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Monday, 26 June 2023 11:29
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Perseverance in the path of the October Revolution, constant creativity in reform and innovation to implement socialist goals

(PTOJ) - On the occasion of the 105th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Russian Revolution, it is necessary to affirm that socialism has been perseverant and creative since its birth as a scientific theory (1848) and a social system (1917). As a result, socialism has become one of the determining forces in movements and trends of the contemporary world. Perseverance in the way opened by the October Revolution, since 1991, the fight for socialism has been implemented by the world socialist movement via the processes of successful reforms and renovations, opening a new page of history in the battle of "who wins whom" in the current period.

Lenin Monument in the Kaluzhskaye Square, Moscow - Photo: nhandan.vn

The success of the October Revolution in 1917 and the founding of Socialist Russia ended nearly three centuries of the monopoly capitalist regime on the world political map. It turned socialism from scientific theory into vivid reality, giving birth to a new socio-economic form in the history of humankind, which has the duty of dialectical negation to the capitalist form. Following the path of the October Revolution and Soviet Russia, a number of countries and republics united to form the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1922. This event clearly stated that it was the choice of more than 200 million people from all ethnic groups throughout the Union living in an area of over 22 million square kilometers, a vast territory crossing from Asia to Europe. The Soviet Union achieved many impressive accomplishments in socio-economic development. These accomplishments set forth the models of peace and friendship among nations, civilization and social progress, and emancipation of the working class, society, labor, and humankind.

In 1945, after World War II, the world socialist system was born, accounting for nearly one-third of the area, a quarter of the population, and 40% of the world’s industrial output. With workers in the position of social masters, socialist countries achieved many significant achievements such as strong economic development that surpassed capitalism in growth rate for many decades, successful industrialization that quickly eliminated poverty in many countries and became a powerful economic - material force in the world; social development with many advantages in terms of culture, education, health, housing, sports, gender equality, social welfare and the rights of labor population in general; development of science, engineering and technology with turning-point speed and landmark achievements that lead the world in many fields, specifically space science and military engineering; practice of peace, cooperation and development diplomacy, peace associated with national independence, national sovereignty, self-determination and equality in international activities, the creation of a new type of international relations among nations, raising the flag of proletarian internationalism, etc..

However, due to mistakes and limitations in the undertakings and policies for socio-economic development, Party managment and people’s governing, the Soviet Union and other socialist countries fell into difficulties, stagnation, and crisis. The socialist regime disintegrated and collapsed in the Soviet Union and in the Eastern European countries beginning in the late 1980s through to 1991. In many aspects, it can be considered the biggest crisis in the history of socialism, which caused unprecedented losses and tragedies to the extent that anti-communists anticipated the end of the whole Communist movement before the end of the twentieth century!(1).

In dealing with such a vital challenge, socialist countries adjusted their guidelines and strategies, focusing on policies to overcome the crisis. Economic development was considered an essential task by countries such as China and Vietnam. All other tasks must contribute to supporting the task to end hunger and scarcity of goods and services, to urgently reduce poverty, to liberate productive power, to create more wealth, and improve the people’s material and spiritual life. China prioritized the development of its northeastern coastal provinces and generated the necessary locomotives to pull the giant train of the nation with more than 1.4 billion people out of poverty and crisis. Vietnam focused on three major economic programs: food production, consumer goods production, and export goods production. Thanks to that, by 1996, the country already came out of the crisis and entered a new development period. Cuba also persevered and was able to end the “special period” in the early years of the twenty-first century. The international Communist movement has made many steps towards recovery since 1993. In 2000, 21st-century socialism spread in a wave across the Latin American left wing after many years of adjustment and adaptation. Thus, successfully overcoming the crisis, recovering, and staying strong are the first necessary steps to protect and stabilize the October Revolution’s path and to persevere in pursuing the goals of socialism during this tumultuous period of modern world history.

Based on that significant restoration, socialist countries have actively and creatively built models and paths to socialism following the new context of the time and the specific conditions of each country.

Based on combining Marxism with Mao Zedong’s thought, Deng Xiaoping’s theory, the important ideology of three-representatives, the views of scientific development, and Xi Jinping’s thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, the Communist Party of China has built and increasingly perfected the model and the path to the socialism of the Chinese nation. It is a developed socialist power that is prosperous and strong, democratic, fair, civilized, harmonious, and beautiful. And it is necessary to master eight points for clarification and 14 points for perseverance to be successful in making this model. The eight points for clarification are as follows:

First, clarifying that the common task of persevering and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics is to realize socialist modernization and resurrect the great Chinese nation.

Second, clarifying that the principal contradiction of Chinese society is the contradiction between the people’s increasing need for a good life and the unbalanced and inadequate development. It is necessary to persevere in the ideology of people-centered development, constantly promoting the comprehensive development of the people to be wealthy together.

Third, clarifying the overall layout of the “Five points of unity” (5 in 1), including economy, politics, society, culture, and ecological civilization, and the “Four Comprehensives” strategy, including deepening comprehensive reform, comprehensively building a well-off society and managing the country by comprehensive law, and strictly and comprehensively enforcing the Party’s  discipline.

Fourth, clarifying that the common goal of the deepening comprehensive reform is to perfect and develop the socialist regime with Chinese characteristics, and to promote modernization of the national governance system and its capacity.

Fifth, clarifying that the common goal of the comprehensive promotion of jurisdiction management in the country is to build a socialist rule of law system and state with Chinese characteristics.

Sixth, clarifying that the Party’s goal of a strong army in the new era is to build a people’s army that complies with the Party’s command and has good manners; and to make the people’s army into a world-leading army.

Seventh, clarifying that the major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics is to promote the building of a new type of international relations and promote the foundation of a community with a common destiny for humankind.

Eighth, clarifying that a feature element of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and the most significant advantage of the socialist regime with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China.

Further, the 14 points for perseverance are as follows:

First, persevering in the Party’s leadership in all activities, whereby the Party leads all issues relating to the Party, government, army, civilians, students, and from east to west, in the south, the north, and the center.

Second, persevering in regarding the people as the center, and in the position of mastery of the people.

Third, persevering in delving into comprehensive reform, giving full play to the superiority of the socialist regime in China.

Fourth, persevering in the new concept of development “creativeness, harmony, greening, openness, and partaking”.

Fifth, persevering in the organic unity of the leadership of the Party, the people’s mastery, and country management according to the law.

Sixth, persevering the comprehensive management of the country according to the law, unifying among jurisdictional state, government, and society.

Seventh, persevering in the socialist core value system consisting of the following words: wealth, democracy, civilization, harmony, freedom, equality, justice, jurisdiction, patriotism, respect for professions, good faith, and friendliness.

Eighth, persevering in ensuring and improving people’s livelihood during the development.

Ninth, persevering in the harmonious symbiosis between humans and nature.

Tenth, persevering in the concept of overall national security, putting the national interest first, regarding the security for the people as the guiding principle, and regarding political security as the basis.

Eleventh, persevering in the Party’s absolute leadership over the army.

Twelfth, persevering in the “one country, two regimes” motto and promoting national reunification.

Thirteenth, persevering in promoting the building of a community with a common destiny for humankind; promoting the construction of a new type of international relations of mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation.

Fourteenth, persevering in strict adherence to the comprehensive Party rule.

In Vietnam, the Communist Party of Vietnam has built, supplemented, and increasingly developed the awareness of socialism and the path to socialism in the country. The socialist society in Vietnam is a society with eight characteristics: first, a wealthy people, a strong nation, democracy, justice, and civilization; second, a people-owned country; third, a country with a highly developed economy based on modern productive forces and appropriate progressive relations of production; fourth, a country with an advanced culture imbued with national identity; fifth, the people having a prosperous, free and happy life, and the conditions for comprehensive development; sixth, all ethnic groups in the Vietnamese community are equal, united, respect and help each other develop; seventh, a socialist jurisdictional state of the people, by the people, for the people led by the Communist Party; eighth, a country with friendly and cooperative relations with other countries around the world.

It is necessary to thoroughly implement the eight basic directions to build such a socialist country: first, promoting the industrialization and modernization of the country in association with developing the knowledge-based economy, and the protection of natural resources and the environment; second, developing a socialist-oriented market economy; third, making an advanced culture imbued with national identity; developing the people, improving people’s lives, and implementing social progress and justice; fourth, ensuring solid national defense and security, social order, and safety; fifth, implementing the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, friendship, cooperation, and development, proactively and actively integrating internationally; sixth, developing a socialist democracy, realizing great national unity, and strengthening and expanding the united national front; seventh, building a socialist jurisdictional state of the people, by the people, for the people; eighth, developing a transparent and strong Party.

In the transitional renovation process to socialism in Vietnam, it is necessary to perceive and deal with dominant relationships properly, including those between stability, innovation, and development; between economic innovation and political innovation; between following market rules and ensuring a socialist orientation; between the development of productive forces and the step-by-step development and improvement of socialist production relations; between the State, the market and society; between economic growth and cultural development, progress, social justice, and environmental protection; between the construction and defense of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; between independence, self-reliance, and international integration; between the Party’s leadership, the State’s management and the people’s mastership; between practicing democracy and strengthening jurisdiction, ensuring social discipline.

The awareness and settlement of dominant relations should focus on the following points: ensuring the socialist orientation; building and perfecting progressive and appropriate production relations; developing culture, realizing social progress and justice, protecting the environment; defending the Socialist Fatherland; maintaining independence, self-reliance and promoting the people’s mastery.

In Cuba, the 7th Congress (2016) approved the concept of the socio-economic model of socialist development (referred to as the socialist model for short). And the VIII Congress (in 2021) supplemented and updated several critical contents. In terms of vision, the Party determines that Cuban society is in the historical period of developing a sovereign, independent, democratic, prosperous, and sustainable socialist country. In terms of essential principles, the Party has asserted the following points: humanity is the target and subject; the socialist ownership of the entire people of the means of production is the dominant form in the socio-economic system; the [leading] role of scientific and technological innovation in socio-economic development; socialist state of jurisdiction and social justice as a guarantee for equality of rights and obligations, leaving no one left behind. With regard to the leading force, it is the Communist Party of Cuba - the only political party, the political party of Marti, Fidel, and Marx - Lenin. The Party is the organized vanguard of the Cuban people, representing the solidarity of Cubans around the leadership of the revolutionary cause.

In terms of necessary re-education and transformation processes to consolidate and continue the revolutionary cause in the new era, the Communist Party of Cuba highlights the following primary points.

First, strengthening the people’s socialist ownership of major production materials; recognizing and diversifying different forms of ownership along with interconnected forms of management, synchronously completing the planned management system for socio-economic development with the State as an entity that administers, coordinates, and regulates all subjects; at the same time, decentralizing functions and powers to all levels of government, in which the district level is the main level.

Second, recognizing the market, managing, and reasonably operating the market to ensure centralized management measures, macroeconomic policies, and other policy tools direct economic subjects to making decisions that are in harmony with the interests of the entire society.

Third, promoting the development of science and technology and innovation so that this factor plays an essential role in improving efficiency, quality, and productivity in all fields.

Fourth, ensuring that labor and industriousness become core moral values; implementing the principle of socialist distribution according to the quantity and quality of labor as the main channel to satisfy human needs.

In Venezuela and some other Latin American countries, socialism in the 21st century has been implemented in the past two decades as a new model and path in the history of the world socialist movement. These are socialist revolutions that won power through democracy, via elections. Although they still had to prepare and strengthen for the necessary violence, the socialist forces fought and defeated the bourgeois forces and all other opposing forces by the vote of the voters and solved the problem of “who wins whom” by integrating the class struggle into the broad national struggle and the people’s fight.

Immediately after taking power, the revolutionary forces had to disintegrate the old bourgeois state apparatus, not by violence, but by a series of referendums and constitutional reform to smash it by dissolving the economic base and the organizational structure of the old government.

In the process of building a new society, the revolutionary government attaches great importance to creating a strong state economy in the market economy, promoting the people’s subject role in a widely participatory democracy, preserving and ensuring socialist advantages (free education and health care for all people), building a jurisdictional-governed state, implementing a foreign policy towards peace, anti-imperialism, cooperation, and development.

The socialist revolution and the construction of socialism in the 21st century in Latin America are based on the ideological foundation of Marxism - Leninism combined with the progressive political ideas of the peoples in the region (Bolivarianism, Cesar Sandino’s Thought, Liberation theology). Thus, from the ideological foundation to the path, model, and strategy, socialism in the 21st century is a new test of socialism in today’s world.

The context of socialism in the 21st century is one in which there is no world socialist system. At the same time, imperial capitalism has temporary advantages. However, it has steadfastly and creatively overcome all challenges and affirmed the historical necessity of socialism in general as an alternative to the neo-liberal capitalist model, as asserted by the October Revolution over a century ago.

As the pioneer, core, and the most powerful force of the current world socialist movement, the socialist countries of China, Vietnam, Cuba, etc., and Latin American socialist forces have built models and the path to socialism that are copious, lively, and unified on the basis of Marxist-Leninist principles of socialism. This is a historical achievement, demonstrating consistency through creativity and protecting socialism by renewing awareness of socialism and the practical activities of building socialism. The fighting “who wins whom” in the past historical period was decided by the wisdom of a team of people who were steadfast in the path and goals of socialism. As a result, the world socialist movement not only overcame the moment of crisis in theory but also was strengthened by great and historically significant achievements of the 21st century socialist countries in Latin America. A new page of history of the world socialist movement has been opened, that is the history of reform, renewal, and creativity to steadfastly pursue the path and goals of socialism in the current time(2).

Communist and worker parties in Russia and developed capitalist countries are also actively renewing their awareness of socialism and the path to socialism in the current context of the time. The parties unanimously affirmed that socialism must be a social system of liberation and development. This means liberating the nation from all forms of enslavement and domination, liberating classes so that there is no more exploitation of labor, liberating society to move towards equality and social justice, freeing labor so that labor does not alienate people, liberating to bring humanity out of  the “kingdom of necessity” and into the “kingdom of freedom”, and developing to bring prosperity, wealth, and power to the people and the country, creating conditions and the premise for each person to be fully developed.

The parties consistently affirm that there are many models and paths to socialism and emphasize the current universal category of sustainable and harmonious development between humanity, society, and nature. They also affirm that the market economy is indispensable in the construction of socialism, but it is necessary to promote the regulatory role of the socialist state. Further, they also focus on the importance of economic growth and the development of socialist production relations, spiritual, cultural, and moral revival; focusing on building democracy, in which all power must belong to the people, and a socialist jurisdictional state.

The parties have continued to assert the need to pass capitalism; regularly develop plans to replace capital equipment, conduct revolutionary struggles through many stages, take advantage of democracy and parliament to fight for power, deploy the class struggle in the heart of the people’s struggle and vast social struggle, etc.

These are very valuable perceptions and views, reflecting the vision from within modern capitalism, from “small windows” created by the high development of capitalism to look at communism in the new context of the world today. This vision is indispensable for the communist team in the world in their continued efforts to develop an awareness of socialism and the path to socialism in today’s changing world.

105 years have passed since the Russian October Revolution occured, which has made a strong impact on the world and opened a new era in human history. The world has had a lot of changes and reversals, even with tumultuous and complicated movements. But the logic of the criticism of capitalism and the implementation of alternatives to capitalism have not changed in the world’s history since 1917. Humans will continue to find ways towards social progress, to complete humanism, that is, no more exploitation, injustice, enslavement, and oppression among people, classes, and nations. On that path, nothing can dim the guiding light of the great October Revolution!

__________________

Received: September 19, 2022; Revised: September 26, 2022; Approved for publication: October 26, 2022.

 

Endnotes:

1. Richard Nixon:  1999: Victory without war, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/capsule-review/1988-09-01/1999-victory-without-war, visited September 19, 2022.

2. Conference “The theoretical development of socialism and the path to the socialism of the ruling parties in the world and its impact on the process of researching, supplementing and developing theories on socialism and the path to socialism in Vietnam during 40 years of renovation”, Central Theoretical Council, code: KX.04.02/21-25, Hanoi, July 2022.

Assoc.Prof., Dr. NGUYEN VIET THAO

Institute of Leadership and Public Policy,

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Administration

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