Saturday, 05:49 30-03-2024

Application of Ho Chi Minh’s thought on “taking the people as the root” in building the “people’s hearts and minds posture”, consolidating national defense, and firmly protecting socialist Vietnam in new period

Ho Chi Minh Ideology Saturday, 05:49 30-03-2024
Communist Review - President Ho Chi Minh’s thought on "taking the people as the root” had paramount significance, serving as the guiding star for the Communist Party of Vietnam to lead the revolution. This mindset inherited and promoted Vietnam’s thousand-year-old history of national construction and defense and the Marxist-Leninist perspective on the role of the people in history. It should continue to be creatively applied to the cause of national construction and defense in the new period.
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President Ho Chi Minh talks with ethnic minority people _Photo: Documentary

Ho Chi Minh’s thought and the Communist Party of Vietnam’s perspective on “taking the people as the root”

President Ho Chi Minh’s thought on "taking the people as the root" is manifested in two fundamental aspects.

First, he pointed out that all activities of the Party and the State must originate from the aspirations and legitimate interests of the people. The Party and State must respect and protect the legitimate interests of the people and serve the people, as the people are the true masters of the country, the fundamental labor force of society, the creator of history, and the decisive force for the success or failure of the revolution. History doesn’t exist without the people. President Ho Chi Minh made it clear, "The revolution is the cause of the masses, not of any individual hero."(2)

Second, the responsibility of the people in the revolutionary cause should be promoted. President Ho Chi Minh requested that every Party organization, cadre, and member be close to the people, listen to them, and understand them to formulate correct and people-oriented orientations and policies and help them in implementation.  All guidelines and policies of the Communist Party of Vietnam, as the ruling party, must aim at improving people's lives, starting with ensuring that the people have food, clothing, accommodation, and education. Party cadres and members must be closely connected with the people, respect and protect their legitimate and legal interests, mobilize the people to successfully implement the Party guidelines and State policies and laws. Serving the Homeland and the people should be their purpose, raison d'être, joy, and happiness. Only with this approach can the "root" be firm, ensuring the success of the revolution.

Militarily, President Ho Chi Minh emphasized that the forces participating in military activities are the entire population, as the people’s immense strength plays the decisive role in achieving victory. He said that every citizen can join military activities regardless of gender or age. People from all walks of life should engage in fighting the enemy using all types of weapons, from rudimentary to modern, and employing every possible method in strategic areas.

President Ho Chi Minh’s thought on "taking the people as the root" are theoretically and practically significant, contributing to enriching the theoretical treasure of Marxism-Leninism regarding the role of the masses in history. This mindset serves as an important foundation for the Communist Party of Vietnam to formulate correct revolutionary directions, which take the legitimate rights and interests of the people and the Homeland as the goal. It guides the Party to organize, educate, and strengthen itself as an untarnished and strong Party of the working class,  laborers, and the entire nation.

As a result, the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh have consistently won the trust, consensus, and support of the entire Party, people, and army to achieve glorious victories in history, including national liberation and reunification, and embark on the cause of national construction and defense.

Vietnam’s history has demonstrated that the rise and fall of the nation and its ability to safeguard national independence, sovereignty, and interests depend on the "people’s hearts and minds" and the building of the "people's hearts and minds posture." In the Ho Chi Minh era, the mindset of "taking the people as the root" has become the roots, the foundation, and the basis for the formation of the comprehensive, unique, and creative people's warfare, contributing significantly to mobilizing the nation’s synergy to defeat all invading enemies.

From this practical experience, the Communist Party of Vietnam has defined building the "people's hearts and minds posture" as the foundation to unleash the strength of the entire nation to carry out the strategic tasks of national construction and defense. The 10th National Party Congress marked the first time the term “people’s hearts and minds posture” was mentioned in a National Party Congress’ documents, which underscored "building the 'people's hearts and minds posture' as the foundation to promote the synergy of the entire nation."(3). The 11th, 12th, and 13th National Party Congresses continued to affirm the importance of "Building solid 'people's hearts and minds posture,' ‘all-people's national defense posture,’ and ‘people's security posture’ as the foundation for the cause of national defense."(4)

The "people's hearts and minds posture" is the political and spiritual state of the people, manifested in their patriotism, national pride, and national dignity, as well as their trust in the regime, the leadership of the Party, and the management of administrations at all levels. This state is solidified to become a "posture," ready to be mobilized and utilized, creating the synergy to successfully carry out the tasks of national construction and defense. Building the "people's hearts and minds posture" involves synchronous political, economic, cultural, social, national defense, and security solutions, to ensure the people's well-being, peace, and trust in the Party, the State, and the socialist regime. It is developed from the Party's theoretical ideology on "people's hearts and minds" and "taking the people as the root," representing a correct and people-oriented policy and perspective. This approach has rekindled, rallied, and promoted the strength of each factor to create the "people's hearts and minds posture," presenting one of the secrets of Vietnam's revolutionary success.

However, the building of the "people's hearts and minds posture" has faced some limitations due to various reasons, mainly subjective factors. "Some policies have failed to meet the aspirations and interests of the people, many pressing issues have not been resolved, and the people's right to mastery in many places has been violated."(5). The degradation of political ideology, morality, lifestyle as well as corruption, wastefulness, and negativity among a portion of cadres, Party members, and public servants have not been effectively addressed, leading to a decline in the combat power of the Party and people's trust in the Party and the State. The strength of the great national unity bloc and socialist democracy has not been fully promoted at  times and in some places. These limitations stir discontent in a portion of people, adversely affecting social consensus and weakening the strength of the great national unity bloc.

Continuing to build the "people's hearts and minds posture," reinforcing national defense, and firmly safeguarding the socialist homeland of Vietnam in the new period

Rapid, complex, and unpredictable developments are anticipated in the region and the world in the coming years. The East Sea and the Southwest Sea are facing major challenges, with potential destabilizing factors.

After more than 35 years of renewal, Vietnam’s stature, strength, synergy, international reputation, and people's trust in the Party and the socialist regime have been increasingly enhanced, creating crucial preconditions for national construction and defense. However, the country still encounters many difficulties and challenges. There is an urgent need is to thoroughly grasp and creatively apply Ho Chi Minh's thought on "taking people as the root” in building and promoting the "people's hearts and minds posture," and consolidating national defense to contribute to building and steadfastly protecting the socialist homeland of Vietnam.

First, thoroughly comprehend, improve awareness of, and creatively apply President Ho Chi Minh’s thought on "taking the people as the root" to build a firm "people's hearts and minds posture" in each locality and across the entire nation.

The Party and President Ho Chi Minh’s perspective of "taking the people as the root" need to be consistently and strictly adhered to. It is necessary to improve awareness of the especially important role of the people, who make history and determine the success of national construction and defense. Greater efforts should be made to promote information dissemination, introduction, and clarification of the Party and State's defense orientation, guidelines, and policies, especially the guidelines on building all-people national defense, conducting people's warfare, and safeguarding the Homeland in the new condition. Other tasks include materializing the new mindset on defending the Homeland "early and from afar," as outlined in the Resolution of the 13th Party Congress. Maintaining and strengthening the people's trust in the Party, State, and the socialist regime is the core factor to build the "people's hearts and minds posture," consolidate national defense, and contribute to the successful implementation of the strategic tasks of building and safeguarding the socialist homeland of Vietnam in the new period.

Second, continue Party building and rectification to make the Party clean and strong in terms of politics, ideology, morality, organization, and personnel, with correct revolutionary, military, and defense policies.

It is crucial to strictly comprehend and implement the Party Central Committee’s conclusions and resolutions on Party building and rectification(6), as well as regulations on setting examples and things Party members are prohibited to do. Focus should be placed on building a contingent of competent Party cadres and members at all levels, especially at the strategic level, enhancing inspection and supervision, intensifying the fight against corruption and negativity, and consolidating people’s trust of in the Party, the State, and the socialist regime.

Correct, scientific, and appropriate revolutionary guidelines are one of the core factors enabling the Party to rally the people and bring into full play the strength of the great national unity bloc to fulfill every revolutionary task. The Party's revolutionary guidelines must stem from the reality of the country and respect objective law. Every Party cadre and member, and the entire Party must constantly improve their theoretical knowledge, intellect, and forecasting ability; listen to the opinions and aspirations of the people; always act in the legal and legitimate interests of the people; and learn experiences from around the world to build a prosperous and happy country.

The Party has adopted correct and innovative military guidelines as the foundation to rekindle, motivate, and make full use of the strength of the entire people and the power of international solidarity to strengthen national defense and protect the Homeland. These guidelines, which clearly reflect President Ho Chi Minh's thought on "taking the people as the root”, involve all-people national defense and people's warfare, where the strength of national defense to protect the Homeland is the strength of the entire people, and the forces protecting the Homeland are all-people forces, with the people’s armed forces playing the core role. These guidelines present the development of Vietnam's military art, the military theory of Marxism-Leninism, and the essence of global military tailored to Vietnam’s conditions.

Third, accelerate economic, cultural, and social development; constantly improve the material and emotional lives of the people.

Adhering to the viewpoint of taking socio-economic development as the center, it is essential to vigorously renovate and effectively implement the growth model; restructure the economy; promote industrialization and modernization based on science and technology, innovation, and a high-quality workforce; and build and complete institutions on developing a socialist-oriented market economy. Due attention should be paid to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of state management and operation; and better addressing the relationship between the State, the market, and society, and between the State, enterprises, and the people. There is a need to remove bottlenecks hindering the country's development, especially in terms of institutions and policies. Emphasis should be placed on boosting production, generating jobs, and improving income and the standard of living for the people, particularly those in remote, border, island, and extremely difficult areas. Appropriate policies and mechanisms should continue to be adopted with priority given to extremely disadvantaged areas and areas inhabited by ethnic minorities, where economic and social programs and projects associated with national defense and security should be rolled out. It is necessary to promote the application of Industry 4.0 achievements in production and business activities; effectively implement social policies and ensure social security and welfare, human security, and social progress and equity; and improve people’s quality of life and happiness.

Greater attention should be paid to building an advanced Vietnamese culture imbued with national identity, which develops comprehensively in the principle of unity in diversity and embraces humane, democratic, and progressive values. Culture should deeply integrate in all aspects of social life, promote the values of the nation, and absorb the cultural quintessence of humanity to provide the spiritual foundation, internal resources, and driving force for socio-economic development, helping to strengthen national defense, security, and extensive international integration. With the perspective of taking people as the center, the subject, the key resource, and the goal of development, the Party and State continue to improve guidelines and policies on developing comprehensive Vietnamese people, who are able to harmoniously combine traditional and modern values, in order to promote cultural values and the strength of the Vietnamese people in national construction and defense.

Fourth, consolidate the great national unity bloc and promote socialist democracy.

Efforts should me made to effectively implement the policy of strengthening the great national unity bloc on the basis of the alliance of workers, farmers, and intellectuals led by the Party. To rally and unite Vietnamese people in and outside the country, it is imperative to take the goal of building a peaceful, independent, unified, strong, and territorially integral Vietnam with "prosperous people, democracy, equity and civilization" as a common point; respect differences that do not contradict common national interests; and uphold the national spirit, patriotism, benevolence, and tolerance.

Other tasks include implementing the policy of equality, solidarity, and mutual respect and support among ethnic groups, creating conditions for the development of all Vietnamese ethnic groups, and preserving and promoting the cultural identity, language, and traditions of different ethnic groups. It is necessary to respect and ensure people’s freedom of belief and religion, and non-belief and non-religion in accordance with law, ensure social equity, pay attention to practical and legitimate interests of people of all classes and social strata, and harmonize individual, collective, and social interests. The Vietnam Fatherland Front and other political-social organizations should be consolidated to promote their core role in mobilizing and rallying the people. Strong actions should be taken to resolutely combat hostile forces’ plots to drive a wedge among the people, between the Party and the people, and between Vietnamese people and people of other countries, in an attempt to sabotage the great national unity bloc.

Importance should be attached to effectively implementing grassroots democracy regulations, the motto "The people know, the people discuss, the people do, the people inspect, the people supervise, and the people benefit", and the mechanism “The Party leads, the State manages, and the people are the master with the Vietnam Fatherland Front and other political-social organizations playing the core role.” Measures should be taken to promptly and strictly deal with organizations and individuals who abuse democracy, disrupt internal unity, destabilize the political-social situation, or violate democracy and harm the people's right to be the masters of the country.

Fifth, build a strong all-people national defense and a solid all-people national defense posture and people's security posture; and develop regular and elite people's revolutionary armed forces, which gradually advance toward modernization and serve as the mainstay for the entire population in protecting the Homeland.

Priority should be given to education of patriotism, love for the homeland, and the socialist regime, as well as the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of citizens towards national construction and defense. This includes promoting awareness of the Party’s guidelines and viewpoints and the State’s policies and laws on national defense and security. It is crucial to identify hostile forces’ wicked schemes and plots, and the Vietnamese revolution’s partners and objects of struggle. All these aim to ensures that all citizens and organizations have the responsibility and duty to participate in building the all-people national defense.

It is important to enhance the Party’s absolute, direct, and comprehensive leadership and the State’s management over the Vietnam People's Army and the all-people national defense. The role of the great national unity bloc should be further promoted as the fundamental foundation and factor that constitutes the invincible power of the all-people national defense and the Vietnam people's warfare. Building a strong all-people national defense needs to go hand in hand with building people's security while building a solid all-people national defense posture should be associated with building a people's security posture.

The focus should be on building the revolutionary, regular, elite, gradually modernized Vietnam People’s Army, with some, arms, services, and forces advancing directly into modernization. The goals are to basically build a lean, strong, and modern Vietnam People's Army by 2025, and a revolutionary, regular, elite, and modern Vietnam People's Army by 2030, which is strong in terms of politics, ideology, morality, organization, and personnel to serve as the core force in military, defense, and protection of the Homeland. Officers and soldiers of the armed forces must have the correct people-oriented perspective; constantly improve awareness and responsibility, effectively carry out mass mobilization and communication work, especially to mobilize "the talent of the people, the strength of the people, and the resources of the people for the benefit of the people"(7). They should also maintain close ties with the people, fight for the people, and serve the people.

"Taking the people as the root” is the truth derived from President Ho Chi Minh’s revolutionary activities and built on the foundation of Marxism-Leninism, national traditions, and the cultural quintessence of Vietnam and humankind. It serves as an important basis for the Party and President Ho Chi Minh to formulate correct revolutionary guidelines, develop a contingent of Party cadres and members who are deeply connected with the people and dedicated to serving the people, and bring into full play the strength of the great national unity bloc in the revolutionary cause.

The tasks of national construction and defense in the new period require the Party and its entire cadres and members to profoundly comprehend and creatively apply Ho Chi Minh's thought in building the "people's hearts and minds posture", strengthening national defense, and in various revolutionary tasks and areas. It is essential to further leverage the strength of the great national unity bloc under the leadership of the Party, contributing to successfully building socialism and safeguarding the socialist Homeland of Vietnam in the new period./.

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(1) Ho Chi Minh’s Complete Works, National Publishing House, Hanoi, 2011, Vol. 5, p. 501
(2) Ho Chi Minh’s Complete Works, National Publishing House, Hanoi, 2011, Vol. 12, p. 672
(3) Documents of the 10th National Party Congress, National Publishing House, Hanoi, 2006, p. 109
(4) Documents of the 13th National Party Congress, National Publishing House, Hanoi, 2021, Vol. 1 p. 49
(5) Documents of the 7th plenum of the 11th Party Central Committee, Party Central Committee Office, Hanoi, 2013, p. 38
(6) Conclusion 01-KL/TW, dated May 18, 2021, of the Politburo on “Continuing to implement Directive 05-CT/TW, dated May 15, 2016, of the12th Politburo on ‘Promoting the campaign to study and follow Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, morality, and style’”; Conclusion 21-KL/TW, dated October 25, 2021, of the Party Central Committee on “Promoting the building and rectification of the Party and the political system; resolutely  preventing, pushing back, and seriously handling Party cadres and members who deviate in political ideology, morality, and lifestyle, or show signs of "self-evolution" and "self-transformation."”; Resolution 21-NQ/TW, dated June 16, 2022, of the 5th plenum of the 13th Party Central Committee on “Strengthening the building of Party organizations and improving the quality of Party members in the new period.”
(7) Ho Chi Minh’s Complete Works, National Publishing House, Hanoi, 2011, Vol. 5, p. 81

This article was published in the Communist Review No. 1005 (January 2023)


Source: Communist Review, Tuesday, January 18, 2024

Trinh Van Quyet

Lieutenant General, Member of the Party Central Committee, member of the Central Political Commission, Deputy Head of the General Political Department of the Vietnam People’s Army

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