Defending the Revolutionary and Scientific Nature of Ho Chi Minh’s Thought
Ho Chi Minh was a great thinker, the ultimate genius theorist of the Vietnamese revolution. His legacy, called “Ho Chi Minh’s thought,” is a profoundly comprehensive system of ideas on the fundamental issues of the Vietnamese revolution. Ho Chi Minh Thought is the result of his creative application and development of Marxism-Leninism in the specific political conditions of Vietnam. He formulated it by examining the inherited and developed traditional values of Vietnam and absorbing the best of world culture in order to liberate the nation, the classes, and the people. The victory of the Vietnamese revolution after the establishment of the Communist Party of Viet Nam became a validation of the correctness and creativity of Ho Chi Minh Thought.
At the 7th National Congress, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) affirmed, “the Party takes Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought as the ideological foundation, a guideline for actions…”.(1) The 9th Party Congress elucidated the intention of the Thought , “Ho Chi Minh Thought is a comprehensive and profound system of views on the fundamental issues of the Vietnamese revolution. It is the result of the Party’s creative application and development of Marxism-Leninism in Vietnam’s specific conditions, inheriting and developing the nation’s good traditional values, absorbing the cultural quintessence of the world, etc. Ho Chi Minh Thought paved the way for the victory of our people’s struggle and is a great spiritual asset of our Party and nation.”(2) The formation of the Communist Party of Vietnam is the sequel of Marxism-Leninism combined with the workers’ movement and the patriotic movement. Ho Chi Minh Thought is the complete embodiment of that combination, a shining example for the class and the nation. It combines the qualities of ‘national and international’ policies with those of ‘national independence and socialism.’
Some people said that Marxism-Leninism, which is mainly about class warfare, conflicts with Ho Chi Minh Thought, promoting national solidarity and unity. They stated that Ho Chi Minh followed nationalism instead of communism and emphasized solidarity but not class struggle. He was claimed to be a “nationalist, not a Marxist.” Some focused on denying Ho Chi Minh Thought’s theoretical, practical, and scientific value and his significant contributions to the nation and the world revolutionary movement. Others promoted and claimed the supremacy of Ho Chi Minh Thought, while denying the role of Marxism-Leninism in the Vietnamese revolution.
In any case, underestimating and claiming supremacy of the role of Ho Chi Minh Thought Ho Chi Minh’s thought is to contrast Ho Chi Minh Thought with Marxism-Leninism. This would essentially negate Marxism-Leninism, the ideological foundation of the CPV. To this end, the so-called ‘scholars’ and opportunists have used the following deceitful and malicious deceptions.
First, some members of the Opposition argue that Ho Chi Minh Thought only emphasizes the national struggle while Marxism-Leninism emphasizes the class struggle. Thus, they maintain that Ho Chi Minh Thought is only valid in discussing the revolutionary cause of national liberation but does not apply to the years after it was achieved. These people have distorted and denied the role of Marxism-Leninism in Ho Chi Minh Thought in order to separate it from the revolutionary and scientific nature of Marxism-Leninism.
Second, other opponents maintain that Ho Chi Minh Thought is merely nationalism. Through their hostile arguments, they aim to identify nationalism as chauvinistic, a position both narrow-minded and bourgeois. This is an obvious and naive deception of these opponents.
Third, some adversaries overrate Ho Chi Minh Thought in Vietnam and separate it from Marxism-Leninism. Using the collapse of the Soviet Union and its member socialist countries in Eastern Europe as an example, they argue that Marxism-Leninism has become outdated and is no longer applicable in Vietnam. They maintain that Vietnam today only needs to rely on Ho Chi Minh Thought and they attempt to promote it into ‘Hochiminhism.’
These arguments aim to place Ho Chi Minh Thought and Marxism- Leninism in opposition. In doing so, those hostiles attempt to separate Ho Chi Minh Thought from the revolutionary and scientific nature of Marxism- Leninism. One goal is to negate Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought. However, the ultimate goal of this maneuver is to weaken the ideological foundation and leadership of the Party and eventually change the political regime of Vietnam to multiparty system, pluralism, thereby leading the country out of socialism.
The absolute reality is that the separation of Marxism-Leninism from Ho Chi Minh Thought violates the views and best interests of the working class and the people. The ultimate scheme of Vietnam’s opponents is to distort, deny, and ultimately bring down Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought.
It remains a superficial, metaphysical, and unscientific position to separate Ho Chi Minh Thought from Marxism-Leninism because the former is fully integrated with the latter in its scientific and revolutionary nature. Together they form a humanist ideal: the liberation of the nation, the classes, and the people. Marxism-Leninism is the science of the most common laws of natural, social, and ideological development. The goal of building a communist society became the struggle of the working class against the oppression and injustices of colonialism. Marxism-Leninism was developed from the land of the revolutionary struggle of the working class - the social force representing the most advanced mode of industrial production in history. It was based on the foundation of the essential means of production of man. At the same time, it is a synergy of many sources of human knowledge, a selective apprehension of progressive ideas, constantly supplemented by experiences from historical practice that have been distilled into succinct ideologies. The formation and development of Marxism-Leninism aimed to improve the world while advancing the noble human values of class, social, and human liberation. Marxism-Leninism embraces the working class as a ‘physical weapon,’ while the working class looks to Marxism-Leninism as a ‘spiritual guide.’
Meanwhile, a multitude of studies on the origin of Ho Chi Minh Thought shows that it originated from Vietnam’s national culture and the best of human nature. These ideals crystallized when combined with Marxism-Leninism. Marxism-Leninism constitutes the theoretical source of Ho Chi Minh Thought. In turn, Ho Chi Minh Thought inherits and develops Marxism- Leninism by creatively applying the principles of Marxism-Leninism to the specific conditions of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh Thought is a strategy to gradually transform the national revolution of the people into a socialist revolution. The goal is to lay the ideological foundations and guidelines of the national liberation in the past to build and defend the Fatherland in the present.
Ho Chi Minh highlighted the importance of Marxism-Leninism to the Party writing, “If the Party wants to be strong, it must embrace an ideology as its core, and all members of the Party must understand and follow that ideology. A party without ideology is like a person without wisdom, a ship without a compass. There are many doctrines, and theories, but the most genuine, revolutionary, and firmest is Leninism.”(3) Ho Chi Minh described Marxism- Leninism as the ‘miracle manual’ and the ‘wisdom’ of our Party. It has always been the guideline for the Party’s revolutionary action. The Communist Party of Vietnam took Marxism-Leninism ‘as the core,’ according to Ho Chi Minh’s straightforward, concise, and distinctive adoption of the values and vitality of Marxism-Leninism.
Therefore, actively fighting and refuting distortions contribute to the protection and development of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought. Thus, it will remain the permanent ideological foundation and guideline for all activities of Vietnam’s Party, State, and the entire nation on the current national construction and defense path. To continue the fight, we as a nation need to grasp some of the following fundamental points.
First, Vietnam must continuously clarify Ho Chi Minh’s legacy as found among the many great values, profound theories, and practical benefits documented in Ho Chi Minh Thought. His legacy demonstrates the breadth and depth of his heart and mind as he served Vietnam’s people. It demonstrates his strategic vision of the revolution, and his instructions for conducting the Vietnamese revolution, especially at critical times. Therefore, it is necessary to clarify the scientific and revolutionary nature and the intrinsic value of both Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought. Simultaneously, we need to reaffirm the theoretical and practical value of the scientific and revolutionary views found in Ho Chi Minh Thought, which have been successfully tested over the decades of Vietnam’s revolutionary history to become the chosen ideological foundation of our Party and people.
Second, the country must continue to promote education to raise the awareness of cadres, Party members, and the people about the revolutionary and scientific nature of Ho Chi Minh Thought. The importance of this undertaking is the continuing protection of the ideological and theoretical foundation of the Party, thereby countering the endless parade of conspiracies attempting to distort Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought. In this way, we can promote the people’s right to daily participation in the defense of Vietnam. Furthermore, the country should continue to promote contemporary sources of information, especially websites and forums on social networks as well as the publication and broadcast of articles and news through print and television that propagate the position and importance of Ho Chi Minh Thought in the current national reform process, contributing to the identification and renunciation of allegations that distort Ho Chi Minh Thought.
Third, it is necessary to commemorate the outstanding achievements of the Vietnamese revolution achieved by closely following Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh Thought, and the Party and people who embraced his ideological legacy. In fact, it is only by doing this that Vietnam has achieved significant results. Therefore, in the coming era, it can be intelligently assumed that all of the methods that have previously proven successful in all areas of society are thanks to the process of Doi Moi under the guidance of the Party. And this was accomplished by having been loyal and steadfast, in the creative application of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought in Vietnam’s revolutionary practice.
Fourth, Vietnam should continuously promote the core strength of its national unity, firmly building and defending the Fatherland. Decisive action is required to refute false and distorted views by showing that the Party and the State have mandated its administrative agencies to implement guidelines, policies, and new laws to combat bureaucracy, corruption, and negativity. Vietnam has to overcome internal weaknesses, deterioration of political thought, morality, lifestyle, manifestations of internal ‘self-evolution’ and ‘self- transformreation,’ to improve people’s material and spiritual lives. It is necessary to create conditions for people to have a prosperous, comfortable, and happy life, including creating conditions for continuing development. Vietnam must advocate policies that are beneficial to the people as the nation does its best to avoid what is harmful. Vietnam must appreciate, empower, and protect the people’s legitimate rights and interests. In all cases, the country must achieve all stated social goals of job creation, improved living standards, poverty reduction, and social security.
The purpose of engaging in sustained resistance to all false claims against and distortions of Ho Chi Minh Thought requires Vietnam to further promote building the Party to rectifying the tasks at hand, which the Party considers crucial to enhancing the solidarity and trust of the people. The strength of trust and spirit of national unity will overpower the efforts of oppositional forces to divide and disturb the people’s lives. Therefore, in the current era Vietnam must try its best to consolidate and promote the strength of its national unity bloc. This is considered an issue of strategic importance, a primary driving force leading to the success of the building and defending of the Fatherland.
Fifth, Vietnam must establish an equitable strategy for combating false allegations and distortion of Ho Chi Minh Thought. Currently, the effectiveness of the fight against wrong and opposing views can be evaluated in a more realistic, thorough, and appropriate manner. It is necessary to strictly follow the motto “more friends, fewer enemies,” as Ho Chi Minh instructed. Vietnam must find the best strategy for each specific target in the battle. It is essential to define the target and refute each false argument in a suitable manner to each specific type of media. Vietnam should carefully study wrong and opposing views, firmly grasp their intention, content, and impact, and refute each of them directly in the media in which they appear. Therefore, responses should be evidence-based, clearly exposing their unscientific, historically incorrect, and politically reactionary nature, and thereby build a wall against the hypocritical arguments distorting Ho Chi Minh Thought. The combat against wrong views should be focused, not just rhetorical. It should protest wrong views and directly protect the specific political and ideological positions that are being attacked. If Vietnam fails to clarify the unscientific and groundless nature of false and distorting views, the combat will be unpersuasive and falling short./.
(1) The CPV (2007), Complete Party Documents, Vol.51, National Political Publishing House, p.147.
(2) The CPV (2001), Documents of the 9th National Party Congress, National Political Publishing House, H., p.83-84.
(3) Ho Chi Minh, Complete Works (2011), Vol.2, National Political Publishing House, H., p.289.
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