Cult of ideology

By John Pavelka (CC BY 2.0)

China was normally tolerant of North Korea’s flowery  lunacy and the way he spoke of everything like he was spitting propaganda lines. But when the Korean said that he was able to produce nuclear weapons because his country was “blessed with Juche science,” China had to stop him.

“Nobody knows what juche means,” the elder communist pointed out. “You don’t even know what it means.”

Having been metaphorically shot in the heart, North Korea gasped. “Of course I do! It means that if you leave everything up to society, everything will be decided by society.”

China shot him a deadpan look. “That right here. It made no sense.”

“It made perfect sense. Anyway, to truly understand juche, you have to see it.”

“That literally proves nothing.”


“Are you just listing words, now?”

North Korea was staring China down from the other side of the desk, and China started to consider dropping the conversation altogether and going back to that ‘Top 25 Cutest Pandas’ article still open on his iPad.

“The juche ideology exists within my society, within the collective belief of my people. It is too great for words.”

“I’m sure.”

“In 1955,” started North Korea in a bold voice, “I declared three goals for our revolution: Political independence, economic self-sustenance, and self-reliance in matters of national security.”

China eyed him wryly. “How is that working out for you?”

“Juche stands for those beliefs. Can simple words describe revolution, China? Can they describe an ideological war between the oppressed against the oppressor?”


“Juche is the banner of independence! The strength of the people! A call to action! Fight the system! Topple the West’s global tyranny!”

“You still haven’t answered anything.”

North Korea was exasperated. “What more do you want from me? I’ve explained it in at least five different ways!”

“How about economic reform? Nuclear non-proliferation? Good behavior–”

“I’m leaving.”


And just like that, he was stormed out.

No more than thirty seconds later did Hong Kong pop her head in the door. “Hey, what was all that about?”


“All that stuff he said about like, fighting oppression and bringing down the big guy? It was kind of hot.”

China stared at her tiredly for some time before asking just as tiredly, “Hong Kong, what is juche?”

“Oh, foolish China. You have to see it to believe it.”


Written for today’s Daily Prompt: Epitome.

Juche cannot be described in mere words. It can only be epitomized through the unity of Korean people. Or something like that.

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