Monday, September 14, 2015

Part 9 (Scientific Outlook on Development)--On a Constitutional Theory for China--From the General Program of the Chinese Communist Party to Political Theory

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

This Blog Essay site devotes every February to a series of integrated but short essays on a single theme. For 2015 this site introduces a new theme: On a Constitutional Theory for China--From the General Program of the Chinese Communist Party to Political Theory.

This Post includes Part 9, Scientific Outlook on Development. It considers Paragraph 7 of the General Program.

Table of Contents 

Part 9, Paragraph 7 of the General Program--the Scientific Outlook on Development.

We have been reviewing the initial paragraphs of the CCP Constitution's General Program. The first two paragraphs of the General Program set out the outer framework of two critical aspects of Chinese constitutional theory. The five theories identified in paragraph 2 are the elaborated in paragraphs 3-7. Each, in turn, represents the “crystallization of the collective wisdom of the Communist Party of China” at each successive stage on the road toward communism. And the path itself makes clear that the process of successive crystallization is far from complete. Paragraph 3 elaborated on the place of classical Marxism-Leninism as the first stage of the path of socialism and serves as the foundation for Chinese political and constitutional theory. If the foundations of Chinese political and constitutional theory is built on European and received wisdom--the classical philosophy of Marxism-Leninism—the foundations of classical Chinese political and constitutional theory is built on Mai Zedong Thought.

Paragraph 4 considered Mao Zedong Thought as a necessary bridge between European theory and its transposition within the Chinese context, one that brings Marxism-Leninism forward from out of Europe into Asia, and places that forward evolution within the historical constraints of its time.It expressed the Leninist foundations of Chinese constitutional theory within notions of collective development and its role in establishing the socialist path toward which Mao Zedong Thought points, but which it does not in itself constitute. Paragraph 5 introduces the next stage in the development of Chinese constitutional and political Theory--Deng Xiaoping Theory. If Mao Zedong Thought provided a bridge from revolutionary to governing vanguard party, Deng Xiaoping theory provides the principles through which socialist modernization can be realized. Paragraph 6 introduces the succeeding layer of development of Chinese constitutional and political theory--the Important thought of Three Represents (Sange Daibiao).

Paragraph 7 introduces the last of the current layers of theoretical development of Chinese political and constitutional theory--the scientific outlook on development.
[7] Since the Party's Sixteenth National Congress, the Chinese Communists with Comrade Hu Jintao as their chief representative, following the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents, have gained a deep understanding of major questions such as what kind of development China should achieve under new conditions and how it should achieve it to meet new requirements for development and answered these questions, and thus developed the Scientific Outlook on Development that puts people first and calls for comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development. The Scientific Outlook on Development is a scientific theory that is both in keeping with Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents and is in step with the times. It fully embodies the Marxist worldview on and methodology for development and represents the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to China's conditions. It is the crystallization of the collective wisdom of the Communist Party of China and a guiding ideology that must be upheld and applied in developing socialism with Chinese characteristics.[7] 7我国正处于并将长期处于社会主义初级阶段。这是在经济文化落后的中国建设社会主义现代化不可逾越的历史阶段,需要上百年的时间。我国的社会主义建设,必须 从我国的国情出发,走中国特色社会主义道路。在现阶段,我国社会的主要矛盾是人民日益增长的物质文化需要同落后的社会生产之间的矛盾。由于国内的因素和国 际的影响,阶级斗争还在一定范围内长期存在,在某种条件下还有可能激化,但已经不是主要矛盾。我国社会主义建设的根本任务,是进一步解放生产力,发展生产 力,逐步实现社会主义现代化,并且为此而改革生产关系和上层建筑中不适应生产力发展的方面和环节。必须坚持和完善公有制为主体、多种所有制经济共同发展的 基本经济制度,坚持和完善按劳分配为主体、多种分配方式并存的分配制度,鼓励一部分地区和一部分人先富起来,逐步消灭贫穷,达到共同富裕,在生产发展和社 会财富增长的基础上不断满足人民日益增长的物质文化需要。发展是我们党执政兴国的第一要务。各项工作都要把有利于发展社会主义社会的生产力,有利于增强社 会主义国家的综合国力,有利于提高人民的生活水平,作为总的出发点和检验标准。跨入新世纪,我国进入全面建设小康社会、加快推进社会主义现代化的新的发展 阶段。在新世纪新阶段,经济和社会发展的战略目标是,巩固和发展已经初步达到的小康水平,到建党一百年时,建成惠及十几亿人口的更高水平的小康社会;到建 国一百年时,人均国内生产总值达到中等发达国家水平,基本实现现代化。

The scientific outlook on development reflects a return to a focus on economic development, but one that is now tied in more interesting ways to the development of the CCP's political work and its working style. It applies a now familiar collective mechanics, grounded in an analysis of past operations and applied through the filter of foundational principles. This mechanics adds a layer to theory, one that "puts people first and calls for comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development." It serves as a gloss on the economic development aspects of socialist modernization. It is a gloss that reinforces the representational elements of the CCp's relation to the people, and the obligational nature of that representation. Representation, in other words, imposes an obligation on the CCP, as a Leninist vanguard, to organize its activities to advance the interests of the people (rather than its own). Such advancement in the sphere of economic development now is supplemented by the insights of sustainability to development planning that is comprehensive (and not piecemeal), integrated and coherent (rather than fractured and anarchic).

The scientific outlook on development was meant to respond to the changes within China in the face of the success of the economic development policies put into operation during the leadership of Deng Xiaoping. And it was meant to solve the new practical problem that economic development had produced--environmental degradation, wealth gaps, and an inefficient development and consumption of productive forces. These specific problems required the creation of a normative approach to macro economic planning that is consistent with basic political theory but which might more efficiently work towards socialist modernization. Or, perhaps better understood, to better structure socialist modernization in its economic aspects as China transitions to a moderately well off society. The object is to structure the trajectories of development--that is to choose the path that ought to be taken to achieve socialist modernization, one that might remain true to the fundamental principles.

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