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Applying Ho Chi Minh’s ideology to the Party building and rectification nowadays

Building and rectifying the Party into purity and strength so that it will always be a true revolutionary Party capable of “liberating the nation, building a prosperous country, and ensuring the people’s happiness” represent a part of special importance of Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, which should continue to be researched and applied nowadays.

A major and consistent ideology

Before the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) was founded, in 1927, Nguyen Ai Quoc wrote the book titled “Revolutionary Path” as a document for training cadres and building revolutionary force and movement amongst the Party’s first group of communist youths. At that time, according to him, it is necessary to establish a revolutionary party to encourage and mobilise the people at home, and communicate with oppressed nations and the proletariat around the world. Besides, he believed that “there are now numerous isms, but Leninism is the most genuine, solid, and revolutionary one.” Speaking about conduct of a revolutionary, he advised himself and his comrades not to seek for fame, not to be arrogant, to match words with action, to uphold ism, to sacrifice, and to have little materialistic desires. He always considered improvements in morality as the most important foundation for sacrificing for the people and the country. Those above-mentioned things prove that a revolutionary and a revolutionary Party that pursue a great career and aspiration must live and act with courage and steadfastness, and know how to better themselves. That is not only politics, but also morality and culture.

Twenty years after “Revolutionary Path,” President Ho Chi Minh wrote the work entitled “Modifying Working Styles” in 1947 under the pseudonym “X.Y.Z.” In this work, he emphasised that it is necessary to “modify the Party’s working style.” According to him, the Party and each cadre and party member must heighten self-criticism and criticism, devote effort to overcoming weaknesses and mistakes, and rely on the people for the Party building and rectification. In this work of special importance about the Party building and rectification, he stringently criticised weaknesses and mistakes, particularly subjectivity, narrow-mindedness, and boastfulness committed by a lot of cadres and party members. Those diseases and many others derive from individualism and desires for benefits, position, and power. Cadres and party members with those diseases often disregard the Party and its principles and stay away from the CPV’s nature and noble goals. Ho Chi Minh underlined for many times that we must completely “cure” those diseases and resolutely remove individualism as the “internal enemy” that is more dangerous than foreign invaders, impairs the Party, and makes the CPV stay aloof from the people. Cadres and party members falling into individualism without courage for self-criticism and self-correction will easily corrupt themselves; therefore, the revolutionary movement will be doomed to failure.

According to President Ho Chi Minh, in order to cure those diseases, in each party organisation, each cadre and party member must work towards their own programmes and plans for theoretical study to be deeply imbued with the Party’s guidelines and resolutions and the Government’s policies. It is important to heighten a sense of responsibility and exercise self-criticism and criticism as a routine task. Self-criticism and criticism stringently, drastically exercised by each cadre and party member will enable their comrades to be more honest, improve task performance, maintain solidarity, and reduce weaknesses. In the process of criticism, it is vital to criticise shortcomings and avoid criticising personality. It is essential to listen to opinions from the masses, encourage the masses to criticise weaknesses, and resolutely overcome those weaknesses so that the Party will always make progress.

The work “Modifying Working Styles” established 12 fundamentals for building a true revolutionary Party. The first one was each party member’s motivation for self-improvement. Each cadre and party member must act in accordance with the CPV’s revolutionary nature. According to President Ho Chi Minh, the CPV must not be an organisation for making a fortune, and it must fulfil the tasks of liberating the country, building a prosperous nation, and ensuring the people’s happiness. In his opinion, the Party has no other benefits. Since the CPV was a ruling party, its motivation and goal have become more important and even crucial. If party members only seek for fame, position, and power, it is the start of degeneration amongst the CPV’s members and undermines the nature of a revolutionary Party. The CPV must concentrate on educating, training, and frequently challenging its members via practical activities and actions instead of words. According to President Ho Chi Minh, the CPV must resolutely discharge corrupt members from itself to maintain its purity and integrity.

As the supreme leader of the Party and the people, Ho Chi Minh always set a good example in terms of loyalty to revolutionary ideal and cause; he dedicated his whole life to the country and the people, ignored fame and fortune, and maintained a close-knit bond with the people by his pure morality and especially his delicate, generous, altruistic, and compassionate conduct. Those noble virtues were crystallised in the sacred Testament he made for the entire people and the entire Party in 1969. In his Testament, Ho Chi Minh stressed that the Party must foster revolutionary morality and wipe out individualism. According to him, “Ours is a party in power. Each Party member, each cadre must be deeply imbued with revolutionary morality, and show industry, thrift, integrity, uprightness, total dedication to the public interest and complete selflessness. Our Party should preserve absolute purity and prove worthy of its role as the leader and very loyal servant of the people.” The Party building and rectification serve as a major, consistent part of Ho Chi Minh’s ideology and legacy; it is a determinant to all victories in the country’s renewal and international integration and to the fulfilment of our entire Party, Military, and people’s aspirations for devotion and development.

Creatively applying and developing Ho Chi Minh’s ideology in the Party building and rectification nowadays

According to the 13th National Party Congress, we shall continue building and rectifying the Party, the socialist rule-of-law State, and the political system into purity and strength, closely, harmoniously combine the Party building with the Party rectification, align the Party building with the Party protection, and keep renewing the Party’s leadership and ruling methods in the new condition.

To that end, first of all, it is necessary to build a politically strong CPV. We must remain steadfast in the goal of national independence and socialism, defend the Party’s ideological foundation, fight against the hostile forces’ wrong viewpoints and distortions, and maintain scientific faith, pure morality, and political zeal. This is a precondition for preserving and bringing into play the socialist orientation of the country’s renewal, and overcoming threats and challenges posed to a ruling Party. More than ever before, amidst the complex developments of the current situation, improvements in the Party’s ideological potential and knowledge must be associated with the Party building and rectification in terms of ideology and morality. The building of a morally strong Party must be seen as a breakthrough; it is vital to enhance and practise revolutionary morality within the entire Party as a source of strength for preventing and fighting against degradation, “self-evolution,” and “self-transformation.” That is also the permeation of Ho Chi Minh’s ideology as the President always considered “morality as the root.” A party member who does not have integrity or put benefits of the country and people first, he/she could not dedicate himself/herself to serving the people. Without revolutionary morality, no matter how talented party members are, they could not lead the people, and they will not be respected or loved by the people as Uncle Ho ever said. In order to maintain unity and a consensus within the entire Party, the CPV and its members must improve their revolutionary morality. The Party must set a typical example in terms of morality as a great contribution and determinant to building a healthy moral environment, which is also a breakthrough measure to regenerate social ethics and prevent degradation in morality. Ours is a moral, civilised Party; therefore, it must heighten its ethics and set a typical moral example for all citizens to follow.

Second, in order that the Party building and rectification serve as the key, it is vital to build a strong CPV in terms of organisation and personnel. Due attention should be paid to building a contingent of strategic-level leaders with sufficient qualities, capabilities, and prestige; those cadres must dare to think, dare to do, dare to renew, and dare to take responsibility. President Ho Chi Minh ever said that “cadres are the root of all work,” and that “training cadres is the Party’s central job.” To effectively build and rectify the Party in terms of orgnisation and personnel so as to make a comprehensive huge change, the Party should focus on synchronously, drastically taking measures for reforming institutions, tightening discipline, widely, practically exercising democracy within itself, adhering to the principle of democratic centralism, and well conducting the work of inspection and supervision under its Charter. Responsibility and exemplification represent the Party’s strength and prestige amongst the people.

Third, to realise Uncle Ho’s teachings: “ours is a moral, civilised Party,” we must include cultural values in politics, in our Party and State’s life, and in activities of organisations and unions within the political system. The CPV is determined to build a comprehensively strong, pure Party and political system in order to create synergy for pushing back bureaucracy, corruption, and negative practices. To that end, we must bring into play the strength of culture. It is necessary to concentrate all efforts within the Party and encourage the people’s participation in the Party building to build a culturally strong CPV and form culture of a ruling Party. Thus, it is important to make the ruling CPV’s culture become typical of the nation’s culture and cultural quintessence. Morality is the core of culture; therefore, within the Party, it is essential to frequently enhance culture-based education. Significance should be attached to educating party members on dignity, dedication, honour, and a sense of shame. According to Ho Chi Minh, we must employ culture to deal with vanity, lavish lifestyle, and corruption, which should be seen as a basic, long-term, strategic task in the Party building and rectification under Ho Chi Minh’s ideology.

Fourth, the close-knit bond between the Party and the people provides a foundation for nurturing and sustainably developing the people’s hearts and minds, the people’s strength, the people’s faith, and the people’s support for the Party as a source of strength of the CPV. Hence, during the Party building and rectification, special importance should be attached to mass mobilisation work. Without removing disregard for mass mobilisation as Ho Chi Minh ever criticised 70 years ago, the CPV could not be a true revolutionary Party within the people’s hearts and minds. Mass mobilisation must be associated with democracy, unity, and consensus. According to the President, we must heighten resolve, uphold prestige, and maintain a consensus between the Party and the people. Raising the quality and effectiveness of mass mobilisation is an important measure for the Party building and rectification and helps cement the people’s faith in the CPV. That is also a key to success under Ho Chi Minh’s ideology.

Fifth, we must develop the Party from the youth, particularly from the armed forces and intellectual young people and ensure the quality of new party members. That is an important part of the Party building to guarantee inheritance and continuation in our Party’s history.

Well implementing those above-mentioned measures is the responsibility of the entire CPV, Military, and people for the Party building and rectification under Ho Chi Minh’s ideology to enable the CPV to deserve to be a true revolutionary, ruling Party.

Prof. HOANG CHI BAO, PhD

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