The Communist Party of China is a party which arms itself with Marxism; Marxism is the soul of the ideals and convictions of Chinese Communists. In 1938, Mao noted that, "Our Party's fighting capacity will be much greater if there are one or two hundred comrades with a grasp of Marxism-Leninism which is systematic and not fragmentary, genuine and not hollow."
Reflecting on the course of the Party's struggles reveals that one of the important reasons that the Communist Party of China has been able to continue to grow in the face of difficulties and hardships is that our Party continues to highly value being well-grounded in both thinking and theory. This has ensured that the whole Party is united in thought, steadfast of will, coordinated in action, and formidable in strength.
At present, the importance of reform, development, and stability, the number of contradictions, risks, and challenges, and the tests of our capacity to govern are all at an unprecedented level. It is essential that we continually improve our ability to utilize Marxism to analyze and resolve practical problems, and continually improve our ability to utilize scientific theories to guide us in responding to major challenges, withstanding major risks, overcoming major obstacles, addressing major contradictions, and resolving major problems; doing so will enable us to gain the upper hand, seize the initiative, and secure our future. In this way, we can reflect on and fully grasp a range of major issues facing China's future development from a broader and longer-term perspective, and continually strengthen belief in Marxism and the ideals of communism.
It has been 170 years since the publication of Manifesto of the Communist Party, during which time earthshaking changes have occurred in human society. However, on the whole, the general principles which Marxism sets forth are still entirely valid. We need to uphold and apply the worldviews and methodologies of dialectical and historical materialism, Marxist standpoints, viewpoints, and methods, and Marxist views on the materiality of the world and the patterns underlying development. We must also heed the principles such as the natural and historic significance of the development of human society and related laws, the laws governing human emancipation and the full and free development of every individual, and the essence of knowledge and the laws governing its development. In this light, we need to uphold and apply Marxist views on practice, the people, class, development, and contradiction, and truly master and apply well these key skills.
All comrades of our Party, especially officials at all levels, must do more and work harder at studying Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development, and the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. All comrades must study these thoroughly, painstakingly, and assiduously, apply their studies to problems, and link their studies to reality so as to better transform scientific ideas and theories into a material force for understanding and changing the world. We Communists must read Marxist classics and understand Marxist principles as a way of life and a spiritual pursuit, and apply the classics to foster our integrity, temper our intellects, expand our horizons, and guide our practice.
Approaching scientific theories requires a scientific attitude. Engels once made the profound point that, "Marx's whole way of thinking is not so much a doctrine as a method. It provides not so much ready-made dogmas, as aids to further investigation and the method for such investigation." Engels also noted that theories "[are] a historical product, which at different times assumes very different forms and, therewith, very different contents." The basic principles of scientific socialism cannot be discarded; once discarded it would cease to be socialism. Likewise, scientific socialism is not an immutable dogma. I once said that China's great social transformation is not a masterplate from which we simply continue our history and culture, nor a pattern from which we mechanically apply the ideas of classic Marxist authors, nor a reprint of the practice of socialism in other countries, nor a duplicate of modernization from abroad. There is no orthodox, immutable version of socialism. It is only by closelylinking the basic principles of scientific socialism with a country's specific realities, history, cultural traditions, and contemporary needs, and by continually conducting inquiries and reviews in the practice of socialism, that a blueprint can become a bright reality.
The vitality of theory is in its continued innovation, and promoting the continued development of Marxism is the sacred duty of Chinese Communists. We need to be persistent in wielding Marxism to observe and decipher the world today and lead us through it, applying the lively and plentiful experiences drawn from contemporary China to drive the development of Marxism, and utilizing an extensive worldview to draw on the civilizational achievements of all of humankind. We need to be persistent in protecting our foundations while constantly innovating to continually outdo ourselves, and learning widely from the strengths of others to continually improve ourselves. Finally, we need to continually further our understanding of the laws that underlie governance by a communist party, the development of socialism, and the evolution of human society, and open up new prospects for the development of Marxism in today's China and the 21st century.
Today, we are commemorating Marx to pay our respects to the greatest thinker in human history, and to proclaim our firm belief in the scientific truth of Marxism.
Engels once said that, "The prospect of a gigantic revolution, the most gigantic revolution that has ever taken place, accordingly presents itself to us as soon as we pursue our materialist thesis further and apply it to the present time." On the road ahead, we must continue to uphold Marxism, and ensure that the wondrous prospects which Marx and Engels envisaged for human society perpetually unfold across China.