President Ho Chi Minh used the pen name X.Y.Z. to write the 'Mass Mobilisation' article, which was published in the 120th edition of The Truth on 15 October 1949. Although this is an article, it is worth regarding as a great work because of its great erudition and theoretical, practical value. This work has a timeless quality and is pregnant with direction in the Party building in general and the mass mobilisation work in particular at the present time.
Mass mobilisation is a matter of great importance to the operations of any political parties, most notably our Party. The proper settlement of this issue plays a decisive role in the existence and development of the Party, which acts in its capacity as an organisation entrusted with leading the struggle for victory of the revolution by the people. "The people possess great strength. Mass mobilisation is very important. Poor mass mobilisation leads to poor performance in everything. Good mass mobilisation leads to success in everything," said Ho Chi Minh.
Ho Chi Minh's 'Mass Mobilisation' had more than 600 words and was neatly printed in two pages and four columns in a coherent manner. Despite its shortness, this work exuded Ho Chi Minh's style, which was characterised by simplicity, straightforwardness, and content-focusedness. It also exuded very fundamental, comprehensive standpoints, which had great significance for directing the mass mobilisation work of the Party, authorities, unions, etc., in our country. The values of these standpoints endure today, demonstrating the everlastingness of this work.
Workshop overview of the 70 years 'Mass Mobilisation" of President Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh clearly pointed out the foundation of the mass mobilisation work through the position: "Our country is a democratic country. All the interests are for the people. All the authority belongs to the people. Reform and building are responsibilities of the people. The cause of struggle against foreign aggressors and national construction is the people's work. Authorities from the commune level to the Central Government are appointed by the people. Unions from the Central to commune levels are organised by the people. In summary, all power and forces come from the people." Accordingly, some conceptions of the foundation of mass mobilisation can be drawn as follows.
First, people play a vital role in the sociopolitical life of Viet Nam. It can be said that people are posited at the highest level of the country's power system. Four constitutions of the new Vietnamese State, founded since September 1945, affirm that all the power belongs to the people. This standpoint expresses and originates from people's position and roles. Ho Chi Minh used to say that working people were the masters while the Party and Government as well as cadres, party members and civil servants were people's servants.
Second, people have both interests and responsibilities. In other words, interests go hand in hand with duties. All activities of the political system must aim to serve people's interests. However, interests must always go together with duties which is expressed as "people's responsibilities" in 'Mass Mobilisation' of President Ho Chi Minh. This issue came from his standpoint on democracy in different stages of the revolution, affirming that the people were the masters and mastered the country. The two clauses are of equal importance. Being the masters means people's status while mastering the country means people's responsibilities. President Ho Chi Minh believed that mass mobilisation was to mobilise every capability of each person to create the all-people force in order to execute the work that should be done or was entrusted by the Government and unions. This conception has reflected the nature of people in revolutionary actions, which was used in all of his appeal to the whole people for significant missions of the nation. In addition, it has specified that cadres in charge of mass mobilisation work are governmental officials, Party members, and members of people's organisations. According to this conception, the mass mobilisation work requires counter-bureaucracy. "Cadres in charge of mass mobilisation work must be able to think, see, listen to, walk, speak, and do. They cannot be all talk and only give orders. They must truly get involved in work," said Ho Chi Minh. In fact, mass mobilisation work is completely different from daily affairs of the Party and Government because the objects of mobilisation are all the people. Here, the bossy working style is unacceptable, thus requiring cadres responsible for mass mobilisation work to directly get involved in the work. Bureaucracy will usually take place when our Party is a ruling party and our cadres and Party members do not go to great pains to train their working styles and improve their sense of responsibility. It is bureaucracy, corruption and wastefulness that were considered "internal enemy" by Ho Chi Minh. This kind of "internal enemy" is "far more dangerous than unpatriotic Vietnamese and secret agents."
The mass mobilisation work also requires a close, meticulous and appropriate approach. According to Ho Chi Minh, first all people had to be explained clearly that it was their interest and mission that had be achieved by any means. Second, whatever the cadres did they had to discuss with people, ask for people's opinion and experience, and collaborate with people to work out plans suitable to local circumstances, encourage and facilitate people's implementation of the work. During the implementation process, it was necessary to supervise, support, urge, and encourage people. After finishing the work, together with people, cadres had to review the work in order to draw experience, criticise or praise and reward people.
Attention should be paid to the don'ts. Ho Chi Minh noted that first it was necessary to avoid underestimating the mass mobilisation work. If this happened, incompetent cadres used to be entrusted with mass mobilisation work. He also warned against leaving the whole mass mobilisation work to a division and several cadres. He believed that it would be a serious mistake. When leaving the whole work to a division or several people, there was the probability of either a success or a failure. The other cadres did not care, assist and take responsibility for mass mobilisation.
Currently, the Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPV) is confronting considerable challenges. One of the most obvious manifestations of these challenges is that sometimes the strong attachment of the Party-people relations decline at an alarming rate. People's trust in the Party does not remain intact in some places. In other cases, some Party organisations keep themselves aloof from people. These two situations are taking place at the same time and exerting similar bad effects on the renovation process. Therefore, the mass mobilisation work plays an increasingly vital role. Bringing into play the practical value of the 'Mass Mobilisation' work at present time requires greater emphasis on the following matters.
First, it is necessary to clearly perceive the dialectical nature of the Party-people relation in our country. According to Ho Chi Minh, the Party comes from the society. In other words, the people establish the Party. Our Party is people's offspring and comes from the working class. This is the blood relation. If the Party keeps themselves aloof from the people and no longer trusts the people and vice versa, the Party and whole political system will be definitely weakened. In fact, when operating the mechanism for realising social power, many Party organisations and members do not attach importance to ensuring people's mastery. The Party's power, which ought to have been perceived and exercised, is the one entrusted by the people. Nevertheless, it is not always perceived and exercised correctly in that way.
Second, the Party must take responsibility for serving and being grateful to the people like being grateful to the parents. If the Party wishes to perform the mass mobilisation work well, first of all, it must respect and bring into play people's mastery, bring about interests for the people, improve people's material and spiritual lives, and attach importance to ensuring democracy at the grass-roots level while actively making and submitting the draft law on securing and bringing into play grass-roots democracy to the National Assembly for approval so as to replace the ordinance on securing and bringing into play grass-roots democracy. Our country is building a law-governed socialist state, which is of the people, by the people, for the people, and led by the Communist Party. Thus, the making of a law on security and bringing into play grass-roots democracy is extremely vital.
Third, the Party has to mobilise people to participate in Party building. The people, including workers, peasants and intellectuals, serve as the foundation of the great national unity. According to Ho Chi Minh's viewpoint, the CPV is the party of the working class, working people and the whole nation. Therefore, today, the people play a key role in Party building by means of participating in developing the Party's guidelines while actively implementing those guidelines, participating in inspecting and supervising the operations of Party organisations, cadres and Party members, and so on. To do so requires raising people's intellectual standards because the higher intellectual standards people have the easier the mass mobilisation work becomes. According to Ho Chi Minh, it is essential to regularly improve people's intellectual standards, making them well aware of political issues, their mastery and duties for the country, and give great care to education.
Fourth, further attention should be paid to fostering a corps of cadres dedicated to mass mobilisation work. Although, mass mobilisation work is the responsibility of all people in the political system, cadres specialising in mass mobilisation work are of significant importance. Therefore, it is necessary to properly address the mistakes pointed out by Ho Chi Minh in the 'Mass Mobilisation,' including the underestimation of mass mobilisation work and assignment of incompetent cadres to do this work.
Fifth, it is important to study and follow Ho Chi Minh's style of maintaining a close link with the people, understanding the people and working for the people. Many Party and Governmental organisations' manifestations of developing plans and programmes without consulting the masses and forcing the masses to execute these plans and programmes must be addressed. Cadres and Party members must set bright examples for the people. When cadres are in power, the higher positions they hold the more likelihood they keep themselves aloof from people because of binding "mechanisms". Uncle Ho emphasised that if cadres remained aloof from the people, they would definitely fail. Thus, they must trust people and respect people.
The whole Party is making preparations for Party congresses at all levels and advancing towards the 13th National Party Congress. The Party's coming events also draw people's special attention. Making people trust the Party is a must of Party building today, especially the mass mobilisation work. We absolutely believe that the mass mobilisation work will definitely achieve new results under Ho Chi Minh's instructions in the 'Mass Mobilisation'.
Professor, Doctor Mach Quang Thang