Kim’s North Korea: “Socialism in One Family”

Kim’s North Korea: “Socialism in One Family”

[Originally published by the then revolutionary Spartacist League’s youth paper, Young Spartacus, n. 48, November 1976. Transcribed by Revolutionary Regroupment in May 2017.]

“Red is the East, rises the sun.” So go the opening lyrics of the Maoist anthem.

But a new rendition’ may well be adopted by the Stalinist regime in North Korea. According to the New York Times (3 October), North Korean Stalinist ruler Kim Il Sung has decreed that the next “sun of the Korean people” will be his son.

In a move which reportedly has provoked “political controversies” among his bureaucratic underlings, Kim Il Sung has designated his son, Kim Chong Il, to succeed him as the next “beloved father of the Korean people.” Determined to impose this triumph of juche (self-reliance), Kim and Co. have recently carried out at least three successive purges of the bureaucracy.

Yet nepotism and bureaucratic backstabbing have long been rife in the Kim clique which monopolizes political power in the North Korean deformed workers state. Before Kim Chong Il was elevated to heir apparent this year, Kim Il Sung had named Kim Young Ju as his successor. His mandate? Kim Young Ju just happens to be the brother of Kim Il Sung. Moreover, the Central Committee of the so-called Korean Workers Party consists of a good part of the Kim family – his wife, his son, his brother and his cousin!

The spectacle of Kim Il Sung preparing a dynastic succession certainly should embarrass those who mistakenly consider North Korea to be a bastion of egalitarianism and workers democracy. Even the Vatican does not enshrine such monocratic privileges; after all, the Pope must be elected by the House of Cardinals.

To be sure, the overthrow of capitalism in North Korea three decades ago has made possible genuine gains for the working masses which the international proletariat must unconditionally defend. During the Korean War of 1950-53 Trotskyists unreservedly extended military support to the North Korean forces battling the imperialist intervention and the landlord-capitalist regime in Seoul. But the defense of the revolutionary gains of collectivized economy in North Korea and their unfettered development to socialist fruition requires that Kim and his camarilla be toppled by a political revolution which transfers political power to the workers and peasants of North Korea.