The Historical Experience of the Chinese Communist Party’s 90 Years of Moving Ideological Work Forward

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Source: Qiushi, 2011

In the process of revolution, construction and reform of the Chinese Communist Party over 90 years, ideological work has had high attention from beginning to end. Even though the historical backgrounds of the times, development stages and main tasks were different, it has closely grasped the leading power in ideological construction work, has incessantly raised control capacity in the ideological sphere, and has accumulated rich historical experience in moving ideological construction forward.

I, Closely grasping leadership power – a prominent strategic position, grasping the power of initiative in ideological work from beginning to end.

Ideological work has always been an extremely important work of our Party. Doing economic work badly generates great problems, doing ideological work badly also generated great problems, at the same time as concentrating forces to conduct economic construction, we cannot even for a while slacken in ideological work. Historical experience has already proven that strengthening the leadership of the Party is an important guarantee for incessant victory in our country’s revolution, construction and reform undertakings, and is the core for moving our country’s mainstream ideology construction forward. Strengthening the Party’s monist leadership over ideological work, closely grasping the initiative in ideological work, strengthening initiative ad foresight, are important talismans for our incessant march towards victory.

1. Establishing Central standing organs, strengthening Party control over ideology. During the period of the New Democratic Revolution, although our Party did not control the ideological tools of the State, it vigorously proposed new political and cultural thoughts, incessantly strengthened the propaganda and guidance of Marxism, and promoted the historical process of the Chinese revolution with this. As early as the foundation of the Party in 1921, our Party established propaganda organs, to be responsible for propaganda and agitation work, and developing propaganda and agitation for the revolutionary undertaking. After the 6th Party Congress, the Central Propaganda Department became a permanent organ, and assumed duties and functions as the highest guiding organ for propaganda and education work nationwide and of ideological and political education for cadres and masses. In July 1942, Comrade Mao Zedong emphatically pointed out that “grasping ideological leadership is the first step in grasping overall leadership” [1]. During the War of Resistance of Japan and the War of Liberation, our Party put ideological work in an even more prominent position, and more consciously paid attention to grasping the initiative in the realms of thought, culture and ideology, establishing a firm basis for the victory of the New Democratic Revolution. After the establishment of the New China, our Party put propaganda, ideology and public opinion guidance work in a prominent position, firmly grasped the ideological initiative from beginning to end, the guiding position of Marxism in the ideological sphere was incessantly consolidated, just as Mao Zedong stressed, “The core force guiding our undertaking is the Chinese Communist Party, the theoretical basis guiding our thought is Marxism-Leninism” [2].

2. Strengthening organizational construction, consolidating the leadership power of the Party over ideology. Our Party attached extreme importance to and strengthened monist leadership in the ideological area, and this was mainly realized through the Party’s political leadership, ideological leadership and organizational leadership. The Party’s political leadership in the ideological area is to guide the development orientation of Socialist ideology with the scientific theory of Marxism and the Party’s line, principles and policies; the Party’s ideological leadership in the ideological area is forcefully propagating Socialist ideology, resisting and criticising all mistaken ideologies, and ensure that Socialist thought progressively occupied the entire ideological sphere; the Party’s organizational leadership in the ideological area is establishing Party organizations inside all ideological departments, to be responsible for the implementation of the Party line, principles and policies, and thereby powerfully strengthening the Party’s ideological leadership and organizational leadership in the ideological area, effectively avoiding mistaken tendencies in the ideological sphere and strengthening the initiative in ideological work.

3. Adapting to an open environment, giving prominence to the strategic position of ideology. Since reform and opening up, in order to strengthen and improve the Party’s leadership and raise governing power, our Party has scientifically understood the strategic position of ideology, and has closely grasped the initiative in ideological work from beginning to end. Deng Xiaoping stressed that “the most important matter in improving the leadership of the Party is strengthening ideological and political work” [3]. “The entire Party must research how to adapt to new conditions, strengthen the Party’s ideological work, and prevent against tendencies of immersing themselves in ideological work and overlooking ideological work. All levels’ Party Committees, and first and foremost the main responsible comrades in the Party Committees, must closely pay attention to and deeply research trends and issues on the ideological front, and adopt powerful and effective methods to improve work on this front” [4]. Jiang Zemin pointed out that “To grasp Party building, we must first and foremost grasp the Party’s ideological and political building, because resolving ideological and political issues is the precondition and basis to do all other work well. This fine tradition and important experience of the Party may not be lost at any time” [5]. Under the new circumstances of reform, opening up and economic globalization, our Party persisted in the guiding position of Marxism in the ideological sphere, closely grasping the progressive orientation of advanced Socialist culture. The report of the 17th Party Congress stressed that the Party must stand at the forefront of the times to lead the people in incessantly pioneering new dimensions of undertaking and development, must strengthen self-building with a spirit of reform and innovation, and become the strong leading core of the undertaking of Socialism with Chinese characteristics from beginning to end. Building the Party’s governing ability relates to the entire picture of Party building and the undertaking of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and raising leadership levels and governing ability must be made into the core content that must be grasped in all levels’ leadership rank construction. This deeply clarifies the extreme importance of doing ideological work well for the Chinese Communist Party. The facts of the changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe 20 years ago tell us that if a governing party abandons the initiative in ideological work, or even loses the ability of recognition of and resistance against harmful ideology, the consequences will be extremely grave. Because of this, in the process of reform, opening up and Socialist modernization construction, we must pay high regard to issues in the ideological area, and must forcefully strengthen propaganda and ideological work.

“Ideological and theoretical construction are the basic construction of the Party, the Party’s theoretical innovations lead innovation in all areas” [6]. In the historical process of accelerating the drive towards Socialist modernization, our country’s development faces a complex environment, and faces strenuous tasks, it faces unprecedented opportunities, and faces unprecedented challenges. Because of the extreme importance of ideological issues, we must make raising the Party’s capacity to lead ideological work into the soul of strengthening the Party’s governing ability construction, and closely grasp the leadership and initiative in ideological work, this is where the root of establishing an eternal and unassailable position of the Party and the Socialist undertaking lies.

II, Incessantly raising leadership strength – responding to ideological challenges, scientifically grasping the correct orientation ideological development and construction

Both during the democratic revolution period of striving for national independence and the people’s liberation, and in the Socialist construction, reform and opening up period of peaceful development, thought, culture and the ideological area have always been an important battlefield for hostile forces to conduct acute strife with us. How to timely launch challenges and struggle with domestic and foreign mistaken ideologies and thinking trends in the ideological area, and incessantly raise the leading position of Marxist and Socialist mainstream ideology has been a pressing task put in front of our Party from beginning to end.

1. Conducting the diametrically opposed struggle with all sorts of reactionary thoughts and ideologies, striving for public opinion power for the people’s revolution to march towards victory. During the democratic revolutionary period, although our Party did not grasp the ideology and propaganda tools of the State, it vigorously propagated Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, propagated the Party’s revolutionary line and policies, forcefully moved the Sinification and massification of Marxism forward, and thereby powerfully raised the level of identification of the broad cadres and popular masses with Marxism-Leninism and Communist ideals, furthermore, it vigorously threw itself into fervent revolutionary struggle in order to incessantly push the New Democratic Revolution towards victory on the one hand. On the other hand, through all sorts of channels and methods, it deeply criticized imperialism and all sorts of reactionary thoughts and ideologies of the Guomindang, it criticized mistaken thinking trends of all shades and descriptions, and thereby provided powerful ideological weapons to wrest victory in the democratic revolution.

2. Timely and effectively opposing Western “peaceful evolution” strategy attempts, incessantly consolidating the security of the Socialist system. During the initial stage of Socialist transformation and especially Socialist construction, although Marxism and Mao Zedong Thought were established at the guiding position of Socialist ideology, and the large-scale violent storm of mass class struggle of the revolutionary period was basically concluded, as the domestic and international situation was complex, Mao Zedong stressed that the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in the ideological area was long-term, tortuous and sometimes even very fierce. It should be understood that “Marxism must be in struggle for it to develop, this was not only so in the past, it is also so now, and will inevitably remain so in the future. Correct things have always developed in the process of struggling with mistaken things” [7]. Under this ideological guidance, we have conducted a necessary struggle with those non-Marxist and anti-Marxist mistaken ideologies domestically. At the same time, Western imperialist countries internationally have also adjusted their strategy, and began to conduct infiltration of and attack against our country with capitalist ideological concepts and degenerate culture, to counter the peaceful evolution schemes of imperialist countries to overturn the Socialist system, our Party has timely launched anti-peaceful development struggles, strengthened the Party’s ideological construction, vigorously fostered and created successors for the undertaking of the proletarian revolution, to this end, Mao Zedong put forward five conditions for fostering successors of the proletarian revolution; first, they must understand Marxism, second, they must pursue the interest of the absolute majority of the people, third, they are to unite the broad cadres and masses, fourth, they must emphasize democracy and must not be a house where what someone says, goes, fifth, where they make mistakes, they must make self-criticism [8]. Because we closely grasp the ideological initiative, we thereby ensure that the Chinese Socialist system will be incessantly consolidated and developed.

3. Launching ideological battles on two fronts with clear banners flying, powerfully guaranteeing the correct orientation of reform and opening up. Since reform and opening up, our Party has paid high attention to battles and struggles in the ideological area, vigorously responded to domestic and international challenges, and scientifically guided ideological construction. In the early period of reform and opening up, our Party launched the struggles to oppose the “Two Whatevers”, oppose spiritual pollution and oppose bourgeois liberalization, in order to bring order out of chaos. Deng Xiaoping stressed that “liberalization itself is bourgeois, it there is no proletarian or Socialist liberalization in any way… Doing liberalization means guiding us towards the capitalist track” [9]. This indicates that opposing bourgeois liberalization is a long-term task. Following the deepening of Socialist market economy structure reforms and the acceleration of participation on the process of globalization, struggles to oppose Mammonism, hedonism, extreme individualism and other degenerate ideologies, as well as against “Falun Gong” have been launched as well. Since the beginning of the 21st Century, to counter some noises and murmurs that challenged the present reform, challenged the basic Party line, denied reform and distorted opening up to the outside world, as well as some mistaken discourses and thinking trends of social-democracy, etc., which emerged in the area, the Central Propaganda Department and other departments organized the compilation of “Six ‘Whys’ – Answers to Some Major Questions”, “Seven ‘How to Sees'” and “Textbook to Clearly Distinguish ‘Four Major Boundaries'”, to help the cadres and masses to clear up their understanding of some major issues, consciously resist the corrosion of mistaken ideologies, and even better unify thoughts and concentrate forces, thereby powerfully removing noises and murmurs interfering with and influencing reform, opening up and the construction of a Socialist harmonious society.

III, Vigorously strengthening attractiveness – stressing innovation in methods, utilizing many kinds of methods and means to vigorously conduct ideological construction

In the process of democratic reform, our Party has forcefully strengthened propaganda and education of Marxism-Leninism, and powerfully promoted the process of the democratic revolution. More than 60 years after grasping political power, our Party vigorously explores new methods and means for ideological construction, and moves our country’s ideological construction forward through conduction Socialist spiritual civilization construction, incessantly strengthening and improving ideological and political work, developing advanced Socialist culture, as well as constructing the Socialist core value system and many other methods.

1. Making education, propaganda and scientific teaching into an important method to raise the attractiveness and fighting force of Marxism-Leninism. In the period of the New Democratic Revolution, our Party utilized many channels and methods to propagate the scientific nature and truthfulness of Marxism-Leninism. Lenin pointed out that in the process of the proletarian revolutionary struggle, “Socialist understanding is a sort of thing that goes into the centre of the proletarian class struggle through teaching from outside, and is not a sort of thing that spontaneously emerges from this struggle” [10]. With Lenin’s “View on Teaching” as guidance, our Party vigorously launched positive education, forcefully propagated Marxist and New Democratic Revolutionary theory, forcefully promoting the progress in the democratic revolutionary victory. During the War of Resistance against Japan and the Yan’an Rectification periods, our Party paid attention to making the grasping of ideology and education into the first matter to grasp, it moved forward ideological work by strengthening ideological construction, and especially strengthened Marxist theory study and ideological work style construction through vigorously launching self-criticism education, establishing a firm basis to liberate the whole of China and welcoming the thorough victory in the New Democratic Revolution. Entering the period of Socialist revolution and transformation, our Party continued to strengthen education and propaganda work of Marxist mainstream ideology, just as Mao Zedong stressed: “The entire Party must pay attention to ideological and theoretical work, establish Marxist theory teams, and strengthen research and propaganda of Marxist theory” [11], thereby incessantly raising the attractiveness of Marxism-Leninism.

2. Make strengthening Socialist spiritual civilization construction into an important form of strengthening the attractiveness of Socialist ideology. The thoughts concerning correctly dealing with intellectuals, as well as fostering and creating successors for the Socialist undertaking, which Mao Zedong put forward during the period of Socialist construction, should fall under the category of spiritual civilization construction, and are still important at present. After reform and opening up, Deng Xiaoping clearly put forward strategic thought on strengthening spiritual civilization construction, because “without strengthening the construction of a spiritual civilization, the construction of a material civilization will be wrecked, and the road will be circuitous” [12]. Because of this, in 1986 and 1996, the Party Centre Plenum specially researched and formulated the “Resolution concerning Guiding Policies for the Construction of a Socialist Spiritual Civilization” and the “Decision concerning Strengthening the Construction of a Socialist Spiritual Civilization”, which ensured correct lines and policies for spiritual civilization work, and thereby gave even more prominence to the requirement of “giving importance to spiritual civilization construction” in practice, explored not a few new forms for spiritual civilization construction, and further secured the basis for Socialist ideology construction.

3. Making strengthening and improving ideological and political work into an important method and carrier to move ideological construction forward. In the first period after the establishment of New China, the Party Centre and Comrade Mao Zedong gave high regard to ideological and political work, afterwards, they also required higher-level Party cadres to” on the basis of raising Marxism-Leninism levels, ensure that they become experts proficient in political work and economic work” [13], and thereby powerfully stimulated ideological construction work. During the period of reform and opening up, our Party further understood that the ideals and beliefs of the masses, their spiritual outlook and will, in the end, were decided by the rise, fall, success or failure of the undertaking of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, “the more the economy develops, the more we reform and open up, the more we must strengthen ideological and political work” [14]. General Secretary Hu Jintao emphatically pointed out that “in the magnificent process of completely constructing a moderately prosperous society, propaganda and ideological work are very weighty. We must use the requirements of the times to examine propaganda and ideology work, and must use the insights of development to research propaganda and ideology work, promote propaganda and ideology work with a spirit of reform, and strive to ensure that propaganda and ideology work even better reflects the nature of the time, grasps regularities and is rich in creativity” [15]. Under the guidance of this thought, ideological and political work in all areas and on all fronts has obtained clear achievements, laying a firm basis for strengthening the attractiveness of mainstream ideology.

4. Making the strengthening of advanced culture and the construction of the Socialist core value system into a new act and a new platform to move ideological construction forward. Mao Zedong  stressed during the period of Socialist construction that culture must “serve the people and serve Socialist countries”, and clearly moved forward the basic policy of “letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools contend” to let culture flourish, as well as a series of other thoughts concerning the development of Socialist culture, which powerfully promoted our country’s ideological construction. Since reform and opening up, we have powerfully developed cultural sectors and cultural undertakings, and incessantly used the Internet and other new methods to disseminate advanced culture. Since Jiang Zemin put forward the concept of “Socialist culture with Chinese characteristics” for the first time in 1991, to the systematic elaboration of the 15th Party Congress of the issue of constructing Socialist culture with Chinese characteristics in 1997; from the 16th Party Congress clearly putting forward to closely grasp the progressive orientation of advanced culture and forcefully developing Socialist culture, to the 4th Plenum of the 16th Party Congress in 2004 putting forward that our Party must incessantly “raise the capacity to construct advanced Socialist culture”, etc., these strategic deployments not only forcefully promoted the progress with great strides of the undertaking of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, but also opened up a space and a platform for the broadening of our country’s Socialist ideology construction. In 2006, the 6th Plenum of the 16th Party Congress again further clarified the necessity to move Socialist harmonious cultural construction forward, and new forms such as leading our country’s ideological construction with the Socialist core value system, etc. In October 2007, the convention of the 17th Party Congress clearly put forward that we must promote the grand development and grand flourishing of Socialist culture, incessantly raise the country’s cultural soft power, and stressed that the Socialist core value system is the essential reflection of Socialist ideology, and we must construct the Socialist core value system. The implementation of these strategic countermeasures forcefully strengthened the attractiveness and cohesion of Socialist ideology.

IV, Maintaining creative ability from beginning to end – scientifically examining the times and national circumstances, promoting the Sinification, updating and massification of Marxism with an innovative spirit

Practice proves that Marxist theory can only become a strong material force if it is truly understood, grasped and scientifically utilized by the broad popular masses, and thus give rein to its deserved function and effect in promoting social progress. In the 90 years since the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party, the successive Central leading collectives, represented by Comrades Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, persisted in liberating thoughts, seeking truth from facts and progressing with the times throughout, closely integrated Marxist theoretical tenets with the practice of Chinese Socialism, and gave special high regard to and vigorously promoted the massification of modern Chinese Marxist theory, ensuring that incessant new advances were made in the work of arming Marxist theory, our country’s Socialist mainstream ideology gained more broad identification and support from the cadres and the masses every day, and the Socialist path with Chinese characteristics is becoming ever broader as we march it.

1. Scientifically grasping the characteristics and construction reality of the Chinese revolution, opening up the process of the Sinification and massification of Marxism with innovative spirits. During the period of the democratic revolution, our Party strived to integrate Marxism-Leninism with the practice of the Chinese revolution, opened up the path of the democratic revolution with Chinese characteristics, and vigorously moved the Sinification and massification of Marxism forward, manifesting the independent creativity of the Party. In view of the fact that our Party’s theoretical preparation for the revolution was insufficient, dogmatism existed and other problems, Comrade Mao Zedong gave extremely high regard to the Sinification and massification of Marxism-Leninism. In 1938, Mao Zedong put this assignment of “the Sinification of Marxism” forward for the first time in his political reform “On the New Phase” at the 6th Plenum of the 6th Party Congress. Mao Zedong also believed that, to promote the Chinese revolution, the first necessary political work was to vigorously promote the propaganda and popularization of Marxism-Leninism in China. He also went to factories and villages himself, and incessantly explained the revolutionary principles of Marxism-Leninism to workers and peasants. These greatly accelerated the historical process of Marxism-Leninism being grasped by the people, and thereby also greatly stimulated the enthusiasm and vigour of the popular masses to participate in revolutionary struggle, and victory was quickly obtained in the Chinese revolution. After the victory in the Chinese Revolution, Aisiqi’s “Mass Philosophy” was greatly welcomed by the broad cadres and masses, and greatly promoted the process of popularization of Marxist philosophy in the new China. Mao Zedong also put forward the requirement of strengthening theoretical study to cadres at all levels and repeatedly stressed that “in order to do our work well, all levels’ Party Committees shall greatly advocate the study of  Marxist epistemology, ensure its massification, make the broad cadres and popular masses grasp it, let philosophy be liberated from the classrooms and books of philosophers, and become a sharp weapon in the hands of the masses” [16].

2. Correctly grasping the characteristics of the times and China’s national circumstances, sparing no effort to open up new frontiers for the development of Marxism in the China of the present. In the process of reform and opening up, our Party has maintained exuberant creativity from beginning to end, it has moved forward ideological construction in the process of persisting in, inheriting and developing Marxism, and used a Marxism that progressed with the times to guide ideological construction. Under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important “Three Represents” thought, and the scientific development view, our country’s Socialist ideology construction has steadily moved forward. Under the leadership of the second-generation Central leadership collective with Comrade Deng Xiaoping at the core, Chinese Communist Party members have liberated thoughts, sought truth from facts, and strove to integrate the basic tenets of Marxism with new realities and the characteristics of the times, collected the wisdom of the entire Party and the people in the entire country, inherited and developed Mao Zedong Thought, established Deng Xiaoping Theory, systematically answered a series of basic questions of Chinese Socialist construction, and brought Socialist understandings to new levels. As the chief designer of reform and opening up, Deng Xiaoping not only rationally pondered on our country’s mainstream ideology, but also fixed eyes upon incessantly driving it ahead in practice, and thereby realized a new transition in Marxist ideological theory in the China of the present. The Party’s third-generation central leadership collective with Comrade Jiang Zemin at the core, on the one hand calmly responded to a series of sudden international incidents that related to our country’s sovereignty and security, eliminated all sorts of interference, and guaranteed that the shop of reform, opening up and modernization construction breasted the waves and progress along the correct course. On the other side, with huge Marxist political bravery and theoretical bravery, it moved theoretical innovation forward, collected the wisdom of the entire Party and the people in the entire country, and used a series of new thoughts, viewpoints and new arguments that were closely connected and interlinked to creatively answer the questions of what kind of Party to build under new historical conditions, and how to build it, founding the important “Three Represents” thought. The important “Three Represents” thought is a new achievement the development of Marxism in China, and is a new development in China’s Socialist ideology. Since the 16th and 17th Party Congresses, the new Central leadership collective with Hu Jintao as General Secretary has liberated thoughts, sought truth from facts, sought truth in pragmatism, continued to integrate the fundamental tenets of Marxism with China’s concrete practice, incessantly opened up new frontiers for the development of Marxist theory and further creatively put forward major strategic thoughts such as the scientific development view, etc. The scientific development view both persisted in the scientific theories in Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important “Three Represents” thought, and summarized the practical experiences of foreign developments and our country’s reform and opening up, thereby further answering major questions such as which kind of development to realize in the China of the present and how to develop, etc., this is a one-time historical breakthrough of our Party in developing the guiding ideology of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and is a new development of Marxist ideology and theory in the China of the present

Marxism “is developing theory, and is not a dogma that must be learned by rote and mechanically repeated” [17]. In 90 years, from Mao Zedong Thought to Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important “Three Represents” thought, and to the scientific development view and other major strategic ideologies, exuberant creativity has ensured that Sinified Marxism and our country’s mainstream ideology have incessantly developed and innovated, thereby providing guidance for the correct orientation and continuous theoretical support for the Socialist revolution, construction and reform construction undertakings.

V, Giving high regard to cohesion – Implementing the scientific development view, striving to ram down a social basis for ideological development and construction

During the period of the New Democratic Revolution, our Party also paid attention to progressively closely integrating the use of proletarian revolutionary ideology with establishing a broad revolutionary united front, in the process of paying attention to integrating the universal truth of Marxism and the practice of the New Democratic Revolution, it integrated strengthening education about Communist ideals and convictions with fostering successors for the proletarian revolutionary undertaking, and integrated strengthening the Party’s ideological work with raising the Party’s leadership strength. Because attention has been paid to dealing with relations in all the above areas, the organic unification of the historical process of ideological construction led by the Chinese Communist Party and the growth in strength of the Chinese Communist Party has been realistically achieved, which extremely greatly raised the ideological cohesion of Sinified Marxism.

In the 60 years since the establishment of the New China, because of our Party’s persistence in principles, it grasped and dealt well with the relationship between the monism of mainstream ideology and the diversity in social consciousness, between constructing Socialist ideology and expanding opening up to the outside world, and other important relationships, which forcefully rammed down a social basis for ideological work, strengthened social cohesion, and enabled ideological work to be soundly moved forward.

1. Integrating the monist command of Socialist ideology with diversified development of ideological and cultural concepts. Mao Zedong put forward using the “Two Hundreds” policy to deal with the relationship between cultural development and flourishing, and pointed out that “letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools contend, cannot weaken the leading position of Marxist ideology, conversely, it will strengthen that position” [18]. Since reform and opening up, following the unprecedented dynamism of social though, tendencies of diversity have emerged in social awareness, this requires that we must deal with the relationship between the monist command of Socialist ideology and the diversity of ideological and cultural concepts well. In the present stage, we should organically integrate both, continue to explore the use mechanisms and means for monist guidance ideology to effectively lead and integrate diversified social thinking., to ensure that the entire society commonly devotes itself to the magnificent undertaking of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and incessantly develops Socialism with Chinese characteristics.

2. Integrating Socialist ideology construction with broadly opening up to the outside world and developing the Socialist market economy. In 1956, Mao Zedong pointed out that “we must determinedly resist and criticize all corrupt systems and ideological work styles of the foreign bourgeoisie. But, this does not prevent us from learning from advanced science and technology of capitalist countries and aspects in enterprise management methods that conform to science” [19]. This ideology scientifically guided ideological work at that time. Since reform and opening up, we have both persisted in developing Socialist ideology, and have expanded opening up and developed the market economy, in general, we have grasped and dealt with the relationship between ideology construction and broadening opening up and developing the Socialist market economy, these experiences should be continued. In fact, we have prevented doing ideological “centre theory” and “strengthening theory”, and have paid attention and vigilance to ideological “useless theory” and “watering down theory”. At the same time, we have paid attention to dealing with the following relationships in reality well: first, we have dealt well with the relationship between Chinese culture and global culture. Second, we have dealt well with the relationship between advancedness and popularity. Third, we have dealt well with the relationship between carrying forward vigour and keeping forging ahead, and preventing negative and decadent thinking trends. These measures have further strengthened people’s sense of identification with our country’s mainstream ideology.

3. Integrating the development of Socialist ideology with moving the Socialist spiritual civilization forward and building a harmonious society. The essence and development orientation of ideology decides the essence and development path of the political civilization, and the political civilization, in fact, also restricts and determines the essential orientation of the ideology that occupies a leading position in society, at the same time, political civilization construction can also provide systemic support and a guaranteeing platform for ideological work, both are essentially the same thing. “If we observe matters conceptually, then a certain ideological disintegration is sufficient to destroy the complete era” [20]. The changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe demonstrate that change in the essence and orientation of a social and political situation means change in the essence, orientation and development trends of its mainstream ideology. Our country’s political structural reform and political civilization construction rely on the support of Socialist ideology construction to be moved forward, and our country’s ideological construction achievements also rely on a perfected political system before they can be consolidated. In the present stage, we pay attention to propagating the characteristics and superiority of the Socialist political system, correctly leaning from human political civilization, including some beneficial achievements from Western political civilization, but fight back against “wholesale Westernization”. At the same time, we devote ourselves to strengthening the construction of a Socialist harmonious society, pay close attention to issues of people’s interests, strive to resolve and improve the people’s livelihood, effectively dissolve social contradictions, thereby guaranteeing and consolidating the correct political orientation of and social basis for the development of Socialist ideology.

In short, the process and experience of controlling ideological work in the 90 years since the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party tells us that the proper strategic position and function of ideology cannot be overlooked, the Party’s leadership power over ideological work cannot be loosened, the guiding position of Marxism in the ideological area must be unwaveringly persisted in, changes in the popular masses’ ideological, moral and value concepts must be scientifically educated and correctly guided, Socialist ideology and the core value system construction are important in innovating the basic path and must be kept in mind. Only in this way can the strategic position of Marxism as the banner guiding our progress be incessantly consolidated, and can new frontiers incessantly be opened up for the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics.



[1]: “Collected Works of Mao Zedong”, Volume 2, People’s Publishing House 1993 edition, p. 435.

[2][13]: “Collected Works of Mao Zedong”, Volume 6, People’s Publishing House 1996 edition, p. 350, p. 396.

[3] “Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping”, Volume 2, p. 365.

[4][9][12] “Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping”, Volume 3, p. 48, p. 182, p. 144.

[5][14] “Selected Works of Jiang Zemin, Volume 3, People’s Publishing House 2006 edition, p. 94, p. 74.

[6], Hu Jintao, “Hold High the Magnificent Banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics to Capture Victory in the Struggle to Completely Construct a Moderately Prosperous Society – Report at the 17th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party”, printed in “People’s Daily” on 25 October 2007.

[7][11][18][19] “Collected Works of Mao Zedong”, Volume 2, People’s Publishing House 1999 edition, p. 230, pp. 200-201, p. 232, p. 43.

[8] “Writings of Mao Zedong after Founding the Nation, Volume 11, Central Documentary Publishing House 1996 edition, pp. 85-87.

[10] “Special Collected Works of Lenin – On a Proletarian Political Party”, People’s Publishing House 2009 edition, p. 85.

[15] Hu Jintao “Speech at the National Propaganda Department Head Meeting, printed in “People’s Daily” on 8 December 2003.

[16] “Collected Works of Mao Zedong”, Volume 8, People’s Publishing House 1999 edition, p. 323.

[17] “Collected Works of Marx and Engels”, Volume 10, People’s Publishing House 2009 edition, p. 539.

[20] “Complete Works of Marx and Engels”, Second Edition, Volume 30, p. 539.

(Author’s Work Unit: Nanjing Normal University Marxism Institute)





































[6] 胡锦涛《高举中国特色社会主义伟大旗帜为夺取全面建设小康社会新胜利而奋斗——在中国共产党第十七次全国代表大会上的报告》,载于2007年10月25日《人民日报》。




[15] 胡锦涛《在全国宣传部长会议上的讲话》,载于2003年12月8日《人民日报》。







One thought on “The Historical Experience of the Chinese Communist Party’s 90 Years of Moving Ideological Work Forward

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    May 18, 2013 at 10:06 am

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