There is a widespread delusion in the West that China is gradually abandoning communism.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Market socialism, “socialism with Chinese characteristics” has built China’s economy, military power and international prestige. However, it poses huge challenges to the Party in trying to maintain an ideological hold on the masses.
It looks like communist/Maoist ideology might be coming back in vogue, at least until the communist leaders feel more secure in their positions.
From Workers World:
The Press Trust of India reported on July 1: “Officials of the ruling Communist Party of China should shed the obsession with GDP numbers to get promotions and return to principles of Marxism, which suffered an ideological meltdown in the course of the country’s reforms, President Xi Jinping said today.”
Later Xinhua, the official press agency of China, reported on July 12: “Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the 85 million members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to work hard and serve the people wholeheartedly to ‘ensure the color of red China will never change.’”
Xi, who is also the general secretary of the CPC, made these remarks on the eve of the 92nd anniversary of the founding of the party. On July 11, he visited Xibaipo in Hebei Province, where the CPC leaders had been based from May 1948 to early 1949 as they prepared to seize power and become the ruling party of China.
Xi said, according to Xinhua, that “late Chinese leader Mao Zedong’s remarks on Party members’ work styles prior to the founding of New China in 1949 still have far-reaching ideological and historical significance.”
“At an important meeting of the CPC in March 1949,” continued Xinhua, “Mao called on the whole party to resolutely carry forward the work style of displaying modesty and prudence while guarding against conceit and impetuosity, and resolutely carry forward the style of working hard and plain living.”
“Calling China’s revolutionary history ‘the best nutrient,’ Xi said studying and recalling such history can bring ‘positive energy’ to Party members.”
Xinhua paraphrased Xi as saying “the people should be encouraged to take care of the CPC and be guided to exercise their duty of supervision.”
The Press Trust article quoted Xi as having said earlier that “the party’s cadres should be firm followers of Communist ideals, true believers of Marxism and devoted fighters for the socialism with Chinese characteristics.”
The PTI further paraphrased Xi: “A party official’s integrity will not grow with the years of service and promotion of his post but with persistent efforts to discipline himself and study Marxist classics and theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Xi said.”
These were not just one-time speeches. They are part of a campaign to try to restore the party’s reputation through pushing a public, ideological foundation. The campaign began back in April of 2013, as a campaign against corruption shortly after Xi took over as president. At that time it was known mainly by a slogan against “four course meals” for officials, meaning an end to extravagant banquets and other indulgences. Now it is being put in the context of Marxist ideological renewal.
The campaign has been unfolding step by step recently, with daily reports in the Chinese government press about carrying out the “mass line” and using such slogans as “from the masses to the masses.”
All 31 provincial level regions, central government organs and other people’s organizations are scheduled to convene work conferences to carry out an educational campaign, attacking undesirable work styles such as “formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance.” This is part of the anti-corruption campaign initiated by Xi.
Xi is promoting rectification of work styles by calling for “self-purification, self-perfection, self-renewal and self-progression. “
China has never abandoned communism. The communist leadership acknowledges it made a mistake in trying to go straight from feudalism to socialism by bypassing capitalism.
When the current “capitalist” stage has exhausted its advantages, socialism, then world communism will be back on the agenda.