The argument for separating Ho Chi Minh’s ideology from Marxism-Leninism is a malicious trick by the hostile forces in a bid to distort and deny our Party’s ideological ground. Thus, unmasking this trick is a matter of utmost necessity.
The hostile forces have been disseminating the argument that Marxism-Leninism is an ism of division and extremism in favour of class struggle, whereas Ho Chi Minh’s ideology values unity and uniformity, adding that Ho Chi Minh is a nationalist, not a communist, and he emphasizes unity in stead of struggle.
This argument by the hostile forces is aimed at making the people doubt the scientific and revolutionary nature of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, causing confusion, and undermining a sense of political, ideological, organizational unity within the Party and the faith of cadres, party members, and social strata in the Party’s leadership. In fact, they hope to deny the Party’s ideological, theoretical ground, remove the Party’s leadership, change Vietnam’s political regime, encourage political pluralism, and eliminate the socialist goal and road.
It is necessary to be fully aware that their argument for a separation between Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology is a hostile viewpoint against the benefits of Vietnamese working class, revolution, and people. More seriously, they aim at distorting, denying, and abolishing both Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology.
Methodologically, separating Ho Chi Minh’s ideology from Marxism-Leninism is a one-sided, metaphysical, illogical, ahistorical, and unscientific perception. Actually, both Ho Chi Minh’s ideology and Marxism-Leninism share the scientific and revolutionary nature, ideal, and targets for the people and the liberation of classes, nations, and human race. Marxism-Leninism is the theories about the most general development laws of nature, society, and human mind, about the struggle of the working class and labour force against all oppression and inequalities, and about the building of communist society. Marxism-Leninism was formed up by reality of the struggle carried out by the working class which was the typical representative of the most advanced mode of production in the world history of material production. It is a harmonious combination of various sources of human knowledge which are derived from advanced ideologies and supplemented and completed by hands-on experiences. The formation and development of Marxism-Leninism are aimed at the struggle for improving the world and liberating the classes, society, and humans as a noble humane value, not at itself. Marxism-Leninism regards the working class as a “material” weapon while the working class considers Marxism-Leninism as a “spiritual” weapon.
With reference to historical science, Ho Chi Minh’s ideology derives from the national culture and human race’s cultural quintessence with Marxism-Leninism as its peak. Marxism-Leninism is the theoretical background of Ho Chi Minh’s ideology. Logically, Ho Chi Minh’s ideology inherits, develops, and diversifies Marxism-Leninism. It flexibly applies Marxism-Leninism to Vietnam’s condition. It is a strategy to gradually transform the people’s democratic national revolution into a socialist revolution in Vietnam, while acting as an ideological flag and lodestar for the national liberation cause in the past and today’s Homeland construction and defence. In 1927, in the first page of his work entitled “Revolutionary Path,” Ho Chi Minh quoted Lenin’s saying that “without revolutionary theory, there will be no revolutionary movement… only by following a revolutionary theory could a revolutionary Party take the vanguard revolutionary responsibility.” Ho Chi Minh underlined the importance of Marxism-Leninism to the Party: “To make the Party strong, there must be an ism that plays a core role in itself; every party member must understand and follow that ism. A Party without any ism is like a man without wisdom or a ship without any compass. There are now numerous isms, but Leninism is the most genuine, solid, and revolutionary one.” In Ho Chi Minh’s opinion, Marxism-Leninism serves as a “miraculous manual,” a “compass,” and “wisdom” of our Party. It is the “spiritual weapon” of the working class and the lodestar for the revolution. Marxism-Leninism’s core role in the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) could be seen as Ho Chi Minh’s concise, particular generalization about the value and vitality of Marxism-Leninism as the CPV’s ideological ground and lodestar.
Naturally, logically, and historically, there is no difference or opposition between Ho Chi Minh’s ideology and Marxism-Leninism as disseminated by the hostile forces. In fact, both Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology always act as the Party’s ideological ground and the lodestar for its action and the Vietnamese revolution. That solid, scientific, and revolutionary ideological ground directs our Party’s awareness and action and equips our Party with an ideological weapon so that it could fulfil the vanguard role in the Vietnamese revolution. The CPV leads the revolution and society via political platforms and guidelines which are concretized into strategic directions and policies on the basis of grasp and flexible application of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology to the different conditions in the revolutionary periods so as to meet the requirements for the construction and defence of the Homeland of Socialist Vietnam.
Since being guided by Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology and directed by the vanguard CPV of the working class, the Vietnamese revolution has overcome the crisis in terms of revolutionary line and directing force, developed the country in accordance with the trend of the times, and acquired numerous achievements and victories. Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology act as the ideological and theoretical basis for the CPV’s birth and the lodestar for its action and the Vietnamese revolution. It is Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology that have directed our Party’s awareness and action. The achievements in the 30-year-plus Doi Moi and particularly the success of ideological reform have derived from the principles of reality, loyalty, and creativity. Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology have directed the Party’s action and helped it dare to look straight at the truth, dare to clearly say the truth, respect and follow the objective principles, take the people as the root of all work, and adhere to the goal and ideal of national independence and socialism.
Being steadfast in Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology is a determinant to the victory of the Vietnamese revolution. Nowadays, the world is developing together with the 4th industrial revolution which has been changing basically the approach, way of thinking, and living and working style. Against that backdrop, new theories will be widespread and affect Vietnam, which will expose shortcomings in the construction of socialism in the socialist countries and our country as a new problem for Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology. Taking advantage of that situation, the hostile forces have been devoting efforts to attacking our Party’s ideological ground. To respond to the complex developments of the situation and the revolution’s requirements, our Party and all cadres and party members should remain steadfast in Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, develop and apply them flexibly to Vietnam’s condition.
Without steadfastness in the viewpoints and theoretical methodology of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, there will no unity of awareness and action within the Party. Without a grasp of scientific and revolutionary nature and core content of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, it is difficult for us to completely, convincingly resolve the issues arising from reality. As a result, we will find no solid scientific basis for fighting against and refuting the hostile forces’ argument and call for a separation between Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology. Only by grasping the scientific and revolutionary nature of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology could our Party and all cadres and party members be equipped with an effective theoretical methodology and creatively apply it to solving the issues arising from reality nationwide and in each sector and locality. Thus, it is important to step up propagation and education of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh and make the Party’s ideology dominate the society’s spiritual life. It is essential to enhance the work of propagating and educating Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology to render cadres and party members capable of dealing with all work, all people, and themselves as well as combining theory with practice. Consideration should be given to making a new positive change in the quality and effectiveness of studying and emulating Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, ethics, and lifestyle under the 12th Politburo’s Directive 05; to handling the signs of formalism and oversimplification and insufficient regard towards the studying of political theory amongst a contingent of cadres, party members, and youth union members.
The hostile forces’ argument for a separation between Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology is aimed at promoting their “peaceful evolution” strategy and “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from within. Therefore, being steadfastness in Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology is a matter of principle and utmost importance to building a politically, ideologically, morally, and organizationally strong and pure CPV, improving each cadre and party member’s qualities and capabilities, and foiling all plots of sabotage against the Vietnamese revolution.
Sr. Col., Associate Prof. Le Quy Trinh, PhD
The Institute for Military Social Sciences and Humanities, the Ministry of National Defence