Use the Constitution and the Law to Unify Thoughts

Posted on Updated on

26 May 1989

Today, I have been entrusted by the Centre to invite a few old comrades-in-arms, old comrades and old friends for a chat, and to vent a little.

The motivations for these student demonstrations are good, pure, kind and constructive, the objective is to overcome flaws and mistakes in work, and to run State affairs and the Socialist system even better, this is consistent with our requirements. But the methods and means that they have adopted is not very appropriate. This is not the fault of the children. First, they do not know the law or don’t know it well. Second, they lack political experience, and are insufficiently on guard against the treacherous intentions of an extremely, extremely small number of conspirators and evildoers who seize the opportunity to cause turmoil. These old comrades of ours have a responsibility to help them and make them alert. Otherwise, we will let the children down.

Now, ideologies are relatively chaotic, there are all kinds of slogans, all kinds of viewpoints and standpoints, all sorts of programmes, etc., and problems are drawn out and are not resolved. How can we unite thoughts? We have a Constitution and the law, and we should also take facts as a basis to unify thoughts with the Constitution and the law as a criterion. We cannot be “Buddhist monks using umbrellas, defying laws humans and divine” as during the “Cultural Revolution”. Is it possible that there has not been enough suffering? Do we want to let catastrophe repeat itself? I say this, absolutely not because I advocate to punish innocent students and other decent people, the issue of punishing them does not exist As for that extremely extremely small number of conspirators and evildoers, they should be regarded differently. The Liberation Army certainly has not come to deal with students.

In order to unify thoughts, I’d like to talk about the relevant provisions of the Constitution and the law.

I, Article 1 of the Constitution provides that the People’s Republic of China is led by the working class, not that it is led by the bourgeoisie, and not that the working class and the bourgeoisie jointly lead and divide all under heaven between them; that it is based on the alliance between workers and peasants, not on the basis of any other class or stratum; that it is a people’s democratic dictatorship, not a bourgeois dictatorship, and certainly not a landlord class dictatorship; that it is a Socialist country, and isn’t a capitalist country. The movement to do bourgeois liberalization in our country violates the Constitution, and violates the fundamental interests of the people of all ethnicities in the entire country and the standpoints of the Party. The 6th Plenum of the 11th Party Congress clearly pointed out that: “Doing bourgeois liberalization denies the Socialist system, it advocates the capitalist system, it basically violates the people’s interest and the tide of history, and is something to which the broad people are firmly opposed”. To unify thoughts, this is the general principle. If we do not resolve this Article, it will be impossible to unify thoughts, and there will be no way to resolve problems. The problems inside the party occur here as well.

II, Has turmoil not occurred in the recent month or so, in the capital? It has. When we look at the facts and the law, it is clear. Article 35 of the Constitution provides that citizens have the freedom to demonstrate and march. Lawful demonstrations and marches are not turmoil. But there is another article, Article 51 of the Constitution, which provides that when citizens exercise their freedoms and rights, they may not harm the interests of the country, society or the collective, or the lawful freedoms and rights of other citizens. Article 2, Article 158 and Article 159 of the Criminal Law provide for the prohibition of any person to use any means to disorder social order, production order, work order education and scientific research order and the life order of the popular masses. Now, there has trouble to the extent that even activities connected to state affairs cannot be regularly carried out, even the ceremony and reception activities to welcome Gorbachev could not be regularly conducted, there is trouble to the extent that walking the street or going to work has become a problem, what order is there in the capital? Can we still say that there is no damage to the national interest or the social interest? Is this no turmoil? Who of us wants to admit that this sort of activity is not turmoil, when in fact it is equal to encouraging all localities in the entire country that it is permitted to make trouble as in Beijing, how can reform, opening up and Socialist modernisation construction still be conducted! But we must strictly separate the extremely extremely small number of people creating turmoil from the students with pure motives and other decent people.

III, Is the State Council decision that parts of the capital are under a curfew lawful or not? Some people say that the State Council does not have this power, and that the NPC Standing Committee should cancel the proclamation of martial law promulgated by the State Council. Here, there are also some lacks of understanding and misunderstanding of the Constitution, some also have ulterior motives. Article 89 Clause 16 of the Constitution provides that the State Council has the power to decide on martial law inside a provincial, autonomous region or municipal scope. The total area of Beijing Municipality is 16-17000 square kilometres, and the region where martial law is implemented is not bigger than about a thousand square kilometres. In order to safeguard the dignity of the Constitution, safeguard social order, production, work order, education and research order and the life order of the popular masses in the capital, the State Council has decided to impose martial law on a part of the capital, this is completely lawful, necessary and correct. Article 67 Clause 7 of the Constitution provides that the NPC Standing Committee has the power to cancel administrative regulations, decisions and decrees formulated by the State Council that conflict with the Constitution and the law. Please pay attention, what is said here is “conflict” with the Constitution and the law. There is nothing else. The proclamation of martial law by the State Council completely conforms to the Constitution and the law, and there is no conflict at all with the Constitution and the Law. How could the NPC Standing Committee not support this?

IV, Any organization and individual must respect the Constitution and the law. Constitution provides that “the people of all ethnicities in the entire country, all State organs and armed forces, all political parties and social organizations, all enterprises, undertakings and organizations, must make the Constitution into the basic norm for their activities”, “[They] must respect the Constitution and the law”, “all acts violating the Constitution and the law must be punished”, “no organization or individual may have the privilege to exceed the Constitution and the law”. The Chinese Communist Party clearly provides in its Party Constitution that “the Party must act within the scope of the Constitution and the law”. State organs includes the State Council and also includes the NPC Standing Committee; all political parties, includes the Communist Party and the democratic parties; individuals includes common people and includes Party and State leaders. Everyone is equal in front of the law, everyone must act within the scope of the Constitution and the law, no-one has the privilege to exceed the Constitution or the law. Some people talk about the legal system, but in fact, they don’t only trample the Constitution and the law underfoot themselves, but they also incite others to violate the Constitution and the law, and students and masses from all walks of life are invited remain vigilant.

Lastly, I’d like to say three things: first, “taking facts as the basis and taking the law as the criterion” as I said here is used to unify thoughts. Second, we must absolutely persist in the legal system, we cannot engage in personal rule, no-one can have the privilege to exceed the Constitution and the law, it is hoped that everyone uses the Constitution and the law as a norm for their own actions, the problems raised by the masses must be calmly and dispassionately resolved through democratic and legal system tracks, and seeking truth from fact. Third, we must treasure the students, I hope everyone again thinks of means to do some work, ensure that the students and masses from all walks of life together unite around the Party and the government, stop the turmoil, restore order, improve work, overcome difficulties, and run State affairs well.

Note: This is the speech of Comrade Peng Zhen at the 7th National People’s Congress Standing Committee Extra-Party Vice-committee head meeting.

 

用宪法和法律统一思想

彭真

 

(一九八九年五月二十六日)

今天,我受中央委托,请几位老战友、老同志、老朋友谈一谈,通通气。

 

这次学生游行的动机是好的、纯洁的、善良的、建设性的,目的是为了克服工作中的缺点失误,把国家的事情、社会主义事业办得更好,这同我们的要求是一致的。但是,他们所采取的手段、方式不大妥当。这不怪孩子们。一是他们对法律不熟悉或不很熟悉。二是他们缺乏政治经验,对极少数极少数阴谋家、坏人乘机制造动乱的险恶用心,警惕不够。我们这些老同志有责任帮助他们,提醒他们。否则就对不起孩子们。

 

现在思想比较乱,有各式各样的口号,各式各样的看法、主张,各式各样的纲领等等,问题旷日持久得不到解决。思想怎么统一?我们有宪法和法律,应该也必须以事实为根据,以宪法和法律为准绳来统一思想。不能再像“文化大革命”那样“和尚打伞、无法无天”了。难道苦头还没有吃够吗?还要让灾难重演吗?我这样说,决不是主张惩办无辜的学生和其他善良的人们,对他们不存在进行制裁的问题。至于对极少数极少数阴谋家、坏人,另当别论。解放军决不是来对付学生的。

 

为了统一思想,我讲讲宪法和法律的有关规定。

 

一、宪法第一条规定,中华人民共和国是工人阶级领导的,不是资产阶级领导的,也不是工人阶级和资产阶级共同领导平分天下;是以工农联盟为基础的,不是以别的什么阶级、阶层为基础的;是人民民主专政,不是资产阶级专政,更不是地主阶级专政;是社会主义国家,不是资本主义国家。在我国搞资产阶级自由化的行动,是违宪的,也是违背全国各族人民根本利益和党的主张的。党的十二届六中全会决议明确指出:“搞资产阶级自由化,即否定社会主义制度,主张资本主义制度,是根本违背人民利益和历史潮流,为广大人民所坚决反对的。”统一思想,这是总纲。这一条不解决,思想不可能统一,问题无法解决。党内的问题也是发生在这里。

 

二、最近一个多月来首都是不是发生了动乱?是。看看事实和法律就清楚了。宪法第三十五条规定,公民有游行、示威的自由。合法的游行示威不是动乱。但是,还有一条,宪法第五十一条规定,公民行使自由和权利的时候,不得损害国家的、社会的、集体的利益和其他公民的合法的自由和权利。刑法第二条、第一百五十八条、第一百五十九条规定了禁止任何人利用任何手段扰乱社会秩序、生产秩序、工作秩序、教学科研秩序和人民群众生活秩序。现在闹得连国事活动都不能正常进行,连欢迎戈尔巴乔夫的仪式和接待活动都不能正常进行,闹得连走路、上下班都成了问题,首都还有什么秩序?还能说没有损害国家利益、社会利益?还不是动乱?我们谁要承认这种行动不是动乱,实际上等于鼓励全国各地都可以像北京这样闹,那还怎么进行改革、开放,进行社会主义现代化建设!但是,必须把煽动、制造动乱的极少数极少数人,和动机纯洁的学生及其他善良的人们严格区分开。

 

三、国务院决定首都部分地区戒严合法不合法?有人说,国务院没有这个权力,全国人大常委会应当撤销国务院宣布的戒严令。这里,有些是对宪法不熟悉或者有误解,有的则是别有用心。宪法第八十九条第十六项规定,国务院有权决定省、自治区、直辖市的范围内部分地区的戒严。北京市总面积一万六七千平方公里,实行戒严的地区不过千把平方公里。为了维护宪法的尊严,维护首都的社会秩序、生产秩序、工作秩序、教学科研秩序和人民群众生活秩序,国务院决定首都部分地区戒严,完全是合法的、必要的、正确的。宪法第六十七条第七项规定,全国人大常委会有权撤销国务院制定的同宪法、法律相抵触的行政法规、决定和命令。请注意,这里讲的是同宪法、法律相“抵触”的,不是别的。国务院的戒严令完全符合宪法和法律,同宪法和法律丝毫没有抵触。全国人大常委会怎么能不支持呢?

 

四、任何组织和个人都必须遵守宪法和法律。宪法规定,“全国各族人民、一切国家机关和武装力量、各政党和各社会团体、各企业事业组织,必须以宪法为根本的活动准则”,“必须遵守宪法和法律”,“一切违反宪法和法律的行为,必须予以追究”,“任何组织或者个人都不得有超越宪法和法律的特权”。中国共产党在党章中也明确规定,“党必须在宪法和法律的范围内活动”。国家机关,包括国务院,也包括全国人大常委会;各政党,包括共产党,也包括各民主党派;个人,包括普通老百姓,也包括党和国家领导人。法律面前人人平等,谁都必须在宪法和法律的范围内活动,谁都没有超越宪法和法律的特权。有的人嘴上讲法制,实际上不仅自己践踏宪法和法律,还煽动别人违反宪法和法律,请学生们和各界群众提高警惕。

 

最后我再讲三句话:一是,我这次讲的“以事实为根据,以法律为准绳”,是用来统一思想的。二是,一定要坚持法制,不能搞人治,任何人都不能有超越宪法和法律的特权,希望每个人都用宪法和法律来规范自己的行动,群众提出的问题都要通过民主和法制的轨道,实事求是、平心静气地商议解决。三是,要爱护学生,希望大家再想些办法,做些工作,使学生和各方面的群众一道,团结在党和政府的周围,制止动乱,恢复秩序,改进工作,克服困难,把国家的事情办好。

 

注:这是彭真同志在第七届全国人大常委会党外副委员长座谈会上的讲话。

 

 

2 thoughts on “Use the Constitution and the Law to Unify Thoughts

    […] Read the complete speech here: Use the Constitution and the Law to Unify Thoughts […]

    […] Read the complete speech here: Use the Constitution and the Law to Unify Thoughts. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s