Qiushi, 1 June 2013
Letting philosophy and social science flourish is a necessary requirement for persisting in and developing Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and is a strong call for realizing the country’s wealth and strength, the vitalization of the nation and the happiness of the people. Since 16th Party Congress, under the determined leadership of the Party Centre, the philosophy and social science front has closely grasped the correct political orientation, has closely revolved around the larger picture of Party and State work, has forcefully moved all work forward, has obtained clear advances, and has made important contributions to consolidating mainstream ideology and public opinion, letting academic theory flourish, and for promoting reform, opening up and modernization construction. In the magnificent journey of realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, philosophy and social science are as broad as heaven and earth, and are very promising.
I, Scientifically grasping the new tasks and new requirements put forward by the 18th Party Congress towards philosophy and social science work.
With the 18th Party Congress as a symbol, the development of all Party and State undertakings now stand on a new starting point, philosophy and social science work equally stand on a new starting point. To let philosophy and social science flourish, we must earnestly study and deeply grasp the new tasks and new requirements put forward by the 18th Party Congress. The 18th Party Congress established the scientific development view as a guiding ideology that the Party must persist in for a long time and wrote it into the Party Constitution, this requires that we deeply research the scientific development view, further promote the use of the scientific development view to arm minds and guide practice. The 18th Party Congress put forward the basic requirement of striving for new victories of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, this requires that we deeply research what is Socialism with Chinese characteristics, how to build Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and incessantly deepen our understanding of its rules. The 18th Party Congress put forward the objective of comprehensively constructing a moderately prosperous society and the complete deepening of reform and opening up, this requires that we deeply research new ways of thinking and new measures to accelerate Socialist modernization construction, promote scientific development and stimulate social harmony even better. The 18th Party Congress put forward the strategic task of firmly moving the construction of a strong Socialist cultural country forward, this requires that we deeply research channels and methods to deepen cultural structural reform and to promote the surge of a new high tide of Socialist cultural construction. The 18th Party Congress made the scientific determination that the country’s development is still in an important strategic opportunity period with great potential, this requires that we deeply research the content of the important strategic opportunity period and the changes in conditions, to provide powerful support for grasping new opportunities, responding to new challenges and creating new superiorities. The 18th Party Congress has, at the same time as making a complete deployment of the undertaking of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, made a major deployment on raising the scientization levels of Party building, this requires that we deeply research new tasks and new requirements for strengthening and improving Party building, to completely move the magnificent new project of Party building forward. Since the 18th Party Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping has published a series of important speeches, which further deepened and expanded the spirit of the 18th Party Congress, we must earnestly study and deeply comprehend them, and implement them into every area of philosophy and social science work. In short, we must absolutely strengthen a sense of responsibility and a sense of mission, persist in academic self-consciousness, raise academic self-consciousness and contribute wisdom and strengthen to the objectives and tasks determined by the 18th Party Congress.
To promote the flourishing and development of philosophy and social science, we must take studying and propagating the spirit of the 18th Party Congress as the main core, and implement a series of important policies and principles of our Party concerning the flourishing and development of philosophy and social science, achieve that we persist in the correct orientation, submit to serving the larger picture, carry forward academic democracy, and are keen on reform and innovation. Persist in the correct orientation means that we must not waver in persisting in the guiding position of Marxism throughout, conscientiously use the theoretical system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics in academic research, stand form on political standpoints, maintain political concentration and guarantee that philosophy and social science progresses in the correct direction. Submitting to serving the larger picture means that we must persist in serving the people and serving Socialism, closely revolve around the needs of the central work and policymaking in the Party and the State, take root in the people, focus on practice, strive to storm the pass in major theoretical and real problems, and give rein to the knowledge base and think tank functions. To carry academic democracy forward, we must persist in letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools contend, respect labour, respect knowledge, respect talent and respect creation, observe academic rules, encourage bold exploration, advocate tolerance, fully encourage the debate between different opinions and different schools, create an academic atmosphere that is vivid and vigorous, comfortable and harmonious. Being keen on reform means that we must persist in liberating thoughts, seeking truth from facts, progressing with the times and striving to innovate structures and mechanisms, enrich content forms, expand methods and means, and promote the flourishing and development of philosophy and social science with an innovative spirit, in order to contribute forces to the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.
II, Strengthening research and elucidation on Socialism with Chinese characteristics and the Chinese Dream
Socialism with Chinese characteristics is the main theme of the complete theory and practice of our Party in new times, the Chinese Dream is the most magnificent dream of national rejuvenation since modern times. Philosophy and social science must make elucidating Socialism with Chinese characteristics and the Chinese Dream into a priority task, concentrate backbone forces, assemble superior resources, strengthen a comprehensive storming of the pass, strive to roll out a batch of major theoretical results, and provide firm scholarly support for strengthening self-confidence in the path, self-confidence in theory and self-confidence in the system.
The core of the spirit of the 18th Party Congress is persisting in and developing Socialism with Chinese characteristics. This is a major real issue, and is a major theoretical issue as well. The deeper our theoretical research becomes, the deeper we grasp Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the more benefit is gained for the development of our undertaking. We must closely link up with the more than 5000 years of history of the civilization of the Chinese nation, link up with the 500 years of development and progress of Socialist thinking, link up with the more than ninety years of the magnificent practice of revolution, construction and reform in our country, deeply research the historical necessity, basic requirements and major significance of persisting in and developing Socialism with Chinese characteristics, deeply elaborate our creation of a path, contributions to theory and institutional superiority, deeply elaborate that Socialism with Chinese characteristics is Socialism and isn’t any other ism, deeply elaborate the fact that the two periods before and after reform and opening up are both closely linked periods and historical periods with large differences, deeply elaborate that Marxism must be incessantly developed following the development of the ties, practice and science, that Socialism forever will progress through pioneering, incessantly endow Socialism with Chinese characteristics with rich practical characteristics, theoretical characteristics, national characteristics and characteristics of the times. We must deeply research and elaborate the historical position and guiding importance of the scientific development view, research and elaborate the practical requirements for implementing the scientific development view, further strengthen the consciousness and firmness for implementing the scientific development view. The Socialist Core Value System is the spirit to rejuvenate the country, and decides the development orientation of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must tightly grip the ‘three propositions” and “24 characters” put forward by the 18th Party Congress, strengthen theoretical research and general abstraction, guide the people to consciously practice the Socialist Core Value System, and promote the incessant deepening of the construction of the Socialist Core Value System.
The Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation is an important strategic through collectively put forward by the central leadership, it is a political proclamation about the future development of the Party and the country, it is the common struggle objective of the entire Party and the people of all ethnicities in the entire country, it is a spiritual banner to unite and assemble all sons and daughters of China at home and overseas, it fully reflects the historical role, mission and pursuit of our Party. As soon as the Chinese Dream was put forward, it raised a strong reaction, had a strong appeal strength and influence. We must unite researching Socialism with Chinese characteristics and the Chinese Dream, deeply elaborate the major significance, spiritual essence and practical requirements of the Chinese dream, clarify the profound content and organic relationships of the Chinese Dream in relation to the country, the nation and the people, clarify the objectives and requirements for realizing the Chinese dream in economic construction, political construction, cultural construction, social construction, ecological civilization construction and other areas, and clarify the real path, spiritual support and driving sources for realizing the Chinese Dream. We must deeply elaborate that the Chinese Dream is a dream of peace and a dream of harmony, that it not only enriches the Chinese people, but enriches the people across the world as well, that it is able to bring new opportunities for global peaceful development, and benefits lasing peace and common flourishing across the world. To research Socialism with Chinese characteristics and research the Chinese Dream, we must integrate this with researching Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, deeply research the basic viewpoints of Marxism, research the independent theoretical contributions of Mao Zedong, deeply elaborate that the Party’s theoretical innovation achievements persist in and develop Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, are derived from the same origin and progress with the time.
The Marxism Theoretical Research and Construction Project is the biggest, most basic and most profound ideological theory construction project implemented by our Party since the 16th Party Congress, and has had a ground-breaking function, a basic function and a guiding function in promoting theoretical innovation, flourishing and development of philosophy and social science on a practical basis. We must persist in incessant work, unrelenting strength, undivided teams, and integrate new developments of the times and practice, to incessantly deepen the project. We must continue to move philosophy and social science disciplinary structure and educational structure construction forward, complete project textbook compilation and follow-up work well, use already published textbooks well, and revise them well, and move forward with the achievements of the Party’s theoretical innovation moving into textbooks, into classrooms and into minds.
III, Deepening research on real major issues relating to the overall picture
Our undertaking has incessantly advanced through discovering issues, researching issues and resolving issues. Researching and answering the questions raised by the times is where the important duty and value of philosophy and social science lie. We must firmly establish a problem conscience, actively meet them head-on, directly face real contradictions, respond to the sounds of the times, stand in practice to conduct theoretical creation, vigorously serve the bigger picture of the Party and the country, and even better promote economic and social sustained and healthy development.
At present, our country is in a crucial development period, a period to storm the fortifications of reform, a period with prominent contradictions, and the difficulties and problems we face are many. Only by thoroughly researching and resolving these difficulties and problems well, can our undertaking march ahead, and can it march well. We must revolve around the general positioning of “five positions, one whole” of the undertaking of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, strengthen research to promote scientific development and the transformation of economic development methods, strengthen research to analyse and explain the issue that development is unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable, strengthen research on stable growth, controlling inflation and preventing risks, promote real, qualitative, effective and sustainable development, incessantly pioneer civilizational development paths for production development, life prosperity and a good ecology. We must revolve around building institutions and structures that are systemically complete, with scientific standards and effective operations, earnestly launch research on top-level reform design and general planning, launch research on the systemic nature, comprehensive nature and coordinated nature of reform, launch research on reform unimportant areas and crucial segments, promote the incessant deepening of reform, stimulate institutions on all sides to become even more mature and standardized. We must revolve around guaranteeing that the people live and work in peace and happiness, that society is stable and orderly, that the country knows a long period of tranquillity, and incessantly deepen research on strengthening and innovating social management, deepen research on guaranteeing and improving people’s livelihoods, deepen research relating to issues directly affecting the masses’ interests, to disambiguate misunderstandings, promote work and stimulate the construction of a Socialist harmonious society. We must revolve around promoting the formation of an international environment that is beneficial to our country’s reform, development and stability, vigorously research the rules of the interactions of the two big situations, the international and the domestic, research the future trends of the adjustments of the present global structure, research the basic situation of the power change and chess game between great powers, in order to safeguard the national interest and national security.
The 18th Party Congress, based on the development of the situation, the expansion of the undertaking and the expectations of the people, has made a strategic deployment to completely raise the scientization levels of Party building. We must revolve around this deployment, deeply research the new challenges and new requirements of strengthening the construction of the Party’s governing ability, advanced nature and purity. We must especially integrate the mass line educational practice project that will be launched soon and has pragmatism, honesty and being for the people as the main content, deeply research the characteristics and rules of mass work under new circumstances, research institutions and measure to raise the ability to do mass work well and preserve the flesh-and-blood relationship of the Party and the masses, research effective channels to resolve the formalist, bureaucratist, hedonist and extravagant styles that the people strongly react against, promote the deep development of educational practice activities, strive to construct a study-type, service-type and innovative Marxist governing Party.
Now, our country’s ideological area is dynamic and complex, all sorts of social thinking trends vie for a voice, deep ideological and theoretical problems are many, they have engendered an influence at a certain level, and we must urgently strengthen correct guidance and deep guidance. In these areas, the philosophy and social science front shall act vigorously, and act well. We must strengthen follow-up analysis and scientific deliberation, in a focused manner roll out a batch of research results, and with a correct standpoints, a clear viewpoint and a firm attitude, conduct deep discrimination and powerful reputation of mistaken thinking trends and viewpoints, help the people to clearly divide right and wrong, clear up vague understandings, and unwaveringly consolidate and expand mainstream ideology and public opinion.
IV, Vigorously move philosophy and social science innovation system construction forward
Constructing a philosophy and social science innovation system is an important task put forward by the 18th Party Congress, and is a strategic focus point for the present philosophy and social science work. To construct innovation systems, we must persist in our own academic development path, stimulate the innovation of academic systems, academic viewpoints and scientific research methods, endow philosophy and social science with even fresher Chinese characteristics, Chinese styles and Chinese airs, promote the establishment of an academic garden that is rooted in the fertile soil of the nation and reflects the spirit of the times.
The key to constructing a philosophy and social science innovation system is that we must strengthen basic research and create a firm academic basis. Without the support of firm and deep academic research, the influence and vitality of academia will be difficult to sustain. Looking over the development history of philosophy and social science, the major discoveries and breakthroughs in the basic areas have often fostered new academic transformations, and can not only engender new research areas and ideological viewpoints, but may also extremely greatly change academic conceptual categories and discourse systems. We must give high regard to basic research in our strategy, stand on the reality of Chinese academia, aim for the forward position on global academia, implement a batch of “high, excellent and sharp” major basic research programmes, strengthen the aftereffects of academic development, foster new disciplinary growth points, raise our country’ academic creative capacity. We must vigorously create good conditions for basic research, establish a batch of research bases with clear characteristics and rational structuring, expand input, strengthen support, guide even more expert scholars to focus on basic research and take delight in basic research.
To build a philosophy and social science innovation structure, it is very important that a modern Chinese academic discourse structure is constructed. The issue of academic discourse, on the surface is an issue of “what to say and how to say it”, but in fact, it is a major issue involving ideological dissemination, value identification, image moulding and many other aspects. If this issue is not resolved well, it will be difficult for us to grasp the power of discourse and gain the initiative in international scholarly exchange, mingling and confrontation, and it will be difficult to occupy the commanding heights in global scholarship. Through the efforts made since the establishment of the New China and especially the 30 years of reform and opening up, our country has successfully marched a path of its own, and created a “Chinese Track” for development, this is a rich resource to launch academic research and gain the superiority in discourse. We must have this stamina, have this self-confidence to establish our own academic discourse structure. We must hold onto Chinese viewpoints, persist in openness and tolerance, and with a broad field of vision and mind, actively respond to major challenges we face in these times, strive to forge new concepts, new categories and new descriptions circulating in China and abroad, and shape a Chinese discourse that is rich in attractiveness and infectiousness. Now, at the international level, many people do not truly understand China. Faced with this situation, we must further strengthen theory building and foreign propaganda and explanations, strive to build theory and discourse that lets the world understand and that they can be convinced by, let the world understand and comprehend the Chinese path and the Chinese system. We must broadly launch foreign academic exchange, we must both vigorously “sound our voice” and be good at “sounding our voice”, we must both explain academic views, and transmit Chinese concepts, to sing with “a Chinese voice” on the international academic stage.
The National Social Science Fund is a powerful handhold to let philosophy and social science flourish, and is an important platform to unite and concentrate the broad experts and scholars. We must, according to the requirements of persisting in the correct orientation, giving prominence to national standards, paying attention to scientific management and serving expert scholars, integrate grave political requirements and high academic standards, integrate the publication of excellent products and masterpieces with fostering outstanding talents, integrate perfecting funding mechanisms with carrying an excellent learning style forward, and integrate strengthening scientific management and serving experts and scholars, strengthen their model function, guiding function and authority, expand and strengthen the National Social Science Fund, ensure that the broad social science workers are concentrated even better, and promote the flourishing and development of philosophy and social science.
(This text is the speech that CCP Politburo Member, Central Committee Secretariat Secretary, Central Propaganda Department Director and National Philosophy and Social Science Planning and Leading Small Group Director Liu Qibao made at the 2013 annual National Social Science Fund programme comment work conference, it has been abridged for publication.)