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Ho Chi Minh – an exemplary model in the practice of Patriotic Emulation

President Ho Chi Minh was not only the initiator but also the shining exemplary model in the practice of the patriotic emulation. That has strongly encouraged the people to emulate in all aspects of social life, creating great strength for the whole Party, people and army to overcome difficulties and hardships and lead our revolution to the victory.

Ho Chi Minh’s exemplary model in emulation and patriotic emulation means his invaluable contribution to the revolutionary cause of the Party and people in all aspects from his thought and ethics to his lifestyle. It is a perfect system of cultural values that he built and practised to create great social effect and diffusion and vitality in the hearts of the people, the whole Party and the social life.

Ho Chi Minh’s exemplary model and outstanding dedication to the patriotic emulation are focalizedly and remarkably manifested on three aspects including: (1) The theory of patriotic emulation. (2) Tireless organization of the work of education and propaganda to develop patriotic emulation into widespread movements and force in society supported and joined by the entire people, and making great contributions to creating our revolution’s advantages and strength. The development and success of the patriotic emulation movement has proved his strategic ideology and vision on patriotic emulation. (3) He himself practised patriotic emulation and strived to set the example of ethics, culture and living style in all his life. The example of Uncle Ho as well as the reality of the movement and the theoretical summary and generalization have contributed to the development of the revolutionary theory of the Party and the Vietnamese people in the Ho Chi Minh’s era.

By initiating, launching, endurably educating and propagating the patriotic emulation movement, Ho Chi Minh discovered and proved that it was one of the development laws of our country’s revolution; made it effective in conducting resistance wars and national building via the power of patriotism and revolutionary virtues. The emulation also encouraged the creativity, ideological accumulation and socialization of the entire people’s activities to make them unanimous and united, thereby multiplying their strength in fighting, producing and working. He proposed the slogan of action which was also the goal and motto of conducting the resistance war while carrying out national building, added that the resistance must win victory for the sake of success in national building. At the same time, he brought up a general statement that a living example was more precious than hundreds of speeches and propaganda. That also represented his attitude and method of selecting and evaluating values based on the practical point of view and the people’s views.  

By directing the implementation of the patriotic emulation movement in a specific and practical manner with both immediate and long-term goals, Ho Chi Minh clearly expressed the style and qualities of a man of action who was talented, profound and subtle in his organization, education, and propaganda of the patriotic emulation. His practical activities in the practice of emulation were not only the combination between science and art, between politics and ethics and culture but the harmony between individual and collective and social community as well. That was also an important foundation which made the patriotic emulation vital and lasting. With the revolutionary optimism, the profound belief and the ability of summoning up the strength of the people, Ho Chi Minh changed the patriotic emulation from thought into action, from possibility into reality; thereby, forming new life and new culture of our people as well as emulation heroes and excellent individuals in the cause of national building and protection.

In the “Appeal for Patriotic Emulation”, he defined the direct purpose and the long-term goal of patriotic emulation which was to increase production. He wrote, “Now if we want to be self-sufficient and to keep up with others, we have to quickly boost our economy. Therefore, regardless of their social status and work, all of our people including intellectuals, peasants, workers, traders, and soldiers who are male or female, young or old, must try their best in patriotic emulation or in production so that the resistance war will definitely win victory, and the national building will certainly achieve success”. On the occasion of the International Labor Day (May 1st, 1948), Ho Chi Minh wrote “Letter to the fellow workers nationwide” in which he urged, “Today a patriotic emulation movement is being launched nationwide. Each of us and our entire labor force have to try best to take the lead in that competition”. He instructed that workers nationwide must strive to be models in production in every sector while the workers in the areas temporarily occupied by the enemy must try to paralyze its economy. In other words, the “constructive” emulation would be conducted in one side while the “destructive” one would be carried out in the other side. He then concluded that both joining resistance war and participating in patriotic emulation meant well serving our country because thanks to them, the resistance war would soon win the victory, and the reunification and independence would be soon gained, and the entire labor force would be soon liberated.

His guidance highlighted the ideology read “Emulation is patriotism; patriotism must be expressed through emulation. And the emulators are the most patriotic people”. The emulation had specific and direct content which was to increase the production and to foster the economy. Simultaneously, it was also of great political significance as it demonstrated the patriotism in building the regime, the participation of all people in making the country more prosperous and the people more progressive, and the promotion of the people’s creativity in bringing the cause of resistance and national building to success.

Reporting to the Government Council meeting in the context of resistance war (on May 27th, 1948), he emphasized the  essence and importance of promoting the patriotic emulation movement that, “Our country has only one force of entire united people, only one goal of fighting for truly unity and independence of the Motherland, only one method of conducting long-term resistance war to achieve that goal, only one government capable of leading the resistance which is our Democratic Republic Government, and only one way to support our government that is everyone strives to be models in the patriotic emulation movement”. Thus, he not only mentioned the policy-and-guideline-characterized views and motto but also clarified both forces and contents and methods to unite the entire people under the leadership of the Government.

In the “Appeal for Patriotic Emulation” (on June 11th, 1948) – a prominent political document which played the role of a platform and an action plan to direct the Patriotic Emulation movement nationwide and of entire people, Ho Chi Minh determined the goal of patriotic emulation which was to eliminate hunger, illiteracy and aggressors. In order to achieve that goal, there must be a practical and effective scientific method which was to rely on the people as well as their strength and spirit to bring happiness to them as he clarified. Accordingly, “the duty of Vietnamese people, regardless of their social position and job, need to compete to each other to work quickly, considerately and profusely. Each Vietnamese citizen, old or young, male or female, rich or poor, mature or immature, needs to become a combatant on the military, economic, political and cultural fronts under the motto of all-people resistance, comprehensive resistance”.

Ho Chi Minh determined and believed the initial results of the emulation would be that all people lived in easy circumstances and were literate, and all soldiers had enough food and weapons to fight against aggressors, and the whole nation would be completely unified and independent. That was the basis to strive for independent nation, liberal civil rights, and people’s welfare. He called upon the emulation of the elderly in urging their descendants to eagerly participate in all work, of the infants in studying and helping the adults, of the plutocrats in expanding their business, and of the workers and peasants in production. His appeal for emulation was also to encourage the intellectuals and specialists in their creation and invention, the government personnel in working to serve the people, and the soldiers and partisans in fighting the enemy and capture the weapons. By doing so, everyone would be involved in the emulation, and the resistance and the national building. And then the Patriotic Emulation movement would be ingrained and widespread, and help us overcome all difficulties and fight against the enemy’s plots to reach the final victory. Ending the appeal for Patriotic Emulation, Ho Chi Minh clearly stated that, “With our nation’s indomitable spirit and inexhaustible forces as well as the patriotism and determination of our people and Army, we can win, and we will definitely win”.

“The Appeal for Patriotic Emulation” deeply demonstrated Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts of patriotism, of people, and of unity – democracy – creativity as well as his strong belief in the people’s role and strength. At the same time, it also reflected his vision in regard to the trend and prospects of the Patriotic Emulation movement as well as the victory of the resistance and national building cause. In his Appeal, the values and significance of propaganda, education, advocacy and organization of the Patriotic Emulation movement, which were both scientific and artistic in terms of political leadership, remain invaluable today.

“The Appeal for Patriotic Emulation” assembled the quintessence of the supreme leader Ho Chi Minh’s wisdom, affection, dedication and great responsibility towards the revolutionary cause of national liberation, the building of foundation for democratic republic regime, and the striving and sacrifice for the people’s independence - freedom - happiness. He modeled the practice of patriotic emulation for the whole Party, the entire people and the whole army to follow as evidenced by his ambitions and wishes, his supreme desire of the Motherland’s independence and freedom and the people’s happiness as well as his practice of diligence, thrift, honesty, integrity, revolutionary virtues, lifelong fame and wealth disinterest, for the nation and for the people. Before departing his life, in his will, he only regretted one thing of “not serving the Motherland and the people any longer”. That is the nobility of Ho Chi Minh’s philosophy of life and personality.

Ho Chi Minh not only initiated and propagandized but also took the lead in practice of the emulation. Throughout his life, he always lived a simple and exemplary life and was a glowing model in thrift practice. Although he was busy with hundreds of jobs as a President, he always thought of the poor. He stated, “When we lift the bowl of rice to eat and thought of the miserable people, we cannot avoid feeling unhappy. So I would like to recommend, and I will practise beforehand that: we should skip a meal every 10 days, that is to say 3 meals per month to spend that rice saving the poor”. One day, he came back from a meeting and resolutely refused to have the helping left for him in the kitchen though he did not eat before because that was the day he starved himself to feed his saving rice jar!

He spent his whole life fighting against individualism as one of the most dangerous enemies, and to wholeheartedly serve the Motherland and the people. He rejected every offer of titles, rewards and medals with a limitless sacrifice and modesty. He heightened human values and paid his attention to improving the progress of each individual and of the entire people who he loved and trusted with all his heart as he stated that every good person was a beautiful flower, and the whole nation was a garden of beautiful flowers.

Ho Chi Minh’s exemplarity in the practice of patriotic emulation reflects his unique role and devotion in leading, managing, organizing, educating, building and developing the people’s great force to bring the cause of resistance and national building to victory. That thought and example eternally ignite the flames of faith and hope for us in the cause of renovation and development for a prosperous, civilised and modern Vietnam.

Prof. PhD. Hoang Chi Bao, Former Member of the Central Theoretical Council – Lt. Col. Le Cong Thuyet, the Academy of Air Force & Air Defence

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