June 24, 2024 Special Dispatch No. 11415

Russian Philosopher Dugin On Russia-North Korea Relations: Russia's Needs 'Juche,' The State Ideology Of North Korea

June 24, 2024
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 11415

As Russian President Vladimir Putin visited North Korea on June 19, 2024, anti-liberal Russian Philosopher Alexander Dugin wrote an analysis praising the idea of Juche, which is the state ideology of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), stating that Russia needs to develop its own "Russian Juche."

In Korean, Juche (주체) means "sovereignty," "self-sufficiency." Dugin explained that Kim Il Sung, the founder of North Korea, gave to Juche a meaning close to the ancient Korean indigenous cult of Cheongdogyo,[1] in which the "spiritual sovereignty" of the Korean community precedes the perceptions of the outside world. "In essence, it is about total civil sovereignty and self-sufficiency," Dugin wrote. Furthermore, in Juche ethics, "low worship" is defined as when a person takes as a model something external to his people/nation (민족), and to his culture. When "low worship" happens, it means that the person betrayed the "spiritual sovereignty of his soul" and ceases to be a human being.

Hence, the Juche idea, promoting sovereignty, rejects Western hegemony, the collective West (which includes South Korea), capitalism, and Western liberalism, setting the basis for a multipolar world, in which the Western-led unipolarity is defeated and the "end of history" predicted by Francis Fukuyama is not consolidated.[2]

Dugin added that two countries in particular, North Korea and Iran (which, as Dugin stated, "has proclaimed the primacy of the traditional values of the Shia religion and Iranian culture over Western liberalism"), have resolutely embarked on the path of total struggle against Western domination and defense of their sovereignty. According to the anti-liberal Russian philosopher, Russia also needs to shape its own ideology that should be its own "Russian Orthodox version of the wonderful doctrine of Juche," that is, a doctrinal formulation of Russia's civil identity and self-sufficiency vis-à-vis the West.

Tower of the Juche idea in Pyongyang

Following are Dugin's articles on the Juche idea:

Dugin: "Civilization Is Juche"

In an article published on his Telegram account and on, Dugin mentioned the need for Russia to develop the Russian Juche:[3] "North Korea is a beautiful thing. Interestingly, the Korean word 'Juche' (주체) is a deeply philosophical term and means 'subject' or even the Heideggerian Dasein.[4] It has everything else included in it: independence, freedom, civil sovereignty.

"The history of Korea and particularly its northern regions (the ancient Joseon under the divine Tangun) is a history of absolutely heavenly pride. Korea was able to stand up to the great China and effectively resist repeated invasion attempts by the mighty Japan (it only succeeded in the southern regions, where Koreans are softer and weaker than in the north).

"That said, Korea has taken a lot from China: writing, culture, Confucianism, Taoism and the Chinese reinterpretation of a refined and sophisticated Buddhism. While recognizing the greatness of Catai [a historical name for China], Korea has always maintained its unshakeable and inviolable core, and that is Juche.

"Only an ignorant or despicable liberal, a slave of the West, can mock the 'Juche'.

"We need the same ideology i.e. the Russian Juche, the reign of the Russian Subject, the strength and power of the Russian Dasein.

"Putin is going to Korea: it looks like the big is going to the small but proud. This is not condescension, but a dialogue between subjects.

"The Juche is moving towards the Juche.

"We can make an excellent point, because it should have been so long ago. Russia, if it is a subject, i.e. if it is Juche, should behave like this and it does not matter whether we consider ourselves a Western civilization or not. If it were the West, it would have to be the true, Byzantine, orthodox, catechontic [from the Greek word katékhon] West.[5] Although it is better to consider ourselves simply Continent-Russia, Russian civilization.

"Civilization is first of all having the center in oneself, relying only on one's own strength and mind. Civilization is a sovereign subject, over which there is only Heaven, no authority except that of it. That is why civilization is Juche."

Dugin: "The Juche Doctrine Radically Rejects Capitalism And Western Hegemony"

Back in September 2023, when Putin and Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in Russia's Far East, Dugin wrote an article, titled "The Greatness of Juche, Rogue States and Greater Humanity," explaining concept of the DPRK's Juche idea:[6] "Russia's rapprochement with the DPRK is a wonderful initiative. It was the meetings and negotiations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un, the hereditary head of the DPRK belonging to the sunny Kim dynasty, that caused a stir at the WEF [World Economic Forum]. The West commented: stop this rapprochement at all costs, ban any movement of Russia and North Korea towards each other.

"But now, after a year and a half of dramatic SMO [Special military operation], we can really only count on the help of those who have resolutely embarked on the path of total struggle against Western domination, who seriously defend their sovereignty and rely on their sovereign worldview. And these are today, first and foremost, North Korea and Iran. And also Belarus, but we are one with them.

"It is no coincidence that they are all labelled 'rogue states' by Washington. Those who directly challenge the globalist liberals are immediately marginalized and demonized. This is war and its laws.

"For a long time, the Russian elite has remained under the complete control of the West – first of all mentally, culturally, ideologically. Hence the arrogant and ironic attitude towards North Korea and the ideas of Juche (which in Korean just means 'sovereignty', 'self-sufficiency', i.e. its Dasein). The same applies to Iran, which has proclaimed the primacy of the traditional values of the Shia religion and Iranian culture over Western liberalism. Here too, civil sovereignty is at the center. The situation is the same with regard to Belarus, completely independent of the West, and its true permanent leader. Lukashenko is the guarantor of his people's freedom and independence, and therefore an 'enemy of the West'.

"In general, the ideology of Juche (주체) is very interesting and original. This concept is not new, but is taken from Korean Confucianism. The ancient meaning of the expression 'Juche' is 'a thing seen from the side of the subject'. It is a direct analogue of the 'content of the intentional act' in Brentano-Husserl's phenomenology. It is not the thing that exists, but our representation of it. This is also close to Berkeley's thesis esse percipere est, but Kim Il Sung, the legendary founder of the new Korea, gave it a meaning close to the ancient Korean indigenous cult of Cheongdogyo, where it is interpreted in the sense of the spiritual sovereignty of the Korean community preceding the perceptions of the outside world. That is, it is ethno-phenomenology, the notion of an intentional sacred act whose structures are predetermined by the specificity of the Korean mentality reflected in the things of the outside world. In essence, it is about total civil sovereignty and self-sufficiency. Furthermore, the project of building an ideal Korean society, free from the dark side of existence, which is overcome by synchronising the mental efforts of all Koreans, plays an important role in the Cheonggyo cult. The sovereignty in question is first and foremost the sovereignty of the soul (Maeum is 마음 in Korean).

"The Juche doctrine simultaneously implies the total rejection of individual anthropology and the triumph of holism (the Aristotelian thesis that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts). The people are equated with a spiritual army (the doctrine of 'sungun', 선군).

"What is most frightening in Juche ethics is 'low worship'. This is the most important term, it means that a person takes as a model something external to his people (민족), to his culture. He betrays the spiritual sovereignty of his soul and ceases to be a human being.

"The Juche doctrine radically rejects capitalism and Western hegemony, despises comfort and is ruthless against corruption.

"It was common to ridicule the ideas of Juche at the end of the Soviet period, when the liberal dissident intelligentsia itself had fallen into pure 'low cultism'. The result was obvious: the country, social justice, industry, independence and dignity were lost. In other words, the Soviet intelligentsia simply joined the Western demonization of the ideological opponent, betraying its own community and identity.

"Alas, this attitude towards the DPRK has continued even under Putin. As for Juche's homeland, we have continued to behave in a manner that 'kowtows' to the West. This is why we condemned North Korea's nuclear programme in the UN Security Council in 2016-2017. Over our heads. Once again, we followed the West and the West was already preparing for war against us.

"Now, however, we have begun to correct ourselves. Putin's meeting with Kim Jong-un at the Vladivostok Economic Forum, Defense Minister Shoigu's earlier visit to Pyongyang, and Lavrov's announcement of a large-scale rapprochement and political-military partnership between Russia and the DPRK are important signs that we are working on our mistakes.

"Let us be sober: those who reject Western hegemony are (for the West and its vassals) a 'rogue state'. Those who serve it – even the openly Nazi terrorist regime in Ukraine – are 'democracy' and 'human rights'.

"Today's Russia is also a 'rogue state' in the eyes of the West, and the pro-Western (still 'low-life') elite in Russia agrees with this, but the decolonization of Russia and the imperative of sovereignty require us to put an end to this. We need our own Russian Orthodox version of the wonderful doctrine of Juche, that is, a doctrinal formulation of our civil identity and self-sufficiency. Yes, we are open to friends, but we live in our own world, built according to the laws of Russian intentionality. We are sovereign subjects of history, not puppets under external control.

"The West and its claims to truth must ultimately be radically rejected.

"Like the heroic Juche people and the wise and steadfast Iranians. Like the gentle and courageous Belarusians, true to their identity. The West must be denied the right to be a universal subject. It must be turned into an object of study. Like a butterfly or a mushroom. Who a butterfly or a mushroom considers a 'rogue state' is very curious, but of course it is not the highest form of knowledge or a universal law. It is just an opinion.

"The West is a region, one of many provinces in the Great Humanity. There are other regions and provinces in the Great Humanity. And they have their own opinions on who is a 'rogue state' and who is not. Whether it is ridiculous and backward to be a supporter of Juche or the Shia doctrine of wilayat-i faqih or whether, on the contrary, it is honorable and noble. Whether it is right to support the father of the Belarusian people or whether it is old-fashioned. The decision is not only up to the collective West, but to Great Humanity, and here opinions may differ widely. So it is with everything, with LGBT, and gender politics, and migration, and human rights, and capitalism, and private property, and civil society, and AI.

"We need a profound decolonization of our consciousness.

"We need our own sovereign worldview. We have rebelled against Western domination, but in many ways we are still a colony. A mental colony.

"We should not hesitate to learn from those who have already travelled a great distance along the heroic path of this rebellion.

"Kim Jong-un, welcome.

"The Far East will now be a land of freedom."



[2] After the fall of the Soviet Union, American political scientist Francis Fukuyama wrote the book "The End of History and the Last Man," predicting that liberal democracy will prevail as a permanent order. Fukuyama translated the "end of history" as the "end of the ideological evolution of mankind and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government." Dugin opines that the "end of history" has not yet materialized, since the competition with the West is not over.

[3], June 19, 2024.

[4] At the Moscow's Conference on Multipolarity in 2023, Spanish academic Francisco Javier De Lara explained the concept of "Dasein" as follows: "It was introduced by Heidegger and is defined as the capacity of being for destruction, development and manifestation in people and their communities. What does it mean? It means that each nation is endowed with unique features that derive from its natural cultural environment – this is how a society is shaped.", April 29, 2023. See also: "Alexander Dugin and the existential analytic of Russian Dasein," by Michael Millerman, February 20, 2022.

[5] The media outlet Katehon, affiliated to Dugin, explained: "Our idea is to create an alternative point of view, an alternative identity, which we are calling Katehon, Continentalism or Eurasia. We can spin it as being left, right, secular or religious. We can associate it with Germany or Russia... Europe is a battleground: On one side it is Katehon and on the other is the antichrist." According to Dugin, Russia as the Katechon has as a mission to rescue the world from the Antichrist. See also:

[6], September 9, 2023.

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