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Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 08:39 (GMT+7)
Ho Chi Minh – A shining moral example

1. The moral element in the completed set of thought, morals and lifestyle of Ho Chi Minh. The President’s thought represents a system of strategic visions, principles and approaches which direct the revolution path of the nation of Vietnam. That is the path of national liberation, anti-feudalism, anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism, overthrowing their oppressing system and regaining national independence for our own people and other oppressed people all over the world. The desire for freedom and self-determination in a society which has fairness, equality and the rule of law is one of the most significant characteristics of Ho Chi Minh’s thought. The motivation for his relentless labor is his endless love for the country and the people. During his entire lifetime, he pursued the values of Independence – Freedom – Happiness. Therefore, Ho Chi Minh considered that national liberation is the premise for national development, and national independence must be aligned with socialism.

In Ho Chi Minh’s perspective, a revolution is the act of removing backwardness and obsoleteness and replacing them with progressiveness and development. And first of all, a revolution needs a Party to lead. And that party must have an ideology as it foundation, and a party without an ideology is like a mindless man. The most genuine and revolutionary ideology is Marxism – Leninsm. And a revolutionary and his party must grasp and follow that ideology to the very end. In addition, there is a need for a revolutionary force, in which the worker – farmer union is the core contingent, and all-people solidarity is an indispensable factor in any success of the revolution. Indeed, solidarity is a significantly important strategic factor throughout the entire revolutionary path of Ho Chi Minh. In his opinion, the success of a revolution does not solely depend on right time, right place, the most decisive factor is the people’s support, so that every act of revolution has to follow the will of the people. “For the people” must be the final objective of every revolution and every revolutionary. Anything that benefits the people must be done and anything that does harm for the people must be avoided at any cost. Serving the people is the ultimate goal. Devoting one’s whole life to be a loyal servant of the people is the most honorable way of living.

As a shining example of “actions speak louder than words”, President Ho Chi Minh was considered to be a distinguished leader who devoted his whole life for the people, for the independence, freedom and happiness of the nation, and for mankind. That said, his image will eternally live in the heart of oppressed citizens of the world. He lived a selfless life and relentlessly fought against individualism, the most dangerous enemy of any revolution and political Party. In fact, in many countries, this enemy proved has caused tremendous distrust among the people and led to the failure of revolution. For example, the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe 25 years ago is a warning sign and still a bitter lesson until today. This event clearly showed the utmost importance of revolutionary moral standards of a party, especially a ruling party and its members. Needless to say, in this crucial issue, Ho Chi Minh had a deep awareness and extensive vision.

President Ho Chi Minh with children of the revolutionary contributors at Pac Po in 1961 (File photo)

2. The moral example in the life and career of President Ho Chi Minh. During his 30 years of pathfinding for the development of the Vietnamese nation, after reading “Rights of nations to Self-determination” by V.I. Lenin, Nguyen Ai Quoc realized that Marxism – Leninsm was the righteous ideology for national liberation. From a stoic patriot, he transformed himself into a communist, fully grasping the true meaning of communism and the working class’s internationalism, and devoted his entire life for the struggle for national independence and socialism. This great cause motivated him to selflessly commit to the revolution, bringing Independence – Freedom – Happiness to the people, leading himself from nationalism to socialism and communism.

The moral example of Ho Chi Minh was the moral in fighting and devoting, he spent his entire life to stay close to the people, act for the people and sympathize for the people. In an interview with a Cuban journalist, he said: “I willingly devote my life for the nation” and “Each individual has his own grief, each family has its own struggle. I see those griefs and struggles as my own.” Such words were truly heart-touching.

He always reminded cadres and party members that “the people rules and they are the rulers”, and officials are the people’s servant, not their boss. In his mind, he himself was the people’s retainer, not “a king”, and he must always respect the people, “stay close to the people, learn from the people, understand the people, believe in the people to love the people and fight for the people.” In showing his gratitude for the people’s support, he said: “I have always been and will always be a man of the people”. This is a classic example of a venerable and faithful leader of the people.

The moral example of Ho Chi Minh did not only shine in fighting against outside and inside enemy, but also in practicing the standard of industriousness, thrift, integrity, uprightness, public-spiritedness and selflessness in serving the country and the people. As the president and the Party’s leader, he was a shining example of industriousness, thrift, integrity, and uprightness, he was never interested in self-benefiting and considered himself merely a soldier who did his best to fulfill his duty for the country and fellow countrymen. In the first meeting of the newly-founded government of Vietnam (September 3, 1945), he proposed 6 impending tasks must be implemented to stabilize the people’s living. Most importantly, he asked government officials to go on a fast to donate food for starving people, he said: “Fasting once every 10 days does no harm, but our people will get more food, each meal we can save a can of rice, then donate it to the poor, and I will do it first.” He was so dedicated to this movement that if he had to host a reception party on scheduled fasting day, he would do the fasting the next day. Actions speak louder than words, the President always did as he said, in both minor activities to important work. The example that he showed was much more appealing than thousands of speeches. Thus, his government was truly a government of the people, for the people and by the people.

The moral example of Ho Chi Minh induced millions of Vietnamese people and was admired by international friends. In his first day in office, the President sent an open letter to the people, and welcomed representatives from all ethnics and classes to come and discuss important matters. His respect for democracy and willingness in listening to the people are the moral standards in Ho Chi Minh’s style of politics.

We rarely see a leader with a modest living style like President Ho Chi Minh. He lived a simple life for the sake of the people, because he understood that every expense of the government came from the hard work of the people. He denounced and severely punished corruption, saying it is dishonest and dishonorable and must be punished as a serious crime. Also, he always led by example, focusing on improving party members and officials’ morality, imposing working discipline, and enhancing administrative regulations. In addition, he established inspection bodies to supervise government’s activities and officials’ conducts very early on. These approaches were implemented for the goal of “serving the people” and “protecting the people”.

The President was such a great personality, but he always considered himself had not done enough, refusing any medal awarded to him. It has been nearly 50 years after his passing, but we have never felt his absence, it is like he is always there, telling us to stay close to the people, live with dignity and always be the faithful servants of the people. The moral example of Ho Chi Minh will forever shine in our lives, in our country and all over the world.

The ideologist Ho Chi Minh is also the moralist Ho Chi Minh, a national hero, an unyielding soldier in the fight for human’s dignity and freedom, a great friend of all oppressed nations, and an outstanding artist. Ho Chi Minh’s ways of living and working are the standards that all our Party, our military and our people are putting great efforts to study and follow.

The shining moral example of Ho Chi Minh is a priceless spiritual property of our nation, our Party, and the pride of every Vietnamese generation, it is also the motivation for us in implementing national renewal and development and international integration. This example has become the standard and guideline for us in the education and practice of moral values for Vietnamese people today and in the future.

History is always fair and unbiased. Any individual that has self-esteem and respects human dignity will show his own sincere assessment on the morality of President Ho Chi Minh. And this is a key fact, it will expose and wash away any false rhetoric about our country, our Party and our beloved Uncle Ho.

Professor, Doctor Hoang Chi Bao

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Over 70 years of establishment and development (April 1948 – April 2018), the National Defence Journal has strived to overcome hardships and ceaselessly renew itself, improved its quality and effectiveness, making contribution to the revolutionary cause of the Party through different stages, most directly the ideological and theoretical work.
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