Jiang Liu, male and from the Han ethnic group, born in July 1922, is a native of Qixia, Shandong Province and a member of the Communist Party of China. In 1938 he joined the revolution. In July 1954, he graduated from the Marx-Lenin Institute. Currently he is a professor and PhD student advisor of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He used to be the Vice-President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a member of the consultative committee of the Central Marxism Theoretical Research and Construction Project, and Honorary President of the Chinese Association of Scientific Socialism. His academic expertise is scientific socialism.
From Patriotic Teenager to Communist
Several Treatises and Views1
These collected works are a selection and editing of 43 essays on teaching, researching and relevant academic activities during the period which goes from the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee in 1978 to the 50th year anniversary of the establishment of the new China in 1999. These essays record and study the grand construction and great breakthroughs and progress which were made in putting on a new look during those 20 years of socialist China that reflected the progressive results and surmounting progress that our communist Party has made for recognition towards communism.
Despite differences in length and forms, most of the contentis on scientific socialism, in particular, issues in socialism featuring Chinese characteristics.
‘Socialism is in the process of practice’. From Socialism in Practice authored in 1979 to Socialism Developing in Practice in 1998, the essays discuss the same theme: since the realization of socialism from theory to practice, both socialism as a theoretical form and social formation construction are tested, gradually acknowledged and developed in practice. Such awareness and conclusions should be made towards the historical experience of socialism, and towards the on-going socialist construction, reform, development and innovation. In terms of how to recognize and build socialism, one important foothold is that the final goal of our Party is to realize the socialist mechanism that is the first stage of communism. The construction of socialism is on a long-term basis and China still has a long way to go to build socialism featuring Chinese characteristics, since it is positioned in the initial stages of socialism. The socialism brought to realization would still be positioned in the process of gradual practice, reform and innovation, and the social form of the new society under socialism is, in the first place,a form of social organizational in the initial stages of socialism that needs to be gradually perfected and developed during its gradual practice. Just as Lenin put it, ‘no form is set prior to the realization of complete communism’. Socialism is still in practice.
‘Socialism is complete’. Since the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee, the prosperous development of the socialism path in China, along with the opportunities and challenges presenting themselves has been gradually highlighted. Conclusions on socialist practice and experience by the Party and the formation of new construction guidelines and policies also have been reflecting such internal properties of socialism. The new society of socialism is an overall-processing society so that the construction and reform of socialism should also be overall. Following the mind-set of building socialism featuring Chinese characteristics in an all-round manner is an issue discussed in many essays in the collection. For example, Socialism is Complete combines with realistic experience and discusses such an issue from the perspective of scientific socialist theories and objective regulations of social development. Socialism and High Civilization proves the fundamental theory of scientific socialism that socialism is closely related with human civilization from the history of Marxist development and social historical experience. On Soul of Spiritual Civilization of Socialism focuses on the prime position of Marxist theories in the spiritual civilization construction of socialism. Developing Socialist Democracy in Practice and other essays expound the close connection between socialism and democracy.
‘Socialism is Progressive’ is the mind-set running through the collected works. Scientific socialism is progressive and a socialist society is a gradually changing and reforming society. Socialism featuring Chinese characteristics is both rooted in the actuality of Chinese society and keeps abreast with the times. From the perspective of the history of the world’s socialist development, since the realization of socialism from theory to reality, socialism featuring Chinese characteristics is a new stage and a new model for socialist development after ‘The Soviet Union Model’. ‘The Soviet Union Model’ once displayed the leading role in inaugurating the new world of socialism, while socialism featuring Chinese characteristics not only opens a road for success for the construction and reform of socialism, but also provides a precedent and an example for the emergence of socialism globally after the Fall of Communism in the Soviet Union and East Europe.
With the process of theories of socialism featuring Chinese characteristics, these collected works try to expound the historical experience and realistic practice of socialism, put forward by Lenin as ‘it is to generate oftentimes interaction between the past experience (scientific socialism developed from the originally fancied socialism) and the present experience (current battles of the workers)’.
Everyone has his own experience. The life path I have passed through is a process by which from a patriotic teenager I grew to become a communist, and from being an actual worker I grew to be a person engaging in Marxist theory. Learning has accompanied my life so that I have learnt social actuality and learnt Marxist-Leninist theory.
The cruel realities from the ‘September,
I officially joined the revolution in 1938. The Jiaodong Area was the base area for the Anti-Japanese war. I worked for the Qixia Youth Anti-Japanese and the Saving-Country Societies first and went to the Jiaodong Anti-Japanese Military-Political Schools for further studies in 1938. In 1940, I worked in the Qixia Anti-Japanese Democratic Government. It was the first time that I went to the rural area from the city and I could hardly tell the difference between rice, beams, beans, wheat and Chinese chives. I could get adjusted pretty well when I first joined work in promoting and organizing the youngsters for joining the war with my enthusiasm for fighting against the Japanese but felt completely at loss when I was assigned to governmental work..
To learn through practice was the major method I applied for growing during the revolutionary era. The period from 1943 to
To be engaged in theoretical work after the establishment of the new China was by no means my initial purpose, but there was a connection, since I wasinterested in theoretical knowledge. One of the motives for which I chose to study in the Jiaodong Anti-Japanese Military-Political School in 1939 was the Philosophy courses in the curriculum. In the military school, I created military lessons and learned theories on Marxism-Leninism. In the school, we read On Protracted Wars, On New Stages and the printed version of Outline of Dialects and Materialism by Mao Zedong. At that time I tried hard to memorize them for lacking in the right approaches. I can recite On New Democracy in 1940, an article with tens of thousands of characters. I was greatly benefited despite the short period of learning and improved in self-awareness in the anti-Japanese war. The process from knowing nothing at all to knowing the essence in it roots initial-stage base for cultivating interest in the self-learning of theories, and played a pivotal role in the forming of my outlook on life and political views.
In my practical work, I also benefited from reading theoretical works. Around 1950 when I worked for the Youth League in Shandong Province, I referred to relevant masterpieces authored by Lenin specific to issues of teaching school students lacking in religious theories and political knowledge. I read two articles named On Attitudes of Workers’ Political Party on Religion and On Attitudes of Each Class and Each Political Party on Religion and Church by Lenin, that helped me be clear on the basic views and polices of the political party of the proletariats on religious issues, both in mentality and work.
After 1951 I entered the field of engaging in research work in theory,, when I was admitted to the Marxism-Leninism College. In the college, I systematically learned Marxist-Leninist theories and accepted the cultivation of a Marxist style of study by the Party. The curriculum of the college followed the teaching polices of combining the general truisms in Marxism-Leninism with the actuality of Chinese evolution, and the topics setups mainly followed the order of history, theories and the current situation. We mainly studied classical masterpieces with self-study as the priority. We first learned the history of China and foreign countries (mainly contemporary history), logics, Chinese, writing, economy and geology; then we learned the history of the development of Marxism-Leninism, which included philosophy, political economy, Marxism foundations (scientific socialism) and finally, the history of the Chinese Socialist Party and issues in Chinese evolution. The college required that we combine Marxism and Leninism with the Chinese evolution to finish our research essay.
The Marxism-Leninism College also set up a professional class for ‘Marxism-Leninism Foundations’ lectured by foreign experts. In this class, experts guided us to learn about many masterpieces authored by Marx, Engels and in particular, Lenin and Stalin. But we were also challenged by unacceptable issues and issues beyond understanding in our eyes. I remember that oncein a class discussion where the theme was the book named Stalin ‘On Several Issues of Leninism’, a student first cited the definition by Zinoviev and then represented Stalin’s criticism of the definition on expounding the definition of Leninism. The foreign expert who hosted the discussions got furious. He said: ‘how come that you also cite Zinoviev? Stalin did so for criticism and you are not him. In your case, you are proposing his absurd views, aren’t you?’ Suchdoctrinal styles of study that reject people’s acknowledgement of opposing views reached such a ridiculous extent. This example has been lingering in my mind till now, and I hope we can take warning from it.
Our generation grew up under Mao Zedong Theories. We work and study in accordance with Marxist study styles and have benefited greatly from it.
(Transtlated by Zhufuxiaofei)
Editor: Wang Daohang