October 23, 2020

Assessing the Impact of Dialectical Materialism on Xi Jinping’s Strategic Thinking

By ​Coby Goldberg

For all the debates about the guiding ideology of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Chairman Xi Jinping has made his views rather plain to Party members. Take the opening lines of a speech to the CCP Central Committee on January 23, 2015, later re-published in Qiushi, the authoritative CCP journal of theory: “Dialectical materialism is the worldview and methodology of Chinese Communists.” The practical impact of this “worldview and methodology” can be significant for the average (non-CCP member) reader.

Xi Jinping has made his views rather plain to Party members.

The CCP has a materialistic worldview, an inheritance from Karl Marx and Frederic Engels. Many of Marx’s and Engels’ contemporaries were idealists, who argued that adherence to a concept born of the mind, namely faith, could determine the reality of the world. Marx and Engels, by contrast, believed in the indomitable force of the material world. The material world shapes laws of history to which man must submit, like it or not. Or, as Xi put it in his 2015 speech: “The most important thing is that we proceed always from objective reality rather than subjective desire.”

Read the full article in Divergent Options.

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