This Qiushi editorial was published online on 1 May 2013. It further makes the case for the concept of the Chinese dream and its links to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. As always, there are a lot of historical references to the historical humiliation of China, and the role of the Communist Party in its restoration. There are also the usual lofty claims to moral rectitude of the Party, and its genius in developing the ‘correct path’ for China’s development.
Persisting in and developing Socialism with Chinese characteristics is a great article, a new article into which one generation of CCP members after another have thrown their heart and soul, and which they have successively written unusually brilliantly. General Secretary Xi Jinping’s Chinese dream, expounded with deep feelings and discussed profoundly, has become the exalted melody and spiritual banner for the present Chinese society, and has infused persisting in and developing Socialism with Chinese characteristics with strong new energy.
History is always able to give people deep enlightenment
A wealthy and strong country, a vitalized nation, and a happy people are the dreams in the hearts of several generations of Chinese people since modernity.
When the brilliance of the setting sun of feudal dynasties dimmed and waned, for the Chinese nation with 5000 years of civilization and history, “the nation had collapsed, but the mountains and rivers remained”. Among every descendant of Yan Di and Huang Di who wanted to save the nation from peril and transform Chinese society, who did not “lie in the depth of the night, listening to the winds blowing the rain, with iron-clad horses over frozen rivers, invade my dreams again…”
We have had the “dream of changing ways” to save the nation from extinction. The reform and new ways of Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao, attempted to implement a constitutional monarchy in China, according to the model of England, Japan and other countries, but the dream was cut short in the pool of blood of the Six Gentlemen who “had the heart to kill criminals, but did not have the power to save a desperate situation”.
We have had the “foreign affairs dream” of a Chinese essence and Western utility. We used Western learning, made foreign things, we self-strengthened, searched for wealth, put on new shoes to walk old roads, but in the end, the dream perished in the artillery fire of the naval battles of 1894.
We have had the “constitutional dream” of capitalism. When Sun Yat-sen led the Xinhai Revolution that established the Republic of China, he put forward the “Five Powers Constitution” and the route map of “military administration, political tutelage, constitutional government”, but in the ends, this evolved into the nightmares of the carving up of the country by warlords, fragmentation of the country, the chaos of war for many years, and the people lacking the means for livelihood.
We have had the dream of science and democracy, and tried out many kinds of isms: reformism, liberalism, social Darwinism, anarchism, pragmatism, populism, syndicalism, … it was lively and buzzing, as “when you stop singing, I’ll come onstage”. But, after the people “looked at their precious long sword, and pounded all the railings with their hands”, the problems of China had still not been resolved, there were times of dreaming and awakening, and we did not know where the road led. Only Marxism-Leninism and Socialism, as a historical sunshine, illuminated China’s stage, and illuminated the path for the Chinese people to advance. The victory of the people’s revolution led by the Chinese Communist Party thoroughly concluded the miserable history of China’s domestic trouble and foreign invasion, and its long-standing weakness of extreme poverty, thoroughly changed the future and fate of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation, and opened up the Chinese nation’s incessant development and expansion, and its historic march towards a magnificent rejuvenation.
The Socialist path has, however, not been smooth sailing. After the New China was established, because of insufficient experience, we have also walked along not a few detours. For a time, we indiscriminately copied the Soviet model, the mistake of “Leftism” appeared in the Party’s guiding ideology, and even tragedies such as the “Great Cultural Revolution” happened, of which the experiences and lessons were extremely profound. But, despite the hardships and disappointments, this tortuous history has also provided precious experience, theoretical preparation and a material basis for the foundation of Socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new phase, history cannot be rashly denied. In the new phase, Comrade Deng Xiaoping led the entire Party to liberate thoughts and seek truth from facts, implement reform and opening up with huge political courage and theoretical courage, and march a new road of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, the achievements have attracted worldwide attention. Some developing countries have indiscriminately copied development models that did not suit their national conditions, bringing about factional political struggles, social unrest, and the people suffering hardship and misery. The contrast to this matter is that China has not stopped, has not withdrawn and has certainly not collapsed under the lashings of the violent changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and the international financial crisis, or under complex circumstances where all sorts of challenges and risks are mutually linked, and contradictions and pitfalls are piled up, on the contrary, comprehensive national strength increases daily, the people’s living standards rise incessantly, and “the scenery on this side is singularly good”.
History has given the people deep enlightenment: the path decides the fate. History has made a clear conclusion: only Socialism can save China, only Socialism with Chinese characteristics can develop China. Marx said that the extent to which theory is realized in a country, always depends on the extent to which theory can satisfy the needs of that country. The key for what kind of ism a country implements, is to look at whether or not that ism can resolve the historical issues this country faces. “Whether or not shoes fit your feet, you can only know when you wear them”. Socialism with Chinese characteristics is the choice of the people and a historical necessity.
Chinese people have always had the dream of the Great Harmony of all under heaven, and long for a beautiful society with noble virtue, material plenty, equality and equity, in which all under heaven belongs to everyone, this is the most central spiritual belief of the Chinese people. It is the cultural-psychological basis for the successful link-up of Communist ideals and the pursuits of the Chinese nation, and it is the origin of the point where Socialism has become a historical necessity from China. But just as Comrade Mao Zedong said, “when Kang Youwei wrote “The Book of Great Harmony”, he did not and could not find a way to achieve Great Harmony”. Only the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics found through untold hardships extensively experienced by the Chinese Communist Party, is the correct path in the human world to realize the Chinese Dream.
Socialism with Chinese characteristics lets our dreams take flight
A historian said: history should not only dispel bias, it should also foster enthusiasm. When we look back at the history since modernity, there is not only a necessity for thorough overhaul, the importance also lies in the fact that, in recalling history, we arouse our enthusiasm and courage to let our dreams take flight, strengthen self-confidence about the path, self-confidence about the theory and self-confidence about the system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and advance even more resolutely and firmly along the path that we have chosen.
The Party’s 18th Congress put forward eight fundamental requirements that we must persist in to seize the victory of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, they are: persist in the dominant role of the people, persist in liberating and developing social productive forces, persist in moving reform and opening up forward, persist in safeguarding social justice and fairness, persist in marching the path of common prosperity, persist in stimulating social harmony, persist in peaceful development, and persist in the leadership of the Party. These eight fundamental requirements are the most essential things of Socialism. The Chinese Dream truly is the reflection of the essence of Socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Socialism with Chinese characteristics is the undertaking of hundreds of millions of people themselves, the Chinese Dream, in the end, is the dream of the people. The Chinese Dream relies on the people, the Chinese Dream is for the sake of the people, the people are the subjects of the Chinese Dream. Socialism ensures that everyone jointly enjoys the opportunity for a splendid human life, jointly enjoys the opportunity to see dreams become reality, and jointly enjoys the opportunity to grow and progress together with the motherland and the times. The country doing well and the nation doing well, is for the sake of everyone doing well.
Liberating and developing social productive forces is the basic task of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and to provide a strong material basis for realizing the Chinese Dream. Development still is the key to resolving all of our country’s problems, and development is a strategic thought of hard rationality, that cannot be shaken in the slightest. We must, from beginning to end, persist in making economic construction central, making scientific development into the main theme, completely move economic construction, political construction, cultural construction, social construction and ecological civilization construction forward, and realize scientific development that puts people first, is completely coordinated and sustainable.
Reform and opening up is the necessary path for persisting in and developing Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and is one key in realizing the Chinese Dream. Without reform and opening up, there would not be a today for China, and there will also not be a tomorrow for China. Reform and opening up can only be conducted, it cannot be completed. We must achieve that reform does not stop and opening up does not cease, we must dare to break through the barriers of solidified interests, dare to break through ideological and conceptual obstacles, in order to push reform forwards with great political wisdom and courage. The spirit of the times with reform and innovation as core content will forever be a strong spiritual pillar for realizing the Chinese Dream.
Justice and fairness are implicit requirements for Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and are the fundamental contents of the Chinese Dream. Realizing the Chinese Dream requires the whole body of the people to enjoy the rights of fair participation and fair development, on the basis of everyone’s common struggle, economic and social development, intensify the construction of systems and structures guaranteeing social justice and fairness, progressively establish social justice guarantee systems with fairness of rights, fairness of opportunity and fairness of regulations as the main content, strive to create a just and fair social environment, let the people feel the warmth and power of justice and fairness through every little bit in their lives.
Common prosperity is the fundamental principle of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and is the most important foundation supporting the Chinese Dream. Poverty is not Socialism, the polarization between rich and poor is also not Socialism, only common prosperity is the essential characteristic and fundamental value objective of Socialism, and is a symbolic content of the Chinese Dream. Realizing the Chinese Dream requires that we persist in and perfect the basic Socialist economic system and distribution system, adjust the distribution structure of citizens’ income, strive to resolve the issue of a relatively large income disparity, and ensure that development results are extended to the whole body of the people more and more fairly, to make steady progress towards common prosperity.
Social harmony is the essential property of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and is a principle that should be present among the topics of the Chinese Dream. The Chinese Dream pursues the harmony and unification of the country, the nation and the people, and pursues the harmony and unification of society, the collective and the individual. Only when the country does well, and the nation does well, can everyone do well. The more the individual struggles to realize the common dream, the broader the space for the realization of individual dreams becomes.
Peaceful development is a necessary choice of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and is a necessary pursuit for the Chinese dream. “Peace is like air and sunlight, we benefit from it unconsciously, once we lose it, it is difficult to regain”. The Chinese people fear upheaval, and demand stability, they hope for all under heaven to be at peace. The Chinese Dream not only brings benefit to the people of China, but also benefits the people of all countries in the world. The Chinese Dream hopes that the people who live on the same global village, commonly construct a harmonious world with lasting peace and common flourishing through the development of peace, cooperation and win-win.
The Chinese Communist Party is the leading core of the undertaking of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and is the guide to realize the Chinese Dream. The Chinese Communist Party that “shoulders justice and morality with an iron shoulder”, has borne the historical mission for realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation since the day of its foundation, it has listened attentively to the calls of the people at all times and instances, has responded to the expectations of the people, has put the people in the highest position in its heart, has made the people’s yearning for a beautiful life into the objective for struggle, and is the eternal pioneer for the Chinese people and the Chinese nation.
The Chinese Dream infuses the united struggle of the Party and the people with new energy
Our Party has, in different historical periods, always based itself on the wishes of the people and the development requirements of the undertaking, put forward struggle objectives rich in inspiration, and united and led the people’s struggle. The Party’s 18th Congress has established the struggle objectives of comprehensively establishing a moderately prosperous society by the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party, and the construction of a harmonious modernized Socialist country that is rich, strong, democratic and civilized by the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the New China, these are also the objectives of the Chinese Dream that we can anticipate today.
This is the dream of a magnificent spring day, it conforms to the development trends of China at present, conforms to the fervent hopes of the people to live even better lives, it conforms to the trends of the times of global development and progress, it is the solemn commitment towards the nation, the country and the people and the political call to make concerted efforts in common struggle, at moment of truth for our Party in carrying forward the cause of Socialism with Chinese characteristics and forging ahead into the future, in order to inspire the huge enthusiasm and spirit of struggle of the people in the entire country with vivid power. The Chinese Dream is a beautiful ideal, and is a real movement. “Shouting with hoarse voices is not as good as going full steam ahead”, “empty talk jeopardizes the country, real work rejuvenates the country”. Only by indomitable struggle, arduous struggle and unwavering struggle, will we be able to welcome the time when dreams come true.
Realizing the Chinese Dream requires indomitable struggle. Marx said, if struggle is only conducted under conditions where opportunities are absolutely favourable, then the creation of world history would be rather too easy. Our undertaking is unprecedented, and the path to our dreams is not smooth. The more we advance, the more problems there will be, and the greater the trials will be. In transforming the economy and redirecting society, reform will meet with dangerous shoals, and the system remains to be perfected, ideologies are plural, civilization is varied, the Party itself faces many dangers and risks, etc. As a foreign academic said: there isn’t any one country that has ever faced such a series of challenges, there isn’t any handbook that can guide China. Only by indomitable struggle, giving rein to the vigour and creativity of history, building paths across the mountains, building bridges over rivers, daring to bite through hard bones, daring to ford dangerous shoals, and daring to defeat all difficulties and obstacles on the path ahead, will we be able to seize victory in the magnificent struggle with new historical characteristics.
Realizing the Chinese Dream requires arduous work and struggle. “Observations of historical countries and families, shows that success comes from hard work and thrift, while destruction comes from luxury and extravagance”. The basic national condition of being in the primary stage of Socialism, the difference between GDP per capita and average global levels, the position of being a developing country, all require our arduous work and struggle. The purpose of the Communist Party, the political role of Communist Party members and the fervent expectations of the popular masses require our arduous work and struggle. “Thrift and austerity truly are the source of the magnificent cause; worship of luxury and passion, is the root of evil conduct.” The essence of improving work styles is to persist in and carry forward a spirit of arduous struggle. “To let the people live good days, government must live thrifty days”. “As one shoulders takes office, and serves the public, he must give up the idea of becoming wealthy”. Communist for whom hardship comes first, enjoyment comes later, who work diligently and are honest in holding public office, must from beginning to end be kindred of spirit with the people, share joy and sorrow with the people, and struggle in unity with the people.
Realizing the Chinese Dream requires untiring struggle. Realizing the magnificent objective requires tenacious and dauntless efforts. Without ambitious ideals, there will be no firm and unwavering action. All bogged down activities, all conceited and arrogant emotions, all perplexed and hesitant viewpoints, and all work styles with spiritual sluggishness, are reflections of withering flowers in ideals and convictions. One generation of another of Communist Party members have shed blood and made sacrifices, relying on their convictions, for the sake of their ideals, the ideals of the revolution are higher than heaven. In the face of vast and mighty trends of the times, in the face of the ardent expectation of the popular masses to lead even better lives, we cannot be conceited or sluggish in the slightest. We must make persistent efforts, persevere, press resolutely forward, hold fast until the end, struggle untiringly and struggle eternally for the realization of the Chinese dream.
“When the opportunity is ripe for an idea, the armies of the whole world will not be able to stop it”, as one writer put it. Today, there is no longer any force that is able to stop the realization of the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The struggle will achieve our dreams, we do not have the slightest doubt about this!