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Applying military values of Russian October Revolution to the current cause of Army building and Homeland protection

100 years ago, on November 7th 1917, the outbreak of Russian October Revolution shook the world, dealing imperialism a powerful blow, generating confidence and a driving force for the labour movement and those who love peace around the world. That serves as a special event and a profound sociopolitical transformation marking the birth of the world’s first socialist state.

Russian October Revolution constitutes the guiding torch for nations in a thirst for peace, national independence, democracy and social progress to rise up and fight to wipe out oppression, exploitation and rule by the imperialism. It is a great revolution of human history which translated Marxist principles on socialism into practice in Russia.

According to Marxism-Leninism, the key issue of every revolution is to take power, and violence acts as the “midwife” of every revolution. Theoretically, to take power, there are two ways for the proletariat: revolutionary violence and peaceful compromise. V.I. Lenin, a great leader of Marxists and Russian communists, followed the former and regarded it as the inevitable, while leaving the latter open. It is explained that capitalist government would not easily relinquish the power taken from feudalism as well as lucrative benefits gained from ruthless exploitation of working people. The success of Russian October Revolution represents a typical example of taking power by revolutionary violence, while demonstrating Russian communists’ faith and steadfastness in Marxism. Since then, taking power via violence measure has become an indispensable trend for proletarian revolutions and nations under oppression worldwide. More than that, the October Revolution proved the correctness of Marxist-Leninist principles on constant revolution and taking and holding power regarding the proletariat, while showing that taking power is intrinsically difficult, and holding power is even far more difficult. After the October Revolution, to protect the first Socialist State, the proletariat and working people of Russia, under the leadership of the Bolshevik Party and V.I. Lenin, had to fight against frenzied attacks launched by 14 imperialist countries and a long-lasting bloody civil war (1918-1921). Then they had to enter the Great Patriotic War, suffering tremendous sacrifice and losses, decisively contributing to defeating fascism, saving the whole human race, and making socialism a global system.

 Armoured vehicles taken by Russian revolutionary armed forces at the Winter Palace (photo: Getty Images)

The collapse of the socialist regime in the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries in the 1990s is a painful lesson for Communist Parties, but it was definitely not attributed to the October Revolution. That collapse mainly resulted from subjective reasons and hostile forces’ acts of sabotage as well as objective factors. Simultaneously, it provided an example of the disobedience to Marxist-Leninist principles and lessons on holding power and protecting the fruits of the October Revolution. All hostile forces’ distortions against the October Revolution are not only ridiculous, but  expose their fear of the eminence and positive effects of this great revolution on human kind.    

Russian October Revolution has strong effects on and gives the Vietnamese revolution invaluable lessons. The following are military values of this revolution that should be applied to the Vietnamese revolution.

1. Applying military values of the October Revolution to developing, supplementing and completing the Party’s military guideline.

Military guideline acts as part of the Party’s political and revolutionary guidelines. It is the system of our Party’s military viewpoints grounded in national military tradition and ideology, Marxist-Leninist military doctrine, Ho Chi Minh’s military thought, military values of the October Revolution and the world’s military quintessence. The Party’s military guideline consists of three components, namely its guideline on building all-people national defence, its guideline on building people’s armed forces, and its guideline on conducting people’s war. The three key points of the Party’s military guideline is consistent during the course of Vietnamese revolution in the past, at present and in the future. That guideline is associated with the existence of our Party and socialist regime. It is easy to notice that these three key points have always been clearly realized in each revolutionary phase of our country. Before the August 1945 Revolution, to prepare for the General Uprising, our Party placed stress on building revolutionary forces with the armed forces as the core. Right in 1935, our Party released the Resolution on Self-Defence Team bringing about the inception of Guerrilla Teams of Bac Son and Ba To, National Salvation Team, and then the Vietnam Propaganda Liberation Army Team on December 22nd, 1944 - the forerunner of the present-day Vietnam People’s Army. The building of armed forces in preparation for the General Uprising to take power represents our Party’s flexible application of Marxism-Leninism and lessons drawn from the October Revolution on taking and maintaining power as well as on building new-type working-class army into reality of the Vietnamese revolution. Those are the fundamental points of the military guideline for our Party to lead the revolutionary task in this period to victory.

During the two resistance wars against the French and US aggressors, the Party’s military guideline continued to be supplemented and developed on a proper basis. By means of sound guideline, flexible revolutionary method, and clear-sighted strategic direction, our Party led the military and the people of Vietnam to numerous victories, gloriously accomplishing the cause of national liberation and unification. Features of the military guideline applied to the two resistance wars were manifested in the military arts of unique, creative Vietnamese people’s warfare; in the thought of strategic offensive - “resolutely keep launching offensive” at any time, in any circumstance and period of the war for national liberation; in close combination of political forces and armed forces, and political struggle and military and diplomatic struggle, with military struggle playing the directly decisive role; in bringing into play the whole country’s synergy and combining national strength with strength of the times, etc., to gain step-by-step victories and then attain a complete victory.

In the cause of national construction and protection nowadays, the Party’s military guideline continues to be supplemented and developed in accordance with the new situation. Its core are to build all-people national defence; to build people’s armed forces, especially the People’s Army with high total quality and combat strength; to proactively prevent and repel the risks of war; and to readily defeat the enemy’s hi-tech war of aggression. A new point of the Party’s military guideline today is to conduct people’s war to protect the Homeland (war for national liberation in the past). That would be a people’s war developed to a new height due to the developments in various aspects, particularly in weapons and equipment of our country and the enemy. It is clear that the Party’s military guideline has been laid down on the basis of various factors, including the application of military values and lessons from the October Revolution.

2. Applying military values of the October Revolution to the current cause of building the Military and safeguarding the Homeland

The October Revolution took place a century ago, but its military values remain applicable to the cause of building the military, strengthening defence and safeguarding the Homeland nowadays. Bringing into play the spirit of the October Revolution, our Party has attached great importance to building the armed forces, especially comprehensively strong People’s Army with high total quality and combat strength, making it a loyal, credible political, fighting force of the Party, State and people as well as the core force in the implementation of the task of strengthening defence and protecting the Homeland.

Perceiving the Party’s viewpoint and guideline, the People’s Army is now built into “revolutionary, regular, elite, gradually modern” army, with a number of forces moving forward to modernity. That guideline was formulated in the 7th National Party Congress and reiterated in the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th National Party Congresses. Notably, the 12th National Party Congress named the forces moving forward to modernity, including the Navy, Air Defence - Air Force, Signals Force, Technical Reconnaissance, Electronic Warfare Force, and Coast Guard. In general, the Military is gradually modernized, with a number of  forces moving forward to modernity, unceasingly improving its general power and combat strength, meeting the requirements of national protection in the new condition. That guideline by the Party is completely in accordance with the country’s capability and condition, meeting the increasingly higher requirements of Homeland defence. It is also the best solution to harmoniously managing the relationship between the two strategic tasks, namely Homeland construction and protection.

Moreover, our Party has flexibly, effectively applied Marxist-Leninist principles and military values of the October Revolution to the cause of national protection today. The Party’s thought on national protection now has new developments with the core tasks, namely the protection of national independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity in a close association with that of the Party, State, people and socialist regime. To that end, our Party has promulgated resolutions and directives, particularly the Resolution of the Party Central Committee’s 8th Plenum (11th tenure) on “Strategy to defend the Homeland in the new situation”. That could be seen as a specialized resolution on Homeland protection with specific goals, viewpoints, system of solutions and tasks of national protection in the context of the country’s integration and development. Concretizing the Resolution of the Party Central Committee’s 8th Plenum (11th tenure), our Party has speeded up the building of specialized strategies, such as the National Security Strategy, National Defence Strategy, Vietnam’s Military Strategy in the new period. Those documents serve as an important theoretical and legal basis for the entire Party, military and people to successfully perform the task of national protection in the new condition.

One century has elapsed, but the importance and historical values of the October Revolution still prevail among us. This great revolution will be the guiding torch for the entire human race forever.

Major General Nguyen Manh Hung

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