Theoretical creativity of Party on socialism and path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam in renovation work
Communist Review - On the basis of summarizing the realities and theoretical studies, the Party’s 13th Congress has affirmed that after 35 years of renovation, “the theory on the renovation line, on socialism and on the path to advance towards socialism of Vietnam has been ever more perfected and step by step realized” (1). The great achievements of historic significance through over 35 years of renovation have shown the theoretical creativity of the Party on socialism and the path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam.
Theory on socialism and the path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam has occupied the key position and played the inclusive role in the system of political theory, reflecting the overall model, the characteristics of nature of the political system in combination with the goal, mode and path of development of the country. Having occupied the key position because this theory institutionalizes other subsystems and areas of the political theory; having played the inclusive role because it has designed the model socialism in Vietnam and outlined the path of realizing step by step this model in each stage of the path, each step of development.
Characteristics of socialism in Vietnam
Determining the model of socialism with the characteristcs of structure that reflect the quality of development of the model in a complete form in the future is one of the issues of fundamental theory full of difficulties and complexities which have always been added and developed by the Communist Party of Vietnam in combination with the progress of mindset and awareness.
In the past, the founders of scientific socialism only put forth some basic sketches of forecasting character concerning the characteristics of socialism based on their analyzsis of the economic and social forms that humankind had experienced in history, especially the stages that needed to “bypass” the capitalist regime. The development realities of socialism show that socialism by nature and with its goals is the unification, but the model of development in the transitional period is diverse and abundant because it is institutionalized by the development level, by the peculiarities in history and culture in each country-nation.
On the foundation of dialectical materialism, President Ho Chi Minh had got access to socialism from the different aspects: From patriotism and aspiration of national liberation, from the aspect of morality, from the cultural perspective, from humanism. He had established that the characteristics of socialism is a regime that reflects the quality of new development, new development level which is really superiority and full of noble humanism. “Only communism can be able to save humankind, can bring about freedom, equality, fraternity, unity and prosperity to everyone on the earth without discriminating races and origins” (2). He affirmed: “No such a regime that respects human beings, pays attention to individual interests in a correct way and ensures their satisfaction as the socialist and communist regime” (3).
As for Vietnam, socialism is the inevitable development path led by the Communist Party of Vietnam “to make the working people rid of poverty, to make everyone have jobs, prosperity and live a happy life” (4). The great achievements of the Vietnamese revolution in about the past century have all the more proved to the value and vehement vitality of Ho Chi Minh thought, particularly the thought about socialism and the path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam.
Right from the start of renovation work, the Communist Party of Vietnam had determined definitely that renovation was not to change the goal of socialism, but to make that goal be implementated effectively by the correct concepts of socialism, by the suitable forms, steps and measures.
The theoretical creativity of the Communist Party of Vietnam is manifested in determining the model of socialism of Vietnam with 6 characteristics: 1/ with the people being the masters; 2/ having a highly developed economy based on modern production force and public ownership in the principal means of production; 3/ having an advanced culture richly imbued with the national identity; 4/ Human beings have been liberated from oppression, exploitation, injustice, from each according to his abilities, to which according to his work, having a wealthy, free and happy life with the conditions for the individual’s all-round development; 5/ All the domestic ethnicities are equal, united and in mutual help for mutual progress; 6/ Having the friendly and cooperative relations with the people of all the countries in the world. These are the structural characteristics that reflect the essence or fundamental goal and development quality of socialism in Vietnam for which the Vietnamese people have been striving and turning towards under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
It is the realities of the renovation that have helped the Communist Party of Vietnam get the new insights and awarenesses of socialism. Therefore, the Program on national building in the transitional period to advance towards socialism (added and developed in 2011) has been added and developed into 8 characreristics of socialism in Vietnam: “The socialist society that our people have been building is a society: The rich people, the powerful, democratic, equal and civilized country; with the people being the masters; having a highly developed economy based on the modern production force and the suitable progressive production relationship; having an advanced culture richly imbued with the national identity; human beings have a wealthy, free and happy life, have conditions for comprehensive development; all the nationalities in the Vietnamese community are equal, united with mutual respect and help for development; have the socialist rule-of-law State of the people, by the people and for the people led by the Communist Party; have the friendlhy and cooperative relations with all countries in the world” (5).
As compared to the 1991 Program, the 2011 Program has been added with 2 new characteristics: “It is the rich people, the powerful, demodratic, equaland civilized country” and “having the socialist rule-of-law State of the people, by the people and for the people led the Communist Party”. With these 8 characteristics of socialism that the Vietnamese have been striving to build is “a society in which development is really for human beings, not for profits to exploit and trample upon human dignity” (6). This is the model of socialism “to turn towards the progressive, humane values, based on the foundation that the common interests of the entire society are in harmony with the legitimate interests of human beings, a far cry in essence as compared with the societies that compete with each other to seize the private interests among individuals and factions” (7). Together with the development of the renovation work, besides determining clearly the essential and core characteristics of socialism, the Communist Party of Vietnam has been all the more aware fully of the transitional period to advance towards socialism, particularly the mode of actualizing the socialist goal in each stage of national development in conformity with the objective law.
All the characteristics of socialist model that have reflected the goal of essential character of the socialist society as mentioned in the Program have become the banner that has assembled and rallied the forces of the entire nation and the international solidarity to build and defend the Fatherland. This is the target that we aim to and it has contained the scientific ideology, the moral motivation, for the ever-lasting nation, for the developed country, for the people who have a wealthy, free and happy life, for the social progress and human conscience and dignity and for a better world.
Having got scientific ideology, so, the target being aimed at has been argued on the scientific basis and all the previous subjective and dogmatic concepts have been overcome; having got the moral motivation, so, socialism has aimed towards the noble value, a far cry from the profit seeking motivation, from the opportunist actions. The above-said characteristics of socialism has not only been manifested in the complete architectural form that must be orientated for the future, but also must be actualized and shaped step by step in the process of renovation of the country which has been witnessed by the people through the life quality that has been daily improved, by the ever improved strength, potential, prestige and position of the country.
The complicated intertwining and the difficult and long-lasting struggle between the new and the old, between the progress and the backwardness in the transitional period to advance towards socialism
Before the renovation, the Communist Party of Vietnam was yet to be fully aware that the transitional period to advance towards to socialism is the relatively long historical process which has to experience through a lot of stages with the middle steps; therefore, it had come up with the hasty, subjective, involuntary ideas that forced realities to be modeled on the characterisitics of socialism in the complete architectural form of the future.
The 6th Party Congress (December 1986), while the line of renovation had been initiated, had overcome the above-said ideology of “skipping the stage” by “staging”, by “roadmapping” the whole transitional period with the affirmation that “The transitional period in our country, due to advancement straight to socialism from a small production bypassing the stage of capitalist development, is obviously prolonged and very difficult. This is the profound, comprehensive and thorough revolutionary transformation period to build from the beginning a social regime new in production force, in production relationship and superstructure” (8). In which, “the first stage” is the small transitional step within the great transitional step with a goal of taking our country out of the economic and social crisis, thus creating the firm premises to boost industrialization and modernization of the country. The 1991 Program determined: “The transition to advance towards socialism in our country is a long process that has to experience through a lot of stages. The goal of the first stage is that through the comprehensive renovation, the society can be able to reach to the stable and firm state, thus creating the fast development position in the next stage”.
The 9th Party Congress (April 2001), on the basis of summarizing the realities of 15 years of renovation, had quantified those things that had to be “passed over”, estimated those things that need to be inherited from capitalism so as to carry out the transiton to socialism: “The path to advance forwards in our country is the transitional development to advance towards socialism by-passing the capitalist society, or in other words, by-passing the establishment of the ruling position of production relationship and superstructure of capitalism, but to receive and inherit the achievements recorded by mankind under the capitalist regime, especially in science and technology, so as to be able to develop rapidly production force and build a modern economy” (9); at the same time, to affirm that “to build socialism by-passing the capitalist regime, creating the change in quality of the society in all the fields is the very difficult and complicated career, that is why it is necessary to experience a long transitional period with a lot of stages, with a lot of economic and social organizational forms of the transitional character” (10). The difficult and complicated intertwining of the transitional operiod has been pointed out by General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng: “In the transitional period, the socialist elements have been formed, established and developed in an intertwined manner, in competition with the non-socialist factors, including the capitalist factors in a number of areas. This intertwining and competition has become ever fiercer and more complicated in the condition of the market and door-opening mechanism and international integration” (11).
With the current theoretical achievements, the division of the determined transitional period comprises: “the first stage” is tasked to create the stable and solid state so as to get ready for the implementation of boosting industrialization and modernization of the country – “The second stage” of the transitional period – is to take our country out of the underdeveloped state and basically becomes an industrial country. At first, as planned by the Party, it is to complete fundamentally the goal of the “second stage” in 2020, but because of different reasons, we had to adjust the roadmap. The 13th Party Congress determined the goal to year 2025, Vietnam is the developing country with a modern-oriented industry and overpass the low middle income level; by 2030, it is a developing country with modern industry and high middle income; by 2045, it will become a developed country with high income, and this is the way of describing the adjustment of the roadmap to boost industrialization and modernization and to determine the content of the “post-industrialization” stage to strive to become a developed country.
The 2011 Program of the Party determined: “To advance towards socialism is the aspiration of our people, the correct choice of the Communist Party of Vietnam and of President Ho Chi Minh, conforming to the development trend of history…. This is the profound and thorough-going revolutionary process and the complicated struggle between the old and the new in order to create the change in quality in all fields of social life, so it is necessary to experience through a long transitional period with a lot of developments, a lot of intertwining economic and social organizational forms” (12).
So, the theoretical awareness of the transitional period to advance towards socialism in Vietnam has been step by step added, developed and ever more perfected. This is the basis for the Communist Party of Vietnam to continue to affirm that implementing the transitional period to advance towards socialism, by-passing the capitalist regime is the long, difficult, complicated revolutionary cause; so, it is necessary to be patient, without being subjective and hasty; it is necessary to start from realities of the country, to respect the objective law, to avoid being dogmatic, modeled and mechanical.
Direction of socialist building in Vietnam
Direction of socialist building in Vietnam is an important content which has always been awared of and added to be conforming to each stage by the Party. The 6th Party Congress (in 1986) had pointed out the leading ideology of the plan and the economic policies: To liberate all the current production capacities, exploit all potentialities and positions of strength of the country and use effectively the international assistance to develop vigorously the production force along with the construction and consolidation of socialist production relationship. To implement the goal of the rich people and powerful country on the socialist path, the most important thing is to transform fundamentally the under-developed economic and social state, overcome all the barriers to the socialist building work.
The 1991 Program of the Party determined the fundamental direction: 1/ To build the socialist State, the State of the people, by the people and for the people; to carry out to the full the peoole’s right to mastery; 2/ To develop production force, to industrializa the country in the modern orientation; to constantly raise the social labour productivity and to improve the people’s life; to establish step by step the socialist prodiction relationship from the lower to the higher level with the diversity of the ownership forms; 3/ To develop the socialist-oriented multi-sectoral commodities economy; 4/ To implement the socialist revolution in the ideological and cultural fields; 5/ To cary out the policy on the great national unity, to consolidate and expand the National United Front, to rally allthe forces to strive for the cause of the rich people and the powerful country. To implement the foreign policy of peace, cooperation and friendship with all countries; 6/ To build socialism and defend the Fatherland are the two strategic tasks of the Vietnamese revolution; to heightenthe vigilance, to strengthen national defence, to protect the political security, the social order ane safety, the protect the Fatherland and the revolutionmary fruits; 7/ To build the Party to be pure and strong politically, ideologically and organizationally to be on a par with the task, to ensure for the Party to fulfill its responsibilities of leading the socialist revolution cause in our country.
To summarize the 20 years of implementing the 1991 Program, the 2011 Program has been added and developed into 8 directions: 1/ To boost the national industrialization and modernization in close association with the development of knowledge-based economy, to protect resources and environment; 2/ To develop the socialist-oriented market economy; 3/ To build an advanced culture richly imbued with the national identity; to build human beings, to improve the people’s life, to implement th social progress and equality; 4/ To ensure firmly the national defence and security, the social order and safety; 5/ To carry out the foreign line of independence, autonomy, peace, friendship, cooperation and development, to be proactive and active in international integration; 6/ To build the socialist democracy, the implement the great national unity, to enhance and expand the National United Front; 7/ To build the socialist rule-of-law State of the people, by the people, for the people; 8/ To build the pure and powerful Party.
In the directions of the socialist building in Vietnam, the important theoretical creativity is manifested in the fact that the Communist Party of Vietnam has determined 3 pilars: Socialist democracy is the nature of our regime, both the goal and the motive force for the national development; The socialist-oriented market economy is the instrument, the means to liberate production force, to develop the economy, to build the technical and material basis for socialist Vietnam; The socialist rule-of-law State is the optimal form to ensure the people’s State power and to enforce and protect the people’s democratic rights.
The awareness of the development of the socialist-oriented market economy began from the time when the country embarked on the renovation and continued to be added through the Party’s tenures. The 8th Party Congress requested to unify and improve the awareness of the development of socialist-oriented market economy, this is “the modern market economy, international integration, in full and synchronous operation in accordance with the law of the market economy, with the management of the socialist rule-of-law State and led by the Communist Party of Vietnam; it ensures the socialist orientation for the goal of “the rich people, the powerful, democratic, equal and civilized country” in conformity with each stage of development of the country”. Accordingly, the perfection of the market economy mechanism is one of the three strategic breakthroughs determined by the Communist Party of Vietnam since the 9th Party Congress. The new thing this time is that connotation has been determined in a more extensive and concrete manner: it is “the synchronous perfection of the development mechanism, first of all, it is the mechanism to develop the socialist-oriented market economy” (13).
General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong stressed: “That the concept of developing the socialist-oriented market economy is a very fundamental and creative breakthrough of our Party, an important theoretical achievement” (14) of the Party. The goal of the socialist-oriented market economy is to develop the economy, to build the technical and material basis for socialism, to improve the people’s life. The socialist-oriented market economy has the management of the socialist rule-of-law State and is led by the Communist Party of Vietnam, for the goal of “the rich people, the powerful;, democratic, equal and civilized country”. This the overlall economic model of Vietnam in the transitional period to advance towards socialism. This economic model ensures the unification between the economic policy and the social policy, the economic growth goes along with the implementation of the social equality and progress right in each step, in each policy and through the process of development. It is the realities of developing this economic model that “has brought about the great, very fine changes for the country in the past 35 years”(15).
By summarizing the building of the revolutionary State of Vietnam, it can be seen that in the process of renovation, the Communist Party of Vietnam has inherited the universal values of the rule-of-law State in the history of mankind, at the same time created Vietnam’s own values. Building and perfecting the socialist rule-of-law State of Vietnam have been determined by the Party as one of the especially important tasks so as to actualize the goals of the economic and social development in the process of advancing towards socialism in Vietnam.
The 2011 Program affirmed: “Out State is the socialist rule-of-law State of the people, by the people and for the people. All the powers of the State belong to the people, the foundation of which is the coalition between the working class and the peasantry and the contingent of intellectuals, led by the Communist Party of Vietnam. The State powers are unified with the division, coordination and inspection among the agencies in exercising the legislative, executive and justice rights” (16).
The 13th Party Congress has determined in a clearer way the role, position, function, tasks and rights of the State agencies in exercising the legislative, executive and justice rights on the basis of the rule-of-law principle to ensure that the State powers are unified with the explicit division, the close coordination and the promotion of inspection of the State powers. The operation of the socialist rule-of-law State must abide by seriously “the rule-of-law principle”, resolve well the relationship between “the State, the market and the society”, from whence the State can establish, lead and build the political, legal and social environment so that the economic and social subjects can be able to have a favourable operation, the healthy competition and to promote to the maximum their capacities, creativity, resources and advantages.
To implement this orientation, the 13th Party Congress determined clearly the goal of “building the constructive, developed, incorruptible and acting socialist rule-of-law State”, “taking the legal and legitimate rights and interests of the people and businesses as an important point to enhance innovation, ensure the fast and sustainable development requirements” (17). To build the adequate, timely, synchronous, unified, feasible, open, transparent and stable law system.
The realities of renovation work in Vietnam has proved that the socialist rule-of-law State is the optimal form to exercise the powers of the people, “served as an instrument to manifest and to carry out the people’s rights to mastery, to ensure and protect the interests of the majority of the people. Through the enforcement of law, the State ensures the conditions for the people to be the subjects of the political power, practice the dictatorship over all the actions that are detrimental to the interests of the Fatherland and the people” (18) as affirmed by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.
These directions are the results of summarizing the realities and the theoretical studies with the references of the international experience, and it affirms that the Communist Party of Vietnam has made ever clearer the form of “indirect” transition from capitalism to advance towards socialism that conforms to the level and conditions of Vietnam and adapts to the new trend of the world.
The great relations in the process of implementing the transition to advance towards socialism in Vietnam
In the process of the socialist building, the Communist Party of Vietnam has summarized, systemized and determined the great relations and mentioned it for the first time in the 2011 Program. The 11th Party Congress was aware that when implementing 8 directions of the socialist building, it is necessary to pay special attention to grasping and settling satisfactorily 8 great relations: 1/ The relations between renovation, stability and development; 2/ Between the economic renovation and the political renovation; 3/ Between the market economy and the socialist orientation; 4/ Between the development of production force and the building and perfection step by step of production relationship and socialism; 5/ Between the economic growth and the cultural development, the implementation of social progress and equality; 6/ Between the socialist building and the protection of the socialist Fatherland; 7/ Between independence, autonomy and international integration; 8/ Between the Party’s leadership, the State’s management and the people’s mastery.
Summerizing the five years of resolving these great relations, the 12th Party Congress had perfected the relationship “between the market economy and the socialist orientation”, into the relationship “between abiding by the market laws and ensuring the socialist orientation”, in order to make it clearer the awareness that within socialism there still exists the market economy; and added the relationship “between the State and the market”. The 5th Plenum of the 12th Party tenure had perfected the relationship “between the State and the market”, into the relationship “between the State, the markets and the society”.
At the 13th Party Congress, the Party continued to have the new awareness and addition concerning the great relations. This is the adjustment and addition of the relationship “between the economic growth and the cultural development, carrying out the social progress and equality”, into “between the economic growth and the cultural development, carrying out the social progress and equality, environmental protection”; the adjustment of the relationship “between the socialist building and the protection of the slcialst Fatherland” into “between the building and the protection of the socialist Fatherland”; the adjustment of the relationship “between the Party’s leadership, the State’smanagement and the people’s mastery” into “the Party ‘s leadership, the State’s management and the people’s mastery”. Especially, starting from the realities, the Party has added the relationship “between the exercise of democracy and enhancement of legislature, the guarantee of social discipline” (19).
So, the Communist Party of Vietnam has made certain adjustments and additions of each relationship in a close and full manner into 10 great relations that need being resolved. These are the issues of objective law that exist and operate in the conditions of the “indirect” transition, and it must be deeply aware of and be regularly resolved in every level, in every area. These 10 great relations are the high generalization of the theoretical awareness of the Party on the way to implement the transition to advance towards socialism.
The creative spirit and the seasoned experience are served as the basis for the Communist Party of Vietnam to raise its height of intelligence to continue to add and develop the theory of socialism and the path to advance towards socialism, particularly the theory of the “post-industrial” stage and after completing the goal of becoming a developed, high income country in the middle of the 21st centure./.
(1) The documents of the 13th National Party Congress, the National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2021, tomb 1, p. 103
(2) Ho Chi Minh, Complete works, the National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2011, tomb 1, p. 486
(3) Ho Chi Minh, Complete works, Ibid, tomb 11, p. 610
(4) Ho Chi Minh, Complete works, Ibid, tomb 12, p. 415
(5) The documents of the 11th National Party Congress, the National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2011, p. 70
(6), (7) Nguyen Phu Trong: “A number of theoretical and practical issues on socialism and path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam”, Communist Review, No. 966, May 2021, p. 5, 9
(8) The documents of the 6h Party Congress, the Su That Publishing House, Hanoi, 1987, p. 41
(9) The documents of the 9th Party Congress, the National Political Publishing House, 2001, p. 84
(10) The documents of the 11th, Ibid, p. 85
(11) Nguyen Phu Trong: “A Number of theoretical and practical issues on socialism and path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam”, the National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2022, p. 35
(12) The documents of the 11th Party Congress, Ibid, p. 70
(13) The document of the 13th Party Congress, Ibid, tomb II, p. 337
(14) Nguyen Phu Trong: “A number of theoretical and oractical issues n socialism and path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam”, Ibid, P. 8
(15) Nguyen Phu Trong: “A number of theoreticaland practical issues on socialism and path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam”, Ibid, p. 10
(16) The documents of the 11th Party Congress, Ibid, p. 175
(17) The documents of the 13th Party Congress, Ibid, tomb I, p. 175
(18) Nguyen Phu Trong: “A number of theoretical and practical issues on socialism and path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam”, Ibid, p. 10
(19) The documents of the 13th Party Congress, Ibid, tomb I, p. 119
This article was published in the Communist Review No. 994 (July 2022)