The fact that class hadn’t existed from the beginning of human history, and that it could disappear, was admitted only by Marxism. Why should we view history from the aspect of class, which had appeared over a short period of time in the development of human history? Wasn't it right to view human history from the perspective of human beings themselves as the core of history?
How much damage did Stalin's cult of personality and personal dictatorship cause? They committed lots of illegal activities, “justified” as being in the interests of the working class. Additionally, the Chinese Communist Party frantically destroyed their culture with Red Guards and persecuted the intellectuals who had been the creators of culture during their proletariat Cultural Revolution. This, too, came with the same rationale; protecting the interests of the working class. With the start of the Cultural Revolution, Mao Zedong's cult of personality reached its peak.
Kim Il Sung said he opposed China's Cultural Revolution. However, Kim Young Ju, Kim Il Sung’s brother, and Kim Jong Il competitively started strengthening the cult of personality around Kim Il Sung at the time of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. In North Korea, there was no target to overthrow as in the Chinese case, so this kind of movement did not take place. However, criticisms made about me through the May 25 Instruction and anti-revisionist struggles in the culture field such as the purging of intellectual officials working in the Propaganda and Agitation Department could be viewed as a “miniature Cultural Revolution.”
At that time, I hear that Kim Il Sung told the children of the Mangyongdae Revolutionary School, "You should not be revisionist philosophers like Hwang Jang Yop. He is not a real doctor of philosopher, but an assembly doctor who puts together his thesis with other’s phrases by copying other experts’ opinions.”
I was certain that he hadn’t read my thesis.
Even though I agreed with the idea that we should establish a society where everyone could live humanely by liberating the proletariat, I could not agree with those who claimed culture created by the proletariat was the only valuable thing and viewed Stalin's personal dictatorship and the Chinese Cultural Revolution as a form of the struggle against power.
I evaluated such phenomena as the product of the theory of the proletarian dictatorship and class struggle, which was an expression of the inhumane class supremacy of Marxism, and which didn't value human beings and absolutized the interests of the proletariat.
From then on, I drew out the conclusion that such classism, prioritizing the interests of a class over the common benefits of a society and even human beings, would end up as class egotism. Class egotism would eventually lead to a leader's egotism, which would result in the cult of personality and personal dictatorship of the leader.
From that moment, I broke with the Marxist class struggle and the proletarian dictatorship theory and, instead, turned to a humanist faith in human beings and the human race. Therefore, I got myself out of Marxism, in which we had to see the history of humanity from the aspect of the class struggle, and took the stance that we should view history as the history of the development of human beings. I grew certain that everything was necessary for humans and that every activity of human beings should contribute to shaping the destiny of humanity. Therefore, I confirmed that the mission of philosophy was to light the path to shape the destiny of humanity.
The mainframe of my view of history focused on human beings was systematized in late 1968. During this process, I figured out the essential differences between human beings and animals and the attributes of human beings. At this time, I contemplated the problem over and over, even while in conferences, and wrote my thoughts down in a notebook.
Based on the idea that an individual's life is finite while the life of the human being is infinite, I established a perspective on the mutual-relations between an individual’s life and a group’s life and reformed traditional materialism and the dialectic, according to the independent status and creative roles of humanism.
I finished this work between 1969 and October 1970, and summarized the idea in around 100 pages of squared manuscript paper.
At that time, I also wrote a poem based on my new human-centered philosophy, whilst I was looking at flowers on Moran Hill.
Warm sunlight tenderly touches Mother Earth that saw winter through
Nature is drunk with happiness and shows off the beauty of life to its heart's content
Birds sing to the birth of all creation
Competitively blooming flowers smile brightly, welcoming the generous sun
How beautiful the flowers of spring are,
Yet they will never be more beautiful than the flowers of human existence
A flower is beautiful, but its beauty fades away as springtime ends
It only smiles, and does not know how to cry
To a flatterer or to a hero
It gives the same smile
Only human beings can laugh at their enemies even on the scaffold
Share tears with a friend missed
Only human beings are the beautiful and wise flowers of the universe
I, having had the spring of my life and entering autumn, miss the eternal flower of life
You are the almighty master of the universe
You are the only one who survived the long march of tribulation and held your destiny in your own hands
You are the only one who gave joy and hope to this lonely earth
Gave this worthless earth an eternal life
Is there anything you cannot do?
Your eternal spring of life can bloom too
You can embrace the eternal paradise for people too
You are my root, my hope and my love
Life is worthwhile since there is love for you
Strength comes even from the land of darkness
Since there is faith in the future of you
I may be worthless
But I still share the same root and the same stem as you
Your great soul dwells in me
Even though I am lowly
To live a fruitful life is to abandon “tiny myself”
And live in “great myself,” you, your will
To live a happy life is to give up “tiny myself”
And live in a “great myself,” you, in your great love
When I forsake tiny myself
And become one with you, a great myself
I can find the truth with great eyes
I can go forward with great power
I can feel joy with a great heart
How can I cling to tiny myself
And how dare I abandon great you
Only in your will and for you
I shall live only faithfully to you
To bring an eternal spring for human beings
I shall run and run
The boat of history will go its own way
Even if time and space change
Like a soldier at the end of his duty
I shall leave forever
As I pray for your eternal spring
April 25, 1969
Watching the flowers on Moran Hill.