Ideology of the Chinese Communist Party  

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The ideology of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has undergone dramatic changes throughout the years, especially during Deng Xiaoping's leadership. While foreign commentators have accused the CPC of lacking a coherent ideology, the CPC still call themselves and portray themselves as communists.



It has been argued in recent years, mainly by foreign commentators, that the Communist Party of China (CPC) does not have an ideology, and that the party organization is pragmatic and interested only in what works. The party itself, however, argues otherwise. For instance, Hu Jintao stated in 2012 that the Western world is "threatening to divide us" and that "the international culture of the West is strong while we are weak ... Ideological and cultural fields are our main targets". The CPC puts a great deal of effort into the party schools and into crafting its ideological message. Before the "Practice Is the Sole Criterion for the Truth" campaign, the relationship between ideology and decision-making was a deductive one, meaning that policy-making was derived from ideological knowledge. Under Deng this relationship was turned upside down, with decision-making justifying ideology and not the other way around. Lastly, Chinese policy-makers believe that one of the reasons for the dissolution of the Soviet Union was its stagnant state ideology. They therefore believe that their party ideology must be dynamic to safeguard the party's rule, unlike the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, whose ideology became "rigid, unimaginative, ossified, and disconnected from reality."

Role of ideology

Ideals and convictions

In the article "Revolutionary Ideals are Higher than Heaven-Studying" (published in 2013), a person writing under the pen name "Autumn Stone", supports Xi Jinping's policy of strengthening the ideological conviction of party cadres, since (as the Leninist mantra goes) ideological unity leads to party unity. The writer claims "Ideals and convictions are the spiritual banners for the united struggle of a country, nation and party, wavering ideals and convictions are the most harmful form of wavering." Adhering to the ideals and convictions of the party creates a link between the party and the masses, and will let the party "gain victories wherever" it goes. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the core spiritual values of members have become more important than ever, considering the restrengthened position of world capitalism. Xi Jinping believes that wavering conviction in the party's ideals lead to increased corruption and unwanted behaviour. Exemplary members have existed before, such as Xia Minghan who said "Don’t fear being beheaded, as long as one’s ism is true", Yang Chao’s "The heaven’s are full of rain, wind and worry, for the Revolution, it is unnecessary to fear losing one’s head" and Fang Zhimin's statement that "The enemy can only cut off our heads, but cannot shake our beliefs!" The author suggest that these men were incorruptible because they carried the party's ideals and convictions. The dissolution of the Soviet Union, the writer suggests, was in key parts due to the ideological wavering of officials; claiming that even Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, had acknowledged in private that communist ideals had become obsolete to him. Disintegration in the ideological arena can lead to breaches in other areas of the party's edifice, paving the way for party collapse, the author states.

See also

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