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Friday, August 09, 2019, 15:06 (GMT+7)
Criticizing the argument that “Vietnam’s persistence in the national independence and socialism goal is a mistake”

One of the arguments in the “peaceful evolution” strategy by the hostile forces against our Party and State is that “Vietnam’s persistence in the national independence and socialism is a mistake”. However, reality has entirely denied this hostile argument and proved the appropriateness of the national development path selected by our Party and people. It is the persistence in the national independence and socialism goal that helps Vietnam win the resistance wars for national liberation and gain the significant achievements in today’s national construction and defence cause.

Some people say that Vietnam’s pursuit of the national independence and socialism goal is a mistake, “socialism died at 25.00 on a global scale, “Vietnam should change its regime for development”. Indeed, those arguments are just aimed at removing socialism and the leadership role of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) in our country. Nevertheless, in spite of their tireless efforts, reality has proved that our national independence and socialism path is totally correct and in accordance with the humankind’s development rule.

1. In the human history, politically, national independence of each country is one of the core components of national self-determination, sovereignty and benefit. It has always been closely related to the outbreak and development of bourgeois revolutions in the Europe and North America and gradually recognized in current international relations.

In the early stage, together with democracy, the issue of ethnicity was used as a flag to mobilize the force against feudalism by the bourgeoisie. American bourgeois revolution is a typical example in terms of the issue on national independence when the people from 13 colonies resolutely fought against the British rule at that time. With the success of the revolution and the 1776 Declaration of Independence, the Republic of the United States of America was official established, and America was the first colony in the capitalist era gaining the independence, which set an important example for the self-determination of nations, particularly the colonies all over the world.  That revolution proved the independent and equal status as the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God which all nations worldwide could enjoy; it showed nations a method of gaining independence and the development path after gaining independence under different conditions. The United Nations gave 3 options to a non-self-governing territory, namely 1. Emergence as a sovereign independent State; 2. Free association with an independent State; or 3. Integration with an independent State. However, in fact, the success of the American bourgeois revolution and other revolutions in other countries in gaining national independence has provided a solid foundation for their rapid development. It proves that independence and sovereignty will facilitate the development of each nation.

However, in addition to the achievements in ethnicity and democracy, the American bourgeois revolution and other ones still expose many shortcomings as the majority of the people do not have the right to freedom and democracy or the right to join public affairs. Even the French revolution in the late 18th century, which had been seen as the most radical bourgeois revolution in the late modern period, had weaknesses as the number of voters eligible to join the country’s political life was inconsiderable. Besides, this revolution was not intended to eliminate the exploiting class and continued maintaining the bourgeoisie’s ownership. At present, capitalist society has made certain progress in various fields; however, its nature will be never changed; it is always a regime that ensures the bourgeoisie’s domination and exploitation of the society and the labour force with injustices and contradictions as the reasons for poverty, unemployment, and wars. The bourgeois revolutions in the late modern period only brought the rights and benefits to a small number of people while the majority of the masses, who had been allies of the bourgeoisie in the revolutionary process, were not taken into consideration. In the end, the people’s right to freedom and pursuit of happiness could not be ensured only by a revolution led by the bourgeoisie or by capitalism.

2. Human beings always hope to establish a society without labour exploitation or any kind of social injustice. V.I. Lenin wrote: “For ages, centuries, and even thousands of years, human race has wished to immediately eliminate all kinds of exploitation”. However, the working class’ wishes and aspirations in the old societies were only fanciful as they could not seek a right way and method to liberate themselves from exploitation and injustice. There were many uprisings, struggles, and even social revolutions which aimed to remove the old society. However, most of them failed, some of them were successful but unable to remove the old pattern or the private ownership of the means of production as the root of labour exploitation and injustice. In the human history, feudalism replaced slavery regime, and then capitalism replaced feudalism, which could be understood to be the steps of the development of human civilization; however, those were the steps towards more subtle exploitation. The working class’ aspirations for an equal society without labour exploitation are increasingly greater.

To erase the exploitation of human labour, Marxism-Leninism recommended a revolution conducted by the working class’ Communist Party. Only a proletarian revolution could meet the aspirations of the majority of the masses. That is a basic, comprehensive, profound revolution for the sake of men’s inherent, natural rights in the social life in which each person’s free development provides the basis for every one’s free development. Doing so will also provide the basis and orientation for the development of human race towards a historical period which is called communist society by Marxist theorists with socialist society as its early stage.

3. Learning from bourgeois revolutions and flexibly applying Marxism-Leninism, the Vietnamese revolution for national liberation and unification and construction of a new society under the CPV’s leadership, since its inception, has advocated resolutely gaining national independence and ensuring the complete independence without being isolated or depended on or oppressed by any other country. Moreover, it has determined to ensure the national independence for the people and new society and make every citizen really enjoy “the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness”. Only by following the national independence and socialism path could we achieve that ideal goal. And only by being consistent with that ideal goal, could the national independence gained by our people be complete and overcome the shortcomings of the bourgeois revolutions.

Besides, the Vietnamese revolution’s goal of national independence and socialism is a historical inevitability due to the failure of the struggles for national independence towards feudalism or capitalism (reform or revolution) in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The Can Vuong movement, Yen The uprising, revolutionary movements led by Phan Boi Chau and Phan Chu Trinh,  insurgency led by Nguyen Thai Hoc under the feudal or bourgeois ideology were not an effective path for saving and liberating the country and the people. It proves that in order to save and liberate the nation, there is a need for seeking another path which both helps gain the national independence and guarantees the rights and benefits of the majority of the masses. Therefore, only under the CPV’s leadership with the national independence and socialism goal has the Vietnamese revolution been supported by the masses. That has been the unique right choice and an objective inevitability in accordance with the historical rules which nobody could deny.

Following that path, our people have won great victories and achievements in the cause of national liberation, construction, and protection. In the 30-year-plus resistance wars against colonialism and imperialism, under the leadership by the CPV and President Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese people courageously fought for the goal of national independence and freedom for the people, effectuating the August Revolution, Dien Bien Phu Victory that “resounded across the five continents and shook the globe”, and the Great Victory of 1975 Spring, leading the whole country to the path towards socialism. To gain achievements, our CPV raised the flag of national independence and socialism, gathering and employing the strength of the entire nation as an extremely great revolutionary motivation. That is the truth recorded by history and acknowledged by the people around the world.

In the process of national renewal and international integration, the pre-eminence of socialism has been definitely proved with the consistent viewpoints on placing men in the forefront of the socio-economic policies, promoting and defending human rights as an important factor in the sustainable development and the success of the country’s industrialization and modernization. The recorded achievements and the people’s enjoyment of the rights in the political, economic, cultural, and social fields in Vietnam derive from the correct approach of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology on the right to life, freedom, and pursuit of happiness as well as from the determination to realize the issued guidelines and policies. The rights to direct and indirect democracy have been increasingly valued, supplemented, and concretized in order to be more effective and complete; the coordination between democratic institutions has been built. Notably, with the guidelines on social progress and equality in each development step, Vietnam has paid due regard to the vulnerable strata in the society and the ethnic minority people in the mountainous, isolated areas as well as social safety and human security. Many achievements in human development in Vietnam have been highly appreciated by the international community. Vietnam’s human development index has been greatly improved; it ranked 116th out of 189 countries and at the top of middle income countries. Vietnam achieved many of the Millennium Development Goals before the deadline, and it is active in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. It could be said that the achievements in ensuring the basic rights which are increasingly improved for each Vietnamese have been very considerable. And that has convincingly proved the pre-eminence of socialism. Only socialism could bring freedom, happiness, and the right to true mastery to the people as well as raise Vietnam’s prestige and status in the international arena. That also provides the solid evidence against the argument that “being consistent with the national independence and socialism path is a mistake” by the hostile forces.

Our people’s national construction and protection cause still faces a lot of difficulties and challenges. However, the achievements in the struggle for national independence and the construction of socialism not only proves our correct direction, but also makes contributions to shaping Vietnam as an example of development after the wars and in the process of international integration. Thus, we could be totally confident and continue raising the flag of national independence and socialism, promoting the strength of the national great unity block under the CPV’s leadership, upholding and flexibly applying Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, taking advantage of opportunities, and surmounting difficulties to successfully fulfil our preset goals and selected path.

Nguyen Chi Thao, PhD

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

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