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Why Marxism Succeeds in China

Submit Time:08-08-2018 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Xu Guangchun | Source:Guang Ming Daily July 09, 2018

Abstract:

It has been more than 100 years since Marxism started finding its way in China, and taking root, sprouting, blossoming and bearing fruit there. Over the past 100-plus years, the Communist Party of China (the "CPC" or the "Party") experienced the transition from trying to accept and spread Marxism to writing the theory on its banner and always holding it high. Upholding Marxism as its fundamental guiding principles, the Party managed to lead the Chinese revolution, construction and reform to an array of great victories. The great triumphs of the Chinese revolution, the Chinese people and the socialism with Chinese characteristics fully testify a hard fact that Marxism has secured signal successes in China.  

1. The first reason why Marxism has secured great victories in China is that it is as powerful as truths.  

The Manifesto of the Communist Party fully expounds the theory of scientific socialism for the first time, thus erecting a Marxist monument in the world and marking the official birth of Marxism. Since then, Marxism as the spiritual banner of the communists and the ideological weapon of the working class has played an increasing role in guiding people to understand and transform the world throughout the history of the international communist movement and even the history of human society. Such a role is a necessary manifestation of Marxism's essential attribute—it is as powerful as truths. The strength of Marxism as a truth finds its concentrated expression in General Secretary Xi Jinping's speech at the 200th anniversary of Marx's birth. In his speech, Xi described Marxism as "a scientific theory, a theory of the people, a theory of practice, and an open and continuously developing theory." 

Marxism is a scientific theory, whose scientificity is mainly reflected in its creative revelation about the laws that govern the development of human society. Before the birth of Marxism, there were no theories, not even utopian socialism, revealing the laws of social evolution or any feasible approach to social development. Marxism created the historical materialism and the theory of surplus value, fundamentally uncovered the general laws underlying the development of human society, especially thoroughly disclosed the special laws on which capitalist societies were built, pointed out the way for mankind to achieve social development and advancement, and showed the working class and the laboring people the path towards the realization of freedom and liberation.  

Marxism is a theory of the people. Saying so is because Marxism for the first time created an ideological system for the people to realize their emancipation. Since its birth, Marxism has inscribed "striving for the people's liberation" on its spiritual banner, stayed true to the stance of the people, explored for the true essence of human emancipation, and pointed out the direction for establishing an ideal society free of oppression or exploitation and advocating equality and freedom for all. All of these fully testify that Marxism is a theory of the people.  

Marxism is a theory of practice. This assertion is primarily because Marxism, neither a utopian theory nor an empty talk, is fundamentally aimed to transform the world. Marxism not only tries to interpret the world but also works hard to change it. It thoroughly analyzes why the world acts in its way, and guides the people to transform the world. Therefore, Marxism serves as a powerful ideological weapon that mankind can wield to understand and transform the world. It was created and formed for the purpose of changing the fate of the people, and it was also enriched and developed in the process of people's pursuit for liberation and the society's exploration for progress.  

Marxism is an open and continuously developing theory. Its openness is mainly showcased through the fact that Marxism always stands at the forefront of the times by keeping up with its evolution and even setting up its trends. Marxism is not a dogma but a guide to action. It must keep current with what is going on in the world, and lead the development of the times. A history of the development of Marxism is the history of continuous enrichment and development by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Mao Zedong and their successors with the progress of the times. It is a history that constantly absorbs all outstanding cultural achievements in human history and enriches itself. Therefore, Marxism can retain its wonderful youth forever, and keep rising to the new issues raised by the evolution of the times and the new challenges facing human society.  

To sum up, it is fair to say that Marxism can stay as powerful as truths anytime, anywhere and in any case. The mighty strength has profoundly changed China and even the entire world.  

2. The second reason why Marxism has secured great victories in China is that the Chinese communists resolutely hold the Marxist banner high.  

The CPC members have a firm faith in Marxism. They always hold high the banner of Marxism and guide their actions with the theory. As early as 1921 when it was founded, the Party has inscribed Marxism on its banner and based its guiding principles on it. Its first Party Program was drafted in accordance with The Manifesto of the Communist Party. In its nearly-one-century-long struggles, the Party united and led the Chinese people to engage in the extremely arduous revolution, construction and reform. Throughout the entire process, it always held high the Marxist banner and guided the communists and Chinese people to stride ahead. In its history of slightly less than 100 years, the Party has amended its Party Constitution for many times. Even so, Marxism's position as the guiding principles of the document has been constantly consolidated and enriched rather than undermined. Throughout the nearly-100-year history, the CPC convened 19 national congresses, all of which had underlined the significance of Marxism as its guiding principles, and stressed to uphold and develop the theory as it had done. The spiritual essence of Marxism has in some way been deeply integrated into the lifeblood of the Chinese communists.  

The CPC, by skillfully marrying the basic principles of Marxism with the actual conditions of China, institutes theories, roadmaps, guidelines and policies to lead and advance the Chinese revolution, construction and reform. In its practice of leading and promoting the Chinese revolution, construction and reform, the Party has a good command of always applying the basic principles of Marxism to the actual conditions of China. By doing so, it is able to devise a host of theories, roadmaps, guidelines, and policies that fully embody the basic principles of Marxism and proceed from the specific reality of China, thus guiding the Chinese revolution, construction and reform towards great victories. For example, the Party's explorations for a revolution path followed the principle of marrying Marxism with the actual revolutionary situation of China, relied on the accumulated practice and experience, and arrived at the correct comprehension of and scientific decision on the path of encircling cities from the countryside and seizing state power by armed force. As a result, the CPC toppled the three big mountains of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism, and founded the new China. For another example, while the Party was exploring for building socialism, Comrade Mao Zedong proposed to combine Marxism with China's practice in socialist construction, and embark on a road unique to itself. On this basis, an array of major roadmaps, guidelines and policies were instituted with respect to developing stages of socialism, strategic goals and steps of socialist modernization, development of socialist economy, advancement of socialist democratic politics, socialist cultural progress, enhancement in national defense and military capabilities, and Party building in power. Hence, impressive achievements were secured towards socialist construction. A third example is about the phase since the introduction of reform and opening-up. The CPC applied Marxism to the actual conditions of China again, so that the major decision on reform and opening-up was put forth. Comrade Deng Xiaoping stressed the importance of emancipating the mind and seeking truth from facts, proceeded from the actual conditions of China, reestablished the ideological, political and organizational routes of Marxism, and guided the Party members and Chinese people to shift the focus of the CPC and the state to economic development, thus blazing a road of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Spearheaded by the series of new theories, thoughts and strategies, China has seen its efforts achieving great victories towards the reform & opening-up drive and socialism with Chinese characteristics.  

The CPC stays at the forefront of the times, and upholds and develops Marxism, hence having achieved major achievements in adapting Marxism to China's conditions, and guiding the Chinese revolution, construction and reform undertakings with the ever-evolving Marxism. Over the past century since its establishment, the Party has united and led the Chinese people to undertake three major missions—evolution, construction and reform. While carrying forward with the three historic tasks, the Party has married the basic principles of Marxism with the specific reality of China, stood at the forefront of the times, solved the problems facing the era, guided creative practice with innovative theories, and promoted innovative theories through creative practice. Therefore, there successively emerged Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, Theory of Three Represents, Scientific Outlook on Development, and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. All of these suggest that the ideological seeds of Marxism, with the attentive care of the Chinese communists, have taken root in the land of China, sprouted in the climate and ecology unique to the country, and grown into towering trees with Chinese characteristics and ethos. Of these, each thought or theory not only possesses features of different times, but also is endowed with missions respective to these times. They come as the results of times, and point out the directions in which different times move ahead. Deeply impressed with the hallmarks of times, they are interconnected with each other and come down in a continuous line. Under the guidance of these major theoretical results achieved by adapting Marxism to China's conditions, the CPC has led the Chinese communists and Chinese people of all ethnic groups to secure great victories of Chinese revolution, construction and reform.  

The CPC lays great stress on the publicity and learning of Marxism, by working hard to make sure all Party members have a good command of Marxist theory. Over the nearly one century, while publicizing and studying Marxism, the Party was born, and has grown up, become full-fledged, and ascended to the strong Marxist ruling party. Many founders of the CPC, including Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao, were devoted to disseminating Marxism. For the first time, The Manifesto of the Communist Party was translated into Chinese by Chen Wangdao, a young communist; and Capital was translated into Chinese by Chen Qixiu, a young Party member. Back to the days of revolution and war, the CPC members and progressive cultural figures published the translation versions of many classics written by Marx, Engels, Lenin and other great men, which provided a catalyst for the extensive awareness and learning of Marxism in China. The CPC, from top leaders to ordinary members, developed a good habit of studying Marxism hard. For instance, Comrade Mao Zedong spared time to read through many books about Marxism-Leninism, including The Manifesto of the Communist Party, Anti-Duhring, The State and Revolution, and Two Tactics throughout the agrarian revolutionary war. As Comrade Mao quoted, "I studied Marxism-Leninism, riding on horseback." The CPC attached great importance to the Marxism learning movement across the board. Some examples in this regard are listed as below. During the days of revolution and war, the Party launched the rectification movement to educate its members on Marxism. During the phase of socialist construction, various reading activities were hosted to promote the learning of Marxism. The CPC Central Committee drafted the list of books on Marxism-Leninism which Party cadres and members were required to read through. During the era of reform and opening-up, an array of awareness campaigns themed on freeing up mind were rolled out to promote the reform and opening-up drive through Marxist education. Specifically, keenly aware of the actual working conditions of the Party and the state as well as the actual ideological situation of Party cadres and members, the CPC worked hard to learn Marxism, especially theoretical results produced from the adaptation of Marxism to China's local conditions, with a view to enhancing the Party-wide theoretical attainment, promoting the Party's political, ideological and theoretical progress, and improving its leadership and ruling capacity. At present, the CPC engages in building Party schools of different levels, colleges of Marxism as part of universities, research centers of socialist theories with Chinese characteristics, and research centers of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. By doing so, it aims to encourage Party cadres and members as well as college students to intensify their learning of Marxism substantially, and bring the theory to classrooms, textbooks and people's mind. At the same time, Marxist theory-themed programs were organized and put into operation, so as to step up efforts to research and develop the theoretical results of Marxism and those produced from its adaptation to China's conditions.  

The CPC owns a large number of Marxist thinkers, theorists and revolutionists who have made the greatest contribution to the adaptation of Marxism to China's conditions, and organized the efforts to turn Marxism a great victory in China. Over the nearly-one-century-long course of development, the CPC has conducted the great practice in Chinese revolution, construction and reform, through which there emerged an abundance of excellent Marxist thinkers, theorists, and revolutionists, including Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping. Holding lofty prestige across the Party and the state, they unite and lead all Party members and Chinese people to engage in the extremely arduous and meaningful struggles, thus contributing greatly to the victory of Chinese revolution, construction and reform. Spearheaded and driven by Marxism and theoretical results produced from its adaptation to China's conditions, China saw its revolution succeeded, its socialist construction forged ahead, and its socialism with Chinese characteristics worked out marvelously. All of these fully justify both Marxism and theoretical results produced from its adaptation to China's conditions are truths and that Marxism has secured great victories in China.  

3. Striving for new victories of Marxism in China in the new era  

First, it should be fully recognized that upholding Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as a guide provides a fundamental guarantee for Marxism to secure new victories in China. One important reason why Marxism has scored great victories in China is that the CPC has married the basic principles of Marxism with China's actual conditions, thus generating a series of major theoretical achievements by adapting the theory to China's conditions successively. Thanks to the sensible guidance of these theoretical results, the Chinese revolution, construction and reform achieved great successes, and meanwhile turned Marxism into a vivid victory in China. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has made arduous theoretical explorations and major theoretical innovations, thus proposing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as a guide to action that all Party members and Chinese people will follow in their pursuit for the great rejuvenation of Chinese nation. To come up with the Thought, the Party has focused its efforts on the important mission facing the era of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, and followed Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, Theory of Three Represents, and Scientific Outlook on Development as guiding compasses. At the same time, it has remained committed to freeing up mind, seeking truth from facts, keeping up with the times, and staying down-to-earth; held high the banner of dialectical and historical materialism; and deepened its understanding of the laws underlying the governance by the communist party, socialist construction, and development of human society from a brand new perspective by taking into account the new landscape of times and requirements raised for practice. The formation of Xi's thought and the establishment of its guiding position signals that the efforts to develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era may follow a new guide in addition to the existing ones, that a new system of scientific theories has developed from Marxism in the 21st century, and that a new force as powerful as truths emerges in favor of propelling Marxism towards new victories in China in the new era.  

Second, endeavors should be made to thoroughly comprehend Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as a truth. Xi's thought possesses the essential attributes and features of Marxism that function as a truth. The Thought thoroughly reveals the objective laws of the evolution of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the world, and represents that the Party has deepened its understanding of the laws underlying the governance by the communist party, socialist construction and development of human society. Therefore it is a scientific theory. The Thought creatively proposes a people-centric stance, and stresses to promote the well-rounded human development and common prosperity for everyone. Thus it is a theory of the people. The Thought is a brand new idea that has been formed in the practice of developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. Besides, it serves as a guide to action that aims to deal with the major challenges facing the times, and leads the Party members and Chinese people towards great victories of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era as well as realization of "two centenary" goals and great rejuvenation of Chinese nation. Hence it is a theory of practice. The Thought has been formed and will develop in step with socialism with Chinese characteristics. So it is an open and continuously developing theory.  

Third, Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era should be upheld to guide practice and get related work done properly. Only by doing so can Marxism remain influential, combat-worthy and instructive, and secure new victories continuously. To accomplish new successes of Marxism in the new era, the most important is to learn, research, and implement the contemporary Chinese Marxism—Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era so that it can arm the mind of all Party cadres and members, unify all work relating to the Party and the state, and propel socialism with Chinese characteristics towards constant development in the new era. All Party cadres and members should learn Xi's thought until they could make it out and put it into action. Armed with the Thought, they will seek for well-rounded progress in economic, political, cultural, social and ecological terms, and get the work relating to Party committees and governments of all levels done properly. It is probable for Marxism to secure new victories in the new era with these universal, traceable and long-lasting efforts.  

Fourth, Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era should be upheld over the long run and developed constantly. Socialism with Chinese characteristics, since its entry into the new era, has been confronted with new conditions, issues, contradictions, challenges and risks that have never occurred before. In this context, to continue pushing forward with the struggles, projects, undertakings and dreams of great significance is a long-lasting, arduous mission that is left over from the past. Only by upholding Xi's thought as a guide to action can China secure new triumphs over socialism with Chinese characteristics and propel Marxism towards new victories. The times are evolving and the practice is changing. Xi's thought should develop in step with the times and innovate in tandem with practice so that it may remain as powerful as truths to spearhead the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era and promote Marxism towards new victories in the ever-developing China.  

(Affiliation of the author: Advisory Board of the CPC Central Committee on the Research and Development of Marxist Philosophy)


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