Six Major Challenges that Our Country’s Ideological Construction Faces at Present

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Party Building”, July 2012, Ren Jie

–       Firmly occupy the ideological battlefield is both where the core interest of the country lies, and an important chip in the international contest of strength.

–       In the present world, vying for the power of discourse, the power of network control, the power of information dissemination, the power of regulation formulation, the power of cultural leadership and other “soft powers” have become the focus point for competition in comprehensive national strength.

–       The fight for mastery and trial of strength in the ideological area will never disappear, the task of strengthening our country’s mainstream ideology construction is huge.

Firmly occupying the ideological battlefield is both where the core interest of the country lies, and an important chip in the international contest of strength. The present world has already left the “era of violence and money control”, after the “nuclear bombs and missiles” retreated to the backstage, “willpower and ideology” have marched to the front. Vying for the power of discourse, the power of network control, the power of information dissemination, the power of regulation formulation, the power of cultural leadership and other “soft powers” have become the focus point for competition in comprehensive national strength. As a participating country in this “smokeless war”, based on all sorts of international and domestic pressures, China has been pushed to the front of the ideological struggle, and ideology construction faces many challenges.

First, Western hostile powers’ cultural infiltration threatens our country’s ideological security. The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the success of Western hostile powers in a series of “colour revolutions” in post-Socialist countries has made China become an important target country for Western hostile powers and peaceful evolution. Apart from practicing peaceful evolution strategies in the economic and political areas, Western hostile powers pay even more attention to achieve the objective of “letting others’ soldiers submit without fighting”. Cultural infiltration has three main forms: the first sort is direct cultural propaganda, by using modern media means to conduct long-term ideological infiltration. The most typical and most often used one is radio and television coverage propaganda. The content of information published by the U.S. CBS, CNN and other media is more than a hundred times the total amount of information published by other countries in the world. This sort of direct cultural infiltration is large in scale, low in costs and broad in coverage, as the “Washington Post” stated, “The Western World has spent more than half a century of time and millions of Dollars in seeking methods to let Communism collapse, but discovered that the answer lay in television news”. At present, with the aid of the Internet, direct cultural propaganda has gained convenient, high-efficiency, broad and strong high-tech platforms, which have become a first important battlefield for the ideological struggle; the second kind is letting all sorts of Western value systems infiltrate the social masses through the carrier of cultural products. Before the Second World War, Western hostile powers stressed that cultural export was combined with regional strategy, after the Second World War, they paid even more attention to influencing other countries through comprehensive cultural export. U.S. Hollywood films became model representatives, and there were even media stating that Hollywood was an “ambassador in an iron box”. Disseminating cultural value concepts through this sort of method, was even more concealed and misleading, and often, the unobtrusive influence of “governing by doing nothing” and “nourishing plants without sound” could be achieved; the third sort is using education and academic exchange as a cover to conduct value system infiltration of high-level academics, intellectuals and other social elites. Western hostile forces have drawn in and used high-level social science researchers and intellectuals through famous and numerous scholarships, such as the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Fulbright Programme, etc., with the intention of fostering “cultural genes” to disintegrate Socialism from the inside, and disseminate Western cultural values through their radiant function, influencing the social masses.

Second, all sorts of social thinking trends influence the authority of and identification with our country’s mainstream ideology. Marxism is our country’s mainstream ideology, its guiding function is the choice of history and the Chinese people. In the ideological sphere, fighting for mastery and contests of strength will never disappear. Since reform and opening up, international and domestic trends have become more complex and varied, all sorts of social thinking trends vie to take the stage, there are new liberals advocating liberalization, privatization and marketization, and there are national socialists advocating reform, proposing democracy and freedom, there are also historical nihilists who use distortions and misrepresentations of Party history and leaders to hollow out the history of the Chinese Communist Party. At the same time, the ideological assault by Western hostile powers has also become diversified and deepened in expansion. They are no longer limited to peddling Western hedonism, consumerism and other live values, but have also developed towards political and philosophical value systems. Brzezinski attacked Communism doctrine as “greatly simplified theory”, Daniel Bell’s “End of Ideology” and Fukuyama’s “End of History” are brazen challenges to Marxism. These social thinking trends are extremely misleading, and attempt to gain people’s acceptance and identification through systematic theory and appearance of objective historical fact, and thereby shaking the authority of mainstream ideology. At present, the “China Model” that is currently being hotly discussed is, in a certain sense, another sort of theoretical pitfall that follows the “China Threat Theory” and the “China Collapse Theory”, and is a scheme put forward by Western hostile forces to “kill by overpraise” after their effort to “beat China to death” came to nothing. All sorts of anti-Marxist and non-Marxist social thinking trends can easily let people fall into certain kinds of mistaken theoretical areas because of their systematic nature and theoretical nature, and engender challenges, vacillation and even renunciation of Marxism, because of this, we must raise the persuasiveness and interpretation power of Marxism itself, this is an inherent strength in tenaciously defending the battlefield of mainstream ideology.

Third, the changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have weakened faith in our country’s mainstream ideology. In 1991, the flag with the hammer and sickle flying over the Kremlin was lowered, symbolizing that the great Socialist country, the Soviet Union, which existed for 70 years, no longer existed. Soon afterwards, the Socialist camp rapidly disintegrated, and the international Communist movement fell into a low tide. The causes of the changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe are extremely complex, there are the factors of Western hostile forces and peaceful evolution, and there were the causes of degeneration and deterioration in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; there were structural factors such as the Soviet Union implementing fossilized Socialism, and there were ideological factors of confusion in the ideological sphere… the causes are in many areas, but in the end, it was because the Soviet Union deviated from Marxism, and did not truly persist in Socialism. All countries in the world have different reactions to this major event in the history of the international Communist movement, appraisals are not uniform. For some time, all sorts of ideologies flocked together around the same event, but the terrain of the ideological area is complex. Some people cast out “the End of History”, and claimed the final victory of capitalism; some people where pessimistic and despaired about the future of Socialism; some other people blamed the setbacks and mistakes of Socialism to Marxism, believing that the changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe are the defeat of Socialism, and the sell-by date of Marxism. In our country, arguments denying Marxism and renouncing Socialism emerged as well, leading to a weakening in the confidence in mainstream ideology, and constituting a challenge towards our country’s mainstream ideology.

Fourth, the development theme and modernization objective have weakened the opposition between ideologies. The themes of the present time are peaceful development, any country hopes to avoid risk to the greatest extent under conditions of globalization, and races to control the first development opportunity. Enriching the country and strengthening the people, and realizing modernization construction are the most urgent objectives for developing countries. This firm establishment of this objective inevitably causes some developing countries to put more attention on raising comprehensive national strength, pay attention to new exploitation of energy resources, to pay attention to new development of scientific and technology personnel, and thereby, pay less attention to traditional ideological issues having a clear class nature. The common theme of development and the pursuit of modernization have brought humanity to a track of homogenous development, the demarcation line between capitalism and Socialism is becoming increasingly blurry, differences and oppositions between ideologies are weakening ideology every day. But in reality, seeing modernization as a movement, transformation and development process of human kind that originated in the west and expanded across the world, is in itself a sort of cultural ideology. Modernization theory putting on the coat of universality promises “underdeveloped countries” that: as long as they develop according to the modernization model of the United States, you will be able to cast off backwardness and ignorance, and realize national economic development and social progress, and thereby shake off the influence of the Marxist-Communist revolutionary model, but persuade and control new and potentially harmful forces set free in “underdeveloped” world after decolonisation. At the same time, this “underdeveloped” world is brought into the global capitalist system, making it convenient to conduct capital exploitation. Consequently, in the process of our country realizing modernization, we must fully understand the ideological nature of modernization, and avoid falling into the “development mirage”.

Fifth, pluralized value orientations assault our country’s mainstream ideology. At present, our country is in a period of social transformation, because of this, deep change has been brought to people’s life means, means of activity and value concepts. Under the conditions of the Socialist market economy, people’s value systems contain positive factors conforming to the Socialist value system, and include negative factors such as the pursuit of material gain and Mammonism, etc. Following the incessant deepening of reform and opening up, our country’s economic structure has deeply reformed, social structures have deeply changed, and patterns of interest have deeply readjusted, the co-existence of many kinds of ownership systems, the changes in class levels and the differentiation if interests have led to the pluralisation of interest subjects, people are concerned about and safeguard the interest of the social group to which they belong they pay attention and regard to individual interests and what affects them, and make this into scales to measure values, good, bad, right and wrong are judged according to the subjective self. The pluralisation of ideological concepts and value orientations is unavoidable. Furthermore, in a modern, open society, cultural exchange and merging between China and the West incessantly deepens and expands, all sorts of cultural thinking trends pour into our country, they also provide an objective soil for the multiplication of pluralized value orientations. The independence, selective nature, variable nature and differential nature of culture and value orientations has, to a certain degree, weakened the guiding function of mainstream value systems, and caused mainstream ideology to suffer assaults and watering down.

Sixth, information networking has formed challenges for our country’s ideological control strength. In contrast with traditional cultural dissemination methods, network dissemination has characteristics such as freedom, speed, interactivity, openness, capacity, etc. With the help of this new technological platform of the Internet, the dissemination of our country’s Socialist ideology has gained new technological carriers, new dissemination channels and new spaces for discourse, which is helpful to strengthening the dissemination strength, attractiveness and cohesion of Socialist ideology. But at the same time, information networking has severely tested our country’s ideological control strength. Network ideology has and asymmetric and strongly penetrative nature, technology measures developed in the west and strong cultural export have constituted a very great challenge for our country’s ideological dissemination and defence capability. Furthermore, on the one hand,  the openness, pluralism and interactivity of the network has  provided new channels for people to obtain information and express discourse, and the network has, to a certain extent, become a pressure-reduction valve to  resolve social contradictions and remove harmful emotions in society; on the other hand, the open, plural and interactive information dissemination method has expanded the difficulty of controlling our country’s ideology, the people may also no longer passively accept the teachings and education of main media in the face of a sea of information, and no longer simply follow mainstream ideology, which leads to a weakening of identification with mainstream ideology. We must adopt realistic and feasible response measures, strengthen the attractiveness and cohesion of mainstream ideology, and raise the control strength and guiding strength of mainstream ideology over network culture

(The author is an Associate Research Fellow at the Marxism Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Science)

当前我国意识形态建设面临的六大挑战

▲牢牢占领意识形态阵地既是国家核心利益所在,也是国际较量中的重要筹码。

▲当今世界,争夺话语权、网络控制权、信息发布权、规则制定权、文化领导权等“软权力”成为国家综合国力竞争的焦点。

▲思想领域的争锋、较量从来不会消失,加强我国主流意识形态建设任务艰巨。

牢牢占领意识形态阵地既是国家核心利益所在,也是国际较量中的重要筹码。当今世界已经离开了“暴力与金钱控制的时代”,“核弹与火箭”退居幕后,“意志与思想”走向台前。争夺话语权、网络控制权、信息发布权、规则制定权、文化领导权等“软权力”成为国家综合国力竞争的焦点。作为这场“无硝烟战争”的参与国,基于国际、国内各种压力,中国被推到意识形态斗争的最前沿,意识形态建设面临诸多挑战。

一是西方敌对势力的文化渗透威胁我国意识形态安全。苏联解体及西方敌对势力对后社会主义国家一系列“颜色革命”的成功,使中国成为西方敌对势力和平演变的重要目标国家。西方敌对势力除了在经济、政治领域推行和平演变战略以外,更注重通过文化渗透达到“不战而屈人之兵”的目的。文化渗透主要有三种方式:第一种是直接的文化宣传,即利用现代传媒手段进行长期思想渗透。最典型、最常用的是广播电台和电视的覆盖式宣传。美国的CBS、CNN等媒体发布的信息量,是世界其他国家发布的总信息量的100倍。这种直接的文化渗透规模大、成本低、覆盖面广,正如《华盛顿邮报》宣称的,“西方世界在寻找瓦解共产主义方法,花费了近半个世纪的时间和亿万美元,却发现答案就在电视新闻里”。如今,借助互联网,直接的文化宣传更获得了便捷、高效、广泛、强势的高科技平台,成为意识形态斗争的另一个重要阵地;第二种是以文化商品为载体,向社会大众渗透西方的各种价值观。二战之前,西方敌对势力就注重文化输出与国家地缘战略的结合并用,二战之后更加重视通过全面的文化输出对他国施加影响。美国好莱坞电影成为典型代表,甚至有媒体称好莱坞电影是“铁盒里的大使”。通过这种方式传播文化价值观念,更具隐蔽性和迷惑性,往往能达到“无为而治”、“润物无声”的潜移默化作用;第三种是以教育和学术交流为掩饰,向高层学者、知识分子等社会精英进行价值观渗透。西方敌对势力通过名目众多的基金会,如福特基金会、洛克菲勒基金会、福布赖特基金会等,拉拢和利用高层社科研究人员和知识分子,意在培养从内部瓦解社会主义的“文化基因”,通过他们的辐射作用传播西方的文化价值观,影响社会大众。

二是各种社会思潮影响我国主流意识形态的权威认同。马克思主义作为我国的主流意识形态,其指导地位的确立是历史和中国人民的选择。在思想领域,争锋、较量从来不会消失。改革开放以来,国际国内形势复杂多变,各种社会思潮竞相登场,既有主张自由化、私有化、市场化的新自由主义,也有主张改良、倡导民主、自由的民主社会主义,更有借歪曲、诋毁党的历史和领袖人物虚化中国共产党历史的历史虚无主义。与此同时,西方敌对势力的意识形态攻势也向多样化、深层次拓展。他们不再限于兜售西方的享乐主义、消费主义等生活价值观,而是向政治、哲学价值观发展。布热津斯基攻击共产主义学说的“大简化理论”,丹尼尔·贝尔的“意识形态终结论”、福山的“历史终结论”都是对马克思主义的公然挑战。这些社会思潮极具迷惑性,试图通过系统化的理论和貌似客观的历史事实,赢得人们的信服和认同,从而动摇主流意识形态的权威性。时下正在热议的“中国模式”,一定意义上是继“中国威胁论”、“中国崩溃论”之后的另一种理论陷阱,是西方敌对势力“棒杀”中国的意图落空后推出的“捧杀”阴谋。种种反马克思主义、非马克思主义的社会思潮因其系统性、理论性,容易让人们陷入某种理论误区,对马克思主义产生质疑、动摇甚至背弃,因此,必须提高马克思主义自身的说服力和解释力,这是固守主流意识形态阵地的内生力量。

三是苏东剧变削弱了我国主流意识形态的信仰。1991年,飘扬在克里姆林宫上空的镰刀斧头旗落下,标志着存在70多年的苏联社会主义大国不复存在。随后,社会主义阵营迅速瓦解,国际共产主义运动陷入低潮。苏东剧变的原因非常复杂,既有西方敌对势力和平演变的外因,也有苏联共产党腐化变质的内因;既有苏联实行僵化社会主义的体制性因素,也有意识形态领域混乱的思想性因素……原因是多方面的,但终归是由于苏联背离了马克思主义,没有真正地坚持社会主义。世界各国对国际共运史上的这一重大事件反映不同,评价不一。一时,各种思想汇聚同一事件,意识形态领域形势复杂。有人抛出“历史终结论”,宣称资本主义的最终胜利;有人对社会主义前途悲观绝望;还有人将社会主义实践的挫折和失误归罪于马克思主义,认为苏东剧变是社会主义的失败,是马克思主义的过时。在我国也出现了否定马克思主义、放弃社会主义的论调,导致主流意识形态信仰的弱化,对我国主流意识形态构成了挑战。

四是发展主题与现代化目标淡化了意识形态之间的对立。当今时代的主题是和平与发展,任何国家都希望在全球化条件下最大限度地规避风险,抢占发展先机。富国强民、实现现代化是发展中国家最迫切的目标。这一目标的确立必然使一些发展中国家更多地关注提升国家综合国力、关注能源资源的新开发、关注科技人才的新发展,而少有关注传统具有鲜明阶级性的意识形态问题。共同的发展主题和对现代化的追求,将人类纳入一个同质发展的轨道,资本主义与社会主义之间的界限逐渐模糊,意识形态的差异和对立日益淡化。但实际上,现代化作为源发于西方而逐渐向世界扩展的人类历史的运动、变化和发展过程,其本身便是一种文化意识形态。披上普遍性外衣的现代化理论,旨在向“欠发达国家”许诺:只要按照美国的现代化模式发展,就能摆脱落后和愚昧,实现民族经济发展和社会进步,从而摆脱马克思共产主义革命范式的影响,对“欠发达”世界由于非殖民化而释放出来的新的、具有潜在危险性的力量进行疏导和控制。与此同时,将这些“欠发达”世界纳入资本主义世界体系之中,便于进行资本剥削。因而,在我国实现现代化的过程中,要充分认识现代化的意识形态性,避免陷入“发展的幻象”之中。

五是多元价值取向对我国主流意识形态的冲击。目前我国正处于社会转型期,由此带来人们的生活方式、行为方式和价值观念的深刻变革。在社会主义市场经济条件下,人们的价值观念中既包含符合社会主义价值观念的积极因素,也包含逐利、拜金等消极因素。随着改革开放的不断深入,我国的经济体制深刻变革、社会结构深刻变动、利益格局深刻调整,多种所有制的并存、阶级阶层的变化和利益的分化导致利益主体的多元化,人们关心和维护自己所属社会群体的利益,关注和重视个体的利益和感受,并以此作为价值评判尺度,好坏优劣皆依主体自身加以判断。思想观念和价值取向的多元不可避免。另外,在开放的现代社会,中西方文化交流和融合不断向纵深拓展,各种文化思潮涌入我国,客观上也为多元价值取向的滋生提供了思想土壤。文化价值观的独立性、选择性、多变性、差异性,一定程度上削弱了主流价值观的主导作用,使主流意识形态遭遇冲击和淡化。

六是信息网络化对我国意识形态的控制力形成挑战。与传统的文化传播方式不同,网络传播具有自由性、快捷性、交互性、开放性、海量性等特点。借助互联网这一新技术平台,我国社会主义意识形态的传播获得了新的技术载体、新的传播渠道和新的言论空间,有助于增强社会主义意识形态的传播力、吸引力和凝聚力。但同时,信息网络化也严峻考验着我国意识形态的控制力。网络意识形态具有非对称性和强大的渗透性,西方发达的网络技术手段和强势的文化输出对我国意识形态的传播和防御能力构成很大挑战。此外,网络的开放性、多元性和交互性,一方面为人们提供了获取信息和言论表达的新途径,网络一定程度上成为化解社会矛盾、疏导社会不良情绪的减压阀;另一方面,开放、多元、交互的信息传播方式加大了我国意识形态的控制难度,人们在海量的信息面前也可能不再被动接受主导媒体的灌输和教育,不再简单追随主流意识形态,导致对主流意识形态认同的弱化。我们必须采取切实可行的应对措施,加强主流意识形态的吸引力、凝聚力,提高主流意识形态对网络文化的控制力和引导力。●

(作者系中国社会科学院马克思主义研究院副研究员)

 

2 thoughts on “Six Major Challenges that Our Country’s Ideological Construction Faces at Present

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    May 18, 2013 at 10:06 am

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