Engels once said that "A nation that wants to climb the pinnacles of science cannot possibly manage without theoretical thought." If we Chinese are to realize national rejuvenation, we likewise cannot possibly manage without theoretical thought. Marxism is and will continue to be the guiding theory for our Party and nation. It is the formidable theoretical tool which we use to understand the world, grasp its underlying patterns, search for its truth, and effect change.
Marxist ideas and theories are wide-ranging and profound and maintain relevance even with repeated study. In the new era, Chinese Communists still need to study Marx, study and practice Marxism, and continually draw on its powerful knowledge and theories. In this way, we will uphold and develop Chinese socialism in the new era with more resolve, confidence, and wisdom in our efforts at carrying out the coordinated advancement of the "five-pronged" overall plan and the "Four Comprehensives" strategy, thus ensuring that we always stay the course toward national rejuvenation as we break the waves and sail ahead.
Studying Marx requires the study and practice of Marxist thought on the patterns underlying the development of human society. Marx revealed through his research the inexorable trend that human society would ultimately move toward Communism. Marx and Engels firmly believed that in the society of the future "we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all," and that "the proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win." Marx firmly believed that the tide of history would only surge forward once the people became the masters of themselves, society, and human development, and with this the ideal of Communism would necessarily be realized by degrees through the extant conditions of continuous change.
Marxism established the theoretical foundation for the unwavering ideals and convictions of Communists. We need to have a complete mastery of the worldviews and methodologies of dialectical and historical materialism,and fully understand that realizing Communism is a historical process involving the step-by-step achievement of milestones. We need to bring together the noble ideal of Communism with the shared ideal of Chinese socialism and the endeavors in which we are currently engaged, remain confident in the path, theory, system, and culture of Chinese socialism, and adhere to the ideals and beliefs of Chinese Communists. We need to be like Marx, and strive for Communism throughout our lives.
Studying Marx requires the study and practice of Marxist thought on upholding the position of the people. An affinity with the people is Marxism's most distinctive character. According to Marx, historical action is the action of the masses. Enabling the people to gain their emancipation was Marx's life pursuit. We must always ensure that our basic position is that of the people, and that we strive for the wellbeing of the people as our fundamental mission, remain committed to the fundamental principle of wholeheartedly serving the people, and carry out the mass line. We must also respect the principal position of the people and the creativity of the people, forever maintain close ties with them, channel our strength into an impenetrable great wall, and unite the people and lead them in moving history forward. This is the inevitable choice which respects the patterns of history, and it is the responsibility undertaken by communists on our own initiative in staying true to our founding mission.
Studying Marx requires the study and practice of Marxist thought on the forces and relations of production. Marxism holds that the material forces of production form the material prerequisites for all social existence, and that the totality of these relations of production appropriate to a given stage in the development of the material forces of production constitutes the economic foundation of society. The forces of production are the most dynamic and revolutionary factors driving social progress. "The multitude of productive forces accessible to men determines the nature of society." The mutual interactions and constraints between the forces and relations of production and between the economic foundation and the superstructure govern the whole course of social development.
Unleashing and developing the national forces of production is a fundamental task of socialism; it is also a major concern which Chinese Communists continue to explore and work hard to resolve. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, and especially since reform and opening-up, within 70 years our Party has led the people in resolute efforts at unleashing and developing national forces of production and completed a process of development that took the West several centuries to complete, thus propelling our country's high-speed rise to become the world's second largest economy. We need to have the courage to deepen reform in all areas, rouse the vitality of the national forces of production via balancing the relations of production, and adapt to the requirements of developing the economic foundation via improving the superstructure. By doing so, we will ensure that the development of Chinese socialism better conforms with the patterns governing the forces and relations of production.
Studying Marx requires the study and practice of Marxist thought on the people's democracy. As Marx and Engels noted, "The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority," "that the working class, once come to power, could not go on managing with the old state machine," it must "[shatter]…the former state power and…[replace it with] a new and truly democratic one." State organs must change from controlling the public to serving them, and accept public oversight. We need to keep to the socialist path of political advancement with Chinese characteristics, and drive the development of China's socialist democracy while remaining committed to the smooth integration of Party leadership, the running of the country by the people, and law-based governance. We also need to strengthen institutional guarantees for the running of the country by the people, hasten the modernization of China's governance system and capacity, give full play to the people's enthusiasm, initiative, and creativity, and more firmly and effectively implement a people's democracy.
Marx believed that, given different economic and social environments, the people would produce different ideas and culture. Even though ideas and culture are determined by the economic foundation, they also react with it. Once advanced ideas and culture are apprehended by the masses, they transform into a formidable material force; conversely, if outmoded or erroneous ideas are not done away with, they become fetters on social development. Theoretical awareness and cultural confidence are a force for national progress; advanced values and a free mind are the source of social vitality. Culture both transforms and fashions the spirit of a nation. While remaining grounded in China's realities, our nation must embrace modernization, the world, and the future. We must consolidate the position of Marxism as our guiding thought, develop an advanced socialist culture, and strengthen observance of socialist cultural and ethical standards. We must also see that all areas of social development are imbued with core socialist values, promote the creative transformation and innovative development of our fine traditional culture, help our people raise their political awareness and moral standards, and foster appreciation of fine culture. By doing so, we will continue to add new luster to Chinese culture.
Studying Marx requires us to study and practice Marxist thought on social advancement. Marx and Engels envisaged that in the society of the future "production will be calculated to provide wealth for all," and it would feature "the participation of all in the enjoyments provided by all." Engels integrated a series of views raised by Marx in Manifesto of the Communist Party, Critique of the Gotha Program, Capital, and other works, clarifying how, under the conditions of socialism, society should "give healthy and useful labor to all, ample wealth and leisure to all, and the truest and fullest freedom to all." The people yearn for a better life, and our goal is to help them achieve it. We need to remain committed to our people-centered philosophy of development, focus on the most pressing and most immediate issues that concern the people the most, and constantly secure and improve standards of living for the people. We need to promote social fairness and justice, ensure access to a higher level of childcare, education, employment, medical services, elderly care, housing, and social assistance, and see that the gains of reform and development benefit all our people in a fair way. By doing so, we will promote well-rounded human development and achieve shared prosperity for everyone.
Studying Marx requires us to study and practice Marxist thought on the relationship between people and nature. Marx understood that "Man lives from nature," that nature not only provides humans with the source of the means of existence such as soils which are fertile, and rivers, lakes, and oceans which are teeming with fish, but it also provides humans with the source of the means of production. The natural world constitutes the natural conditions in which humans exist. If we humans treat nature well as we produce, live, and develop alongside it, nature will bestow its gifts upon us; however, "if man, by dint of his knowledge and inventive genius, has subdued the forces of nature, the latter avenge themselves upon him." Nature is the mother of life, humans and nature form a biotic community, and humanity must revere and respect nature, follow its ways, and protect it. We need to ensure harmony between humans and nature, firmly realize that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets and conscientiously act on this understanding, mobilize all sectors of society to build an ecological civilization, and build a beautiful China together. By doing so, we will ensure that the people appreciate the beauty of nature, life, and existence as they live among lucid waters and lush mountains, and pursue a model of sustainable development featuring increased production, higher living standards, and healthy ecosystems.
Studying Marx requires us to study and practice Marxist thought on world history. Marx and Engels once said that, "The more the original isolation of separate nationalities is destroyed by the developed mode of production, commerce, and division of labor between various nations naturally brought forth by these, the more does history become world history." Marx and Engels' prediction of those years has since become a reality; history and reality increasingly prove the scientific value of this prediction. Today, the global nature of human association is more profound and extensive than ever before, and the interlinking and interdependence between countries are more frequent and intimate than ever before. We live in a united world; whoever rejects this world will also be rejected by it. Living things that are nourished will not injure one another; roads that run parallel will not interfere with one another. We need to stand at the perspective of world history and examine the development trends and the problems we face in the world today, continue to pursue a path of peaceful development, an independent foreign policy of peace, and a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up. We need to continue to expand cooperation with all other countries, take an active part in the global governance system, and realize mutually beneficial cooperation and shared development in more fields and to a higher level, and we must not submit to others and even less so plunder others. In this way, we can work with the people of all other countries to build a community with a shared future for humanity and create a more beautiful world.
Studying Marx requires us to study and practice Marxist thought on developing a Marxist political party. Marx recognized that, "In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole," and that "they have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole," but instead work "in the interest of the immense majority," and strive to build a communist society. A communist party must "set up before the whole world landmarks by which it measures the level of the Party movement." The basic difference between a Marxist political party and other political parties is that the former always stands with the people and fights for their interests. We need to coordinate our great struggle, great project, great cause, and great dream, and strengthen our consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment. We need to continue to drive ahead full and strict governance over the Party, give top priority to consolidating the Party politically, uphold and strengthen overall Party leadership, and uphold the authority of the Central Committee and its centralized, unified leadership. We need to uphold truth and correct errors, forever preserve the political character of Communists, and build the Party into a vibrant Marxist governing party that is always at the forefront of the times, enjoys the wholehearted support of the people, has the courage to reform itself, and is able to withstand all tests.