This revised version of a speech given on 4 January 2014 was published in Seeking Truth on 16 January 2014.
Not long ago, the CCP Central Committee Secretariat issued the “Opinions concerning Fostering and Practicing the Socialist Core Value View” (hereafter simply named “Opinions), this is an important measure of our Party to move the construction of the Socialist value system forward. We must earnestly implement the spirit of the series of speeches by General Secretary Xi Jinping, realistically grasp the implementation of the “Opinions”, strive to build a common spiritual garden for the Chinese people, and promote the formation of strong forces that exert themselves for progress, worship virtue and seek the good.
I, Grasping the relationship between the core value view and the core value system well.
What is the actual relationship between the Socialist core value system that was put forward first, and fostering and practicing the Socialist core value view that is stressed now? The Socialist core value view is put forward on the basis of the Socialist core value system, it is like the “Opinions” pointed out: the Socialist core value view is the inner core of the Socialist core value system, it reflects the basic essence and fundamental characteristics of the Socialist core value system, reflects the rich content and practical requirements of the Socialist core value system, and is a highly condensed and concentrated expression of the Socialist core value system. These four phrases in fact are the basic positioning of the relationship between the Socialist core value view and the Socialist core value system.
To grasp the relationship between the core value view and the core value system well, we must first fully understand the intrinsic consistency of both. The core value view has a consistent orientation with the core value system, they both carry forward common ideals, concentrate spiritual forces and build moral customs, they both are aimed at shaping spiritual nodes for the entire people to exert themselves in search of progress and unite in harmony, to ensure the ideological and spiritual strengthening of our country, nation and people, and to persist in the Chinese path, carry forward the Chinese spirit and concentrate Chinese forces even better.
To grasp the relationship between the core value view and the core value system well, we must also understand the particular emphasis of both, and we must especially be aware of the fact that in comparison with the Socialist core value system, the Socialist core value view has the following clear characteristics: first, it gives more prominence to core factors, the Socialist core value system includes the four areas of Marxist guiding ideology, the common ideal of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, the spirit of the nation and the times, and the Socialist view of honour and dishonour, it is a systematic and general framework; the “three initiatives” stressed in the Socialist core value view, more clearly revealed the inner core of this value system, and established the basic value concepts for contemporary China. Second, it lays more stress on concentrated expressions, wealth and strength, democracy, civilization, harmony, freedom, equality, fairness, the rule of law, patriotism, respect for work, honesty and amity as proposed in the Socialist core value system have clarified the value objectives, value orientations and value norms at the three levels of the nation, the society and citizens, they are condensed expressions of the Socialist core value system, they conform to the demands of popularization and communization, they are convenient to elucidate and disseminated. Third, it strengthens the practical orientation more, the “three initiatives” stressed in the Socialist core value view refer to extremely clear value orientations that are more concrete to people at all levels, they are concretely existing demands, are strong both in a normative and practical sense, and are convenient to follow and practice. Fostering and practicing the core value view further clarifies entry points and work focus points for building the core value system, and benefits implementing all tasks even better.
II, Deepening propaganda and dissemination, strengthening understanding and identification.
The value of fostering the core value view lies in the unification of knowledge and action, knowledge therefore is a precondition and a basis, only by wholehearted identification is it possible to consciously practice it, and is it possible for the salutary influence of education to flow onto all things. To foster and practice the core value view, we must absolutely spend efforts to strengthen understanding and identification, ensure that it becomes a household word, and enter deeply into people’s hearts.
Fostering the core value view is inseparable from continued inculcation, grasping propaganda and education well throughout is a fundamental work. If seeds of positive, healthy and upward ideologies and spirits are sown in people’s hearts, they will be able to take root, flower and bear fruit, and will be able to transform into real actions that worship virtue and seek the good. We must make the fundamental content of the “three initiatives” clear, guide the people to closely grasp the value objectives of wealth, strength, democracy, civilization and harmony at a national level, guide them to understand the value orientations of liberty, equality, fairness and the rule of law at the social level, and to consciously abide by the value norms of patriotism, respect for work, sincerity and amity at the citizen level. We must organically integrate the dissemination and manifestation of contemporary Chinese value views with propaganda and education about the Chinese Dream, deeply elucidate that the Chinese Dream is the formal expression of the common ideals and value pursuits of the Chinese people, and is the greatest common divisor for the united struggle of the Chinese people. Understanding and identification must not only be reflected in rational understanding, it must also be reflected in emotional identification, the forces of truth are added to the forces of reasons, and only then can they last long. This requires that we find points of agreement between propaganda and education, and people’s ideological and moral feelings, be good at using story-telling methods to propagate the most beautiful characters, carry forward the most beautiful spirits, use facts at hand to educate people at hand, use small stories to elucidate big rationales, explain the profound in simple terms, discuss with common sense. We must be good at using the mass media to disseminate the core value view, strengthen the online dissemination of the core value view, sing songs about healthy tendencies to the largest extent, ensure that the core value view truly becomes a compass for people’s souls, and becomes a pillar for people’s feelings.
In fostering the core value view, an important matter is strengthening people’s value judgments and moral sense of responsibility. The Socialist core value view is the value view of pursuing the true, the good and the beautiful, the Chinese nation is a nation that constantly strives for self-improve and loaded with great morality, the fine moral aspirations that are contained at the bottom of everyone’s heart and their moral feelings, are the most profound soil for our fostering of the Socialist core value view. We must strengthening the strength to make value judgments of the entire society into an important focus point for propaganda and education, guide the people to differentiate what is the true, the good and the beautiful, and what is the false, the bad and the ugly, consciously ensure continuous improvement in morality and virtue, constant cherishing of the good, and constant doing of good deed. One prominent problem now is that in a few areas and among a number of people, value judgements have not been defined, the baseline has been lost, and it has even come about that the bad and the good are confused, the ugly and the beautiful are confused, and honour and dishonour are confused. We must absolutely face up to problems squarely, integrate education about the positive side with public opinion supervision, integrate guidance on hot issues with moral evaluation by the masses, carry forward the true, the good and the beautiful and denounce the false, the bad and the ugly with clear banners flying, establish correct value orientations, clarify confused understandings, rectify immoral acts, shape an ideological and moral public opinion field in which the bad is eliminated and the good extolled, the evil is restrained and the worthy is exalted, guide people to consciously become builders of good moral customs, and be promoters of progress in social civilization.
To foster the core value view, we must persist in starting from small things and starting from schools. The stage of youth is the stage at which value views are shaped, and the period in which malleability
is the strongest. If the ideological and moral education of the youth is grasped well, this also means that the future is grasped, and the long term is controlled. We must put the youth’s value view education into a prominent position, persist in putting people central in education and put morality in moral education, bring this into the overall process of citizens’ education, implement it across all segments and all areas of school education, household education and social education. We must adopt different guidance methods aimed at youths of different age groups, shape education platforms integrating classroom teaching, social practice and school culture, establish long-term mechanisms for activities on loving learning, loving work and loving the motherland. We must, with an attitude of high responsibility to the country and the nation, clarify the social and cultural environment, deal with the online environment, we must firmly investigate and prosecute, and strictly attack those unlawful and criminal acts that endanger the physical and mental heath of youth, and let the broad youth grow up healthily.
III, Drawing nourishment from excellent traditional culture
The long-standing, well-established, wide-ranging, profound and excellent traditional culture of China has accumulated the most profound spiritual pursuits of the Chinese nation, embodies the most fundamental spiritual genes of the Chinese nation, and is a profound source for the Socialist core value view. To foster and practice the Socialist core value view, we must absolutely derive spiritual and moral nourishment from China’s excellent traditional culture, extend and elucidate it in integration with the demands of the times, to ensure that the most fundamental genes of the Chinese nation are suited to contemporary culture and are coordinated with contemporary society, as well as to let the tree of the Socialist core value system have deep roots in the soil of China’s excellent traditional culture.
Only by not forgetting origins is it possible to open up the future, only by being good at inheriting is it possible to innovate and develop even better. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out when he went to Shandong for inspection and investigation, that with regards to history and culture, and especially the value concepts and moral norms passed on by our ancestors, we must persist in making the past serve the present, push out the old and bring in the new, handle matters in a differentiated manner, and inherit things in a selective manner. To foster and practice the Socialist core value view, we must absolutely take excellent traditional culture as the basis, increase cultural content, realize that culture is looked after, and work hard to ensure that culture changes people and culture educates people. We must integrate the fundamental content of the three “initiatives”, make the historical origins, development bloodline and basic orientation of Chinese culture clear, make the unique creations, value concepts and distinct characteristics of Chinese culture clear, increase our cultural self-confidence and confidence about our value view. We must earnestly derive the ideological cream and moral quintessence from Chinese culture, forcefully carry forward an ideology and spirit of unity and integration with patriotism at the core, of love for peace, industry, courage, and constant self-improvement, deeply excavate and elucidate the epochal values of Chinese traditional culture of stressing benevolence, putting people first, respecting honesty, venerating justice, upholding harmony and pursuing the Great Harmony, to ensure that the creative transformation and the innovative development of the beautiful traditional Chinese virtues are realized. Naturally, in dealing with traditional culture, we must also handle matters dialectically, strengthen discrimination, rationally discard things, absorb what is best and throw away the dregs, truly unearth and use this treasurehouse of traditional Chinese culture well.
To use culture to change people and to educate people through cultural inheritance, we must both have content and carriers, we must have cultural activities and cultural products. We must broadly launch propaganda and dissemination activities on China’s excellent traditional culture, increase excellent traditional culture content in national education, nourish people’s spirits and mould moral sentiments with excellent traditional Chinese culture even better. Now, a number of localities organized chanting classic works, morality forums, cultural lectures, or use traditional holidays to organize folk custom activities, these are all good forms and good carriers to carry forward traditional culture, the “our festival” activities that have been organized in recent years have become a brand for the inheritance of Chinese culture and the construction of a spiritual civilization, these must be grasped continuously on the basis of summarizing experiences. We must deeply implement the Chinese cultural inheritance project, focus on reflecting the history of the Chinese nation and especially modern history, Party history and national history, focus on realising the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, formulate project plans, strengthen support in focus points, roll out a large batch of excellent products to carry forward patriotism, collectivism, Socialist ideology and contemporary Chinese value concepts. It must also be stressed here that all spiritual and cultural products should have vigour and energy, and should benefit guiding people to establish and persist in correct views of history, views of the nation, views of the country and cultural view, in order to strengthen the fortitude and stamina of Chinese people.
IV, Promote everyone’s participation and practice by everyone.
The vitality of the core value view lies in practice, and lies in the conscious actions of a member of society. The broader participation becomes, the more profound the social basis for the practice of the core value view becomes. To foster and practice the core value view, we must persist in grasping education and practice with both hands, guide practice with education, and deepen education with practice.
Great matters for all under heaven must be done in detail. The practice of the core value view is concrete, we must persist in it from easy to difficult and from near to far, mobilize people to start from small matters at hand, start from single bits and single points, change the requirements of the “three initiatives” into norms for daily activities, and thereby strengthen capacity for conscious pursuit and daily practice. We must unwaveringly promote practical cultivation, broadly launch activity to learn from Lei Feng and for voluntary service, launch mass-type spiritual civilization creation activities, and guide the people to deepen their understanding of the core value view in practice. We must fully utilize major programmes and major activities, launch topical practice activities aimed at the masses, launch the necessary ceremonial activities, to let the people feel the true essence and core meaning of the core value view. Activities do not need to be many in number, it is crucial that they have effect. If one organizes moral practice activities that are removed from real life and work, no matter how loudly slogans are shouted, and how large the scale of the activity is, in the end, it only will be empty air. To promote practice of the core value view, we must absolutely pay attention to sticking close [to life], targeting [activities] and linking it up with the local climate, realise the organic integration of content and form, ensure that it is convenient for the people to take part, and that they are happy to take part.
To carry forward healthy tendencies, we must suppress evil tendencies. To promote the practice of the core value view, we must also integrate grasping construction with grasping governance, concentrate forces to conduct special campaigns against prominent people in the moral sphere against which the people react strongly. Against those repulsive acts of corrupt public morals, and those immoral phenomena that arouse public indignation, we must fully use public opinion methods, economic methods and legal methods to restrain them, strengthen punishment and create social pressure, we can absolutely not leave them be. Honesty in government affairs, honesty in business, social honesty and judicial fairness continue to be focus points that all sides concentrate on, some achievements have been made in governance in these areas, but these are far from enough, we must absolutely persist unwaveringly, exert great energy to resolve prominent problems in areas such as food and drug security, social order, public service, etc., and strive to achieve successes that can be seen and felt. Following our country’s rapid economic development and the incessant rise of the people’s living standards, traveling has increasingly become a part of people’s lives, uncivilized phenomena during traveling become more prominent every day. We must, on the basis of current work, further expand governance strength, guide the public in strengthening a sense of civilized traveling, incessantly raise moral cultivation, and mould and display a fine national image even better.
V, Party members and cadres must take the lead
The Party work style stimulates the government’s work style, and drives the people’s work style. Party members and cadres being examples of carrying forward advanced ideology and morality, and translating them into action, is an important orientation and the most persuasive education. Since the 18th party Congress, our Party has grasped work style construction, persisted in leaders taking the lead, and Party members and cadres taking the lead, and spurred the emergence of a new atmosphere in all of society from top to bottom, with the top leading the bottom. This has profoundly inspired us: to foster and practice the Socialist core value view, we must grasp this focus point of Party members and cadres well, and give rein to the leading and driving role of Party members and cadres.
The leading and driving role of Party members and cadres means that our Party cadres are required to consciously practice the Socialist core value view with even higher standards and even stricter demands, be the pioneers of the times, and models for society. Party members and cadres, and especially leading cadres at all levels, shall take the lead in persisting in ideals and convictions, take the lead in maintaining a fine ideological and moral integrity, take the lead in establishing correct worldview, views of life and value views, and persist in the spiritual height of Communist Party members throughout. What they require the common masses to do, they must first achieve themselves, what they demand that others don’t do, they may themselves not do, influencing and driving the whole society by real actions. At present, we must make practicing the Socialist core value view into an important content of the Party’s mass line education and practice movement, make it into an important aspect of Party member and cadre education and training, strengthen education about the Party nature and the Party work style, strengthen education about the Party’s fine traditions, persist in opposing formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagant tendencies, in order to drive the improvement of the social atmosphere with a good Party work style and government work style.
Stressing virtue is an important principle of our Party in selecting and appointing people, this “virtue”, essentially speaking, is the core value of the Socialist core value system. To let Party members and cadres have a leading and driving role, we must make their situation of practicing the core value view into an important basis for the assessment, evaluation, promotion and appointment of cadres, and truly implement the demands of “virtue” and the demands of the core value view to the end. Those cadres with firm convictions, who serve the people, are assiduous and pragmatic in government affairs, dare to take matters on, and are honest and clean, must be timely promoted and appointed to suitable positions, to form a clear orientation of promotion and appointment on the basis of virtue. Those cadres who waver in their convictions and become dispirited, and those cadres who have become corrupt and whose morals have been ruined, and those cadres who shirk their responsibility at crucial moments, giving rise to indignation and resentment among the people, must be timely dealt with organizationally, we can absolutely not let “problem cadres” nullify the positive effects of ideological and moral construction.
VI, The common responsibility of the entire Party and the entire society
Fostering and practicing the Socialist core value view involves all areas and all sides, it is not only a matter for propaganda departments, it is even more a common responsibility of the entire Party and the entire society. All levels’ Party Committees must absolutely implement the principle of grasping matters with both hands, and both hands must be strong, they must put fostering and practicing the core value view in an important position, strengthen comprehensive planning, strengthen work guidance and realistically bear political responsibility and leadership responsibility.
All levels’ propaganda departments must, under the leadership of Party Committees, realistically implement the important duties of organization, implementation, coordination and moving forward well, strengthen contact and communication with all departments, strengthen planning and supervision of focus work, and promote the satisfactory implementation of all tasks concerning the construction of the core value system. The all member work units of the Central Civilization Committee, all fronts and all departments must earnestly implement the spirit of the “Opinions”, and merge the demands of the core value view into their work, they must cooperate closely and shape joint forces.
Policies and laws have an important guiding role in fostering and practicing the core value view. We must combine it with moving national governance structures forward and the practice of governance capacity modernization, and combine it with the process of comprehensively deepening reform, work hard to formulate and revise corresponding policies, laws and regulations, and ensure they benefit the fostering and practice of the core value view. We must persist in the correct political orientation throughout, ensure that measures for economic construction, political construction, cultural construction, social construction and ecological civilization construction all benefit carrying forward the Socialist core value view, and prevent the phenomenon of deviation, or problems of separation. We must be good at promoting the fostering and practice of the core value view through legislative, law enforcement and judicial practice, use effective systems and mechanisms to impose norms for people’s behaviour, ensure that acts conforming to the core value view are encouraged, and acts violating the core value view are restrained. We must expand concern for and assistance to advanced models and examples of virtue, we must not only provide them with public opinion veneration and moral support, we must also give them material encouragement and concern in living matters, promote the formation of correct mechanisms for good rewards for good people, and retribution for kind deeds, and the formation of a social atmosphere that venerates virtue and the good, and of emulating those better than oneself.
(This text is the speech of CCP Politburo Standing Committee Member and Central Committee Secretariat Secretary, Comrade Liu Yunshan, on 4 January at the Forum on Fostering and Practicing the Socialist Core Value View, it has been edited for publication)