Speech at the Ideological and Political Work Conference

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Jiang Zemin

(28 June 2000)

At the eve of the 79th anniversary of the foundation of the Chinese Communist Party, the Centre has convened an ideological and political work conference, which is of important significance. In September last year, the Centre has issued Document 17, which has made deployments on strengthening and improving ideological and political work. The objectives of this conference are further getting a clear understanding of the circumstances faced by the ideological and political work, further clarifying the position of ideological and political work in the overall work picture of Party and State, further summarize the experience of ideological and political work, putting forward requirements and measures for strengthening and improving ideological and political work suited to new situations and new circumstances, mobilize the entire Party to ensure that ideological and political work is done more vividly and dramatically, and has realistic effects.

The Party’s ideological and political work is the lifeline of economic work and all other work, is a central link in uniting the entire Party and the people of all ethnicities in the entire country to realize all Party and state tasks, and is an important political superiority for our Party and Socialist state. This sort of important position of ideological and political work is decided by the nature and purpose of our Party, and has been proven through the overall history and overall experience of the Party. Our reform and opening up, and modernization construction is the undertaking of the millions of popular masses themselves. The ideals and convictions, spiritual outlook and people’s will of the popular masses, in the end, decides the success or failure of the undertaking of constructing Socialism with Chinese characteristics. In the past few years, the Centre has repeatedly stressed that the more the economy is developed, and the more reform and opening up takes place, the more regard must be given to ideological and political work, the basic rationale lies here. New circumstances and new tasks, as well as the real situation of ideological and political work, requires that we must forcefully strengthen and improve the Party’s ideological and political work. This is a necessary requirement for guaranteeing that our Party achieves its representing the development requirements of China’s advanced productive forces from beginning to end, represents the progressive orientation of advanced Chinese culture, and represents the basic interest of the broadest people of China. To strengthen and improve the Party’s ideological and political work, the requirements of the “Three represents” must be completely implemented. This is a long-term strategic policy for uniting the Party and leading the people in constructing Socialism with Chinese characteristics.

I, Concerning the new circumstances and new situations faced by ideological and political work

Since reform and opening up, the Party’s ideological and political work has been integrated with implementing the Party’s basic theory and basic line, moved the practice of constructing Socialism with Chinese characteristic forward, has obtained new achievement, has accumulated new experiences and has undergone new trials. We persist in using Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, and especially Deng Xiaoping Theory to arm the entire Party educate the cadres and the people; persist in the correct public opinion orientation, deeply conduct patriotic, collectivist, Socialist education with hard work and an enterprising spirit; broadly launch mass-type spiritual civilization construction activities, propagate a large batch of advanced models reflecting the spirit of the times; strive to enrich the people’s spiritual cultural lives, use excellent works to inspire the popular masses; integrate ideological education with resolving the real issues the popular masses are concerned about, closely connect the Party with the masses, and broadly muster the vigour of people of all ethnicities in the entire country to construct Socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Generally speaking, ideological and political work in these 20 years and especially since the 14th Party Congress has provided strong spiritual drivers and important political guarantees for improving reform, development and stability, and capturing the victory of modernization. At the same time, it should also be pointed out that in the are of ideological and political work, we have also learnt lessons, and within a period of time, the phenomena of grasping economic construction with one relatively strong hand and grasping ideological and political construction with one hand that is relatively soft, which was already criticized by Comrade Deng Xiaoping, occurred. On how to strengthen and improve ideological and political work in new periods, there is a lack of deep research and effective methods. Summarizing both positive and negative experience, the comrades in the entire Party must deeply understand that during a new historical period, the Party’s ideological and political work must be forcefully strengthened and improved by starting from the reality of incessant change, and may not have slackening or weakening in the slightest.

Now, there is one sort of reflection, which is facing new situations and new issues internationally and domestically, if some rationales must be made really clear to cadres and masses, that is not so easy; the information that cadres and masses receive is very rich and very confused, ideologies are extremely dynamic, to truly integrate their ideologies, is not so easy. Concerning this issue, we must first and foremost have a general grasp. The Party’s ideological and political work is basically the work of human conduct, the work of mass conduct, it touches upon people’s thoughts, concepts, consciousness and other areas, and is peoples’ spiritual life. Marx pointed out: “The means of production in material life restrict the process of overall social life, political life and spiritual life. It isn’t the conscious of people that decides the existence of people, conversely, it is that the people’s social existence decides peoples’ consciousness”. To do ideological and political work well in new times, we must, from the international and domestic, past and present angles, deeply analyse the objective environment that influences the ideological activities broad cadres and masses under new circumstances and its basic characteristics, correctly examine and resolve those major theoretical issues and practical issues that influence the ideological activities of cadres and masses. Once issues in these areas have been clearly understood and dealt with well, our conduct of ideological and political work in a new period will have gained a fundamental basis that is relatively suited to reality.

Here, I’d like to raise some issues that require the common deep research of the comrades in the entire Party, to further gain scientific understanding ideologically and politically, and make correct answers, everyone is requested to consider them together.

The first issue concerns how to understand the historical process of Socialist development. Marxism was born more than 150 years ago, and the October Revolution that established the first Socialist country was more than eighty years ago from now, the complete establishment of our country’s Socialist system also happened more than forty years ago. It should be said that during this period of more than 150 years, Socialist theory and practice has obtained huge progress in exploring and guaranteeing the political equality and autonomy of the whole body of the people, abolishing the system of people exploiting people, eliminating polarization, a wide gap between rich and poor,  establishing new ideologies, morals and culture, and other areas, and has accumulated rich experience. Practice proves that Socialism is the correct path fro guiding the proletariat and working people who are oppressed by an exploiting system to change their fate, gain social liberation and construct a happy life. Since the establishment of the new China and especially since reform and opening up, our country’s Socialist construction has obtained magnificent achievements that attract worldwide attention, comprehensive national power is clearly strengthening, and the people’s living standards are incessantly rising. Socialism’s flourishing development in China has displayed a strong vitality and creativity. The broad popular masses wholeheartedly embrace the undertaking of constructing Socialism with Chinese characteristics. This has established a firm basis for our ideological and political work.

Even so, we must also soberly notice that, from the point of view of world history, the history of Socialism is still short, generally speaking, it is still in the first stage of practice and development. We must also notice that the Socialist countries that came into being before and after the October Revolution have basically all been countries who were originally backward economically, politically and culturally. Thoroughly changing this sort of backward situation requires a very long historical development process, after establishing a basic Socialist system, until then, it is impossible to avoid that many difficulties and risks that are difficult to foresee or imagine are meant along the way, it is not smooth sailing. Comrade Deng Xiaoping said, consolidating and developing the Socialist system still requires a very long historical phase, and requires unwavering and hard struggle by some of our generations, ten generations and even some tens of generations. He fully estimated the long-term nature and arduousness of constructing and developing the undertaking of Socialism. Because Socialism is a sort of brand new social system, there is no ready-made experience that may be followed, and as for what is Socialism and how to construct Socialism, we must incessantly practice, understand, practice more, understand more, and in this process, mistakes and setbacks may occur here and there.

The tremendous changes in Eastern Europe and the dissolution of the Soviet Union are huge reverses met by global Socialism. Why did the Soviet Union, this Socialist country that developed for more than seventy years, dissolve? Some good people generated doubts and perplexity, and there are worries about the future of global Socialism here and there as well, and even some of our Party members and cadres have engendered “a crisis of faith” to different degrees. This is an objective reality, our not admitting or squarely facing this will not do.

From earnestly summarizing the lessons from the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the tremendous changes in Eastern Europe, as well as complications such as the “Cultural Revolution” that occurred among us, and deeply analysing their causes, two conclusions may be drawn. First is that we must persist in Socialism. Western hostile forces assert that Socialism and Marxism have disappeared from the earth, this is only a somniloquy of theirs. Second is we must move Socialist reform forward, and explore a Socialist development path conform to the reality of this country. Practice proves that Chinese Socialism not only continues to exist, but has developed even better through reform. We must, on the basis of such a basic understanding, guide the broad Party members, cadres and masses to correctly understand the objective laws of social development, and the long-term nature and arduousness of the Socialist undertaking, and strengthen our determination and confidence matching the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. This is one large topic that our Party faces in theoretical research and ideological and political construction that must be resolved.

The second issue concerns how to understand the historical process of the development of capitalism. The development of capitalism started in England’s bourgeois revolution, and has already had 360 years of history. Many people feel that a question that is hard to explain is: Marx and Engels already declared in the “Communist Manifesto”, that because of the movement in the basic contradiction of the socialization of capitalist production and the system of private ownership, capitalism inevitably was to die out, and Communism would inevitably be victorious. Lenin already pointed out at the beginning of this century that capitalism entering the imperialist phase is monopolizing, degenerate and moribund capitalism. Now, capitalism has not only not disappeared from the world, but developed capitalist countries have seen new and great development in productive forces, science, technology and other areas.

At present, in terms of economic, scientific and technological development, material and cultural living standards, developed capitalist countries are much higher than a developing Socialist country like ours. This is an objective fact, it won’t do for us not to accept this or face up to this. Is the existence of this sort of phenomenon to say that basic rules for human social development revealed by Marxism are not tenable? Naturally, this is not the case. In 1859, Marx pointed out in his “Preface to ‘A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy'”: “No social order is ever destroyed before all the productive forces for which it is sufficient have been developed, and new superior relations of production never replace older ones before the material conditions for their existence have matured within the framework of the old society.” In the present world, the intrinsic basic contradictions of the capitalist system still exist, and have not changed in nature because of economic, scientific or technological developments in Western countries. But, since the emergence of Socialism, this antithesis of capitalism, in the world, huge superiorities have been revealed, and on the one hand, Western capitalist countries have struggled with Socialism by hook or by crook, this struggle incessantly changes in form, but has not ceased; on the other side, they have, for the sake of safeguarding the existence and development of the capitalist system, conducted not a few self-adjustments, improvements and reform to some segments in the capitalist relations of production, the operation and management mechanisms for capitalist economies and societies, including learning some methods from Socialism, and have thereby enabled  capitalist relations of production to not only accommodate real productive forces, but also to develop productive forces, class contradictions and social contradictions under capitalist governance have also relaxed to a certain degree.

Concretely speaking, after entering the 20th Century and especially after the Second World War, within the scope permitted by the capitalist system, they have adopted not a few measures in taxation, welfare policies, enterprise organization and structuring as well as strengthening state intervention in the economy and other areas, which have adjusted and to a certain degree eased the restriction of private ownership of the means of production on the development of productive forces. They have especially attracted and used the newest achievements of contemporary scientific and technological development to provide new spaces for the development of productive forces in capitalist societies. We must also consider that, under the condition that the old international economic order continues to exist and the new international order has not yet been established, Western developed capitalist countries use their economic, scientific, technological and even military superiority to gain huge profits on world markets, this is an important condition for their continued development as well.

In the past few years, I have constantly used the viewpoint expressed in Engels’ text “A Critique of the Draft Social-Democratic Program of 1891”. Engels says: “Capitalist production by joint-stock companies is no longer private production but production on behalf of many associated people. And when we pass on from joint-stock companies to trusts, which dominate and monopolise whole branches of industry, this puts an end not only to private production but also to planlessness.” That is to say, change can appear in the development of capitalism itself, we should correctly understand and theoretically explain these changes. Western capitalist countries’ self-improvement and reform, have not fundamentally moved capitalist governance, have not changed the nature of the capitalist system, , and have not changed the rationale of the basic principles of Marxism concerning capitalism. Western countries have forcefully developed their economy and accelerated the promotion of economic globalization, which has created an incessant increase in the wealth of Western countries, but this wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a minority, this will unavoidably aggravate the basic contradiction of capitalism. But, we must also consider that Western countries have also adopted a number of measures and means to limit overly high income and excessive monopolization.

The production and development of anything has their regularities, no matter what its concrete development process is, in the end, objective laws cannot be cast off. But objective laws point at historical outcomes, and these cannot emerge before the final stage of the entire evolutionary process, generally speaking, any objective law has a gradual and ever deeper function in the concrete process of history. We should persist in the basic principles of Marxism, pay attention to guide the broad cadres and masses in correctly understanding the historical process of contemporary capitalism through the broad combination of theory and practice, history and the present. We must ensure that everyone understands that only Socialism can save China, only Socialism can develop China. On the one hand, we can absolutely not deny the basic principles and scientific theses of Marxism because of some flourishing phenomena that occurred in the concrete evolution of capitalist societies. On the other hand, we must strengthen research on self-adjustment and development in contemporary capitalism, make persuasive theoretical analyses, and further enrich and develop Marxist theory.

The third issue concerns how to understand the influence of the process of our country’s Socialist reform practice on the thoughts of people. Since the 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Congress, we have implemented reform and opening up, developed the Socialist market economy, pushed two basic transformations forward, and further liberated and developed our country’s Socialist society’s productive forces, this deep social change inevitably will give rise to deep changes in the people’s spiritual world.

This point has been reckoned with by our Party in the first stages of reform and opening up. Reform, opening up and modernization construction have brought rapid development to the economy and huge progress to society, have strengthened people’s sense of competition, sense of efficiency, consciousness of democracy and the legal system, spirit of pioneering and innovation, and has created even better material conditions and spiritual conditions for our doing ideological and political work well. At the same time, because of the fact that social elements, organizational forms, employment methods, interest relationships and allocation methods grow more diverse every day, the independence, choice, variability and difference in people’s thoughts and activities has clearly increased; weak points exist in market economy activities, and the negative influence they bring is reflected in the ideology of people and relationships between people, they easily induce liberalism, decentralism, mammonism, hedonism and egoism; the content and forms of manifestation of contradictions among the people have also shown many new situations. Our realizing opening up to the outside world, benefits people broadening their horizons, increasing experience, and enlivening thoughts, but foreign bourgeois degenerate ideologies and culture may also seize the opportunity to enter. The vestiges of feudalist thought that existed for a long time in our society, including feudal superstition, ignorant and backward ideological concepts, may also gain the upper hand under new historical conditions. The changes occurring in the social being are reflected in the minds of people, and inevitably give rise to corresponding changes in ideologies.

In the process of our conducting reform, the enlivening of our ideologies, and the emergence in large numbers of all sorts of concepts, the mutual intertwining of correct ideologies and, mutual influence of progressive concepts and backward concepts is hard to avoid. One important task in the Party’s ideological and political work is that the cadres and masses must be guided in clearly distinguishing the mainstream and the tributary streams, clearly distinguish what is correct and what are falsehoods. In the China of today, the correct and progressive ideological concepts with Marxism as guidance are the ideological mainstream for the entire society, this is beyond all doubt. Mistaken and backward ideological concepts that violate Marxism, even though they are tributary streams, must also be earnestly dealt with. If they are let to develop, it may create extremely large social harm. Some mistaken ideological trends have propagated and sprawled, and this often began when we neglected the tributary streams, and in the end, we could not but use great force to resolve this. The lessons in this area may not be forgotten. The more we are in a period of transition, the more we must be on guard against the emergence of all sorts of mistaken ideologies and the negative influence they bring onto people, and the more our Party’s ideological and political work must be strengthened and improved.

The fourth problem concerns how to understand the influence brought by the present international environment and the international political struggle. The world is developing in the direction of multipolarity, the process of economic globalization is also accelerating, there are new things every day in the process global science and technology. This sort of influence has a positive side, it also has a negative side.

What must be pointed out is that, since the October Revolution, Western countries have continuously done their utmost to launch all sorts of offensives against Socialist countries, important among this was conducting of ideological infiltration. The tremendous changes in Eastern Europe and the dissolution of the Soviet Union are closely related with ideological infiltration conducted by Western countries for a long time. Now, China is the world’s largest Socialist country, it is incessantly developing, and grows richer and stronger every day. Western hostile forces are intensifying theory political strategy of Westernizing and dividing our country through all sorts of means and methods, in an attempt to subvert the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the Socialist system of China. This sort of political scheming of them will not change. In these past few years, they have incessantly used so-called “human rights”, “democracy”, “freedom”, “ethnic” “religious” issues and the Dalai Lama, and Taiwan issues to cause us trouble. They collude with so-called “democracy movement” elements in exile abroad and hostile forces in side our borders, and attempting to link up operators. Our struggle with all sorts of  domestic and foreign powers in infiltration and counter-infiltration, subversion and counter-subversion is complex and has a long-term nature. This is an important reflection of class struggle that still exists to a certain degree and will exist for a long time in our country.

Our correction of the mistake of “taking class struggle of the key link” that occurred for a while in the past is completely correct, but this does not mean class struggle does not exist. As long as class struggle still exists to a certain degree, we cannot abandon the Marxist viewpoints and methods of class and class analysis. This sort of viewpoints and methods are the key for use to observe the complex political phenomenon of struggle between Socialism and all sorts of hostile forces. At the same time as persisting in reform and opening up, and strengthening foreign economic and cultural exchange, we must pay utter attention to guarding against and preventing the infiltration and subversive activities of hostile forces. This is an important theme that strengthening the Party’s ideological and political work must deeply research in new times.

Deep changes are occurring in the world, China is currently conducting a self-transformation to perfect and develop the Socialist system. The circumstances that the Party’s ideological and political work faces have become more complex, tasks have become more onerous, and work has become more arduous. The Party’s ideological and political work cannot be seen as unessential or good for nothing, it is indispensable and very promising. Practice tells us that if ideological and political work is done well, our undertaking will be develop even better. In the struggles to fight floods and come to the rescue in 1998, on the 1999 bombing of our embassy in the Southern Union by NATO led by the United States, to oppose the so-called “Two Chinas Theory” of the leaders of Taiwan authorities to separate the motherland and to oppose the “Falun Gong” sect, the popular masses have expressed high political enthusiasm and a patriotic spirit, and formed a strong voice. Conversely, if ideological and political work is weakened and not grasped tightly, mistaken thinking trends will flood in, people’s thoughts will be in chaos, people’s minds will scatter, and this may engender grave consequences. The occurrence of the political storm in 1989 is a deep lesson. We must soberly understand that, because of complex international and domestic factors, we have great amounts of work to do in the ideological and political sphere, the contradictions and struggles in our ideological and political sphere are long-term and complex, and under certain conditions may be extremely acute. Because of this, the position of ideological and political work in the overall work of the Party cannot change, the fact that the Party firmly and unwaveringly grasps tasks in ideological and political work cannot change, and our requirement to incessantly raise the quality and level of ideological and political work cannot change.

The Party’s ideological and political work therefore has become the lifeline of economic work and all other work, this has been decided by its function and effect. Only by fully giving rein to the political superiority the Party’s ideological and political work, will it be possible to guarantee the correct development orientation of economic work and all other work, will it be possible to guarantee that the Party’s line, principles and policies are implemented in all work areas and among the masses, will it be possible to timely remove and vanquish the interference of all sorts of mistaken things, and will it be possible to consolidate and develop an ideological and political basis for the common struggle of the people of all ethnicities in the entire country, thereby providing strong drivers and guarantees for economic work and all other work. This sort of important function and important position of ideological and political work must be fully understood by the comrades in the entire Party and especially all levels’ leading cadres.

II, Concerning strengthening and improving the Party’s ideological and political work

In 1983, Comrade Deng Xiaoping reminded the entire Party that: “after shifting the centre of gravity of work towards economic construction, the entire Party must research how to adapt to new conditions, strengthen the Party’s ideological work, prevent immersing into economic work and overlooking trends in ideological work.” We are dialectical materialists, we recognize the final decisive function of productive forces in social development, unwaveringly persist in taking economic construction as central, all areas of work must submit to and serve this centre, regardless of what circumstances of encountered, they cannot shake of influence this centre; at the same time, we also fully affirm and give high regard to the opposite reaction of spiritual matters on material matters, social consciousness on the social being, the superstructure on the economic base, and politics on economics. We absolutely cannot repeat the modes of thinking and methods of work of “ideological work is all-powerful” and “politics affects everything” we had in the past, but we can also not simplify, absolutize or vulgarize the tenet that the forces of production have the final decisive function in social development. We must dialectically consider and deal with the mutual relationship of grasping economic work with one hand, and grasping ideological and political work with one hand, and unify both into of the popular masses’ understanding the world and changing the world, and the magnificent practice of reform, opening up and modernization construction, both realizing sustained economic development and realizing overall progress.

Socialism with Chinese characteristics is a Socialism of coordinated development between material civilization and spiritual civilization, in which economics, politics and culture are comprehensively moved forward. The Party’s ideological and political work tasks are: arming the people with scientific theory, guiding the people with correct public opinion, moulding the people with noble spirits, heartening the people with excellent works, incessantly raising the ideological, moral, scientific and cultural quality of the entire nation, striving to foster and bring up Socialist citizens with ideals, with morals, with culture and with discipline; developing new forms of interpersonal relationships, creating good social morality, fully giving rein to the vigour, initiative and creativity of the popular masses, guaranteeing that the Party’s line, principles and policies, and State laws and regulations are implemented, and guaranteeing the smooth realization of reform, opening up and modernization construction.

Facing new circumstances and situations, in order to complete the above tasks, our ideological and political work must, on the basis of inheriting and carrying forward fine traditions, strive to conduct innovation and improvement in content, form, method, means, ways, mechanisms, etc., and special effort must be made in strengthening a sense of the times and strengthening focus, effectiveness and initiative. This must become the focus point of our strengthening and improving ideological and political work in the future. Here, I stress four points.

First, we must closely integrate the new reality of our country’s Socialist reform and construction, developments and changes in the international circumstances, strengthen research and propaganda of Marxism, incessantly strengthen the persuasiveness and fighting strength of Marxist theory. The most basic matter in strengthening and improving ideological and political work is persisting in and consolidating the guiding position of Marxism in our country’s ideological sphere. This is the basic ideological foundation guaranteeing that the entire Party and the people in the entire country strengthen unity and advance into the correct direction from beginning to end. Only by persisting in the guidance of Marxism will it be possible to correctly formulate, propagate and implement the Party’s line, principles and policies, will it be possible to develop advanced ideologies and overcome backward ideologies. If we abandon the guiding position of Marxism, and pluralize the guiding ideology, this certainly will lead to great chaos in people’s hearts, great disorder in all under heaven, and will bring disaster to the Party and the country. This is absolutely impermissible. In the ideological area of any society, the ideology of that society’s ruling class always occupies a dominating position. The ruling class of any country, in order to consolidate their political domination, must actively safeguard and develop their dominating ideology. Western countries have never permitted Marxism to occupy a guiding position in their ideologies. Western countries all have a set of systematic methods and means to instil their officials, students, masses and troops with capitalist ideologies, value systems and political tenets. In this issue, they have also grasped matters very closely. Our persistence in the guiding position of Marxism must pay special attention to strengthening work in two aspects: the first is timely summarizing the new understanding that the Party and the people have gained and the new experiences they have created through practice, to powerfully answer major ideological and theoretical questions that are put forward in real life, that the cadres and the masses care for, the second is that we must be good at utilizing Marxist viewpoints to engage in vigorous struggle with all sorts of mistaken viewpoints, and help the broad cadres and masses to establish and maintain a correct ideological and theoretical understanding.

The most basic work in persisting in the guiding position of Marxism is using Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory to arm the entire Party and educate the People. We must ensure that this sort of theoretical arming work is rich in effect, and must forcefully carry forward the study style of integrating theory and practice, dare to and be good at analysing and answering the questions in real life and in the people’s thoughts that need urgent resolution. Theory can only correctly answer and guide the resolution of real questions in integration with practice, and only then can it give rein to tits own authority and truly grasp the masses. Marxism has a profound mystery with great vitality, which resides in its theoretical quality of progressing with the times. Marx, Engels, Lenin and Comrade Mao Zedong and Comrade Deng Xiaoping, have never made theoretical research into scholarship in the study room, they have always closely integrated the needs of real struggle, forcefully answered the major theoretical issues that were  incessantly put forward in reality, and have thereby incessantly enriched and developed theory. if we change Marxism into an invariable and dry dogma, change it into a simple peaching, it will be separated from the reality of people’s lives, it cannot have persuasiveness, and will lose its vitality. We must persist in the basic tenets and scientific spirit of Marxism, persist in liberating thoughts and seeking truth from facts, persist in taking Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory as guidance, strive to make scientific and persuasive interpretations and explanations that conform to reality of prominent issues that urgently need theoretical guidance or explanation at present, and fully give rein to the basic function of theory in ideological and political work.

To persist in the guiding position of Marxism, we must persist in singing the main melody, beating the main drum, scientifically and actively propagating Marxism, guiding the cadres and masses in overcoming and resisting the influence and corrosion of mistaken, backward and degenerate ideology and culture. The truth of Marxism has been established, developed and incessantly brought into people’s hearts through struggle with all sorts of falsehoods. In these past years, some ideological discourses that are opposed to Marxism and Socialism have emerged now and then in society: some openly advocate “wholesale Westernization”, advocate Western style multi-party systems and parliamentary democracy in politics, advocate privatization in economics, advocate the abolition of the guiding position of Marxism in ideology and culture, and advocate extreme individualism in terms of values; some distort the history of struggle by the Party and the people, vilify Marxism and incite dissatisfaction towards the Party and the government; some do not bear responsibility, and produce vulgar and low-level audiovisual books and periodicals that propagate sex and violence, superstition and decadence; some hold doubts and denying attitudes towards reform and opening up; etc. Our country is so large, that this sort of problem occurs is difficult to completely avoid. But, some problems occur repeatedly, knowingly in violation, this must attract our high attention. Concerning issues relating to political orientation and basic principles we absolutely must show our colours clearly, work with truth on our side, and be utterly explicit. Against mistaken ideologies and viewpoints that violate taking economic construction at the centre, violating the Four Cardinal Principles and violating the policy of reform and opinion up, and against challenges and attacks violating Marxism, we must conduct vigorous ideological struggle, we cannot hear it but let it go. If we show no interest, do not criticize and do not struggle when faced with mistaken ideological and political viewpoints, if we allow them to go and disrupt people’s thinking or disorder our ideology, that will be extremely dangerous, and certainly will endanger the stability and unity of the entire country and society. The comrades in the entire Party and especially high-level Party cadres, and all comrades working in the Party’s ideological and political work and engaging in Marxist research and propaganda must keep this point firmly in mind. Naturally, when criticizing and struggling with mistaken ideologies, we must pay absolute attention to fully putting forward facts, speaking with reason, teach through benefits and unite the masses. Concerning problems in the ideological and political area, we must persist in the principles determined by the Centre, our minds must be sober and awake, we must quietly observe, grasp trends, know the score, study and weigh situations, and handle matters cautiously. We must strengthen positive guidance, correctly differentiate political right and wrong, and academic questions. Concerning academic questions, we must persist in letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools contend, equal discussion and mutual learning from group discussion.

Second, we must closely integrate the new problems emerging in the ideological understanding, work and lives of cadres and the masses, prominently strengthen ideals and convictions  education, incessantly strengthen the cohesion of the whole body of people. Ideals and convictions  education is the core content of the Party’s ideological and political work. Only with the ideals and convictions correctly established among the comrades in the entire Party and the whole body of the people will it be possible to incessantly strengthen cohesion and fighting force, and will it be possible for our undertaking to meet with incessant success. Ideals and convictions education must be closely integrated with the ideological reality of cadres and the masses, have a definite goal, suit the medicine to the illness, and cannot be parroting of texts or empty shouting of slogans. For example, now, some people have raised some doubts concerning the scientific truths for Marxism, and have wavered in their conviction that Socialism will in the end, inevitably vanquish over capitalism through long-term development, they lack confidence in the cause of constructing Socialism with Chinese characteristics, their ideologies are hollow, their spirits listless; some people have wallowed in seeking a spiritual relief in a world of women and wine, or in feudal superstition activities; some people have drift with the currents as they were faced with seduction, an extremely small number of Party members and cadres have degenerated into corruption because they deviated from the correct ideals and convictions. Strengthening ideals and convictions education requires that we tackle these issues, earnestly analyse the factors causing these problems and deeply and meticulously launch our work.

We must persist in starting from reality, and organically integrate advanced requirements with broad requirements. The most basic matter is that we must persist in conducting patriotic, collectivist and Socialist education, mobilize the people of all ethnicities in  the entire country for the cause of constructing Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and jointly struggle to construct our country into a rich, strong, democratic and civilized Socialist modernized country. We must ensure that the broad popular masses correctly understand the basic interest of the State and themselves, establish correct worldviews, views of life and value systems, merge individual ideals into the common ideals of the whole body of people, merge individual struggle into the struggle for Socialist modernization construction of the motherland, persist in confidence in Socialism with Chinese characteristics, belief in reform, opening up and modernization construction and faith in the Party and the government. We must vigorously propose all ideologies and morals that realistically benefit national unity, ethnic unity, economic development and social progress. We must strengthen propaganda and education on scientific knowledge, scientific methods, scientific thinking and scientific spirit in society, assist and guide the people in clearly distinguishing between materialism and spiritualism, atheism and theism, science and superstition, and civilization and ignorance, strengthen their ability to identify and resist of all sorts of idealism and feudal superstition, and pseudoscience. The youth is the future and hope of our undertaking, and we must especially grasp education of their ideals and convictions. All Communist Party members and Communist Youth League members must strive to study and grasp Marxist standpoints, viewpoints and methods, and establish the noble ideals of Communism. At the same time, we must also understand that the final realization of Communism requires undergoing a very slow historical development process, the important matter is to earnestly and humbly do the undertaking of constructing Socialism with Chinese characteristics that we are now building well. Concerning these issue, we must seek truth from facts, and may not produce unrealistic propaganda.

In launching ideological and political work, we must pay attention to suiting measures to local conditions, suiting measures to persons, suiting measures to the occasion and suiting measures to the times. Cadres and masses in different regions, different departments and different spheres deal with different environments, undertake different tasks and face different problems, the characteristics and requirements of their ideological activities may also be different. Workers, peasants, intellectuals, cadres, soldiers, retirees and other have their own characteristics, if we do work in a stereotyping manner, it will not have good effects. In doing work, we must grasp these characteristics and requirements, and conduct affairs in a focused manner. For example, towards regions with relatively rapid economic development, that have already achieved the level of relative prosperity, we should launch forceful education on thinking of sources after becoming rich, and being rich conscientiously should be launched among cadres and the masses, to encourage them to move up another stage; towards regions that have not yet developed, where living conditions are relatively difficult, we must forcefully launch education on regeneration through self-reliance, and working diligently in spite of difficulties, to encourage them to shake off poverty and become rich through hard work, as soon as possible. The broad workers, peasants, intellectuals and cadres are the basic forces of the undertaking to construct Socialism, ideological and political work must be completely done well. Especially when we implement major reform policies, we must conduct broad propaganda and meticulous ideological work, in order to obtain the understanding and support of the masses. We must pay attention to regularly conducting education about circumstances to the cadres and the masses, to ensure that they have a correct and complete understanding of the current political, economic and social circumstances. Cadres and especially high-level cadres have a great influence on society, university students, master students and doctoral students are our country’s reserve forces for talent in all areas, intellectuals in all areas are able to have an important influence on society, ideology and culture, ideological and political work towards them must be done especially well. The floating population is huge in number, managing them is also relatively difficult, all levels’ urban and rural Party organizations must strengthen coordination and realistically do management and ideological and political work towards them well, they cannot leave blind spots. Laid-off workers and retired personnel, workers from enterprises in difficulties and masses from rural poor regions, meet relatively great and real difficulties in life, their thoughts and emotions easily fluctuate, ideological and political work must be deeply and meticulously conducted towards them especially, in order to maintain social stability. Generally speaking, concrete situations are to be concretely analysed, concrete issues are to be concretely resolved, this is the spirit of Marxism, and the basic requirement of dialectical materialism. The Party’s ideological and political work should also persist in supporting this living spirit, and persist in responding to these basic requirements well.

Third, We must closely integrate the new requirements for developing the Socialist market economy, strive to strengthen Socialist moral education, incessantly raise the ideological and moral quality of the whole body of people. In order to construct Socialism with Chinese characteristics even better under the condition of developing the Socialist market economy, we must establish a suitable Socialist legal system, and must at the same time shape a suitable Socialist ideological and moral system in the entire society. Laws and morals are a component part of the superstructure, and are important means to safeguard social order and standardize people’s thoughts, they are mutually linked and mutually supplementing. The rule of law and its authority, and coercive means standardize the acts of members of society, morals and their persuasiveness, and their advisory power raise the ideological understanding and moral awareness of all members of society. Moral standards and legal standards should be mutually integrated and give rein to a unified function. Some good moral qualities are able to make people self-consciously fight for right against wrong, carry forward the good and punish the bad, this benefits the formation of desirable social atmospheres that pursue the noble and encourage what is advanced, guarantee the healthy development of the Socialist market economy, and stimulate the raising of the quality of the entire nation. Striving to construct a Socialist moral system that corresponds to developing the Socialist market economy, is an utterly important work, and must be put in a prominent position. Socialist morality construction must have Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory as guidance, have serving the people at the core, have collectivism as principle, have loving the motherland, loving the people, loving labour, loving science, and loving Socialism as basic requirements, and have the construction of social public morals, professional ethics and household virtue as stopover point. The entire Party and the entire society must act jointly, and strive to concretize and standardize the above content and requirements, an let it become a standard for action with which the people of the entire country widely identify and that they consciously observe.

Constructing a Socialist moral system is a systemic project, and must persist in correctly handling the relationship between fairness and effect, persist in integrating advance requirements and broad requirements, and persist in the standard of the “Three Benefits”, persist in inheriting and carrying forward the excellent culture and tradition of the nation and vigorously attracting excellent cultural achievements from outside. We must correctly understand and deal with all sorts of relationships of interest, unify and integrate individual interests with collective interests, departmental interests with overall interests,  present interests and long-term interests, and strive to shape a Socialist view of interests that puts the interests of the country and the people first, and fully respects the individual lawful interests of citizens. We must carefully formulate and implement guiding plans for moral construction that are adapted to the requirements of social development, merge the basic requirements of moral concepts into relevant laws and regulations and all concrete policies, merge them into all social management, and at the same time create a good social and public opinion atmosphere, broadly launch mass-type spiritual civilization creation activities, and incessantly promote the shaping and perfection of the Socialist moral system.

Fourth, we must closely integrate the new requirements of social, spiritual and cultural life, strive to explore a set of methods, means, ways and mechanisms that are effective in practice, incessantly raise the inspiration and osmosis of ideological and political work. To strengthen and improve ideological and political work, we must pay attention to methods, means, ways and mechanisms. Persisting in using advanced ideological and scientific theories to educate the masses is a good tradition of our Party, the problem is that we must integrate new realities in operations, and must especially research and explore how to strengthen the influence and persuasiveness of this sort of education, and ensure that the masses are happy in accepting it. Since reform and opening up, the spiritual and cultural lives of our country’s people have seen many new developments. A first one is that, following the incessant improvement of material lives, they have put forward new requirements for their spiritual and cultural lives, their psychological situation, reception capacity and enjoyment levels have changed as well; a second one is that, under conditions of incessant innovation in science and technology, the methods, means and ways for people to receive information and leisure entertainment have changed greatly, some new dissemination media and cultural entertainment venues have attracted large numbers of masses; third is that following the emergence of a great number of economic organization and social organizations, as well as the incessant expansion of and change in quantity, scope and methods of mobility of members of society, the problem that ideological and political work mechanisms are not suited is extremely prominent. Strengthening and improving ideological and political work requires maintenance of good traditions and good methods that were effective in the past, but even more important is that we must incessantly explore mew methods, means, ways and mechanisms suited to new circumstances. It will not do for us to not innovate or to not reform, and simply continue to use the old set of things.

Launching ideological and political work requires our striving to achieve vivacity and vigour, things that the masses love to see and hear, avoid formalism and dogmatism at all cost, and avoid simplification and rigidity. If we do not stress methods and means, if we do not distinguish targets, conditions or occasions, but parrot texts, copy mechanically and apply indiscriminately, use platitudes and clichés, empty and idle talk or chains of conventional phrases, we can absolutely not achieve results. We must especially be on guard against and prevent formalist things. Comrade Mao Zedong has said that formalism persecutes people to death. Engaging in formalism not only deceives ourselves and others, but is a waste of time and resources, it is utterly harmful to the Party’s undertaking. Ideological and political must stress the salutary influence of education, quietly enlivening all things, patience and detail, and unobtrusive influence. Among the popular masses, rich and real educational resources are held in store, attention must be paid to guiding the masses to educate themselves. Good thoughts and good virtues that have been formed and expressed in the practice of the masses, and fresh experiences or good methods that have been created at the grass roots must be timely summarized and propagated. In short, we should adopt realistic and effective methods to broadly propagate the Party’s line, principles and policies, Socialist ideological and moral viewpoints, legal knowledge, advanced scientific and cultural knowledge among the whole society through flexible and varied methods, so that the broad cadres and masses can grasp it.

The development of information technology and especially information network technology has provided modernized means for us to launch ideological and political work, and has expanded the space and channels for ideological and political work. We must give high regard to and fully utilize information network technology to raise the timeliness and effectiveness of ideological and political work, expand its coverage and strengthen influence. The Internet is open, information is disorderly and varied, there are large amounts of progressive, healthy and useful information, but there is also not a little reactionary, superstitious or pornographic content. The Internet has already become a new important battlefield for ideological and political work. Domestic and foreign hostile forces are doing their utmost to use it to vie with our Party and government for the masses and for the youth. We must research it characteristics, and adopt forceful means to respond to this sort of challenge. We must actively launch the attack, strengthen our positive propaganda and influence online. All levels’ leading cadres must pay close attention to and research new trends in information network development, grasp the study of network knowledge, be good at using networks to launch their works, and strive to grasp the initiative in the online struggle.

III, Concerning strengthening the leadership of the Party in ideological and political work

Comrade Mao Zedong pointed out: “Grasping ideological leadership is the first thing in grasping overall leadership.” Comrade Deng Xiaoping stressed: “When we talk about improving Party leadership, the most important matter is strengthening ideological and political work.” These thoughts are extremely important. To grasp Party building, we must first and foremost gasp the Party’s ideological and political construction, because resolving ideological and political issues are the precondition and basis for doing all other work well. This fine tradition and important experience of the Party may not be lost at any time.

The Party’s ideological and political work is essentially the work of the masses, it is the work of propagating to the masses, educating the masses, guiding the masses and raising the masses, because of this, we must persist in marching the path of the masses. All leading cadres must absolutely firmly establish the viewpoint of the masses, do ideological and political work while holding deep emotions towards the masses, conscientiously learn from the popular masses, and serve the masses sincerely and honestly.

Our strengthening and improving of ideological and political work, in the final analysis is to serve the Socialist economic bases. We must prevent and correct the phenomenon of “two skins”, that ideological and political work is separated from economic work, must absolutely closely integrate economic work and all business work and do it together, and bring all work into the real lives of the popular masses’ material production and spiritual productions. Now, thoughts and real problems among the issues have clearly increased, all sorts of contradictions become more prominent every day. We must realistically understand the ideological and interest requirement of the masses, grasp the emotions of the masses and research the changes in the masses’ ideological concepts. We must integrate mass ideological work with assisting the masses in resolving real problems, both stress rationality and solve real issues, both convince people by reasoning and move people’s emotions, let ideological education penetrate into solving real issues, guide the masses to raise their understanding an strengthen the masses’ confidence in the Party and the government through solving real issues. All levels’ party Committees and governments must do more work that gains people’s hearts, warms people’s hearts and stabilizes people’s hearts, and must enthusiastically help masses in difficulty to resolve real problems. Ideological and political work must be done regularly and repeatedly, with perseverance and unremittingly. We cannot wait until something happens, and the emotions of the masses intensify before we do something, “seeking help at the last moment”, is very hard to do well. Ideological and political work greatly involves issues of contradictions among the people. We must deeply analyse the new forms of manifestations, the new characteristics and the new content of contradictions among the people, and guide the people to correctly understand and deal with the relationship between the shared interests of the whole body of people and the special interest of masses in different areas, patiently disambiguate and explain matters, appropriately resolve contradictions among the people, to ensure that our society is full of vitality, and to maintain stability and unity.

Ideological and political work is the work of the entire Party, all Party members and leading cadres must do it. At the same time, a line of ideological and political work teams who are strong in politics, excellent professionally, strictly disciplined and with a correct work style, integrating full-time and half time, must be established. The broad comrades engaging in ideological and political work have worked very hard, their contribution cannot be unrecognized. Advanced personalities and advanced experiences in this field must be commended and propagated. It should be considered that, facing new circumstances, new tasks and new challenges, this line of teams of ours is not yet completely adapted in many areas. All levels’ Party Committees must care for the construction of this line of teams, and especially care for raising the quality of their ideological and political and their work ability.

In the construction of grass-roots ideological and political work teams, we must achieve that organization is implemented, personnel is implemented, responsibilities are clear and systems are complete. We must foster and select a number of middle-age and young comrades with firm politics, complete professional mastery, a solid work style and relatively high cultural levels to substantiate grass-roots ideological and political work departments, optimize political work cadre team structuring. This must become a major matter for us to grasp. All levels’ Party organizations must care for and have consideration for ideological and political work personnel, support their work, actively assist them in solving real issues, strive to create  a fine environment for ideological and political work with glorious posts, major responsibility and social respect. Ideological and political work must have effects, and whether or not the people doing ideological and political work have human dignity and power is very important. The comrades doing ideological and political work are first and foremost all levels’ leading cadres, they must put in more effort in “acting upright” and “talking upright”, and strive to unify the power of human dignity and the power of truth. The Party’s ideological and political work faces the whole society and faces the broad cadres and masses, only relying on a number of people is far from sufficient, the entire Party must set to, implement matters down to the grass roots, and mobilize forces from all sides to conduct joint action. Our Party has more than 63 million Party members, if Party members and cadres can all vigorously and actively do ideological and political work well, our might will grow.

Party Committee secretaries are in charge if ideological and political work and thought work, this is a good tradition of our Party. All levels’ Party Committee secretaries are very busy, and the major matters they must grasp truly are great in number, but under any situation, they cannot relax leadership over ideological and political work and thought work. If they do not give high regard to and cannot do ideological and political work, it is impossible for them to become mature leading cadres. Ideological and political work is one discipline, and all levels’ leading cadres and political work cadres must strive to understand and grasp its basic knowledge and laws. All levels’ Party organizations must realistically bear the responsibility and duty of doing the Party’s ideological and political work. We must establish unified leadership of Party Committees, all Party and Government departments, labour unions, the Communist Youth League, the Women’s Federation and other people’s groups are to all manage matters jointly, are each responsible for their own ideological and political work structure, and must establish and complete ideological and political work responsibility systems.

Large amounts of facts prove that if the ideological and cultural battlefield is not occupied by Marxist and proletariat ideology, all sorts of non-Marxist and non-proletariat ideologies and even anti-Marxist ideologies will occupy it. All ideological and cultural battlefields from top to bottom, including theory, news,  publishing, newspapers, periodicals, novels, poems, music, painting, dance, theatre, film, television, radio, the network, etc., should become battlefields for us to propagate scientific theory, disseminate advanced culture and mould noble spirits, we may absolutely not provide dissemination channels for mistaken viewpoints that violate the Four Cardinal Principles, violate the policy of reform and opening up, or violate the Party’s principles and policies, as well as things that are unhealthy for the physical and mental health of the people and especially young. All social levels, including villages, communities, enterprises, schools, troops and all sorts of people’s organizations, social organizations and other mass education, culture and entertainment venues directly face the masses, their function and influence may not be underestimated, we must absolutely thoroughly manage them well and construct them well. Ideological and cultural work units produce and disseminate spiritual products, and must put social interest in first place, strive to ensure the correct integration of social interest and economic interest. All levels’ Party Committees must strengthen a sense of the battlefield, realistically strengthen their leadership over the ideological and cultural battlefield. Every ideology and culture work unit’s Party organization must earnestly implement the Party’s principles and policies, and State laws and regulations, truly achieve their responsibility to protect their territory. Propaganda, ideology, culture and education departments must organize and guide theory, literature and art workers to go deeply into the masses, incessantly create high-quality spiritual products that stick close to real life, are rich in the flavour of the times, eulogize social programmes.

To see whether or not we are able to grasp the leading power and initiative in the ideological and political sphere, we must first and foremost look at the Party’s own Marxist theory levels and their operational capacity. All levels’ Party and government leading ranks’ first in command, must especially strive to strengthen their own basic training in Marxist theory, raise their political acuity and political power of distinction. Among leading members, attention must be paid to selecting comrades with a relatively solid grounding in basic Marxist theory training, who are well versed in the ideological area. Whatever new situations and new problems exist in fact in the ideological and political area in one’s locality or department, leading cadres must absolutely know how things stand. All levels’ Party Committees and especially main leading cadres must revolve around major issues in the ideological and political sphere, go deep into reality to conduct investigation and research, correctly grasp the state of and trends in social thought, in order to benefit strengthening the focus of work.

Example is better than precept. Whether or not the Party’s ideological and political work can be done well, depends to a large extent on our Party’s own construction and the word and deeds of leading cadres at all levels. The eyes of the masses are bright as snow. What we require the masses to achieve, Party members and cadres must achieve first and foremost. If they say something, they must do something, if the great principles that are talked about demand things of other people, and they do not have a model function, then however good they say it, it is useless. Within our Party, not a few prominent issues exist within the Party in ideological, organizational and work style experts, and especially, the phenomenon of corruption has emerged among some Party members and cadres, which as brought grave damage to the image of the Party, and this has had an utterly evil influence on the masses. If there are many matters like this, and they cannot be timely dealt with, then, the ideological and political work achievements that have been achieved after many years of arduous effort will be greatly influenced in some localities and departments. The Centre puts forward that to govern the Country, first and foremost, it is necessary to govern the Party, governing the Party must be strict, and have an utterly important political significance, the comrades in the entire Party must unwaveringly implement this in their work. Ideological and political work must be implemented to the grass roots, grass roots Party organizations must have cohesion and fighting strength. At present, all levels and all departments have some grass roots Party organizations that are in a weak and fragmented state to different extents, which influences the effective conduct of the Party’s ideological and political work. This issue must be continuously grasped and resolved. The “three stresses” education has already gained clear achievements, the general reflections of cadres and masses are good. This work is the most realistic ideological and political work, and completing it meticulously has an important significance to strengthening Party construction and closely linking the Party and the masses. Everyone must, according to the requirements of the Centre, continue to grasp all work in the “three stresses” education with high standards and strict requirements. We must pay attention to preventing and overcoming self-satisfied slackening in morale, make persistent efforts, strive to obtain even greater effects. In short, the entire Party must unwaveringly strengthen Party building according to the requirements of the “Three Represents”, and carry forward the three great excellent work styles of the Party, continue to strengthen and raise the prestige of the Party among the popular masses, and provide basic guarantees to complete the Party’s ideological and political work.

Here, I’d like to stress another issue. Cadres are the Party’s precious wealth, and must absolutely be cherished utterly. Caring for and cherishing cadres is a good tradition of our Party. We must not only care for cadres’ ideology and work, but must also care for the life of cadres and their physical and mental health. Now, work is all very onerous, and not a few cadres are overloaded in work, some even keep working despite illness. This sort of spirit of selfless struggle for the undertaking of the Party and the people makes one feel gratitude and admiration. The more cadres work and struggle like this, the more all Party organizations must care for and cherish them, and pay attention to their life, health, healthcare and other issues. Whatever issue they have, they must be vigorously and actively helped in resolving it. This issue must be given high regard at all levels’ Party organizations, from the Centre to the localities, a number of necessary measures must be adopted and implemented.

Finally, I hope with all my heart that the cadres in the entire Party have inspired spirits, strong confidence, advance despite difficulties, struggle jointly, and strive to found a new dimension for ideological and political work that is vivid and vigorous, solid and forceful, that spurs a long period of peace and order for the Party and the country.

在中央思想政治工作会议上的讲话
(二〇〇〇年六月二十八日)

在中国共产党成立七十九周年前夕,中央召开思想政治工作会议,具有重要意义。去年九月,中央下发了十七号文件〔1〕,就加强和改进思想政治工作作出了部署。这次会议的目的是,进一步认清党的思想政治工作面临的形势,进一步明确思想政治工作在党和国家全局工作中的地位,进一步总结思想政治工作的经验,提出适应新形势新任务加强和改进思想政治工作的要求和措施,动员全党把思想政治工作做得更加有声有色、切实有效。
党的思想政治工作,是经济工作和其他一切工作的生命线,是团结全党全国各族人民实现党和国家各项任务的中心环节,是我们党和社会主义国家的重要政治优势。思想政治工作的这种重要地位,是由我们党的性质和宗旨决定的,已被党的全部历史和全部经验所证明。我们的改革开放和现代化建设,是亿万人民群众自己的事业。人民群众的理想信念、精神状态和人心所向,最终决定建设有中国特色社会主义事业的成败。这些年,中央反复强调,越是发展经济,越是改革开放,越要重视思想政治工作,根本道理就在这里。新形势新任务,以及思想政治工作的现实状况,要求我们必须大力加强和改进党的思想政治工作。这是保证我们党始终做到代表中国先进生产力的发展要求、代表中国先进文化的前进方向、代表中国最广大人民的根本利益的必然要求。加强和改进党的思想政治工作,必须全面贯彻落实“三个代表”要求。这是党团结和带领人民建设有中国特色社会主义的长期战略方针。

一、关于思想政治工作面临的新形势新情况

改革开放以来,党的思想政治工作联系贯彻落实党的基本理论和基本路线、推进建设有中国特色社会主义的实践,取得了新的成绩,积累了新的经验,也经受了新的考验。我们坚持用马克思列宁主义、毛泽东思想特别是邓小平理论武装全党,教育干部和人民;坚持正确的舆论导向,深入进行爱国主义、集体主义、社会主义和艰苦创业精神的教育;广泛开展群众性精神文明创建活动,宣传一大批体现时代精神的先进典型;努力丰富人们的精神文化生活,用优秀的作品激励人民群众;把思想教育同解决人民群众关心的实际问题结合起来,密切党同群众的联系,广泛调动全国各族人民建设有中国特色社会主义的积极性。
总的说来,这二十多年特别是党的十四大以来的思想政治工作,为促进改革发展稳定,为夺取现代化建设的胜利,提供了强大精神动力和重要政治保证。同时,也应该指出,在思想政治工作方面,我们也有过教训,一段时间内曾经发生过邓小平同志批评的抓经济建设一手比较硬、抓思想政治建设一手比较软的现象。对新时期思想政治工作如何加强和改进,缺乏深入的研究和有效的手段。总结正反两方面的经验,全党同志一定要深刻认识到,在新的历史时期,党的思想政治工作必须从不断变化的实际出发大力加强和改进,而不可有丝毫放松和削弱。
现在有一种反映,就是面对国际国内的新情况新问题,要真正把一些道理向干部群众讲清楚,不那么容易;干部群众接受的信息很丰富也很庞杂,思想十分活跃,要真正把他们的思想统一起来,也不那么容易。对这个问题,首先要从总体上来把握。党的思想政治工作,从根本上说就是做人的工作,做群众的工作,涉及人们的思想、观念、意识等领域,也就是人们的精神生活。马克思指出:“物质生活的生产方式制约着整个社会生活、政治生活和精神生活的过程。不是人们的意识决定人们的存在,相反,是人们的社会存在决定人们的意识。”〔2〕要做好新时期的思想政治工作,必须从国际和国内、历史和现实的角度,深刻分析新形势下对广大干部群众的思想活动发生作用的客观环境及其基本特点,正确审视和解决那些影响干部群众思想活动的重大理论问题和实际问题。这方面的问题认识清楚了,处理好了,我们进行新时期的思想政治工作就有了一个根本的比较切合实际的基础。
这里,我想提出几个需要全党同志共同深入研究,从思想上、政治上进一步取得科学认识并作出正确回答的大问题,请大家一起来思考。
第一个问题,关于如何认识社会主义发展的历史进程。马克思主义诞生已有一百五十多年了,建立第一个社会主义国家的十月革命至今有八十多年了,我国社会主义制度的全面确立也有四十多年了。应该说,在这一百五十多年的时间里,社会主义的理论和实践在探索、保证全体人民的政治平等和当家作主,消灭人剥削人的制度,消除两极分化、贫富悬殊,建设新型的思想道德文化等方面,取得了巨大的进步,也积累了丰富的经验。实践证明,社会主义是指引世界上处于剥削制度压迫之下的无产阶级和劳动人民改变自己命运、获得社会解放、建设幸福生活的正确道路。新中国成立以来特别是改革开放以来,我国社会主义建设取得了举世瞩目的伟大成就,综合国力明显增强,人民生活水平不断提高。社会主义在中国蓬勃发展,显示出强大的生命力和创造力。广大人民群众衷心拥护建设有中国特色社会主义事业。这为我们做好思想政治工作奠定了坚实的基础。
然而,也要清醒地看到,从世界历史进程看,社会主义的历史还是短暂的,总的说来还处在实践和发展的初期。还要看到,十月革命以来先后诞生的社会主义国家,基本上都是原来经济、政治、文化落后的国家。彻底改变这种落后的面貌,在建立社会主义基本制度以后需要经历一个漫长的发展过程,其前进途中也不可避免地会遇到许多难以预料和想象的困难和风险,不会是一帆风顺的。邓小平同志说,巩固和发展社会主义制度,还需要一个很长的历史阶段,需要我们几代人、十几代人,甚至几十代人坚持不懈地努力奋斗。他充分估计到了建设和发展社会主义事业的长期性和艰巨性。由于社会主义是一种崭新的社会制度,没有现成的经验可以遵循,对于什么是社会主义、怎样建设社会主义,就需要不断实践、认识、再实践、再认识,在这个过程中就可能发生这样那样的失误以至挫折。
东欧剧变、苏联解体,是世界社会主义遭受的巨大挫折。为什么苏联这样一个发展了七十多年的社会主义国家还会解体呢?一些善良的人们产生了疑问和困惑,对世界社会主义的前途也存在这样那样的忧虑,甚至在我们一些党员、干部中也程度不同地产生了“信仰危机”。这是客观存在,我们不承认、不正视不行。
认真总结苏联解体、东欧剧变的教训,以及我们发生“文化大革命”这样严重曲折的教训,深刻分析它们的原因,可以得出两条结论。一是必须坚持社会主义。西方敌对势力断言社会主义、马克思主义要从世界上灭亡了,这只是他们的梦呓。二是必须进行社会主义改革,探索符合本国实际的社会主义发展道路。实践证明,中国社会主义不仅继续存在,而且通过改革发展得更好了。我们要根据这样的基本认识,来引导广大党员、干部和群众正确理解社会发展的客观规律和社会主义事业的长期性和艰巨性,坚定走建设有中国特色社会主义道路的决心和信心。这是我们党的理论研究和思想政治建设面临并必须解决的一个重大课题。
第二个问题,关于如何认识资本主义发展的历史进程。资本主义的发展,从英国资产阶级革命算起,已有三百六十年的历史了。很多人感到不好解释的一个问题是:马克思、恩格斯早在《共产党宣言》中就宣告,由于资本主义生产的社会化和资本主义私人占有形式这个基本矛盾的运动,资本主义必然灭亡,共产主义必然胜利。列宁在本世纪初期曾经提出,进入帝国主义阶段的资本主义,是垄断的、腐朽的、垂死的资本主义。现在,资本主义不仅没有在世界上消失,而且发达资本主义国家在生产力和科学技术等方面还有新的很大发展。
目前,从经济、科技发展和物质文化生活水平来看,发达资本主义国家比我们这样的发展中社会主义国家要高得多。这也是客观存在,我们不承认、不正视也不行。这种现象的存在,是不是说马克思主义揭示的人类社会发展的基本规律就不成立了呢?当然不是。一八五九年,马克思在《〈政治经济学批判〉序言》中指出:“无论哪一个社会形态,在它所能容纳的全部生产力发挥出来以前,是决不会灭亡的;而新的更高的生产关系,在它的物质存在条件在旧社会的胎胞里成熟以前,是决不会出现的。”当今世界,资本主义制度所固有的基本矛盾依然存在,并没有因为西方国家经济、科技的发展而有本质的改变。但是,自从社会主义这个资本主义的对立面在世界上出现,并且显示出巨大的优越性,西方资本主义国家一方面千方百计同社会主义进行斗争,这种斗争尽管形式不断变换,但从未停止过;另一方面,他们为了维护资本主义制度的生存和发展,对资本主义生产关系的某些环节和资本主义经济社会的运行、管理机制作了不少自我调节、改良和改善,包括借鉴社会主义的一些做法,从而使得资本主义生产关系不仅能够容纳现实的生产力,而且生产力还在发展,资本主义统治下的阶级矛盾和社会矛盾也有一定程度的缓和。
具体说来,进入二十世纪特别是第二次世界大战以后,在资本主义制度允许的范围内,他们在税收、福利政策、企业组织结构以及加强国家对经济的干预等方面采取了不少措施,调节并在一定程度上缓解了生产资料私人占有对生产力发展的制约。特别是他们吸收和利用当代科学技术发展的最新成果,为资本主义社会的生产力发展提供了新的空间。还要看到,在旧的国际经济秩序继续存在、新的国际经济秩序还没有建立的条件下,西方发达资本主义国家利用其经济、科技甚至军事优势,在世界市场上获得了巨大利润,这也是他们继续发展的重要条件。
这几年以来,我一直引用恩格斯在《一八九一年社会民主党纲领草案批判》一文中所表达的观点。恩格斯说:“由股份公司经营的资本主义生产,已经不再是私人生产,而是由许多人联合负责的生产。如果我们从股份公司进而来看那支配着和垄断着整个工业部门的托拉斯,那么,那里不仅没有了私人生产,而且也没有了无计划性。”这就是说,资本主义在自身发展中是会出现变化的,我们应该正确认识并从理论上说明这些变化。西方资本主义国家进行的自我改良和改善,并没有触动资本主义统治的根基,并没有改变资本主义制度的性质,也没有改变马克思主义关于资本主义的基本原理的真理性。西方国家大力发展新经济,加速推动经济全球化,造成了西方国家的财富不断增加,但这些财富越来越集中在少数人手里,这就不可避免地会加剧资本主义的基本矛盾。但是,也应该看到,西方国家也在采取一些措施和手段来限制过高收入和过度垄断。
任何事物的产生和发展,都有其规律性,不论其发展的具体进程如何,最终都不可能摆脱客观规律。但是,客观规律指向的历史结局,从总体上来说在其整个演化过程终结之前是不可能提前出现的,任何客观规律都是在历史的具体演进中逐渐地、愈来愈深刻地发生作用的。我们应该坚持马克思主义基本原理,注重从理论和实践、历史和现实的广泛结合上,引导广大干部群众正确认识当代资本主义的历史进程。要使大家认识为什么只有社会主义才能救中国、只有社会主义才能发展中国。一方面,绝不能因为资本主义社会在具体演进中产生的一些繁荣现象而否认马克思主义的基本原理和科学论断。另一方面,要加强对当代资本主义自我调节和发展的研究,作出有说服力的理论分析,进一步丰富和发展马克思主义理论。 第三个问题,关于如何认识我国社会主义改革实践过程对人们思想的影响。党的十一届三中全会以来,我们实行改革开放,发展社会主义市场经济,推进两个根本性转变,进一步解放和发展我国社会主义社会的生产力,这场深刻的社会变革,必然会引起人们精神世界的深刻变化。
这一点,我们党在改革开放初期就估计到了。改革开放和现代化建设,带来了经济的快速发展和社会的巨大进步,增强了人们的竞争意识、效率意识、民主法制意识、开拓创新精神,为我们做好思想政治工作创造了更好的物质条件和精神条件。同时,由于社会经济成分、组织形式、就业方式、利益关系和分配方式日益多样化,人们思想活动的独立性、选择性、多变性、差异性明显增加;市场经济活动存在的弱点及其带来的消极影响,反映到人们的思想意识和人与人关系上来,容易诱发自由主义、分散主义和拜金主义、享乐主义、利己主义;人民内部矛盾的内容和表现形式也出现了许多新的情况。我们实行对外开放,有利于人们开阔眼界、增加见识、活跃思想,但国外资产阶级腐朽思想文化也会乘机而入。我国社会长期存在的封建主义残余思想包括封建迷信和愚昧落后的思想观念,在新的历史条件下也会沉渣泛起。社会存在发生的变化,反映到人们的头脑中来,必然引起思想意识的相应变化。
在我们进行改革的过程中,人们思想活跃,各种观念大量涌现,正确的思想和错误的思想相互交织,进步的观念和落后的观念相互影响,这是难以避免的。党的思想政治工作的一项重要任务,就是要引导干部群众分清主流和支流、分清正确和谬误。在当代中国,以马克思主义为指导的正确的进步的思想观念是整个社会思想的主流,这是毫无疑义的。而违反马克思主义的错误的落后的思想观念,尽管是支流,也必须认真对待。如果任其发展,就会造成极大的社会危害。有些错误思潮的滋生蔓延,往往就是始于我们对支流的忽视,最后不得不用很大气力去解决。这方面的教训不可忘记。越是变革时期,越要警惕各种错误思想观念的发生及其给人们带来的消极影响,我们党的思想政治工作越要加强和改进。
第四个问题,关于如何认识当今的国际环境和国际政治斗争带来的影响。世界正在朝着多极化方向发展,经济全球化进程也正在加快,世界科学技术进步更是日新月异。在这种情况下,各种思潮相互交错、相互激荡。这必然会对我国的思想领域、对我们干部群众的思想意识产生影响。这种影响有积极的一面,也有消极的一面。
需要指出的是,从十月革命以来,西方国家就一直不遗余力地对社会主义国家发动各种攻势,其中很重要的就是进行意识形态渗透。东欧剧变、苏联解体,就与西方国家长期进行的意识形态渗透有密切关系。现在,中国是世界上最大的社会主义国家,正在不断发展、日益富强。西方敌对势力加紧以各种手段和方式对我国施行西化、分化的政治战略,企图颠覆中国共产党的领导和中国的社会主义制度。他们的这种政治图谋是绝不会改变的。这些年来,他们不断利用所谓“人权”、“民主”、“自由”、“民族”、“宗教”问题和达赖〔3〕、台湾问题等向我们发难。他们还与流亡在外的所谓“民运”分子和我国境内的敌对分子相勾结,企图联手行动。我们同国内外各种敌对势力在渗透和反渗透、颠覆和反颠覆上的斗争将是长期的、复杂的。这是阶级斗争在我国一定范围内仍然并将长期存在的主要表现。
我们纠正过去一度发生的“以阶级斗争为纲”的错误是完全正确的,但这不等于阶级斗争已不存在了。只要阶级斗争还在一定范围内存在,我们就不能丢弃马克思主义的阶级和阶级分析的观点和方法。这种观点和方法始终是我们观察社会主义同各种敌对势力斗争的复杂政治现象的一把钥匙。在坚持改革开放、加强对外经济文化交流的同时,要十分注意警惕和防范敌对势力的渗透、颠覆活动。这也是我们在新时期加强党的思想政治工作需要深入研究的重要课题。
世界正在发生深刻变化,中国正在进行完善和发展社会主义制度的自我变革。党的思想政治工作面临的形势更复杂了,任务更繁重了,工作更艰巨了。党的思想政治工作绝不是可有可无、无所作为,而是必不可少、大有可为。实践告诉我们,思想政治工作做好了,我们的事业就能更好地发展。在一九九八年抗洪抢险、一九九九年反对以美国为首的北约轰炸我国驻南联盟大使馆〔4〕、反对台湾当局领导人分裂祖国的所谓“两国论”〔5〕、反对“法轮功”邪教组织等斗争中,人民群众都表现出了极高的政治热情和爱国主义精神,形成了强大的声势。反之,如果思想政治工作软弱,抓得不紧,错误思潮泛滥,人们的思想乱了,人心散了,就会产生严重后果。一九八九年那场政治风波的发生就是一个深刻教训。必须清醒地认识到,由于国际国内的复杂因素,我们在思想政治领域有大量工作要做,我国思想政治领域的矛盾和斗争是长期的、复杂的,在一定条件下甚至会是十分尖锐的。因此,思想政治工作在党的全部工作中的地位不能变,各级党组织坚持不懈地抓思想政治工作的任务不能变,不断提高思想政治工作的质量和水平的要求不能变。
党的思想政治工作所以成为经济工作和其他一切工作的生命线,这是由它的职能和作用决定的。只有充分发挥党的思想政治工作这一政治优势,才能保证经济工作和其他一切工作的正确发展方向,才能保证党的路线方针政策落实到各项工作和群众中去,才能及时排除和战胜各种错误东西的干扰,才能巩固和发展全国各族人民共同奋斗的思想政治基础,从而为经济工作和其他一切工作提供强大的动力和保证。对思想政治工作的这种重要作用和重要地位,全党同志特别是各级领导干部必须充分认识。

二、关于加强和改进党的思想政治工作

一九八三年,邓小平同志就提醒全党:“在工作重心转到经济建设以后,全党要研究如何适应新的条件,加强党的思想工作,防止埋头经济工作、忽视思想工作的倾向。”〔6〕我们是辩证唯物主义者,既承认生产力在社会发展中的最终决定作用,毫不动摇地坚持以经济建设为中心,各项工作都要服从和服务于这个中心,无论遇到什么情况都不能动摇和影响这个中心;同时又充分肯定和重视精神对物质、社会意识对社会存在、上层建筑对经济基础、政治对经济的反作用。我们决不能重复过去搞“思想工作万能”、“政治冲击一切”那套思维方式和工作方法,但也决不能把生产力对社会发展起最终决定作用的原理简单化、绝对化、庸俗化。我们要辩证地看待和处理一手抓经济工作、一手抓思想政治工作的相互关系,把两者统一于人民群众认识世界和改造世界、推进改革开放和现代化建设的伟大实践中去,既实现经济持续发展,又实现社会全面进步。
有中国特色社会主义,是物质文明和精神文明协调发展,经济、政治、文化全面推进的社会主义。党的思想政治工作的任务是:以科学的理论武装人,以正确的舆论引导人,以高尚的精神塑造人,以优秀的作品鼓舞人,不断提高全民族的思想道德素质和科学文化素质,努力培养造就有理想、有道德、有文化、有纪律的社会主义公民;发展新型的人际关系,创造良好的社会风尚,充分发挥人民群众的积极性、主动性、创造性,保证党的路线方针政策和国家的法律法规的贯彻执行,保证改革开放和现代化建设的顺利进行。
面对新形势新情况,要完成上述任务,我们的思想政治工作在继承和发扬优良传统的基础上,必须在内容、形式、方式、方法、手段、机制等方面努力进行创新和改进,特别要在增强时代感和加强针对性、实效性、主动性上下功夫。这要成为我们今后加强和改进思想政治工作的重点。这里,我强调四点。
第一,要紧密结合我国社会主义改革和建设、国际形势发展变化的新实际,加强对马克思主义的研究和宣传,不断增强马克思主义理论的说服力和战斗力。加强和改进思想政治工作,最根本的是坚持和巩固马克思主义在我国意识形态领域的指导地位。这是保证全党全国人民加强团结、始终沿着正确方向前进的根本思想基础。只有坚持以马克思主义为指导,才能正确制定和宣传贯彻党的路线方针政策,才能发展先进思想、克服落后思想。如果放弃马克思主义的指导地位,在指导思想上搞多元化,势必导致人心大乱、天下大乱,给党和国家带来灾难。这是绝不允许的。任何一个社会的思想领域,总是由那个社会的统治阶级的思想占统治地位的。任何一个国家的统治阶级,为了巩固其政治统治,都要竭力维护和发展其占统治地位的意识形态。西方国家从来就不允许马克思主义在他们的意识形态中居于指导地位。西方国家都有一套系统的方法和手段,来对他们的官员、学生、群众、军队灌输资本主义的思想、价值观和政治信条。在这个问题上,他们也是抓得很紧的。
我们坚持马克思主义的指导地位,要特别注意从两个方面加强工作:一是及时总结党和人民在实践中创造的新经验和获得的新认识,有力地回答现实生活提出的、干部群众关心的重大思想理论问题;二是善于运用马克思主义观点同各种错误观点进行积极斗争,帮助广大干部群众树立和坚定正确的思想理论认识。
坚持马克思主义的指导地位,最基础的工作是用马克思列宁主义、毛泽东思想、邓小平理论武装全党,教育人民。要使这种理论武装工作富有成效,必须大力弘扬理论联系实际的学风,敢于和善于分析、回答现实生活中和群众思想上迫切需要解决的问题。理论只有联系实际,正确回答和指导解决实际问题,才能发挥自己的威力和真正掌握群众。马克思主义具有强大生命力的奥秘,就在于它具有与时俱进的理论品质。马克思、恩格斯、列宁和毛泽东同志、邓小平同志,从来都不把理论研究当作书斋里的学问,总是紧密结合现实斗争的需要,努力回答实践不断提出的重大理论问题,从而不断丰富和发展理论。如果把马克思主义变成了一成不变和干巴巴的教条,变成了简单的说教,脱离了群众活生生的实践,那就不会有说服力,也就会丧失生命力。我们必须坚持马克思主义的基本原理和科学精神,坚持解放思想、实事求是,坚持以马克思列宁主义、毛泽东思想、邓小平理论为指导,努力对当前亟需进行理论引导或说明的突出问题,作出科学的、有说服力的、符合实际的解释和说明,充分发挥理论在思想政治工作中的基础性作用。
坚持马克思主义的指导地位,必须坚持唱响主旋律、打好主动仗,科学生动地宣传马克思主义,引导干部群众不断克服和抵制错误、落后、腐朽的思想文化的影响和侵蚀。马克思主义的真理,是在同各种谬误的斗争中确立、发展起来和不断深入人心的。这些年来,社会上一些与马克思主义、社会主义相违背的思想言论时有出现:有的公开鼓吹“全盘西化”,在政治上主张西方式的多党制和议会民主,在经济上主张私有化,在思想文化上主张取消马克思主义的指导地位,在价值观上主张极端个人主义;有的歪曲党和人民的奋斗历史,诋毁马克思主义,煽动对党和政府的不满;有的不负责任,生产格调低下、宣扬色情暴力、迷信颓废的影视作品和书刊;有的对改革开放持怀疑和否定的态度;等等。我们国家这么大,出现这类问题是很难完全避免的。但是,有些问题一再发生,明知故犯,这就需要引起我们高度警觉了。在事关政治方向和根本原则的问题上,我们一定要旗帜鲜明,理直气壮,毫不含糊。对于违反以经济建设为中心、违反四项基本原则、违反改革开放政策的错误思想政治观点,对于反马克思主义的挑战和攻击,必须进行积极的思想斗争,不能听之任之。如果面对错误的思想政治观点,不闻不问,不批评,不斗争,听任它们去搞乱人们的思想、搞乱我们的意识形态,那是极其危险的,势必危害整个国家和社会的安定团结。全党同志特别是党的高级干部和一切从事党的思想政治工作、从事马克思主义研究和宣传的同志,都要牢记这一点。当然,在对错误思想的批评和斗争中,一定要注意充分摆事实、讲道理,以利教育和团结群众。对思想政治领域的问题,要坚持中央确定的原则,头脑清醒,冷静观察,掌握动态,心中有数,审时度势,慎重处理。要加强正面引导,正确区分政治是非和学术问题。对学术问题,要坚持百花齐放、百家争鸣的方针,平等讨论,相互切磋。
第二,要紧密结合干部群众在思想认识和工作生活中产生的新问题,突出加强理想信念教育,不断增强全体人民的凝聚力。理想信念教育,是党的思想政治工作的核心内容。只有在全党同志和全体人民中牢固确立正确的理想信念,才能不断增加凝聚力和战斗力,我们的事业才能不断取得成功。理想信念教育,必须紧密结合干部群众的思想实际,有的放矢,对症下药,不能照本宣科,空喊口号。比如,现在有的人对马克思主义科学真理产生了某种疑惑,对社会主义经过长期发展最终必然战胜资本主义的信念产生了动摇,对建设有中国特色社会主义事业缺乏信心,思想空虚,精神萎靡;有的人沉湎于花天酒地或到封建迷信活动中去寻找精神寄托;有的人在各种诱惑面前随波逐流,极少数党员、干部由于背离正确的理想信念堕落为腐败分子。加强理想信念教育,就要针对这些问题来进行,认真分析产生这些问题的原因,深入细致地开展工作。
要坚持从实际出发,把先进性要求和广泛性要求有机结合起来。最根本的,就是要坚持进行爱国主义、集体主义、社会主义教育,动员全国各族人民为建设有中国特色社会主义事业,为把我国建设成为富强民主文明的社会主义现代化国家而共同奋斗。要使广大人民群众正确认识国家和自己的根本利益,树立正确的世界观、人生观、价值观,把个人的理想融入全体人民的共同理想当中,把个人的奋斗融入为祖国社会主义现代化建设的奋斗当中,坚定对建设有中国特色社会主义的信念、对改革开放和现代化建设的信心、对党和政府的信任。要积极倡导一切有利于国家统一、民族团结、经济发展、社会进步的思想道德。要在全社会加强科学知识、科学方法、科学思想、科学精神的宣传教育,帮助和引导人们划清唯物论和唯心论、无神论和有神论、科学和迷信、文明和愚昧的界限,增强识别和抵制各种唯心主义、封建迷信及伪科学的能力。青少年是我们事业的未来和希望,尤其要抓好对他们的理想信念教育。一切共产党员、共青团员,都要努力学习和掌握马克思主义的立场、观点、方法,树立共产主义的崇高理想。同时,也要认识到,共产主义的最终实现,要经过十分漫长的历史发展过程,重要的是脚踏实地干好我们现在正在建设的有中国特色社会主义事业。在这个问题上必须实事求是,不可做不切实际的宣传。
开展思想政治工作,要注意因地制宜,因人制宜,因事制宜,因时制宜。不同地区、不同部门、不同领域的干部群众,所处的环境、承担的任务、面临的问题不同,其思想活动的特点和要求也会有不同。工人、农民、知识分子、干部、军人、离退休人员等都有自己的特点,千篇一律地做工作,是不会取得好效果的。做工作一定要把握这些特点和要求,有针对性地进行。比如,对经济发展较快、已经达到小康水平的地区,应该大力在干部群众中开展致富思源、富而思进的教育,激励他们更上一层楼;对经济还不发达、生活条件比较艰苦的地区,就要大力在干部群众中开展自力更生、艰苦奋斗的教育,激励他们通过辛勤劳动尽快脱贫致富。广大工人、农民、知识分子、干部是建设社会主义事业的基本力量,思想政治工作必须全面做好。特别是在我们实施重大改革决策时,要进行广泛的宣传和细致的思想工作,以取得群众的理解和支持。要注意经常对干部群众进行形势教育,使他们对现在的政治、经济、社会形势有正确全面的了解。干部特别是高级干部对社会影响大,大学生、硕士生、博士生是国家各方面人才的后备力量,各个领域的知识分子对社会思想文化能够产生重要影响,对他们的思想政治工作尤其要重点做好。流动人口为数庞大,管理起来也比较困难,城市和农村的各级党组织要加强协调,切实做好对他们的管理和思想政治工作,不能留下盲点。下岗职工和离退休人员,困难企业的职工,农村贫困地区的群众,他们在生活上遇到的实际困难比较大,思想情绪容易波动,对他们尤其要深入细致地做好思想政治工作,以确保社会稳定。总之,具体情况具体分析,具体问题具体解决,这是马克思主义活的灵魂,是唯物辩证法的基本要求。党的思想政治工作也应该坚持运用好这个活的灵魂,坚持贯彻好这个基本要求。
第三,要紧密结合发展社会主义市场经济的新要求,努力加强社会主义道德教育,不断提高全体人民的思想道德素质。为了在发展社会主义市场经济的条件下更好地建设有中国特色社会主义,我们必须建立与之相适应的社会主义法律体系,同时也必须在全社会形成与之相适应的社会主义思想道德体系。法律和道德作为上层建筑的组成部分,都是维护社会秩序、规范人们思想和行为的重要手段,它们相互联系、相互补充。法治以其权威性和强制手段规范社会成员的行为,德治以其说服力和劝导力提高社会成员的思想认识和道德觉悟。道德规范和法律规范应该相互结合,统一发挥作用。有了良好的道德素质,就能够使人们自觉地扶正祛邪、扬善惩恶,就有利于形成追求高尚、激励先进的良好社会风气,保证社会主义市场经济的健康发展,促进整个民族素质的提高。努力建设与发展社会主义市场经济相适应的社会主义道德体系,是一项十分重要的工作,必须放在突出位置来抓。社会主义道德建设要以马克思列宁主义、毛泽东思想、邓小平理论为指导,以为人民服务为核心,以集体主义为原则,以爱祖国、爱人民、爱劳动、爱科学、爱社会主义为基本要求,以社会公德、职业道德和家庭美德的建设为落脚点。全党全社会要共同行动,努力把上述内容和要求具体化、规范化,使之成为全国人民普遍认同和自觉遵守的行为规范。
建设社会主义道德体系是一个系统工程,必须坚持正确处理公平和效率的关系,坚持先进性要求和广泛性要求相结合,坚持“三个有利于”〔7〕标准,坚持继承和发扬民族优秀文化传统并积极吸收外来优秀文化成果。要正确认识和处理各种利益关系,把个人利益与集体利益、局部利益与整体利益、当前利益与长远利益正确地统一和结合起来,努力形成把国家和人民的利益放在首位而又充分尊重公民个人合法利益的社会主义义利观。要周密制定和实行适应社会发展要求的道德建设指导规划,把基本道德观念的要求融于有关法律法规和各项具体政策中、融于社会的各项管理中,同时营造良好的社会舆论氛围,广泛开展群众性精神文明创建活动,不断推动社会主义道德体系的形成和完善。
第四,要紧密结合社会精神文化生活的新发展,努力探索出一套行之有效的方式、方法、手段、机制,不断提高思想政治工作的感召力和渗透力。加强和改进思想政治工作,必须讲求方式、方法、手段、机制。坚持用先进思想和科学理论对群众进行教育,是我们党的一个好传统,问题在于要结合新的实际加以运用,特别要研究和探索如何增强这种教育的吸引力和说服力,使群众乐于接受。改革开放以来,我国人民的精神文化生活有了许多新的发展。一是随着物质生活的不断改善,他们对精神文化生活提出了新的要求,他们的心理状况、接受能力、欣赏水平也发生了变化;二是在科学技术不断创新的条件下,人们接受信息、休闲娱乐的方式、方法、手段发生了很大变化,一些新的传播媒体和文化娱乐场所吸引了大量群众;三是随着大量新的经济组织、社会组织的出现,以及社会成员流动的数量、范围、方式的不断扩大和变化,思想政治工作机制不适应的问题十分突出。加强和改进思想政治工作,过去行之有效的好传统、好办法要坚持,更重要的是要适应新情况不断探索新的方式、方法、手段、机制。不创新、不改进,简单地沿用过去老一套的东西是不行的。
开展思想政治工作,要力求做到生动活泼、群众喜闻乐见,切忌形式主义、教条主义,切忌简单生硬。不讲究方式、方法,不分对象、条件、场合,照本宣科,生搬硬套,老生常谈,空话套话连篇,绝对不会有成效。要特别警惕和防止形式主义的东西。毛泽东同志说过,形式主义害死人。搞形式主义,不仅是自欺欺人,而且劳民伤财,对党的事业是十分有害的。思想工作必须讲求春风化雨,润物无声,耐心细致,潜移默化。人民群众中蕴藏着丰富而实际的教育资源,要注意引导群众自己教育自己。对群众在实践中形成和表现出来的好思想、好品德,对基层创造的新鲜经验和好的做法,要及时总结推广。总之,我们应该采用切实有效的方式,通过灵活多样的手段,把党的路线方针政策、社会主义的思想道德观念和法律知识、先进的科学文化知识,广泛地传播到全社会,为广大干部群众所掌握。
信息技术特别是信息网络技术的发展,为我们开展思想政治工作提供了现代化手段,拓展了思想政治工作的空间和渠道。要重视和充分运用信息网络技术,使思想政治工作提高时效性、扩大覆盖面、增强影响力。互联网是开放的,信息庞杂多样,既有大量进步、健康、有益的信息,也有不少反动、迷信、黄色的内容。互联网已经成为思想政治工作一个新的重要阵地。国内外敌对势力正竭力利用它同我们党和政府争夺群众、争夺青年。我们要研究其特点,采取有力措施应对这种挑战。要主动出击,增强我们在网上的正面宣传和影响力。各级领导干部要密切关注和研究信息网络发展的新动向,抓紧学习网络知识,善于利用网络开展工作,努力掌握网上斗争的主动权。

三、关于加强党对思想政治工作的领导

毛泽东同志指出:“掌握思想领导是掌握一切领导的第一位。”〔8〕邓小平同志强调:“我们说改善党的领导,其中最主要的,就是加强思想政治工作。”〔9〕这些思想极为重要。抓党的建设,首先要抓好党的思想政治建设,因为解决思想政治问题是做好其他各项工作的前提和基础。党的这个优良传统和重要经验,任何时候都不能丢。
党的思想政治工作本质上是群众工作,是宣传群众、教育群众、引导群众、提高群众的工作,因此必须坚持走群众路线。各级领导干部一定要牢固树立群众观点,带着对人民群众的深厚感情去做思想政治工作,老老实实向人民群众学习,诚心诚意为人民群众服务。
我们加强和改进思想政治工作,归根到底是为社会主义经济基础服务的。要防止和纠正思想政治工作与经济工作脱节的“两张皮”现象,一定要紧密结合经济工作和各项业务工作一道去做,把工作做到人民群众物质生产和精神生产的实际活动中去。现在,群众中的思想和实际问题明显增多,各种矛盾日益突出。我们必须切实了解群众的思想和利益要求,掌握群众情绪,研究群众思想观念的变化。要把做群众思想工作与帮助群众解决实际问题结合起来,既讲道理又办实事,既以理服人又以情感人,在办实事中贯穿思想教育,通过解决现实问题引导群众提高精神境界、增强群众对党和政府的信任。各级党委和政府都要多做得人心、暖人心、稳人心的工作,都要满腔热情地帮助有困难的群众解决实际问题。思想政治工作必须经常做、反复做,持之以恒,坚持不懈。不能等到出了事、群众情绪激化了才去做,“临时抱佛脚”,那是很难做好的。思想政治工作大量涉及的是人民内部矛盾问题。要深入分析人民内部矛盾的新内容新特点和新的表现形式,引导群众正确认识和处理全体人民的共同利益和不同方面群众的特殊利益的关系,耐心细致地解疑释惑,妥善解决人民内部矛盾,使我们的社会既充满活力、又保持安定团结。
思想政治工作是全党的工作,所有党员和领导干部都要做。同时,又必须建设一支政治强、业务精、纪律严、作风正的专兼结合的思想政治工作队伍。广大从事思想政治工作的同志付出了辛勤劳动,功不可没。对这方面的先进人物和先进经验,要予以表扬和宣传。应该看到,面对新形势、新任务、新挑战,我们这支队伍在许多方面还不完全适应。各级党委要关心这支队伍的建设,尤其要关心他们思想政治素质和工作能力的提高。
基层思想政治工作队伍建设,要做到组织落实、人员落实、责任明确、制度健全。要培养选拔一些政治坚定、业务过硬、作风扎实、有较高文化水平的中青年同志,充实基层思想政治工作部门,优化政工干部队伍结构。这要作为一件大事抓紧去做。各级党组织要关心和体贴基层思想政治工作人员,支持他们的工作,主动帮助他们解决实际问题,努力创造思想政治工作岗位光荣、责任重大、社会尊重的良好氛围。思想政治工作要有成效,做思想政治工作的人有没有人格力量很重要。做思想政治工作的同志首先是各级领导干部,要在“立行”和“立言”上多下功夫,努力把人格的力量和真理的力量统一起来。党的思想政治工作,面向全社会,面向广大干部群众,靠一部分人来做是远远不够的,必须全党动手,落实到基层,发动各方面力量共同来做。我们党拥有六千三百多万党员,党员、干部都能积极主动地做思想政治工作,那威力就大了。
党委书记主管思想政治和意识形态工作,这是我们党的一个好传统。各级党委书记都很忙,需要抓的大事确实不少,但是任何情况下都不能放松对思想政治和意识形态工作的领导。不重视、不会做思想政治工作,不可能成为成熟的领导干部。思想政治工作是一门科学,各级领导干部和政工干部都要努力认识和掌握它的基本知识和规律。党的各级组织都要切实承担起做党的思想政治工作的职责。要建立党委统一领导,党政各部门和工会、共青团、妇联等人民团体齐抓共管、各负其责的思想政治工作体制,建立健全思想政治工作责任制。
大量事实证明,思想文化阵地,马克思主义、无产阶级的思想不去占领,各种非马克思主义、非无产阶级的思想甚至反马克思主义的思想就会去占领。从上到下的一切思想文化阵地,包括理论、新闻、出版、报刊、小说、诗歌、音乐、绘画、舞蹈、戏剧、电影、电视、广播、网络等,都应该成为我们宣传科学理论、传播先进文化、塑造美好心灵的阵地,决不能给违反四项基本原则、违反改革开放政策、违反党的方针政策的错误观点,以及危害人民特别是青少年身心健康的东西提供传播渠道。一切社会基层,包括农村、社区、企业、学校、军队和各类人民团体、社会组织等的群众教育、文化、娱乐场所,直接面对群众,其作用和影响不可低估,一定要切切实实地管理好、建设好。思想文化单位生产和传播精神产品,必须把社会效益放在第一位,努力做到社会效益和经济效益的正确结合。各级党委都要增强阵地意识,切实加强对思想文化阵地的领导。每一个思想文化单位的党组织都要认真执行党的方针政策和国家的法律法规,真正做到守土有责。宣传思想和文化教育部门要组织引导理论和文艺工作者深入实际、深入群众,不断创作出贴近现实生活、富于时代气息、讴歌社会进步的高质量的精神产品。
能否掌握思想政治领域的领导权、主动权,首先要看党委自身的马克思主义理论水平及其运用能力。各级党政领导班子的第一把手,尤其要努力加强自己的马克思主义理论功底,提高政治敏锐性、政治鉴别力。领导成员中要注意选配马克思主义理论功底较扎实、熟悉意识形态领域工作的同志。本地区本部门思想政治领域到底存在什么新情况新问题,领导干部心中一定要有数。各级党委特别是主要领导干部都要围绕思想政治领域的重大问题,深入实际进行调查研究,准确地把握社会思想状况和动向,以利加强工作的针对性。
身教重于言教。党的思想政治工作能否做好,很大程度上还取决于我们党的自身建设和各级领导干部的言行表现。群众的眼睛是雪亮的。要求群众做到的,党员、干部首先要做到。如果说一套、做一套,说的大道理都是要求别人的,自己不起模范作用,那说得再好也没有用。我们党内在思想、组织、作风方面还存在不少突出问题,尤其是一些党员、干部中发生的腐败现象,给党的形象带来了严重损害,在群众中造成了十分恶劣的影响。如果出这样的事情多,而又不能及时整治,那样,我们一些地方和部门多年艰苦努力取得的思想政治工作成果就会受到很大影响。中央提出治国必先治党、治党务必从严,有着十分重大的政治意义,全党同志要坚定不移地在工作中加以贯彻。思想政治工作要落实到基层,基层党组织必须有凝聚力和战斗力。目前,各地区各部门都有一些基层党组织程度不同地处于软弱涣散状态,影响了党的思想政治工作的有效开展。这个问题,要继续抓紧解决。“三讲”教育已经取得了显著成绩,干部群众总的反映是好的。这项工作就是最现实的思想政治工作,精心把它做好,对加强党的建设、密切党群关系具有重大意义。大家要按照中央的要求,继续高标准、严要求地抓好“三讲”教育的各项工作。要注意防止和克服自满松劲情绪,再接再厉,力争取得更大成效。总之,全党都要坚持不懈地按照“三个代表”要求加强党的建设,始终发扬党的三大优良作风〔10〕,使党在人民群众中的威望不断加强和提高,为做好党的思想政治工作提供根本保证。
这里,我还想强调一个问题。干部是党的宝贵财富,一定要非常爱惜。关心和爱护干部,是我们党的一个优良传统。不仅要关心干部的思想和工作,而且要关心干部的生活和生理、心理健康。现在工作都很繁重,不少干部超负荷工作,有的还带病工作。这种为党和人民的事业忘我奋斗的精神,令人感佩。干部越是这样工作、奋斗,党的各级组织越要关心和爱护他们,对他们的生活、健康、医疗保健等问题都要注意。有什么问题,要积极主动地帮助解决。这个问题,从中央到地方的各级党组织都要高度重视,采取一些必要的措施加以落实。 最后,我衷心希望,全党同志振奋精神,增强信心,知难而进,共同奋斗,努力开创一个生动活泼、扎实有力、促进党和国家长治久安的思想政治工作新局面。

注释
〔1〕这里所说的十七号文件,指中共中央一九九九年九月二十九日发出的《关于加强和改进思想政治工作的若干意见》。
〔2〕见马克思《〈政治经济学批判〉序言》(《马克思恩格斯选集》第2卷,人民出版社1995年版,第32页)。
〔3〕见本卷《始终做到“三个代表”是我们党的立党之本、执政之基、力量之源》注〔1〕。
〔4〕见本卷《加紧培养适应新世纪要求的中青年领导干部》注〔3〕。
〔5〕“两国论”,是当时的台湾当局领导人李登辉抛出的分裂祖国的谬论。一九九九年七月九日,李登辉在接受“德国之声”记者采访时公然宣称,台湾当局已将两岸关系定位在“国家与国家,至少是特殊的国与国的关系”。“两国论”的政治本质是蓄意分裂中国的主权和领土,妄图把台湾从中国分割出去。“两国论”受到海内外中华儿女强烈谴责,也遭到国际社会反对。
〔6〕见邓小平《党在组织战线和思想战线上的迫切任务》(《邓小平文选》第3卷,人民出版社1993年版,第48页)。
〔7〕“三个有利于”,指判断各方面工作是非得失的标准,应该主要看是否有利于发展社会主义社会的生产力、有利于增强社会主义国家的综合国力、有利于提高人民的生活水平。这是邓小平首先提出的。参见邓小平《在武昌、深圳、珠海、上海等地的谈话要点》(《邓小平文选》第3卷,人民出版社1993年版,第372页)。
〔8〕见毛泽东《山东有可能成为战略转移的枢纽》(《毛泽东文集》第2卷,人民出版社1993年版,第435页)。
〔9〕见邓小平《贯彻调整方针,保证安定团结》(《邓小平文选》第2卷,人民出版社1994年版,第365页)。
〔10〕党的三大优良作风,指理论联系实际的作风,密切联系群众的作风,批评和自我批评的作风。这是毛泽东首先提出的。参见毛泽东《论联合政府》(《毛泽东选集》第3卷,人民出版社1991年版,第1094页)。

One thought on “Speech at the Ideological and Political Work Conference

    Latest updates | China Copyright and Media said:
    February 9, 2013 at 10:38 am

    […] Speech at the Ideological and Political Work Conference (2000) […]

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