The course of shaping man's destiny is very complicated and many factors act on it. Objective actors include natural and geographical conditions and material and technical mean, while subjective ones involve man's physical capacity, knowledge, ideology and spirit.
It is another important task in solving the issue of destiny to define the key factor in, or the ultimate and decisive impetus to, shaping man's destiny.
Of course, it is undeniable that favourable natural and geographical conditions or modern material and technical means play a positive role in the people's efforts to shape their destiny. It is also true that man can carve out his destiny successfully when he has a strong physique and rich and profound scientific knowledge.
They, however, cannot be a strong and ultimate impetus to shaping destiny. Because apart from ideological consciousness, favourable natural and geographical conditions and latest material and technical means cannot give fullest play to their might and good physical fitness and rich knowledge will be useless.
There is a story about how Luxun, a Chinese big-name writer, produced "An Authorized Life of Ah-Q".
In 1902 he studied in Japan, majoring in medicine. During his study there, he often saw the Japanese students who were steeped in militarism and narrow-minded nationalism insulting the Chinese students as Chinese slaves.
Indignation surged to a peak one day as he saw a documentary about the Russo-Japanese war which was screened after a biological experiment at college. There was a scene showing a Chinese in chains being beheaded in front of many Chinese people on a charge of having spied for tsarist Russia against Japan. A lot of Chinese with apathetic faces were to see him killed.
While seeing them film, other students made a fuss, finding it funny, but Luxun was determined to wake up his fellow countrymen from a sleep, thinking that a strong body is useless if one has not a sound mind as medicine can cure physical illness but not spiritual malady. He decided to take up literary production and wrote "An Authorized Life Ah-Q" to awaken the national spirit and soul in his compatriots.
The representation of Ah-Q who declares he has won though he is beaten by others was criticized by some people as an insult to the nation but his work made a tangible contribution to awakening the Chinese.
The mentality of people plays such and important role. When they become slave ideologically so do their bodies and even the long history and excellent cultural traditions of a nation suffer eclipse.
The ideological consciousness being discussed here is the consciousness reflecting people's demand and interests as regards matters and phenomena.
Man's consciousness reflects not only the essence of objective matters and phenomena and the law that guides their change and development but also his requirement and interests generated in relationship with them. Ideological consciousness is the consciousness reflecting his demand and interests related to matters and phenomena, not themselves.
As to the same matters and phenomena, some people consider them as useful but others regard the m as harmful. For instance, the people do not want war but munitions monopolies want it to break out anywhere in the world as they can earn money by producing munitions. Like this, ideological consciousness consciousness reflects such different demands and interests of people as regards the same matters and phenomena.
Such ideological consciousness constitutes a decisive factor stimulating man's activities.
Man's all activities are aimed at meeting his demand and interests in life. There can never be any other activities apart from them. Therefore, all his activities are inevitably controlled by ideological consciousness reflecting them.
Meanwhile, all the factors influence human activities not directly but only through ideological consciousness.
When the sun rays with different wavelengths pass through a prism they are refracted in different angles. Like this influences of various factors on human activities are different from each other according to man's ideological consciousness.
Here is an example which clearly shows that when man has good ideological consciousness he can overcome any trials and hardships and shape his destiny by his own efforts.
The three-year Korea war that broke out in 1950 was a fierce war decisive of the Korean people’s destiny : whether they would become colonial slaves again or remain an independent people.
Their opponent was the US that had expanded its territory over ten times through 114 invasions and wars in a little over 100 years since its establishment, fattened on exploitation and plunder of other nations and emerged as the kingpin of imperialism after the Second World War.
The US mobilized in the Korean war a third of its army armed with latest technical equipment, a fifth of its air force, the majority of the Pacific fleet and over two million troops from 15 satellites, the south Korean puppet army and Japanese militarists. It consumed over 73 million tons of war supplies, 11 times as much as what it had used in the Pacific War, and spent US$ 15 billion direct and US$ 150 billion indirect war funds.
As compared to the US, the DPRK was a fledgling country with a two-year-old regular army which had just been liberated from Japanese colonial rule five years before. Therefore, it had a poor economy and lacked weapons. In the light of such conditions alone, it was unimaginable to fight a modern war against such a formidable imperialist power.
On July 27 1953, however, the US, which had boasted of being the "strongest"in the world, fell on its knees before the heroic Korean people in the place where it started the war. At 10 a.m. the head of delegation from the US side who entered the place of signature signed the Korean Armistice Agreement in front of the DPRK flag standing alongside the United Nation Flag. Clark, the then commander-in-chief of the US Far East Command and commander of the UN forces who had dreamed of performing feats once again in Korean with the pride of having brought the Italy-based German troops and the army of Mussolini to their knees in Florence during the Second World War, said after signing the truce pact: "I gained the inevitable distinction of being the first United State Army Commander in history to sign an armistice agreement without victory."
Signing the AA meant the surrender of the US to the Korean people and the defeat of the imperialist allied forces.
What was the secret of win by the DPRK, small in territory and population and incomparable in the aspects of military technique and the economy, over such a formidable enemy as the US?
It was not any favourable objective conditions or foreign support, but extraordinary ideological determination of the Korean people to live as master of their destiny, not as the imperialists' slaves again.
What then is genuine ideological consciousness the popular masses have to possess as master of their destiny?
Ideological consciousness varies in kind. There are the ideological spirit to live as master of one's destiny, the slavish mentality and the fanatic idea of aggression touted by the imperialists.
Chairman Kim Jong Il said:
"The ideological consciousness people must acquire as masters of their own destiny is independent ideological consciousness."
Independent ideological consciousness means the awareness of one's being the master of one's own destiny and signifies the will to shape one's destiny by one's own initiative. The former is the full cognition that one is the master of one's destiny and one has strength to shape it and the latter is the firm resolve and indomitable fighting spirit to carve out one's destiny to the last by one's own effort.
There is an old saying that when one knows oneself one will become powerful, but if not one will become weak. Independent ideological consciousness enable the people to staunchly fight to shape their destiny by awakening them to the truth that whether they can lead a happy and fulfilling life or not depends on them and they have the power to do so.
It is evidenced by an event happened during the anti-Japanese armed struggle led by President Kim Il Sung.
The anti-Japanese war was not merely a military combat between the Korean guerrillas and the Japanese imperialist invaders, but an ideological and spiritual confrontation between the independent spirit of the genuine patriots of Korea to win back national sovereignty without fail and the "imperial spirit" of the Japanese styling themselves the "leader"of the East.
In the winter 1932, the year when President organized the Anti-Japanese Guerrilla Army, he was on his way back from the expedition to North Manchuria leading 18 guerrillas. When they arrived at the height of Luozigou they were completely isolated and helpless. In the sky aeroplanes were flying around, dropping leaflets urging them to surrender, and on the ground hordes of Japanese soldiers mobilized in a "punitive operation"were closing in on them from all directions. The biting cold that froze even birch to break and the waist-deep snow made it hard for them to advance. The provisions they had saved up with much difficult ran out and their summer uniforms were torn, revealing the skin underneath.
They reached the unknown height of Luozigou but they could not find the way out of it and the remaining guerrillas were all rosy-cheeked youth and under 20.
President Kim Il Sung wrote in his reminiscences With the Century:
"The revolution is tough! I thought to my self. We had expected that our revolution would succeed in only two or three years, so why was it now at the edge of such a precipice?
"It could be called a miracle of all miracles that we escaped death from hunger and the cold and were not killed by bullets in the remote mountain recess of Luozigou that winter. Still now I often ask myself what was the force that made us rise to our feet at that time, what was the force that kept us from being defeated or dropping out of the fighting ranks and made us continue to uphold the banner of the anti-Japanese struggle until we were victorious. Every time I answer my own question full of pride. 'It was a sense of responsibility for the revolution.'
"At that time I was conscious that if we should be frustrated, Korea could never from the dead. If I had thought there would be people to save Korea after we had died, we would have been buried under the snow on the heights of Luozigou, never to rise again."
The priceless truth provided in the historic course of the Korean revolution that had emerged victorious through trying ordeals tells that only those who are armed with independent ideological consciousness could display will power and fighting spirit in the struggle for destiny control and carve out their destiny, braving all sorts of hardships.
Only independent ideological consciousness is a powerful propellant to the efforts of the popular masses to shape their destiny as its master.