Stalinist Propaganda in 2011

Since the downfall of the Soviet Union and its satellite colonies, the volume and quality of good, old-fashioned communist propaganda has diminished exponentially. I think this may have something to do with how easily and cavalierly people accuse, e.g., centrist Democrats of being “socialists” or similar. There are only a small handful of remaining hardcore Stalinist communist dictatorships remaining in the world, and North Korea is the hardcore-iest, Stalinist-iest of them all. Only Hoxha’s Albania and Pol Pot’s Cambodia came close to the psychotic dysfunction of the Kim’s Korea.

So, after the jump, I will reproduce for you the propaganda item that the Korean Central News Agency (the news agency of the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”) put out in the wake of Kim Jong-il’s death. It’s fascinating to me not only because of the religious terminology it uses to deify the Dear Leader, but the completely false “Juche” self-reliance communism that the Kim dynasty pretends to adhere to (while taking in hundreds of millions in foreign aid) and the attempts to connect an amoral tyrannical communism to an ancient Confucianism. “Songun” is the term the Kim regime uses for its “military first” ideology, as it maintains its revolutionary fervor (as all Communist dictatorships must) through eternal war with the US and South Korea.

This is what passes for public relations and propaganda under Stalinism. Even the title reveals the modern-day caste system that develops under Stalinism; what Yugoslav dissident Milovan Djilas called “The New Class” after his mid-50s split with Tito. This new class has complete control over the means of production while paying lip service to Marxist workers’ control. Through that control, it amasses wealth and influence which becomes “property” in a propertyless society.

Notice to All Party Members, Servicepersons and People

Pyongyang, December 19 (KCNA) — The Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly and the Cabinet of the DPRK on Saturday announced the following notice to all party members, servicepersons and people:

The Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly and the Cabinet of the DPRK notify with bitterest grief to all the party members, servicepersons and people of the DPRK that Kim Jong Il, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK and supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army, passed away of a sudden illness at 08: 30 on December 17, Juche 100 (2011) on his way to field guidance.

He dedicated all his life to the inheritance and accomplishment of the revolutionary cause of Juche and energetically worked day and night for the prosperity of the socialist homeland, happiness of people, reunification of the country and global independence. He passed away too suddenly to our profound regret.

His sudden demise at a historic time when an epochal phase is being opened for accomplishing the cause of building a powerful and prosperous socialist state and the Korean revolution is making steady victorious progress despite manifold difficulties and trials is the greatest loss to the WPK and the Korean revolution and the bitterest grief to all the Koreans at home and abroad.

Kim Jong Il, who was born as a son of guerillas on Mt. Paektu, the holy mountain of the revolution, and grew up to be a great revolutionary, wisely led the party, the army and people for a long period, performing undying revolutionary feats on behalf of the country, the people, the times and history.

Kim Jong Il possessed of personality and qualifications as a great man on the highest and perfect level was an outstanding thinker and theoretician who led the revolution and construction along the path of steady victories with his profound ideologies and theories and remarkable leadership. He was also peerlessly political elder and outstanding and illustrious commander of Songun and peerless patriot and tender-hearted father of the people who recorded the whole history of the revolutionary struggle with ardent love for the country and its people and noble dedication.

Considering it as his lifelong mission to carry to completion generation after generation the revolutionary cause of Juche started by President Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il pushed forward the revolution and construction in line with the idea and intention of the President as the dearest comrade and the most loyal comrade-in-arms of the President.

Kim Jong Il comprehensively developed in depth the immortal Juche idea, Songun idea, fathered by the President and glorified it as the idea guiding the era of independence with his clairvoyant wisdom and energetic ideological and theoretical activities. He firmly defended and carried forward the revolutionary traditions of Mt. Paektu with pure mind, thereby giving a steady continuity to the Korean revolution.

Kim Jong Il, genius of the revolution and construction, developed the party, army and state to be the party, army and state of Kim Il Sung, put the dignity and power of the nation on the highest level and ushered in the golden days of prosperity unprecedented in the nation’s history spanning 5 000 years under the uplifted banner of modeling the whole society on the Juche idea.

Kim Jong Il, supreme incarnation of the revolutionary moral obligation, set a great example in perpetuating the memory of President Kim Il Sung unknown in human political history, thus making sure that the august name of the President, his undying revolutionary career and exploits always shine along with the eternal history of Juche Korea.

Kim Jong Il, great master of politics and illustrious commander born of Heaven, honorably defended the socialist gains, noble heritage bequeathed by the President, by dint of Songun politics despite the collapse of the world socialist system, the demise of the President which was the greatest loss to the nation, the vicious offensive of the imperialist allied forces to stifle the DPRK and severe natural disasters. He turned the DPRK into an invincible political and ideological power in which single-minded unity has been achieved and made it emerge a nuclear weapons state and an invincible military power which no enemy can ever provoke.

True to President Kim Il Sung’s behest, Kim Jong Il set a gigantic goal to build a prosperous and powerful country and led an all-people general advance for attaining it, thus making the drive for a great revolutionary surge rage throughout the country and bringing about great innovations and leap forward on all fronts of socialist construction.

Kim Jong Il, father of the nation and lodestar of national reunification, led all the fellow countrymen to the road of independence and great national unity with his rock-firm will to implement the instructions of the President for national reunification and ushered in the June 15 era of reunification in which the noble idea of “By our nation itself” is materialized.

As a great guardian of socialism and justice, he conducted energetic external activities for the victory of the socialist cause, global peace and stability and friendship and solidarity among peoples under the uplifted banner of independence against imperialism, thus remarkably raising the international position and prestige of the DPRK and making immortal contributions to the human cause of independence.

In the whole period of his protracted revolutionary guidance, he valued and loved the people very much and always shared weal and woe with them. He continued to make difficult forced march for field guidance, making unremitting efforts and working heart and soul to build a thriving country and improve the standard of people’s living. He died from repeated mental and physical fatigue on a train in that course.

The whole life of Kim Jong Il was the most brilliant life of a great revolutionary who covered an untrodden thorny path with his iron will and superhuman energy, holding aloft the red flag of revolution. It was the life of the peerless patriot who dedicated his all to the country and its people.

He passed away to our regret before seeing the victory of the cause of building a thriving nation, the national reunification and the accomplishment of the revolutionary cause of Juche so ardently desired by him, but laid a strong political and military base for ensuring the steady advance of the Korean revolution through generations and provided a solid foundation for the eternal prosperity of the country and the nation.

Standing in the van of the Korean revolution at present is Kim Jong Un, great successor to the revolutionary cause of Juche and outstanding leader of our party, army and people.

Kim Jong Un’s leadership provides a sure guarantee for creditably carrying to completion the revolutionary cause of Juche through generations, the cause started by Kim Il Sung and led by Kim Jong Il to victory.

We have the invincible revolutionary army of Mt. Paektu faithful to the cause of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the great unity of the army and people closely rallied around the Party, the best Korean-style socialist system centered on the popular masses and the solid foundation of the independent national economy.

Under the leadership of Kim Jong Un we should turn our sorrow into strength and courage and overcome the present difficulties and work harder for fresh great victory of the Juche revolution.

Our army and people will hold leader Kim Jong Il in high esteem forever with unshakable faith and noble sense of moral obligation. True to his behests, they will make neither slightest concession nor delay on the road of the Juche revolution, the Songun revolution but resolutely defend his undying feats and glorify them for all ages.

All the party members, servicepersons and people should remain loyal to the guidance of respected Kim Jong Un and firmly protect and further cement the single-minded unity of the party, the army and the people.

Under the uplifted banner of Songun, we should increase the country’s military capability in every way to reliably safeguard the Korean socialist system and the gains of revolution and make the torch lit in South Hamgyong Province, the drive for the industrial revolution in the new century, rage throughout the country and thus bring about a decisive turn in building an economic power and improving the standard of people’s living.

We will surely achieve the independent reunification of the country by concerted efforts of all Koreans by thoroughly implementing the Three Charters for National Reunification and the north-south joint declarations.

Our party and people will strive hard to boost friendship and solidarity with the peoples of different countries, guided by the idea of independence, peace and friendship, and build an independent and peaceful, new world free from domination, subjugation, aggression and war.

Arduous is the road for our revolution to follow and grim is the present situation. But no force on earth can check the revolutionary advance of our party, army and people under the wise leadership of Kim Jong Un.

The heart of Kim Jong Il stopped beating, but his noble and august name and benevolent image will always be remembered by our army and people and his glorious history of revolutionary activities and undying feats will remain shining in the history of the country forever.


  • Alan–it’s always fun to red-bash the North Koreans, of course, but perhaps read up a little on our role in creating that horror state. Here’s a bit: “But for the North, the war explains even more — its seeming paranoia; its stubborn refusal to cooperate with almost anyone; its irritating belligerence.

    “The North suffered most from the war. About three-quarters of the estimated two million Korean civilians killed came from the North. University of Chicago historian Bruce Cumings points out that U.S. warplanes dropped more bomb and napalm tonnage during the Korean War than they had during the entire Pacific campaign of World War II.”–walkom-north-korea-s-unending-war-rages-on.

    I’ve read that we flattened every single city in North Korea, and that we singled out agricultural dams to create artificial famines. The leader of the air campaign was General Curtis LeMay, later George Wallace’s running mate. So bash away at Stalinism, but remember that good old American Trumanism, Bushism, Clintonism, and Obamaism can also cook up a megadeath or two. And it’s the latter that WE have some direct power over, if we wake up.

  • Alan, you can do better than that. Who created “South Korea”? (Hint: it wasn’t the Koreans). Even if we pretend that South Korea was a free-standing nation of ancient lineage, are you really trying to say that invasion by the North would justify US war crimes in, for instance, intentionally creating famines? Pretty tough attitude. Would it also have justified dropping nuclear bombs? Many Americans were for that too.

    Also, note that your logic would also justify mass bombing of the United States by any self-appointed world power. After all, we did invade Iraq (and kill a million people). Or does that vengeance thing you’re into only apply to yellow people?

    • North and South Korea were created for the same reason as East and West Germany (and, for a short time, occupied Allied zone Austria). However, Pieck didn’t invade West Germany.

      The reason why the North got devastated is that the North started a war. The UN blew the North back to almost the Chinese border before the Chinese got involved. That’s why most of the damage took place on North Korean soil. By my logic, no sovereign nation has a unilateral right to wage war on another sovereign nation.

      Either way, none of that excuses the way in which the Kim family has tortured its people, and starved them of both food and freedom while the Communist elites drink Hennesey and drive Mercedes S600s, sending their kids to Swiss boarding schools and vacationing in Macau.

      Talk about a 99%, it’s the North Korean people.

  • “North and South Korea were created for the same reason as East and West Germany”

    So Korea was an aggressor during WWII?

    No, North ans South Korea were created because the western powers didn’t approve of who would’ve been in charge of a united Korea.

    It’s possible to deplore Stalinist idiocy without ignoring history and our role in it.

    • Actually, Korea had been Japanese territory since 1910, and Japan was an aggressor during the war. So, as Germany wasn’t unified, Korea wasn’t either. The Soviets got their part under their influence, we got our part under our influence.

      And all you guys are doing is making excuses for Kim. Oh, it’s ok that he starved his people and kills babies. I mean, who can blame him, AMIRITE? Also, Truman and Churchill were bad, too, so it’s OK that North Korea is the way it is!

  • Dear Alan,

    You can put “started a war” in italics, but that doesn’t hide the fact that the partition was imposed on Korea by the US as well as the USSR. That undercuts somewhat the moral standing of the US in saying, “They started it! We get to destroy them!”

    Nice diversion to the Kim family and the boilerplate anticommunism at the end–damned cognac-swilling commies! Gosh, it almost made me forget that you’re ignoring what I said–i.e., that your defense of total warfare on a civilian population if its leaders launch a war of aggression would leave you and me, dead, if anybody had the power to wage war on the US for its war of aggression on the people of Iraq.

    Really now, an artificial famine is an artificial famine. Whether it’s created by Stalin in Ukraine or Churchill in Bengal or the Truman in Korea, it’s a crime against humanity.

  • Huh? I’m one guy. And have you reverted to Age 12? Can’t you do any better than try to put stupid arguments in my mouth? Desperate.

    No, of course not, Kim Jong Il was a monster responsible for the deaths of one million of his own people in the most recent famine. It’s just that Harry Truman is our monster, and we should talk about him first.

    To move to a higher plain than this internet slagging, have a look at Bruce Cummings, THE KOREAN WAR. Or not–keep slagging.

    Cognac, you say? Swiss schools? Damned communist bounders!

    • Truman is our “monster” who has been been out of office for several generations. The North Korean regime lives on today, and no American act or omission – however grievous – justifies the Kim regimes’ conduct towards their own citizenry. They’re Pol Pot without the agrarian focus.

  • Nobody is trying to “justify.” The word you’re looking for is “explain.” And from an explanatory point of view, the story you present — the personal wickedness of a man, his father, and now his son — doesn’t do the trick.

    • Well, I could explain that Hitler was a product of the lost WW1 generation, anti-Versailles “diktat” propaganda, a society tolernt of nti-Semitism, a recently unified collection of Germanic city-states, and someone whose upbringing was significant both psychologically and geographically.

      But 6 million Jews are still dead, so the point of any such “explanation” would be merely academic. The DPRK isn’t what it is today because of any outside forces; on the contrary, it is so in spite of them.

    • By the way. The only “explanation” relevant for any Stalinist dictatorship is the term “mafia”.

      These regimes exist for the enrichment of a tiny elite through a series of illegitimate yet codified, organized crimes against humanity. They’re no different from the Gambinos or the Mexican drug cartels.

      All done “explanation”.

  • By the way. The only “explanation” relevant for any Stalinist dictatorship is the term “mafia”.

    These regimes exist for the enrichment of a tiny elite through a series of illegitimate yet codified, organized crimes against humanity. They’re no different from the Gambinos or the Mexican drug cartels.

    Or how capitalism works. And the state (although capitalism requires the state, “state socialism” is an oxymoron, and is not democratic control by the people. It’s state capitalism with the state being made one big capitalist workplace with one big boss. I’d rather live in a capitalist democracy than a Stalinist dictatorship but I look towards and fight for an anarchist future without capitalism and the state. And all other forms of socially created unnecessary hierarchy.
    Bring Back Barcelona.

  • That’s just the thing — that kind of accurate, contextual explanation isn’t “merely academic.” If you actually care to prevent similar things from happening in the future, it suggests all sorts of mistakes to avoid making again. Call me crazy, but I think there’s real value to be had in serious explanations for what happens in the world, as opposed to your glib and ahistorical statements.

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