Develop and Popularize Marxism in the Modern Chinese Context*
September 29, 2017
The CPC is a Marxist party. Marxism is the essence of the ideals and convictions of Communists. To develop Marxism in the 21st century and Marxism in China today, and to ensure it continues to shine as truth, we must proceed from China's reality and have the whole world in view; we must upgrade our theories to ensure that they keep pace with the times; we must acquire a full understanding of the practical significance of Marxism for today; we must adapt Marxism to the Chinese context in keeping with the times, and increase its appeal to the people.
No theory in history can match Marxism in terms of rationale, truth, and spread, and no theory has exerted such a huge influence on the world as Marxism. This proves the truth and vigor in Marxism, and its irreplaceable role in understanding, reshaping, and advancing the world. Acquiring a better understanding of current global Marxist thinking helps us adapt Marxism to China's conditions and develop Marxism in the 21st century and Marxism in China today.
Despite changing times and society, the basic tenets of Marxism remain true. Despite the tremendous differences between now and the days of Karl Marx, world socialism's 500 years of history shows that we are still where Marxism has said we should be. This is the proper basis for our continuing faith in Marxism and our confidence in the victory of socialism. Marxism is the foundation for advancing the cause of the CPC and the people, and a source of their strength to make progress. Should we deviate from or abandon Marxism, our Party will lose its soul and orientation. We must follow the guidance of Marxism, a faith unshakable at all times and in all circumstances.
Any philosophy which is successful in one country is of significance to the world. It must show the way to the people in modern times. We should upgrade Marxism on the basis of the realities of modern times. We should use Marxism to better observe, interpret, and lead the times, make clear our current mission, and know the course of history and the direction for the future. Since the founding of the PRC in 1949, and especially since reform and opening up was launched in 1978, China has witnessed profound changes. As the witness of these historic changes, the Chinese people are best qualified to summarize experiences and laws of development as an original contribution to the development of Marxism. We should have such awareness and confidence in developing the theory. Based on China's actual conditions, we should focus on our current undertakings, listen to the voice of the people, and respond to their practical needs. We should draw experience from the practice of building socialism with Chinese characteristics, and better integrate the basic tenets of Marxism with China's reality. At the same time we should broaden our vision, draw on all achievements of human civilization, and develop and advance Marxism.
The world is evolving more rapidly than ever before, giving rise to many profound and complicated problems and theoretical questions. Accordingly, we need to enhance our research on modern capitalism, analyze what changes are happening and the nature of these changes, and acquire a better understanding of the law governing the profound and complicated changes in capitalism and international political and economic relations. Contemporary Marxist thinking has an important feature – many who advocate it have critiqued the structural problems, the problems in means of production, class problems, and social problems in capitalist society. They have also analyzed the crisis, evolution, new forms, and nature of capitalism. Their viewpoints help us correctly understand the development trends and the future of capitalism, accurately understand the new changes and features of contemporary capitalism, and thoroughly understand its evolutionary trends. We should keep track of the new results of research on Marxism outside China, and analyze and examine them. We should neither reject them all nor accept them all. Furthermore, we should focus on China's own development, advance socialism with Chinese characteristics, increase China's overall national strength, and demonstrate the strengths of China's socialist system.
The history of the CPC shows that its repeated triumphs over difficulties have a reason – it has always provided strong ideological and theoretical training for Party members and officials, so as to forge a shared faith, a strong will, and great strength throughout the Party. To gain competitiveness, win the initiative, seize the future, and overcome barriers on the path ahead, we must apply Marxism as a powerful instrument; we must examine the major issues in our future development with a broader and longer vision; we must all become better able to use Marxism to analyze and solve practical problems; and we must improve our ability to meet challenges, defend against risks, overcome barriers, and resolve problems under theoretical guidance. We should arm ourselves with the latest achievements of Marxism adapted to Chinese conditions, forge cohesion and foster firm Marxist beliefs and communist ideals throughout the Party, and improve the theoretical and political understanding of all Party members, especially officials.
Officials, high-ranking officials in particular, should take the lead in studying Marxist classics, studying Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development, and studying the Central Committee's new concepts, ideas, and strategies for China's governance. We should study these theories thoroughly, continuously, and diligently. In the course of our studies, we should raise questions and integrate theory with practice. We should transform theory into tangible strength to understand and change the world, so as to sustain our resolve to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics.
* Main points of the speech at the 43rd group study session of the Political Bureau of the 18th CPC Central Committee.
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