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The development of Party building science in Vietnam

(LLCT) - Party building science is the outcome of Vietnam’s revolutionary process and the national development. The urgent and long-term tasks of Party building science is to study and highlight the leadership role, content, and method of the Communist Party of Vietnam. Along with its establishment, development, and maturity, Party building science further clarifies its subject, content, tasks and study methods. On that basis, suitable development directions and content for Party building science is identified, and the requirements to meet the new revolutionary situation are met.

Key words: Communist Party, Party building, Party building science.

1. The theory of Communist Party building

The founders of scientific socialism show that in order to implement their historical mission, the working class must establish a revolutionary political party as a pioneer to guide it to its final target: a successfully built society of communism for the people and the country, as well as contributing to the joint struggle internationally so as to completely liberate the working class from exploitation and gain freedom, democracy, and equality for all. From the middle of the 19th century, Marx and Engels made efforts to make the Communist League (1847-1852) a political party of the working class to meet the requirements of the class liberating revolution. They clarified: “In its struggle against the joint power of the bourgeoisie, not until the working class is organized as an independent political party opposing all the old parties founded by the bourgeoisie can workers act as a class. Organizing the working class as a political party is necessary to ensure the victory of the social revolution and achieve its final goal of eliminating the classes”(1). In many theoretical works, Marx and Engels proposed great ideas of the revolutionary political party of the working class; the goals of the party are to lead the class liberating revolution, build a society without classes and private ownership; the party is the pioneer of the working class; the communist party carries the nature of the working class; the organization of the party must be suitable for the party’s political target and task and operating conditions of the party; the party applicants have to acknowledge the principles, targets of the Party, and the operating charter and volunteer, and then the organization will consider admitting them one by one; the Party follows internationalism of the working class, etc.. These are considered the original thoughts by Lenin on how to develop and build a new revolutionary political party for the Russian working class in the early years of the 20th century.

Entering the proletarian revolutionary period, the urgent requirement of the Russian working class at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century was to set up a revolutionary political party as the pioneer to move the working class and working people forward. Although the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party was founded in March 1898, it then encountered a serious crisis in terms of organization and thought, leading to failure in meeting the requirements of the Russian revolutionary high tide at that time. In such a situation, V.I. Lenin and his comrades rebuilt the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party on the basis of Marxist thought, becoming a new revolutionary political party of the Russian working class. V.I.Lenin’s new Party principles become those for building the communist party of Marxism-Leninism. The principles included that the Party is an organized pioneer as well as the most close-knit and enlightened organization of the working class, that the Party takes Marxism as the thought base and guideline for all operations, that the Party is organized in democratic centralism, that the Party is closely associated to the people and determined to overcome bureaucratic functions which are distant from the masses, that the Party is unified which takes criticism and self-criticism as a rule of development, that the Party is part of the proletarian dictatorial system and the nuclear core to lead that system in case of having a government, that the Party gets stronger because of regular struggles against various opportunisms during the development process, and that the Party follows internationalism of the working class.

2. Development of the awareness of subjects, content, and study methods of the Party building science in Vietnam today

In Vietnam, the theory of communist party building was advocated by Nguyen Ai Quoc from the cadre training classes in Guangzhou, China, in the 1925-1927 period. After the introduction of the cadre training school of the Party, Party building lessons were always an indispensable content in teaching and learning. In 1968, in face of increasing cadre training requirements, Nguyen Ai Quoc’s Central Party School established a Party Building Faculty under the management of the board of directors, opening a drastic development period of Party Building Discipline. So far, together with the development of the lecturers, researchers, and post-graduate training works in Party building, Party building science has become more and more developed, affirming that it is a political science.

The concept of the subject of Party building science

In science, the subject that is studied is the nature of things, the phenomena which need to be reviewed and clarified. The study object is the carrier of the study subject. The subject of study of science is the nature of things, and phenomena placed in the scope of the sciences.

As a science, Party building is a knowledge system of the Party and Party building. The textbook of Soviet Union Party Building, published in 1972, states that party building is a science of rules to develop and enhance the leadership of the communist party, building principles, organizational forms and internal activity rules of the party, the organizing methods and approaches and political works of the party in the masses, the methods and approaches to lead and build the economy and culture, and lead the state-owned and social organizations of the working people.

The Party building textbook (Bachelor of Arts) states that Party building is a science of the Party’s leadership over the society, the principles for organizing and building within the Party and improving the leadership and fighting power of the Party, etc.. In other words, Party building science studies the building and operating rules and mechanisms of the Party, making the Party stronger and stronger in terms of quality, intellectual capacity, leadership, and fulfilling the role as the political pioneer of the working class which leads society to comprehensive development.

Associate Professor Le The Lang (Academy of Journalism and Communication) believes that Party building science studies the most common rules and principles of building and operating of the proletarian party.

 Associate Professor, Doctor Do Ngoc Ninh (Institute of Party Building) specifies that the research subjects of Party building science include:

- To study rules, principles, rule-based issues, natures of principle and use, implementation in internal Party building in politics, thought, and organization; and to summarize the experiences in internal Party building.

- To study rules, the nature of rules, principles, nature of principles, experiences in Party leadership over social life and implementation in leading these fields of the Party.

- To study the rules, nature of rule, principles, nature of the principle, experiences in Party’s leadership over the organizations of the political system, economic organizations, social organizations, social-vocational organizations, etc., and the implementation and use in leading these Party’s organizations.

The above concepts and the actual study of Party building science show that the subjects of Party building science are the rules, principles, and methods of internal Party building in politics, ideology, organization and Party’s leadership over the State, other organizations in the political systems, fields of social life, and the entire society.

Thus, with the comprehensive development of Party building sciences, the study subject of Party Building Science is shaped more and more clearly, and it reflects the requirements from reality.

Study content and the tasks of Party building sciences

The study tasks of Party building sciences are to study moving things and phenomena rather than to study a finished thing or phenomenon. In other words, Party building science studies the Party as a living body in which the center includes party members, organizations, apparatus, principles, operating mechanism, lines, policies, and actual acts of the Party, the study of the relationship and behavior of the Party towards the people and social organizations, etc.. Such content includes the practical issues that the theory itself must approach, study to summarize and concretize into theory. Without the Party’s practical activities, Party building science will not exist, and vice versa; without development of Party building science, the practical activities of the Party will encounter a lot of difficulties and puzzles as President Ho Chi Minh clarified: “Without guidance of theory, practice will become blind; without relation to practice, theory will be vain”(2).

At present, Party Building Science is responsible for studying the following:

Firstly, to study the party building principles of Marxism-Leninism

Since establishment and during the development process, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) has focused on creatively using and developing the party building principles of Marxism-Leninism in constructing the CPV on the major principles; for example, the Party is the pioneer of the working class, working people, and the whole nation; it takes Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought as the base and guideline for all the Party’s operations; the Party is organized in democratic centralism; the Party is closely linked with people; the Party is closely associated with the masses; the Party is unified on the basis of Political Platform and the Party’s Charter; the Party implements the principles of criticism and self-criticism; the Party operates within the scope of Constitution and law; the Party leads the political system and is a part of that system; and the Party combines genuine patriotism with the pure internationalism of the working class. Party Building Science continues to study the aspects of party building principles of Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh Thought, and especially the organizational and operational principles of our Party today to grasp and make a contribution to development.

Secondly, to study the two main groups of axioms of the Party

Party building science studies the groups of axioms of the ruling Party over all fields of social life. For this first kind of axioms, Party building science studies laws, mechanisms, and principles of the leadership of the ruling Party over the State and society. In the condition that the Party is in power and a series of new axioms which are completely different from those before the Party holds power are introduced nationwide, the axioms must first ensure the firmness of the ruling Party and then the axioms for the Party’s leadership over the State and society. The Party’s leadership over the State and society raises three important kinds of axioms which need to be studied and grasped: the axiom of leadership in the condition that the Party is in power - leadership science (leadership science is introduced when the Party is established rather than when the Party has control of the government), management laws-management science; and regulating rules- regulating science.

As for the study of the group of axioms of Party internal building, the Party internal building axioms are present in the following main fields: (1) building the Party in politics, (2) building the Party in ideology, (3) building the Party in organization, (4) and building the Party in morality. Studies of the group of axioms of the Party building in politics include the axioms for building lines, guidelines, and policies of the Party, developing the political stuff of the Party and the staff, Party members, constructing and operating the leadership mode of the Party over different fields, and protecting the purity in politics of cadres, party members, especially those who have important positions in the leadership and management apparatus.

Thirdly, to study the system of concepts and categories reflecting the activities of the Party. Up to now, Party building science has developed a plentiful conceptual system:

* Categories and concepts reflecting Party building science in politics, such as political party, ruling party, ruling Communist Party of Vietnam, Party’s leadership over the Government, leadership content and mode, ruling content, ruling method, nature of the party, working-class nature of the Party, Party nature, pioneer of the working class, working people and nation, political platform, guidelines, resolutions, decisions, and instruction, etc..

* Categories and concepts reflecting Party building science in organizations such as leading agency of the Party, highest leading agency, executive committee, standing committee of the executive committee, standing member of the executive committee, party foundations, organization system of the Party, apparatus of the Party, cells, grassroots Party committee, unit Party committee, unit senior party committee, provincial party committee, civil affairs committee of the Party, committee, members, executive committee secretary, cell secretary, staff works, works of inspection, supervision and discipline of the party, and internal political protection, etc..

* Categories and concepts of Party building science in thought such as the ideological foundation of the Party, ideological work, theoretical work, communication and support, opportunism, individualism, sectarianism, bureaucraticism, political thought, morality, party member lifestyle, bureaucracy, degeneration, thought corruption, degeneration in political thought, morality and lifestyle, “self-evolution’”, and “self-transformation,” etc..

Awareness and use of the scientific study method of Party building science

Party building science is an interdisciplinary political science which is conducted on the basis of theory and methodology of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought used to study the principles and operation rules, as well as the categories and concepts reflecting the practices of the Party, using and executing interdisciplinary and specialized study methods such as historical-logical, analysis and synthesis, induction and deduction, statistics, comparison, social survey, practice summary, expert, modeling, and experimenting, etc.. Some methods can be generalized as follows:

Firstly, the Marxism-Leninism - based method

This is the main and basic study methodology of various sciences, especially social science and the humanities, including Party Building Science. Using this method enables us to delve and grasp the nature of things and phenomena and understand the most basic points of interactions. At the same time, this method also shows the path forward and ways to achieve that.

The methodology of Marxism-Leninism is diverse and plentiful; each theoretical point, principle, and the rule of Marxism-Leninism allows drawing the issues of methodology. Drawing the issues of methodology from each theoretical point, principle, and the rule of Marxism-Leninism depends on the capacity and level of each organization and researcher.

Secondly, the historical-logical method

A Party is a political entity, so it also has its own history of development and degeneration. The historical-logical method helps closely follow the history of development and operation of the Party, recalling history according to objective logic in the Party’s development from which the Party building rule is discovered.

Thirdly, the practice summarizing method

This is a typical method of Party Building Science. This is stipulated by the subject, content, nature, and study characteristics of Party building science. The study subjects of Party building science are practical and lively activities of the Party, consisting of two major activities: building within the Party and the Party’s leadership over the fields of social life. These activities are complex, diverse, plentiful, and ever-changing. Summary of the Party building issues can be only withdrawn by studying and summarizing practices and gradually elevating them to the theoretical levels. Therefore, scientific study on Party building should pay attention to this method.

3. Characteristics of Party building sciences

Firstly, Party building science is general in content; the content of Party building sciences is very plentiful and diverse. As a ruling party leading the State and society, the activities of the Party are required to cover the whole social life. To lead the society, the Party must have the knowledge of social development rules, and building the Party should ensure that the Party has that covering intelligence. Thus, Party building science includes generalities. The knowledge of various scientific fields is condensed in Party building science, but it is interpreted from the leadership angle of the political party.

 Secondly, the Party building science is always politically directed in all studies. The CPV is the pioneer of the working class, people, and nation in the struggle to develop, it must deal with the interests of different classes, walks of life, and groups of people. The Party must act in accordance with the thought of social dominance and implementation of the political target of that thought. Hence, Party building science must be political-based.

Thirdly, the Party building science is highly practical. In the studies of Party building science, determined by political orientation, there is no clear distinction between fundamental study and applied theory, fundamental theory, and practical theory. That the theoretical and practical solutions are mixed and integrated makes it hard to distinguish. The difficulty of Party building sciences is to show feasibility in the theory and practical solutions revealed by the scientific study.

Fourthly, the studies of Party building science must be responsive and scientifically critical to distinguish the old and the new, the wrong and the right, and the advanced and the backward to assert the right and the advanced as well as to criticize the wrong. The establishment, existence, and development of the Marxist-Leninist communist parties aimed at leading the revolution to overturn the old social regime and deny the backward movement, so the fierce resistance of old forces is inevitable. Scientific criticism requires depth and sharpness of intelligence rather than power. Thus, Party building science has a very high requirement for responsiveness, but it is also very difficult in scientific persuasiveness. Party building science requires highly serious and thoughtful study. All the simplicity and ease are strange to science, especially the Party building science.

The issues for the Party building science today

The reality of building the CPV and the real situation of Party building science studies pose the following issues:

Firstly, the Party building science needs to further study the fundamental theoretical system of the communist party building in accordance with Marxism-Leninism so that it is suitable for the rapid change of reality after the communist parties in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe collapsed. Many theoretical points in the Marxist-Leninist theory about the Communist Party need to be studied with new thinking to assert the scientific theoretical points, ascertaining which remain intact and valuable, which are no longer applicable, which need to develop to meet the requirements of the new era, and which are now problematic and would cause violation with serious consequence.

Secondly, there is a big gap between scientific knowledge of Party building with the practice of the Party in social life. The knowledge of Party building science is not strong enough to affect the Party’s practical activities, not able to explain and solve the posed conflicts between the requirements of the country and the capacity of a ruling Party which leads the State and society. These are two major, fundamental, and difficult problems for the State, researchers, and lecturers of Party building science to deal with in the near future n

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l Endnotes:

(1) K. Marx and F. Engels: Completed Works, vol.18, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 1995, p.203, 204.

 

(2) Ho Chi Minh: Completed Works, vol. 8, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2000, p.496.

ASSOC. PROF., DR. NGUYEN VAN GIANG

ASSOC. PROF. , dr. NGO HUY TIEP

Institute of Party Building,

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

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