorship of Capital.


“In socialist society, high revolutionary zeal of the people is the decisive factor which energetically eggs the productive forces onto pullulate. The essential excellence of the socialist system lies in the fact that the working people, freed from exploitation and oppression work with conscious enthusiasm and creative initiative for the country and the people, for so and the collective, as well as their own welfare (Sic!). In capitalist society the working people are not interested in the development of production and technology at all, for they work of necessity under the menace of unemployment and hunger. But in socialist society the working people zealously work for the development of production, because they are deeply aware that the fruits of their labor belong to themselves, to their people and their country (Sic!). The more the Party and state of the proletariat, in conformity to their proper functions, strengthen the ideological revolution among the working people and gradually eliminate the survivals of old ideologies from their minds, the more the working people will devote their talents and stamina to the development of socialist production. In this way, continuous improvements and innovations will be brought about in all fields of economic management, organization of production and labor, and development of technology.” [3]

A worker in the countries of mixed economy or free market has two options: work or die in indigence; while a worker in the DPRK must work or wait for a punishment like hard labor in penal prisons. The persuasion towards the workers so that they devote themselves with fervor to the wage slavery can only lie in the repressive coercion and the deprivation of their means of subsistence. And both coexist in harmony in North Korea and in “democratic nations” as well. But the North Korean State, by accentuating militarization in all social spheres (militarization spreading through spying and sneaking against anyone who raises suspicions of sedition) only reinforces repressive terrorism to quickly dissuade all attempts of rebellion and refusal to work. The State fulfills the function of indoctrinating the worker in the role of citizen and “useful idiot” through the love of work, it is enough to observe how the “Popular Art” in the DPRK represents an incessant praise of the religion of work; as did various governments in the twentieth century: from Nazism with its motto “work makes free” to Stalinism with its exemplary worker “Stakhanov” and to the liberal governments and self-proclaimed Western democracies with the slogan “work dignifies”.


“In order to build socialism and communism we must not only develop the productive forces and change the social relations but also transform people themselves into comprehensively developed communist men. No matter how highly the productive forces have been developed and how great the material wealth is, one could not claim to have built a communist society unless people, the masters of society, are transformed into men of a communist type.
If we are to train people to be harmoniously developed communists, independent and creative men, we must equip them with communist ideology and advanced scientific and technical knowledge (Sic!) and help them to acquire a high cultural level. In particular, primary attention should be directed to the task of arming people with communist ideology.” [4]

When the Juche’s apostles talk about the construction of socialism and communism, it is easy to deduce what kind of “communism” and “socialism” they refer to. Then, another important aspect must be highlighted, and it is that which concerns the “new relations that people must adopt”. But which relations and communist consciousness do they talk about? What the DPRK basically carries out is an ideologization and formation of the masses that leads to social relations of total submission to the apparatuses of the State!

And if we examine the discourse further in detail, we would find out that the purposes of “inculcating”, “endowing” and “converting”, conceal a background that takes us back to the Kautskyst-Leninist conception consisting in the fact that “the vanguard party must inject the consciousness from outside to the class”. This notion is dangerously reactionary because it leads to various ways of substituting the joint action of the class for groupuscule or individual voluntarism. And it is where so-called prophets, gurus and enlightened people are generated, who endeavor to solve what historically is up to the class to do. Moreover, in the case of the Juche ideology, the way in which they tackle the issue of “communist transformation and the injection of consciousness” is even more catastrophic since it is posed in a totally inverted form, which means that the first step would be in “making the revolution through the nationalization, development and planning of the means of production”; and then training the population to the “communist” consciousness… What a stupidity! Such a caution is not necessary to realize immediately that the approach to the consciousness according to the Kim dynasty is a brutal nonsense that even exceeds the limits of Bolshevism.

The question of the consciousness has been extremely relevant for decades, and therefore widely discussed by revolutionaries. However, Leninism, as well as all those who did not break with this ideology, reproduced the same error. It is not the theoretical speculations conceived by a group “of geniuses” that strengthen the muscle (the consciousness) that the proletariat needs each time he launches himself into the struggle; Consciousness is a dialectical process, the proletariat rushes at Capital for his own need to affirm life above his condition as a salaried class, and not because someone persuades him to do so.


“I have heard that some economists are arguing about the questions of whether or not the means of production is a commodity in socialist society and whether or not the law of value operates in the domain of its production and circulation.
I think these questions should not be handled in the same breath. In socialist society the means of production can sometimes be a commodity and sometimes not, as the case maybe (Sic!). So, the law of value will operate when it is a commodity, and will not when it is not. Because the law of value is a law of commodity production.
Then, when is the means of production a commodity and when not? To find the right solution to this question, I deem it necessary, first of all, to have a clear idea of the properties of commodity and the origin of commodity production.
Commodity is a thing produced not for one's own consumption but for sale. In other words, not all products are commodities, but things produced for the purpose of exchange are commodities (Sic!). As is clear from this, for a product to be a commodity, firstly, there must be the social division of labor through which different kinds of goods are produced; secondly, there must be the seller and the buyer: the man who gives up the right to possess a thing by selling it and the man who buys and acquires the right to possess it. That is to say, commodity production presupposes the social division of labor and the differentiation of ownership of produce. Therefore, where there is no social division of labor and ownership is not differentiated but remains in a single form, there can be no commodity production.
The reason why the commodity-money relations exist in socialist society should also be explained by the fact that there exists the social division of labor and different forms of ownership of produce. As everybody knows, in socialist society the division of labor not only exists but develops every day (Sic!).
As for the ownership, too, there exist the state and the cooperative ownership of the means of production and the private ownership of consumer goods as well, though in the course of the socialist revolution private ownership is abolished and different forms of economy that existed in the early part of the transition period are gradually fused into a single, socialist form of economy. Besides, the socialist states must carry on foreign trade under the circumstances that communism has not yet triumphed on a world-wide scale and there exist frontiers (Sic!).
All these things are conditions that give rise to commodity production in socialist society. It goes without saying that in socialist society commodity production is a production of goods without the capitalist and, therefore, the law of value operates not blindly as in capitalist society but within a limited sweep, and the state uses it in a planned way as an economic lever for effective management of the economy (Sic!). Later, when the transition period is over and cooperative property is turned into property of the entire people so that a unitary form of ownership is established, the Produce of society, if foreign trade is not taken into consideration, will be called not by the name of commodity but simply called means of production and consumer goods or by some other names. Then, the law of value will also cease to operate. Needless to say, even then the social division of labor will continue to develop, but there will be no more commodity production.
Scholars, leading economic functionaries and many other people now commit Right or ‘Left’ errors in both the theoretical domain and the economic management, because they have not fully understood whether the means of production is a commodity or not in socialist society. As a result, some fall into the Right tendency to manage the economy in a capitalist way, overrating the importance of commodity production and the law of value in the wake of the revisionist theory while others commit the ‘ultra-left’ error of failing to streamline the enterprise management and causing a large wastage of means of production and labor power by totally ignoring commodity production and the role of the law of value in disregard of the transitional character of our society. A correct understanding of and dealing with this question is of weighty importance in socialist economic construction. After all, the question of utilizing, the commodity-money relations is an important one which the state of the working class must properly settle in the period of transition from capitalism to socialism. Right or ‘Left’ error in this question can bring forth a serious harm.
The data as to in what case the means of production is a commodity and in what case not in socialist society, should also be found in the differentiation of ownership. In socialist society the means of production, even when shifted to other places, is not a commodity as long as it does not change hands, and it is a commodity when it changes hands. From this derives an obvious conclusion as follows:
Firstly, when a means of production turned out in the state sector of ownership is transferred to cooperative ownership or vice versa, it is a commodity in either case and, therefore, the law of value operates here; secondly, a means of production which is exchanged within the bounds of co-operative ownership, between co-operative farms, between producers’ cooperatives or between the former and the latter, is equally a commodity and here, too, the law of value operates; thirdly, in the case of export the means of production is a commodity and it is dealt at the world market price or at the socialist market price.
For instance, when countries like Indonesia and Cambodia ask our country for machine tools, the machine tools sold to these countries are commodities for which we should receive due prices. And when a Confederation of the North and the South, though not yet realized at the moment, is established in our country in accordance with our Party’s proposal for national unification, and businessmen in South Korea ask us for machines and equipment, we will have to sell them. In that case the machines and equipment we shall sell them will be commodities, and here the law of value will be bound to come into consideration.
What, then, are the equipment, raw and other materials that are transferred between the state enterprises? They are not commodities. Because the means of production such as these are turned out on the basis of socialist co-operation in production, and even when they are turned over from one enterprise to another, they remain under the ownership of the socialist state, and such means of production are supplied not through free trade but in a planned way by the state according to the plan of equipment and material supply. When the state finds it necessary, it provides the enterprises with the means of production, even if the enterprises do not ask for them, just as it provides the army with weapons. The machines, equipment, raw and other materials transferred between the state enterprises, therefore, cannot be called commodities realized through the operation of the law of value.
Then, what shall we call these means of production transferred between the state enterprises, if not commodities, and what shall we say is being made use of, if not the operation of the law of value, in assessing the prices of the means of production when they are turned over, or in accounting their costs when produced? It would be right to say that the means of production which are transferred between the state enterprises according to the plans of equipment and material supply and of co-operative production are not commodities, but assume the form of commodity, and, accordingly, that in this case the law of value does not operate in substance as in the case of commodity production, but in form.
Namely, such means of production are not commodities in the proper sense of the word, but merely assume the form of commodity (Sic!), and, accordingly, what is made use of here is not the operation of the law of value in the proper sense of the word, but the law of value in form; and in the case of the production and exchange of the means of production, the form of value is made use of simply as an instrument of economic accounting, and not the value itself.
Then, how is it going to be explained that the means of production which are transferred between the state enterprises, are not commodities but merely assume the form of commodity? It is so because the state enterprises are relatively independent in using and managing the means of production and in running the economy, as if they were under different ownership, though they are all under one and the same ownership of the state (Sic!). Though all the business-accounting enterprises in the state sector are owned by the state, they separately use the means of production received from other enterprises according to the unitary plan of the state, and must net a certain profit for the state after they recover the costs spent on their products.
Although such business-accounting state enterprises are under the same ownership, independence in management of each of them gives the impression that the means of production transferred between them were commodities like those handed over to different ownership (Sic!). Thus, when an enterprise delivers means of production to another, it does not give them free or dirt-cheap at random, but, hands them over at prices fixed by the state uniformly according to the expenditure of socially necessary labor on the principle of equivalent compensation, though they are business-accounting enterprises in the state sector all alike. Though equally state-owned, the enterprises have to be particular about things of their own and of others, and transactions in the means of production have to be conducted on a strict accounting basis.
[…] A proper use of the commodity form and the commercial form in the production and circulation of the means of production is of definite significance in methodically increasing the profits of enterprises and the accumulations of the state by eliminating the wastage of social labor and strengthening the save-and-spare regime (Sic!). It is therefore necessary to make a proper use of them in all branches of the national economy and at all enterprises.
[…] when will the individual sideline production and the peasant market disappear? […] they will disappear only when the country is industrialized, technology highly developed, and there are plenty of all consumer goods required by the people.” [5]

It is understandable that Kim Il-sung is endowed with an exaggeratedly simplistic comprehension bringing him to reduce Value and commodity to the purchase and sale of things. Thanks to this mechanism he does not grasp that Capital is a totality, a social relation and a movement.

In reality, commodity rules from beginning to end every aspect of production where several processes linked together are present, and within those processes is the work contained in the commodities. Since there can be no valorization without objectified work exercising its domination over living labor, this relation is in itself an exchange between commodities ready to generate value and to continue on their way to accumulation. It’s possible that in North Korea exploitation and production of surplus value are camouflaged with systems of payments in kind by means of ‘labor vouchers’ (granting housing and/or foodstuffs to workers). However, such measures do not annul the wage relation that leads to the accumulation and trade exchange, because the accumulation of all profits and surplus produced by workers finally goes into the coffers of State (acquiring in this way the character of private, autonomous and competing sphere in the face of the other capitalist States of the world).

We are also told about “management autonomy among companies” that are controlled by the State and “make it impossible” to reproduce Value, to later contradict while “clarifying” that in some specific areas at the international level this situation cannot be avoided, something like: “within the Republic there is no mercantile mediation, but in the external interaction yes”. There can be no contradiction more harmful and revisionist than contemplating in isolation the reproduction of Value and commodity while separating it from the State! To think that the exchange of machinery and products made by companies that are under the control of the State does not enter into the dynamics of the Commodity is an obscene nonsense. Who they pretend to make fun of when they say that “some things would be commodities” and “others wouldn’t”? If when the commodity-value form of exchange in the mode of production is left intact, this form tends to involve all social relation, guiding it to take part into a same unitary process!… What we intend to say is that the form Commodity does not vary in its function since the production starts in a small town until it reaches the international market of imports, because the relation between the labor force and the State buying it is immediately where the domination of commodity manifests itself.

Hence another important point to question sticks out a mile: “In socialist society commodity production is a production of goods without the capitalist and, therefore, the law of value operates not blindly as in capitalist society”… There is no doubt that Kim’s understanding of Value and commodity was learned by reading Proudhon. In view of this, we point out that capitalism can indeed exist without bosses, self-management or workers’ control being another card played by Capital in order to endow itself with polyvalent dynamism and thus to continue its reproduction; and this is because under these modalities, it’s the workers themselves who assume their own exploitation in a consensual manner.

Generally, when the mercantile competition pushes to modernize the productive forces, begins the purge of manpower. However, in a system that seeks to keep the unemployment rate at zero, there is no other option but to intensify exploitation, either by creating more work days or by accelerating its pace. In this scenario, if the companies managed by the workers do not want to go bankrupt they are obliged to take part in this dynamics. Workers’ control over production through committees, councils or assemblies is not the crucial issue, because the communist revolution is NOT a problem of organizational forms but of content based on total subversion at the time of destroying the existing.

The greatest contradiction of Social Democracy is to pretend to control and direct according to its will a mode of production that has been structured with its own laws (reification) and has subsumed the previous modes of production. Developing capitalism is a bet whose results predict the advent of its intrinsic contradictions: crises, readjustments, dispossessions, destruction of the earth, pollution and an increase in the rate of exploitation.

In retrospect when the Bolsheviks promoted the development of capitalism in Russia through nationalizations, campaigns of work intensification and the signing of trade agreements with the outside world, a process was consolidated that never saw a return, but on the contrary, progressively pushed to openly adopt various liberal policies in the commercial sphere. The same happened in North Korea when the DPRK was created: the circulation of commodities for commercial purposes remained as it was; mineral resources were exported to China and the Soviet Union for decades. Although as a result of the disintegration of the so-called socialist bloc, the leadership of Pyongyang faced stagnation and a drastic reduction in its rate of profit. After decades of alleviating this crisis by sacrificing proletarians subjected to famine, this “crisis” has been “overcome”. Since then, the direction in Pyongyang has chosen to take “heterodox paths”, intensifying its international trade and opening up private investment in its country. Egypt has invested in the sphere of telecommunications, concrete factories and construction industry, while Beijing, for its part, invests in fisheries and mining resources (mainly steel and coal). Russia is also part of the list of countries that are interested in investing to export gas, oil and electricity.

The total secrecy reigning in North Korea has always been a myth. To such an extent that nowadays the country is not left behind in the traffic of human cattle, promoting the exportation of its manpower to countries like China and Russia as well as to the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. For example, even sources in the progressive press that supports the Juche system report that North Korean workers were employed in Malaysia until early this year, when the relations between both these countries worsened after the murder of Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of the current North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Following this incident, several tens of thousands of North Korean workers were deported from Malaysia. “Tens of thousands of North Koreans are sent abroad to work in restaurants, construction sites, as horticulturists and monuments builders in places like Africa,” said a Russian diplomat who is a follower of the regime. He also affirmed: “Russia is not interested in the collapse of North Korea, but in stability and cooperation with North Korea”… What a “communist” system that receives imperialist support and collaboration to strengthen its business!

North Korea did not eradicate mercantile relations because there had been no revolution, but on the contrary, only a replacement consisting in reforms over the distribution and management of Capital from the State. It is evident that the borders dividing the conception of the Pyongyang gurus between reformism and revolution are simple decorations painted on paper.

“As we did not go through the normal course of capitalist development, we have the task of developing the productive forces in our socialist era-a task which we should have tackled under capitalism. There is no need to make society capitalistic and go to the trouble of fostering the capitalists just to smash them and then build socialism, on the basis that we could not discharge the task which we should have completed in the capitalist stage. The working class in power should not revive capitalist society, but should carry out this task under the socialist system which it could not tackle in the stage of capitalist revolution, in order to build a classless society.
We must continue to consolidate the material basis of socialism and boost the productive forces at least to the level of developed capitalist countries, and completely eliminate the distinction between the working class and the peasantry. To this end, the technical revolution must be carried out to the extent that the developed capitalist countries have turned their countryside capitalistic, so that farming can be mechanized, irrigation and the greater use of chemicals can be introduced, and the eight-hour day adopted.” [6]

As in this quote, we can see that it’s common practice to find throughout the Juche discourse, an incessant apology of the “essential development of the productive forces to reach the level of the capitalist countries”… Now it turns out that to eliminate capitalism you must firstly reinforce it! What a hoax that in a quasi-religious sense the proletariat should first go through a period of sacrifice on earth to enjoy paradise in heaven afterwards! A turn of the wheel with the usual formula: you have to submit to capitalist misery to reach in the future the socialist paradise, that is to work more to make the country’s economy more competitive… you have to ruin your health, inhale more lead and spit more blood for the aggrandizement of the nation!

Is industry self-management the key to destroying Capital? No, because progress, development and industry were NOT a creation of neutral and a-classist character, their existence revolves around the same axis: the increase of profit. Progress and development have always been progress and development of and for Capital. What does this mean? That each “technical and urbanistic development” materialized in machines, transport and infrastructure did NOT originate in satisfying or supplying the needs of human consumption, but in intensifying exploitation of living labor and promoting competitiveness in the world market, while saving time and costs in the production of commodities.

Managing, intensifying work, nationalizing, industrializing, democratizing or distributing wealth are not tasks of communism, they are part of the restructuring and reform of Capital to ensure its continuity. Any tendency, even the one proclaiming to be “anarchist” or “communist”, that advocates the realization of the famous “bourgeois-democratic tasks”, possesses ideological remnants of positivism and consequently cannot offer a revolutionary perspective. We know that during all insurrectional processes, the takeover of work places (among dozens of other strategic places), is an inescapable and latent fact, but it is fundamental to understand that it is not enough to simply re-appropriate the means of production, as put forward for more than a century by Social Democracy, but it is essential to raise its total transformation and revolutionary reorientation around the issue of what and how to produce according to the needs of human beings. Communism, although it is not the return to an idyllic primitive past, does imply within all its programmatic points, the deconstruction of cities and industrial disarmament.

The wealth of those societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails, presents itself as “an immense accumulation of commodities,” its unit being a single commodity.
Capital, Part I: Commodities and Money.
K. Marx

Commodities are the direct products of isolated independent individual kinds of labour, and through their alienation in the course of individual exchange they must prove that they are general social labour, in other words, on the basis of commodity production, labour becomes social labour only as a result of the universal alienation of individual kinds of labour.
A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy.
K. Marx

Hence even in the condition of society most favorable to the worker, the inevitable result for the worker is overwork and premature death, decline to a mere machine, a bond servant of capital, which piles up dangerously over and against him, more competition, and starvation or beggary for a section of the workers.
Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844.
First Manuscript. Wages of Labour. K. Marx

Nauseating nationalist and development of the imperialist war: inheritance of Stalinism

Previously we could read how Kim Jong-il justifies capitalism “arguing” that “the socialist states must carry on foreign trade under the circumstances that communism has not yet triumphed on a world-wide scale and there exist frontiers”.

Can a system that fervently defends nationalism aspire to a world revolution? Obviously no! However, the guru Kim Jong-il structured a “new” theory on nationalism, while modifying the content of this concept to adapt it to the needs of the development of capitalism in his country, although of course hanging up on it the mask of “anti-chauvinism” to “differentiate” it from the “other” bourgeois nationalism. Let’s see what he has to tell us about it:

“As a matter of fact, the classes and strata of a nation entertain different demands and interests owing to their different social and economic functions. However, all the members of a nation have the same stake (Sic!) in championing the independence and character of the nation and attaining national prosperity without distinction of the interests of their classes and strata. This is because the destiny of a nation is precisely the destiny of its individual members; in other words, the latter is dependent on the former. None will be happy with the sovereignty and honour of his or her nation being trampled upon and national character disregarded. It is the common ideological feeling and psychology of the members of a nation to love their nation, cherish its characteristics and interests, and yearn for its prosperity. Nationalism reflects this feeling and psychology. In other words, nationalism is an ideology that advocates love for the nation and defence of its interests. Since people carve out their destiny while living within the nation-state as a unit, genuine nationalism constitutes patriotism. The progressive nature of nationalism lies in the fact that it is a patriotic ideology which advocates the defence of national interests.
Nationalism emerged as a progressive idea along with the formation and development of each nation. However, it was understood in the past as an ideology that defends bourgeois interests. It is true that in the days of the nationalist movement against feudalism, the newly-emergent bourgeoisie, upholding the banner of nationalism, stood in the van of the movement. At that time, the interests of both the masses of the people and the newly-emergent bourgeoisie were basically coincident in their struggle against feudalism (Sic!). Therefore, the banner of nationalism seemed to reflect the common interests of the nation. As capitalism developed and the bourgeoisie became the reactionary ruling class after victorious bourgeois revolutions in various countries, nationalism was used as a means of defending the interests of the bourgeois class. The bourgeoisie disguised their class interests as national interests, and used nationalism as an ideological instrument for solidifying their class domination. This led nationalism to be understood, among the people, as a bourgeois ideology that runs counter to the national interests. We should distinguish clearly between true nationalism that loves the nation and defends its interests and bourgeois nationalism that advocates the interests of the bourgeois class. Bourgeois nationalism reveals itself as national egoism, national exclusivism and big-power chauvinism in the relationship between countries and nations; it is reactionary in that it creates antagonism and disagreement between countries and nations, and checks the development of friendly relations between the various peoples of the world.
The original revolutionary theory of the working class failed to give a correct explanation of nationalism (Sic!). It paid major attention to strengthening the international unity and solidarity of the working class all over the world – the fundamental problem in the then socialist movement – failing to pay due attention to the national problem (Sic! Sic!). It went so far as to regard nationalism as an anti-socialist ideological trend, because bourgeois nationalism was doing great harm to the socialist movement. This is why progressive people in the past rejected nationalism, considering it incompatible with communism.
It is wrong to view communism as incompatible with nationalism. Communism does not advocate only the interests of the working class; it also advocates the interests of the nation (Sic!) – hence it is an ideology of loving the country and the people. Nationalism is also an ideology of loving the country and the people, as it defends the interests of the country and the nation. Love of the country and the people is an ideological emotion common to communism and nationalism; herein lies the ideological basis on which they can ally with one another (Sic!). Therefore, there is no reason or ground to pit one against the other, and reject nationalism.
Nationalism does not conflict with internationalism (Sic!). Mutual help, support and alliance between countries and nations-this is internationalism. Every country has its borders, and every nation has its identity, and revolution and construction are carried on with the country and nation as a unit. For this reason, internationalism finds its expressions in the relationships between countries and between nations, a prerequisite for which is nationalism (Sic!). Internationalism divorced from the concepts of nation and nationalism is merely an empty shell. A man who is unconcerned about the destiny of his country and nation cannot be faithful to internationalism (Sic!). Revolutionaries of each country should be faithful to internationalism by struggling, first of all, for the prosperity of their own country and nation (Sic!).
For the first time in history, the great leader President Kim II Sung gave a correct explanation of nationalism, and elucidated the relationship between communism and nationalism and between communists and nationalists in his revolutionary practice of carving out the destiny of his country and people. He said that in order to be a true communist one must first become a true nationalist. With a determination to devote his life to his country and fellow-countrymen, he embarked on the road of revolution in his early years and created the immortal Juche idea, on the basis of which he established a Juche-oriented outlook on the nation, and scientifically expounded the essence and progressive character of nationalism. Through a correct combination of class character with national character and of the destiny of socialism with that of the nation, he realized an alliance between communists and nationalists, cemented the class and national positions of our socialism and led the nationalists to join the efforts for socialist construction and national reunification. Attracted by his broad magnanimity and noble personality, many nationalists took the patriotic road to national unity and national reunification, making a clean break with their erroneous pasts. Kim Ku, a life-long anti-communist, allied with communists, a patriotic changeover, in the twilight of his life, and Choe Tok Sin, a nationalist, was able to find salvation as a patriot in the leader’s embrace. The great leader treasured and championed the independence not only of our nation but also of the peoples of the rest of the world. He devoted all his efforts to the cause of making the whole world independent, as well as to the Korean revolution. We can say that there has been no man in the world as great as him, who devoted his whole life to the nation’s independence and prosperity, and a bright future for mankind. He was the most steadfast communist and, at the same time, a peerless patriot, true nationalist and paragon among internationalists.” [7]

It’s in vain that the revolutionary proletariat during its most critical years of struggle agitated for the destruction of all the borders and the burning of all the nauseating patriotic flags; it’s in vain that he opposed austerity and sacrifice; it’s in vain that he opposed progress and dispossession fostered by industrial development; it’s in vain that the proletariat opposed war and imposed revolutionary defeatism; never mind the motto “The proletariat has no homeland”… all that was in vain because Kim Jong-il has come to shit on the teachings shaped by the class struggle throughout history.

The Juche ideology sells us a caricature constructed from a vulgar method, which of course is a-historical, anti-materialist and anti-dialectical, and consists in using a historical event as a reference to petrify it while leaving it static, and from this to invent that the problem can be lilmited to the fact that nationalism “has been corrupted and misused by the bourgeoisie”, because if we analyze thoroughly its positions, we will conclude that for Juche thought the only problem of nationalism is when it becomes chauvinism. Its pretension to make a positivist separation from nationalism by stripping it from “its negative aspects” (as if it had some positive ones!) only reveals who are the genuine creditors of the term “revisionist”. And that nationalism constitutes in itself a metaphysical delirium, an abstraction as absurd as the idea of God. The Kim dynasty, i.e. priests in the school of patriotic mysticism, intends to strip nationalism from its invariant bourgeois essence, considering it as a simple “neutral tool”. “Nationalism has not been correctly understood”? Nationalism has historically been a symbiotic composition of the national State; and the national State is capitalism organized as a force to compete with other States in the international market arena!

Nationalism has never been nor will it be compatible with communism. A nation or a homeland is not the community of all those born in the same country, but a private property-market-jail, a false community organized and structured by the bourgeoisie to exploit, dominate, lock up and repress the proletariat that is living in that territory. All nationalism is alien to the interests and needs of the proletariat, because it is framed in the ideological acceptance of all the elements that serve to oppress it: work, prisons, schools, army, police, unions and bureaucracy. To accept nationalism is to condescend to the existence of commercial competition between private spheres whose primary objective is economic benefit. The proletariat of any nation constitutes the labor fodder that produces the profits of the ruling class. However such labor fodder / labor force needs to be constantly regulated by the State through increasingly rigid controls on the borders, since the economic anarchy generates at an accelerated pace the increase in surplus workforce that is forced to emigrate and face to the ideological redoubts instilled by nationalism: i.e. racism and xenophobia.

The Kim dynasty, as we previously mentioned, forged its theoretical basis under the influence of Maoism; therefore, it is not strange that the Juche propaganda defends two (among others) bourgeois positions whose purpose is the strengthening of national capitalism: class collaborationism and nationalism. For both the official Chinese “communism” and the North Korean one, in a nation “we all have common interests”, that is to say that even the interests of the proletarians would be the same as those of the bourgeoisie! And although supporters of Juche argue that in North Korea the situation is not comparable to China; it must be borne in mind that the differences between the Chinese system and that of North Korea only reside in the form but not in the content.

In the country of Juche, the property acquires its private character in the State, which manages and regulates it; consequently, the place of the employer(s) that is embodied in the private bourgeoisie, becomes occupied by the bureaucracy of the State who administers the surplus value extracted from proletarians’ exploitation through wage labor. Without exploitation of the masses, the State could not obtain the resources to shield itself. In this sense, the nationalist discourse has the function (like any State in the world) of getting the exploited to collaborate without reluctance for the benefit of the exploiters. Class contradictions prevail in North Korea, and nationalism reconciles these contradictions to prevent the exploited from seeing the national State as what it really is: organized capitalism and an enemy of the proletariat.

As if that were not enough, the school of Juche proclaims hoaxes of the same caliber as the one arguing that “internationalism is not at odds with patriotism” [8], and therefore it defends without hesitation the adhesion to the national war:

“We emerged victorious from the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle for national liberation because the guerrillas and the people forged ties of kinship and all the anti-Japanese patriotic forces fought in close unity. During the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle we brought together patriotic people from all walks of life into the anti-Japanese national united front and fought Japanese imperialism with the united strength of the nation (Sic!). The Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland, formed in 1936, was an anti-Japanese national united front comprising broad sections of patriotic people who opposed Japanese imperialism and aspired to national independence. This association united all the anti-Japanese patriotic forces from all walks of life including communists, nationalists, workers, peasants, intellectuals, young people and students, as well as conscientious national capitalists and religious men (Sic! Sic!). We established the tradition of national unity in the course of waging the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle, relying on the broad-based anti-Japanese national united front.
[…] The aim of the reunification of our nation is to realize the independence of our nation, to achieve the common development and prosperity of the nation and to ensure that all the Korean people lead happy and worthy lives in one reunified land. It is natural, therefore, that all the people should combine their will and rally as one in the struggle for national reunification, and this is fully possible.
[…] Once the country is reunified, our nation will be a dignified and strong nation and our country will emerge on the world stage as an independent and sovereign country with more than seventy million people, a brilliant national culture and a powerful economy (Sic!). Our nation is industrious and resourceful, and our country is a beautiful land of three thousand ri in which it is good to live. When the whole nation is united as one, and when the country is reunified, there will be nothing for us to fear or envy. Our people will proudly display the resourcefulness and greatness of the Korean nation and nobody will dare to encroach upon our sovereignty. If the whole nation combines its efforts and talents and develops the economy and culture after the country’s reunification, our country will be more prosperous and civilized, and it will make a more effective contribution to the common cause of the people in Asia and the rest of the world for peace and prosperity (Sic).
For the Korean people to devote themselves to national reunification is most honourable and worthwhile. Those who have contributed to the noble cause of national reunification will be held in love and respect by the nation and will be highly appreciated by the reunified nation.” [9]

War or revolution? The war between States or imperialist war is antagonistic to the revolution and the class war. The preparations for any war contingency imply that in each country involved in the conflict, the proletariat is urged to reinforce nationalism, working more and sacrificing itself on the battlefield. Then, if among the historical lessons drawn by the proletariat from its practice on the ground to delimit its aversion to the exploiters’ camp, those that concern the rejection of war and the negation of nationalism are found, how is it possible that a “referent” who proclaims himself to be a “communist” take an active part in a nationalist campaign aiming at war?

Faced with such a situation, and from the revolutionary perspective, we launch the question: should proletarians take part in the conflict “North Korea versus United States”? Definitely NO, since to get involved in supporting one or another of both sides in contention is to respond to a false antagonism, to a mockery of opposition which is merely rhetorical and discursive, and in fact results in a military conflict where the proletariat is used as cannon fodder for the benefit of the interests of capitalism. The revolution that the proletariat needs to destroy Capital cannot in any way go through the support of any bourgeois faction, i.e. of any government. The proletariat must identify the chameleons who, under the discourse of “fight against imperialism” or “fight against capitalism”, intend to involve it in the defense of interests opposed to theirs.

However, contrary to the case of the USSR that arose when the defeat of the revolutionary insurrection of 1917 was consummated (due to the consolidation of the Social Democratic program promoted by the Bolsheviks), the conformation of the DPRK takes place in a context of total containment within the imperialist war, where the USSR and the United States were disputing the territories that in Korea were divided after the defeat of Japan in the so-called Second World War.

Was it better to establish a People’s Republic instead of the Japanese domination? For the Juche Social Democrats obviously yes; because according to them, national domination is qualitatively better than foreign domination. But if it is a matter of domination, the proletariat cannot choose a ‘lesser evil’ between the exploitation of one nation and that of another. Since the emergence of this commodity-producing society, confronting Capital and putting an end to it is an invariant objective of the proletariat. To make a bet on the fact that progressively ‘advancing’ stage by stage, while opting for the ‘lesser evil’ (i.e. a progressive, democratic or socialist faction of Capital) is the eternal trap that leads us to more of the same thing, to keep things the same (or worse than before), and this has been historically proven.

In the 1940s, democratic progressivism and Stalinism exhorted the proletariat to sacrifice itself in the war to defend democracy and the Soviet homeland. And indeed, the proletarians died while defending democracy in the “great patriotic war” of Stalingrad to put an end to fascism. Except that such deeds were never part of our historical interests, since they only led to more catastrophes. The rise of Stalinism led all over the world to consolidate the counterrevolution practically and theoretically. In the practice through repression, murder, imprisonment, disappearance and defamation during the period 1936-37 made against the most combative revolutionaries in Spain. On the theoretical plane from the elaboration of a new State religion called “Marxism-Leninism”, an ideology that grotesquely distorted Marx’s genuine work on the historical positions of the proletariat. For decades, Marxism-Leninism reduced the proletariat to the condition of servile citizen under the metaphysical designs of a National State, thus liquidating any attempt at autonomous struggle against the States and Capital. Marxism-Leninism is not a theory for the destruction of Capital, but an ideology to reinforce it and consequently there is no redeemable aspect in its existence. Under the legacy of Marxism-Leninism, revolutionary objectives are replaced by nuclear development, space conquest and capital amassing.

Today, decades after Berlin was taken, the atomic bomb dropped and armistices signed where Germany, Italy and Japan surrendered… far from “getting rid of war”, we have witnessed the continuation of this one. In this peace of capitalism, the proletarians continue to be massacred in wars and subjected to hunger with crises and readjustments. This is the only horizon prepared by Capital every time that the proletarians go to struggle for their interests, and this will continue until we act as a historical party and world force to impose our needs.

For all these reasons, it makes sense to corroborate that exploitation and repression suffered by proletarians in the so-called DPRK is neither more indulgent nor lesser miserable than that existing under Japanese domination. The Korean War in the 1950s was possible because the proletariat could not put a revolutionary perspective into practice, because it was disarmed as a class and framed as a citizen ideologized by nationalism. The Soviet Union’s support for North Korea to liberate itself from Japan and attempt to storm Seoul (the capital city of South Korea) corresponded to the same imperialist terrain, because imperialism is not exclusive to the United States and NATO. The Soviet Union was also an imperialist power competing the West. Capital is imperialist by nature, not just one State or another.

The Social Democratic perspective established by the Kim raised at all times the path of national war, that is to say the unification of all the progressive forces to stop the enemy, no matter that the bourgeoisie was within this alliance. It is worth mentioning that the national unification against Japan not only negated the class antagonism in the North Korean territory itself, but also negated and continues negating the essential task of sharpening the class struggle in the countries that intend to unleash the war. Even if Japan, South Korea and the United States are imperialist powers of Capital, the class struggle is present in these territories, materializing through protests, riots, strikes, sabotages and other acts arising from proletarian associationism… and the same happens in other places, from Bangladesh to Brazil, from Haiti to France, all this subversive potential turned to the historical objective of the struggle to liquidate Capitalism.

The “internationalism” the leaders of the DPRK refer to is a loophole of the Third International [10], since it is based on diplomacy, cooperation and solidarity between States, which has nothing to do with the interest of the proletariat for the world revolution. A fact that is not far from the conception of the United Nations, that is to say internationalism understood as the sum of nationalisms that have a respect for each other and that come together in blocks and alliances to strengthen capitalism.

What is the real sense of internationalism? The struggle that the proletarians unleash in the four corners of the planet while affirming their human needs against the needs of this mode of production based on profit. The proletarians have no reason to adhere to national or patriotic wars, our only realistic perspective to wipe out Capital is to wage war on “our own” States, on “our own” bourgeoisie. Adhering to the national war is not only an immediatist response, but a counterrevolutionary one. The proletariat does not have a homeland and its struggle against Capital either, that is why it does recognize neither borders, nor anthems, nor flags. The communist revolution that will abolish and overcome capitalism will be antinational or it will not be, in content and form, in the ends and in the means. Consequently, what has been written in the program is the abolition of borders, the negation of the country and the eradication of all traces of the conditions that give life to the society of Capital: i.e. commodity, value, private property, exchange, wage labor and the State.


The brake to the First World War that the proletariat imposed in 1917 by exercising revolutionary defeatism is an exemplary action that remains valid within the struggle against the framework that the bourgeoisie seeks to concretize in each war campaign. Revolutionary defeatism is the action of the soldiers or the “proletariat in uniform” when the latter refuses to obey and turns its weapons against its generals, officers, commanders and instructors. It joins thus the revolutionary struggle of its class against the bourgeoisie, in order to defeat all the capitalist national States at war, betting on the triumph of the revolution. The most significant examples occurred during the whole international revolutionary wave of 1917-1923 (Soviets or soldiers’ councils were even set up in several countries). And although since then we have not witnessed another massive and of comparable relevance assault on the class society, the germ of revolutionary defeatism is still present in countless actions that the proletarians have carried out to demonstrate their repudiation of war: insubordination, mutinies and numerous defections of soldiers who refuse to be cannon fodder and/or to be part of proletarian massacres. Therefore, the revolutionary defeatism is not an empty and obsolete motto, but a historical practice of the proletariat that in the next world revolution will be decisive and fundamental again.

In the current context, the framing and the advent of the war between both Koreas is easily perceived and the reality points out that in the immediate future there will not be a revolutionary rupture for the armies to turn their arms in favor of a frontal struggle against the State-Capital. Even so, despite the present discouraging panorama, it is important to remember that the social structure is not solid, since it is part of the dialectical reality and therefore it is full of contradictions, which can provoke an unexpected counterbalance in the situation. In recent months, the incursions of US troops into South Korean territory have met with protests and demonstrations by proletarians who have tried to prevent the installation of anti-missile systems. Numerous proletarians have blocked the roads used by the convoys and have also confronted the police that safeguards the transfer of arms provided by the United States to the government of South Korea. We also have some information about the mobilizations and protests in Japan against the installation of nuclear power plants and training grounds for the maneuvers of the Japanese and American army, whose consequence has been to approve anti-terrorist laws by the Japanese government. In addition to that, we do not rule out the possibility that if war breaks out again, signs of decomposition would reappear such as what the US military experienced during the wars of Vietnam in the 1970s and in Iraq during the first decade of the 2000, when many soldiers deserted the front and also expressed their open refusal to participate in favor of their government. With respect to North Korea, we have no precise knowledge about proletarian struggles against the State-Capital taking place in that territory, but after everything explained above, it is clear that in the future the DPRK will have to be confronted and destroyed by force revolutionary of the exploited who subsist under its yoke. The result of all the actions that carry with them the germ of the rupture with Capital is not immediate and is subject to the historical development of the events, with critical moments and/or of relative calm.

We have already emphasized the counterrevolutionary content that lies behind “the support for North Korea”, and we also want to emphasize that this critical contribution is only a portion of a more general area, since it is not just about attacking a specific form of ideology deriving from Social Democracy in a given country (may it be called “Marxism-Leninism”, democratic centralism, Mao Zedong’s thought, Gonzalo’s thought, Juche’s thought, etc.). Our genuine objective is to point our efforts to contrast and delimit the content and function of Social Democracy in its broad historical sense.

Those of us, who assume the antagonistic battle against Capital in this phase of class struggle where the correlation of forces does not favor us, know in advance that we cannot avoid sailing against the current. Not submitting to conventionalism leads to conflict, and in that vortex the only thing we try to do is to show up to the maximum the contradictions that arise. “To improve or destroy what exists” is what is really debated every time we affirm “reform or revolution” in the processes that take place in front of us. As long as our battles falter and wander towards the reformist gap, we will continue to be defeated again and again, that is to say to withdraw into our condition as slaves in this democratic dictatorship of the economy whose domination is worldwide.

Materiales – July 2017



1. Kim Jong Il – “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a Juche-oriented Socialist State with Invincible Might”, 2008.

2. Kim Il Sung – “On some Theoretical Problems of the Socialist Economy”, 1969.

3. Kim Il Sung – “On some Theoretical Problems of the Socialist Economy”, 1969.

4. Kim Jong Il – “On the Juche Idea”, 1982.

5. Kim Il Sung – “On some Theoretical Problems of the Socialist Economy”, 1969. In fact, in this quote we can see the similarity with Maoism: “Capitalism leaves behind it the commodity form, which we must still retain for the time being. Commodity exchange laws governing value play no regulating role in our production. This role is played by planning, by the great leap forward under planning, by politics-in-command.” (Sic!) – “Concerning Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR [by Stalin]”, 1958.

6. Kim Il Sung – “On the Questions of the Period of Transition from Capitalism to Socialism and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat”, 1967.

7. Kim Jong Il – “On having a correct understanding of nationalism”, 2002.

8. Just as Mao Zedong affirmed in a cynic way: “Can a Communist, who is an internationalist, at the same time be a patriot? We hold that he not only can be but must be [Sic!]. The specific content of patriotism is determined by historical conditions. There is the ‘patriotism’ of the Japanese aggressors and of Hitler, and there is our patriotism. Communists must resolutely oppose the ‘patriotism’ of the Japanese aggressors and of Hitler. The Communists of Japan and Germany are defeatists with regard to the wars being waged by their countries. To bring about the defeat of the Japanese aggressors and of Hitler by every possible means is in the interests of the Japanese and the German people, and the more complete the defeat the better. (…) For the wars launched by the Japanese aggressors and Hitler are harming their own people as well as the people of the world. China’s case is different, because she is the victim of aggression. Chinese Communists must therefore combine patriotism with internationalism. We are at once internationalists and patriots, and our slogan is, ‘Fight to defend the motherland against the aggressors.’ For us defeatism is a crime [Sic!] and to strive for victory in the War of Resistance is an inescapable duty. For only by fighting in defence of the motherland can we defeat the aggressors and achieve national liberation. And only by achieving national liberation will it be possible for the proletariat and other working people to achieve their own emancipation. The victory of China and the defeat of the invading imperialists will help the people of other countries. Thus in wars of national liberation patriotism is applied internationalism.” – “The Role of the Chinese Communist Party in the National War” (October 1938), Selected Works of Mao Zedong, Vol. II, pp. 195-211.

9. Kim Il Sung – “Let us Achieve the Great Unity of our Nation”, 1991.

10. As affirmed by Guy Sabatier in his book “The 1918 treaty of Brest-Litovsk: curbing the revolution”: “But the retreat of the workers movement in all countries has led the Bolshevik government to no longer expect or to help facilitate the process of a new revolution, but to simply use workers agitation as a means to exert pressure on the capitalist countries. A communist opposition in a bourgeois nation reinforces the diplomatic and economic position of the USSR, but the outbreak of a new revolution could not, on the other hand, do anything but disturb the conversations of the Soviet ambassadors and create difficulties for the USSR. […] La extensión de la revolución fue sacrificada en el altar de la defensa de los intereses del Estado ruso: compromisos comerciales, así como militares, con los países capitalistas para desarrollar una economía de capitalismo de Estado que, según Lenin, basándose en el «modelo alemán», representaba una «antesala del socialismo». Más allá de los discursos de sus congresos, la III Internacional contribuyó con su práctica no a suscitar la revolución mundial, sino a fomentar movimientos interclasistas (táctica de frentes que ahogaba los intereses proletarios en objetivos capitalistas) para presionar a los gobiernos occidentales y llevarlos a componendas con el nuevo Estado ruso. Toda la política de la I.C. tendió, pues, a un fortalecimiento de éste.”


Source in Spanish:




6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by

Submitted by Spikymike on August 30, 2017

Not seen any translation of this but things are hotting up again with the latest Rocket launch by N.Korea towards Japan and with Trump following on with more Chines supported international sanctions ratcheting up the previous Obama efforts as reported before here: and highlighted briefly here:


6 years 2 months ago

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Submitted by Spikymike on September 25, 2017

This rather longer article tries to analyse the background and modern history of the relationship between North and South Korea following on from the current Trump versus Kim Jong-un slanging match and within the broader framework of the increased inter-imperialist rivalry of the USA and China. It also includes a short statement issued against the deployment of the THAAD missile system by a South Korean internationalist group. One of the better texts issued by the ICC in recent times and worth a critical read in the absence of other useful sources I could find within our political milieu. Here:


6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by

Submitted by Spikymike on September 27, 2017

Their is a short comment on this by the SPGB here:
though it doesn't add anything to the above linked ICC text.
A much earlier piece elsewhere by a supposed expert asked 'Will China Intervene in North Korea?' maybe not so strange an idea?
Can't find anything much of use from the anarchist press but maybe others can?


6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by

Submitted by Spikymike on October 8, 2017

October 10th 2017 - the 72nd anniversary of the founding of North Korea's ruling so-called 'Workers Party' is expected by some to mark another long range missile firing, with Trump at odds over his own administrations softly-softly approach to N.Korea so far! and division and disarray in S.Korea and Japan as well. What to expect?


6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by

Submitted by Spikymike on November 1, 2017

And there is another useful short article interpreting information included in the book 'Unveiling the North Korean Economy' by Kim Byung-yeon here:


5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by

Submitted by Blesk on February 9, 2018



5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by

Submitted by Reddebrek on February 8, 2018

I'm going to wait for the translation to be finished before I read, but I would like to note in case the article doesn't that for years (I first noticed it in 2008) the official website for the Korean Friendship Association has a section dedicated to encouraging foreign investment.

"Lowest labour coast in Asia"

I also remember seeing a video with North Korean government official stating the government protects business contracts.