The Politburo held a study session on 23 January, dedicated to understanding the importance of dialectical materialism in Party work, at which Xi Jinping gave a speech. The following Xinhua report summarises that speech, and provides interesting theoretical background to the recent pushes into higher education rectification and think tank building.
The CCP Politburo held its 20th collective study session on the afternoon of 23 January on the topic of the basic principles and methodology of dialectical materialism. When chairing the study session, CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that dialectical materialism is the worldview and methodology of Chinese Communist Party members, if our Party seeks to unite and lead the people in moving forward the construction of a moderately prosperous society, the comprehensive deepening of reform, comprehensively governing the country according to the law, comprehensively strictly govern the Party, realized the “Two Centuries” struggle objective, and realize the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, it must incessantly receive the nourishment of Marxist philosophical wisdom, ever more consciously persist in and use the worldview and methodology of dialectical materialism, strengthen its ability for dialectical thinking and strategic thinking, and strive to raise its skill in resolving the fundamental problems in our country’s reform and development.
Jilin University professor Sun Zhengyu held a lecture eon these questions, and discussed opinions and suggestions.
All comrades in the CCP Politburo earnestly listened to the lecture, and engaged in discussion on relevant questions.
At the study session, Xi Jinping held a speech. He pointed out that today, the 18th Politburo conducted the first session of 2015, the topics for study were the fundamental principles and methodology of dialectical materialism. In 2013, when we conducted the 11th collective study session, we addressed the basic principles and methodology of historical materialism. The objective of arranging these two study sessions is enabling us to understand Marxist philosophy even more comprehensively and completely.
Xi Jinping stressed that we must study and grasp the tenet that the world is united in matter and that matter decides consciousness, and persist in starting from objective reality in formulating policies and pushing work forward. The greatest objective reality in present-day China is that our country still is, and for a long time will remain, in the primary stage of Socialism, this is the objective basic point for us to understand the present, plan for the future, formulate policies and move our undertaking forward, we cannot relinquish this basic point. We must both notice that the basic national circumstances of the primary stage of Socialism have not changed, and must be aware that every stage in our country’s economic and social development presents new characteristics. Over more than three decades of reform and opening up, our country’s social productivity, comprehensive national strength and people’s living standards have seen a historical leap, the content of our country’s basic national circumstances have changed incessantly, and major changes have occurred in the international and domestic risks and difficulties that we face. When we put forward that we must correctly grasp and actively adapt to a new normal in economic development, that is a judgment that conforms to changes in the international and domestic environment, which dialectically analyses the characteristics of this stage of our country’s economic development. Correctly grasping the new changes and new characteristics of our country’s different development stages, ensuring that the subjective world better conforms to objective reality, and deciding on work policies according to reality, are all work methods that we must keep firmly in mind. Dialectical materialism does not deny the counter effect of consciousness on matter, in fact, it holds that this sort of counter effect sometimes can be huge. Odour Party has always put ideology building first in Party building, it has stressed that “revolutionary ideals are higher than heaven”, which refers to the law of dialectics that spirit changes matter and matter changes spirits. We must never relax in education about ideals and convictions, ideology and morality building and ideological work, forcefully foster and carry forward the Socialist core value system, and use a Chinese spirit rich in the flavour of the times to concentrate China’s forces.
Xi Jinping pointed out that we must study and grasp the basic tenets of the movement of material contradictions, incessantly strengthen our consciousness of problems, and vigorously face and analyse contradictions we meet during our progress. Problems are the forms in which material contradictions manifest themselves, when we stress that we must strengthen our consciousness of problems and persist in a problem-guided orientation, this is to recognize the universality and objectivity of contradictions, and means that we must be good at making understanding and dissolving contradictions into a breakthrough point for beginning our work. Our Party had led the people in the revolution, construction and reform, and has always done so in order to solve China’s real problems. The correct attitude for dealing with contradictions should be to directly fact contradictions, and use the complementary elements in contradictions to move material development forward through the process of resolving contradictions. We stress that we cannot simply heroically talk about gross domestic product growth, put forward that we must accelerate the transformation of economic development methods and adjust economic structures, put forward to reduce overcapacity in production, put forward the strengthening of ecological civilization construction, etc., these matters are all profound contradictions that have a broad influence and are strongly coupled. In the face of complex circumstances and onerous tasks, we must first and foremost view the entire picture, ensure we have good knowledge of contradictions, and must at the same time give priority to resolving the major contradiction and the main aspects of contradictions, and thereby drive the resolution of other contradictions. We put forward we seek to move forward the construction of a moderately prosperous society, comprehensively deepen reform, comprehensively govern the country according to the law and comprehensively govern the Party strictly in a coordinated manner, these are the main contradictions that must be resolved in the present undertaking and development of the Party and the Country. We must both pay attention to general planning, and must stress grasping “the cow by the horns”. In any work, we must both stress the dialectical doctrine, and stress the focal point doctrine, not recognizing priorities, and not recognizing difference, but trying to attend to big and small matters at the same time, means bad work.
Xi Jinping stressed that we must study and grasp the basic methods of dialectical materialism, incessantly strengthen our ability for dialectical thinking, and raise our skill in mastering complex situation and dealing with complex problems. The more our undertaking develops in depth and breadth, the more we must incessantly strengthen our ability for dialectical thinking. At present, relationships of interest in our country’s society are utterly complex, this requires us to be good at dealing with the relationships between partial situations and the whole picture, the present and the long term, focus points and non-focus points, and make the most advantageous strategic choices through seeking gain and avoiding harm in weighing the pro and cons. To comprehensively deepen reform, we must give prominence to the systemic nature, comprehensive nature and coordinated nature of reform, and ensure that the fruits of reform are extended to the whole body of the people in even greater numbers and even more fairly. We must oppose metaphysical thinking methods, we cannot be blind to the whole situation, have tunnel vision, spoil things by excessive enthusiasm, have Procrustean beds or add paws to a snake when we consider circumstances and do work. We must strengthen surveys and research, persist in observing matters in a developing rather than a static manner, in a comprehensive manner rather than a biased manner, in a systematic rather than a scattered manner, and in a universally integrated rather than isolated or fragmented matter, we must correctly grasp objective reality, truly grasp laws, and appropriately deal with all kinds of major relationships.
Xi Jinping pointed out that we must study, grasp, understand and practice the tenets of dialectical materialism, persist in practicing the first viewpoint, incessantly move theoretical innovation forward on a basis of practice. When we move forward work in all areas, we must rely on practice to find true knowledge. Theory must be united with reality. We must give high regard to the role of theory, strengthen our self-confidence about theory and our strategic orientation, we must firmly persist in correct theories that have been obtained through repeated practice and comparison. We must, on the basis of the changes of the times and the development of practice, incessantly deepen understanding, incessantly summarize experiences, incessantly realize a beneficial mutual interaction between theoretical innovation and practical innovation, and develop a 21st Century Chinese Marxism through this unity and interaction.