Jin Huiming, male and from the Han ethnic group, born in January 1934, is a native of Houma, Shanxi Province and a member of the Communist Party of China. In March 1960, he graduated from the department of philosophy of China’s Renmin University. In July 1984, he was promoted to the rank of professor as an exception, and became a PhD student advisor. He is also the convener of the Politics Subject Appraisal Group of the State Council Academic Degree Committee, and deputy leader of the Marxist-Leninist Subject Appraisal Group of the National Social Science Research Funds. He used to be director of the Marxist Development Institute of China’s Renmin University, and chief of the Theoretical Bureau of the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of China. His academic expertise is in Marxist philosophy and scientific socialism. Since 1994, he has started to enjoy a special allowance awarded by the State Council.
Adhere to, develop, research, and innovate Marxism
In the CASS 30th anniversary of establishment, I as a young scholar, spoke with Professor Jin Huiming of Marxism academician. Through in-depth interview, I fully learned Professor Jin Huiming’s strong faith, hard journey, rich results and valuable experience in Marxist teaching, research, advocacy and management of 50 years, as the well-known Marxist theorist and Marxist academic leader. I hope that the comrades in Marxist theory research, teaching and propaganda, especially the young scholars can derive inspiration and lessons.
Open up new areas and new fields of Marxism study
Luo Wendong (hereinafter referred to as Luo): Mr. Luo, since you were in Department of Philosophy of Renmin University of China in 1956, you have been engaged in Marxism research, advocacy and management of more than half a century. It was recognized in the academic study that you have made arduous exploration in a comprehensive study of Marxist theory, especially study of the development history of Marxism, Marxist philosophy and the basic theory of scientific socialism, with high attainments. Today, please briefly describe research, ideas and methods of the key areas.
Jin Huiming (hereinafter referred to as Jin): First of all, what I did shall attribute to the training of the Party and people, and thanks for realistic conditions and urgent needs provided by the great era for the study of Marxism. In the past 50 years, especially from the reform and opening up, I have paid more attention to studying Marx's early ideas, basic theory of historical materialism and scientific socialism, major issues of temporary capitalism and socialism in the world.
Luo: you have carried out intensive studies in a lot of areas, achieved fruitful results and been highly appreciated by theorists and praise. I remember, in the early 1980s, when I just started studying Marxist theories, I read your "Marx Early Thought", then I knew that you made significant contribution to the humanitarian and alienation discussion, filled the domestic blank of Marx's early thought, and opened up the new perspective and new areas of Marxist theory and historical research. Please firstly talk about your early ideas of Marx and humanitarian, alienation background, purpose and results, right?
Jin: OK. I started studying Marx early thought and writings before "Cultural Revolution". In 1930s, Western scholars negated Marxism by pretending to be "young Marx". After the late 1970s, abstract humanitarian and socialist "alienation" theory has emerged in China. At that time, I thought that in-depth study of Marx's early thought, and a correct understanding of humanitarian and alienation has very important significance on the great change of founders of Marxism in elucidating the history of human thought, and grasping the basic principles and scientific system of Marxism. So I co-authored with Chen Xianda, "Marx's Early Thought," in which how to inherit and Marxist criticism of Feuerbach "Human Science", and create historical materialism is comprehensively described. In early March 1983, the Central Committee held the conference of the 100th anniversary of commemoration of Marx's death in which I was invited to make a speech on "Great Revolution of Marxist in History View". Then I wrote "Marx is How to Use "Alienation "Concept “, and "Marx is How to Understand and Use the Concept of Humanitarian," and "Marxism and Humanism" and other papers, to participate in the discussion of humanitarian and alienation. I clearly stated, "People " and "alienation" is "specific concept" in Marx's early intellectual development; the Marxist is a fundamental abandoning of view of history of humanitarian, so Marxism can not be attributed to humanitarianism; promotion and implementation of socialism humanitarian, both for improvement of our ideological and theoretical building, and for the practice of socialist society, is of great significance; but the humanitarian socialism is fundamentally different from the abstract humanitarian, which is incompatible. Among them, some articles were published as the ideological information of the Party's Second Plenary Session of the 12th Central Committee. Later, I presided over the national "Seventh Five-Year Plan" Philosophy and Social Science Fund Project" Marxist research on human development issues," and wrote a "Humanitarian and Modernization" (co-author) , to further explore the historical evolution, basic meaning, essential characteristics and functions of humanitarian in Western modernization and China's modernization process. Marxist critique, inheritance and exceeding on humanism are elaborated, and the theoretical basis, its practical significance and important position of socialist humanism in China's modern consciousness and socialist spiritual civilization are illustrated. The papers have been for more than 20 years, which have important reference values at present.
Luo: As an academic leader of history of Marxist development, you have made a comprehensive in-depth study and elucidation on the Marxist philosophy, especially formation and basic theory of historical materialism, and your "Marxist Philosophy" (Volume 1/8 ) also won "Five-one project" of Central Propaganda Department in 1997, and national social Science project outstanding achievement Award I. Please tell us about your theory point of view in this regard.
Jin: Back in 1981, I tried to reveal the basic concepts and complete structure of chapter I of "German Ideology" new edition. I knew that Marx's historical materialism is a complete scientific system based on material production, centering on the course of history perspective, on a basis of the social form of thinking, and taking the communism as inevitable conclusion. The thinking of social pattern and its development process is the most basic elements of historical materialism, through which the key point is the dialectics principle of productive forces and production relations. Around the main line, the theory system and spiritual essence can be clarified in theory and practice, history and reality, and scientific and revolutionary unity. In " Great Revolution of Marxist on View of History," I stated that the formation of historical materialism goes through three different and contacting phases including a bud, close and phase; the division of these phases is to take the maturity degree of production relations ideas as a standard; form of historical materialism not only has laid the philosophical foundation for Marxist political economy, but also created a theoretical premise for the socialism from utopian to scientific development. The formation of Marxist philosophy I was fully analyzed and elaborated in "Marxist Philosophy” volume I. To commemorate the 120th anniversary of the death of Marx, I published "Creation and Great Significance of Historical Materialism", in which I emphasized that the historical materialism is the theoretical foundation of Marxist ideology, and a powerful ideological weapon to guide the socialist movement; whether deep understanding of the theory of socialism, or the correct understanding of the practice of socialism, historical materialism and methodological guidance is necessary; especially when the socialist world is at a low ebb and the international situation is complicated, the history of materialism concept enables our firm belief, sees the direction, understands the nature, and keeps clear mind.
Luo: As an academic leader of socialism with China characteristics, you have completed the key subjects “Formation and Scientific System Research on Socialism Theory with China Characteristics”, the final achievement “Research on Theoretical System of Socialism Theory with China Characteristics” were praised by the theoretical press, which also won "Five-one project" of Central Propaganda Department in 1999. Please tell us about your theory point of view in this regard.
Jin: In my opinion , the theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics is theoretical summary of the essence of China's socialist construction and general laws; it both follow the general principles of scientific socialism and have Chinese characteristics, which is creative application and development of Marxism in contemporary China's specific conditions. To complete and accurate grasp of the theory, we must grasp the inner logic structure, that is, the theoretical system formed by interrelation of a series of concepts, scope and principles. The theory consists of four levels in ideological content: (1) Philosophy basis of the theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics and its scientific system; (2) the basic principles and basic ideas of the theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics, including the theory cornerstone of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and basic ideas of the economy, politics and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics; (3) the party's basic line and basic policy based on theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics; (4) basic category of theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the basic category. Only to start from the times features and historical conditions of theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics, making a comprehensive exposition of the primary stage of socialism in China 's basic theory, basic program and basic line and basic policies, and then logically reoccurring economic and cultural backwardness of China now, how to understand the socialist and how to build socialism can fully reveal the rich content, essence and theoretical significance, and practical significance of theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Luo: Based on the temporary times, the world and the future, and from the combination view of history, theory and practice, you have always made in-depth study of theory of scientific socialism, and answered creatively the major problems of Marxism in today's China and contemporary world. The final result "Socialist History, Theory and Reality" of the national "Eighth Five-Year Plan" Philosophy and Social Science Fund Project" Scientific Socialism and 20th Century Practice of Socialism" were highly praised by the academic press, which also won "Five-one project" of Central Propaganda Department in 2001. Please tell us about your views, methods and experience on scientific society.
Jin: I stand with new practices, sum up historical experience, and continuously push forward the research of theory of scientific socialism and practical issues. I think that Marxism and socialism in general has gone through three development phases for over 50 years and each phase is about 50 years. The first phase is from the mid-19th century to the death of Engels, the second phase is from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century, the third phase is from the early 1950s to now. In the next 50 years, the world socialist will usher new revival. I have summarized the historical experience of socialist in different sides and angles as follows:(1) The practice of socialism in the 20th century enables people to have a more specific socialism and more realistic understanding; (2 ) the proletarian regime is of great importance on the achievement of socialism and communism; (3 ) after the working class obtained power, strive to develop the productive forces to lay the material foundation for newly established socialist system; (4 ) adhere to inner unification of plan and market, and develop the socialist economy by using market mechanisms and means; (5 ) socialist must establish a high degree of democracy , there is no socialism without democracy; (6) adhere to Marxism’s dominant position in the ideological field, to effectively prevent hostile forces of international on socialism "peaceful evolution" ; ( 7), build the Communist Party into a real vanguard organization and Marxist political party; (8) correctly handle the relationships among countries and parties of socialist countries, and strengthen unity and cooperation between the forces of socialism. These views were praised by domestic and foreign scholars in "21st Century Socialism" International Symposium held in Beijing in 2002. I am increasingly deeply aware that the rigid understanding on the socialist theory can be abandoned only taking the scientific socialism as the ideology, and dynamically and vertically combing the socialist practice process, historical experience and theoretical developments, to provide proper guidance for the practice of socialism.
Luo: Contacting the new changes in contemporary capitalism and discussing the new situation and trends of socialism in the world is a notable issue for you to study the contemporary socialist. The final result “Contemporary Capitalism and Socialism in the World" of the National Social Science Fund issue "New Changes in Contemporary Capitalism and Challenges and Prospects for Development of Socialism in the World" was known as a "masterwork" to explore the theme and the times social trends by the peers, which also won prize II of outstanding scientific research Academy of Social Sciences. You talk about the subject, characteristics and main content of the book.
Jin: capitalism and socialist system and social system are developed in contact and struggle with each other. How to understand the changes in contemporary capitalism and new challenges and prospects of socialism in the world were the greatest theoretical difficulties of Marxism in the 21st century. The most distinctive feature of "Contemporary Capitalism and Socialism in the World" is to combine of capitalism with socialism. Its purpose and main content is to, by starting from the essence of the era, phased themes of era, and features of Marxist development new phase, study new changes of contemporary capitalism in the economic, political, cultural and foreign relations aspects and their impact on the socialist, combining with the practice of socialism, reflecting the socialism from socialist theory, and discuss the factors restricting globalization, technological revolution and the Soviet Union and Eastern upheaval and other factors of today's Socialism in the world, and make a comprehensive analysis of the forces of socialism of various types and regions, to reveal the essential characteristics and development prospects of the contemporary socialism world. I clearly stated, after "World War II", driven by the new technological revolution and economic globalization, contemporary capitalism has undergone great changes, which has developed into an international stage of monopoly capitalism. At this stage, the expansion, predatory and parasitic of capitalism becomes more prominent. Its feature not only affects the international situation and results in a lot of global issues, but also has and continues to have a profound impact on the world socialist movement. The collapse of Soviet Union and Eastern Europe socialist system, of course, is caused by internal causes, that is, their party, but on external factors, which is the result of contemporary capitalism. Existing socialist countries are taking the reform and opening up, in a certain sense, which is the right initiative for new changes in contemporary capitalism. We are not fortune-teller, so the research and forecasts on the future prospects and trends of socialist development can only be based on the scientific analysis of various factors and the actual material, especially correct con troll of the class balance of forces and objective and subjective situation changes, we can make continuous and tracking research.
Promote the establishment and construction of Marxist Level-I discipline
Luo: when you served as Director of Marxism- Leninism Institute of Renmin University of China and Director of the CASS, you attached great importance to Marxist disciplines, and took good are of the Marxist theoretical research, personnel training and research management, and made great achievements. You also assumed as Head of the theoretical Secretary of the Central Propaganda Department, Political Science Convenor of Review Group of Academic Degrees Committee of State Council, Deputy Director of Marxism-Scientific Socialism Group of National Social Science Fund Project Review Group, you made a lot of advices so as to strengthen the Marxist theoretical research and curriculum development, and made a great contribution. Please tell us about your main job in this respect, okay?
Jin: Yes. Wherever I work, I am based on training and support of the Marxist research, teaching and publicity personnel to enhance the academic status of Marxism, building of Marxist disciplines, and consolidating the ideological position of Marxism. It is essential for our party's ideological and theoretical building, national long-term stability and healthy development of the socialist cause, which is our sacred mission and bounden duty.
Luo: in the last long periods, Marxism is a branch of political discipline. You have appealed to the theoretical press and relevant department to building Marxism level I discipline for many years. What is your reason and intention?
Jin: Marxism, especially China Marxism, is our nation's mainstream ideology. The improvement of the discipline status of Marxism and establishment of Marxist theory discipline I am of great importance for the upholding and development of Marxist theory, developing socialist spiritual and moral character of people, especially young students, and promoting the smooth development of socialism with Chinese characteristics. In particular in:
Firstly, build the Marxist theory with other disciplines, to enhance its scientific, theoretical and academic features, not only so that the level of university disciplinary system becomes more rational and more complete, but also helps the level of study of Marxist theory, and improves the quality of education in Marxist theory and ideological and political education.
Secondly, the establishment of Marxist theory discipline I am conductive to stability and supplements of Marxist theory study and teaching team, and consolidating and expanding high-school Marxist field.
Thirdly, the establishment of Marxist theory discipline I not only provide a reliable guarantee for the training of Marxist theory research and education personnel, but also will have a far-reaching impact on uphold and develop Marxism, consolidating the guiding position of Marxism in the ideological form. Under the guidance and support of the Central Committee, Ministry of Education, and Academic Degree Office, Marxist theory discipline I was successfully built up at the end of 2005. We named 21 level I disciplines and 103 level II disciplines. Review for one discipline shall be organized separately, which has no one since establishment of disciplines from 1980. This indicates that CPC Central Committee and the relevant departments pay attention to and support the disciplines of Marxism, I just did what I should do in the Marxist theory discipline I.
Luo: Some experts worry that a significant increase in the Marxist point of discipline will affect the quality and level of Marxist theory and teaching. According to the research and teaching experience of Marxist theory, do you have any thoughts and suggestions on how to build an academic Marxist theory?
Jin: I said in the Marxist theory discipline I building forum and doctoral tutor conference: Marxist theory discipline I is rather special, not only because its status is very important, but also more than 1,000 colleges and universities in China have set up this course, many schools also build it as a key discipline. The key is how to build the Marxist theory discipline, develop masters and doctors of high-quality and high-level Marxist theory discipline, rather than to expand the number. In particular, to grasp a few important aspects of postgraduate training-select training object, grasp the course of study and teaching practice, select thesis topic, make opening report, and write the dissertation in line with the requirements of the Marxist theory of discipline, with a higher level. In the building of Marxist theory discipline I, we shall pay particular attention to the following three aspects:
Firstly, we must adhere to and highlight the scientific nature of Marxism. The key issue of the discipline is to correctly handle the dialectical relationship of politics and academics, scientific and ideology, which can not be completely separated or simply equated. Marxist theory as a discipline to build, we must focus on its scientific nature, and explore the scientific truth of Marxist theory, so as to lay a solid theoretical foundation for our guiding ideology.
Secondly, give an overall grasp of Marxist scientific system. Integrity is an important feature and regulations of Marxist theory discipline I, it is not only reflected in the basic principles of Marxism , but also reflected in close link of the various Marxist theory discipline II. In the past, we focused on three categories of Marxist to research and teach, and political theory, carefully taught political theory lesson, the same with philosophy, and political economy. The students even did not know what Marxism is although there were a lot of lessons. This is a very serious problem. The Central Committee has decided to open "Introduction to Basic Principles of Marxism" course, which is of great importance for students to better grasp the basic theory and Marxist stand, viewpoint and method, and establish a correct outlook on life and values.
Thirdly, properly handle the relationship of five level II disciplines of Marxist theory. Basic principle of Marxism is the basic discipline, which are a red line, program and core through several other disciplines. Marxist history, from point of view of the formation, development and spread around the world, explains the basic principles and theoretical content of Marxism. Marxism in China is the spread, development and creative use of Marxism in China, whose central element is the socialism with Chinese characteristics, which should be the focus of our research and teaching and key of the Marxist theory discipline I building. Foreign Marxism is Marxism development and use in other countries and regions, it not only consists of "Western Marxism", but also contains study and use of Marxist of foreign Communist Party and its Marxist theorists, especially research and interpretation of Marx’s theory of foreign scholars in particular the left-wing scholars. Most of "Western Marxism" is that he bourgeois scholars explain Marxism or some aspect of Marxist thought with their philosophy view and form their own theories, and use them as weapon to the study of contemporary reality, both criticism of contemporary capitalism and criticism of the reality of socialism, which is essentially a bourgeois social thought. Marx's study abroad should focus two aspects later, which should not be limited to "Western Marxism." Ideological and political education is to educate students with Marxist stand, viewpoint and methods, which is an applied discipline of Marxist theory, and ultimate goal and destination of Marxism discipline I building. The five level-II disciplines are both different and linked, which are an organic whole.
Greatly advocate treating Marxism with scientific attitude
Luo: You are listed as outstanding representative of the academic research and teaching of Marxist theory Marxist theorists, you have enjoyed a high reputation in Marxist theorist. When I communicated with college peers, they not only admired your qualities and our academic style, but also appreciated your confidence and profound accomplishments. Can you talk about how you took the front of the Marxist theory? What a profound experience and valuable experience?
Jin: I have been in the seventies and fought in the Marxist theoretical front for 50 years. Looking back and looking forward to the future, I am excited. When I was in Quwo Middle School of Shanxi Province, I liked the history lesson, in particular social development theory, and initiated the desire to explore the historical development mystery and social development prospects. I still remember that the teacher of history lesson taught us" preparedness ensures success and unpreparedness spells failure". In 1956, I was admitted to the Department of Philosophy, Renmin University of China, and took the road of life to search for the truth of Marxism. During the "cultural revolution", although I suffered severe impacts, but I still insisted on Marxism belief and faith on socialism. Historical conditions and the call of The Times enabled us to more easily to accept the Marxism theory, and once we accepted it, as Marx said, it became a chain which cannot struggle out if it doe not tear your heart. Late October, 2004, when I took part in the investigation group of the national political consultative conference for the south-to-north water transfer project, it was in the double ninth festival, I ascended Wudang Mountain and felt, and wrote a poem, “time went by memories of age, and past stores felt in smoke. I felt at peace although vicissitudes of life and scholars’ strength shall be noble. In the new stage of new era, Marxists are facing both an unprecedented opportunity, and unprecedented challenges, however, they should make great contribution to the era and people.
Luo: after Russian disintegration, world socialist movement was in low tide, hostile forces at home and abroad attack and libel Marxism. Many people were affected by the international situation and western ideas, who doubted the scientific and reasonable nature of Marxism, and advocated denying, deny Marxism ideology. Please talk about how to insist on Marxist beliefs, to strengthen the Marxism theory to be more conscious and determined.
Jin: a strong belief comes from the deep grasp of truth. In January 2004, the communist youth league committee and the youth center invited me to make the first speaking of Marxist basic knowledge lecture series, I definitely told young friends that Marxism is working-class world outlook and methodology and a strong idea weapon of the working class and the working people to know the world and transform the world. From the view of the theory and truth, Marxism is reflect nature, society and the general law of thinking Times the truth; From the point of view of ideology, Marxism is the thought system of the working class. Its criterion and class Sex, science and ideological nature are highly unified. As Engels said, "the more freely and selfless the science is, the more and more it conforms to the interests of the workers and wishes". This outstandingly reflects the essence of Marxism. In the one thousand years, Marx was appraised by the western media as "First Thinker for one thousand Years" and "Great Man for one thousand Years". I was moved deeply, so I immediately wrote “Marx as one thousand great man", to introduce selection of foreign media and impact of Marxism Socialist scientific truth on today's world. This theory in our country has made a response.
My motto is: the truth is the light of knowledge and the soul of wisdom, and exploration and seeking the truth is the first duty of scholars. The truth may be covered by the fog, but the power of the truth is that it can the fog and open up the development road. The reason that I believed in Marxism is that Marxism is incontrovertible scientific truth, which is “not exceed” as the western scholars said. The hero can display in difficulties. Facing adversity and low tide, Marxists should remain faithful and unyielding, stand challenges and test, who can't follow others and been intimidated by the difficulties and risks.
Luo: Marxism is a complete and thorough scientific system. You always strive to teach students to master the true rather than false, superficial and surface knowledge of Marxism, and develop independent thinking and scientific innovation ability. In addition to study hard and rigorous scholarship, do you think of what special request on the Marxist theory workers?
Jin: Marxist theory workers must firstly adhere to the scientific attitude towards Marxism. When "Marxism research" reopened in 1995, for the "left" and right wrong tendencies, I clearly stated that the fate of Marxism in the contemporary world largely depended on adhering to the basic principles of Marxism, and used the new experience to continue to enrich and develop it. I use eight words to sum up this spirit: Stick, development, research and innovation. This should be sole correct attitude to treat Marxism at present.
The so-called adherence to Marxism is to adhere to Marxism guiding position and role of social practice and scientific research, Marxist world outlook and methodology of science, and the Marxist stand, viewpoint and method to observe, analyze and solve practical problems.
The so-called development of Marxism, at first, is to theoretically summarize the new practical experience according to new situation and new problems, and add them into the Marxist theory; secondly, is to correct and improve the contents made by those founders of Marxism based on that conditions, or just made preliminarily, to further demonstrate, so that they can better adapt to the current reality; thirdly, in the use of Marxism, to combine it with practice and consciously achieve the transformation from theory to reality.
As dialectical unity in upholding and developing, the study and innovation of Marxism must be organically together as required. As for the profound theory such Marxist, it my not be grasped without efforts. The mistake attitude that doesn’t know or knows a little to Marxism, and then hurriedly bright one-sided play and makes conclusions will only corrupt Marxist reputation. Of course, the study of Marxism should not stay in books and only repeats the classic Marxist writers’ words, they should be from reality, use Marxist stand, viewpoint and method to analyze and solve new problems and conclude the new conclusion, and continue to promote the innovation of Marxism. In the national 5th meeting of the tenth Political Consultative Conference of March 2007, I made "summarize the experience, and further discuss the socialist market economic law" speech, and clearly put forward: socialism market economy, for a socialist country, is a new industry, and the combination of the socialist with market economy is a "great creation". Our socialist market economy construction has been for ten years, and accumulated a lot of experience, but there are also many problems to be further studied and solved. During 2004 CPPCC period, general secretary Hu Jintao participated in discussion of social science field, he spoke to research and explore eight practical problems, of which the development of the socialist market economy law problem is contained. It shows that, from the central leadership to theorists, they are aware of the necessity and urgency of development law of the socialist market economy to further discuss. Everything has a process of development, like the socialist market economy, shall be studied and innovated in the process of practice, and to explore the special law and special operation mode different from other market economic operation for us to improve the socialist market economy system is indispensable. At present, if Marxism overcomes difficulties and obstacles, and opens up new voyage, it must combine the persistence, development, research and innovation, win the people with truth and justice strength, and control crowd. This is not only the practical needs of the Marxism discipline construction, but also inevitable requirements of the contemporary socialist practice. The future belongs to the young. I really hope that a lot of young Marxist takes on the sacred duties of development, research and innovation of Marxism as soon as possible, and make due contribution to realizing the rise of the Chinese nation and the revival of the world socialist.
Luo: thank you for your acceptance of my interview. I hope you continue to teach, encourage and guide young scholars.
Jin: Let’s mutually encourage in the new century and common career!
Translated by Xu Qiyuan.
Editor: Wang Daohang