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Improving soldier artists’ professional morality according to Uncle Ho’s teachings

Professional morality provides a foundation for soldier artists to develop their talent and raise their prestige and task performance. Therefore, educating and training soldier artists’ professional morality represent a routine task so that they will always successfully fulfil their task and deserve to be “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” in the new period.

Solider artists working in the Party’s cultural - artistic field across the Military constitute an important force in charge of carrying out the ideological work for troops. They are tasked with creating, preserving, developing, and bringing revolutionary cultural and artistic works of ideological, humane value and significance deeply imbued with national identity to cadres, soldiers, and the people, making contributions to the building of troops’ increasingly diverse and noble cultural - spiritual life and new man within the armed forces. Soldier artists work in the cultural and spiritual field; their works creatively, truly reflect social life and troops’ training and combat operations via the artistic language - the language of the beauty, making contributions to bolstering cadres and soldiers’ patriotism, orientating their ideology and aesthetics, and increasing their combat determination and resilient, indomitable spirit. Moreover, works by soldier artists would spread the noble ideal of life for the people and the homeland, while expressing hardships but pride of troops’ training and combating activities so that our people and international friends will more clearly understand the virtues of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” and our Military’s nature and glorious tradition. To successfully fulfil the assigned function as pioneers on the Party’s cultural and ideological front within the Military, soldier artists shall have both great professional competence and pure professional morality on a par with the responsibility assigned by the Party, the State, and the Military. In fact, when soldier artists show their loyalty and passion for their job and troops’ daily life, training, and combat, they will have a chance to broaden their experience, develop their talent, and improve their prestige and task performance. On the contrary, once they lack pure professional morality, express their arrogance, and deviate from troops’ daily life, training, and combat, they will be unable to produce great or “classic” works.

A performance by soldier artists

In order that soldier artists will devote themselves to serving troops and the people and follow Uncle Ho’s teachings: “culture and art are also a front, and artists are soldiers on that front,” it is necessary to enhance the training and cultivation of soldier artists’ professional morality according to the fundamental standards as follows.

First, loyalty and responsibility. This is a top standard that will orientate the way of thinking and action of cadres and party members in general and revolutionary soldiers and soldier artists in particularly. According to President Ho Chi Minh, “cadres from central to commune levels must be loyal servants of the people.” Hence, activities of soldier artists must be aimed at building new man within the revolutionary armed forces. To that end, soldier artists must be absolutely loyal to the Party, the Homeland, the people, and the path of national independence and socialism selected by our Party, President Ho Chi Minh and people. The more loyal soldier artists are the more responsible they are for themselves, for their families, for the Military, and for the society, and they will dedicate themselves to serving the Homeland, the people, cadres, and soldiers. They shall express their loyalty and responsibility when they both study at schools and work at military units. They shall be active in improving their knowledge and skills to meet their task requirements. They shall frequently grasp the Party’s viewpoints and guidelines on culture and art. They shall remain their political stance when they compose and perform works. They shall ardently take part in performing to serve troops and the people, while heightening a sense of responsibility for building and developing an advanced culture of Vietnam deeply imbued with national identity. Every word and action of soldier artist must be aimed to build fine lifestyle right at their offices and units and spread good things to cadres, soldiers, and the people.

Second, honesty and creativity. Honesty is a general quality of each person and it is particularly important to soldier artists. In spite of the fact that artistic works need fiction and transcendence, they must derive from real life and then serve real life. Thus, soldier artists must have honesty. To acquire such a quality, soldier artists must be honest with themselves, with their organisations, and with the public. They shall respect copyrights. They shall not “lip-sync” or “plagiarise.” They shall honestly express the people’s labour life and troops’ training and combat operations. Honesty of soldier artists does not mean simplicity or inflexibility; it requires creativity. And that is the most outstanding quality of soldier artists. Life itself is full and soldier artists must be extremely creative to manifest it via artistic language which is very soft, sentimental, and easy to goes right to other people’s heart. However, artistic language is also very imaginary and requires audiences and readers to ponder and envision to sense it. Artistic works serve as objective evidence of artists’ attitude, talent, and creativity. They act as a bridge between artists and the public, and they are a unique kind of communication between people via images. More specifically, all audiences and readers will feel themselves within artistic works. Honesty and creativity are also expressed in artists’ behaviours, communication, and performance of their daily task. In fact, honesty is always aligned with creativity and those two qualities are a must for all soldier artists nowadays.

Third, modesty and passion. “Every revolutionary must be modest and generous.” Once being modest, soldier artists will be active in improving their knowledge, broadening their experience, and developing their talent, thereby getting more mature in their work. Modesty means flexibility and courtesy in behaviours without ostentation. Soldier artists with modesty will live an open and sincere life; they will mingle themselves with others, the people’s labour life, and troops’ training and combat activities. They will respect their organisations and the public, and they will not fall into social evils. On the contrary, artists with arrogance will reap failure. In order to obtain success in their artistic career, soldier artists shall always be confident, diligent, creative and passionate about their work. Thanks to passion, soldier artist will overcome all difficulties and hardships to improve their professional competence, throw themselves into the people’s labour life and troops’ training and combat operations, and produce everlasting great artistic works as their “brainchild.” Passion will also enable soldier artists to cement their love for their job, consolidate their bond with all activities of troops, and raise their responsibility for their works. That is the foundation for all creations and successes of soldier artists.

Fourth, discipline and comradeship. Discipline is the Military’s strength. “A strong army is the result of clever education, sound policy, and strict discipline.” Cultural and artistic operations  within the Military are part of social activities. Therefore, they must be closely organised and disciplined. They must be in accordance with the Party’s viewpoints and guidelines, the Constitution, the State’s law, and the Military’s discipline. In spite of the fact that cultural and artistic activities are much personally creative, they must not be separate from collectives or the society, like an orchestra must have a conductor or composition and performance must comply with the rules of sound, light, beauty, perception and sentiment. Hence, discipline is an indispensable quality within the system of soldier artists’ moral standards. Besides, discipline requires soldier artists to heighten a sense of responsibility and a close-knit bond with their comrades and colleagues, dedicate themselves to serving troops and the people, devote themselves to art, readily surmount all difficulties and hardships to perform as their pleasure, obligation, and honour. That is the source of all artistic creations and acts as the yardstick of soldier artists’ talent, knowledge, and dignity.

The division of soldier artists’ professional morality into those above-mentioned standards is of relative significance. The reason is that those standards will always mix with and impact on one another to create common but uniformed characteristics within our soldier artists’ professional ethics. It is the system of professional moral standards that all-level party committees and organisations at cultural and artistic units across the Military have been working so hard to build up for their soldier artists so that they would keep developing themselves. However, in the upcoming, party organisations and competent offices shall actively renew the contents, forms and methods of educating soldier artists’ professional morality. At the same time, they shall resolutely fight against the degradation in political ideology, ethics and lifestyle as well as all signs of “self-evolution,” “self-transformation,” and violation of professional morality amongst soldier artists. Moreover, soldier artists themselves shall actively study and follow Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, ethics and lifestyle, while playing a vanguard role in fighting to foil the hostile forces’ “peaceful evolution” strategy in the cultural and artistic field to make contributions to raising the quality of performance for the people and troops and building an advanced culture of Vietnam deeply imbued with national identity.

Sr. Col., Associate Prof. NHAM CAO THANH, PhD, Deputy Commissar of the Provincial Military Command of Lang Son

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