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Ensuring national culture security in the new situation
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Cultural security is a new concept in the category of non-traditional security, implying the stability and sustained development of national security and culture. The contents and main tasks of ensuring national cultural security include: 1. To maintain and popularize ideologies (ideological foundation) of the ruling class, and of the political party which leads the state and society in building and developing the national culture; 2. To inherit and promote national traditional and cultural identity; 3. To innovate and disseminate the ruling party’s ideological orientation, institutions, state laws and traditions, and national cultural identity; 4. To effectively fight against harmful and erroneous cultural products, sabotage of ideology and culture staged by hostile forces and security disorder in the cultural activities. These contents are unified, closely related to each other and link to political security, economic security, social security, and human security.

Maintaining, improving and asserting ideological foundation, ideological system of the Communist Party of Viet Nam

The ideology of the ruling class is not only associated with the ruling class, but is the most important integral component of the social superstructure, the component that “dominates” the spiritual life of society. K.Marx and F.Engels stated: “The ideas of the ruling class are, in every age, the ruling ideas: i.e. the class which is the dominant material force in society is at the same time the dominant intellectual force.”(1) Thus, in class society, culture is class-oriented. The dominant culture in society is the culture of the ruling class.

For Viet Nam's revolution, Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh Thought-the ideological foundation of the Communist Party of Viet Nam-has demonstrated its position, and decisive role in the entire process of evolution and development of the revolution since the establishment of the Communist Party of Viet Nam on 3 February 1930 to present. The development of the Viet Nam’s revolution over 85 years, especially its great achievements of historic significance recorded during the 30 years of renovation, under the leadership of the Party show that Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought have been creatively applied and developed, increasingly proving its lasting value as the foundation of thought, the compass for the Party and the revolution’s actions, the primary factor which ensure the right direction of the spiritual life and national independence in association with socialism.

The renovation process, the construction of an advanced culture imbued with national identity, cultural security of the country requires full understanding and persistence of Marxism-Leninism, and Ho Chi Minh Though; supplementing and developing Marxism-Leninism, and Ho Chi Minh Thought; disseminating and propagating Marxism-Leninism, and Ho Chi Minh Thought, so that Marxism-Leninism, and Ho Chi Minh Thought play the leading role in the spiritual life of society.

The Resolution of the 5th Plenum of the Party Central Committee, 8th Tenure identified 5 key: “Ideology (...) is (...) key areas of culture”(2); “The culture that we are building is the advanced culture, imbued with national identity. Advance is patriotism and progressive, its core content is the ideal of national independence and socialism in accordance with Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh Thought, targeting man for happiness and free and comprehensive development of man in harmonious relationships between individuals and communities, between society and nature.”(3) That clear-cut and resolute identification strengthens the confidence and the pride of each party members, cadres and people in Marxism-Leninism, and Ho Chi Minh Thought-the critical area of national cultural security.

Inheriting and promoting traditional and national cultural identity

In the context of globalization and international integration, “We have the opportunity to interact extensively with the cultural achievements of mankind, while introducing unique values and originality of culture Viet Nam to peoples in the world.”(4) However, globalization and international integration also place the national culture to challenges, and instability. One of them is a common cultural model of global significance. That trend is likely to lead to “homogeneity” of cultural values, leveling, “assimilating” the cultures of the peoples, increasing the disparity in chances for progress and equity of the countries in the world. The process of globalization might remove cultural differences between nations, between regions and areas, and reduce diversity of human culture. The assimilation of value system and tradition leads to self-elimination of national identity, exhausting the creativity of cultures – the factors that are considered crucial for lasting existence of peoples and humanity. The Education, Sciences and Culture Organization of the United Nations (UNESCO) warned: “Globalization can be detrimental to creativity and cultural diversity of the world, creating a poor cultural uniformity.”(5) So, since 2005, UNESCO adopted the Convention on Cultural Diversity in order to preserve cultural characteristics of each nation in the context of current globalization.

While developing and protecting culture and promoting national cultural identity in the context of globalization, Viet Nam is confronted with multifaceted challenges. Because, the trends of thought, culture, belief, and religion appearing somewhere in the world will impact (sooner or later, directly or indirectly) the way of thinking and culture of Viet Nam. Globalization makes it possible to internationalize negative phenomena of cultural and social life. Reactionary and decadent cultural publications, crime wave, violence, drug influx from abroad have contributed to widespread social evils in Viet Nam in recent years coupled with attempt to cause “peaceful evolution” of the hostile forces, the degradation of political ideology, ethic and lifestyle of a small section of cadres, Party members and the people really are threats which weaken spiritual foundation of the country.

The Communist Party of Viet Nam affirmed to protect and promote “sustainable values, the essence of the Vietnamese communities fostered through thousands of years of struggle for national construction and defense. They are ardent patriotism, self-reliance solidarity, a sense of community, individual-family-village-the Fatherland cohesion; humanism, tolerance, compassion, morality; diligence, creativity, tact, simplicity in lifestyle, (...) unique national forms of expression.”(6) Protection and promotion of national identity are "Preservation and promotion of cultural heritage-an invaluable asset, community cohesion are the core of national identity, the basis for the creation of new values and cultural exchanges (...) paying attention to conservation, inheritance and promotion of traditional cultural values (scholar and folk), cultural revolution, including tangible and intangible heritage. Study and educate widely national ethics bequeathed by our forefathers”(7).

Protection of national identity must go with removal of outdated customs, traditions, and old habits. Mechanisms and policies must be developed to harmoniously preserve and promote cultural heritage while maintaining socio-economic development. It is necessary to conserve, restore historical and cultural sites for education of traditions and economic development, promote cultural heritage while developing economy, tourism and services. Efforts must be made to restore and conserve some traditional art forms which might fall into oblivion, promote heritage inscribed by UNESCO to disseminate the image of the country and people of Viet Nam. Development should go in parallel with maintaining the purity of the Vietnamese; abuse of foreign languages must be avoided. Preserve and promote the cultural heritage of ethnic minorities, especially spoken languages, scripts, costumes, traditional festivals, the positive cultural values of religion and belief.

Protection and promotion of national identity must be linked with expansion of international exchange, selectively acquisition of progressive and good practices of other nations. Actively expand cultural cooperation with other countries and implement diverse forms of cultural diplomacy, deepen international cultural relations culture for practical efficiency, selectively assimilate world cultural essence, and enrich the national culture. Proactively seize opportunities for development, overcome challenges in order to maintain and complete national cultural identity, limit and overcome negative effects of globalization on culture. Bring to full play talent, enthusiasm and devotion of overseas intellectuals, writers and artists to develop the national culture and serve as a bridge to promote the image of the country, culture and people of Viet Nam to the world. Focus on spreading the culture of Viet Nam, teach Vietnamese language to overseas Vietnamese and foreigners in Viet Nam.

Protecting national cultural identity and cultural security in the context of globalization and international integration is not merely a cultural issue, but an important task for national defense and thus national defense by culture is also urgently set out.

Creating, disseminating and popularizing new socialist cultural values

This is a fundamental and critical issue to ensure national security and culture, making those values deeply ingrained in social life and every people, and become progressive and civilized psychology and habits.

There is a need to promote the cultural creativity of the intellectuals and the people for cultural development. Views, policies and measures must ensure conditions for the cultural activists successfully assume their social role and noble function which is creation, dissemination, and popularization of national, democratic, human and scientific cultural values. The Party encourages and create favorable conditions for cultural activists to explore and be creative; ensure freedom of creation coupled with their citizen and social responsibilities to the motherland, the people and socialism. Respect for cultural activists personality, talents, and uniqueness; show concern, tactfulness and sincerity in relationship with them, adopt appropriate working approach towards each creative individual to encourage them turn out more cultural creations of high value in terms of ideology and art. Mobilize all social resources to the development of culture and care of talents while proactively planning and making appropriate policies and mechanisms to facilitate firm national cultural development in the right direction in the new period. Fully implement intellectual property rights, and expedite study to early promulgate mechanism to ensure cultural activists can lead a decent creative life devoted to culture.

Build healthy cultural environment, in accordance with the context of developing socialist-oriented market economy and international integration. Develop literature and arts, education and training and science and technology. Development should go with good management of mass communication systems. Consolidate, build and complete institutions, legal institutions and cultural institutions to ensure building and development of culture and people in the period of industrialization, modernization and international integration.

Build a healthy cultural market, promote the development of cultural industries, and enhance the promotion of the Vietnamese culture.

Pay attention to build a culture in the Party and in the state offices and organizations considering it an important factor to build and develop culture and build a clean and strong political system.

Combating erroneous, deviated, backward and reactionary ideas, and cultural products

In ensuring national culture security, we consider “building” as the main task to create and foster new cultural values of truth, beneficence and beauty imbued with national spirit, humanities, democracy and science. “Build” must go with “fight” against deviations and erroneous, backward and reactionary cultural products. Ensuring culture security requires effective struggle against the harmful and erroneous views, thoughts and cultural products and the destruction of ideas and culture of hostile forces and the backward habits that exist in society; ensuring security and safety for the team of cultural and people operating in the field of culture; maintaining and ensuring a healthy cultural environment favorable for the development of Vietnamese man and the cause of building and defending the socialist country.

In face of the complex political changes in the world, some people are wavering and show suspicion of the socialist path, denying the achievements of socialist reality in the world, the path to socialism in Viet Nam and Viet Nam’s revolutionary history under the leadership of the Party.

To cope with the risks, serious and urgent challenges to ensure national cultural security, it is necessary to focus on critically fighting and repelling evils, vile, backward; erroneous views, negative misconduct affecting the culture, and degrading people. There should be measures to limit constraints of Vietnamese man. Actively seize development opportunities, overcome challenges in order to maintain and complete national cultural identity; limit and overcome the negative effects of globalization on culture. Strengthening cultural inspection in association with personal and organization responsibility for the errors. Promote supervision and social criticism of social organizations, communities and citizens towards the organization and management of cultural activities. Proactively prevent and fight against manifestations of degradation in terms of ideology, ethics, “self-evolution”, “self-transformation” in the sphere of ideology and culture. Effectively dealing with a part of media organizations, publications, cultural and artistic activities’ deviation form their mandate and purposes, as well as their low taste and deviated products.

To prevent and fight against “peaceful evolution”, “self-evolution”, “self-transformation,” it is necessary to have healthy social and cultural environment, of which is the most important this is "to attach importance to building culture within the party, the state apparatus, with an important content of studying and following Ho Chi Minh Thought, ethic and style. Culture, ethic and healthy lifestyle must be observed first of all by all Party and State organizations, associations, the cadres, public employees, civil servants and in every party member. Each cadre and Party member should set example and it is an important requirement in Party’s leadership.”(8) Building upon example of cadres, Party members and Party organizations, the Party leads the entire people to unite and build cultural life, ensuring national cultural security against the degradation caused by nature and violations of cultural security from man, develop broadly and improve the quality of building and developing Viet Nam advanced culture imbued with national identity.


The article was published on Communist Review No 876 (October-2015)

(1) K.Marx and F.Engels: Complete Works, the National Political Publishing House, Ha Noi, 1995, Vol. 33, p. 246

(2) Document of the Fifth Plenum of the Central Committee, 8th Tenure, the National Political Publishing House, Ha Noi, 1998, p. 42

(3), (4) Document of the Fifth Plenum of the Central Committee 8th Tenure, Op.cit, pp. 55-56, and 45

(5) See: People newspaper, issued on 04 April 1998

(6), (7) Document of the Fifth Plenum of the Central Committee 8th Tenure, Op.cit, pp. 56, 63

(8) Document Ninth Plenum of the Central Committee, 11th Tenure, the National Political Publishing House, Ha Noi, 2014, pp. 44-45, and 59

Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Duy Bac, PhD*, Vu Thi Phuong Hau, PhD*** Vice Chairman of People’s Committee of Khanh Hoa province **The Ho Chi Minh National Political Academy