The principle of giving priority to ideology is one of the important component parts of the guiding principles of the Juche idea.
This principle is the guiding principle of the revolution and construction that enables the people to defend position of masters of the revolution and construction and play due role by enhancing their consciousness.
Leader Kim Jong Il said:
The revolutionary movement is a conscious movement, and for this reason one must always hold fast to people’s thinking as the main thing in the revolutionary struggle and construction work. Doing this is an important principle that must be maintained in the revolution and construction.
This principle has contents of giving priority to ideological remoulding and of giving precedence to political work. Before gong to details, we will study the meaning of placing main stress on ideology and why is it necessary to do so.
As mentioned before, people’s ideological consciousness plays decisive role in their struggle for independence, and the revolutionary movement is their purposive and conscious movement.
Therefore, in order to win the revolution and successfully build a new society, it is necessary to place main stress on ideology. To try to make the revolution and construction without placing main stress on ideology, the motive force of socio-historical movement is just like to sail the ocean in a ship that has no propeller. It is therefore the principle to be adhered to always.
What, then, does it mean to place main stress on ideology in the revolution and construction?
This has largely two meanings; one is to put stress on ideological factor in the revolution and construction and second is to solve all problems arising in the revolution and construction by enhancing ideological consciousness.
The former means to give importance to ideological factors among the two factors, ideological and material, in the revolutionary movement and the latter means to solve all problems by mobilizing people’s ideology rather than depending on technical or administrative methods.
Here is an example.
When Leader Kim Jong Il was spending the days in military camp while studying in Kim Il Sung University, he told about the secret of sharp shooting.
In the middle of September, 1962, the camping students were firing guns with a company and platoon as a unit in Oundong military camp.
But the records of the shooting of the first contingent was not so good.
The other camping students became unsteady and the officers worried about the bad records.
They found the reason of bad records in the low efficiency of the rifle and complained that even a marksman cannot hit the target well with the old rifle. At this time, Leader Kim Jong Il acquainted himself with the reason and came to the firing ground to take measures.
There he tried himself and saw officers firing and then said that the bad records are not from low efficiency of the rifle. He stressed that the result of shooting is the reflection of mentality, that from the gun not a bullet but mentality runs, that if man fears and closes eyes, gun also does the same. He further said that gun knows its owner; if he loves rifle it gives its sincerity and becomes comrade that defends his destiny but if he does not love it, it becomes cold and heavy and dangerous piece of iron. He said that the man who loves rifle and knows how to load mind in the rifle can only be marksman.
This is valuable instruction that embodied the Juche principle, the Juche theory of ideology to give priority to ideological factor and solve all problems by enhancing the role of ideological consciousness.
That is because to do so is the law of the development of the revolutionary movement.
Ideological factor and material factor always act in the revolutionary movement. That is because there should be people and material conditions to make the revolution.
Here the decisive factor is the people with ideological consciousness.
Of course material factor plays big role in the revolution and construction. But although material conditions are provided, revolution does not win of its own accord.
However enough the material conditions are, the revolution and construction cannot win if the people are not ideologically moved. And the material conditions are prepared and used by the people.
It is well proved by the historical fact that socialist revolution won victory earlier in those countries with less developed productive forces rather than in those countries with developed productive forces.
This tells that if the people, the subject of revolution, are ideologically awakened, they can use the objective conditions as well as turn disfavorables into favorables, ensuring victory in the revolution.
Like this, ideological factor plays decisive role in the revolutionary movement. Therefore, in order to make the revolution and construction well, it is necessary to place the main stress on ideology.
Another reason for this is that it is the essential method of the people who fight for independence to solve all problems by mobilizing ideology.
Those who fight for people’s independence are revolutionaries and servants of the people, who deem it as their revolutionary duty to liberate the people from all sorts of subjugation and provide them with free and happy life.
Proceeding from their duty, they depend on their method in encouraging the people to the revolutionary struggle.
The reactionary exploiter class and ruling class depend on cheating and force in moving the people whereas the revolutionaries who fight for the people use the method of awakening the people ideologically so that they voluntarily rise in the revolutionary struggle.
Since the revolutionary struggle is voluntary one, it is impossible to move the people in a coercive way without mobilizing their ideology.
The people are interested in the revolutionary movement, but not all of them are well awakened from the inception. There is no inborn revolutionary.
The revolutionaries should awaken the people ideologically to be fighters and heroes instead of looking for heroes. Only when the revolutionaries encourage the people to the revolutionary struggle by mobilizing their ideology, can they win the revolution and fulfill their mission.
Herein lies one of the reasons why the revolutionaries think it as an essential method to solve all problems by enhancing the role of ideological consciousness.
This is also because they have powerful ideological weapon to awaken the people.
The revolutionaries have powerful ideological weapon to make the people conscious. That is the independent revolutionary idea created by the outstanding leader of revolution.
Independent ideological consciousness correctly reflects the fundamental interests of the people and provides guideline for ensuring freedom and happiness. Therefore, independent ideological consciousness can be accepted by the people and can prevail in the society.
The reactionary exploiter class, the ruling class tries to spread its ideology but the ideology is opposed to the interests of the working people and thus cannot be ideology of the masses and as the ideology of the society.
Only the revolutionaries who are fighting for the independence of the people have revolutionary ideology that can be accepted by the people, and they fight to realize it. Therefore, they solve all problems in the method of enhancing the role of consciousness mobilizing the people through arming them with revolutionary ideology.
To solve all problems by enhancing the role of ideological consciousness is the essential method of the revolutionaries and accordingly it is important principle to be adhered to in the revolution and construction.
Indeed, the principle of placing the main stress on ideology is a powerful ideological weapon that enables people to win victory in the revolution and construction by displaying revolutionary zeal and creative ability of billions of people.