Qiushi Journal, under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), ran in the first issue of 2019 an article written by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and president of the State. The title of the article is “Dialectical Materialism is the World Outlook and Methodology of the Chinese Communists.”
The article points out that to lead the Chinese people in accomplishing the goals of building a well-off society and realizing the Chinese nation’s great rejuvenation respectively by 2021 when the CPC celebrates its 100th anniversary and by 2049 when the people’s republic marks its 100th anniversary, the CPC must work hard to improve its problem-solving ability in tackling difficulties and challenges in the process of reform and opening up by consciously adhering to and applying the world outlook and methodology of dialectical materialism while constantly obtaining nutrients from the wisdom of Marxist philosophy.
The article also drives home the dialectical relationship between matter and consciousness: matter determines consciousness and the world is a unified whole of universal relations. Grasping the essence of the principle will enable the Chinese communists to work out policies based on actual conditions and push forward with various tasks.
China’s rise within decades has puzzled much of the world, as it defies any conventional political, economic and social doctrines accepted by the established academic world. A close study of Xi’s article on dialectical materialism will offer them an insight into the philosophical roots of the CPC as well as China’s success.
When the CPC was founded, it was too small to be noticed, and the challenges confronting it were too formidable to tackle. China then was at the verge of collapse with foreign powers invading and bullying it at will and the poverty-stricken nation was plagued by political chaos and warlord dogfights.
Yet the CPC was not daunted by the gloomy prospect of success. It has since its birth started a century-long trek toward saving the nation from demise and eventually rejuvenating it. It was the realization that the material universe evolves, changes and develops in accordance with its inherent laws that spurs the CPC to stick to its conviction and ideals.
It is convinced that the driving force for things to develop is the contradiction of things that are both unified and struggling, which in turn, promotes the development of things from lower levels to higher levels.
This dialectical outlook allowed the CPC to grasp the principal contradiction of that historic stage: the contradiction between the exploiting classes — represented by feudal landlords, capitalists and the ruling party that served the interests of the exploiting classes — and the exploited masses that accounted for the majority of the population. A revolution aimed at overthrowing that evil system was the only way to save and develop China.
History has proven that the CPC made a decisive move that has changed the fate of China. The revolution led by the CPC led to the founding of the PRC and laying a solid foundation for the nation’s eventual ascent back to the ranks of the global powers.
Although dialectical materialism recognizes that the unity of the world lies in its materiality, it does not deny the reaction of consciousness to matter, and that this reaction is sometimes strong. The CPC stresses that revolutionary ideals are supreme, which embody dialectical materialism of the interaction of spirit and matter.
It is the CPC’s unshakable faith in realizing the goal of the Chinese national rejuvenation that guides the Party itself, and, under its leadership, the Chinese people, to defeat enemies tens of times stronger and overcome countless difficulties and challenges before achieving victories one after another.
In fact, plain dialectical materialism has been in the blood of Chinese culture. Traditional Chinese medicine emphasizes dialectical diagnosis and treatment by regarding the human body as an interconnected whole. The Chinese saying that misfortune lurks in blessing and vice versa reflects the Chinese wisdom that nothing is stale and changeless.
In the eyes of materialists, history is a perpetual process of new contradictions replacing old ones and a historic victor is one who is capable of identifying and overcoming principal contradictions.
Respecting and following the objective laws of the material world, the CPC will lead China toward an even brighter future.
(The author is an English tutor and freelance writer.)