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Continuing to renovate ideological and theoretical work of the Party in the new stage (*)
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Theoretical and Practice review of the 30-year-renovation. Picture: Viet Nam News Agency

Assessing ideological and theoretical achievements in the past period, the 11th Party Congress affirmed: “Several theoretical researches and practices have been conducted on the renovation process, new development in the world; scientific and revolutionary value of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh ideology; review and development of Platform, building of the Socio-Economic Development Strategy in the period of 2011 - 2020 and other documents to be submitted to the 11th Party Congress.

There has been also renovation in the ideological political propaganda and education. The ethic building of Party’s cadres and members and people has been set greater store by; focus has been given to leading the campaign “Study and act upon the ethical example of Ho Chi Minh” and linking it with Party’s building and rectification; more proactive efforts has been made in the fight against “peaceful evaluation”, erroneous points of views and allegation of hostile forces”(1).

At the same time, the 11th Party Congress also pointed out: “The theoretical work and practice review have not yet made clear some issues on ruling party, socialism and the path to socialism in our country. The fighting strength and convincing effectiveness of ideological work against “peaceful evolution” schemes and plots has been limited. Political, ideological, ethical and lifestyle degradation among a small part of Party cadres and members and corruption, waste, bureaucracy, negative phenomena and social ills have not yet been prevented and repulsed but have continued complicatedly, accompanied by social stratification, weaknesses in management at many levels and branches which have reduced people’s confidence in the Party and State, thus threatened the country’s stability and development. The campaign “Study and act upon the ethical example of Ho Chi Minh” has not yet met expectations, in some places the campaign has been nominal”(2).

After nearly 30 years of renovation and international integration, the world political and economic situation has basically changed; concerns, emotion and thinking of people in the current stage is not the same like before; there are new ideological and political theoretical issues and targets of ideological and theoretical work. The cadres who are working on the Party’s ideology and theory have been strengthened and developed. Against that background, based on the fundamental points of view of the Resolution of the 5th Plenum of the 10th Party Central Committee “On ideology, theory and press in the new demands” and of the 11th Party Congress on ideological and theoretical work, there must be resolute renovation in this field to meet demands and tasks.

Renovation of ideological and theoretical work in the new situation is a strategic issue to meet short-tem and long-tem development demands. In the current stage, to continue ideological and theoretical renovation to meet current demands and tasks, first and foremost, it is necessary to carry out scientifically and comprehensively review of theories and practices of the 30-year renovation. Especially, it is important to seriously implement the orientation of comrade Nguyen Phu Trong, Chairman of the Committee for review theoretical and practice issues of the 30-year renovation. The issues include: international and national situation, recent changes that have caused impacts on Viet Nam, situation forecast; socialist-oriented market economy; strengthening industrialization and modernization; cultural and human development settlement of current social issues; national defense in the new situation; international integration; external relation orientations and policies of the Party and State of Viet Nam; renovation of political system and building the law-governed socialist state of Viet Nam, and building of socialist democracy; building of the ruling party, renovation of content and methods of Party leadership; and summarization of awareness and settlement of 8 relations raised in the Platform on national construction in the transitional period to socialism ( Supplemented and developed in 2011).

In the context of globalization and international integration, Viet Nam is one of the integral part of the contemporary world. That is why, assessment and review of above-mentioned important ideological and theoretical issues should be done on the basis of identification of basic issues in the current world economy and politics. In general, the old structure of the world is dissolving and a new world order is taking shape, though there are conflicts in some countries and regions, the fundamental trend is still peace, integration, cooperation and development; global problems pose new challenges to humankind; the new scientific and technological revolution has ushered in a new world economic era with an economic structure which is not only national and regional but global; the world political violence has been taking place under different and complicated forms and trends; globalization has impacted and made fundamental changes in all social aspects, particularly in the world political and economic fields.

The world ideological life is becoming more diversified and complicated in which the capitalist ideology is still predominant in many places, nationalism has revived in a large scale; the social democratic movement has strongly developed and received support in many countries; the socialist ideology after a setback has gradually recovered with new model and pilots. The successful renovation and openness of Viet Nam, China and some other countries as well as the rigorous rise up and self-confidence of the Latin-American leftist movement is the confirmation of the socialist ideology vitality in the current stage.

That international situation has resulted in strong impacts in the spiritual life of Viet Nam, especially in ideological and theoretical field. Some issues arise in this field, including:

First, confidence in the path to socialism of Viet Nam has been eroded among part of the people. This is conducive to the collapse of the Soviet Union and East European socialist countries; the setback and slow recovery of the world socialist movement; lack of a breakthrough to theory on socialism and the path to socialism of Viet Nam as well as theory on building of socialism with Viet Nam identity.

Second, though there have been many serious irreconcilable differences, grave, chronicle and long lasting crises in both economic and social aspects, capitalism has adjusted itself and recovered to lengthen its survival. In this period of time, the vitality of capitalism is relatively strong. This is an undeniable factor which has caused suspicion and ideological wavering among a number of people on the path to socialism chosen by the Party and people of Viet Nam.

Third, the revived belief in religion, belief and spirit has increased with traditional festivals associated with spiritual tourism and folk beliefs which are diversified and complicated. This is a social indicator which should be taken into consideration by the ideological and theoretical work.

Fourth, on democracy, freedom and equality in communication, ideology and theory, there has not been institutionalized mechanisms and concrete sanctions. In the context of globalization, new and appropriate ways of thinking should be adopted in information management and public opinion orientation. Promotion of democracy, freedom of speech and social criticism are essential demands of a developed country in the context of globalization, and the “flat world”. Here, the problem is how we will implement and “manage” to ensure fundamental principles of stable development, socialist orientation, law and order as well as freedom, democracy particularly freedom of speech.

Besides, the issue of freedom of ideology, equality in information and right to be informed are an essential trend of development of modern society which requires appropriate resolutions and methodologies to meet legitimate expectations of people and especially young people. It is difficult to have achievement in research of social science and humanities if there is no real free and democratic environment in research, academic exchange and socialization of research results.

Fifth, the political, ethic and lifestyle degradation of part of Party cadres and members especially those with power as stated by the Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the 11th Party Central Committee is a problem which causes public resentment and seriously discredits the Party. It is the concrete manifestation of opportunism, pragmatisms, egoism and ethical, lifestyle and politically ideological degradation. The Party’s prestige can only be built by each Party member. The people’s confidence in the Party is created by each individual Party member who are daily living with the people. Any Party member, especially those with power commits acts of corruption, embezzlement, running for posts and power, abuse of power for personal interest, actions against conscience, customs and habits will be “bad examples” which will affect the people’s emotion, concern and confidence leading to negative public opinions and affecting the Party ideological and theoretical work.

Sixth, the Vietnamese society is in the process of rigorous changes from a traditional to modern society. Moreover, integration also comprehensively affects the social spiritual life. Reality shows that in the Vietnamese society, a rich, diversified and extremely complicated cultural life is taking place. This is clearly demonstrated in social ethic and lifestyle. Existing national traditional values and norms are mingled with contemporary exotic values and norms. It is not easy to confirm which are real and appropriate values and norms and which are unreal and inappropriate values and norms. We have not yet carried out research to identify, assess and categorize a system of norms and values on ethic, lifestyle of the current Vietnamese people.

Seventh, hostile, reactionary and politically opportunistic forces are frantically sabotaging Viet Nam with many sophisticated and cunning schemes and plots. Given above-mentioned difficulties in Viet Nam’s ideological and theoretical work, hostile, reactionary and opportunistic forces have taken advantage to attack Viet Nam in ideological, cultural and theoretical fields. Beside using familiar cover such as “democracy”, “human rights”, and “religion” to carry out the scheme of “peaceful evolution”, riot and subversion, hostile and reactionary forces have also capitalized on degradation of part of Party cadres and members to instigate, distort and create opinions to cause internal strife within the Party and loss of people’s confidence in the Party and regime. This is what they are doing to stimulate “self-evolution”, and “self-transformation” within ourselves, making not only people but also genuine Party cadres and members become unstable and mutually suspicious hence loss of confidence in comrades and organizations, standpoint instability, fade of socialist ideology, suspicion of Marxism-Leninism and uncertainty of the path to socialism… However, it is necessary to see that “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” in Party cadres and members over the past period is not only consequences of plots and schemes of hostile and reactionary forces but also mistakes and errors of part of leaders and managers.

Above are some of the urgent problems which are challenging the ideological and theoretical work in the current period. To continue the renovation, improvement of quality and effectiveness of the ideological and theoretical work in the new situation in line with the Resolution of the 11th Party Congress, besides continuing to study and implement the Resolution of the 5th Plenum of the 10th Party Congress “On ideological and theoretical work in the new situation”, practically contributing to theory and practice review of the 30 year-renovation, it is necessary to focus on solving the following fundamental issues:

1. Conduct comprehensive research and social surveys to understand correctly social concerns, emotion, temperament and ideology. Social surveys should be carried out in a serious, objective, scientific and truthful manner. Only by so doing can we understand the thinking of Party cadres and members and people of all strata and of the society in the current period. Based on the surveys, correct forecast of development of people’s thinking and changes in social state of mind. When fully aware of and with correct forecast, we can have appropriate and effective solutions and methodology to implement the ideological work in the coming time.

2. Develop programmes and plans for investment in and organization of comprehensive research on theoretical and practices of the 30 years of renovation. In which, fundamental research issues, applied researches, immediate researches and long-term researches should be identified. Special attention is given to researches of core issues which were pointed out by the Chairman of the Steering Committee for review of theoretical and practices of the 30 years of renovation. Through theoretical research and review of practices of the 30-year-renovation scientifically, objectively and comprehensively, we will have a scientific and theoretical foundation for making orientations and lines of the Party, policies and legislations of the State in the new stage. This is also the reliable theoretical and practical basis for gradually building comprehensive theory on the development path of Viet Nam in the new context, integration and international exchange in the new situation.

3. Closely link the ideological and theoretical work with the implementation of the orientations and lines of the Party, policies and legislation of the State. The ideological and theoretical work should be closely associated with implementation of socio-economic, security and national defense tasks. New problems which crop up in the process of industrialization, modernization and international integration as well as people’s resentment should be settled timely. Particularly as far as ideological work is concerned, on the one hand, we should focus on socio-economic development and proactively disseminate the orientations and lines of the Party, and policies and legislation of the State. On the other hand, we should discover new values, elements and examples for encouragement and commendation. We should condemn the bad, the evils and negative phenomena in social life. Another extremely important task is the ideological and theoretical work should participate in forecasting, discovering and solving effectively new urgent problems in people’s life.

4. Comprehensively renovate fighting methods in the ideological and theoretical fields. At present, the hostile and international reactionary forces have frenziedly conducted wicked and cunning plots and schemes against socialism, the Party and regime of Viet Nam. Capitalizing on scientific and technological advances, they have resorted to new plots and schemes and “new cards”, methods and ways as well as modern facilities to attack and sabotage Viet Nam comprehensively and continuously to step by step influence and push Viet Nam into “self-evolution”, and “self-transformation”. This is an extremely sophisticated and evil-minded strategy of the hostile forces. Collapse and dissolution of socialism in the Soviet Union and East European countries are hard lessons for communists.

In such as context, it is obvious that the tasks undertaken by the ideological and theoretical sector to thwart all schemes and plots of internal and external reactionary and hostile forces to sabotage the Party, State and regime of Viet Nam are very heavy. We should be resolute and proactive in directly and strongly fight against their distorting allegations which aim to lessen the confidence of the people and Party cadres and members in Marxist-Leninist theory, Ho Chi Minh ideology, viewpoints and lines of the Party, policies and legislations of the State, socialist regime, the cause of renovation and the path to socialism of Viet Nam. To succeed, we should carry our comprehensive and radical renovation in methods, ways, means and resources of fighting. To record achievements, we should not only be proactive, resolute and in time but also conduct careful study, fully grasp the situation and forecast any attempt of the hostile and reactionary forces.

5. Proactively contribute to building the Party and the political system strong. This is an important task of the ideological and theoretical work which is heavier in the current period when the hostile and reactionary forces have left no stone unturned to sabotage Viet Nam. Meanwhile, corruption, waste, power abuse and harassment among part of public officers and cadres have been serious causing public resentment. Degradation in political ideology, ethical, and lifestyle among part of Party cadres and members, especially those with power has been a threat to the Party and regime. In such a situation, it is obvious that the ideological and theoretical work should proactively participate in building of the Party and the political system. First, to educate and train Party cadres and members to be firm in their viewpoints and political ideology, persistent in socialist ideology, and confident in Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh ideology. To resolutely fight against dogmatism, haste, wavering and political opportunism. To enhance fighting capacity and strength and renovate leading method of the Party in the new situation.

6. Actively renovate theoretical research and review of practices which are the internal demands of ideological work. However, to meet requirements of theoretical and practice review of the 30-year-renovation, renovation of theoretical research and practice review has become urgent. It is necessary to review and evaluate objectively theoretical research and practice review of the past period, frankly point out achievements and weaknesses; develop theoretical research strategy and conducted short-term and long-term review. At the same time, it is necessary to carry out research, survey, assessment, reference and succession theoretical achievements and essence in the world to enrich Viet Nam’s theory. Apart from Marxist-Leninist research methods and approaches, new approaches and methods should be developed, supplemented and applied creatively. Another important point is that, a real democratic environment in theoretical work should be created and democratic regulations in theoretical research should be established.

The ideological work should be renovated and modernized strongly and comprehensively. Official and two-way information should be disseminated through dialogue, interaction and online. Social criticism and oversight of mass media and social organizations should be set great store by. Management of the media, publishing, culture, literature and arts should be fundamentally renovated. External information service should be enhanced with diversified and attractive formats to promote Viet Nam’s image and help international friends understand more about Viet Nam’s culture and people, the Communist Party of Viet Nam and great achievements of the renovation process of the Vietnamese people.

7. Completely establish agencies and organizations as well as cadres for ideological and theoretical work. In the new situation, to make the ideological and theoretical work really meet new demands and tasks, it is necessary first of all to review, complete and restructure organizations, agencies, research centers, institutes and universities which directly participate in ideological and theoretical work to build a unified, modern, streamlined, flexible and active system besides modern infrastructure and facilities. Especially, for ideological organizations, modern electronic and information technology facilities should be procured for publishing, and broadcasting communication.

Strategies on building the contingent of highly qualified cadres with firm standpoint and professionalism. They should be firm in ideology and politics; have pure ethic, creativeness, independence, devotion to their work; have received official and systematic training; closely link with the people and closely follow reality; and show scientific, serious, truthful and learning attitude. Only by so doing, can we have an elite and professional ideological and theoretical cadres. It is necessary also to build and implement the strategy on developing the ideological and theoretical cadres, with emphasis on developing a comprehensive and concrete plan on human resource, forms and generation, programmes, content, training methods to turn out high quality cadres in ideological and theoretical sector. Mechanisms and special preferential policies towards those working in the ideological and theoretical field should also be promulgated and implemented./.


(*) Communist Review No 853 (November 2013)

(1) The document of the 11th Party National Congress, National Political - Truth Publishing House, 2011, p. 161

(2) Op. cit. pp. 172 - 173

Pham Tat ThangPh.D. Permanent Deputy Editor-in-Chief Communist Review