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Promoting Social Development and Progress, Achieving the People's Aspirations for a Better Life

Submit Time:03-04-2018 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Jia Gaojian | Source:People's Daily (March 15, 2018)

Abstract:

In the report of the 19th CPC National Congress, President Xi Jinping stressed that "We must continue commitment to our people-centered philosophy of development" and "We must regard as our goal the people's aspirations to live a better life." Also, he further stressed the "two centenary goals" in the report, and made a new strategic arrangement for securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and embarking on a journey to fully build a modern socialist China. We should see that there is an inseparable connection between achieving the people's aspirations to live a better life and promoting social development and progress. The two aspects should be combined organically under the guidance of historical materialism methodology, and understood and grasped on the whole.  

The people's aspirations for a better life indicate the highest value goal of social development and progress  

From the perspective of historical materialism, the relationship between social subject and social object is a basic relationship in the field of social history. Real humans in a certain social structural system are the subject of society, while the whole social structural system including economy, politics, culture and other social fields corresponds to the subject as the object. Undoubtedly, the two are mutually related and restricted. The social structural system as the object specifies human existence and development, while humans, the subject of society, as an initiative existence, are able to understand and change the social object through practice. Viewed from values, humans as the subject are the goal, while the social structural system as the object turns out to be the means. The development and progress of social structural system are to serve human development finally. Human development is the highest value goal of social development.  

It is from this basic viewpoint that Marxism founders profoundly criticized the capitalist society and revealed the class antagonism and actual inequality covered up in the form of superficial equality in the capitalist society, especially the realistic situation of the working class and working people being exploited and oppressed. On this basis, they put forward the historical limitation of going beyond capitalism and ideal goal of achieving human development and liberation at a higher level and took them as the final value orientation of socialism and communistic society in the future advocated by them. As clearly pointed out in the Communist Manifesto, "In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all."  

The Communist Party of China has taken serving the people wholeheartedly as its fundamental purpose since its establishment. Our Party led people to carry out revolutions, fight against the old society and build a New China, exactly for the purpose of realizing the liberation of the people, freeing the working class and working people from oppression of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism and helping them to be their own master. After the establishment of the New China, our Party has led the people in socialist revolution and construction, with the aim to help people live a happy life. In spite of deviations from the value goal and errors in the process of practice, our Party overcame them and made our social development back in the right direction finally. Since the 3rd Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee, our Party has led the people in the reform and opening-up, blazed a trail of socialism with Chinese characteristics and comprehensively promoted socialist modernization, with the ultimate goal of improving the people's living standard and realizing fundamental interests of the people.  

Socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era since the 18th CPC National Congress. President Xi Jinping has stressed for many times that we must continue commitment to our people-centered philosophy of development and regard as our goal the people's aspirations to live a better life. The 19th CPC National Congress describes the important philosophy as the basic content of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, fully indicating the important position of the philosophy and reflecting the final value orientation of socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era. The plan of securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and strategic arrangement for fully building a modern socialist country in the report of the 19th CPC National Congress have reflected the highest value goal. Either the completion of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects or the comprehensive building of a modern socialist country starts from the aspirations of the people to live a better life and aims to meet the people's ever-growing needs for a better life. It is of great significance to deeply know that we must firmly follow the goal and take it as the value guidance of all work as we promote the practice of modern Chinese social development. What we do and how we do should all be balanced with it finally, and should not deviate from it.  

Social development and progress are practical means to realize the aspirations of the people for a better life  

Historical materialism affirms the highest value significance of humans as the subject, but it does not talk about humans abstractly like old humanism which takes human development and liberalization as an empty slogan. Viewed from historical materialism, humans do not exist abstractly. Instead, they exist in a certain social relationship realistically. Human development and liberalization are restricted by social structural system as the object. Human development and liberalization cannot be truly realized unless by promoting social development and progress. Social structural system where humans exist is an organically correlated unity whose existence and development are dominated by its inherent objective rules. In this regard, historical materialism conducted a deep exploration and revealed movement rules of the contradictions between productivity and production relations and between economic base and superstructure as well as a series of other major rules, providing scientific methodological instruction for social practice.  

It is through the scientific methodology that Marxism founders profoundly studied the capitalist society, revealed the capitalist mode of production and movement rules of the whole social structural system and clarified the historical inevitability of capitalism replaced by socialism and communism finally. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels could turn socialism from fantasy into science because they explored realistic paths to ideal society according to objective rules of social development, rather than building an ideal future society relying on wishful thinking. Only through such realistic efforts, can we achieve the ideal finally and build a wholly new socialist and communist society. And only under such new social conditions, can the needs of the people for a better life be met to the utmost extent, and human development and liberalization, the highest value goal upheld by Marxism, be truly realized.  

For historical reasons, China entered the socialist society on the basis of relatively backward economic culture, making China's socialist construction have to go through a special historical stage, that is, the primary stage of socialism. Due to quite inadequate social development in various aspects, the improvement of the people's living standard and realization of the highest value goal were severely restricted. Therefore, it was an urgent historical task in that stage to greatly promote economic development and construction of various social fields, and to achieve socialist modernization as soon as possible. Over the 70 years after the establishment of New China, our Party has led the people to obtain a series of major achievements through hard work. Especially since the reform and opening-up, our Party has set things right, shifted the focus of work to economic development, and determined the basic route of "one central task and two basic points," hence the socialist modernization can be comprehensively implemented under the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We laid out three strategic goals for achieving socialist modernization, and further put forward the new goal of "building a moderately prosperous society in all respects" based on realizing the first two strategic goals as scheduled, and took it as "an inevitable connecting link for attainting the third strategic goal for our modernization drive." After long and unremitting efforts, modern Chinese society has kept making new progress in various areas, powerfully guaranteeing constant improvement of the people's living standard.  

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, our Party has led the people to continue to work hard for comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society and further clarified the "two centenary goals." The 19th CPC National Congress put forward that we must secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and ensure it is achieved as the first centenary goal as scheduled, and "we must also build on this achievement to embark on a new journey toward the second centenary goal of fully building a modern socialist country." In accordance with this requirement, the 19th CPC National Congress laid out a two-stage strategic plan for the development after 2020, with 15 years for each stage. The implementation of the strategic plan and realization of new strategic goals will certainly benefit the people better and create more favorable social conditions for meeting the needs of the people for a better life.  

Make an organic unification between promoting social development and progress and realizing the people's aspirations for a better life based on specific actual circumstances at the present stage  

The people's aspirations for a better life indicate the highest value goal of social development and progress, while social development and progress are practical means to realize the aspirations of the people for a better life. The 19th CPC National Congress described a new blueprint of further promoting socialist modernization and realizing the people's aspirations for a better life. What we should do next is to unify requirements of the two aspects organically based on specific actual circumstances at the present stage, and work in a down-to-earth way to ensure all strategic plans of the 19th CPC National Congress truly implemented.  

According to the plan of the 19th CPC National Congress, currently the first priority should be given to promoting economic development actively and further improving social productivity development. Though our social productivity has achieved great development through long-term efforts, there are still disparities and inadequacies currently. Some acute problems caused by unbalanced and inadequate development await solutions. The quality and effect of development are not what they should be. China's ability to innovate needs to be stronger. And the real economy awaits improvement. In view of these problems, we must further change development modes, optimize economic structure, implement the transition to new drivers of growth and accelerate the construction of modern economic system. We have to deepen the supply-side structural reform, focus on developing real economy, and strengthen our advantage of economic quality; accelerate the building into an innovative country, and provide strategic support for modern economic system; carry out the strategy of rural vitalization, and take the settlement of issues relating to agriculture, rural areas and rural people as the top priority on the work agenda of the Party; implement the strategy of regional coordinated development, and establish a more effective new mechanism for regional coordinated development; perfect the socialist market economic system and break new ground in pursuing opening-up on all fronts. Work hard to further improve social productivity, so as to provide a solid foundation for finishing building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and a great modern socialist country, and then, better realizing the aspirations of the people for a better life.  

While continuing to focus on economic development, we have to ensure coordinated progress in political, cultural, social and ecological areas according to the "Five-Sphere Integrated Plan" and drive the whole society to move forward in an all-round way. In the new era, the needs to be met for the people to live a better life are increasingly broad. Not only have their material and cultural needs grown, but their demands for democracy, rule of law, fairness and justice, security, and a better environment are increasing. Therefore, we must promote the construction of various social fields correspondingly to meet these new requirements comprehensively. Viewed from current conditions, we are still faced with lots of difficulties. It remains a formidable task to develop socialist democracy and build a socialist country under the rule of law. Ideological struggle is still complicated. In work on public wellbeing there are still many areas where we fall short. The level of civic-mindedness needs further improvement. Social tensions and problems are intertwined. And we have a long way to go in protecting eco-environment. In view of these problems, we must take further measures to improve the system of institutions through which the people run the country, develop socialist democracy, and promote the building of a country under the rule of law; build stronger cultural confidence, help socialist culture to flourish, and promote socialist material wellbeing and raise socialist cultural-ethical standards; grow better at ensuring and improving people's well-being, strengthen and develop new approaches to social governance, and see that the gains of reform and development benefit all our people in a fair way; speed up reform of the system for developing an ecological civilization, build a beautiful China, and provide more quality ecological goods to meet the people's ever-growing demands for a beautiful environment.  

The Communist Party of China is the highest force for political leadership for the building of socialism with Chinese characteristics. In order to promote social development of modern China and realize the people's aspirations for a better life, it is imperative to work hard to build the Party well, uphold and strengthen overall leadership of the Party, exercise strict governance over the Party and improve the Party's ability to govern and lead. Additionally, we should further strengthen the consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core and keep in alignment, deeply implement the decision made at the 19th CPC National Congress, remain true to our original aspiration and keep our mission firmly in mind, and keep on forging ahead, so as to secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and fully building a great modern socialist country, and help the people to realize their aspirations for a better life. 

(Author: Head of the Central Compilation & Translation Bureau)


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