Liu Yunshan: Some Points of Understanding concerning Criticism and Self-Criticism

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Originally published by Xinhua on 9 September

Since the 18th Party Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping has repeatedly stressed that we must persist in the fact that the Party manages the Party, and to govern the Party strictly, he clearly put forward that we must straiten intra-Party political life, and use the sharp weapon of criticism and self-criticism well. Under new historical conditions, the reason why criticism and self-criticism is prominently stressed, where its practical significance lies, and how to engage in criticism and self-criticism well, all merit our deep consideration. I’d like to use this opportunity to talk about some points of understanding, for the comrades’ reference.

I, Criticism and self-criticism is a fine tradition of our Party

Criticism and self-criticism are the concrete reflection of Marxist epistemology and practice, they are a fundamental principle of intra-Party political life in Marxist parties. Our Party is a Marxist party, and represents fundamental interests of the broadest people, it does not have any private interest of its own, it has never feared criticism and self-criticism, it dares to openly acknowledge and rectify its own flaws and mistakes, and is able to rely on its own strengths to resolve its own shortcomings where they exist. During a long time of practice, the work style of criticism and self-criticism that our Party fostered, has become, together with linking theory and practice and closely linking up with the masses, three great fine work styles that our Party must persist in from beginning to end. Linking theory and practice, closely linking up with the masses, criticism and self criticism have also become the most profound fine tradition of our Parties, and have become our Party’s most energetic “life factors”.

Looking back at the Party’s history, our Party has developed and grown strong through criticism and self-criticism. From the day of its birth, our Party has consciously engaged in criticism and self-criticism, and especially at a number of major historical junctures, it has always dared to take up this weapon to eliminate the influence of all sorts of mistaken ideologies, maintain the correct progressive orientation, and concentrate its mighty forces to advance. After the first GMD-CCP cooperation failed, the “Eight Great Meetings” began to explore the correct path of land reform and armed struggle on the basis of criticising intra-Party rightist mistakes, and only afterwards did the revolutionary high tide of the “red flag fluttering in the Western breeze” emerge. During the Jinggang mountains period, Comrade Mao Zedong conducted firm resistance against and criticism of “leftist” tendencies existing within the Party at that time, and against all sorts of unproletarian thoughts in the Red Army. During the Long March, the Zunyi conference, through serious ideological struggle, reversed the mistakes of “leftism”, which saved the Party at a critical juncture, saved the Red Army and saved the Chinese revolution. The Yan’an Rectification was an even more successful model of using the weapon of criticism and self-criticism, through strict criticism and self-criticism, the influence of subjectivism, factionalism, eight-legged Party writing and other harmful work styles was eliminated. The 7th Party Congress clearly made criticism and self-criticism into a basic method of intra-Party life, and made it into a behavioural norm that Party members and cadres must obey. Through the Yan’an Rectification and the 7th Party Congress, the entire Party became highly consistent ideologically, unprecedentedly united in terms of organization, and laid a firm basis for the magnificent victories in the War of Resistance against Japan and the War of Liberation in terms of politics, ideology, organization and work style.

After the foundation of the New China, our Party continued to persist in and develop the fine tradition of criticism and self-criticism. The Party Rectification Movements of the early Fifties, as well as the subsequent “Seven Thousand People Congress” etc., all used the weapon of criticism and self-criticism relatively well to resolve the ideological and work style problems within the Party at that time. At the 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Congress, our Party resolutely brought order out of chaos, and again established liberating thoughts and seeking truth from facts as the ideological line, and recovered the fine work styles, including criticism and self criticism, it realized the regularization of intra-Party political life, and thereby started a new journey for the development of the Party’s undertaking. The Party Rectification in the Eighties and the subsequent “Three Stresses” education, the movement to maintain the advancedness of Communist Party members with realizing the important “Three Represents” thought as main content, and the movement to deeply study and practice the scientific development view all implemented the requirements of criticism and self-criticism, unified the thoughts of the entire Party on major theoretical and practical issues, and infused reform, opening up and Socialist modernization construction with a strong vitality.

More than ninety years of Party building experience fully indicate that, at whichever time where the work style of criticism and self-criticism was carried forward well, the wind in the Party was clear and the air proper, the Party’s creativity, cohesion and fighting force strengthened, and the Party’s undertaking developed and thrived. Conversely, at whichever time criticism and self-criticism were abandoned or distorted, flaws and mistakes became difficult to correct, and the Party’s undertaking was gravely harmed and marched a torturous road. It may be said that criticism and self-criticism are our Party’s powerful weapons to incessantly transform itself and upgrade itself, and are powerful weapons to strengthen the Party’s organization and move the development of the undertaking forward. Regardless of which changes occur in the historical position in which the Party finds itself, and whichever changes occur in the environment we face, this fine tradition of criticism and self-criticism cannot be forgotten, the scientific attitude of persisting in truth and rectifying mistakes cannot change, and the determination and courage for self-cleansing, self-perfection, self-renewal and self-improvement cannot be lost.

II, Criticism and self-criticism are important emblems of Party building

What is criticism and self-criticism? Briefly said, it is that Party organizations and Party members individually timely point out and deeply analyse the flaws and mistakes of comrades inside the Party, individual Party members and Party organizations, and conduct positive and healthy ideological struggle on matters of principle. Comrade Mao Zedong said that “whether or not there is earnest self-criticism, is one of the clear symbols of the difference between our Party and other parties”. With this weapon of criticism and self-criticism, we will be able to eradicate harmful work styles and maintain fine work styles. Engaging in criticism and self-criticism is for the sake of “guarding against political dirt and attacks by political microbes”, timely discovering and correcting flaws existing in ourselves, and stimulating the healthy development of the Party organization, and the healthy growing up of Party members and cadres, may be said to be an important emblem of the Party’s strengthening its self-building.

Criticism and self-criticism is the emblem of persisting in truth and correcting mistakes. It is impossible for any organization or individual not to make mistakes, the key is to be able to correct them when they are made, to timely discover mistakes and dare to correct mistakes. If mistakes are made and we are completely unaware ourselves, and do not permit others to point them out, we may march ever farther on the path of mistakes. The reason why our party is great is not because it never made mistakes, but it lies the consciousness of criticism and self-criticism that our Party has, and its ability to correct its own mistakes. Our Party has pursued the truth from beginning to end, it has persisted in what was correct and has corrected what was mistaken. The more the Party engages in positive and healthy criticism and self-criticism, the more it is able to persist in the truth, draw experiences and lessons from mistake, and continue to incessantly progress in the correct direction.

Criticism and self-criticism are the emblems of carrying forward intra-Party democracy and enhancing Party unity. Intra-Party democracy is the life of the Party. Creating democratic and equal comradely relations within the Party, a political atmosphere of democratic discussion and a structural environment of democratic supervision cannot be separated from positive and healthy criticism and self-criticism. Inside our Party, earnestly engaging in criticism and self-criticism, letting different opinions impact with each other and cross swords with each other benefits distinguishing right from wrong in matters of principle, to build consensus in the depths of ideology, and thereby to shape strong forces to move the undertaking and development forward with one heart and one mind. Abandoning criticism and self-criticism, either through “what I say, goes”, a “patriarchal system” or by trying to be on good terms with everyone where “you are good, I am good and everyone is good”, is not true democracy and is not true unity, and it lacks the reflection of the principle of the Party nature, in the end, it only will let us lose our drive to advance bravely and squander our audacity to innovate.

Criticism and self-criticism are the emblems of fulfilling the Party’s purpose and closely linking up with the masses. Serving the people wholeheartedly is the essential purpose of our Party, closely linking up with the masses is the source of strength of our Party. “Because we serve the people, therefore, if we have shortcomings, we do not fear others criticizing them and pointing them out. Regardless of who it is, it is fine whoever points them out to us. As long as what you say is correct, we will correct matters.” Persisting in the good and rectifying mistakes for the sake of the essential interests of the people is where the true essence of our Party’s persisting in criticism and self-criticism lies. Only by modestly listening to the masses’ critical opinions will we be able to formulate principles and policies on the basis of the masses’ expectations, will we be able to accept supervision from the masses even better, clarify successes and failures in governance, and compare these with the masses’ opinions to improve all work. Whether or not there is a spirit of criticism and self-criticism is an important test for the mass viewpoint and the mass sentiment of Party members and cadres.

Criticism and self-criticism are the emblems of implementing Party discipline and safeguarding the Party’s image. Party discipline relates to the Party’s work style and the Party’s image. Abiding by Party discipline relies both on the thoughts and consciousness of individual party members, and is also inseparable from the supervision and reminders from Party organizations, comrades inside the Party and the popular masses. Disaster is born from weakness, vigilance must be preventive. In the area of implementing Party rules and Party discipline, when a Party member or cadre discovers emerging problems of tendentiousness, if there  are people who “pull a sleeve” or give a reminder, it may be possible that these problems are nipped in the bud; when problems have become relatively grave, if there are people who give a loud shout or strike hard, it is possible that this will lead to a sudden awakening or danger may be reined in at the last moment. Facts have told us over and over again that engaging in criticism and self-criticism is a powerful guarantee to safeguard Party discipline and Party rules, abandoning criticism and self-criticism can only result in Party discipline loosening and slackening, and in harm to the image of the Party.

III, Launching criticism and self-criticism is a necessary requirement for persisting in governing the Party strictly under new circumstances, and preserving the Party’s advancedness and purity.

To govern the country, the Party must be governed first, and governing the Party must be strict. Generally speaking, our Party is firm and powerful, and Party member team situations are good, but the problem that they are not adapted or not suited to new circumstances, tasks and demands is extremely prominent, the “Four Great Tests” that the Party faces are long-term, complex and grim, the “Four Kinds of Danger” are sharply put in front of us, strengthening the Party’s self-building tasks are more pressing and more complex than at any time in the past. One important matter in implementing the demands that the Party must manage the Party and the Party must be governed strictly well, is that the fine work style of criticism and self criticism is carried forward, and implemented in the entire process and all aspects of Party building.

Developing a regular and healthy intra-Party life requires strict criticism and self-criticism. It should be recognized that at the moment, generally, intra-Party life is regular and healthy, but problems such as vulgarization of intra-Party life, the instrumentalization of comradely relationships, etc., exist as well. Some do not want to criticize and do not dare to criticize, they want to be “everybody’s friend”; some pursue a behavioural philosophy of “playing it safe and not offending others”, they only grow flowers and do not grow thorns; some do not open their moths in the face of major rights and wrings, they take a detour when running into contradictions, etc. If this develops for a long this, there is a risk that this “sharp weapon” of criticism and self-criticism will be lost, the “sharp weapon” will turn into a “blunt weapon”, the swords are sheathed, they are rusty and full of spots, and harmful tendencies will breed and propagate within the Party. The Party’s organization is one large crucible, Party members should be able to regularly receive education and guidance from the Party organization, receive criticism and assistance from comrades within the Party, and accept that their ideas are subject to ordeal, to remove filth from work styles. To preserve a regular and healthy intra-Party life, we must pick up this weapon of criticism and self-criticism, resist good people-ism and overcome vulgar tendencies.

Strictly managing Party member and cadre teams requires strict criticism and self-criticism. In strictly governing the Party, strictly governing officials is important. To strictly govern the Party, we must implement strict requirements, strict management and strict supervision of Party members and cadres, and strict criticism and self-criticism should have their proper place in the requirements of strictness. We lose through lenience and softness, and one important aspect of this is reflected in the management of Party members and cadres, where it can be clearly seen that problems are not timely pointed out, and symptoms of mistakes that have already been discovered are not criticized, in some cases, they are even wrapped up or covered over. When General Secretary Xi Jinping talked about the five standards for the “good cadre”, he especially stressed “daring to undertake matters”. Daring to undertake means persisting in principles, daring to criticize and daring to struggle with harmful phenomena. To eliminate harmful work styles within the Party, apart from punishing a small number of people who break discipline and the law according to the law, with regards to the absolute majority, we still mainly rely on regular and powerful criticism and effective supervision to timely warn us and prevent emerging and tendentious problems. Only in this way cane we nip evil in the bud and avoid that small mishaps become large problems, this is also a positive help and sincere concern towards Party members and cadres.

Strengthening the cohesion and fighting strength of Party organizations requires strict criticism and self-criticism. Our Party is a large Party, it has more than 85 million Party members and more than 4 million grass-roots Party organizations, on what does it rely to shape strong cohesion and fighting strength? It relies on unified wills and unified steps. Only if we persist in criticism and self-criticism, and timely correct all mistaken ideological understanding and harmful trends of action within Party organizations, can we guarantee that the Party is united as one ideologically, politically and in its actions. In reality, the problems that “the top has policies, the bottom has countermeasures”, decrees are not implemented and prohibitions are not executed still exist, things are talked about in one way, and take place in reality in another way, feigning compliance is also not an exceptional phenomenon. This urgently requires that we take up the weapon of criticism and self-criticism, promote that the entire Party even more firmly and consciously implements the Party’s basic theory, basic line, basic programme, basic experiences and basic requirements, to ensure that the cohesion and fighting strength of all levels’ Party organizations will be greatly increased.

Criticism and self-criticism are difficult to conduct in a number of areas, this has both historical causes and factual causes. From the point of history, the main factor is that in the past, criticism was overdone and radical in a number of political movements, and became mass criticism and mass struggle, which harmed many comrades and still engenders lingering fears in people’s hearts. From the point of factual matter, the main factor is that a number of comrades are hard pressed for favours, tire themselves for their relationships, and are deluded about interests, they lack the courage for criticism and self-criticism. It should be said that, at present, comrades in the entire Party increasingly understand the extreme importance of carrying forward criticism and self-criticism and understand the extreme danger of a lack of criticism and self criticism, everyone generally and enthusiastically looks forward to the carrying forward of this fine tradition of criticism and self-criticism. We must comply with the expectations of the comrades in the entire Party, guide actions according to circumstances, seize opportunities to act, strengthen ideological guidance, provide powerful drivers, and realistically restore the true qualities of the “sharp weapon” of criticism and self-criticism, to bring in a new vitality for Party building and the Party’s undertaking.

IV, Conducting criticism and self-criticism requires selfless courage, a correct attitude and scientific methods

Criticism and self-criticism are a rectification of mistaken thoughts and a correction of mistaken methods, they involve critics, those being criticized, those criticizing themselves, etc. To carry forward the fine tradition of criticism and self-criticism, courage is a precondition, attitudes and methods are very important as well. Only where there is courage can criticism and self-criticism be conducted; only if attitudes are correct and methods are scientific, can good results be achieved.

Conducting criticism and self-criticism must firmly start from a public spirit, and selfless and fearless courage must be established. Criticism and self-criticism means uncovering scars and stabbing at soft sports, without a drop of courage, this cannot be done. Comrade Deng Xiaoping once pointed out that: “we must ourselves have a spirit with a high level of revolutionary enthusiasm and responsibility towards the Party, only then can we be honest and straightforward, only then is there a spirit of “taking of trousers”, and only then can thoughts and work styles be restored”. From the point of facts, the reason why criticism and self-criticism are difficult is because the difficulty lies in misgivings and worries, there is a fear of losing face in self-criticism, a fear that criticizing higher levels will result in them making things hard, a fear that criticizing the same level may hurt friendship, and a fear that criticizing lower levels will result in a loss of votes, in fact, it is selfish considerations that cause trouble. When one is selfless at the bottom of one’s heart, heaven and earth are generous. We must persist in the supremacy of the Party’s undertaking and the supremacy of the people’s interests from beginning to end, establish the courage to dare to persist in principles, and maintain a mood of devotion to the public interest. With regard to the shortcomings and mistakes of oneself and others, those that should be reflected on must be reflected on, those that should be criticized must be criticized, when it is necessary to offend someone, someone must be offended, at the same time, we must have a magnanimous heart, listen to different opinions and tolerate sharp criticism.

To conduct criticism and self-criticism, we must seek truth from facts and ensure that criticism can stand tests. Seeking truth from facts is the most persuasive. Either when criticizing others or engaging in self-criticism, only if one seeks truth from facts, and acts appropriately, will it be possible to completely convince others. Comrade Mao Zedong said that intra-Party criticism must guard against subjective assertions, there must be proof for what one says, subjective criticism or gossip without evidence has often bred unprincipled disputes, destroying regular intra-Party life. When conducting criticism and self-criticism, we must persist in talking on the basis of facts, concretely analysing concrete issues, talking about one thing where there is one thing, talking about two things where there are two, talking about whichever problem is the problem, not exaggerating matters but not reducing them either, not nagging about details but also not overlooking issues of principle, we cannot confound black and white or mix up right or wrong, we can certainly not seize on others’ mistake, pin hats on them or bludgeon them. We must overcome the influence of subjective factors, take of our coloured glasses, abandon prejudice and bias, prevent against dealing with people and things on the basis of individual feelings, advantages or disadvantages, or personal closeness or relationships, to guarantee that criticism conforms to objective reality.

In conducting criticism and self-criticism, we must persist in helping others, and sincerely and wholeheartedly assisting comrades to improve together. Intra-Party criticism should be severe and earnest, at the same time, it should also be sincere and kind-hearted. Only if we persist in such an attitude, can we conduct correct criticism and self-criticism, and will this benefit the unity of comrades. Therefore, we still must persist in the principles of learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones and curing illnesses to save the patient from beginning to end, as our Party has always proposed. That is where absolute sincerity lies, which can make metal and stone crack. As long as we treat people sincerely, communicate thoughts earnestly and honestly, exchange opinions trustfully, give our concern, care and love to our comrades, let other people’s faces glow and their hearts feel warm, we will be ale to win the understanding and trust of the person being criticized. Therefore, we must pay attention to grasp methods for criticism well, integrate open criticism with incidental reminding, integrate stating facts with stressing rationales, both straiten requirements and not demand perfection, both point out problems and putting forward suggestions for correction, to truly achieve the objective of helping comrades, enhancing unity and stimulating work.

V, Persist in Party members and leading cadres taking the lead, shape a strong atmosphere that is beneficial to the conduct of criticism and self-criticism.

This fine tradition of criticism and self-criticism must be truly and incessantly carried forward under new circumstances, it must be carried forward broadly, deeply and lastingly within the entire Party, we must persist in leadership taking the lead and creating good intra-Party environments and social atmospheres, to shape a strong atmosphere that is beneficial to the conduct of criticism and self-criticism.

Persist in Party members and leading cadres acting as models, with number one leaders giving rein to a function of example and driver. Party members and leading cadres are the organizers and promoters of Party work, and are the examples and leaders of the Party nature and the Party’s work style. In intra-Party life, leading cadres set the example and march at the front, common Party members and cadres can follow closely. Especially whether or not number one leaders dare, want to and can engage in criticism and self-criticism has an important influence and driving function on the members of the ranks, Party members and cadres. At present, there really are a number of leading cadres whose work style is overbearing, who cannot listen to different opinions, they are “as tetchy as a tiger’s backside”. Because of this, whether or nit the fine tradition of criticism and self-criticism can be carried forward depends crucially on leading ranks and number one leaders. This requires all levels of our leading cadres take the lead in conducting criticism and self-criticism with a high consciousness of the Party spirit and a spirit of undertaking burdens, dare to conduct criticism of harmful phenomena, and at the same time dare to criticize themselves, frankly and honestly accept the criticism of other persons, and even sharp criticism. Facts prove that the more leading cadres are willing to accept criticism, the more people dare to criticize; the more magnanimously leading cadres are, the more understanding they win, and the more prestige they can receive.

Fully carry democracy forward, encourage different opinions to be exchanged equally. The Party Constitution clearly provides that every Party member, regardless of rank, must participate in the Party’s organizational life and accept supervision by intra-Party comrades, it is not permitted that there are any special Party members who do not participate in organizational life or accept supervision. Looking form reality,  in all places where Party members’ rights are implemented relatively fully, and the democratic atmosphere is relatively strong, criticism and self-criticism are conducted often very well, otherwise, it is difficult to conduct it. We must earnestly implement the provisions of the Party Constitution, implement the principles of democratic centralism, implement the rules guaranteeing the rights of Party members, fully carry intra-Party democracy forward, respect the subjective position of Party members, encourage them to speak true words, speak real words and speak from their heart, it is permitted that different opinions collide and dispute. Especially in relation to important questions and major policy decisions, we must let Party members fully express opinions, and strive to create a vivid and vigorous political landscape that is both centralized and democratic, has both discipline and freedom, which both unites determinations and ensures that individuals can be free of anxiety.

Earnestly implementing and perfecting corresponding structures provides a powerful guarantee to engage in criticism and self-criticism. Engaging in criticism and self-criticism requires both ideological consciousness and structural guarantees. It should be said that, in the area of intra-Party life, including engaging in criticism and self-criticism, we don’t lack institutional rules, for example the rules on Party member and leading cadre democratic life meetings, rules on democratic appraisal of Party members, rules on the periodical analysis of Party members’ Party nature, rules on heart-to-heart talks with Party members, for example rules on openness in Party affairs, rules on reporting intra-Party situations, rules on soliciting opinions in major policy making, etc. These have all provided institutional guarantees for Party members and cadres to understand intra-Party affairs, express opinions and engage in criticism, the crucial matter is that they must be executed and implemented well. At the same time, we must integrate new situations, and perfect institutional rules that benefit criticism and self-criticism. We must fully give rein to the guiding function of selection and appointment of people, we must support and encourage those Party members and cadres who persist in principles and are not afraid of offending others, and acclaim them; those who suppress criticism and retaliate, must be strictly dealt with.

VI, Realistically implement criticism and self-criticism in the mass line education and practice movement.

As soon as this education and practice movement begun, the Centre clearly put forward the necessity to reflect a spirit of rectifying work styles, the spirit of rectifying work styles is the spirit of criticism and self-criticism; it stressed the necessity to earnestly deal with the problem of the “Four Styles”, to perform a one-time large investigation, large overhaul and large clean-up of the evils in work styles and the filth in actions, in the end, it also is necessary to use this sharp weapon of criticism and self-criticism well. It may be said that, as to whether or not this education and practice movement can achieve the expected goals, or whether or not results that gain the satisfaction of the popular masses can be achieved, the importance lies in wither or not this reflects a spirit of work style rectification, guaranteeing that the education and practice movement is not empty, not vacuous, not biased and not a matter of going through the motions.

We must implement well the general requirement of “looking in the mirror, straitening clothes and hats, taking a wash, curing illnesses”. This general requirement of four phrases and twelve characters is a directional requirement for launching the education and practice movement, it is a methodological requirement as well, it is also a requirement of doing the activity well with which kind of work style and which kind of spiritual attitude, and naturally prominently reflects the requirement of launching criticism and self-criticism well. Looking in the mirror means that we must use the Party Constitution as a mirror, compare [ourselves] with Party discipline, the expectations of the people and advanced models, find differences and find insufficiencies. If there is no spirit of criticism and self-criticism, if we only look in the mirror after putting on make-up, we will not be able to see problems, we will not be able to see our real selves. Straightening clothes and hats means that we must, on the basis of looking in the mirror, dare to confront thoughts and souls, dare to face contradictions and problems, and achieve the result of nipping evil in the bud. If we leave criticism and self-criticism behind, clothes and hats may be insufficiently straight, and it would be difficult to touch upon substantial problems. Taking a wash means that we must rinse away the dust in our thoughts and actions, cleaning oneself means self-criticism, and reminding other people is criticism. If we do not truly clan ourselves, or replace washing ourselves with wiping our faces, we abandon criticism and self-criticism, and will not be able to achieve the result of having red faces, sweating and expelling poison. Curing illnesses means that we must find a diagnosis and consult the doctor, suit the medicine to the illness, we must provide assistance concerning existing problems, and must strictly investigate and prosecute those with grave problems. If we refuse to face a harsh illness, we lose criticism and self-criticism, and we will not be able to remove the root of the illness, or achieve the objective of curing illnesses and saving patients.

We must persist in engaging in activities with an open door. In the mass line education and practice activity, we must naturally listen to the opinions of the masses, persist in engaging in activities with open doors, and  open the doors wide to listen to opinions. This is the concrete reflection of implementing the requirements of criticism and self-criticism. If we engage in activities with closed doors, we do not listen to substantive criticism and opinions. Opening the doors to listen to opinions should mean truly opening doors, it cannot be falsely open doors, or opening only a crack, half openness and half concealment will not work either, we must strengthen transparency, ensure that this complete movement takes place under the supervision of the masses, and welcome the masses to nit-pick. This requires that our Party members and cadres, and especially leading cadres, are extremely open-minded, have the breadth of mind of a sea that receives the water from a hundred rivers, and have an attitude of opening the doors to receive instructions and readily accepting good advice. With a sincere attitude, it is also necessary to unblock channels and make it convenient for the masses to raise opinions, integrate face-to-face and back-to-back, let the masses have opportunities to directly raise opinions, and channels to raise opinions indirectly. We must open the doors wide to listen to the masses’ opinions, let this penetrate into the whole process of the education and practice movement, whether or not opinions have been heard sufficiently and correctly must be published towards the masses, whether problems have been inspected thoroughly or deeply must be fed back to the masses, on whether or not reform measures are solid and effective, the judgement of the masses must be accepted.

We must persist in putting ourselves forward. This is the touchstone to weigh whether or not the courage for criticism and self-criticism is there. How should we put ourselves forward? The key is that leading cadres must take the lead in establishing a consciousness of the problem, and put the problem forward together with themselves. They must link up with the reality of our own thinking, work and life, link up with their own experience of growing up and especially all sorts of displays in leading positions, put forward many of their own problems, and investigate many of their own shortcomings. They must deeply and concretely examine and put forward problems, and cannot use sweeping and abstract problems to replace concrete and real problems, they cannot use the problems of leadership ranks to replace the problems existing within them individually, they cannot use mistakes and problems in work to replace prominent “Four Work Styles” problems, and cannot use problems of formalism or bureaucratism to replace problems of hedonism or extravagant tendencies. In investigating and putting forward problems, they must also analyse the sources, because if the sources are not blocked, the wind will not cease. They must pay attention to go to the root in areas of ideals and convictions, purposes and mentalities, Party spirit cultivation and political discipline, ask whether or not their beliefs and convictions are firm, and wither or not their world view, view of life and value views, those master switches, are solid; [they must] ask themselves whether or not their mass standpoint is stable, whether their mass sentiment is deep, whether or not they are emphatic in formulating and implementing policies, reflect on matters from another position, and ensure that the Party is built for the people, and governance is for the sake of the people from beginning to end; [they must] ask themselves whether or not their Party spirit principles are strong, whether they preserve well their advancedness and purity, and whether or not they have undergone tests in the face of all sorts of temptations. Only in this way is it possible to overcome the “Four Work Styles” problems for the long run, and thereby practice their “golden and steel incorruptible body”.

We must do topical democratic life meetings well. The requirements of criticism and self-criticism must be implemented into the entire process of education and practice activities, but the crux is that they must be reflected in topical democratic life meetings. In a number of localities, departments and work units, democratic life meetings are out of tune and have become spoilt, they do not touch upon problems, or do not touch upon them deeply, they are perfunctory like smacking buttocks with a feather duster, some even change self-criticism into self-praise, and change mutual criticism into mutual flattery. The topical democratic life meetings in this education and practice movement are to be given utter attention by comrades in the entire Party, they must push ahead and launch new trends by criticism and self-criticism. To achieve such requirements, it is crucial that full preparation is made before the meetings. We must broadly and fully listen to opinions, concentrate the ingredients and original flavours of opinions from all sides, comb through them, and give feedback to every members of leading cadres, every comrade must earnestly reflect upon himself, and write comparative inspection materials. We must take up sufficient time to engage in heart-to-heart talks, both to talk about one’s own problems, and to dare to point out the problems on the other side, we must affirm results but must stress insufficiencies even more, we must talk about work but must talk about thoughts even more, all issues prepared to be put forward in meetings, must be talked through before meetings, and consensus built. At topical democratic life meetings, every Party member and leading cadre must, with a spirit of high responsibility towards the Party, towards the undertaking, towards comrades and towards themselves, engage in positive and healthy ideological struggle, dare to truly remove formidable obstacles, rake up faults and make defects public, prevent stressing face, or trying not to offend, or being on good terms with everyone. Especially number one leaders must inspect themselves, setting examples and with an attitude of emulating me, earnestly examine the prominent problems of themselves and their ranks in the area of work styles, be responsible for putting forward criticism towards the members of their ranks, and magnanimously and cherishingly accept the critical opinions of others. Between members of ranks, all must be said and speech must be frank, in discussing problems and raising opinions, purposes must be made clear and the key point must be aimed at, to prevent that “salutes” are fired to higher levels, “duds” are fired to the same level, and “blanks” are fired at oneself. In shirt, this topical democratic life meeting cannot be a meeting to extol and summarize work, but should, through vigorous criticism and self-criticism, touch the souls of leading cadres and let their thoughts improve, to truly achieve the objective of “unity-criticism-unity”.

This article is the second part of the speech that CCP Politburo Standing Committee Member, Central Committee Secretary and Central Party School Director Liu Yunshan made on 1 September 2013 a the opening of the 2013 autumn academic term of the Central Party School

关于批评和自我批评的几点认识
刘云山
党的十八大以来,习近平总书记多次强调坚持党要管党、从严治党,明确提出要严肃党内政治生活,用好批评和自我批评这个利器。在新的历史条件下,为什么突出强调批评和自我批评,现实意义在哪里,怎样才能开展好批评和自我批评,这些都值得我们深入思考。借此机会,我讲几点认识,供同志们参考。
一、批评和自我批评是我们党的优良传统
批评和自我批评,是马克思主义认识论、实践论的具体体现,是马克思主义政党党内政治生活的一个基本原则。我们党是马克思主义政党,代表最广大人民的根本利益,没有任何自己的私利,从来不惧怕批评和自我批评,敢于公开承认、修正自己的缺点和错误,也能够依靠自身力量解决自身存在的不足。在长期实践中,我们党培育的批评和自我批评作风,与理论联系实际、密切联系群众一道成为党必须始终坚持的三大优良作风。理论联系实际、密切联系群众、批评和自我批评,已成为我们党最深厚的优良传统,成为我们党最具活力的“生命要素”。
回顾党的历史,我们党就是在批评和自我批评中发展壮大的。从诞生之日起,我们党就自觉地开展批评和自我批评,特别是在一些重大历史关头,总是敢于拿起这一武器,排除各种错误思想的影响,保持正确的前进方向,凝聚起强大的奋进力量。第一次国共合作失败后,“八七会议”在批评党内右倾错误基础上,开始探索土地革命和武装斗争的正确道路,后来才出现了“红旗漫卷西风”的革命高潮。井冈山时期,毛泽东同志对当时党内存在的“左”的倾向、对红军内部各种非无产阶级思想进行了坚决抵制和批评。长征路上,遵义会议通过严肃的思想斗争,扭转“左”的错误,在危急关头挽救了党,挽救了红军,挽救了中国革命。延安整风更是运用批评和自我批评武器的成功典范,通过严肃的批评和自我批评,消除了主观主义、宗派主义、党八股等不良作风的影响。党的七大明确把批评和自我批评确立为党内生活的一个基本方法,确立为党员干部必须遵循的一个行为准则。通过延安整风和党的七大,全党思想上高度一致,组织上空前团结,从政治上、思想上、组织上、作风上为赢得抗日战争和解放战争的伟大胜利奠定了坚实基础。
新中国成立后,我们党继续坚持和发扬了批评和自我批评的优良传统。五十年代初的整风、整党,以及后来的“七千人大会”等,都比较好地用批评和自我批评武器解决了当时党内思想、作风问题。党的十一届三中全会,我们党果断拨乱反正,重新确立解放思想、实事求是的思想路线,恢复了包括批评和自我批评在内的优良作风,实现了党内政治生活正常化,从而开启了党的事业发展的新征程。八十年代的整党和后来的“三讲”教育、以实践“三个代表”重要思想为主要内容的保持共产党员先进性教育活动、深入学习实践科学发展观活动,都贯穿批评和自我批评的要求,在重大理论和实践问题上统一全党思想,为改革开放和社会主义现代化建设注入了强大活力。
九十多年党的建设实践充分表明,什么时候批评和自我批评作风弘扬得好,党内就风清气正,党的创造力凝聚力战斗力就强,党的事业就蓬勃发展。反之,什么时候丢掉或者歪曲了批评和自我批评,缺点错误就难以得到纠正,党的事业就会受损失、就会走弯路。可以说,批评和自我批评是我们党不断改造自己、提升自己的有力武器,是坚强党的组织、推进事业发展的有力武器。无论党所处的历史方位发生什么样的变化,我们面临的环境发生什么样的改变,批评和自我批评这个优良传统决不能忘,坚持真理、修正错误的科学态度决不能变,自我净化、自我完善、自我革新、自我提高的决心和勇气决不能丢。
二、批评和自我批评是党的建设的重要法宝
什么是批评和自我批评?简而言之,就是党组织、党员个人对党内同志,党员个人对党组织的缺点错误及时指出、深入剖析,在原则问题上进行积极的健康的思想斗争。毛泽东同志说,“有无认真的自我批评,是我们党和其他政党互相区别的显著标志之一。”有了批评和自我批评这个武器,我们就能去掉不良作风,保持优良作风。开展批评和自我批评,就是为了“防范政治灰尘和政治微生物侵袭”,及时发现和纠正自身存在的缺点,促进党的组织健康发展和党员干部健康成长,可以说是我们党加强自身建设的重要法宝。
批评和自我批评是坚持真理、修正错误的法宝。任何组织和个人都不可能不犯错误,关键是过而能改,及时发现错误、勇于纠正错误。如果犯了错误自己浑然不觉,又不允许别人指出,就会在错误的道路上越走越远。我们党之所以伟大,并不是从来不犯错误,而在于我们党具有批评和自我批评的自觉,具有自我纠错的能力。我们党始终追求真理,正确的就坚持,错误的就改正。党越是积极健康地开展批评和自我批评,就越能坚持真理,从错误中汲取经验教训,继而沿着正确方向不断前进。
批评和自我批评是发扬党内民主、增进党的团结的法宝。党内民主是党的生命。营造党内民主平等的同志关系、民主讨论的政治氛围、民主监督的制度环境,离不开积极健康的批评和自我批评。在我们党内,认真开展批评和自我批评,让不同的意见相互碰撞、相互交锋,有利于从原则上分清是非、从思想深处形成共识,从而形成同心同德推进事业发展的强大力量。那种放弃批评和自我批评,无论“一言堂”“家长制”,还是“你好我好大家好”一团和气,都不是真正的民主,也不是真正的团结,而是缺乏党性原则的表现,最终只会让我们消解奋进的锐气、丧失创新的勇气。
批评和自我批评是践行党的宗旨、密切联系群众的法宝。全心全意为人民服务是我们党的根本宗旨,密切联系群众是我们党的力量之源。“因为我们是为人民服务的,所以,我们如果有缺点,就不怕别人批评指出。不管是什么人,谁向我们指出都行。只要你说得对,我们就改正。”为了人民根本利益坚持好的、改正错的,正是我们党坚持批评和自我批评的真谛所在。只有虚心听取群众的批评意见,才能更好地根据群众的期盼来制定方针政策,也才能更好地接受群众监督、明察为政得失,对照群众意见来改进各项工作。有没有批评和自我批评的精神,是对党员干部群众立场、群众感情的重要检验。
批评和自我批评是执行党的纪律、维护党的形象的法宝。党的纪律攸关党的作风、党的形象。遵守党的纪律,既靠党员个人的思想自觉,也离不开党组织、党内同志、人民群众的监督提醒。祸患生于幽微,防范当于未然。在执行党规党纪方面,当一个党员干部出现倾向性、苗头性问题时,如果有人“拉拉袖”、提个醒,就有可能将这些问题制止在萌芽状态;在问题比较严重时,如果有人大喝一声、猛击一掌,就有可能起到猛然警醒、悬崖勒马的作用。事实一再告诉我们,开展批评和自我批评,是维护党纪党规的有力保障,而放弃批评和自我批评,只会使党的纪律松弛涣散,使党的形象受到损害。
三、开展批评和自我批评是新形势下坚持从严治党、保持党的先进性和纯洁性的必然要求
治国必先治党,治党务必从严。从总体上看,我们党是坚强有力的,党员队伍状况是好的,但与新的形势任务和要求不适应、不符合的问题还十分突出,党面临的“四大考验”是长期的、复杂的、严峻的,“四种危险”尖锐地摆在全党面前,加强党的自身建设的任务比任何时候都更加紧迫、更加繁重。贯彻落实好党要管党、从严治党的要求,很重要的一条就是把批评和自我批评的优良作风弘扬起来,贯穿于党的建设全过程、各方面。
开展正常的、健康的党内生活,需要严肃的批评和自我批评。应当肯定,现在党内生活总体上看是正常的、健康的,但也存在党内生活庸俗化、同志关系功利化等问题。有的不愿批评、不敢批评,当“老好人”;有的奉行“明哲保身、不得罪人”的处世哲学,只栽花、不栽刺;有的在重大是非面前不开口、遇到矛盾问题绕道走,等等。如果长期发展下去,批评和自我批评这个“利器”就会有被丢掉的危险,“利器”变成“钝器”,刀枪入库、锈迹斑斑,不良倾向就会在党内滋长蔓延。党的组织是一个大熔炉,党员应当能经常得到党组织的教育引导,得到党内同志的批评帮助,接受思想洗礼、祛除作风污垢。要保持正常的、健康的党内生活,就必须拿起批评和自我批评的武器,抵制好人主义,克服庸俗之风。
从严管理党员干部队伍,需要严肃的批评和自我批评。从严治党重要的是从严治吏。从严治党,必须落实到对党员干部的严格要求、严格管理、严格监督上,而严肃的批评和自我批评是从严要求的题中应有之义。失之于宽、失之于软,一个重要方面就是反映在对党员干部管理上,明明看到了问题却不及时指出,已经发现错误的苗头却不给予批评,有的甚至还包着、护着。习近平总书记在谈到“好干部”的五条标准时,特别强调“敢于担当”。敢于担当就要坚持原则、敢于批评,敢于同不良现象作斗争。要消除党内不良作风,除了对少数违纪违法的人绳之以法外,对大多数党员干部来说,主要还是靠经常性的有力批评和有效监督,对苗头性倾向性问题及时提醒、及时制止。这样,才能防微杜渐,避免小毛病演变成大问题,这也是对党员干部的积极帮助、真诚爱护。
增强党组织的凝聚力战斗力,需要严肃的批评和自我批评。我们党是一个大党,拥有8500多万党员、400多万个基层党组织,靠什么来形成强大的凝聚力、战斗力?就是要靠统一的意志、统一的步调。只有坚持批评和自我批评,及时纠正党组织内部的各种错误思想认识和不良行为倾向,才能保证全党思想上、政治上、行动上的团结一致。现实当中,“上有政策、下有对策”、有令不行、有禁不止的问题依然存在,口头上讲一套、实际上另一套、阳奉阴违也不是个别的现象。这迫切需要我们拿起批评和自我批评的武器,推动全党更加坚定自觉地贯彻党的基本理论、基本路线、基本纲领、基本经验、基本要求,使各级党组织的凝聚力、战斗力有一个大的提高。
批评和自我批评在一些地方难以开展,这既有历史的原因,也有现实的原因。从历史看,主要是在过去一些政治运动中批评过了头、过了火,搞成了大批判、大批斗,伤害了许多同志,让人们心有余悸。从现实看,主要是一些同志为人情所困、为关系所累、为利益所惑,缺乏批评和自我批评的勇气。应当说,现在全党同志越来越认识到弘扬批评和自我批评的极端重要性,认识到缺乏批评和自我批评的极大危害性,大家都普遍地、热切地期盼着把批评和自我批评这一优良传统发扬光大起来。要顺应全党同志的期待,因势利导、顺势而为,加强思想引导、给予有力推动,在党内切实恢复批评和自我批评的“利器”本色,为党的建设和党的事业增添新的活力。
四、开展批评和自我批评需要无私的勇气、正确的态度和科学的方法
批评和自我批评,是对错误思想的匡正、对错误做法的纠正,涉及批评者、被批评者、自我批评者等方方面面。把批评和自我批评优良传统发扬光大起来,勇气是前提,态度方法也很重要。有了勇气,批评和自我批评才能开展得起来;态度正确、方法科学,才能收到好的效果。
开展批评和自我批评,要坚持出于公心、树立无私无畏的勇气。批评和自我批评,是揭伤疤、戳痛处,没有一点勇气是办不到的。邓小平同志曾经指出:“要自己抱有高度的革命热情和对党负责的精神,才会襟怀坦白,才会有‘脱裤子’的精神,也才会把思想作风整好。”从现实来看,批评和自我批评之所以难,难就难在有顾虑、有担心,自我批评怕丢面子,批评上级怕穿小鞋,批评同级怕伤和气,批评下级怕丢选票,实际是私心杂念在作怪。心底无私天地宽。要始终坚持党的事业至上、人民利益至上,树立敢于坚持原则的勇气,保持一心为公的情怀。对自己、对他人的缺点和错误,该反省的要反省,该批评的要批评,该得罪人时要敢于得罪人,同时要胸怀坦荡,听得进不同意见,容得下尖锐批评。
开展批评和自我批评,要坚持实事求是、使批评经得起检验。实事求是最有说服力。批评别人也好,自我批评也好,只有实事求是、恰如其分,才能让人心悦诚服。毛泽东同志讲,党内批评要防止主观武断,说话要有证据,主观主义的批评,不要证据的乱说,往往酿成无原则纠纷,破坏党内的正常生活。在开展批评和自我批评时,要坚持用事实说话,具体问题具体分析,有一说一、有二说二,是什么问题就讲什么问题,不夸大也不缩小,不纠缠细枝末节也不放过原则问题,不能颠倒黑白、混淆是非,更不能抓辫子、扣帽子、打棍子。要克服主观因素的影响,摘掉有色眼镜,摒弃成见偏见,防止从个人恩怨、利害得失、远近亲疏出发看人待事,确保批评符合客观实际。
开展批评和自我批评,要坚持与人为善、真心诚意地帮助同志共同提高。党内批评应该是严肃的、认真的,同时又应该是诚恳的、与人为善的。只有坚持这样的态度,才能开展正确的批评和自我批评,才有利于团结同志。所以,还是要始终坚持我们党一贯倡导的惩前毖后、治病救人的方针。精诚所至,金石为开。只要以诚待人,诚心诚意地沟通思想,推心置腹地交换意见,把关心、关怀、关爱送给同志,让人脸上火辣辣、心里热乎乎,就能够赢得被批评者的理解和信任。所以,要注意把握好批评的方法,把公开批评与个别提醒结合起来,把摆事实与讲道理结合起来,既严格要求又不求全责备,既指出问题又提出改正建议,真正达到帮助同志、增进团结、促进工作的效果。
五、坚持党员领导干部带头,形成有利于开展批评和自我批评的浓厚空气
批评和自我批评这个优良传统,要真正在新的形势下不断光大起来,在全党广泛深入持久地弘扬起来,必须坚持领导带头,创造良好的党内环境和社会氛围,形成有利于开展批评和自我批评的浓厚空气。
坚持党员领导干部作表率,一把手发挥示范带动作用。党员领导干部是党的工作的组织者、推动者,又是党性党风的示范者、引领者。在党内生活中,领导干部以身作则、走在前面,普通党员干部就能紧紧跟上。特别是一把手敢不敢、愿不愿、能不能开展批评和自我批评,对班子成员和党员干部更有着重要的影响带动作用。现在,确实有些领导干部作风霸道,听不得不同意见,“老虎屁股摸不得”。因此,批评和自我批评的优良作风能不能弘扬起来,关键在领导干部、在一把手。这就需要我们各级领导干部以高度的党性觉悟和担当精神,带头开展批评和自我批评,敢于对不良现象进行批评,同时勇于自我批评,坦诚接受别人批评甚至尖锐的批评。事实表明,领导干部越是愿意接受批评,人们才敢于批评;领导干部越是坦荡就越能赢得理解,越是能担当就越会有威信。
充分发扬民主,鼓励不同意见平等交流。党章明确规定,每个党员不论职务高低,都要参加党的组织生活,接受党内同志的监督,不允许有任何不参加党的组织生活、不接受监督的特殊党员。从现实来看,凡是党员权利落实得比较充分、民主空气比较浓厚的地方,批评和自我批评往往开展得好,反之就很难开展起来。要认真贯彻党章规定,贯彻民主集中制原则,贯彻党员权利保障条例,充分发扬党内民主,尊重党员主体地位,鼓励讲真话、讲实话、讲心里话,允许不同意见碰撞和争论。特别是在重要问题和重大决策上,要让党员充分发表意见,努力造成又有集中、又有民主,又有纪律、又有自由,又有统一意志、又有个人心情舒畅的生动活泼的政治局面。
认真落实和完善相关制度,为开展批评和自我批评提供有力保障。开展批评和自我批评,既需要思想觉悟,也需要制度保障。应当说,在严肃党内生活包括开展批评和自我批评方面,我们有不少制度性规定,比如党员领导干部民主生活会制度、民主评议党员制度、党员党性定期分析制度、党员谈心谈话制度,比如党务公开制度、党内情况通报制度、重大决策征求意见制度,等等。这些都为党员干部了解党内事务、发表意见、开展批评提供了制度保证,关键是要执行好、落实好。同时要结合新情况,完善有利于批评和自我批评的制度办法。要充分发挥选人用人的导向作用,对那些坚持原则、不怕得罪人的党员干部,要支持鼓励、为他们喝彩;对那些压制批评、打击报复的,要予以严肃处理。
六、把批评和自我批评切实贯穿到群众路线教育实践活动之中
这次教育实践活动一开始,中央就明确提出要体现整风精神,整风精神就是批评和自我批评的精神;强调要认真整治“四风”问题,对作风之弊、行为之垢来一次大排查、大检修、大扫除,说到底还是要用好批评和自我批评这个利器。可以说,这次教育实践活动能否达到预期的目的,能否取得人民群众满意的效果,重要的是在于能否体现整风精神,运用好批评和自我批评这个武器。一定要在批评和自我批评上好好下一番功夫,真正让党员干部受到教育、受到警醒,真正能够解决一些作风方面的突出问题,确保教育实践活动不虚、不空、不偏、不走过场。
要贯彻好“照镜子、正衣冠、洗洗澡、治治病”的总要求。这4句话、12个字的总要求,是开展教育实践活动方向性的要求,也是方法论的要求,还是以什么样的作风、什么样的精神状态搞好活动的要求,当然突出体现了开展好批评和自我批评的要求。照镜子就是要以党章为镜,对照党的纪律、群众期盼、先进典型,找到差距、找到不足。如果没有批评和自我批评的精神,化了妆再照镜子,就看不到问题,看不到真实的自己。正衣冠就是要在照镜子的基础上,敢于触及思想灵魂,敢于直面矛盾问题,收到防微杜渐的效果。如果离开了批评和自我批评,衣冠就可能正不到位,也难以触及到实质性的问题。洗洗澡就是要清洗思想和行为上的灰尘,自己清洗就是自我批评,提醒别人就是开展批评。如果不是真洗澡,而是以擦把脸代替洗澡,放弃批评和自我批评,就达不到红红脸、出出汗、排排毒的效果。治治病就是要寻诊问医、对症下药,对存在问题的要提醒帮助,对问题严重的要严肃查处。如果讳疾忌医,丢掉了批评和自我批评,就去不掉病根儿,达不到治病救人的目的。
要坚持开门搞活动。群众路线教育实践活动,理所当然要听群众的意见,坚持开门搞活动,敞开大门听意见。这是贯彻批评和自我批评要求的具体体现。如果是闭门搞活动,就听不到实质性的批评意见。开门听意见应当是真开门,不能是假开门,开个门缝、半开半掩也不行,必须增强透明度,使整个活动处于群众监督之下,欢迎群众品头论足。这就需要我们党员干部特别是领导干部有虚怀若谷、海纳百川的胸襟,有开门纳谏、从善如流的态度。有了诚恳的态度,还要畅通渠道方便群众提意见,把面对面与背靠背结合起来,让群众有直接提意见的机会,也有间接提意见的渠道。要把敞开大门听取群众意见,贯穿教育实践活动的全过程,听取意见够不够、准不准要向群众公示,查摆问题透不透、深不深要向群众反馈,整改措施实不实、管用不管用要接受群众评判。
要坚持把自己摆进去。这是衡量有没有批评和自我批评勇气的试金石。怎么把自己摆进去?关键是领导干部要带头树立问题意识,带着问题把自己摆进去。要联系自己的思想、工作和生活实际,联系自己的成长经历特别是领导岗位上的各种表现,多摆自己的问题,多查自己的不足。要深入具体地查摆问题,不能用笼统的抽象问题代替具体的实际问题,不能用领导班子的问题代替个人存在的问题,不能用工作差错问题代替“四风”突出问题,也不能用形式主义、官僚主义问题代替享乐主义、奢靡之风问题。查摆问题还要剖析根源,源不堵、风不止。要注意从理想信念、宗旨意识、党性修养、政治纪律方面找根源,问一问自己信仰信念是否坚定,世界观、人生观、价值观这个总开关是否牢固;问一问自己群众立场稳不稳、群众感情深不深,制定和执行政策能不能将心比心、换位思考,始终做到了立党为公、执政为民;问一问自己党性原则强不强、先进性纯洁性保持得好不好,是否在各种诱惑面前经受住了考验。这样,才能长久克服“四风”问题,从而更好地练就“金刚不坏之身”。
要开好专题民主生活会。批评和自我批评的要求要贯穿教育实践活动的全过程,但关键是要体现在专题民主生活会上。一些地方、部门和单位民主生活会走了调、变了味,对问题触及不到、触及不深,就像鸡毛掸子打屁股不痛不痒,有的甚至把自我批评变成了自我表扬,相互批评变成了相互吹捧。这次教育实践活动的专题民主生活会全党同志都十分关注,必须在批评和自我批评上动真格、开新风。达到这样的要求,关键是会前做好充分的准备。要广泛而又充分地听取意见,把各方面收集上来的意见原汁原味加以梳理,并反馈给领导班子每个成员,每位同志要认认真真地反思自己,写出对照检查材料。要拿出足够的时间开展谈心活动,既讲自己的问题、又勇于指出对方的问题,要肯定成绩更要讲不足,要谈工作更要谈思想,凡是准备在会上提出的问题,都要在会前谈通谈透、形成共识。在专题民主生活会上,每个党员领导干部都要以对党、对事业、对同志、对自己高度负责的精神,开展积极健康的思想斗争,敢于动真碰硬、揭短亮丑,防止讲情面、当老好人、搞一团和气。尤其是一把手要以树立标杆、向我看齐的态度检查自己,认真查摆个人和班子作风方面的突出问题,负责任地对班子成员提出批评,有肚量、有胸怀地接受别人的批评意见。班子成员之间要知无不言、言无不尽,谈问题、提意见要开宗明义、点到要害,防止对上级放“礼炮”、对同级放“哑炮”、对自己放“空炮”。总之,这次专题民主生活会不能开成评功摆好和总结工作的会,而应当通过积极健康的批评和自我批评,让领导干部灵魂受到触动、思想得到提高,真正达到“团结―批评―团结”的目的。
本文系中共中央政治局常委、中央书记处书记、中央党校校长刘云山2013年9月1日在中央党校2013年秋季学期开学典礼上的讲话第二部分

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