Prof. Ta Ngoc Tan, PhD, Member of the Party Central Committee, Director of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics. Image: www.npa.org.vn
Over the past 85 years since the birth of the Communist Party of Viet Nam, under the leadership of the Party, the revolutionary cause of the Vietnamese people recorded outstanding victories of historic and epochal significance. Historical reality shows that the primary condition ensuring all successes of the Party leadership over the Vietnamese revolution closely associates with theoretical awareness, capacity to creatively apply and develop revolutionary and scientific Marxism-Leninism in the country’s context.
Achievements in theoretical achievements in the people’s national democratic revolution
Ho Chi Minh Thought is identified as system of comprehensive and profound points of view on fundamental issues of the Vietnamese revolution.
One of the important theoretical achievements manifesting progress in theoretical thinking of the Party is correct the acknowledgement of the nature and posture of Ho Chi Thought, identifying Ho Chi Minh Thought as the ideological foundation, the great spiritual asset of the Party and nation. It’s the system and points of views on building the ruling Party, ideology on national liberation, national independence in close association with socialism, on building of the socialist rule-of-law State, on all people national defense, on building people’s armed forces and on socio-cultural development.
Along side Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh Thought is the ideological foundation and compass for the Party’s action, the victorious banner of the Vietnamese revolution over the past 85 years which continuously shines the way to victory of the Vietnamese revolution in the coming time.
National revolution in close association with socialism – the rule and root of all victories of the Vietnamese revolution.
At the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Viet Nam underwent long nights of slavery and anguish. Patriotic movements were gradually defeated. The cause to failures of national movements before the founding of the Party was lack of an advanced and revolutionary theoretical system. On his journey to seek ways for national liberation, Nguyen Ai Quoc came to learn Marxism-Leninism and shaped his thought on national salvation in line with the development trend of the new era: “Only socialism and communism can liberate oppressed nations and the working people throughout the world from slavery.” (1)
That line of thought of Nguyen Ai Quoc reached its peak and became the strategic guidelines of the Communist Party of Viet Nam since its founding in 3 February 1930. Fully aware of and acting upon that guidelines of national independence in close association with socialism, together with the establishment of a system of viewpoints to handle correctly, harmoniously and creatively relations between national independence and socialism, the Communist Party of Viet Nam led the August 1945 Revolution and the two resistance wars against the “two big imperialists” to victories, joining the colonial vanguard countries in the struggle to destroy the yoke of domination, building lasting independence in close link with freedom, democracy and happiness for people and social equality and progress. The principle of national independence in close association with socialism continues to be the fundamental theoretical orientation, one of the primary decisive factors for the success of the renovation process in the past years and national construction and defense for a prosperous people, a strong country, democracy, equity and civilization.
Developing unique and creative theory on people’s war in Ho Chi Minh era.
Imbued with principles on war and revolution of Marxism-Leninism, inheriting quintessence of the “all people’s war” for national salvation and defense in national history, the Communist Party of Viet Nam has built and unceasingly developed the theoretical system to the level of a doctrine of people’s war of Viet Nam in the era of Ho Chi Minh.
The theory on people’s war of Viet Nam in the new situation encompasses the organic relations among “of the people,” “by the people,” and “for the people,” with the mainstay as the national unity bloc policy rallied in the national united front under the leadership of the Party. The people’s war is not only national liberation from aggression, but also liberation of the working people from oppression and exploitation; it is not only to wrest back and safeguard national independence but also directly bring about and protect fundamental and long-term interests of people of all strata. This is the difference between the people’s war led by the Communist Party of Viet Nam with the traditional all-people war in history. It is an achievement in theoretical development of the Party on the war for national salvation and defense.
Built during the resistance war against the French colonialists, reaching a high level during the resistance war against the US imperialist aggressors, Viet Nam’s theoretical system on people’s war contains theoretical points and rich experience, including people mobilization, people’s armed forces, armed forces as the core, struggle in military, politics, economy, culture, diplomacy, science and technology fields, promotion of self-reliance, combination of the national strength with the strength of the time, international sympathy, support and assistance, offensive as a rule of victory, fully awareness of protracted war, gaining of victory step by step, correct assessment of the enemy, proactive strategy to fight the enemy in all forms with all kinds of weapons and proactive staging and ending of wars. These theoretical points originated from practices, constituting an invincible strength bringing the two resistance wars of the Vietnamese people to victories.
The theory on people’s war in Ho Chi Minh era is not only a vivid manifestation of Vietnamese wisdom, invaluable asset, a sharp weapon of Viet Nam in the national construction and defense at present and in the future but also an important contribution to enriching the military doctrine of Marxism-Leninism which exerts profound and long-term impacts to the art of war in the world scale.
Developing theory on building revolutionary forces and the national great unity strategy.
Unity and rally of forces are vital strategic issues of all revolutions. V.I.Lenin wrote: "to throw only the vanguard into the decisive battle …"would be" not merely foolish but criminal." (2)
In 1930, in the first Political Platform, our Party identified that the revolutionary forces were a great national unity bloc in the National United Front, based on the working class’ principles and stance with the worker, peasant and intelligentsia as the foundation under the leadership of the Party. These were revolutionary and scientific theoretical points that went beyond limitations and rigid popular points of view on class in the communist and international workers’ movements at that time while completely overcoming accidental, loose and spontaneous rallies of patriotic organizations before the Vietnamese working class entered into the political scene. Rallying forces and building the great national unity bloc following the above-mentioned principles was correct guidelines of the Party prompted by objective requirements of the revolution waged by the masses, all classes, and social strata for peace, freedom, and for a peaceful, unified, independent, democratic and prosperous Viet Nam, thus it was cross-cutting, sustainable and long-term. Beside the strategy of great national unity, the Party promoted international unity, taking advantage of assistance, sympathy and support of other peoples, peace-loving and progressive forces in the world, and considering them an integral part of the revolutionary forces.
Building up strength in combination with great national unity, international unity and the National United Front is an integral part of the revolutionary guidelines and long-lasting theoretical creativity of the Communist Party of Viet Nam.
Identifying a creative, correct and effective revolutionary method.
In the people’s national democratic revolution, to achieve objectives, based on the country’s characteristics, targets of the struggle, equipped with the dialectical methodology and the stand point on revolutionary violence of Marxism-Leninism, the Communist Party of Viet Nam developed theoretical points on correct revolutionary methods of high efficiency. From the reality of the struggle to seize power and thirty years of liberation war, the Party affirmed that revolution was creativity, without creativity the revolution could not succeed and there was no one-size-fit-all formula for revolution.
Consistent in its principle and flexible in tactics, the Party created exemplary methods on building up forces, forms of struggle, “flexible” use of violence of the masses, capitalizing on enemies’ contradictions, and knowing how to fight and win. Great victories during the people’s national democratic revolution demonstrated outstanding methods of great wisdom in staging revolution of the Party.
Achievements in developing theories on national construction in the transitional period to socialism.
Orienting objectives, and completely clarifying the pathway to socialism.
Undergoing a long process of piloting and making numerous mistakes and constraints, the Party identified that there was a long transitional period with concrete stages and steps to advance from the people’s national democratic revolution to socialism. Particularly, there was an array of unprecedented issues in theory and reality in the world for a country to advance from a backward agricultural country to socialism bypassing capitalist development. By correctly being aware of fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought, selectively learning from international experience, applying them gradually, reviewing practical models, relying on people’s creativity, the Communist Party of Viet Nam has developed a system of theory on socialist model of Viet Nam with increasingly clearer objectives, roadmap and overall solutions. The Platform on national construction in the transitional period to socialism (supplemented and developed in 2011) stated clearly 8-point profile of socialism that is being built by the Vietnamese people: “A prosperous people, a strong country, democracy, equity and civilization, people as masters, a highly developed economy based on modern production forces and progressive and suitable production relations, an advanced culture imbued with national identity, happiness and freedom of the people, and favorable conditions for comprehensive development. In addition, all ethnic groups in Viet Nam are equal, united, respect and help each other to develop; the socialist state is governed by law and is of the people, for the people and by the people under the leadership of the Communist Party. The country establishes friendly relations and cooperation with countries in the world.” (3) Only by reviewing models of socialism which collapsed or is “out of tune” with the common trend of development, can we see clearly our Party’s great creativity in terms of theory on building the socialist model of Viet Nam.
Achievements in theoretical thinking on socialism and building socialism in Viet Nam are also shown in a clear system of objectives, established by our Party, of the renovation – fundamental values of socialism of Viet Nam: “A prosperous people, a strong country, democracy, equity and civilization,” and conditions and methodologies to ensure successful implementation by understanding and resolving 8 big relations decisive to the success of the renovation. They are relations between renovation and stability and development, between economic renewal and gradual political renewal, between the market economy and socialist orientation, between developing production forces and building and completing socialist production relations, between economic growth and cultural development, social progress and equity, between socialist construction and defense of the socialist country, between independence and sovereignty and international integration and between Party leadership and State management and people as masters.
Building upon objectives of advancing to socialism, the Communist Party of Viet Nam has formulated a system of theory on the roadmap and fundamental solutions to realize these objectives.
First, industrialization and modernization. These are allegedly the first issue to realize objective of socialist construction. Since the 1960s of the 20th century with initial understanding of industrialization until now, the Party has created a system of theoretical points on industrialization in association with modernization, contents, models, methodologies and resources for industrialization and modernization which align with the common trend in the world and are appropriate to Viet Nam’s context. Accordingly, industrialization and modernization are carried out along with knowledge economy, environmental resources protection, renewal of growth model, building of appropriate, modern, effective and sustainable economic structure, harmonious development of regions and areas, developing independent and self-reliant economy, active and proactive international integration, and effective and consistent promotion and use of all development resources. The above-mentioned theoretical developments have been brought into play and are conducive to achievements.
Second, setting up and developing theory on the socialist-oriented market economy. The Communist Party of Viet Nam overcame mistakes and constraints of the centrally-planned, bureaucratic and state-subsidized economy, and has set up a theory on an overall economic model of the transitional period to socialism of Viet Nam which is the socialist-oriented market economy. In that economy, market rules are respected and fully applied. The socialist-oriented market economy operates under the leadership of the Communist Party and the management of the socialist law-governed State. These conditions are to ensure appropriate socialist orientations in each development period. The socialist orientations of the Vietnamese economy are prosperous people, strong country; people live in plentiful and happy life, democracy, equity, free and comprehensive development.
Third, the Party has identified orientations on developing an advanced culture imbued with national identity and building Vietnamese man. From the first theoretical points on building a revolutionary culture in the Cultural Program of Viet Nam in 1943, the Communist Party of Viet Nam through its revolutionary leadership, has creatively developed theories confirming the great role of culture, considering it the spiritual foundation of society, and the objectives and important internal strength for development. The Resolution of the 9th Plenum of the Party Central Committee, 12th Tenure clarified the profile of an advanced culture imbued with national identity which has been built by the Vietnamese people. The profile consists of national identity, humanism, democracy and science, and unity in diversity among communities of Viet Nam. The Party has made clear the close relation between building culture and building man, culture development for improvement of personality and building man to promote culture.
Fourth, the Party has established theoretical basis in solving social affairs. Settlement of social affairs demonstrates the superiority of the regime and at the same time a demand of sustainable development. The Communist Party of Viet Nam has better identified the importance, objectives and contents of social affairs, setting up a system of scientific theoretical points and theoretical awareness on solving the relation between economic growth and social progress and equity in the market economy in which economic objectives and social objectives must be synchronous, equal and fair for all people, regions and areas.
Fifth, the Party has set up and developed theory on national defense, security and protection of the Fatherland in the new situation. Affirming the dialectical and close relations between the two strategic tasks of building and defending the socialist Viet Nam, the Party has mapped out objectives, demands and tasks of safeguarding independence, and maintaining political stability, and peaceful environment to bring the country to socialism, clearly defined leading principles, identified strength, forces and strategies to defend the country, changed the concept of “friend-enemy” to “partner” and target for national interests. Especially, the Communist Party of Viet Nam has better understood the absolute direct and all-sided leadership of the Party, the management of the State towards the armed forces with their tasks of national defense, security and safeguard.
Sixth, the Party has built and developed theory on foreign affairs guideline and policy. While leading the national liberation struggle, construction and development, the Party has established the objectives and tasks of foreign affairs, namely protecting national interests, working with the motto “making more friends and less enemies,” “befriending all countries,” “multilaterizing and diversifying relations for proactive and active international integration,” from “wanting to be friend,” to “ready to be friend,” “to be reliable friend and partner,” to be “a responsible member of the international community,” changing from the concept “enemy and us,” to dialectical thinking of “partner,” and “target” on the basis of national interests in each stage of history. The consistent foundation of the Party and State’s foreign affairs is independence, sovereignty, peace, cooperation and development.
Seven, the Party has developed theories on promotion of democracy, building of political system and the socialist law-governed State. From practices of the revolutionary struggle, prompted by requirements of the renovation, the Party has established and implemented theory on promotion of democracy, building of political system and the socialist law-governed State. The core elements of democracy is to respect and ensure human rights, civil rights, and the rights to be masters of the people while building the political system and the socialist law-governed State following the principle “all state power rests with the people,” democracy goes along with discipline, and observation of Constitution and law.
Eighth, the Party develops theory in the new situation. Abiding by principle of building new-type Marxist-Leninist proletariat political party, based upon Viet Nam’s characteristics, the Communist Party of Viet Nam has been creative in theoretical understanding on Party building, of which the core issue is the nature of the Party. The Platform on national construction in the transitional period to socialism (supplemented and developed in 2011) stated: “The Party is the vanguard of the working class, the working people and the Vietnamese people, a representative loyal to the interests of the working class, working people and people.” Reality in national construction and development in the current situation has urgently required review, development and finalization of theory in the leading method of a ruling Party, its organization and activities to increasingly heighten its acumen, fighting strength and leading capacity as a sustainable foundation for socialist construction.
Achievements and orientations for long-term development of the country have been a driving force of the renovation process, improvement of theoretical quality, and interpretation of big issues to be solved during national development, contributing to forecasting and recommending firm scientific basis for adjustment and completion of strategies and tactics to correctly, practically and effectively meet requirements for national construction and defense and people’s happiness.
(1) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, the National Political Publishing House - Truth, Ha Noi, 2011, Vol.12, p.563
(2) V.I.Lenin: Complete Works, the National Political Publishing House, Ha Noi, 2006, Vol.41, p.97
(3) Document of the 11th National Party Congress, the National Political Publishing House - Truth, Ha Noi, 2011, p.70
This article was published on Communist Review No 869 (March 2015)