Vol. XLII No. 23 June 10, 2018

CPC Holds Event on “Marxism of the 21st Century And the Future for World Socialism”

THE Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, as part of a high level dialogue it had initiated last year between November 30 and December 3, 2017 under the title, “CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting”, had decided that various thematic events would be organised subsequently. 

In accordance with this, the CPC organised a high level thematic event commemorating the 200th birthday of Karl Marx on May 28, 2018 at Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China.

In this thematic meeting, leaders of 75 Communist and Workers Parties from across the globe took the floor and participated in the discussions.  Communist and Workers Parties from 70 countries participated in this thematic event.  14 Chinese leaders also took part in the discussions. The discussions were organised through three panel sessions, apart from the opening and closing plenary sessions.  These three panel sessions were: (1) “The Historical Contribution of Karl Marx and the Contemporary Significance of Marxism” (2) “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and Marxism of the 21st Century” and (3) “Theory and Practice of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and the Future for World Socialism.”

The following is the CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s intervention in the closing plenary session.

DEAR Comrades and Friends,

We have entered the concluding Plenary Session of this very important conference organised by the Communist Party of China (CPC).  Along with other fraternal parties present here, I express the CPI(M)’s solidarity and underline the importance of the CPC organising and hosting this event in today’s international conjuncture. 

Since we rightly decided that every party present here would get the opportunity to take the floor, given the time constraint, I do not propose to read from any written text but to share one core thought and five associated points.

Core Thought:  Marxism will shape the contours of human civilisational advance in the 21st century. 

Why do I so assert?


  1. The current continuing crisis of global capitalism has, once again, resoundingly vindicated the validity of Marxism.  There is a growing popular realisation that under capitalism, there can never be an end to human exploitation or an end to crises.  This system has to go, as Marx famously said: “Philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways.  The point, however, is to change it.”
  2.  How does one change this world?  Marxism alone provides the framework for such a change to end exploitation and hence achieve human liberation. It remains the only philosophy attracting exploited people because, as Lenin taught us: “The  irresistible attraction of this theory, which draws to itself the socialists of all countries lies precisely in the fact that it combines the quality of being strictly and supremely scientific with that of being revolutionary.  It does not combine them accidentally and not only because the founder of the doctrine combined in his own person the qualities of a scientist and a revolutionary, but does so intrinsically and inseparably.”
  3. This combination will have to be implemented by each one of us in concrete conditions of our country.  The CPI(M) considers that Marxism is unique in the sense that it can be transcended only when its agenda is realised; the agenda of realising a classless Communist social order. Specifically, its understanding of capitalism, is alone, thorough enough for it to comprehend the historical possibilities that lie beyond it.

Marxism is not a dogma but a ‘creative science’. It is based on, amongst others, “a concrete analysis of concrete conditions”. Marxism is an approach to the analysis of history in general, and of capitalism in particular. It is on this basis, building on the foundation provided by Marx, that we continuously enrich our theory for understanding the present conjuncture and the possibilities it holds for the future. Far from being a closed theoretical system, Marxism represents a process of continuous theoretical enrichment. 

It is precisely due to this – `a creative science’ – that Marxism alone is capable of identifying the tendencies and direction of developments which are the consequences of the perennial Human-Nature dialectic, encompassing all areas of human endeavour.  Every single scientific discovery and development – from astro physics to nano technology – resoundingly validates Dialectical Materialism. Marxism alone is able to anticipate and equip us to deal with situations that arise when artificial intelligence threatens to takeover and control our lives.

  1. We are discussing, today, on lands where the CPC has adopted the science of Marxism to its specific conditions, succeeding in the triumph of the revolution and subsequently building socialism with Chinese characteristics.  This integration between theory and practice – praxis – as Antonio Gramsci called it, continues as CPC general secretary Xi Jinping said “China is the cast iron proof of Marxism’s validity”.  A country that was called as the “sick man of the orient” till mid-20th century is today the second most powerful country in the world and the world’s growing economic power house. This concrete application to the conditions of China is being taken forward by the “Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era”.
  2. Concrete analysis of concrete conditions has to be implemented by each one of us vigorously in our countries.  Capitalism never collapses automatically whatever may be the intensity of the crisis. Unless a political alternative develops to challenge capitalism, capitalism invariably survives by intensifying human exploitation.  Hence, the strength of the socialist political alternative has to vastly grow. 

Capitalism, therefore, requires to be overthrown which decisively depends on the strengthening of that material force in society led by the working class which can mount, through popular struggles, the intensification of the class struggle to launch the political offensive against the Rule of Capital. The building of this material force and its strength is the ‘subjective factor’, the strengthening of which is the essential imperative. The objective factor – the concrete situation of the crisis – however conducive it may be for a revolutionary advance, cannot be transformed into a revolutionary assault against the Rule of Capital without the strengthening of this ‘subjective factor’.

This is the task before all of us today. 

Marxism alone provides the ideological foundations and the theoretical underpinning for strengthening the `subjective factor’ and, thus, sharpening class struggles.  This is Marxism in the 21st century which will ensure that humanity’s future is socialism.