Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

CPC at 90: Innovation still key to success

By Swaran Singh (China Daily) Updated: 2011-06-16 07:54

Nothing seems more critical for the peaceful development of China than the smooth evolution of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and smooth transition of its leadership. China's history of the last 90 years confirms this.

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But with the rise of China and ever-expanding globalization, the impact of the CPC's future trajectory has become equally critical for the countries that interact with China. This is especially true of its immediate neighbors such as India. The future of countries like India, seen as another rising power, surely depends on China's continued peace and stability. India, therefore, has direct stakes in the smooth evolution of the CPC.

The CPC represents one of the very few communist parties in the world that have survived several internal and external challenges. The cascading downfall of several communist governments in the 1990s led to some serious innovations and soul-searching within the CPC leadership. The CPC is the largest communist party in the world. And, with the rise of China, the CPC has also come to be recognized as one of the most resourceful political forces in human history.

Experts are engaged in deconstructing the unique phenomenon of the CPC and what ensures its success, which continues to provide inspiration and opportunities for people in as well as outside China.

The larger question of its impact on the shaping of world history has been hotly debated, too. The answer perhaps lies in the recent evolution of the CPC within the larger canvass of modern history. All political parties and ideologies have survived by adapting to changing circumstances. The same is true of what was originally conceived as the scientific theory of Karl Marx, who remains the fountainhead of communism of all hues and colors.

To begin with, Marx expected the rise of monopoly capitalism to automatically result in a proletarian revolution. With free-market competition resulting in an ever lesser number of people controlling the means of production, the relations of production were to dictate the capitalist class to cut costs by using labor at minimal prices, just enough to keep the workers' body and soul together. And when the choice was between death by starvation and a political revolt, it was but rational to expect the workers to overthrow capitalist regimes.

Vladimir Lenin was the first to put this theory into practice. But he was to do so in Czarist Russia that had largely missed out on Europe's industrial and mercantile revolutions, as well as on Renaissance and Protestantism and was not a model of monopoly capitalism. Lenin was convinced that Russia could not achieve a communist revolution based on Marxist dialectics. He, therefore, made the first important "innovation" in Marxist theory by explaining how the proletariat would need a vanguard, a communist party. Later, he created Communist International, which Josef Stalin explained was a must to support the proletariat of the world.

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