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Communist Manifesto still relevant today

PAN YUEFEI, ZHA JIANGUO | 2018-03-15
Chinese Social Sciences Today
 
 
 
The authorized English translation of the manifesto (International Publishers)  
 
 
2018 marks the 170th anniversary of the Communist Manifesto, the seminal document of Marxism by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. From the emergence of the international communist movement to the CPC’s revolution, construction and reform—the milestones achieved in the development and dissemination of Marxism since the manifesto was first written are a testament to the enduring vitality of its ideas.
 
“To commemorate its 170th anniversary, the most important thing is to understand the Marxism connoted in the Communist Manifesto and the Marxism in contemporary China as a sequence that comes down in the same continuous line and keeps pace with the times,” said Han Qingxiang, a professor from the Party School of the Central Committee of CPC.
 
Scientifically pointing out the direction for the historical development of the international communist movement, the manifesto serves as a theoretical weapon for upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics and an incessant source of the spiritual power of the communists in the new era, said Zhang Yunfei, a research fellow at the National Academy of Development and Strategy at Renmin University of China. It promotes the comprehensive development of man, stressing that the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all, and it scientifically views communism as a coalition of free people.
 
“As society evolves, it is all the more important to strengthen research on the Communist Manifesto today,” said Han Xiping, executive deputy director of the Research Center for Theoretical System of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics at Jilin University. The world today is still perplexed by the question of how to achieve a beautiful future for mankind and pursue an ideal social system. The manifesto still has remarkable vitality and will continue to drive the process of human development.
 
In subsequent editions of the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels issued seven different prefaces. In these prefaces, they not only adhered to the basic principles set forth in the manifesto, but also made some amendments, demonstrating the theoretical ability of Marxism to keep pace with the times, Zhang said. In the preface to its 1872 German edition, Marx and Engels mentioned that the practical application of the general principles laid down in the manifesto will depend “everywhere and at all times, on the historical conditions for the time being existing.” Today, as socialism with Chinese characteristics enters a new era, we must also unify the theoretical logic of scientific socialism with the historical logic of social development in China, uphold the ideological line of seeking truth from facts, and scientifically understand the great significance of the latest achievements in the sinicization of Marxism.
 
In order to maintain its vitality and lead the people in realizing the historic mission of great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, the CPC must inherit and carry forward the genes of the Communist Party’s self-revolution put forth in the Communist Manifesto, draw wisdom and strength from it, and exercise a strong spirit of self-revolution and self-purification, said Wang Gonglong, executive director of the Academy of Marxism at the Party School of the Shanghai Committee of the CPC. Facing problems of its own, the party needs to strive to build itself into a vigorous Marxist ruling party that always stands at the forefront of the times, wins the wholehearted support from the people, has courage in self-revolution and stands the test of all sorts of problems, Wang  added.
 
Marxism is a developing theory that needs to be innovated according to the requirements of the development of the times, said Han Xiping. To facilitate the contemporary popularization of Marxism and its sinicization based on the Marxist stance, viewpoint and method emphasized by the Communist Manifesto, we must stick to the people’s position and establish a people-oriented idea of development. We must profoundly grasp and scientifically apply the basic principles set forth in the manifesto and deeply understand their meanings.
 
The basic principles need to be integrated with the practice in China and the global trends of development, promoting the social development toward the explicit goals and direction of the manifesto, Han Xiping said.
 
 
 
(Edited by JIANG HONG)