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Why Can Marxism Promote China's Development and Progress

Submit Time:04-06-2018 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Han Zhen | Source:Guangming Daily (May 8, 2018)


Comrade Xi Jinping, in his speech at the conference commemorating the 200th anniversary of Marx's birth, said, "It is totally right for history and the people to choose Marxism, and for the CPC to write Marxism on its own banner, adhere to the combination of the basic principles of Marxism with China's specific actual conditions and constantly advance the localization of Marxism in China and modernization of Marxism!" This judgment completely meets the historical logic of modern and contemporary China's development, and conforms to the practical logic of China since the new democratic revolution, socialist revolution and construction and reform and opening-up.  

Marxism Conforms to the Historical Course of the Dual Variation of Modern and Contemporary Chinese National Salvation and Enlightenment 

Modern Chinese history eloquently proves that the Marxism entering China has enhanced the cultural level of China, promoted China's social development and advanced the rejuvenation course of the Chinese nation. Since modern China lost cultural confidence before Western solid ships and effective cannons, advanced elements in China made many attempts, but all ending up in failure. Only after Marxism entered China and became an ideological weapon of Chinese society and culture in self-improvement and modern transformation, did China make real progress in its national independence, people's liberation and social development. Why did such a result occur? In China, an Eastern nation with its own old civilization and tradition, this course is never an accident, but having profound historical logic. It means that China had to maintain its national independence and dignity while getting rid of the special "feudalism" mode which it had been imbued and got accustomed to. Some people said that salvation overwhelmed enlightenment in China. In fact, salvation did not overwhelm enlightenment in China. Instead, salvation was connected with enlightenment historically and inherently. The Chinese people realized salvation by enlightenment and were enlightened through salvation; enlightenment awakened salvation, and salvation promoted enlightenment. For example, the May Fourth Movement was originated from salvation, but it was exactly the most typical course of enlightenment. Obviously, the transmission and influence of Marxism in China lie in that it meets the dual variation of enlightenment through salvation and salvation through enlightenment in Chinese society inherently. Marxism was born in West Europe with the development of capitalism. It is the reflection and criticism of the development of capitalist society. However, Marxism criticizes capitalism from the perspectives of historical development laws and social progress on the basis of acknowledging the role of capitalism in historical progress of feudalism. This exactly provides China with a special theoretical system which, on the one hand, can guide China to get out of the natural economic system, and on the other hand, can be used before Western capitalist powers to seek for national independence and spiritual autonomy. The reason why Marxism has exerted such an extensive and profound influence in the world rests with that it is a weapon to understand and change the world. This weapon has not only driven ideological enlightenment of the Chinese people, but also encouraged the Chinese people to carry out social revolutions to change their own destiny. Marxism's merciless criticism of capitalism can help the Chinese people remain independent and confrontational before the capitalist domination and the power of imperialism while carrying out social revolutions. With Marxism which rethinks and criticizes capitalism, the Chinese people can resist the West which keeps making attempts to invade and control China while learning from advanced Western civilization. Under the guidance of Marxism, the CPC has learned to use Marxism creatively in actual struggles, combined general principles of Marxism with China's specific actual conditions, and established the People's Republic of China through uphill struggles. Thus the Chinese people have stood up.  

While China sought for the way out, many European and American theoretical systems of bourgeoisie were spread to China, and were appreciated and selectively promoted by the persons in power then. But all of them failed to become the intrinsic ideological force to promote the historical course of China. The reasons are as below. On the one hand, theories or ideological systems of the bourgeoisie required Eastern or non-Western societies to be the places where capitalism could be advanced freely. This result would certainly make China maintain the edge or accessory of the capitalist world system for long; on the other hand, various theories appeared in the West one after another, but they failed to have a profound social effect in China, because they all defended the rights and interests of individuals. Thought they could carry out the so-called "self" enlightenment, they could neither meet the requirements of China for striving for national independence and people's liberation, nor become the mobilization for national salvation. Before the reality of adversity, the Chinese people clearly know that it is impossible for them to have individual freedom and rights without national independence and people's liberation.  

China Has Found a Path of Successful Development in the Age of Economic Globalization under the Banner of Marxism 

The Chinese people have stood up, but they have to stand up stably, for which they need healthy bodies. Without high development of productive forces and strong ability of scientific and technological innovation, a country cannot ensure its safety and well-being of the people. This means that even though the Chinese people have stood up, it is still essential for China to ensure social development, national prosperity and strength and the people's well-being. Poverty, backward economy and social underdevelopment are all not socialism. Since new China was established in a poor and weak wasteland of a semi-colonial and semi-feudal Eastern nation, backward productive forces and underdeveloped economy are its weakness. China, as a populous country, has established the system of socialism, but it will face the real danger that "backward nations tend to get beaten up" and even the possibility of losing ethnic autonomy and national independence again if its economy continues to lag behind other countries for long. To help the Chinese people stand up stably, it is essential for China to get strong and prosperous.  

Against the backdrop of economic globalization, China's development cannot be separated from the world, or the present capital and market logic. We must start from the existing international order. Or we have no choice but to adopt a closed-door policy. Comrade Deng Xiaoping deeply mastered the essence of Marxism to seek truth from facts, sized up the situation in the view of a strategist and opened up a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics with extraordinary courage. Socialism with Chinese characteristics has combined market economy and the people's movement from poverty to common prosperity creatively. With the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, China could learn relatively advanced management experience and science and technology of Western developed countries in the Post-Cold War era dominated by the US hegemony and West while maintaining its independence in the path, theories, system, and culture. In the process of reform and opening-up, China has neither "surrendered" nor employed the "shock therapy" like some other countries. Instead, it has found a more proper path for socialism and created remarkable miracles.  

In addition, reform and opening-up started from the discussion on the criterion of truth. It is the continuation of China's ideological emancipation process. Though China has accomplished the task of salvation, it still has to continue to fulfill the task of ideological emancipation. China has to not only move from traditional natural economy towards modernization, but also further abandon the feudal ideology which has penetrated in our minds for thousands of years. This role has been played by socialist market economy. We have truly understood that science and technology are the primary productive forces in the development of economy, and the power of people as the subject has been publicized; the interest appealing of market participants has made the Chinese people understand the importance of personal rights gradually and realize the necessity of a legal system coordinating the rights among different individuals. We have made great success, but we are also faced with many new challenges. The power of market and interests is enormous. In the process of advancing the socialist market economy, dregs of the overall westernization thought have floated up again under the guidance of all kinds of European and American thoughts, and nihilism in various forms have impacted the principles of socialism and cultural traditions of the Chinese nation. A number of countries have been coerced by dominant Western cultures in the process of economic globalization. Some have lost their economic independence or cultural autonomy. However, thanks to the guiding ideology of Marxism and the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, China has been able to resist the impact of all kinds of thoughts and nihilism while fully absorbing excellent outcomes of civilizations in the world. China has not been overwhelmed by Western culture. Instead, it has enjoyed the prospect of national cultural renaissance and constantly enhanced its cultural confidence. This relies on China's deep cultural tradition. More importantly, Marxism has become the soul of modern Chinese cultural tradition. Around the world, developing countries will either become vassals of the capitalist world system or show resistance of the extremism in the wave of economic globalization. It is exactly Marxism that brings new vitality into the Chinese tradition.  

Marxism Will Lead China in Building a Great Modern Socialist Country in the 21st Century 

Chinese socialism's entrance into a new era means that the Chinese nation, which since modern times began has endured so much for so long, has achieved a tremendous transformation where it has stood up, grown rich, and become strong. But it still needs to carry out uphill struggles in order to realize the transformation. We have entered the rank of industrial powers from a backward agricultural nation, entered the socialist market economy from a self-sufficient natural economy and moved towards economic globalization from a relatively closed nation; we have become the second largest economy and the biggest trader in goods, with the per capita GDP of more than 8,000 US dollars. But we must bear in mind that "the basic dimension of the Chinese context that our country is still and will long remain in the primary stage of socialism has not changed. China's international status as the world's largest developing country has not changed." The last part of an endeavor is the hardest to finish. A country is faced with difficulties and problems whether or not it is developed. To overcome the difficulties and problems in development requires more efforts. It faces contradictions before it is developed, and more complicated contradictions after it is developed. More systematic solutions should be made to resolve the contradictions in development. Facing the people's ever-growing needs for a better life and the bright prospect of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, we must have firm ideals and convictions about Marxism and firm confidence in the path, theories, system, and culture of Chinese socialism, and make big strides in the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.  

The confidence in socialism with Chinese characteristics is the confidence of Communists and the Chinese people mastering the ideological weapon of Marxism. For example, the cultural confidence in Chinese socialism is not to return to the ideological system of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism, but to be based on the excellent traditional Chinese culture, inherit the revolutionary culture and carry forward advanced socialist culture. In the 21st century, the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics has become the practice and times representation of Marxism, while Marxism has become the theoretical expression and ideal pursuit of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Marxism has contributed to the real development of China, and China's development has confirmed the truthfulness of Marxism. In order to achieve the transformation where it has stood up, grown rich and become strong and build itself into a great modern socialist country, China must uphold and develop Marxism. Only when Marxism is developed, can the vitality of Marxism be activated and can it be used to guide socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era. Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is Marxism of contemporary China and Marxism in the 21st century. It is of great significance to the localization process of Marxism in China.  

General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward that "Marxism has provided a powerful ideological weapon for the revolution, development and reform in China, and made China, an old Eastern nation, create unprecedented development miracles in human history." In a new era, we must better listen to the voice of times, further show the charm of Marxism as a weapon to understand and change the world, and make Marxism unleash stronger and more convincing power of truth in great practices of socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era.  

(Author: Han Zhen, Beijing Normal University)

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