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Friday, November 27, 2020, 10:13 (GMT+7)
Friedrich Engels opposed wrong views to protect and develop Marxism

Currently, the ideological and theoretical struggle is taking place drastically as hostile forces are stepping up disinformation in order to deny Marxism-Leninism. Thus, undertaking researches into Friedrich Engels’ great contributions to the fight against wrongful and hostile viewpoints and applying them to the protection and development of Marxism represent an important, effective and practical way to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth (November 28th, 1820 - November 28th, 2020).

Friedrich Engels (1820 - 1895)

When he was alive, Friedrich Engels, along with K. Marx and other comrades, always fought fiercely and uncompromisingly against the reformist and partisan tendencies to unify the perception and action of the First International. Typically, Friedrich Engels was determined to oppose the utopian socialism theory of petty bourgeoisie as “Duhringism” which had been based solely on eclecticism and mediocre economics, with the so-called "final absolute and ultimate truth" demanding to replace Marxism. With a scientific foundation and the spirit of revolutionary offensive as well as his braveness, Friedrich Engels wrote the work titled "Anti-Duhring" aimed at refuting the theory of Duhring in all three aspects, namely Philosophy, Political Economics and Socialism. Thanks to that, Friedrich Engels was successful in the fight against Duhring's schemes to downplay the role of K. Marx and Marxist doctrine in the international communist movement. Duhring's "pseudo-science" and "pseudo-revolution" were exposed. Duhring was dismissed from his lectureship by the German Ministry of Education for "defaming the school and the title of university professor."

After K. Marx's death (March 14th, 1883), Friedrich Engels brought all his energy and intelligence to continue the revolutionary cause that K. Marx and he pursued, while resolutely fighting to reject the attempts to "dogmatise" K. Marx's doctrine and "despise" the advancement of real science, new historical conditions and new social needs. Between 1870 and 1890, reformist views and opportunism took shape and flourished in the labour movement. For example, in Germany, opportunism within the German Social Democratic Party led by Vollmar, attempted to deny Marxist theories of class struggle and proletarian revolution, and advocated that ​​"current society would give birth to socialism,” with the intention of turning the vanguard of the proletariat into a party of the petty bourgeoisie. In France, the Workers' Party of Jules Guesde was formed, exaggerating the effect of parliamentary struggle, suggesting taking advantage of elections to move to socialism. In the UK, the Social Democratic League led by Hyndman became a tool in the hands of anarchists; the new coalition founded by Marxists and the Independent Labour Party were tamed by the Fabianism and colluded with the Bourgeois Liberal Party. Meanwhile, many leaders of the workers' parties did not see the danger; they did not criticise or oppose reformism and opportunism. They even joined those isms. Therefore, to protect Marxism and develop the labour movement, Friedrich Engels analysed and clearly pointed out the nature, concrete manifestations and harmful effects of reformism and opportunism, while resolutely fighting against them.

He showed the profound economic cause for the birth of reformism and opportunism. More specifically, it was the working class’ economic dependence on the bourgeoisie. The political cause was the brutal repression of the bourgeoisie that made a section within the labour movement worried and lose the will to fight. The bourgeoisie used the guise of compromise and gave into certain benefits to make the proletariat believe that they would gain victory by peace. Within the labour movement and the workers' parties, the bourgeoisie created a bourgeois front under the guise of supporting Marxism; however, they adopted the method of distortion and arbitrary modification to make it relevant to their needs and benefits; they proclaimed themselves to be representatives of the working class, but in fact, they were protecting their interests. Friedrich Engels concluded that the essence of reformism and opportunism was the bourgeois viewpoint, reformists and opportunists were the tail of the bourgeoisie, and opportunism was "the most dangerous of all."

In 1889, when the anarchist faction, represented by Bakunin, returned, exerted influence on the Second International, and openly opposed Marxism, immediately, Friedrich Engels and his colleagues in the Second International resolutely fought to bring anarchism to an end, defended the fundamental principles of Marxism about the working class’ historic mission and the communist ideal, and rendered the working class fully aware of the nature of anarchism within the labour movement.

With Friedrich Engels’ rightful, scientific, and revolutionary ideology and his resoluteness, at the Fourth London Congress (1896), his views on anarchism continued to be maintained by true communists, even when he had passed away. The Congress resolution stated that only worker organisations which recognised the need for parliamentary activities could participate in the congress. With this resolution, indecisive thoughts on anarchist forces were pushed out of the Second International.

In addition to the fight against wrongful and hostile viewpoints under all different nuances to protect and develop Marxism, Friedrich Engels revised, edited and published the Volumes II and III of K. Marx’s Capital. His deeds helped "build a solemn monument for his genius friend on which his name was unexpectedly engraved with the words that would never fade" and he really became "a second violin next to Marx.” That expresses the ultimate unity of thoughts and actions by the two proletariat leaders who devoted their whole lives to the international communist and labour movement.

Today, implementing the strategy of "peaceful evolution" against the Vietnamese revolution, hostile forces, reactionaries, and political opportunists have concentrated on attacking the Party's ideological foundation, "unanimously" denying the scientific and revolutionary nature of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh's ideology. In particular, a number of political opportunists and extremists are enjoying the revolutionary achievements brought about by our Party and people, but underhandedly colluding with reactionary and hostile elements to get personal benefits. More dangerously, they call for a separation between Ho Chi Minh’s ideology from Marxist-Leninist theory in order to deny the theoretical origin of our President’s ideology, negate Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh's ideology, and gradually reject the ideological foundation of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

Creatively applying Friedrich Engels’ ideology in the fight for protecting and developing Marxism, our Party has determined to “firmly protect the ideological foundation of the Party and effectively fight against wrongful and hostile views as a determinant to the work of Party building and rectification and a central task of the entire Party, military and the people.” Therefore, to fight against wrongful and hostile viewpoints under Friedrich Engels’ fighting spirit, it is necessary to thoroughly grasp and implement several basic tasks and measures as follows.

1. Clearly identify the subjects of wrongful, reactionary and hostile viewpoints in order to adopt appropriate methods of struggle and criticism. Studies reveal that the subjects of current wrongful and hostile viewpoints basically include the working class’ enemies, our revolution’s enemies, traitors to our revolution, and political paranoids. We should take specific measures to fight against each group of subjects. Party committees, party organisations, cadres and party members need to recognise the signs of deterioration in political ideology, "self-evolution," and "self-transformation" to adopt effective remedial measures and increase their "immunity" against hostile and reactionary forces’ distortions.

2. Raise the awareness and responsibility, and determination of our cadres, party members and entire political system. It is necessary to regularly renew political and ideological education, improve its quality and effectiveness, and render our cadres, party members and citizens, especially the young ones fully aware of Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh's ideology, morality and lifestyle as well as the theoretical and practical foundation of socialism and the path to socialism that our Party has applied and creatively developed in the cause of national liberation in the past and today’s renewal and international integration. Importance should be attached to enhancing the role of cadres and party members in actively fighting against wrongful and hostile viewpoints, especially on the Internet and social networks, defending Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh's ideology as the ideological foundation and guidelines for all actions of the Party and the Vietnamese revolution, and turning them into a solid spiritual foundation of the social life.

3. Promote the role of organisations, forces and means. It is the political responsibility of all forces and branches to participate in this struggle. Due attention should be paid to bringing into full play the responsibility of party committees and party organisations at all levels, particularly heads of offices and units. Moreover, it is essential to build a pool of leading experts and specialised forces in a compact and strong manner, improve their knowledge comprehensively, and especially train them to be theoretical experts and good combat writers. At the same time, emphasis should be placed on encouraging the role of cyber warfare forces, enhancing their professional competence, providing them with updated information and technological equipment, avoiding information "gaps," and taking necessary and appropriate technical measures to prevent, identify, and remove evil information. Due regard should be paid to bringing into full play the synergy of press, publishing and media agencies to effectively disseminate Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh's ideology, the Party's guidelines, and the State’s policies and law. Besides, it is vital to actively and convincingly fight against wrongful and hostile viewpoints, form positive public opinion, "uphold the beauty to combat the bad," and "use positive information against negative information."

Protecting the Party's ideological foundation and fighting against wrongful and hostile viewpoints represent a practical method to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Friedrich Engels’ birth. This is a durable and arduous struggle in which we must heighten our political determination, avoid subjectivity, and prevent the "credit-driven disease" from happening.

Sr. Col. HA DUC LONG, PhD

The Political Academy, Ministry of National Defence

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