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UPDATED: 15:31, August 24, 2004
Comment: Truth is simple and unadorned
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"Development is of overriding importance", "Science and technology is the primary productive force", "Poverty is not socialism", "Carve a way out through practice", "Pay equal attention to both economic development and cultural and moral construction and lay a tough hand on both of them", "There is planning in capitalist society and market in socialist society" and "A cat no matter whether it's black or white is a good cat so long as it catches mice". These plain words from Deng Xiaoping, which are easily understandable, have been heard many times that people can repeat them easily without referring to books or dictionaries. However, the extremely profound truth embodied in them is the point of importance for the Theory of Deng Xiaoping.

The words of Comrade Deng Xiaoping are concise and profound. They seem to be simple in appearance but are actually of great profundity, a perfect paragon in explaining things of great significance by way of simplicity. Nevertheless, these plain words were by no means spoken casually, nor did they stem from nothingness. They have solid foundations, which were resulted from the deep understanding by Comrade Deng Xiaoping in China's national conditions, from his profound knowledge of the history and the reality and his deep comprehension of the laws of socialist construction. As a matter of fact, only when acquainted with the total situation, a penetration of the truth and a clear understanding of the objective laws can he make so condensed a generalization and an expression as suchlike, thereby bringing the complicated matters and truths out in a simplified way.

Gorky once said: "All things outstanding are plain. The reason for them to carry away people is because of the brilliant wisdom embedded in their simplicity". They look simple in appearance at a glance but turn out to be of great significance after a careful thought. The wisdom and profundity as contained in simplicity makes one feel fascinated to muse upon them. Marxism has such a kind of characteristics. "Marxism is something very plain, and is embedded with very plain truth," Comrade Deng Xiaoping said. The plainness of truth derives from its self-confidence. It is true from inside out and consists of gold from top down. It does not need packaging and dressing up.

The articles by Comrade Deng Xiaoping are a reflection of his personality, which is neat and terse, concise and clear and unaffected as well. There is no redundant argument, no abstruse phrases nor any ornate diction yet they glisten with the light of truth and are of great importance for theoretical guidance. Moreover, they are easy to understand and memorize. They are something people love to see and hear and have become part of the wisdom of the Chinese people. This is where the power and fascination of the Deng Xiaoping Theory lie.

The plain style in writing of comrade Deng Xiaoping cannot be divorced from his unpretentious personality, which features a down-to-earth manner and uniting theory with practice. He said: "I didn't have much reading before, but I believe in seeking truth from facts that Chairman Mao advocated. In the past, we fought wars relying on this. Now we also rely on this in the construction and reform work". The success and greatness of Deng Xiaoping ultimately rest with his courage and genius by integrating the fundamental principles of Marxism with concrete practices in China, with his analysis and settlement of problems in a down-to-earth manner, with his exploration of new scope of Marxism and pioneering a new path of socialism featuring Chinese characteristics in the reform and opening up for modernization drive. His plain writing style has not only set an example for the whole Party but also tells us that to drop off the flashy writing style we must first correct the flashy style in work. Behave conscientiously, work without ostentation, speak honestly and no matter what you are doing seek truth from facts. This is the fundamental.

This is an article carried on the fourth page of People's Daily on August 22 and translated by People's Daily Online

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