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Continually Adapt Marxism to China’s Conditions, Keep It Up-to-date, and Enhance Its Popular Appeal

In Commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Karl Marx

Submit Time:23-05-2018 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Jia Gaojian | Source:Qiushi

Abstract:

Marxism is the fundamental guiding ideology of our Party, in the long-term practice, our Party worked hard to combine the universal truth of Marxism with the concrete practice of China, and obtained a series of major achievements in the Chinese revolution, construction and reform, and at the same time, Marxism was continually adapted to China’s conditions, updated with enhanced popular appeal.  

The whole world outlook of Marxism is approaches, instead of a doctrine. It offers a start point for further research and a way to use in the research, instead of a ready-made doctrine. Therefore, to apply the theory of Marxism to guiding the practice, we can't treat it in a dogmatist way, but should start from our concrete practice, study and explore the problems encountered in the position, viewpoint and methods of Marxism, and endeavor to get our own conclusions.  

As one of the most important scientific achievements in the history of human thought, Marxism is a scientific thought system based on rigorous scientific research. But on the other hand, Marxism is not a zombie and closed system, instead, it is a living theory ever growing on the basis of practice, it has not ended the truth, and has just opened the correct path to truth.  

To really give play to the guiding role of Marxism in practices, we must not restrict this theory among few people, instead, it must be open to the broadest masses of people, to let them understand and master it. At present in particular, we should organize the cadres and masses to conscientiously study the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, to arm our brains, lead the practices and guide our work with the Marxism of contemporary China, so as to better advance our great course of the socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era.  

The year 2018 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, the main founder of Marxism. Marxism is the fundamental guiding ideology of our Party, in the long-term practice, our Party worked hard to combine the universal truth of Marxism with the concrete practice of China, and obtained a series of major achievements in the Chinese revolution, construction and reform, and at the same time, Marxism was continually adapted to China’s conditions, updated with enhanced popular appeal. In commemorating Marx today, we should continue to uphold the guiding position of Marxism in the new phase of development, and constantly sinicization, modernization and popularization of Marxism.  

I. Take Marxism as the guide to solve the practical problems in China and promote the sinicization of Marxism 

As a scientific system of thought, Marxism is the most important scientific knowledge achievement in the history of human thought. When Marx and Engels founded their own theory, they first critically absorbed the traditional philosophy especially the positive results of German classical philosophy, and created the Marxist philosophy the “new materialism” as called by their own; this new philosophy realized a fundamental change in the history of philosophy, making it acquire the nature of real science the first time, becoming a scientific world outlook and methodology. It was by means of such a scientific world outlook and methodology that Marx and Engels made a thorough research and criticism on the capitalist society, especially revealed the inherent contradiction of capitalist mode of production and its law of motion at the level of political economics; then on this basis, they profoundly expounded the objective necessity of socialism to replace capitalism, turning socialism from a utopia to science. Marx and Engels also applied their scientific world outlook and methodology to the study of major problems in all fields of society, and formed theoretical achievements on many aspects.  

The ideological system of Marxism is extensive and profound, providing the guidance of scientific theory for our social practice. But at the same time, it should be seen that Marxism has not provided ready answers to the specific problems in actual practice. Engels had a clear statement about this: The whole world outlook of Marxism is approaches, instead of a doctrine. It offers a start point for further research and a way to use in the research, instead of a ready-made doctrine. Therefore, to apply the theory of Marxism to guiding the practice, we can't treat it in a dogmatist way, but should start from our concrete practice, study and explore the problems encountered in the position, viewpoint and methods of Marxism, and endeavor to get our own conclusions.  

In the history of our Party, there was a long period of exploration on how to apply the scientific theory of Marxism in solving the practical problems in China. In those days, the Party also had the erroneous tendency of dogmatism, which caused great loss to the revolutionary cause. Drawing experiences and lessons from this, the Chinese communists worked hard to combine the basic principle of Marxism with the concrete practice in China, explored in a creative way, and finally took the special path of “encircling the cities by rural areas and seizing the power with armed forces”, winning the victory of the Chinese revolution. After the founding of New China, our Party established the basic system of socialism through the socialist transformation with the scientific theory of Marxism as guide, and actively carried out socialist construction. However, the “left” error occurred in the exploration, resulting in stagnation of ideology and caused great harm in practice. After the “cultural revolution”, the Party made great efforts to bring order out of chaos, restored and established again the Party's ideological line of emancipating the mind and seeking truth from facts, based on the concrete conditions of the primary stage of socialism, we carried out comprehensive practice of reform and opening up, eventually opening a socialist road with Chinese characteristics. It is in this course of hard exploration that the basic principles of Marxism were combined with the reality of China, making it further adapted to the conditions of China, thus enriching and developing the Mao Zedong Thought and forming the major achievements of the socialist theoretical system with Chinese characteristics.  

After the 18th National Congress of the CPC, socialism with Chinese characteristics entered a new era. The Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core led the whole Party to implement the five-sphere integrated plan and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy, and work hard to realize the “two centenary goals” and the Chinese Dream of realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, obtaining historical achievements. This new practice gave birth to the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, which is the latest achievements of the sinicization of Marxism, and is the Marxism of the contemporary China. The 19th National Congress of the CPC made new strategic arrangement for the realization of the “two centenary goals”, and we will embark on a new journey of socialist modernization on the basis of securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. New tasks are still arduous, it requires that we continue to adhere to Marxism as a guide, and explore and solve of all kinds of new problems with the Marxist stand, viewpoint and methods, so as to achieve more new results in the sinicization of Marxism.  

II. Unify the adherence and development of Marxism, to better adapt Marxism to the times 

We stress the fundamental guiding position of Marxism, but often get such a question: Marxism is after all the theoretical achievement produced in the 19th century, now it is the 21st century, is this theory still applicable to the needs in the contemporary practice? To answer this question, we should start from talking about the scientific nature of Marxism.  

As it is said above, as one of the most important scientific achievements in the history of human thought, Marxism is a scientific thought system based on rigorous scientific research. Especially, the fundamental transformation realized by it at the philosophic level provided the scientific world outlook and methodology for the construction of the whole system of Marxist thought. Such a system of scientific thought undoubtedly has universal truth in nature. Although many changes have taken place in the world over the past century, the basic principles of Marxism are not outdated. The most general laws of nature, society, and human thought revealed by it are universal in all stages of historical development, and they would not change in the course of more than a hundred years. It is true that the contemporary capitalism is much different from the past, and there are also many new developments in the world socialist movement, but the law of movement of capitalist mode of production revealed by Marxism still exists, and the inevitable trend of socialism to replace capitalism has not changed either. Therefore, the Marxist theory still has the fundamental guiding significance in the contemporary practice, and its basic position, viewpoint and methods must be held on.  

But on the other hand, Marxism is not a zombie and closed system, instead, it is a living theory ever growing on the basis of practice, and scientific methodology to keep on recognizing the objective world and also transform the objective world with the progress of the times. It has not terminated the truth, and has just opened the correct path to truth. According to the view of Marxism, the understanding of the people to the outside world is a process of continuous deepening and expanding, the scientific cognition activities of each generation all added new results to the long river of absolute truth, but their knowledge was inevitably restricted by the historical conditions at that time, therefore it had the attribute of relative truth. The later generations will always continue to make new explorations on the basis of inheriting the achievements of their predecessors, and push forward the process of cognition. Just as Engels pointed out that the human mind is supreme, and also is not supreme. This contradiction can be solved …only in the process of infinite progress. The same is true for Marxist theory. Marx and Engels created the theory under the specific historical conditions of the 19th century, and their achievements can only be those that could be realized under the conditions at that time. In the 21st century today, of course we can't stay on the existing results, and should keep pace with the Times, research the new questions in the new phase at the height of the era, to promote constant enrichment and development of Marxist theory, to adapt Marxism to the times.  

In the practice of revolution, construction and reform, our Party has worked hard to uphold and develop Marxism, and actively explored the new theory while adhering to the guiding position of Marxism. The sinicization of Marxism is closely linked with its modernization, the course of combining the basic principles of Marxism with the concrete practice in China and promoting the continual sinicization of Marxism is also a process of theoretical innovation of Marxism starting from this concrete reality. This process will not only obtain new results in specific cognition, but also continually deepen our cognition and understanding of the basic principles of Marxism, and urge us to make new reflection at this level, so that new connotation of the times will be merged into Marxism. Of course, to push forward the modernization of Marxism, we should have broader vision of the world, pay close attention to the new developments and changes worldwide, and study and think at the level of the whole human society.  

As we enter the socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has put forth new requirements on upholding and developing Marxism under the new historical conditions. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that, it is the secret of the eternal vitality of Marxism to unify upholding and developing Marxism, and to keep on making new theoretical creations in conjunction with the new practices. He stressed in particular that we should listen to the voice of the Times, respond to the call of the Times, and pay attention to the new problems raised in contemporary practice, to work hard to keep Marxism up-to-date and develop the Marxism of the 21st century. The continual development of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics has provided new basis of practice for the innovative research of Marxist theory; and the profound changes in the contemporary world and the new contradictions and challenges faced by the human society also raised a new topic for the study of Marxist theory. We should deeply carry out and implement the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the CPC, further balance the relationship between upholding and development, and continually deepen the research of Marxist theory, so that it will march at the front of the era.  

III. Pay attention to the publicity and education of Marxist theory, to enhance its popular appeal 

To really give play to the guiding role of Marxism in practices, we must not restrict this theory among few people, instead, it must be open to the broadest masses of people, to let them understand and master it. According to Marxism, the masses of the people are the main body of social practices and the decisive force to create the history, and the development and progress of the human society will eventually be realized through the practices by the masses. Only when the scientific theory of Marxism has been given to the masses and it has been turned into sharp ideological weapon in the hands of the masses, can we come to the level of social practices more directly, and promote the practices in all fields to be conducted more consciously and effectively. Marx pointed out: the weapon of criticism cannot, of course, replace criticism of the weapon, material force must be overthrown by material force; but theory also becomes a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses. Therefore, to a proletariat party, it is a very important work task to carry out publicity and education of Marxist theory, enhance the popular appeal of Marxism and arm the brains of cadres and masses with the Marxist theory.  

We should say that our Party has always paid great attention to the work on this aspect, and adopted various effective measures to promote it actively. Early in the hard years of revolutionary wars, we overcame all kinds of difficulties to translate and compile many works of Marxism and books presenting Marxism, and carried out publicity activities in various forms, to endeavor to promote the extensive spreading of Marxism. Importance was also attached to the cadre education, Party schools and other cadre training institutions were established at all levels, to conduct systematic training for Party members and cadres on Marxist theory. After the founding of New China, Marxism became the mainstream ideology of the country, and it became a fundamental task in the publicity and culture field to strengthen the Marxist theory education, publicity and popularization in the whole society and to make Marxism known to people in broader ranges. The Marxist theory education has entered the national education system comprehensively, and in the cadre education system, mainly consisting of Party schools and administrative colleges at all levels, the teaching of Marxist theory is taken as the main course. Newspapers, publications, radio, television and other media work together, and the standpoints, views and methods of Marxism are presented through various forms of social consciousness. We can say that, in the long-term practices of revolution, construction and reform, our Party could unite and lead the broad masses of people to advance our cause with concerted efforts, demonstrating powerful cohesive force and charisma, and this could not be separated from the common ideological foundation formed in the whole society by the popularization of Marxism.  

Of course, it is a long-term task to enhance the popular appeal of Marxism, and it requires our continual unremitting efforts. In the socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, the work in this respect also faces new situations and new requirements. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that, the fundamental task of in the publicity, ideology and culture work of the new era is to consolidate the guiding position of Marxism in the field of ideology and consolidate the common ideological basis for the united struggle of the whole Party and the people of the whole nation. To realize these “two consolidations”, we must further strengthen the publicity and education of Marxist theory, and make efforts to enhance the popular appeal of Marxism. We should further strengthen and improve the education on Marxist theory with the national education system and cadre education system as the backup, so that Marxist theory can better go into the classrooms, teaching materials and our brains. In the meantime, more effective measures should be taken to extensively carry out the publicity of Marxism to the public. The publicity methods and means should be improved, with efforts made in extensiveness and effectiveness, so that the theoretical publicity can be better accepted by the cadres and people. At present in particular, we should organize the cadres and masses to conscientiously study the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, to arm our brains, lead the practices and guide our work with the Marxism of contemporary China, so as to better advance our great course of the socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era.  


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