Some outstanding points in theoretical awarreness of socialism and path to socialism in Vietnam through Works of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong
Communist Review - The works “A number of theoretical and practical issues on socialism and path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam” reflects the ideological height of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in summarizing and explaining the very large theoretical issues in all fields, especially in analyzing, systemizing and puting forth the new viewpoints, ideologies and awarness on socialism and the path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam. The book is of paramount importance that has inspired and aroused the great ambition of the entire nation in the realities of national development in the current stage.
Socialism is always great target, noble ideology of our Party and people
With the close theories, profound analysis, refined from the abundant realities, the General Secretary has summarized the history of development of the world as well as the realities of the revolution of Vietnam, and from here he affirms in a scientific way the solely correct path for the development of the country – it is the socialist path. He stresses: The Vietnamese people have undergone the process of the long revolutionary struggle full of hardships and sacrifices against the yoke of slavery and aggression of the colonialists and imperialists to defend the national independence and sacred sovereignty of the country, for freedom and happiness of the people. National independence closely associated with socialism is the fundamental, dominant path of the Party, the successful principle of the Vietnamese revolution and also the essential point in the ideological heritage of Ho Chi Minh. Advancing towards socialism is the objective requirement, the only correct, inevitable path to obtain freedom, prosperity and happiness of the Vietnamese people.
General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has genralized the fundamental, important achievements of the Communist Party of Vietnam in applying and developing creatively Marxism-Leninism with the concrete conditions of the country. Leader Nguyen Ai Quoc - Ho Chi Minh and the predecessor revolutionaries had chosen the development path following the path of socialism for Vietnam; organized and trained the Communist Party of Vietnam to lead the people to step by step materialize these values into the vivid realities in the land of Vietnam. These values have not only been summarized in theory, but also been verified by the very realities in the national building and development.
General Secretary points out: The Program on national construction in the transitional period to advance towards socialism (Added and developed in 2011) once again affirms: “To advance towards socialism is the aspiration of our people, the correct selection of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh, in conformity with the development trend of history” (1). Socialism is the goal and ideal of the Communist Party and people of Vietnam, the objective requirement, the inevitable path of the Vietnamese revolution selected and pursued persistently and patiently by President Ho Chi Minh, the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Vietnamese people. Vietnamese socialism is closely associated with national independence and the right to self-determination of the nation, with the spirit of “Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom!”. Only socialism can be able to ensure independence for the nation, the right to self-determination of the nation and the prosperous, free and happy life of the people and of all the nationalities in our country. “Only socialism and communism can be able to resolve thoroughly the issue of independence for the nation, can be able to bring about the really prosperous, free and happy life for all the people, for the nationalities” (2).
On the characteristics, values, connotations of socialism
The General Secretary points out: “The socialist society that the Vietnamese people are striving to build is a society of the rich people, the powerful, democratic, equal and civilized country; with the people being the masters; with the highly developed economy, based on the modern productive force and the suitable, progressive production relationship; with the advanced culture, richly imbued with the national identity; with the people having a prosperous, free and happy life, with the conditions for comprehensive development, with the ethnicities in the Vietnamese community enjoying equality, unity, respect and help for mutual development; with the socialist rule-of-law State of the people, by the people, for the people led by the Communist Party; with the friendly relationship and cooperation with the countries in the world” (3). These true values have become the fundamental path, the orientation of the revolutionary path selected, believed and always persistently implemented by President Ho Chi Minh, the Communist Party and people of Vietnam.
Having summarized the development of capitalism and the capitalist path, the General Secretary points out: capitalism has never been of global character as it is today and has also recorded a lot of great achievements, particularly in the field of liberating and developing productive force, developing science and technologies. Many developed capialist countries, on the basis of the high economic conditions and due to the results of the struggle of the working class and the labouring people, have taken a lot of measures to adjust and form not a few the social welfare systems more progressive than before (4). But it is impossible to cover the exploiting nature of capitalism and its inherent contradictions as well as the crisis that “cannot be able to be settled thoroughly within the framework of the capitalist regime” (5). Capialism has still got the geographical balance for develpopment, but the production mode of capitalism is not the final stop of the social history of mankind. Democracy is still only formal without being essential. In the political and social life, once the power of money has governed, then the power of the people will be infringed. In the developed capitalist countries, the so-called “free”, “democratic” elections can change a government, but cannot change its ruling powers; behind the multi-party system, in reality, the dictatorship of the capitalist corporations remains (6). The anti-social movements that have exploded tremendously in many developed capitalist countries in recent time have exposed all the more clearly the nature of the political institution of capitalism. In fact, the democratic institutions following the formula “democracy and freedom” that the West has made its all-out efforts to advertize and impose it on the whole world have never been guaranteed so that the power can really belong to the people, by the people and for the people - the most characteristic element of democracy. This power system has still mainly belonged to the minority of the rich and served the interests of the great capitalist groups. A very tiny part, even only 1% of the population, has occupied the major part of assets, the means of production, controlled 3 out of 4 sources of finance, intellect and the principal mass media and therefore, governed the whole society (7).
From here, the General Secretary affirms: We need a society in which the development is really for human beings, not for profits so that it can exploit and trample upon human dignity. We need the economic development to go hand in hand with social progress and equality, not to increase the gap between the rich and the poor and the social inequality. We need a society of altruism, solidarity and mutual help, with the aim towards the values of social progress and humanity, not the unequal competition, “big fish eats small fish”, for the selfish interests of a handful of individials and factions. We need the sustainable development in harmony with nature so as to protect the pure living environment for the present and future generations, not for exploitation and appropriation of resources, not for limitless material consumption and destruction of environment. And we need a political system that power really belongs to the people, by the people and in service of the people’s interests, not for only a minority of the rich (8). These are the core values of socialism; and the path to advance towards socialism is really the solely correct path to reach these values in the reality of people’s life.
On socialist construction
The General Secretary points out: Socialist building is the long, extremely difficult and complicated cause, so it has to create the profound change in essence in all aspects of social life. The political model and the general operational mechanism in Vietnam are: The Party leads, the State manages, the people are the masters. The direction and solution of methodology character to show the way of implementing the path to advance towards socialism: To boost national industrialization and modernization in connection to the knowledge-based economy, to develop the socialist-oriented market economy; to build an advanced culture richly imbued with the national identity, to build human beings, improve the people’s life and implement the social progress and equality; to solidly ensure the national defence and security, the social order and safety; to carry out the foreign relations line of independence, autonomy, multi-lateralization, diversification, peace, friendship, cooperation and development, to be proactive and active in international integration; to build the socialist democracy, to promote the willpower and strength of the great national unity, in combination with the strength of the times; to build the socialist rule-of-law State of the people, by the people, for the people; to build the Party and the political system to be comprehensively pure, firm and strong (9).
To materialize the model of socialism in Vietnam, it requires the whole of the extremely difficult and complicated revolutionary cause that is absolutely necessary to experience through the long-lasting transitional period with a lot of steps, with a lot of social and economic organizational forms interwoven with each other, competition with each other and always has the struggle between the old things and the new things. Advancing towards socialism is the process of constantly consolidating, enhancing and promoting the socialist elements so that these elements can be able to increasingly govern, dominate and win the non-socialist elements and institutions which are unsuitable to the socialist system. It is necessary to make investment in great manpower and properties, to make untiring innovations, especially to think, look for the reasonable roadmap and steps, the correct way of doing things to carry out the assigned tasks; to be persistent without being subjective and hasty; to start from the realities of the country, respect the objective law and to avoid dogmatism, stereotype and formality. The socialist building in Vietnam has been manifested by the General Secretary in the following fundamental contents:
To boost national industrialization, modernization in close combination with knowledged-based economy; to develop socialist-oriented market economy.
The works of the General Secrretary has dealt profoundly with the content of national industrialization, modernization in combination with the knowledge-based economy which is considered as the task of primarily important significance in building the economic-material foundation in order to step by step materialize the goal of the rich people, the powerful, democratic, equal and civilized country in Vietnam. Developing the knowledge-based economy has become the connotation of industrialization, modernization, the suitable mode of development from a backward agricultural country to advance to building the material foundation of socialism.
The development of the socialist-oriented market economy is the fundamental breakthrough and the important theoretical creativeness of the Communist Party of Vietnam. This is the result of the long process of exploration, study and development of theoretical thinking, testings and practical summary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, starting from the domestic realities and receiving with selection the experience of the world. The socialist-oriented market economy is the modern market economy, international integration, that operates fully and synchronously in accordance with the law of the market economy, with the management of the socialist rule-of-law State led by the Communist Party of Vietnam; ensures the socialist orientation with the aim of having the rich people, the powerful, democratic, equal and civilized country (10). This form of economic organization which has observed the laws of the market economy and based on the establishments and is led and governed by the fundamental principles and the nature of socialism is reflected in three aspects: Ownership, managerial organization and distribution.
The works of the General Secretary analyzes and makes clear the nature, institution, structure, operational mechanism, goal, fundamental characteristics, properties of the socialist orientation of the market economy. The important property, the fundamental characteristics that make the difference of the socialist-oriented market economy from the other market economies are: “To combine the economy with the society, unify the economic policy with the social policy, the economic growth goes hand in hand with the implementation of social progress and equality” (11). This is the special attention to be paid to the social policy, the policy on human beings, the harmonious development between economy and society, not because of the economic growth to belittle the social progress and equality; to create conditions for human beings to enjoy all the achievements of development, human life is improved simultaneously with the process of the economic building and development.
To develop culture, spiritual foundation of society, endogenous strength, impetus of national development and defence of Fatherlands; to build human beings, improve the people’s material and spiritual life, implement social progress and equality.
The General Secretary affirms: “Culture is to deal with what is the best quintessence distilled, crystalized and trained into the finest, noblest and most outstanding values which are very humane, compassionate, benevolent, progressive” (12). “We consider culture as the spiritual foundation of the society, the endogenous strength, the impetus of the national development and the defense of the Fatherland; the cultural development determined to be synchronous and harmonious with the economic growth and progress, the social equality is the fundamental orientation of the process of socialist building in Vietnam” (13). Culture is affirmed being one of the 4 pillars of the policy of the Party on national building and development; the guarantee for the socialist orientation of the economy, reflecting the humaneness and superiority of the socialist regime.
The works analyzes: “The socialist society is the society aiming towards the progressive and humane values, based on the foundation of the common interests of the entire society in harmony with the legitimate interests of human beings, a far cry in essence as compared to the competitive societies to appropriate the private interests between individuals and factions, therefore, it is necessary to have conditions to build the consensus in society instead of social opposition and antagonism” (14). Vietnam has built an advanced culture which is richly imbued with national identity, unified in diversity, based on the progressive and humane values; with Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh thought playing the principal role in the social spiritual life; inherited and promoted the fine traditional cultural values of the nation, at the same time received with selection the cultural achievements and quintessences of human kind.
The General Secretary stresses: “The important point in building and developing culture is to build human beings with human personality and to build the healthy cultural environment” (15). This is the issue of legal character, because in the final analysis, all the developments are all by human beings and for human beings. The goal of building socialism is to bring about the prosperous, happy, progressive and equal life to all the members in society, irrespective of their social ranks and positions.
To strengthen, enhance national defence, security; to build modern diplomacy, improve effectiveness of foreign relations work and capacities of international integration.
The General Secretary points out: “To be proactive in preventing the dangers of war and conflicts in early time and from a far; to be determined to defend firmly independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity of the Fatherland; to ensure the national security, social order and safety” (16). To continue to build the revolutionay, regular and elite People’s Army, the People’s Public Security, and step by step, some arms and services and forces will advance straight to modernity. By 2025, the army and publis security will be built fundamentally to be elite, streamlined and strong, creating solid premises and striving to the year 2030, the revolutionary People’s Army, the People’s Public Security will be built into the regular, elite and modern ones. To build the people’s hearts battle array, the battle array of the all people’s national defence, the battle array of the solid people’s security into the foundation for the cause of defending the Fatherland.
The General Secretary requests the Party Committee of the Army to grasp thoroughly and deeply the position and role of our army as being “the People’s Army, the Army belongs to the people, by the people, for the people and be placed under the “absolute, multifacetedly direct” leadership of the Party; therefore, the Army must be absolutely loyal to the Party, the Fatherland, must be blood and flesh attached with the people” (17), must carry out 6 tasks : To grasp and be deeply aware of the nature and responsibility of the army; to build the Party Committee of the Army to be pure, solid, strong, examplary and symbolic; to build the solid and strong politcally army, to enhance the blood and flesh relationship of the army with the people; to be ready to defend the Fatherland in early time and from a far; to coordinate with ministries, sectors and localities to intensify the potentiality of national defence and the all-people defence battle array; to implement synchronously all the solutions so as to build “the Army which is regular, elite, step by step modernized; a number of arms and services will advance straight to modernity”.
The General Secretary lays stress on the requirement of concentrating to carry out resolutely and synchronously the solutions so as to build “the public security force to be really pure, solid and strong, to keep close contacts with the people and with the grass-roots” (18); to be proactive in coordinating with the functional agencies, ministries, sectors, localities and army so as “to firmly maintain the national security, ensure the social order and safety in all circumstances; absolutely not to be subjective and neglectful, not to be in passive and surprised situation” (19). The public security force has to discover and handle proactively and effectively the complicated cases in security and order and the “hot spots” must not be allowed to happen. To struggle and put down in time and effectively all sorts of criminals, particularly the organized criminals, the transnational criminal, the high-tech use criminals, the heroine gangs” (20).
On foreign relations, the General Secretarhy analysis and puts forth the new awareness and mindset” “Today’s foreign relations are not only the continuity of the domestic policy, but also the powerful impetus for the development of the countries, nations” (21). From summarizing the realities of the foreign relations work of the Party, the diplomatic work of the State, the General Secretary has generalized the diplomatic school of “The bamboo of Vietnam” – that is richly imbued with the national identity, “To act according to circumstances”, “to keep the warm hearts, the cool heads”, “to be resolute and to be persistent” in handling the foreign relations challenges in a supple, but effective way, to take advantage of the identical points in interests to push the cooperation and development, to protect to the maximum the interests of the country-the nation. The building, development and promotion of the role of the “Bamboo of Vietnam diplomatic school are the condition and basis for the activities of foreign relations and diplomacy of Vietnam to complete the set fundamental task: “To continue to promote the vanguard role in creating and firmly maintaining the environment of peace, stability, mobilizing the outside resources to develop the country, heighten the position and prestige of the country” (22). To continue to promote and improve the effectiveness of the foreign relations work; to improve the capacities of integration, particularly at the regional and local, enterprises levels; to make the fullest use of the opportunities brought about by the process of integration, particularly the free trade agreement that Vietnam is a member. To build a modern diplomacy, to pay attention to enhancing the defence, security diplomacy to defend the Fatherland in early time and from a far. To accelerate the economic diplomacy in service of development; to expand and raise the effectiveness of the cultural diplomacy, making a practical contribution to popularizing the national image and brand and promoting the synergy for building and protecting the Fatherland.
To continue enhancing building and revamping Party and political system to be pure, solidly strong, important point is to raise leading and power-holding capacities of the Party
To build and revamp the Party and the political system is the key task, the decisive element of the success or failure of the Vietnamese revolution. This content occupies the specially important position with nearly half of the number of writings in the workd of the General Secretary; it reflects the role and position of decisive significance of the building of the Party and the political system for the revoloutionary cause, both theoretically and practically. The content of the issues on the building of the Party and the political system is generalized comprehensively, from the general theoretical basis to the concrete issues on the direction, tasks and solution to build the Party in the political, ideological, moral, organizational and personnel matters; the propaganda and education work, organization, inspection, mass mobilization, the struggle to protect and combat against corruption, wastefulness, negativity; to renew the leading mode of the Party towards the State, the Fatherland Front and the political and social organizations, the mass organizations. In any areas, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has got the profound knowledge, the sharing, sympathy, the suggestion and orientation in a convincing way.
Starting from the leading viewpoint “The leadership of the Party is the primary element that decides all the victories of our country’s revolution”, the General Secretary stresses that it is necessary to pay special attention to the Party building and revamping, regarding it the key task, of vital significance for the Party and the socialist society (23). The target to aim at of the Party building and revamping is to build “A genuine revolutionary party with the correct line, the close organization, with the contingent of pure, examplary, devoted cadres, party members who are closely attached in blood and flesh with the people, supported by the people, then this party will have the invincible strength that no force can be able to stop it on the path to lead its nation to march forwards” (24).
To continue to heighten further the abilities and mind of the Party so that the Communist Party of Vietnam can be really the “morality, the civilization”, the issue of primary importance and of principle character is to attach great importance to buidling the Party in ideology. Persistent and firm on the foundation of Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh thought, at the same time to constantly add, creatively developp to be in conformity with the realities of Vietnam.
It is necessary to implement better the principles of organizing the building of the Party; especially, importance is attached to improving the quality and effectiveness of cadre work; to concentrate on building the contingent of cadres at all levels, particularly the contigent of cadres at the strategic level, the chiefs with enough quality, capacities and prestige on a par with the tasks. To tighten discipline, order, to build mechanism to inspect the power in order to “house the power in the cage of mechanism”, to improve morality, culture, professionalism of cadres, party members, civil servants, public servants. Persistent and resolute in the struggle to prevent and push back corruption, negativity, the manifestations of degeneration in the political ideology, morality, lifestyle, “self-evolution”. “self-transformation” in the party.
The General Secretary requests that it is necessary to be consistent and resolute in the struggle to prevent and push back corruption, negativity wth the higher political determination, the stronger, more thorough and more effective actions, to combine the prevention of and combat against corruption and negativity with the Party building and revamping, to build and consolidate the political system to be pure, solid and strong. This is the struggle with the spirit “there is no banned zone, no exception, not to be impacted by any impure actions from any organizations or individuals…. To keep close coordination between the activeness in prevention and the proactiveness in discovering and treating severely and in time all the behaviours of corruption and negativity; to treat synchronously the Party discipline, the administrative discipline and to treat by the criminal law towards those who violates, whoever they are” (25).
In the mechanism that the Party leads, the State manages, the people are the masters, the Fatherland Front, the political and social organizations and the entire people play a specially important role in implementing and promoting the people’s right to mastery. This is also the issue that the General Secretary mentions in various writings and speeches. From the viewpoint of President Ho Chi Minh “To respect the people, to keep close with the people, to get to know the people, to learn from the people and to be responsible for the people”, “to listen to the people, to speak to make the people understand, to make the people believe”, the General Secretary has generalized it into a very deep and important argument: To do things to conform to the people’s heart, the people will believe and the regime will still exist, the Party will exist. On the contrary, if things are done in the opposite to the people’s heart to lose the confidence, then all are lost.
To strengthen, enhance the peoole’s confidence in the Party, the State, the socialist regime, to arouse the ambition to develop the prosperous and happy country, to promote the willpower, determination and strength of the great national unity in combination with the strength of the times, the General Secretary requests the Vietnam Fatherland Front and the member organizations to be “more dynamic, creative and innovative; to be more practical and effective, contributing to rallying ever more people of all walks of life in the great national unity block; to enhancing the blood and flesh attachment between the people with the Party and the administration, thus creating the huge, invincible strength to build our Fatherland to be ever more prosperous, our people ever happier; our country ever more developed and prosperous” (26).
The people are the subject of the socialist society. In all the resources to build socialism, the General Secretary stresses: “human resources are the most important” (27). Then, a special importance must be attached to consolidating the closely associated relationship with the people, rely on the people to build the Party; constantly boost the equality and unity among ethnicities and religions. The great national unity and the ambition to develop the prosperous and happy country are “the important impetus and the resources of development of the country” (28), the source of strength and the decisive element to ensure the sustainable victory of the revolutionary cause in Vietnam.
The book titled A number of theoretical and practical issues on socialism and the path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has the high generalization, the summary of profound practical significance in terms of the model of socialism in Vietnam, on the basis of applying and developing creatively Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh thought. On the foundation of profound theory and thinking, the book has presented, analyzed and explained the theoretical and practical issues on the model of socialism in Vietnam and the content and solutions to step by step build socialism in Vietnam./.
(1), (2), (3) Nguyen Phu Trong: A number of theoretical and practical issues on socialism and the path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam, the National Political Publishing House Su That, Hanoi, 2022, p. 23, 22, 24
(4), (5), (6), (7), (8) See: Nguyen Phu Trong: A number of theoretical and practical issues on socialism and the path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam, Ibid, p. 18, 19, 20, 21, 21, 21, 22
(9) See: Nguyen Phu Trong: A number of theoretical and practical issues on socialism and the path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam, Ibid, p. 24-25
(10) See: Nguyen Phu Trong: A number of theoretical and practical issues on socialism and the path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam, Ibid, p. 91
(11), (12), (13) Nguyen Phu Trong: A number of theoretical and practical issues on socialism and the path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam, Ibid, p. 92, 158-159
(14), (15), (16), (17), (18) Nguyen Phu Trong: A number of theoretical and practical issues on socialism and the path to advance towards socalism in Vietnam, Ibid, p. 28, 165, 54, 443, 459
(19), (20), (21), (22) Nguyen Phu Trong: A number of theoretical and practical issues on socialism and the path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam, Ibid, p.47, 61, 180, 191
(23) See: Nguyen Phu Trong: A number of theoretical and practical issues on socialism and the path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam, Ibid, p. 29
(24), (25) Nguyen Phu Trong: A number of theoretical and practical issues on socialism and the path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam, Ibid, p. 226, 137
(26), (27), (28) Nguyen Phu Trong: A number of theoretical and practical issues on socialism and the path to advance towards socialism in Vietnam, Ibid, p. 118, 52, 110
This article was published in the Communist Review No. No. 1003 (December 2022)