World Socialism Studies No. 1, 2016




Accelerating the Development of Marxist Historiographic Theories with Chinese Characteristics and the Construction of Disciplinary Innovation System of Historiography under the Guidance of Historical Materialism
Wang Weiguang, p. 4 

In recent years, historical materialism has been seriously challenged by historical nihilism. Carrying out Chinese historiographic research under the guidance of historical materialism and criticizing and repudiating historical nihilism are the most important issues that must be solved in the development of historiography in China. To that end, we must adhere to the basic stance, viewpoints and approaches of historical materialism. As historiography possesses a distinctive ideological property, we must understand that historical materialism is a sharp weapon for Chinese historiographic research, and carry forward the excellent tradition of Marxism while adhering to the guidance of historical materialism in our research. The construction of historiography with Chinese characteristics under the guidance of Marxism requires a strong sense of social responsibility, flexible use of Marxist world outlook and methodology, as well as efforts to engage in the historiographic research for the people; it demands efforts to live up to the requirements of the times and to promote the construction of our Marxist historiographic theories and innovation of its discourse system; it needs the enhancement of the popularization of Marxist historiographic theories and the findings of our historiographic research to fight against historical nihilism.

Upholding and Developing Socialism with Chinese Characteristics: The Essence of Xi Jinping’s Important Speeches
Li Shenming, p. 12 

With respect to the latest developments in theory and ideology, the Central Committee of the CPC with Xi Jinping as General Secretary has put forward five important ideas, constituting five different concentric circles. Upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics lies at the heart of Xi Jinping’s important speeches, important thoughts, new ideas of state governance, the “four-pronged” [1] strategic planning, as well as five notions of development [2]. In other words, it stands as the common centre of five circles different in both level and magnitude. The socialist path with Chinese characteristics chiefly manifests itself in the economic field, forming the economic foundation of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics is mainly reflected in the cultural field, acting as a guideline for socialism with Chinese characteristics. The socialist system with Chinese characteristics, as embodied in the socialist politics with Chinese characteristics, provides an important guarantee for socialism with Chinese characteristics. Upholding the idea of people-oriented development is the essence and soul of socialism with Chinese characteristics. And adhering to the leadership of the CPC is the fundamental choice of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

The Third Front Movement: A Great Strategic Decision
Zhang Quanjing, p. 24 

An economic strategy adopted for military preparation by Chairman Mao and the Central Committee of the Party in 1964, the Third Front Movement played a rather prominent role in Chinese history in that it changed the situation of Chinese economic development, set up a host of new industrial cities in western China, reinforced military preparation and national defence forces, and fostered the spirit of hard work and perseverance in the initial period of development. In a sense, the Third Front Movement also provided security guarantee and material conditions for the forthcoming reform and opening up in 1978. History has borne it out that Chairman Mao’s classification of three fronts in a bid to integrate national defence with inter-regional economic development was a great strategic decision. The Third Front Movement also holds significance for the socialist development underway in contemporary China.

Why Must the Leadership of the CPC Be Upheld and Strengthened? On the 95th Anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party of China
Zhu Jiamu, p. 29 

As the Communist Party of China is still a long way from accomplishing its historical missions, it will not decline, but will develop and grow, and its leadership should not be weakened, but should be strengthened. Upholding and strengthening the leadership of the CPC is a historical choice made by the Chinese people, an explicit provision of Chinese law, a necessary requirement of the socialist economic basis, a form to realize people’s democracy, and a fundamental guarantee of the Chinese nation’s great rejuvenation. In order to curb the advance of the Chinese people, domestic and international hostile forces always target their attack at the leadership of the CPC, advocating such “theories” as “the Demise of the CPC” and “the Collapse of China”. However, as history has proved, the Communist Party of China has not been knocked down by criticism, nor will it be. And the People’s Republic of China has not been thwarted by those attempts, but has become even richer and stronger.

Expert Notes on Studying the Series of the Important Speeches of General Secretary Xi Jinping

Seizing the Opportunity, Riding on the Momentum
Li Dianren, p. 38 

Correctly Understanding the Inner Unity between “Adhering to Marxism” and “Adhering to the Leadership of the Party”
Liang Zhu, p. 39 

Reflections on Philosophy and Social Sciences with Chinese Characteristics 
Hou Huiqin, p. 41

Strongly Adhering to “the Fundamental Character” of Contemporary Chinese Philosophy and Social Sciences
Tian Xinming, p. 42 

On the Class Nature of Philosophy and Social Sciences
Zhou Xincheng, p. 44

Properly Understanding and Treating Chinese Culture
Mei Rongzheng, p. 46

A Correct Ideal Is the Premise for the Conscious Implementation of the “Eight Requirements”
Liu Shulin, p. 48

World Socialist Movements

World Socialism in the 21st Century: New Structure, New Features, and New Trends
Jiang Hui, p. 50

The year 2016 is the 500’ anniversary of the birth of world socialism. Standing at the new historical starting line, we need a world vision and historical perspective in our investigation of and research on the new structure, features, and trends in the development of world socialism. The main theme of the 20 century was undoubtedly the emergence and development of world socialist movement, while the 21st Century would witness the revitalization of world socialism. The main features of world socialism in the new century are as follows : the wider systemic advantages of socialism over capitalism constitute the sign of the revitalization of world socialism; China becomes the backbone and flagship for the development of world socialism; the balance of power between two camps of the world will experience a historical turn after their long rivalry; the number of socialist countries and the degree to which the socialist ideal is achieved become the criteria to evaluate the development status and degree of socialism. The future of world socialism in the 21st century would be determined by the organic unity of nationalism and internationalism, working class movement and broad mass movement, social development and ecological civilization construction in world socialism.

Lessons from the Politicai Reform and Democratization of the Soviet Union
Zhang Shuhua, p. 58

History shows that the collapse of the former Soviet Union is the result of degeneration of Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in the later stage of its regime. In reforming its political development road, CPSU did not adhere to Marxism-Leninism, but changed to capitalism; CPSU abandoned its leadership in the reform and of the Party instead of persisting in it; the former Soviet Union did not strive to improve socialist system in its political system restructuring, but completely broke with socialist system. Lessons from the failure of the political restructuring of CPSU warn people that the reform should be self-improvement of socialist political system, and it must adhere to the socialist orientation and must be carried out under the leadership of the Party; political reform must be beneficial to national stability and ethnic unity, and must be conducive to the promotion of political democracy, political stability and political efficiency; a correct view of democracy must be established, and an all-round development socialist political road should be taken.

In Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism by V. I. Lenin

Lenin’s Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism Revisited
Li Jie, p. 66 

Regardless of the shift of capitalism from free competition to financial monopoly as it enters into the stage of imperialism and of the decline of contemporary capitalism, more and more emerging countries are joining the rank of modernized countries in a non-capitalist way, marked by the booming development of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Both events were correctly predicted and analyzed by Lenin in his monumental Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism a hundred years ago. Today, in the capitalist world, although some new changes have taken place and reforms have been undertaken with a view to breaking monopoly, the cycle of freedom and monopoly has recurred time and again and has become a law independent of man’s will. As such, Marx and Engels’ assertion on the development and death of capitalism and Lenin’s assertion on that of imperialism are due to come true, however long may it be in real life. The success of socialism with Chinese characteristics has provided the vast majority of developing countries with a viable alternative other than the capitalist mode of modernization, i. e. to shake off poverty and oppression and join the rank of modernized states by exploring a socialist path of development with their own characteristics.

The Nature of Imperialism Remains Unchanged
Mikhail Kostrikov (Russia), p. 69 

Lenin was adamant in asserting that capitalism would exhaust its potential for development in the stage of imperialism a century ago. Capitalism is unable to find a source of development from within itself, for the capitalist system substantially constrains the development of productivity, and exploitation still constitutes the source of capitalist prosperity. Many people hold it true that the US and Europe are developing ecological (or “green”) technologies, which, however, are merely a means of competition adopted by capitalist enterprises who are unwilling to shoulder social obligations. As a result, social security is caught in a deadlock. The major material basis for the inevitable advent of socialism is the socialization of production. Today, the preconditions for the advent of socialism are unfolding and taking shape. We can clearly discern the emerging trends of new social development from within the capitalist society. The ongoing information technology is also paving the way for a socialist outlook in the future.

Theoretical Focus

On Adhering to the Guiding Position of Marxism
Deng Chundong, p. 72

Chinese modern history shows that adhering to the guiding position of Marxism is not only the fundamental reason for the Communist Party of China to make the brilliant achievements, but also the ideological guarantee for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the better future of the Chinese people. The painful lessons from the collapse of the Soviet Union and the drastic changes of the socialist countries in Eastern Europe reveal that adherence to the guiding position of Marxism concerns the future and destiny of the socialist countries and the people. Under the current changing and complicated situation at home and abroad, adhering to the guiding position of Marxism should not be an empty talk. The scope of application of the guiding position of Marxism must be theoretically defined ; the various trends of thoughts and pluralistic thoughts in society must be directed and guided; erroneous thoughts and viewpoints must be criticized and repudiated; major theoretical and practical issues concerning the guiding position of Marxism must be clearly defined to ensure correct understanding. More importantly, we must firmly promote the sinicization of Marxism, constantly do a good job in combining Marxism with Chinese practice, and promote the innovation of the theories of Marxism; in particular, we must earnestly study and understand the spirit of the series of the important speeches of General Secretary Xi Jinping, promote the development of Marxism in China in the great practice of the 21st century, and continuously enrich the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Adhering to the Practical Character of Marxism
Zhang Wenmu, p. 82 

Leninism is the key link between theory and the practice in Marxism, as well as the direct source of the sinicized Marxism- Mao Zedong Thought. Without returning to Lenin’s theory of imperialism, all major international phenomena in contemporary world cannot be thoroughly understood and well explained. Democratic socialism castrates the practical character of Marxism by removing class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie and the dictatorship of the proletariat-the inevitable result of the class struggle-so as to turn Marxism into a “universal” theory which may be accepted by the bourgeoisie. As a result, democratic socialism purported to be “non-violent” at every crossroad in socialist revolution, and tightly clutched both hands of the proletariat. Democratic socialism in China attempts to shield people from Leninism, especially from the method of class analysis and the theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, so as to actually deprive Mao Zedong Thought of its spirit. When the “Mao Zedong Thought” without the spirit of Leninism, together with the “Deng Xiaoping Theory” with “the four cardinal principles” removed, are used to paralyze the Chinese people, the effect will be the same as when “Marxism” without the dictatorship of the proletariat is used to explain the history of China’s socialist revolution and construction, which will lead to the beginning of a major disaster for China and even the Chinese people. Democratic socialism as in the struggle with Marxism-Leninism will be the most dangerous factor in the cause of socialism in China, and therefore should be regarded as the new object of our resolute fight in the field of ideology.

Overseas Observation

The Nature of American Multiculturalism
Carl Ratner (USA), p. 88

The existence of multiculturalism in the United States is a strange phenomenon that warrants close scrutiny. In reality, multiculturalism stands very much as a special case as it runs counter to other prevailing core behaviors in the country. Given that the US is a highly-concentrated, orderly and unified political economy, and that capitalism is founded indubitably on the social relations of hegemony, the wide acceptance of multiculturalism does not suggest that America is generally an open society; it is not open to all forms of resistance, but selectively retains some multicultural elements. The real reason for the existence of multiculturalism in the US lies in its compatibility with hegemonism. The diversity displayed by American multiculturalism is not real diversity because it poses no challenge to the US’ political and economic hegemony. This is a difference between American multiculturalism and the nationalist governments of other countries, between American multiculturalism and socialism, and even between labour unions and environmental protectionism. Multicultural politics does not usually threaten existing politics. Despite its seeming openness and respect for human rights, it actually rejects the most important diversity of socialism in existing politics and opposes any fundamental change or openness to real diversity.

Has the US Pursued the “Washington Consensus”
Huang Weidong, p. 92 

The US government is trying to sell the “Washington Consensus” to other countries, proclaiming that its success owes much to the adoption of the Consensus. Studies and analyses of its execution show, however, that although the American “elites” insist that the US government is implementing an economic policy based on the “Washington Consensus”, it is actually pursuing a policy that runs against it : the properties of the Americans belong to the state, and individuals do not possess ownership, but rather the right to use them ; privatization has not seen real expansion since the end of the war, and the country’s economic resources are largely controlled by the government and state owned enterprises ; marketization is placed under strict control of the US government insomuch that market liberalization has never been established and promoted in the real sense. Both privatization and liberalization acclaimed by the “Washington Consensus” are no more than downright lies and deceptive propaganda.

Hotspot Commentary

Consensuses in and the Historical Significance of Four Civil Judgments Related to Historical Nihilism
Chi Fangxu, p. 99 

From the end of 2015 to the mid-year of 2016, the Beijing Supreme People’s Court and Beijing Intermediate People’s Courts made four civil judgments in relation to historical nihilism. The Consensuses that run through all the four judgments are as follows: the Communist Party of China is the mainstay of the Anti-Japanese War; the heroic deeds of the five heroes of the Langya Mountain and the heroes themselves must never be denigrated; questioning or subverting the heroic image of the Five Heroes of Langya Mountain not only constitutes insults of the heroes, but also seriously hurts the feelings of the masses; a negative attitude is held towards such questioning and subversion; and behaviour of safeguarding the heroic image of the Five Heroes of Langya Mountain is affirmed in actuality. Objections to historical nihilism in the four judgments are concrete embodiments of the state organs’ fulfilment of their duties – taking the Constitution as the fundamental principle of action, safeguarding the dignity of the Constitution and ensuring its implementation. The significance of such judgments lies not only in judging civil infringement cases, but also in safeguarding and highlighting the constitutional order of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The above mentioned consensuses are of great judicial significance for future trials of civil cases related to historical nihilism. Meanwhile, it also plays a role in inspiring theoretical opposition to historical nihilism. A case system can be employed to make the four judgments jurisprudentially binding and even legally binding in future trials of civil infringement cases related to historical nihilism.

Judicial Practice of Legal Protection of Historical Consensuses and National Heroes in Foreign Countries
Tang Nuo, p. 105

Can the law be used to safeguard the historical consensuses of a country and its national heroes? The judicial practices in other countries of the world can provide us a useful reference. About 15 countries in Europe, including Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Hungary, Romania, and Spain, have explicit provisions against any denial and beautification of the Nazi history in their present laws. Germany carries out effort against Nazism in its laws, decrees and resolutions, such as the Constitution, the criminal law, the federal parliamentary resolutions and the education act, etc. , and there already exist quite a few classical cases in this respect. Many countries, including the United States, Russia and South Korea, have passed legislations to protect the reputation of their heroes. Recently in China, the people’s courts have in four judicial practices effectively separated the speeches of denying, questioning and slandering the Five Heroes of Langya Moutain from the general sense of “freedom of speech” and protected the people’s heritage by legal means. It is not only China’s legitimate right but also its obligation and responsibility to pass legislations in an appropriate and serious way to safeguard the historical consensuses of the whole society as well as its national heroes.

Academic Reviews

G20 Hangzhou Summit and the New Paradigm of Win-Win Cooperation. Review of the Academic Seminar on G20 Hangzhou Summit and Promoting Changes in the World Political and Economic Order

Materials Organized by Gan Junxian and Lü Youzhi, Written by Xin Gan, p. 112.


1 Building a moderately prosperous society in all respects; 2. comprehensively deepening reform; 3. comprehensively advancing the rule of law; 4. comprehensively governing the Party with strict discipline [NdR].

2 Innovation, coordination, green, openness and sharing [NdR].