Seeking Truth: Consolidating the Common Ideological Basis for the United Struggle of the Party and the People
This Seeking Truth Autumn Stone editorial, published today, is the second of a diptych. The first one, published two weeks ago, addressed the question of consolidating the guiding position of Marxism in the ideological area. This article further explore matters of political unity and resisting deleterious domestic and foreign influence in relation to continued development.
Consolidating the guiding position of Marxism in the ideological area and consolidating a common ideological basis for the united struggle of the entire Party and the people of the entire country are basic tasks for propaganda and ideology work. The “Two Consolidations” are closely linked, and each has its particular emphasis. This article discusses a few viewpoints on consolidating a common ideological basis for the united struggle of the Party and the people.
I, The common ideological basis relates to the rise, fall, success and failure of the undertaking of the Party and the people
A common ideological basis, where the existence and development of a governing party, a country and a nation are concerned, is of considerable importance. Without the bonds and support of a common ideological basis, a party will not be a party, a country will not be a country, and a nation will not have cohesion. A common ideological basis cannot emerge out of nothing, and it is also not something that people determine, it is rooted in common interests, it grows on a common undertaking, and takes shape through common objectives.
Gaining national independence and the liberation of the people, and realizing national wealth and strength, and the happiness of the people are the most fundamental common interests of the Chinese nations since modernity. The Chinese Communist Party has, since the day of its foundation, made this into its historical mission, and has lead the people of all ethnicities in the entire country in conducting arduous and indomitable struggle. With the establishment of the new China as symbol, the objective of national independence and liberation of the people was realized; with reform and opening up as symbols, China is currently marching a journey to realize the flourishing, wealth and strength of the country and the common prosperity of the people. In a long time of common struggle, the Party and the people have closely united , and formed a common ideological basis. To summarize: under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, marching the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation are the common ideological basis for the united struggle of the Party and the people in the present stage.
Just after the 18th Party Congress was concluded, the newly elected CCP Central Committee General Secretary Xi Jinping, together with the complete body of comrades of the Standing Committee of the Politburo and the comrades from the Central Committee Secretariat attended the exhibition “The Road to Rejuvenation” in the National Museum, and he deeply elaborated the Chinese Dream. He said: “Realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is the most magnificent dream of the Chinese nation since modernity”. The Chinese Dream, in the final analysis, is the dream of the people, it concentrates the long cherished with of generations of Chinese people, reflected the overall interests of the Chinese nation and the Chinese people, and is the common expectation of every son and daughter of China. Only if the country does well and the nation does well can everyone do well; only if the country is rich and strong and the nation is vitalized, can the people be happy – the Chinese Dream concentrated the largest consensus for the united struggle of the Party and the people.
Moving the common undertaking forward and realizing common interests is inseparable from the strong unity of the Party and the people. Marxism has an extremely important viewpoint: only if the people are organized and united, do they have power and can they seize victory in the struggle for their own interests. When the masses were a sheet of loose sand, they did not have power, and could only let themselves be trampled upon and enslaved; to all forces inimical to the people, the most harmful is the unity of the people. Therefore, Marx and Engels’ issued the magnificent call, “Proletarians of all nations, unite!” in the “Communist Manifesto”. The reason that the old China was poor, weak, and subject to bullying was because it disintegrated and was a sheet of loose sand; the reason why the New China can hold its head high and stand free in the forest of the nations of the people, is because the Chinese Communist Party organized the people and united the people, and China thoroughly ended its situation of disintegration and being a sheet of loose sand. The Party and the people have deeply understood through a long period of struggle that unity is strength, unity is the bigger picture and unity is victory.
The strong unity of the Party and the people is inseparable from consolidating a common ideological basis. International anti-Chinese forces, in their hearts and bones, do not hope to see China develop and expand, they continue to do their utmost to push their strategy to Westernize and divide China forward. Westernization is the method, but division is the objective, only a divided, disturbed, weak and lax China would conform to their interests. Their main trick in Westernizing and dividing China is conducting ideological infiltration, bringing chaos to people’s thoughts and disintegrating the common ideological basis for the united struggle of the Party and the people. This is also the most dangerous trick, it is a trick trying to pull the carpet from under us, and requires our vigilance. The disintegration of a country and a regime often starts in the ideological area, political unrest and regime change may occur in one night but ideological evolution is a long-term process. If the ideological defence front is breached, other fronts will be difficult to hold.
II, In consolidating the common ideological basis, all disturbances must be eliminated.
The common ideological basis for the united struggle of the Party and the people is consolidated and developed through struggle with all sorts of mistaken ideologies. Following the profound changes in our country’s society and the incessant expansion of opening up to the outside world, all sorts of ideologies and cultures interact, mingle and clash increasingly frequently, some mistaken thinking trends and undercurrents gush up, they rise one after another, and the common ideological basis for the united struggle of the Party and the people faces all sorts of challenges.
The dispute concerning “universal values” has been a hot point in the ideological area for the past few years. Does humankind have common values? Of course it does. Humankind lives on the same planet, and it is unavoidable in the relationships of humans and nature, humans and society and humans among themselves that some common or similar problems may be encountered, that some common needs thereby emerge, and that some common value relationships, value pursuits and value concepts are formed. If one is unable to see the commonalities existing in the area of values, it will also be impossible to understand the vertical relationship of inheritance of human civilization and the horizontal relationship of learning lessons. This is a quite commonsensical issue that is not disputed. Freedom, democracy and human rights are humankind’s common pursuits, and are the results of civilization created commonly by humankind through a long period of struggle. The problem is that different classes and people in different social positions have different understandings and demands of freedom, democracy and human rights; in different countries and different historical development stages, the real forms and ways of freedom, democracy and human rights are also different, and there is no uniform model. “Universal values” are stirred up by some people because they have ulterior motives, the “universal values” they propagate are in fact not common values of humankind in the ordinary sense, but they specially refer to Western political concepts and institutional models. On the one hand, they say that the Western political model is a “universal value”, on the other hand, they impute all bad things in China to institutions and structures, they preach that only if China accepts “universal values”, it can have a future, but it is very clear where their intention is. Universalism that has dense religious characteristics has always been the ideological source and course by which the West expanded externally and conquered the world.
“Constitutional democracy” is another influential political thinking trend in the wake of the “universal values” thinking trend. The source of the concept of “constitutionalism” is the West, and using it to present and discuss Western constitutionalism at an academic level is permitted. But among a few people, “constitutional democracy” has seemingly become the first topic in political structural reform, they say that “constitutional democracy is the only way out for China”, this merits vigilance. Our Party has always stressed that the Constitution is the basic laws of the country, is the general rule to administer the country and ensure security, and has the supreme position in the legal system; it has always advocated that governing the country according to the law first and foremost means governing the country according to the Constitution, and that the key of governance according to the law is governance according to the Constitution, any organization and individual must take the Constitution as the basic norm for action. The Party leads the people in formulating the Constitution and the laws, the Party leads the people in implementing the Constitution and the laws, the Party itself must take the lead in acting within the scope of the Constitution and the laws, this all beyond any doubt. Now, why do some people still want to play up “constitutional democracy”? Does the “constitutionalism” they discuss refer to “the implementation of the constitution”? DO they truly believe that “implementing the Constitution is constitutionalism”? Not at all! In contrast toe a number of scholars who identify with the wording “Socialist constitutionalism” and believe that this wording benefits strengthening the authority of the Constitution and moving ruling the country according to the law forward, the “constitutional democracy” that some people advocate has an unambiguous political content and direction, which is that Western institutional model. They attack our country for “having a Constitution but no constitutionalism”, “The Chinese Communist Party single-party governance is not legitimate”, “the Party is above the law”, etc., where does this talk about implementing the Constitution or carrying out the Constitution, it clearly aims to deny and oppose our country’s’ current Constitution, and to press us into conducting the “political reform” they aim for, their basic objective is that they want to abolish the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and change our country’s Socialist system. Would it do not to expose this thinking trend?
Historical nihilist thinking trends are a sort of very harmful mistaken thinking trend that is closely linked with “universal values” and “constitutional democracy”. Our country’s Constitution has the form of the basic law of the country, and affirms the heroic struggle of the Chinese people over the past 100 years to oppose domestic and foreign enemies, strive for national independence, and the freedom and happiness of the people, it affirms the historical change of the Chinese Communist Party leading the Chinese people in seizing victory in the New Democratic Revolution and the people mastering State power. But, some people distort the history of the Party and the country under the guide of “reappraisal”, they depict the history of the Party and the country as a history of crime and evil, a history of power struggle, and a history of conspiracy, they deny historical facts and historical characters where a verdict has been reached, criticize the revolutionary generation, vilify Party leaders and even do not stint to fabricate facts, sparing no effort to attack, vilify and slander. The ancients said: “To annihilate a country of men, its history must first be removed.”. The objective of doing historical nihilism is bringing chaos to the historical understanding of people, and thereby fundamentally denying the history of the Party and of the New China, and denying the development results of the path, theory and system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics established in the Constitution. Some people who enthusiastically preach for “constitutional democracy” are enthusiastically attacking the history of struggle of the Party and the people entered into the Constitution, could this not bring us to be on alert?
Furthermore, there is neoliberalism. The West, with the US in the lead, has used globalization to peddle neoliberalism to the world, and after this brought disastrous results to Latin America, the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries, it also caused that they got bogged down in a financial crisis from which it is difficult to escape, this in fact has announced the bankruptcy of neoliberalism. Exactly such a theory that has already gained notoriety is still embraced by some people who will not let it go. They concentrate their attacks on State-owned enterprises, they say that State-owned enterprises are devoid of any merit, they say that “State-owned enterprises cannot be compatible with the market economy”, they spare no effort to advocate the privatization of SOEs and of State-owned assets. What is the real situation? In the past, the only marvel created by the “shock therapy” of privatization in Russia was “wealth creation”, and this rapidly fostered a batch of superrich and monopolist oligarchs, the Russian economy rapidly declines, and the absolute majority of the population saw their living standards decline substantially; in the privatization reforms in Mexico, Carlos Slim bought the Mexican national telephone company, and now, he has climbed the ranks of global wealth, has monopolized 90% of the Mexican telephone market, and Mexico has become one of the countries with the largest difference between rich and poor in the world. Just think, if China’s telecommunications business would be privatized, with the scale of China’s users and markets, it would be completely possible that this would result in moneybags like Carlos Slim who have as much money as the country, would the broad Chinese people accept this? Would they agree?
Challenging reform and opening up, and challenging the Socialist quality of Socialism with Chinese characteristics is also a mistaken thinking trend that should not be overlooked. In recent years, the topic of reform has repeatedly provoked heated debate, all kinds of viewpoints are competing. Some people impute the contradictions and problems in development to reform and opening up, they believe that reform has “been overdone” and “deviates from the Socialist orientation”, they challenge China’s being Socialist or not, or simply say that it is “Capitalism with Chinese characteristics”, “state capitalism”, “bigwig capitalism”, etc.; some kick up a fuss with the “stagnated reform theory” and the “stagnated political structural reform” theory, they advocate the so-called “comprehensive and thorough reform.” Rethinking reform at the level of implementing work and at the policy level is permitted, but if the conclusion is reached that reform has taken a wrong turning and deviates from the Socialist path, or if it is believed that reform that is not based on Western models and standards is “no real reform”, “insufficient” or “not thorough”, this is an actual denial of China’s reform and opening up, a denial of the Party’s line, principles and policies since the 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Congress, and thereby a denial of Socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Because the abovementioned mistaken thinking trends, imply political standpoints that violate the principles of our country’s Constitution, they cannot but be “wrapped up” in all kinds of manners, when they are refuted, the topic is changed, in order to cheat and confuse the masses. But “the heart of Sima Zhao, was known by passers by in the street”, their crucial point lies in the fact that they want to bring chaos to people’s thoughts and disintegrate the common ideological basis for the united struggle of the Party and the people.
III, Build a firm line of defence for the common ideological basis
The practice of reform and opening up irrefutably proves that we have found a correct path for national development, this path is Socialism with Chinese characteristics. If we march along this path, we will be ever closer to realizing the objective of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation than in any other time in history, we will have more confidence and ability to realize this goal than at any other time in history. At this moment, how could we allow mistaken thinking trends to confuse the hearts of the Party and the people, and bring the excellent development trends of the country to suffer disturbance and even destruction?
China’s unique cultural traditions, unique historical mission and unique basic national conditions have decided that we must march a development path suitable to our own characteristics. Since modernity, the constitutional monarchy, multi-party systems and presidential systems have all been tried in China, the result was that none of them got anywhere. Only the Chinese Communist Party’s leading the people, and integrating the basic principles of Marxism with Chinese reality, has found the correct path to realize national independence, liberation of the people, wealth and strength of the country and the happiness of the people. The development achievements of China over the past few decades can be declared as a miracle in all of human history. In the present world, when the question is asked which party, which country and which nation has a reason to be self-confident, then the Chinese Communist Party, the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese nation have the most reason to be self-confident. History and reality both prove that our path, theory and system has its own clear characteristics and distinct superiorities, and there is no reason whatsoever to bring us to scrap it and start from a white sheet of paper.
No matter whether we discuss Marxism or Socialism, the crucial reason why it could gain victory in China was that our Party used it in integration with Chinese reality and incessantly moved its Sinification forward. If we completely abide by Western and foreign methods, they will not be able to acclimatize in the new environment, and are doomed to be defeated. Why is the US so committed to export democracy to the world? In fact, Western democracy, with competitive elections as the main rules of the game, has been grafted into non-Western countries and regions, and often brought social division ethnic opposition, incessant political disputes, endless political upheaval, weak and feeble governments, but as electoral rules endowed the government with formal legitimacy, they did not completely collapse. It is the internal mechanism of Western democracy that made this happen, which was called “the democracy trap”. Having a few more countries in the world that are internally chaotic, weak and lax but do not necessarily completely collapse is most beneficial to US global hegemony and most conform to the needs of Western monopoly capital, this is the essence of the issue. This fact has also confirmed a logic: if western democracy truly is a good thing, if it truly can “make China flourish and formidable” as some people say, then why do Western anti-Chinese forces export it to China with such energy? US high technology is a good thing, but they do not sell it even if we spend money to buy it.
The development of all countries clearly indicates that the modernization process of a country mainly will experience the following stages: the stage stepping from low-income to middle-income status is a stage in which the economy soars and poverty is cast off, economic growth is high, citizens receive universal benefits and society blossoms; the stage of climbing from middle-income status to high-income status is both a period of development opportunity and a period with prominent contradictions, it is both possible to stimulate smooth economic transformation and stable social development with appropriate means, and to bring hesitation to the economy and long-term unrest to society because of misleading responses; the high income stage is the developed stage, where modernization is realized, the economy and society are mature, and they operate at a higher level. Our country has leapt into the ranks of the middle-income countries, and is in stage of climbing from middle-income to high-income status, many complex economic, social, political and technological challenges arise one after another, all sorts of social contradictions and issues pile up, and emerge in concentration. Problems should be treated rationally: first, these problems generally are developmental problems, they are problems that became prominent after development. The growth of the income gap also means the growth of a basis for general moderate prosperity; the unbalanced development of urban and rural regions is a lack of balance due to some regions developing first; the fact that people complain that it is difficult or expensive to see a doctor is because living standards have risen, health consciousness has strengthened, and demands concerning healthcare service quality has risen; traffic jams and air pollution have become prominent after entering the “car society”, and people’s environmental consciousness greatly strengthened; the problem of high housing prices is a problem that emerged because of large houses becoming fashionable, the pursuit of one-step solutions and an overly high housing ownership rate, etc. We cannot deny the development achievements that we have obtained because of these problems, or deny the development path that we have marched, neither can we withdraw to the old road from before development. Second, the Party and the government perceive the problems clearly, and provide positive responses to the calls of the masses, they are currently adopting measures to progressively resolve the. With regard to anti-corruption, look at the quantity of investigation and prosecution cases announced by discipline inspection organs, look at the list of names of high officials who have fallen from their horses for suspected corruption one after another over the past few years, and then compare it with the display put on by countries that are comparable to China according to the “Transparency International” clean government index, which country in the world has such anti-corruption strength as China? Resolving problems takes time, resolving problems that emerge through development may well take more time than was used for development, impatience for results is unrealistic.
Problems emerging through development can only be resolved through earnest and sincere reform and development. We need to expand reform strength, but can absolutely not drop our basic system or start from a clean sheet, that would only bring about great waste and great chaos, and finally, it would ruin the achievements of China’s revolution, construction and reform; we must develop democracy, but we cannot do that sort of Western-style “mass democracy” with multi-party competition, neither can we do Chinese-style “mass democracy” as in the “Cultural Revolution”, that would only lead to a forest of political parties, political unrest, social fragmentation and an end of peaceful days in the country, we would not be able to resolve the problem of corruption, or resolve the problem of the difference between rich and poor, large amounts of urgent issues concerning the national economy and people’s livelihoods would be cast aside because of political disputes, and the result could only be calamity for the country and the people. The more contradictions become prominent and the more problems arise, the more we need firm and forceful political leadership, the more we need an authoritative government and a high-efficiency administration, and the more we need concentration, unity and the smooth implementation of governance. China can only firmly push forward reform and perfection of the State system in all aspects under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, by relying on the firm unity of the Party and the people, by relying on the superiority of the system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and under the precondition of guaranteeing the stability of the larger picture, and welcome an even brighter and more beautiful future!