President Ho Chi Minh's "Mass Mobilization" – theoretical and practical value for the current mass mobilization work

    17:11 12/05/2020

    The literary work "Mass Mobilization" ("Dân vận") has affirmed a worthy position in the Ho Chi Minh ideological legacy, with special value, demontrating through his thought"Revolution is the cause of the masses". "Dan van" is the Uncle Ho's dedication to each cadre and party member, deeply affirming an advocacy perspective that mass mobilization is the responsibility of the entire political system and also reflects vividly, fully Ho Chi Minh's thought, morality and lifestyle.

    Warm feelings of friendship and fighting unity between the army and the people

    The work "Mass Mobilization" is the crystallization of Ho Chi Minh's thought flow about the intimate relationship between the Party, the State and the People as well as the Party's work of mass mobilization work

    "The issue of Mass Mobilization has been not only much mentioned but also been carefully discussed; however, many localities and officials have not fully understood and done it incorrectly, it is necessary to repeat it." The simple and direct introduction of the article “Mass Mobilization” published in The Truth newspaper with the pen name X.Y.Z 70 years ago was also the concern of President Ho Chi Minh about the strategic importance of the mass mobilization work of the Party. As the founder and trainer of the Party, when he left the sacred testament to the entire Party, the entire people and the entire army, in the first advice about the Party, his earnest wish was that the Party always "wholeheartedly serves the class, serves the people, serves the Fatherland" and the people "always follow the Party, and be loyal to the Party."

    With a firm beliefin the great force of the people, considering the revolution to be the cause of the masses, throughout the life of his revolutionary activities, until the time of leaving his Testament, Uncle always devoted his mind andheart to building up, strengthening the close relationship between the Party, the State and the people through a bridge of the mass mobilization work. Particularly in 1949, when the cause of resistance war and national construction was about to enter into major campaigns, itrequired"many people, much money, and assets" to realize the goal “All to win. Strengthen the resistance. Prepare for a total counter-attack”, President Ho Chi Minh frequently talked about the campaigning activities (work) in dozens of documents and works, in many forms of expression (letters, mails, articles, short stories...), on publications that were widely followed by cadres, soldiers, and fellow citizens, such as The Truth newspaper, the National Salvation newspaper, the guerrilla army newspaper ... in which, the work "Mass Mobilization", which had just over 600 words, has shown Ho Chi Minh's thought on the most essential issues in the mass mobilizationwork of the Party in a comprehensive, complete, condensed, concise, understandable, easy-to-remember way, it is the relationship between democracy and mass mobilization; perspectives and principles of conducting the mass mobilization work, the responsibility of mobilizing the masses of the entire political system, methods of mass mobilization and theneededqualities for public officials. His idea of mass mobilization affairs in this article is to summarize and develop the strategic path of gathering revolutionary forces and mobilizing the masses that has been shown in his previous famous works such as "Revolutionary Way" ("Đường Kách Mệnh") (1927), "History of our country" ("Lịch sử nước ta") (1942), "Government is the public servant of the people" ("Chính phủ là công bộc của dân") (1945), "How to win the hearts of the people" ("Sao cho được lòng dân") (1945), "New life" ("Đời sống mới") (1947), "Changing the way of working" ("Sửa đổi lối làm việc") (1947).

    In the beginning of the work, in 7 very concise sentences, Uncle has generalized and demonstrated very well the theory of socialist democracy through the relationship between "water" and "people": "OUR COUNTRY IS DEMOCRACY. All the interests are for the people. All the authority belongs to the people. Reform and building are responsibilities of the people. Authorities from the commune level to the central government are appointed by the people. Unions from the Central to commune levels are organized by the people. In short, all power and forces come from the people”.

    The people-centered ideology of President Ho Chi Minh, first of all originates from his patriotism, from his experiences during the hard-working and proletarian years, from pride, from inheriting and developing the precious tradition of gathering the strength of the masses, which was molded throughout the history of national construction and defense, combined with the creative application of the theoretical values and modernity of Marxism-Leninism about mobilizing the masses. The word "people" is used by Uncle in combination with the emphasis "for the people", "of the people", "appointed by the people" and "organized by the people" which imply the rich expression of Vietnamese nation, national values, compatriots, social strata, generations, circles, agencies, organizations, unions, communities ... "People" is the gathering of revolutionary forces of the people withshared patriotism, together with the mission of building and defending the Fatherland. The August Revolution was successful, in the "Letter to Comrades", Uncle explained that the success of the historic victory is because "the entire people force is the greatest force. No one can beat that force.” In order to gather this great strength, President Ho Chi Minh always respectfully placed the people in the position of the master, who is both beneficial and responsible for the cause of resistance, national reform, construction and defense. Therefore, the driving force for the mass movement is to meet the practical interests of the people, harmoniously combining the interests and rights that must go hand in hand with the citizen's obligations; the participation and contribution of every citizen, whatever their position, is the starting point tocreat "more people, money and assets" of the whole people's forces. The Uncle's teaching was very insightful: “Of those three things, our people own them all. People are willing to devote themselves, their assets and money to support for the Union and the Government once they understand that the policy is sorely judicious”. Therefore, the mass mobilization work is placed at the strategic task level, which must be carried out regularly by each government official and mass organization cadre in every circumstance and area, towards all classes of people, gathering, strengthening and kindling the power of the entire people with practical revolutionary movements so that the masses of people can have a sense of having control over the forces that affect their lives and have conditions for real mastery. Mass mobilization work is the link that maintains the close relationship between the Party, the State and the People to implement the policy of great national unity as President Ho Chi Minh once sternly warned in “Changing the way of working": "We have to communicate closely with the people. Do not remain aloof from the people. To be remote from the people is solitary. Solitude is bound to fail.”

    From the close relationship between democracy and mass mobilization, President Ho Chi Minh stated a clear definition of the mass mobilization campaign: "Mass mobility is to mobilize every capability of each person without leaving any one behind, to create the all-people force in order to execute the work that should be done or was entrusted by the Government and the Unions"; at the same time, he asserted: "Ineffective mass mobilization leads to poor performance in everything. Effective mass mobilization leads to success in everything." This is the core of President Ho Chi Minh's broad, long-term, sincere and thorough thoughts on Great Unity; at the same time, it is an emphasis on the strategic importance of mass mobilization work in constructing, strengthening the great national unity bloc and promoting socialist democracy in Vietnam. In parallel with the goal of democratic practice, in order to ensure that the revolutionary career is not lax and does not diverge from the nature "of the people, by the people and for the people", he also laid the foundation for shaping the motto "People know, people discuss, people do, people check" through clearly indicating the works that should be done, which are: Firstly, all people had to be explained clearly that it was their interests and duties that had to be achieved by any means; secondly, the cadres had to discuss whatever they did with the people, ask for people's opinion and experience, and collaborate with people to work out plans suitable to local circumstances; thirdly, encourage and facilitate people's implementation process, it was necessary to supervise, support, urge and encourage people; fourthly, after finishing the work, together with people, cadres had to review the work in order to draw experience, criticize or praise and reward people. This is the ideological foundation for the motto "People know, people discuss, people do, people check", which is thoroughly grasped, applied, developed deeply by the Party in the process of operating the mechanism of "Party's leadership, State's management, people's mastery".

    By answering the question "What is mass mobilization?", "Who is in charge of the mass mobilization?" and "How to mobilize the masses?" represents Ho Chi Minh's very simple and profound dialectical logic of the relationship between the task and the solution. Corresponding to the basic task of uniting and gathering forces, building a great unity bloc of the entire nation, "mobilizing every capability of each person, leaving no one behind, to create the all-people force,” the main solution of mass mobilization work is to promote the responsibility of the entire political system, led by mobilizing the government: "All governmental officials, Party members and members of people's organizations (Lien Viet, Viet Minh ...) must be in charge of mass mobilization work".

    Accordingly, the major pointsabout approaching the mass mobilizationworkin Ho Chi Minh thought can be summarized as follows:

    Firstly, every cadre, agency, organization must implement the mass mobilization campaign associated with their duties, authorities and routine work. Uncle Ho’ workexpressed a profound implication, although writing about the mass mobilization mission, Uncle gave examples of agricultural workers, government officials, and union officials i.e.thosepracticing mass mobilization. They are the ones directly work in mobilizing the masses through their professional work,thereby asserting the principle and also assigning civil tasks to the entire political system.

    Secondly, in carrying out the task of mobilizing the masses, the authorities, organizations, professionalcadres and local officials must work together intimately, coordinate closely, discuss carefully and assign clearly to mobilizethe masses effectively according tobasing oneach one's capabilities, strengths and responsibilities, to create synergy.

    Thirdly, attaching much importance to the communicationand advocacy activities so that "people understand, people remember, people follow and people do", but to apply the mass mobilization method, cadres cannot only use newspapers, books, meetings, mottoes, leaflets. They cannot only talk or give orders. They must "truly get involved in work", constantly engage, motivate, supervise, support and encourage the people.

    Fourthly, mass mobilization activistsmust have the spirit of volunteering, setting an example and modeling both in words and actionsin such a way that the people believe, the peopleadmire and the people love so that it can promote emulation movement.

    It can be said that these are the basic principles of the mass mobilization work, which until now still remains topical and practical values, creating the natural sustainable vitality of Ho Chi Minh's thought about the mass mobilization work.

    Sustainable values of Ho Chi Minh's morality and lifestyle in mass mobilization

    Originating from the rich practice of international proletarian movement as well as the revolutionary cause of the nation, President Ho Chi Minh constantly pondered and thought about the happiness of the people. Uncle was always close to the people of all strata, listened to them to understand their thoughts and aspirations, from words and deeds, put the interests of the people first. President Ho Chi Minh stated an exemplary style of public relations officers, briefly summed up by him that "Cadres in charge of mass mobilization work must be mind-thinking, eyes-observing, ears-listening, feet-walking, mouth-saying, hands-doing". This is both an appreciation and a strict requirement for political prowess, theoretical thinking, practical capability, revolutionary morality and exemplary spirits of mass mobilization activistsin a democratic country. The mass mobilization work is not only a political task, but also a science and an art for the Party and State's guidelines and policies to reach the people, to make the people understand, remember and believe, since then energetically, voluntarily and self-consciously participate. In order to fulfilthat, the criteria of "mind thinking" requires mass mobilization activists to have knowlege, be equipped with solid theoretical foundation, constantly thinking, searching and improving their ability to perform effectively the mass mobilization tasks and to assemble forces, not acting rashly, working carelessly for form's sake; "Eyes observing" is a criterion for promoting practical capability, monitoring and mastering the situation, its characteristics and practical developments in order to have an effective and practical implementation solution. To avoid bureaucracy, emotionlessness, aloof from the masses, the mass mobilization cadres must be "eyes-observing, feet-walking", often and proactively reach out to the people, towards the grassroots to listen and receive multi-dimensional information from the people, to understand the people's feelings and legitimate aspirations, discoverand process false information which affects the people's faith in the Party's leadership; at the same time, cadres must set an example between talking and doing, betweencommunication and action, so that the mass mobilization spirit permeates each specific task, avoiding the situation: “On papersheet, everything is available. But in fact, everything is sluggish and disorderly”. He also strongly criticized the misleading perceptions of mass mobilization affairs: “The big shortcoming in many places is underestimating the mass mobilization work, leaving the whole mass mobilization work to a certaindivision or several cadres, usually the incompetent ones. The other cadres did not care, assist and take responsibility for mass mobilization. If this happened, it would be a serious and harmful mistake."

    Public communication, advocacy and persuasion are an important stage of mass mobilization, the effectiveness of communication, depends on the personal qualities, attitudes and skills of communication activists. In his work "Communication activists and communication", He instructed communication activists to think thoroughly in order to understand deeply about the contents of communication, to know how to speak simply, clearly, practically and have a good opening and endingso that everyone can understand; the communication activistsshould not speak more than an hour. This can make the listener sick to hear. They should be respectful and polite; they should have an appropriate form of address and proper attitude. If they do not want the communicationto fail, the communication activists "must take pains, endure hardship, have savoir-faire and be diligent". He also warned the communication activistsnot to keep the thinking that "visitingthe localities and giving a speech for a couple of hours can lead to good outcomes”. More importantly, Uncle always reminded and advised his staffs to cultivate and train the attitude in dealing with the people, to uphold the exemplary spirit and to set an example as the best way to build affection among the people as it "will help the results of the communication, increase manifold”. These are extremely valuable lessons from Ho Chi Minh's morality and lifestyle of mass mobilization to inspire the cadres to follow his example, to self-reflect and self-correct.

    Continuing to reform the contents and modes of mass mobilization according to Ho Chi Minh's thought, morality and lifestyle in the current period

    In each historical period of revolution, the Party's mass mobilization work have different contents and methods, but the most important goal is to strengthen the close relationship between the Party and the people, to firmly consolidate the people's beliefs in the Party and the State, to mobilize and widely attract people of all strata to actively participate in revolutionary movements, patriotic emulations and to strengthen the great unity bloc of the entire nation.

    In the time of the resistance war, the national construction was still full of difficulties, in "Mass Mobilization", Uncle had foreseen the cause of reform and pointed out the source of strength to carry out the reform: "Reform and construction work is the responsibility of the people”. In fact, the cause of reform is alsoinitiated from the people, as the 8th National Party Congress document affirmed: “It is the people's opinions, aspirations and initiatives that are the origin of the Party's line of renovation. Thanks to the people's responds to the renovation policy and bravely striving and overcoming many difficulties and challenges, the renewal can obtain achievements today".

    Deeply aware of the great and sustainable value of Ho Chi Minh's thought, morality and lifestyle in mass mobilization affairs, for many years, along with the cause of comprehensive renovation of the country, our Party has always paid attention to and promulgated many resolutions specifying guidelines and policies for mass mobilization, renewing contents and approaches of mass mobilization, which are also the process of learning and following the teachings given by President Ho Chi Minh summarized in "Mass mobilization".

    In 1986, at the Sixth National Party Congress, when summarizing the process of leading the revolutionary causeand deciding the comprehensive renovation guideline of the country, the first major lesson emphasized by the Vietnam Communist Party in the Political Report was the lesson on thoroughly grasping the thought of "Taking people as the root", building and promoting the people's right to mastery, taking care of and strengthening the close relationship between the Party and the people, and building the people's confidence in the Party. The 8th plenary session of the 6th Central Committee issued Resolution No.08B-NQ/HNTW, dated March 27 (27th), 1990, "On renewing the Party's public affairs, strengthening the relationship between the Party and the people." This is a timely step to rectify the decline in the relationship between the Party and the people, rectifying the situation that a part of cadres and party members are bureaucratic, dictatorial, keeping aloof from the people, autocratic, authoritative, embezzling, taking bribes, living extravagantly, dissipative, reducing the enthusiasm for the revolution, limiting the promotion of the people's great potential in the cause of national construction. The credo of building the country during the transition to socialism (1991) strongly and deeply affirmed: “All activities of the Party must come from the legitimate interests and aspirations of the people. The Party's strength lies in its close attachment to the people." Under the requirementsof strengthening and renewing the Party's leadership on public affairs, in 1992 the Secretariat decided to set up the Central BoardOf the Public Workto act as a consultant for the Politburo and the Secretariat regardingon public affairs, the permanent standing bodyof the Board is the Central Mass Mobilization Commission.

    The Seventh plenary session of the 11th Central Committee of National Party Congress has issued Resolution No.25-NQ/TW, dated June 3, 2013, "On strengthening and renewing the Party's leadership in terms of mobilization in the new situation". On the basis of a comprehensive assessment of the situation, clarifying the challenges for the mass mobilization in the context of soaring the cause of renovation to new heights, developing a socialist-oriented market economy, building up the socialist rule-of-law state, extensive international integration, with the goal of firmly strengthening people's confidence in the Party, creating a vast revolutionary movement in national construction and defense, implementing the national industrialization and modernization successfully.

    Resolution No.25-NQ/TW has inherited Resolution No.8B-NQ/TW, developing and deepening 5 guiding points for mass mobilization, which are: 1- Revolution is the causeof people; 2. The driving force for the people's movement is to promote the people's right to mastery, and meet the people's practical interests; harmonious combination of benefits; rights must go hand in hand with citizen obligations; focusing on direct benefits of the people; mobilizing the people's forces must go hand in hand with fostering the people's strength; cadres must try their best to bring benefits and avoid doing harmful things to the people; 3- The Party's mass mobilization work must be closely associated with the work of building a clean and strong Party and State. All views and guidelines of the Party and laws of the State must be in accordance with the interests of the people. Each cadre, party member, civil servant and officer must be exemplary for the people to believe and follow; 4- The mass mobilization work is the responsibility of the whole political system, of cadres, party members, public servants, officials, union members and members of mass organizations, officials and soldiers of the armed forces. In particular, the Party leads the work, authorities organize its implementation, the Vietnam Fatherland Front and socio-political organizations are regarded as advisors and core; 5- The State has the responsibility toinstitutionalize the mechanism of "Party's leadership, State's management and people's mastery" into a regulation and policies so that organizations in the political system, officials, Party members, civil servants, officials and officers and soldiers of the armed forces perform better mass mobilization work; people gathering forms must be abundant, diversified, scientific and effective.

    The aforementioned viewpoints are the creative manipulation of President Ho Chi Minh's thought on mass mobilization in the new situation, the sustainable values of mass mobilization work; since then, it is necessary to renovate the mass mobilization in a practical and creative way, covering broadly with a focus and main point, aiming at the goal of consensus, strengthening people's trust, developing and promoting the great strength of the great unity bloc of the entire nation, constantly improving the Party's leadership and fighting power, contributing to building the Party, and building a clean and strong government.

    At the 12th National Congress of the Party, Political Report with the theme "Strengthening building a clean and strong Party; promoting the strength of the entire nation, socialist democracy; promoting comprehensively and synchronously the renovation process; firmly defending the Fatherland, maintaining a peaceful and stable environment; striving to bring Vietnam basically into an industrialized country towards modernity”, on the basis of a comprehensive summary of 30 years of renovation, frankly pointed out: “Socialist democracy and the power of great national unity have not been fully promoted; discipline and rules are not strict enough" and supplement, emphasize the key contents to improve the efficiency of the mass mobilization in the new situation. Since then, solidifying the people's faith in the Party, creating new vitality for the great unity bloc of the entire nation, strengthening the close relationship between the Party and the people; gathering and mobilizing the people to well implement the Party's guidelines and the State's policies and laws; promoting the great strength of the people, forming a vast revolutionary movement in national construction and defense. The Party emphasized that it is necessary to continue renewing the Party's leadership approach on the mass mobilization in the conditions of developing a socialist-oriented market economy and actively integrating into the international integration. The contingent of cadres and party members must truly believe in the people, respect the people, be close to the people, understand the people, learn from the people, rely on the people and take responsibility to the people; promptly and effectively deal with people's pressing and legitimate petitions and citizens' complaints and denunciations; at the same time, continue to institutionalize and concretize the relationship of "Party's leadership, State's management, people's mastery", especially the content of the people's right to mastery and the motto "People know, people discuss, people do, people check"; ensure the participation of all people in all stages of the making-decisions process related to the people's lives and interests, from initiatives, participation in discussions and debates to monitoring the implementation process. Strengthening and renewing, improving the quality and efficiency of the mass mobilization work of state agencies; well implementing the regulations on mass mobilization of the political system; paying attention to training and fostering a contingent of officials specialized in public relations work.

    The new development stage of the country with the great tasks of renewing the growth model, sustainable development, and extensive international integration poses many opportunities and challenges for promoting all resources and every creative potential among the people, to create a vast movement in national construction and defense. Along with the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution taking place strongly, the people's intellectual standards is higher and higher, the people's consciousness and role of mastery are increasingly expanded, the media and social networks' direct impacts are increasingly diverse and have multi-dimensional effects; the hostile forces and internal dissidents against the Party are becoming increasingly sophisticated and fierce... require the Party's mass mobilization work to be constantly renewed, focusing on the following main tasks and solutions:

    Firstly, continuing to create drastic changes in awareness and action on the mass mobilization work of the party committees and the political system, becoming practical actions associated with the functions and tasks of each agency, organizations and individuals in the political system; promoting the role of the people in building a clean and strong Party and State. Promoting communicationand using the mass media, social networks effectively. Renovating the mass mobilization work in a practical and creative way; aiming to reach consensus, strengthening the people's trust towards the Party and the State, promoting the great strength of the great unity bloc of the entire nation.

    Secondly, effectuating the mass mobilization work of state agencies at all levels according to Conclusion No.114-KL/TW, dated July 14th, 2015, of the Secretariat and Directive No.16/CT-TTg, dated May 16th, 2016, of the Prime Minister, focusing on: Improving the quality, promoting the role and participation of the people in building, promulgating, organizing and implementing the Party's policies and the State's laws on the basis of ensuring the harmony of interests between the State, enterprises and the people, among regions and areas, with regard to disadvantaged people in society; overcoming the formality in activities of contacting voters, supervising activities, serving the citizens, democratic dialogues, settling complaints, denunciations and petitions of the people. Implementing regulations on public service ethics combined with strengthening inspection and examination; promoting administrative reform and judicial reform associated with raising the awareness of serving the people; promoting the exemplary role of cadres and party members, especially strategic officers, heads, contingent of cadres, civil servants, officers and armed forces who directly communicate with the people.

    Thirdly, well implementing the Democracy Regulation at grass-roots level with the forms according to Directive No.30-CT/TW and Conclusion No.120-KL/TW of the Politburo; studying the ability to formulate and promulgate the Law on practicing Grassroots Democracy. Strengthening dialogues, interacting with the people; sticking to the grassroots, listening to the people's innermost feelings and desires; promptly fulfilling and satisfying the legitimate and rightful aspirations of the people; overcoming the conditions of delay or not grasping the people's situation and psychological development; focusing on urgently, definitely and promptly handling pressing issues directly related to the people's lives such as crowded, leveled up and protracted lawsuits, avoiding to form and spread "hot spots” relating to security and social order.

    Fourthly, promoting the active role in renewing the contents, modes of operation and organization of the Fatherland Front and socio-political organizations; operating mass associations in a more focused, intrinsic and effective way; perfecting mechanisms to improve the effectiveness of social supervision and criticism of the people through the Fatherland Front and socio-political organizations. Paying attention to selecting, training, fostering and having mechanisms and policies to encourage the contingent of officials engaged in the work of the front, mass mobilization and mass organizations; resolutely not to appoint cadres lacking of capabilities, having no moral sense, violating discipline to conduct mass mobilization work.

    Fifthly, seriously and consistently implementing the principles of voluntariness, self-governance, self-assurance of operational funds and compliance with laws; The State only grants funds to perform the tasks assigned by the Party and the State to the mass associations' organization and operation. Promoting patriotic emulation movements, implementing well the "effective mass mobilization" emulation movement; actively propagating, praising and replicating the models and typical examples of mass mobilization work; promoting the work of building and regulating the Party, the prevention and fight against corruption in the spirit of the resolutions of the 4th, 6th and 7th plenary sessions of the 12th Party Central Committee and relevant Party documents; enhancing the role, responsibility and exemplary spirit of the heads of committees, governments, agencies and organizations; resolutely struggling with wrong views and arguments; strengthening coordination and implementation of the Regulation on mass mobilization of the political system; building a coordination mechanism between the government, agencies and organizations with the Vietnam Fatherland Front and socio-political organizations at all levels; actively urging, inspecting and supervising the implementation of the Party's resolutions, directives and conclusions on mass mobilization. It can be said that, right from its inception, the mass mobilization work was guided by the sound thought and theory of President Ho Chi Minh; all cadres and party members have always been cared about and cultivated by Uncle Ho not only with the professional manual of "Mass Mobilization" but also with his pure morality and exemplary spirit. Thinking about Uncle Ho, in order to make his last wish a reality: “Our entire Party and people unite closely and strive to build a peaceful, unified, independent, democratic and prosperous Vietnam, and make a worthy contribution to the world revolution”, the only way is to maintain the people's trust and rely on the people./.

    Source: Communist Review (No 927, October 2019)

    TRUONG THI MAI, Member of the Politburo, Secretary of the Party Central Committee Head of the Central Commission of Mass Mobilization