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Vietnamese revolution’s achievements help negate all distortions of Russian October Revolution

The success of Russian October Revolution has opened up a transitional period from capitalism to socialism on a global scale, which is seen as one of the Revolution’s values of epochal significance. In spite of being considered as an everlasting value, the Revolution is confronted with distortions and negation from the hostile forces. Nevertheless, the Vietnamese revolution’s tremendous, historic achievements will contribute to overruling all distortions of the Russian Revolution.

Lenin announcing the establishment of the Soviet government at the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets on November 7th, 1917 (file photo)

Evaluating the great significance and value of Russian October Revolution, President Ho Chi Minh ever said: “Russian October Revolution has opened up a way of liberating the peoples and the entire human race, while commencing a new era in the history, which is the transitional period from capitalism to socialism all over the world.” Russian October Revolution encouraged millions of the oppressed and exploited people to rise up and fight for independence, freedom, and happiness, leading to the victory of the national liberation movement in many countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America as well as to the foundation of a world socialist system in the 20th century. However, the hostile forces have been taking advantage of the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the last century to distort this Revolution’s significance and value and contradict other nations’ path towards socialism. According to them, the collapse of socialism right at “the cradle of October Revolution” is “inevitable” and proves the path towards socialism “mistaken and delusory”; therefore, nations must say “no” to socialism. They advise Vietnam not to follow socialist orientation as it is “a path without future.” However, realities of the history and the present, including the Vietnamese revolution’s achievements help negate all those distortions.

When it comes to the collapse of the Soviet Union, we consider it as an enormous loss to the international communist and labour movement, but it is not to be the inevitable. The most important and decisive reason for that collapse was shortcomings in the ruling Communist Party’s political guidelines, ideology, and organisation together with several top leaders’ treachery against the fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism just like Lenin ever said: “no one can destroy us but our own mistakes.” Therefore, it could be understood that it was the collapse of a specific socialist model and it does not mean the end of the path towards socialism as distorted by the hostile forces.

As for the Vietnamese revolution, under the 90-year leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), we could certainly say that “moving towards socialism represents an aspiration of our people and a right decision of the CPV and President Ho Chi Minh in accordance with the development trend of the history.” Prior to the establishment of the CPV, the national liberation movement in Vietnam in the late 19th century and the early 20th century could be described as “dark without any exit.” Immediately after the foundation of the CPV, with its guidelines on “carrying out a bourgeois revolution of civil rights and a land revolution in order to advance towards a communist society,” in other words it put our people’s national liberation revolution into the world’s proletarian revolution, the Vietnamese revolution escaped from the crisis relating to the guidelines for national salvation. Since then, “national independence associated with socialism” was always a basic, consistent policy of the Vietnamese revolution. Under such a policy, our CPV mobilised the strength of the entire nation to lead the Vietnamese revolution to the victories of the August Revolution and the two resistance wars against the French and the U.S. as well as to bring Vietnam to a new era of independence, freedom, and socialism. Under the CPV’s leadership, Vietnam transformed from a semi-feudal colony into an independent, free, socialist-oriented nation, while our people got rid of slavery to become masters of their own country.

In the late 20th century, despite a crisis within the global socialist system, the CPV was determined to develop Vietnam towards socialism. Remaining steadfastness in the goal of “national independence associated with socialism” and creatively, flexibly applying Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, our Party has initiated a socialist-oriented national reform enabling the Vietnamese revolution to overcome the crisis and obtain “tremendous achievements of historical significance.” Economically, in the past 35 years of national renewal, our economy has been continuously developed with the average growth rate of 7% per annum. In the early years of national renewal, Vietnam was just a small-scale, underdeveloped agriculture-based economy with the GDP value of about 14 billion USD only and the per capita income of about 250 USD; up to now, Vietnam has escaped poverty and become a middle-income developing nation. Our country’s economic size has been increasingly increased, with the GDP value of 342.7 billion USD in 2020, ranking fourth in ASEAN and amongst the top 40 largest economies of the world; the per capita income was 3,521 USD, ranking sixth in ASEAN. From an importer of food, up to now, Vietnam has become a top exporter of rice and many other agricultural products of the world. Industry has been rather rapidly developed; the proportion of industry and services has kept increasing and currently accounts for 85% of the country’s GDP. The total export and import revenues have risen enormously, at 543.9 billion USD in 2020, and the export revenues have reached over 280 billion USD. Thanks to the continuous export surplus from 2016 to 2020, our foreign exchange reserves have increased from 12.4 billion USD in 2010 to 100 billion USD in 2020. Vietnam has joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and our country has been recognised as a market economy by 79 other countries. Vietnam has established economic, trade, and investment relationships with 230 countries and territories, while signing 16 new-generation free trade agreements.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, all countries around the world recorded a dramatic decrease in their economic growth, but Vietnam was amongst a few economies having a positive rate of growth and its potential for economic growth was highly appreciated by many experts. In 2021, Vietnam’s economy has been faced with a lot of difficulties and challenges caused by COVID-19. However, our CPV and State have been adopting synchronous measures to both keep the pandemic under control and boost socio-economic development.

Politically, our country has established diplomatic ties with most of the members of the United Nations (UN). It has set up strategic partnerships with 16 nations and comprehensive partnerships with 11 others, including 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council. It has been twice elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (2008-2009 tenure and 2020-2021 tenure). It has also undertaken many important positions in international organisations, such as Chairman of ASEAN, Chairman of AIPA, Member of the UN Human Rights Council, Member of the International Law Commission, and Member of the UN Commission on International Trade Law. With its status and prestige, Vietnam has been selected as a reliable destination of many international events. On December 7th, 2020, the UN quickly approved the Resolution on organising the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness proposed by Vietnam, which proves the country’s political status in the international arena.

Vietnam has also obtained remarkable achievements in health, education and training, cultural and social development, science, and technology. In 2020, we had 9 physicians and 28 patient beds per 10,000 citizens, while 91% of the population joined health insurance. The rate of malnutrition in children and the rate of infant mortality have dropped by three times over the past 35 years. The people’s average life expectancy has been increased from 62 in 1990 to 73.7 in 2020. According to the World Bank’s report in April 2021, the universal health coverage of Vietnam was higher than the regional and global average, at 73. Our country has fulfilled universal primary education (in 2000) and universal secondary education (in 2010). The rate of adult literacy has been 95%. The number of college students has been increased by 17 times in the past 35 years. Many of Vietnamese students have won gold or silver medals in international contests. The people’s material and mental life has been considerably improved. According to the Vietnam Population and Housing Census of 2019, 91.9% of households have possessed televisions, 91.7% of households have used telephones or mobile phones, and 30.7% of households have owned desktop computers or laptops. At present, Vietnam is amongst the fast-growing countries in terms of information technology, with about 70% of its population using the Internet. Thanks to economic development, we have better carried out the work of social security. The rate of poor households has been reduced from 58% in 1993 to only 5.8% in 2016 according to the Government’s poverty standards and below 3% in 2020 according to the multidimensional poverty standards. Poor people and children under 6 have been provided with free health insurance. Vietnam’s human development index (HDI) in 2019 was amongst top countries in the world, at 0.704. Vietnam has been recognised as one of the first countries to realise the UN Millennium Development Goals. Scientific and technological researches and application have been facilitated, while due attention has been paid to taking advantage of the achievements of the 4th industrial revolution. Many hi-tech projects have been successfully implemented, particularly in health, education and training, e-commerce, information technology, and digital transformation. As a result, Vietnam placed at 42 out of 131 economies around the world in the global innovation index of 2020, taking the leading position in the lower middle-income group.

The country’s national defence and security have been consolidated. National sovereignty, peace, and stability have been maintained as the basis for the country’s development. Up to now, we have established defence relations with over 80 countries on the basis of respecting independence, sovereignty, equality, and mutual benefits. Since 2014, our country has deployed forces to the UN peacekeeping mission, expressing Vietnam’s responsibility to build trust and maintain a peaceful, stable environment on a regional and global scale.

With those achievements in the 35-year national reform, we are proud to say that “our country has never had such fortune, potential international position and prestige as it does today.” That is the result of our entire Party, VPA, and people’s tireless effort under the flag of “national independence associated with socialism.” And that proves the absolute soundness of our people’s path towards socialism and negates all distortions of Russian October Revolution.

Associate Prof. NGUYEN NGOC HOI, PhD

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Editorial: Appeal for National Resistance - its historical and epochal significance
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