Analysis of Social Contradictions’ Reverse Transmission Effect on Reform and Development

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.5, 2015




Wu Zhongmin


To varying degrees, social contradictions can have a negative effect on society; but at the same time, they can under some conditions have the reverse effect of driving social development. In this era of comprehensively deepening reform, correct use of social contradictions to provide a forward impetus to reform and development is of the greatest importance. Social contradictions drive development through their reverse transmission effects of “revolutionary progress” and “reform and development.” Their positive effects are reflected in the way institutional adjustments act to upgrade the level of social justice; the way worsening or intensified contradictions provide important opportunities for the formation of new interest patterns; the way the effective resolution of contradictions boosts institutional development and improvement; and the way, under some conditions, social conflicts provide a vent for dissatisfaction and grievances. Nevertheless, not all social contradictions improve reform and development: the necessary observation conditions must be present. The relevant parties to the contradiction, especially the most influential ones, must not be stuck in irrational thought patterns; the majority of social groups must reach a broad consensus on prospects for the future; and the government should launch prompt and well-timed innovative institutions and policies that respond to the popular will and the developmental trends of the day. Thus social contradictions should be seen as a “normal” phenomenon in social development and handled positively. We should take the maintenance and improvement of social justice as the key to solving social contradictions and actively pursue the construction of the rule of law, with a view to finding a valid way of defusing the institutional risks of such contradictions.