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Monday, February 02, 2015, 15:12 (GMT+7)
The absurdity and partiality of the argument holding that “Marxism and Leninism is no longer appropriate in the 21st century”

Marxism–Leninism is such a great and outstanding achievement of human intelligence in the modern history of the world. Its vitality and influence were shown through not only changes in the 19th century but also in the 20th century with the great Russian October Revolution giving birth to realistic socialism and ushered in a new era– the transition period from capitalism to socialism. This is still the trend for movement of the world history today. Therefore, the argument “Marxism–Leninism is no longer appropriate in the 21st century” is completely unreasonable and one-sided.

Based on a multi-dimensional view, and an objective, scientific and truth-rationality-morality respected mood, studies about Marxism–Leninism all come to conclusion that: its spirit and methodology are consistent with practice and development. The doctrine is opened and dynamic. It is an organic unity between dialectical materialism and material dialectic. It is always developed and supplemented with new theoretical achievements and renewed its theoretical concepts to suit the practical life. This is shown in the great contributions of the huge collection of classics to humankind, notably: (1) clarifying the nature of history and human’s activity of history creation, historical and natural logic of development; (2) clarifying the objectivity and the historical inevitability of socialism and communism; (3) clarifying that the purpose of history, or the realization of communism is the harmonious and free development of individuals and communities; (4) clarifying human values and personality in the course of liberation and development; (5) clarifying culture and cultural values in the process of development. These are the main sustainable values of Marxism–Leninism which have been proved in various fields, both in theory and in reality.

Theoretically, first and foremost, it is necessary to mention the revolution in philosophical history. No one can deny that it is K. Marx and Ph. Engels who vetoed the idealism, the metaphysical materialism and metaphysics to build the consummate dialectical materialism, from natural materialism to historical materialism. On reasonably settling the basic matters of philosophy, they were the first to bring about a scientific concept of “practice”, “realistic human beings” and give out the classical definition of the social nature of human beings: “in its realistic essence, human being is the sum total of all social relations”. V. I. Lenin asserted that historical materialism is among the most outstanding achievements in the mankind’s history of thoughts. In the same manner, material dialectic is the focus of that achievement. It has overcome the two biggest “forgets” of the mankind’s history of thoughts, namely: the idealism’s missing of objective reality as a starting point and the metaphysical materialism’s missing of human’s positive role. Historical materialism is considered one of the inventions creating the era made by K. Marx.

In the field of political economy, with the discovery of surplus value, K. Marx was the first to unveil and lay bare the bourgeoisie’s exploitation of workers’ labour in the capitalist’s production. This is the second discovery made by Marx through his thorough observations and studies of capitalism in the 19th century– the era of vigorous development of the free competition capitalism.  

In the field of scientific socialism, K. Marx and Ph. Engels had scientifically demonstrated the status and historical role of the modern working class, built up the fundamentals of scientific socialism, theoretically transitioned utopian socialism to scientific one, winning the victory for socialism in theory. By this way, the founders of scientific socialism have, for the first time, “replaced ideal with science”, as assessed by Lenin. Besides, Marxism–Leninism has also created a scientific belief and facilitated revolutionary actions of working class and laboring people in the struggle against capitalism to liberate nations and human kind and to liberate individuals, realizing their wishes for freedom, democracy ideal, fairness and social justice for all people in the world. For this  reason this has been imbued by millions of minds and hearts of the working class and laboring people, awakened conscience and dignity of nations, become ideological weapon, transformed into material power, created struggle movements and forces everywhere ushering in turning point of the world’s modern history, the era of transitioning from capitalism to socialism which came to existence after the Russian October Revolution in 1917. This is the victory of socialism in practice and is a turning point not only in theory but also in practice marking the birth of the realistic socialism, turning it from a theoretical doctrine into a new style society, starting a prolonged process of socialism realization.

Specially, in the process of socialism realization, Lenin developed “the theory of short-cut” and “the method of indirect transition” to socialism for countries skipping capitalism. He employed “new economic policy” (NEP) in replacement for the “war communism” policy; liberated production forces through economic  democratization; applied economic leverage by encouraging material interest, multi-sector economy, etc, hence yielding high productivity. The ideals and contents of NEP are still of value to the socialist reform and renewal nowadays.

Lenin also noted that practice is always changeable. It is more ample, diverse than theory. Humankind and its thoughts, including geniuses are all products of, affected and governed by history. For this reason, we can’t call on the thinkers’ solutions to present matters but do it ourselves. Understanding and assessing the thoughts of the past without considering historical pretext is unscientific and impossible to get to the truth. As mentioned above, the quintessence and sustainability of Marxism–Leninism lie in its viewpoints and methodologies with dialectics being the its spirit. Sticking to those viewpoints and methodologies, we own the key to solutions to matters of contemporary time. For this reason, the argument holding that: “Marxism-Leninism was only appropriate to the 19th century or at most the 20th century, but not the 21st century” is such a partial and prejudiced view. On one side, it does not see the vitality of Marxism–Leninism; on the other side, it does not see the practicality evolving, either. The practicality doesn’t deny, even it confirms and reassures the necessity of the ideology to humankind nowadays and that it is impossible to imagine how the world in the 21st century will be without the existence of Marxism–Leninism. The present vivid practice has provided proof for this. 

In recent years, right in western capitalist countries, a number of scientists, philosophers and political economists still conduct their studies on Marx’s doctrine. Some have finished and declared their significant projects. In particular, since the economic crisis happened in the US, spread and rocked the whole capitalism and deeply impacted the world at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, a lot of capitalists have turned to the Capital written by Marx and studied Marxism–Leninism in hope for an answer for the crisis and come to conclusion that: K. Marx is the thinker of the 21st century.

In his book “Why Marx was right”, Terry Eagleton, a professor of the Lancaster University, England stated that: K. Marx was the first to call capitalism, show out its appearance, operation and its possible ending. According to Eagleton, Marxism–Leninism, since its inception, has always been aggressive in critics, ample in practice, merciless in politics towards the capitalism. Through analyses of the 10 most popular matters raised by Marx, Eagleton has given convincing evidences proving the relevance of Marxism–Leninism. In the same manner, Fredric Jameson in his book “The ideologies of theory” published in 2008 in London stated that: “Marxism is certainly right”. Eagleton was aware that theoretical immaturity, partial view are the root of criticism of Marxism. He also pointed out that though capitalism gains achievements at times; humankind has to pay a heavy price for it, namely the dependence under the guise of freedom, the injustice in the widening rich-poor gap, the massacre and racism, the oppression and coercion, the irresponsibility to the existence of human being. This means the road of capitalism leads to the destruction of our whole world.

Professor, Ph.D Hoang Chi Bao

Central Council for Theory


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Comrade Vo Chi Cong – A talented leader of our Party and State
Life and career of comrade Vo Chi Cong were closely connected with our Party and people’s glorious historical events in the 20th century. He was a role model as a communist. With his noble qualities, he was an excellent student of President Ho Chi Minh. He expressed his absolute loyalty to our revolution’s goal and ideal, while dedicating himself to our Party and people’s revolutionary cause.