An expert once said that “all traditional cultures must keep up with time, which is the only way for them to be used by people in the contemporary era and to have unexhaustible vitality, or cultures can only be a pile of paper placed high on the shelf and a series of statement with attention payed by no one. Traditional Chinese culture prospers despite thousands of years of hardship and continues through changes of dozens of dynasties. The key to that is the new content of traditional culture given by the Chinese nation. Especially since modern times, the CPC has been respecting, making full use of and developing traditional culture, so as to enable the traditional culture to keep up with time. In this way, the traditional Chinese culture can be ancient, but not descending nor decaying as well as be full of vitality to contribute it’s precious strength to social development.” I think the statement reflects the speaker’s clear understanding of the issue which is to stick to the right principle to deal with the morality passed down by ancestors. Precisely, we need to use Marxism upheld by the CPC as the standard; to judge whether the culture is conducive for social members to have correct views of the world, life and value; to deal with culture differently after scientific analysis; to inherit after adding or deleting certain element; to realize the innovative transformation and development of the traditional Chinese merits and to use ancient culture in the contemporary era and to establish new content.
So we need to follow the guidance of Marxism and use historical dialectics, so as to avoid isolated and static research of the traditional Chinese culture. Our research need to based on classical Chinese book and reality, then to find national treasure representing the spirit of the creation and of this era with the prerequisite of traditional Chinese culture and sinicization of Marxism as well as the creation of the traditional Chinese culture and socialist advanced culture. We oppose the action to inherit the traditional culture without change. Instead, we need to inherit tradition and break free from it’s limitation; to combine new requirement of practice and of the era and combine the actual need of spiritual and cultural life of people in the new era. Then we need to sum up and process the essence of the culture and make innovation, so as to turn it into people’s own culture in the new era. The scientific research is to tell the worst and the best apart, the outstanding and the decaying as well as the worthless and precious, then inherit the later.
What’s the essence of the traditional culture? In summarize, it’s the traditional ideas and merits of the traditional thoughts that are adaptable to the progress of Chinese society; in line with the socialist advanced culture and conducive to Chinese people and the contemporary era. For example, the early period of Yanhuang culture saw the creation of many beliefs, including innovation, people-centered governance policy, following rules and promoting morality, law inheritance and harmonious world. Those beliefs have been included in the study of the theory of Yi, Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Confucian classics, a philosophical sect in the Wei and Jin dynasties and Neo-Confucianism. The specific content and form have been changing with time, but they are all the essence of the traditional Chinese culture. Those ideas are supportive to enhance the education on patriotism, collectivism and socialism; to lead people to have correct ideas of history, nationality, nation and culture and to strengthen the courage and confidence of Chinese. In terms of morality, traditional Chinese beliefs are helpful to enhance the social morality construction by insisting Marxist view of morality and socialist view of morality; inspiring people to have kind moral will and feeling; nurturing correct moral judgement responsibility and improve the ability to conduct moral behavior. Under the guidance of these ideas, people are tend to promote, respect and follow morality to form kind and positive strength. The essence of the traditional Chinese culture is the foundation for Chinese to stand on our feet in the interaction of the world culture.
Of course, it’s wrong to learn traditional cultural ideas without discrimination. The first step of inheritance is to launch a through study of traditional cultural resource, so as to find all outstanding culture hidden in cultural relics in palaces, cultural heritage on wide land and words written in ancient books. The cultural will be more vivid in this way. Then, relating departments need to have a clear understanding of culture, including it’s history, development, classification, innovation, value and nationality characteristic, so as to be of good use for people.
Innovative transformation and development of the outstanding traditional Chinese culture is a key process. There are ideas sustaining the outstanding tradition of Chinese nation, including the vitality and solidification (like those promoting kindness, loyalty, bravery, piety to parents, people-centered ideas, honesty, justice, harmony and so on), ambition (like “cultivate one's morality, improve one's family, run a country and make the world peaceful”), the will to contribute to the nation (like “being the first to worry about the affairs of the state and the last to enjoy oneself”), the will to view the national interest as a priority (like “I shall dedicate myself to the interest of the nation, even with the cost of my life”) and the responsibility to complete one’s mission (like “being kind to all in the world, letting people to have better lives, inheriting the knowledge form passed sages and enabling peace to prevail the world”). The government needs to follow the theoretical system of Chinese socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, then transform the outdated form to create new statement and new fields easily to be liked and accepted by all people, so as to inspire the potential vitality. New content of the era should be added according to the practice of the era and people as well as the requirement to build socialist philosophy and social science with Chinese characteristics. Then, domestically, it will be the origin supporting the socialist core value and promoting the socialist advanced culture. Internationally, it will be an important advantage to conduct equal and friendly exchanges with people all over the world and to promote Chinese culture.
We shall also pay attention to overcome the disturbance of wrong ideas. That is because in Chinese culture, “there’s essence of democracy and dross of feudalism. One side is positive, progressive and innovative while the other side is negative, conservative and outdated. In some cases, they are entangled with each other.” Organizing the traditional culture is a profound and large-scale scientific project. There are two wrong ideas, one of which is historical nihilism believing culture originating form thousands of years of feudalism is equal to feudalism itself, with valuable stuff neglected. We need to be clear that thing belonging to people is also included in culture form feudalism which should be used discriminately. The second is a backward idea which holds that the all traditional culture must be inherited. This belief see the decaying as the amazing thing and promote the ancient times, instead of the contemporary era. It looks down upon the revolutionary culture and the socialist culture. We need to overcome the disturbance of these wrong ideas to realize the “double innovation”, so as to inspire the new vitality of the traditional culture in a new era.