[Our Program] The South Korean 18th presidential election and the IBT/2012

by 볼셰비키 posted Dec 07, 2018


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This was translated and summarized about 1/3 proportion from Korean to English. Not so polished and many part are omitted. English readers only can get  the skeleton of our position and the Korean situation.



The South Korean 18th presidential election and the IBT



1.  Crisis of Capitalism and the Crisis of Revolutionary Leadership

2.  Popular Front: South Korean Leftists' Popular Front Record After 17th Presidential Election: New Progressive Party/ The Unified Progressive Party/ The All Together/ The Reason Leftists Sink Into Popular Front: Reformism/ Stalinism/ Adaptationism and Tailism

3.  Workerism: Workerism and Candlelight demonstration in 2008/The viewpoint of the workerist on building the revolutionary party/ The experiment of the Sanowi to build the revolutionary party/ RM and presidential candidate tactic

4.  Conclusion: The candidates in the 18th presidential election/ Kim So-yeon and our position/ The crucial task



1. Crisis of Capitalism and the Crisis of Revolutionary Leadership

The economic crisis since 2008 which began in the heartland of the global capitalism, has put the brakes on the relationship of power in which capital has absolute dominance since the collapse of the Soviet bloc. Gang, Man-su, former minister of Strategy and Finance said,

“The current crisis would continue longer than the Great crisis. After the Lihman brothers’ incident, what the respective governments have done is transform the private debt to government’s debtNow, we are on the structural problem. Somebody says that capitalism died.”--Kyunghayng shinmun, 2012/6/15

Since the crisis, the relationship of power between the capital and working class has fluctuated again. The class conflict for systemic contradiction has heat up the global political situation. Because of the heat, place around the globe burst into flames and subside, gushing out hot air. This process/cycle is repeated again and again.

South Korea is the country which has the highest rate of exploitation, and while is on top among the 35 countries in OECD in the rate of suicide, annual labor time and proportion of irregular workers.

Since the candlelight demonstration in 2008, there has not been such a significant mass resistance, but there have been sporadic but fierce struggles for the right to live. However, the worldwide deepening of the global crisis, class conflict, fluctuation of capitalists, the awakening of the working class would ignite the upheaval in inflammable South Korea. The question is the crisis of leadership like the Trotsky’s warning, “The crisis of mankind is reduced to the crisis of the revolutionary leadership.”

The 18th presidential election is due 19 December in 2012. The summary of the subjective situation of the S Korean working class after the 2007 election is that ‘the former fake leadership of the working class has bankrupted but revolutionary leadership has not been built yet.’ The KDLP has politically and physically become bankrupt and it disappeared after the fusion with the People's Participation Party into the United Progressive party and participation the electoral collaboration with the liberal bourgeois party. The New Progressive Party and the Progressive Justice party which was built after the split with the United Progressive party are very similar. Meanwhile, most of the ‘socialist’ parts which have not engaged in the bourgeois workers’ parties have been in the swamp of workerism. They are pursuing the shortcut to build a worker’s party bypassing the work to build the revolutionary program and the core group to hold it. Of course you can build the party with that course. But it shoul not be the revolutionary party but the second round of the KDLP.

These two, ‘popular front and workerism’, are the main obstacles in front of the South Korean working class longing for the state power.


2. Popular Front

After the October 1917 Revolution, many of the foundering revolutionary opportunity throughout the world proceeded from the Popular Front policy. In 1920s China, 1930s Spain, 1960s Indonesia and 1970s Chile, particularly, the popular front provided the bourgeoisie in each country with opportunities for overcoming the crisis of regime overturn and destroying militant working class.

The Great October Revolution had inspired toilers in colonial and semi-colonial contries, so they have considered the Soviet Russia and Comintern as a lighthouse for their wish. It was natural that people in colonial Choson neighboring Russia were also inspired. After the March 1st Movement, a group of serious intellectuals joined the international communist movement describing themselves as communists.

Unfortunately, not long after, the Communist International sank to opportunism with abortions of the European Revolution and bureaucratic degeneration of Russian Workers' state and its party. The degeneration was expressed as a disastrous policy on the Chinese Revolution and the policy was attempted on colonial Choson by Comintern.

"The Comintern ... said on question of a national revolutionary party like Chinese Kuomindang. ... Otto Kuusinen ... His writing suggested [Korean Communists] to build a singleparty like Kuomindang to developing closer relationships with other nationalist organizations." -- Choi Gyu-jin, "A Study of the Comintern 6th Congress and Korean Communists' Political Thought"

After passing through a tunnel of the third period, the popular frontism phrased a thought that we have to make coalition with better imperialist forces for opposition to worse imperialist forces. Park Hun-young, a Leader of the Korean Communist Party, once regarded U.S., Britain and China under Chiang Kai-shek as "progressive democratic countries".

When the territory south of 38th parallel in Korean Peninsula was occupied and military government was established by U.S. Army, the Communist Party attempted to refrain strikes and behavior what give umbrage to the military government. Even when the military government arrested some leftists, Park considered this incident as the government employees' mistakes. Thereupon the military government confidently attacked on the leftist forces. The defeat was irreversible although the Communist Party counterattacked with the wisdom of hindsight. Since the defeat, militant workers' movement in South Korea took about 40 years after the wipeout to rebirth.

In 1987, the South Korean workers' movement announced its own revival. Before the presidential election in that year, however, there was an attempt to anesthetize the working class who woke up a moment ago. The so-called 'National Liberation', a group of pro-North Korean Stalinists, advocated to support liberal bourgeois Kim Dae-Jung, which was declared the right course by IS(the All Together). Even after forming the Stalinist and Reformist KDLP in 2000, popular front-holic of South Korean leftists was left unhealed.


South Korean Leftists' Popular Front Record After 17th Presidential Election

--New Progressive Party

After the 2007 Presidential Election, the so-called 'PD' faction in KDLP brought loyalty to North Korea and hegemonism of majority into question and the minority split from KDLP into New Progressive Party. In our statement "The South Korean 17th presidential election and the IBT", we forecasted "attempt to split" "in the KDLP which is revealed betrayal of working class" and we support the attempt. But forming the NPP was basically rightward shift yielding anti-North Korean sentiment and anti-communism. Therefore, we don't support this split.

NPP leadership shared popular-frontism with the KDLP majority. Before the founding of NPP, future NPP leaders had hope to recruit their members from some capitalist politicians. After two and a half years, the NPP's candidate for governor of Gyeonggi-do, Shim Sang-jung withdrew from the candidate for "coalition against MB" with Ryu Shi-min who was the representative man of neo-liberalist Roh administration before local election 2010. Although many members violently complained about this behavior, Shim was only warned.

When intense workers struggles were erupted by KEC and Hyundai Motors workers in the second half of 2010, the Mediators of the Five Opposition Party including KDLP's and NPP's congresspersons urged striving workers to withdraw sit-down strike and stop the struggle. Accepting mediated settlement, workers who participated in strike were confronted with employers' gross violation of human right, layoff aimed to strikers and company dominated union reinforcement. KDLP's and NPP's congress persons who pretended to be a fair mediator between workers and capitalists, have to take the responsibility on the situation after the mediating.

Roh Hoe-chan, Shim Sang-jung and Cho Seung-su wished to be popular politician. These status seekers and their supporters began to consider the tiny NPP as a nuisance. They split with NPP to reunite with their ex-comrades. Notwithstanding the departure of frankest parliamentarists, the popular frontism of NPP was still the same. In the Seoul mayoralty election, the NPP supported liberal bourgeois Park Won-sun and participated as canvasser for him.

In March this year, the Socialist Party merged with NPP and they advocated it as ‘leftist unification’, after that the NPP sought the popular front again. The NPP confirmed was willing to join "The Opposition Coalition" and exposed their cross-class ideology on the state by accusing Lee Jeong-hee of spreading false information, who said that the NPP didn't want to participate in "The Opposition Coalition".

Having 18th Presidential Election ahead, now the NPP ostensible turn to the left by supporting the "Workers' Presidential Candidate" Kim So-yeon and joining her camp.


--The Unified Progressive Party

After splitting with the minority in 2008, pro-NK Stalinists, some labor bureaucrats and Cliffites called the All Together remained the KDLP. The KDLP frankly expressed their willing to cooperate with capitalist oppositions under the pretext of public sentiment against the ruling party. The wish was realized by "Democratic coalition against MB" with the Democratic Party and the Participation Party for local election in June 2nd 2010.

Afterward, the KDLP leaders made a plan to fuse with another reformists and even a capitalist left faction concentrating at Ryu's Participation Party. Even some right-wing labor bureaucrats disagreed on this plan which made many workers in the party angry. The Cliffites also organized movement against the fuse with Ryu's party. However, in November 20th 2011, KDLP proclaimed to merge with the Participation Party. Adding the ex-NPPer, this combination produced the Unified Progressive Party in December 5th.

This Bloc was derivative stuff. We will find similar parties in history: Chinese Koumintang ", Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe, the Respect in Britain and etc..

After the general election in 2012, ex-PPer, ex-NPPer and some Stalinists split with UPP and formed the Progressive Justice Party. Today the UPP and PJP similarly called the "Unification of Oppositions" and flirted with huge opposition party.


--The All Together

The All Together, South Korean Cliffites organization, had supported and enterd to the KDLP. But Korean Cliffites advanced an opinion that socialists had to support DJ due to public sentiment Presidential Election 1987. This opinion renewed the argument that "even leftists must vote for candidates of the Democratic Party or Participation Party to interact workers who hate the Great National Party". The Cliffites also "sincerely hoped Park Won-sun knock Nah Gyeong-won to the ground" in Seoul mayoralty election 2011.

Like the preceding, The ATG had opposed the attempt of KDPL leadership to fuse with the PP. However, after the UPP was founded, the ATG had showed excessive loyalty to UPP. The UPP was declared "still social-democratic party" and "Reformist workers party unlike the PP" by the ATG. The Left 21, ATG's biweekly newpaper, often reluctantly admitted that the UPP is embodying the people's front. But the ATG put the right to swim in pool called UPP before defending the Trotskyist political principle.

In April 2012, the ATG said "critical vote" for "the Democratic Party" is an "inevitable thing to interact with the 2030 generation". Because of the declining in popularity in the UPP, the ATG escaped from the UPP.

The ATG's recent statement on this presidential election, "The Reconstitution of Progressive Force and The Left", assured leftists can give the critical vote for the Democrat or Ahn while they draw a line on them". We don't know the method that men "draw a line" on the capitalist force while they vote for them. But we know to vote for bourgeois candidate is to draw a line between the ATG and "Trotskyism".


--The Reason Leftists Sink Into Popular Front


The Reformists  thought that capitalist evil could be removed by reform, without social-revolution and they would come to power peacefully. Because this plan is difficult by only themselves, however, they seek agreement for election with more democratic capitalist partner, which is method for their delusion. But reformist is only given the task of controlling the workers' resistance, not converting capitalist society into socialist, though they pass through first gateway. If their performance is poor, the ruling class takes emergency measures.



Stalinism is an outlook of bureaucrats in workers' state who are politically in panic because of the imperialist pressure. They seek only the national interests for bureaucrats and loses the viewpoint for international interests of the proletariat throughout the world. Therefore, Stalinists seek alliance with 'lesser evil' imperialist(or capitalist) force against  worse imperialist(or capitalist) force and the subordinate international proletarian revolution to alliance. It is a reason that Stalinists pursue the People's Front.


Adaptationism and Tailism

If revolutionaries can't gain a majority of the public, there is no socialist revolution. That the revolutionary organization remain a minority is also no virtue. But revolutionaries have to rightly and unpopularly assert in defiance of public sentiment for the meanwhile, which have been abandoned by many left-wing groups. Submitting to the "Anybody but Bush" Campagin and "Democratic coalition against MB", many leftists have proved that they are incapable of defense of historic interest of workinkg class against the stream.

Some opportunists have mixed joining the Popular Front with working in people, which is attempt to justify behavior of class betrayal. For this type of opportunists, Leon Trotsky said that: 

"Bukharin asks, “And what about the Kuomintang masses, are they mere cattle?” Of course they are cattle. The masses of any bourgeois party are always cattle, although in different degrees. But for us, the masses are not cattle, are they? No, that is precisely why we are forbidden to drive them into the arms of the bourgeoisie, camouflaging the latter under the label of a workers’ and peasants’ party. That is precisely why we are forbidden to subordinate the proletarian party to a bourgeois party, but on the contrary, must at every step, oppose the former to the latter." -- The Third International After Lenin


3. Workerism

Workerism(trade unionism, economism) is another main obstacle in the road to the state power acting in the interests of working class.

This tendency is dominating the ‘socialist movement’ of South Korea.

The isolated working class of one country and certain period from the historical practice of mankind cannot obtain the historical and scientific viewpoint to be the ruling class in the future.

It is needed to build the vanguard group to bind the working class of one country and the certain period with the historical practice of mankind(M-E-L-T). They absorb the revolutionary program based on the M-E-L-T and concentrate on themselves first(the building of the propaganda group) then combine with the whole working class(the building of the party).

Therefore, our main tasks are summarized to this: Build the revolutionary party based on the revolutionary program.

But the workerist neglects this task and pours all their abilities into supporting the sporadic workers’ spontaneous struggle. In more seriousness, they think that they can build the party when the spontaneous struggle upsurge.


Workerism makes mistakes in the order of the priority. They reproduce workerist who thinks that being rooted in the working field is the task of the ‘revolutionary socialist’. 

Of course they are sincere and devoting. But they are blinded. The fundamental cause of the problems may have disappeared in their views but the problems itself still remained.

These processes are permanent  in the capitalist society.

However, those that are blinded by workerism believe that such activities are the most valuable and are proud to execute those. Because it is simple way to prove their sincerity, rage and conscience while theyrn’t aware when the fate of revolution disappears.


Workerism and Candlelight demonstration in 2008

April in 2007, the US-Kore FTA was settled. The aim of this agreement settled between Noh and Bush government is to maximize both parts of the capitalist. Especially the finance capital of the imperialist.  From the inception, this is an unequal agreement including, ‘ISD, ...Rachet articles.’

Then the newly elected president Lee, Myung-bak gave another gift, softening the import conditions of American beef, to the Bush regime before the summit talk of both in April. This ignited the fear on the mad cow disease and scratched the self respect of South Koreans.

In 10 June, more than 500,000 demonstrators gathered only in Seoul, struggled on the streets, even tried toward the Blue house.

The demonstrator desperately wants the workers strike to blow significantly on the Lee regime which did not give any concession. So they increased the request to go strike to the KCTU. It was a very different situation to the past attitude to see every workers strike with cold eyes.

But the KCTU’ leadership wasn’t willing to do the general strike even after political long going bureaucratization.

The ‘socialist’ organizations gave the indulgence to the bureaucracy of the KCTU. The Socialist Workers Alliance represented the organizations. The SWL were standing aside the demo publishing workerist views on the candlelight demo; that ‘the demands of the demonstrators are not of the workers’. Therefore the workers should not receive those demands as their demands and the general strike should be organized based on the workers demands.’

After the criticism from the IBT supporter(nickname ‘program of action’), The Candlelight demonstration and the Trade unionist opportunism of the SWL, the SWL spent one and half months just to review their stance on the demo. However they required one more month to seriously engage in the demo with the resemblance to the revolutionary program which received and revised the suggestion of the IBT supporter.

But it was too late. It was when the demonstrators returned to their ordinary lives after the long and hopeless demo.

However, the government, who are afraid of the link between the demo and the revolutionary program, arrested 8 leaders of the SWL.


The viewpoint of the workerist on building the revolutionary party.

Workerist has the viewpoint of the world that ‘totality is the amount of the whole parts.’ That means ‘gathering the parts makes the totality, and the nature of the total equals the nature of the parts.’ But what matters in reality is not the totality of the parts but the construction of the parts.

For example, a bicycle has pedal, chain, wheels and so on. But the nature of the bicycle does not converge the natures of the parts. The nature of the bicycle is totally independent from its parts.

But the workerist, who could not differentiate the totality and construction, can’t understand the difference between the individual workers and working class, the conflict between the employee and employer and the conflict on the state between working class and bourgeois, and the organization in the working field and party. They simply think that gathering the first automatically becomes the later.. Therefore, they think that if the organization in the individual working field gathered it forms the party, even though it is not the party on the scientific and revolutionary program.

While this kind of viewpoint is dominating our movement, we examine the SWL(2008) and the Field Struggle Committee to Build Revolutionary Workers pary’(FCBR).

(quotation from the SWL)

The job to build revolutionary party is most ‘purpose conscientious’ work, while workers economic struggle is ‘spontaneous.’ Two are just different. But the workerists think the first subordinate to the latter.

The FCBR, who carves the economist idea into their name, argues like this in the <Class struggle and building party,  the example of America in 1930s>, August 2012

there should be one significant condition to succeed to build new party. That is to link with the try the workers struggle active.

In the period of struggle subsides, the party build in this period has to absorb the political atmosphere of the rear guard and can’t overcome the limit of the reformist party.”

the relationship of power fluctuates depending on the subject and object situation. But the revolutionary party armed with scientific ideas should not fluctuate according to them.

The revolutionary party should be built in any condition of the relationship of power. We should patiently do the work purposely to gather the advanced part of the working class, study and propaganda the revolutionary program. Without this kind of ‘primitive accumulation for building revolutionary party’, there cannot be a revolutionary party. Bolshevik was not the party built in the “rising atmosphere of the class struggle but was revolutionary.

Then absurdly, the writer of the article said that the ‘ workerist’ idea in the article is from the experience of the SWP.

ButJames. P. Cannon explains the work of ‘primitive accumulation for building revolutionary party’ which they have done like these.

“The problem was to understand the actual situation, the stage of development at the moment. Of course, you have to find a road to the masses in order to create a party that can lead a revolution. But the road to the masses lies through the vanguard and not over its head. That was not understood by some people. They thought they could by-pass the Communistic workers, jump right into the midst of the mass movement and find there the best candidates for the most advanced, the most theoretically developed group in the world, that is, the Left Opposition which was the vanguard of the vanguard. This conception was erroneous, the product of impatience and the failure to think things out. Instead of that, we set as our main task propaganda, not agitation.

“We said: Our first task is to make the principles of the Left Opposition known to the vanguard. Let us not delude ourselves with the idea we can go to the great unschooled mass now.”--The History of American Trotskyism

Perhaps has the ‘primitive accumulation for building revolutionary party’ finished? If we omit that kind of process, can we build the revolutionary party?


The experiment of the Sanowi to build the revolutionary party

In May 2010, the Meeting for Socialist workers party and the SWL and others set up the Sanowi(The joint committee to build socialist workers party).

As the foundation manifesto declared, the work to establish the program started and that is the process of political struggle of the various ideas: Stalinism, Cliffism, Left communism, Trotskyism, Postism, Feminism etc which are prevail in the left.

In the process, the 3 draft programs are submitted. The first, majority’s, represents hodgepodge of Stalinism, Postism and Feminism. The second, minority’s, represents the statecapitalism of Cliffites and left cominism. The third, extreme minority’s, represents the ‘orthodox’ Trotskyism. These 3 freely debated and competed in program committee, respective regional committee and national discussion session for months. In this process, the importance of the program is confirmed and the unscientifical nature of the state capitalism was exposed and the legitimacy of feminism which had been recognized as a ‘socialist idea’ was challenged.

The time frame of more than one year of political struggle is not long enough to solve the main differences. Despite the minor mutual infiltration, there remained most important part of the program.

The majority, who are chased by the workerist pressure and do not recognize importance of the scientific character of the program wanted to close the ‘exhausting (for their part)’ debate on the program in which their reformism and inconsistence of them is more and more exposed. In the 4thconference, September 2011, they tried to decide the so called ‘united program’ while they  kept the main and acute programmatic questions like the character of the ‘practical socialist countries’, the attitude on the nuclear weapons of North Korea and the character of the South Korean capitalism etc.

The IBT supporters who submitted the ‘the third draft (4th international draft)’ and engaged in the political struggle, warning the attempt to make the ‘common program’ useless(sterile) like this.

“We cannot look this draft to have the total and scientific explanation on the world. This draft can take a part to support and lead the ordinary struggles but cannot lead to take the state power. This draft failed to explain the character of the ‘practical socialist countries.’ The character of South Korean capitalism which we should smash out is explained vaguely. We have to go this way and that with this kind of program in the front of the coming would-be social unrest in NK and China and the confrontation against South Korean state which the imperialist capitals/army/information machine are backing it. When the Cheon-an warship’s sinking happened, in the last year, and when there was a conflict in Libya between Quadaffi and rebels and imperialists, we did not take any consistent position and still do not. Perhaps there will be similar case in future; we have to stay calm until the acute case pass through. In the decisive period, the revolution just passes through.”--To the 4th conference, 3 September 2011

The hurried decision of the program in the 4thconference meant the end to the internal political struggle. After this, there have been programmatic degenerations. Finally even the ‘common program’ became disabled one.

In December 2011, after the foundation of the UPP, the meeting which oppose the majority of the KCTU and the UPP was built up. Then Sanowi passed the policy which put the program totally disabled one in the desire to bring the opponent workers against the UPP in 6th conference in March 2012.

That was the attitude to build the party not by making the core group of the party on the revolutionary ideas but by softening the politics and widening extent.

Actually the most accurate example of that kind of party is the KDLP. ……


RM and presidential candidate tactic

Sanowi initiated the foundation of the ‘The Meeting of national activists for Revolutionary practice and building working class party(Revolutionary Meeting: RM)’ after the 6th conference decision. RM is an organization in which Sanowi and the minority of the KCTU gathered to fill the vacuum since the bankruptcy of the UPP. And the other ‘socialist’ organizations joined it.

Then as soon as RM was founded, RM decided to run presidential candidate in the coming election in 2 months.

--December 14 2012, The decision of RM”

This was the result of the sterile wish that they can build more easily with the massive political event.

Presidential election is the place in which the capitalist attraction rises to the highest level while it gives some place for workers’ vanguard of political propaganda. The closer the final vote day is, the stronger this attraction will be because the ‘lesser devilism’ will be stronger. Furthermore the candidate tactic needs significant amount of money.

Because of these, you should have the acute calculation about advantages and losses and strong confidence to control all your politics, and personal and material resources when you adopt the candidate tactic. Without this, you may waste precious recourses and there is the risk that you are pulled to the right.

It was the clear example for this risk that the RM-which doesn’t have the ability to run the candidate by itself alone, begged the NPP to collaborate the candidate tactic. RM has not raised the NPP’s reformist and even betrayal behaviors.

Moreover, we are worried of that the RM candidate camp are doing the tailist campaign. Because of this , they are disregarded in voting even by ‘the struggling workers’. What Kim is saying most confidently is that he is like those ‘struggling workers’ therefore is the best person that would listen to them. abolishment of irregular workers (employ them as regular workers) and reemploy the lay-off, recognize the specially employed workers as workers etc.

But those demands are capitalist and not the demands which can be accepted in socialist society. So the ‘struggling workers’ might have sympathy towards the candidate who was the ‘struggled worker’ but they do not think they accomplish their demands. Therefore it is even reasonable for the ‘struggling workers’ to vote for the bourgeois candidate  who is pretending to promise to solve their demands.

And the visit to the ‘struggling workers’ around the nation is the job you can do without the title of presidential candidate. You do not need to pay massive entrance fee to do that. The job for ‘workers’ candidate’ should have been to raise the transitional program in the forefront not to tail the current struggles.


4.  Conclusion

The candidates in the 18th presidential election

There are 7 candidates for this 18th presidential election, Park Kun-hye of Saenuri party, Moon Jae-in of Democratic United party, Lee Jeong-hee of United Progressive party and Park Jong-sun, Kim So-yeon, Kang Ji-won and Kim Soon-ja as a nonpartisan representatives.

Park Kun-hye of Saenuri party represents the far right. She is the first daughter of Park Jeong-hee who had pushed the pro-U.S.A, pro-capital and anti-labor policies in his era from 1961 when he had taken the power through military coup  until 1979 when he was shot to death. She is a successor not only in blood relationship but also of the mainstream of South Korean ruling class.

Moon Jae-in of Democratic United party represents the left faction of South Korean bourgeoisie. Even though he and his party is relatively liberal, there aren’t any fundamental differences in the policies and personal relations with the far right. This faction has 10 years of ruling experience from 1997 to 2007 since Kim Dae-joong was elected as a fit person for deterring the social unrest when South Korea was under the IMF control in1997 to Noh Moo-hyun(2002~2007). In this period, the conclusion they proved to the working people is that there is not any difference between left and right of bourgeoisie. Moon is also a pro-U.S imperialism, pro-capital and anti-labor candidate. We, as working class, should not give any support to him in whatever reasons (unlike Alltogether and other popular frontists including the UPP)

The United Progressive party was bourgeois workers party in the period of when it was the KDLP. But after it’s gradual moving toward right direction by the attraction of capital and chasing reformist illusion, finally it became a popular front party after the fusion with a faction of bourgeoisie in 2011. After that, it does not represent any more than the S Korean working class in any aspect. We, working class, will remember today’s betrayal from them as a warning example for the similar betrayal of the other’s in the future.

Meanwhile, Kim So-yeon and Kim Soon-ja as a nonpartisan representatives, both are claiming to be ‘workers’ president.’ Kim So-yeon, the candidate of ‘The Meeting of national activists for Revolutionary practice and building working class party(Revolutionary Meeting: RM)’ is a ‘heroine’ of the worker’s struggle for the win of the 1895 days long struggle, including strike and hunger strike. For that struggle she won the mutual agreement that the company, Ki-ryung electronics, employed the irregular workers as regular workers. And Kim Soon-ja was known weirdly as a candidate of a faction of New Progressive party, was from cleaning workers. She organized cleaning workers of Ul-san University and led the long struggle to win.

While both are claiming to be ‘worker’s president’, they do not aggressively raise transitional program, socialism and workers’ power. The appeals that they are from workers so that they are more likely to listen carefully to struggling workers voice and accepting the current demands of workers in strike or sit-down struggle are most things they are doing.

Despite of this, Kim So-yeon is little better than the more democratic socialistic candidate Kim Soon-ja, because Kim So-yeon raises more radical slogans, such as the “withdrawal of U.S army in S Korea” and “expropriation and socialization of major industries, finance, energy and communication.”


Kim So-yeon and our position

But Kim So-yeon and RM represent the trade unionist and mass-tailist politics. Therefore they are reformist. We are repeating that the task of vanguard is not to follow the workers’ consciousness and struggle in itself, but to help working class to awaken their historic task and position. If they already decided to stand on the platform of presidential election, pouring excessive amount of materials, they should use 100% of the opportunity. That is to expose the fact that capitalism based on the private property system is the cause of all pathologies of our society and to call to working class to have the will to take state power. That expresses in the form of clear submit of transitional program.

But RM and Kim are not doing that. Most of all, their attitude to that is expressed in their electoral policies.

First, what they are repeatedly emphasizing is “the abolishment of irregular workers and lay-off the redundancy” in publishment and campaign. These slogans should be supported but those are not enough to differentiate with the bourgeois candidates and to explain why ‘workers president’ is the only alternative.

Secondly, ‘expropriation and socialization of basic industries, banks and social infrastructures’ the slogan which challenge the private property system which are the fundamental causes of all capitalist dystopia are not raised on the forefront. ‘Expropriation and socialization’ is the only way to enable the “abolition of irregular workers and lay-off, free education, free housing, reduction of labor time and abolishment of unemployment.”

While there is a similar slogan in ‘electoral policy’ of Kim So-yeon and RM, it is placed in a corner as the same or even lower level compared to the other reformist policies such as “the tax system, confiscation of speculative capital, heavy tax on unearned incomes, confiscation of Chaebol’s property.” So we can hardly believe the sincerity of them on it.

Thirdly, the main cause of the military tension in the Korean peninsula and East Asia is the desire of the U.S and Japanese imperialism to bring the capitalist order again in China and North Korea. But RM and Kim do not talk even a word about this truth but murmuring their pacifist ‘wishes.’ Especially, the nuclear weapon of North Korea should be defended as a right to self defense but they never talk anything on it.

In these reasons, RM and Kim will never be the leaders to guide the working class toward the ultimate liberation. Their inconsistent program and workerist(combative unionist) practice just inform us that another reformist party would come in the near future.

However we call South Korean workers to support and vote her in this presidential election at least as an expression of political independence of working class while we are warning the above.


The crucial task

Finally our task is reduced again to the building revolutionary leadership. The myth that capitalism will never be defeated, which had been firmly propped up for the last 20 years, was collapsed by the economic crisis. However, working class of the world has not found the new alternative yet. There has not been risen the new revolutionary leadership while the traditional leadership have become the instrument to sustain capitalism for a long time. We, the IBT, will strive with all our energy to the political regrouping to build revolutionary leadership based on the Bolshevik-Leninist program which is only one alternative to solve the crisis of mankind.


남한 18대 대선에 대한 국제볼셰비키그룹(IBT)의 입장

노동계급의 정치적 독립에 투표를!

 2012년 12월 8일