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Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 14:33 (GMT+7)
“Abolish Marxism-Leninism” - an unreasonable request

Parade by the Bolsheviks in the Palace Square before the advent of the October Revolution (Photo: Getty Images)

Recently, some have rehashed the same obsolete claims on social media that Marxism-Leninism has no contemporary relevance. They urge the Communist Party of Vietnam (hereinafter CPV) to deprive Marxism-Leninism of its role as an ideological base of and lodestar for the Vietnamese revolution. They claim that a new decent society cannot be built on Marxism-Leninism; the CPV should purge its ideology while seeking a new path for the country’s development following in capitalists’ footsteps. Who are they? Why have they negated Marxism-Leninism since the collapse of socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe? On what basis can they dismiss Marxism-Leninism as outdated?.

To begin with, they are apparently anti-CPV, anti-socialism malcontents. They intentionally distort the truth, employing “faulty analogy” and “smoke screen” in order to deceive gullible people with poor awareness of Marxism-Leninism’s scientific and revolutionary character.

The truth is Marxism-Leninism came into being in Germany in 1840s against a specific historical background associated with the ripeness of objective and subjective conditions, socio-economic, political and cultural preconditions in Europe at that time. Obviously, that historical background and the contemporary background are worlds apart whereby those malcontents claim that viewpoints by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels no longer match today’s era of globalization and international  integration. Moreover, they exert themselves to reinforce their claim by adducing the failure of real socialism built on Marxism-Leninism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and shortcomings in socialism building in Vietnam and  other analogues. They claim that for Vietnam to take off and achieve the goal of “a prosperous people and a strong, democratic, equitable and civilized country”, the country has no choice but to pursue capitalism in exactly the same way as developed countries and to break with Marxism-Leninism as a thing of the past.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels perpetuated and selectively absorbed humans’ intellectual quintessence, including “reasoned nuclei” of Friedrich Hegel’s objective idealism, Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach’s anthropological materialism, A. Smith and D. Ricardo’s principles of political economy, progressive views by such thinkers as Henri de Saint Simon, Charles Fourier, Robert Owen, and epoch-making inventions in natural sciences. Together with this, industriousness and hands-on experiences from leading the international communist and working-class movement enabled Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to found Marxism as a scientific and revolutionary doctrine and the working class’ ideology. Marxism has been the only doctrine to discuss the goal, path, forces, methods and  preconditions for the struggle against oppression, exploitation and injustice, for class liberation, national liberation, social liberation and human liberation. Therefore, according to V.I.Lenin, like Charles Darwin who determined species’ development rules, Karl Marx defined development rules of human society; Karl Marx was great due to his “standing on the shoulders of giants”. As “a spectre haunting Europe” in its infancy, Marxism soon became the dominant ideology of the international communist and working-class movement in Europe in 1870s and spread like wildfire.

V.I.Lenin perpetuated, supplemented, developed and internalized Marxism into Russia in 3 aspects: philosophy, political economy and scientific socialism, thereby explicating scores of new problems raised by his predecessors and his epoch. This is epitomized by his doctrine of the proletarian revolution’s possible triumph in a number of capitalist countries which embodied fundamental contradictions of capitalism. Accordingly, V.I.Lenin formulated the doctrine of a Marxist political party of a new type, which joined the Bolshevik party and the Russians in leading the October Revolution in 1917 to success, opening up a new era- the transition from capitalism to socialism.

Following in the footsteps of the October Revolution, President Ho Chi Minh was the first Vietnamese to localize Marxism-Leninism into the Vietnamese reality, joining the CPV and the Vietnamese in leading the August Revolution to success, thereby enabling the Vietnamese to drive away French colonialists and American imperialists, to regain national independence, to enjoy peace, freedom and happiness, to firmly protect the fruits of the revolution and to build socialism nationwide.

This is as clear as day. Achievements by the Soviet people and socialist states, including Vietnam, have epitomized tremendous vitality of Marxism-Leninism as a scientific and revolutionary doctrine of the working class and labouring people in the struggle against oppression, exploitation and injustice, for peace, independence, freedom, prosperity, happiness and social progress.

Determining the development of human society, Marxism-Leninism asserts that  world outlook, conception of human life, revolutionary and scientific methodology of communists necessitates the removal of the exploiting class’ domination and capitalists’ oppression and exploitation. This is perfectly in tune with aspirations by billions of people worldwide for peace, independence, freedom and happiness. Marxism-Leninism is also scientific and revolutionary in character in the sense that it predicts the replacement of a capitalist society by a better socialist society.

The painful realities in once-socialist states which are in transition to capitalist ones exactly reflect the development of human society as determined by Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and V.I.Lenin. It proves that despite the successful proletarian revolution with the Communist Party’s seizure of power, communists end up committing colossal blunders as their subjective voluntarism leads to being caught in the trap of hostile forces’ “peace evolution”, thereby flagrantly violating Marxist principles. As a result, the Communist Party loses power while the fruits of revolution reaped through blood,  sweat and tears of the masses are deprived of. Those repercussions testify to a betrayal of Marxism-Leninism.

Embarking on the 21st century, productive forces have undergone vigorous growth under the influence of the technological and scientific revolution. Against this backdrop, the nature of capitalist exploitation has been laid bare more clearly despite capitalism’s responsiveness and crafty cover-up. Capitalists continue stopping at nothing to expand their influence for their appropriation of natural resources and wealth while forcing small states into submission. A case in point is the wars in former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya.

The sufferings and casualties inflicted on innocent civilians in Middle East and North Africa have further reinforced our belief that only socialism is truly humane, which resonates with aspirations for peace by millions of benevolent people. This is crystallized in Marxism-Leninism. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels greatly contributed to the development of socialism, from utopian socialism to scientific socialism. V.I. Lenin translated Karl Mark’s scientific and revolutionary theories into the victory of the great October Revolution in 1917. All of these derive from the realities of socio-economic and political life under capitalism. Therefore, socialism is a scientific and revolutionary doctrine, which reflects world outlook, conception of human life, revolutionary and scientific methodology and true humanity that mankind need strive for.

Those who negate scientific and revolutionary values of Marxism-Leninism are selling their souls to the devil. It is they, rather than Marxism-Leninism, that are out of date as they deliberately ignore the scientific and revolutionary character and humane values of Marxism-Leninism. Politically motivated, they stop at nothing to strangle Marxism-Leninism, whose ulterior motives are to defend capitalism in order to maintain oppression, exploitation and injustice.

It is undeniable that some of the tenets of Marxism-Leninism are no longer appropriate. This is partly because time has changed and partly because we have yet to be fully aware of them to localize into the process of socialism building and Homeland protection. According to the regularity of intellectual development, mankind will unlock secrets of the objective world and carve out the path to social progress and justice. As a result, the claim that the CPV has become out of date as it firmly sticks to Marxism-Leninism is just dogmatic.

We are fully aware that the victory of the October Revolution and sustainable development of real socialism in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and other states worldwide have evidenced the superiority of socialism, which truly benefits peace-loving people globally. This fact generates powerful motivation among peace-loving people in rising up against hostile forces and political  opportunists. The collapse of socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe cannot be equated with that of Marxism-Leninism – a scientific and revolutionary doctrine. On the contrary, that collapse bears out the scientific and revolutionary character of Marxism-Leninism.

Under the clear-sighted leadership of the CPV, the Vietnamese have succeeded in carrying out the August Revolution, driving away French colonialists and American imperialists and firmly building and safeguarding the socialist Vietnamese Homeland. Those tremendous achievements are inextricably linked with Marxism-Leninism. The victory of the Vietnamese revolution is synonymous with that of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s thought. Any request for abolishing Marxism-Leninism is unreasonable and does not mean well. Life is fair; you reap what you sow.

Maj. Gen., Assoc. Prof Nguyen Ba Duong, Director of Military Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ministry of National Defense

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