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Ho Chi Minh’s thought on example-setting responsibility and the implementation of Resolution of the 8th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (12th tenure)

As a pioneering Party, it is the Party’s role and mission to lead and guide the cause of national liberation and construction and development. The Party has set an example of sacrificing everything for the nation and the people’s interests. Thus, the onus is on every cadre and party member to keep that example widespread and charismatic in order to forge the Party’s pioneering, scientific and revolutionary nature, and every cadre and party member’s pioneering nature.

President Ho Chi Minh’s brilliant image and his thought on example-setting responsibility

To facilitate the advent of the Communist Party of Vietnam, great leader Nguyen Ai Quoc – Ho Chi Minh had meticulously made political, ideological, theoretical, and personnel preparations and trained compatriots to be revolutionaries. In his work entitled “Revolutionary Path” (1927), he paid special attention to 23 points of a revolutionary’s dignities. According to him, a revolutionary must have virtuous dignities and set a genuine example of building good relationships with others and his line of work. A revolutionary per se must be industrious and thrifty; be cautious but not coward; be persevering and public-spirited and selfless and secretive; match words with deeds; and restrain himself from material temptations. A revolutionary must show compassion for others; display a serious attitude towards his collectives; be helpful and upright, but not reckless. In his line of work, he must be cautious, decisive, fearless, and deferential towards his collectives”.

When ours had become a ruling Party, President Ho Chi Minh pointed out 12 articles of the genuine revolutionary Party’s dignities in his work titled “Reforming working style” (1947). The dignities constitute example-setting responsibility for the sake of the nation and the people’s interests. “The Party is not an organization for climbing the ladder of power or getting rich. It must successfully fulfil its mission of liberating the nation, making the Homeland prosperous and its countrymen happy”. Only when “the Party has nothing else apart from its nation and Homeland’s interests” does it truly uphold example-setting responsibility. President Ho Chi Minh paid special regard to cadres and party members’ example-setting responsibility. To become a genuine revolutionary, every cadre and party member must set an example of being industrious, thrifty, upright, honest, public-spirited, and selfless, upholding such qualities as kindness, decorum, uprightness, wisdom, and faithfulness, and fighting such bad qualities as laziness, dishonesty, greed, and so on. Simultaneously, according to President Ho Chi Minh, it is every cadre and party member’s obligation to set an example to the populace in everything. Over the course of national liberation revolution and resistance wars against foreign aggressors, every cadre and party member were required to be the vanguard and set an example to the masses, and make the ultimate sacrifice for national independence and freedom in the face of overwhelming odds. President Ho Chi Minh always recognized the examples of fallen comrades, namely Tran Phu, Ngo Gia Tu, Le Hong Phong, Nguyen Van Cu, Hoang Van Thu, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, etc. Those comrades were brilliantly held up as an example of revolutionary morality and public-spiritedness and selfless.

Over the course of socialist construction and national development, carrying out the mission of a ruling Party, cadres and party members who are holding high positions and authority in the Party and the State apparatuses and enjoying attendant material entitlements and benefits are increasingly required to hold the mirror up to everything without regard to fame, wealth, and power, and satisfactorily accomplish assigned tasks.

When alive, President Ho Chi Minh ever stated “party members pioneer everything and the masses follow”. This statement constitutes the people’s compliment and cadres and party members’ example-setting responsibility, which represents the Party’s pioneering, scientific, and revolutionary nature and every cadre and party member’s pioneering role. He clearly pointed out that “In the Party’s history of struggle as well as daily activities, especially on fighting and production fronts, a large number of our cadres and party members have shown their valour and example-setting responsibility, and scored glorious achievements”.

Over the course of his lifetime, President Ho Chi Minh had always set a shining example of revolutionary morality – the noblest image of a communist and a great leader, who devoted himself to the nation and the people’s interests. He had set an example of putting the revolution and nation’s interests and the people’s life first. On 14th July, 1969, Ho Chi Minh was quoted in reply to a female Cuban journalist as saying “I dedicate my life to my people”. The Resolution of UNESCO General Conference (convened from 20-10 to 20-11-1987) honoured and recognized Ho Chi Minh as “a national hero and great man of culture”.

Studying and following Ho Chi Minh’s example-setting thought

Following President Ho Chi Minh’s passing (02-9-1969), the whole Party, people, and Army have voluntarily lived, fought, worked, and studied according to Uncle Ho’s great example. In the cause of national renewal under the Party’s leadership, the whole nation has scored great historic victories “Never before has our nation gained current future and status, which results from constant efforts made by the entire Party, people, and Army, and the supreme sacrifice and significant contributions made by the contingent of cadres and party members. We are entitled to take great pride in good nature, heroic traditions, and glorious history by our Party – the Party of great President Ho Chi Minh and representative of heroic Vietnamese peoples.

The Party has attached great value to the work of party building and rectification and obtained positive results, as evidenced by increasingly enhanced leadership capabilities and combativeness and gradually innovated leadership style. Yet, in addition to attained results, the work of party building still exposes some limitations and shortcomings. A not-small portion of cadres and party members have displayed manifestations of political, ideological, moral, and lifestyle degeneracy and “self-evolution” and “self-transformation”. Against this backdrop, since 2007, the Party has launched the campaign of studying and following Uncle Ho’s moral example and promulgated a wide variety of documents pertaining to example-setting responsibility and dos and don’ts for party members. On 15th May 2016, the Politburo issued the Directive No. 05-CT/TW on “accelerating the study and following of Uncle Ho’s thought, morality, and lifestyle”. The 8th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (12th tenure) passed the regulations made by the Party Central Committee on example-setting responsibility of cadres and party members, first and foremost members of the Politburo, the Secretariat, and the Party Central Committee. The study and following of Uncle Ho’s example and cadres, party members, and high-ranking bigwigs’ example-setting responsibility mark a crucial transformation in the Party’s building and rectification as well as in awareness and action.

First of all, example-setting responsibility means absolute loyalty to communist ideals and revolutionary objectives and path in association with national independence and socialism selected by the Party and President Ho Chi Minh. That judicious selection has led our national cause of revolution to multiple victories and immense successes. In the face of overwhelming odds, great revolutionary ideals and goals will brilliantly guide every cadre and soldier’s awareness and actions through specific deeds and actions, striving to set an example to the people for the sake of national independence, freedom, and socialism.

Example-setting responsibility requires every cadre and party member to be sufficiently self-aware of strictly observing the Party’s Platform and guidelines and the State’s laws and policies; not to act or speak against the Party’s guidelines; to properly accomplish assigned weighty duties and missions via the spirit of lifelong service to the Homeland, the State, and the people. The Party also underlines leading cadres’ responsibility for handling relations with party organizations and governments and their example-setting responsibility for strictly implementing the Party’s leadership principles.

Every cadre and party member must genuinely set a moral example of leading an industrious, thrifty, upright, honest, and public-spirited and selfless life; not fall into individualism and corruption and wastefulness; and restrain themselves from material temptations and “group interests” whilst promoting a simple and humble lifestyle, maintaining close ties with people, and upholding comradeship as taught by Uncle Ho; actively contributing to the work of Party building as stated in Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress.

Every cadre and party member with leadership positions must exert themselves to uphold political and enterprising willpower; strive to render a service to the Party, the nation, and society with their capability and values, and restrain themselves from power ambitions and abuse. Those who feel themselves having inadequate competency and prestige or are held accountable for serious violations should proactively step down. Simultaneously, cadres and party members need to set an example of firmly gripping political willpower and stance; resolutely fighting false and reactionary arguments by hostile forces and manifestations of “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from within; and protecting the Party, the State, and the regime, and steadfastly pursuing the path to socialism.

Properly implementing the regulations on example-setting responsibility issued by the 8th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (12th tenure) signifies a critical transformation in awareness and action in a bid to build the Party morally and strongly innovate leadership style according to Ho Chi Minh’s thought, and helps consolidate the ruling Party’s leadership role and intra-Party solidarity and unity as well as the relationships between the Party and the people. The internalization of the regulations on example-setting responsibility will enable the Party’s pioneering and revolutionary nature to be increasingly promoted. To this end, it not only necessitates every cadre and party member cultivating their moral virtues in accord with set criteria, but also requires the Party and the entire society’s encouragement and recognition to honour and spread multiple noble examples.

Associate Prof Nguyen Trong Phuc PhD   

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