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Monday, 25 January 2016 09:38
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The theoretical achievements of the Communist Party of Vietnam

(LLCT) - Over the past eighty-five years, since the foundation and under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), the Vietnamese people have won many great victories of historical and epochal significance in their revolutionary cause: The success of the Revolution in August 1945 that gave birth to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam; the success of the 30-year liberation war and the wars to protect the Southwestern border and Northern border of the country; the success of the national renovation cause and the process of national construction and development. 

The historical reality has shown that, the top and foremost conditions of all victories during the course of the Party leadership of the Vietnam revolution have always been integrally connected to the achievements in theoretical cognition and the capability to creatively apply and translate the revolutionary doctrine and the Marxism - Leninism theories into realities. The great achievements of the CPV in theoretical development over the past 85 years are generalized as bellows:

1. Developing the Party’s theories in the people’s democratic revolution

- Confirm the point that national revolution associated with socialism is the rule and the root of every victory of Vietnam revolution 

During the late 19th and early 20th century, Vietnam was in the darkness of slavery and misery. Patriotic movements after patriotic movements took turns to fail. The cause to all such powerless and unsuccessful movements before the birth of the CPV was the lack of an advanced and revolutionary system of theories based on which we should be able to accurately interpret the real situations and to effectively develop and implement the proper and thorough paths for national salvation and liberation.

On his search for national liberation path, Nguyen Ai Quoc approached Marxism - Leninism and thereupon he established his own ideas for national salvation following the trends of the new age: “It’s only socialism and communism that can liberate the oppressed peoples and workers all over the world from slavery”(1).

Such of Nguyen Ai Quoc’s thoughts were developed to become the pinnacle and the strategies that were adopted by the CPV right upon its foundation on 3 February 1930. Grasping well and pursuing the goal of national independence associated with socialism, along with establishing a system of theories that addresses the relationship between national independence and socialism in a proper, harmonious and creative manner, the  CPV led the August Revolution in 1945 and the two wars against “two big empires” to success and with which ranking Vietnam among the pioneers in the struggles against national slavery and for maintaining sustainable independence closely linked with freedom, democracy and happiness for the people, social equality and progress. The principle of combining national independence with socialism continues to serve as a basic theoretical orientation, one of the leading factors ensuring the success of national renovation, construction and development, for the goals of a strong, democratic, fair and civilized nation.

- Developing distinctive and creative theories for the Vietnam people’s war

In the course of our history, by instilling the Marxism - Leninism principles about war and revolution, and inheriting the essence of the all people’s war waged for saving and safeguarding the country, the CPV has set up a system of theories and has been constantly developing it into the doctrine for the people’s war in the Ho Chi Minh era.

This doctrine deals with the interconnected relationship between the three concepts “of the people”, “by the people” and “for the people”. Its fulcrum includes the policy of uniting the whole nation and gathering all the masses under a unified front, under the leadership of the CPV. The Vietnam people’s war aims at not only to liberate the country from the yoke of invasion, but at the same time to free the working people from all shackles of oppression and exploitation; not only to win and maintain national independence, but also to directly create and defend the fundamental and long-lasting interests for all classes of people. It’s this doctrine that differentiates the people’s war led by the CPV from the traditional one in history, and is a big achievement of the Party in developing the theories on the war for national salvation and protection.

The system of theories on Vietnam people’s war was first established during the anti-French resistance and fully developed to a high level in the resistance war against America. It provides the standpoints developed from our vivid experiences in different aspects of life: to mobilize the entire population, the all people’s armed force, to use the armed forces as the core; to carry out a comprehensive war on all military, political, economic, cultural, diplomatic, scientific and technical areas; to promote the spirit of self-reliance and self-strengthening, to combine the national strength with that of the era; to enlist international sympathy, support and assistance; to consider the offensive spirit the rule to win; to thoroughly grasp the spirit of a protracted war and step-by-step victories; to well estimate the enemy, to adopt proactive strategies to fight against the enemies in all forms and by all means of weapons; to take the initiative in waging and ending a war... The above-mentioned strategies were built up on realities and have become a source of champion strength that led Vietnam to win in the two resistance wars.

The doctrine of the people’s war in the Ho Chi Minh era is a vivid manifestation of Vietnam’s intellect, a priceless heritage, and a sharp instrument not only for ourselves in the course of national construction and defense at present and in the future but also contributes significantly to enriching the Marxism - Leninism military doctrine, and exerts a profound and long term impact on the world art of war.

- Developing the theories on building the revolutionary forces and the strategy for uniting all the people

Solidarity and forces rallying are vital strategies in any revolution. V.I. Lenin wrote: “The vanguard army alone can not win (...) the sole reliance in this force only is not only a foolish but also a criminal action”(2).  

Right from its first political Platform in 1930, the CPV determined that Vietnam revolutionary forces should united as a single bloc assembled together in the form of a united national front and this front will work for the principles and stances of the working class and bases itself on the Party-led ally of peasants-workers-intellectuals. Theses theories are revolutionary and scientific and contain no rigid class-related stereotypes like those of the international workers and communist movement at the time, and could completely prevent any random, loose, and spontaneous rallying of patriotic organizations in Vietnam before its working class could step onto the political arena.

It’s the Party’s sound policy to gather forces and build the national unity bloc based on the above principle in response to the objective demands of the revolutionary cause that was carried out by the masses, and the needs of all societal classes and strata in pursuit of national independence and freedom, and the peaceful, unified, independent, democratic and prosperous country of Vietnam. Therefore, it is a throughout, sustainable and long term policy. Along with the strategy of all-people solidarity, the Party also upholds international solidarity through enlisting the support, sympathy and advocacy of the people from different countries and from the world peace-loving and progressive forces that is considered an important constituent of Vietnam’s revolutionary forces.

The strategy of combining forces building with promoting national and international solidarity and using the unified National Front as the connected constituent of Vietnam revolutionary path is a creative and long lasting valuable theoretical creation of the CPV.

- Working out proper, creative and effective revolutionary methods

A method of revolution is an integral part of the policy of a revolutionary party. Once the party has decided on its strategic goals and directions, it’s its ability to work out the methods to implement such goals that decides the success or failure of the revolutionary movement. The key is that the Party should always be creative.

In our national people’s democratic revolution, basing on the set out strategic objectives, on our national characteristics, on the targets of our struggles and by thoroughly grasping the dialectical methodology and the Marxist - Leninist standpoint of a violent revolution, the CPV has developed a system of theories on a proper and highly effective method of revolution. From the realities of struggle for independence and thirty years struggle for liberation, the CPV holds that: “Revolution requires creative minds, without them it can never succeed”, “there is never a single formula for carrying out a revolution”(3).

Following consistent principles and using flexible strategies, the CPV has come up to many good methods of assembling forces for different forms of struggle; it has been also flexible in the use of people’s strength, in taking advantage of the contradictions among its enemies and in understanding the enemies to win over them... Our great victories during the periods of national democratic revolution reflect sharply the most notable features of our Party’s very smart way to carry out the revolution.

2. Developing the CPV’s theory on national construction in the transition to socialism

-   To map out the goals and further clarify and perfect the road towards socialism.

Through its long process of experimentation that involves a lot of mistakes and shortcomings, the Party has come to a conclusion: It requires a long transitional period with certain paths and moves to successfully transfer from the national democratic socialist revolution to socialism. Especially, by taking a short-cut from a backward agricultural country to a socialist one and skipping the process of capitalist development, we are now facing a lot of theoretical and practical issues that are unprecedented in the world. By grasping well the fundamental Marxist - Leninist principles, acquiring them selectively and gradually, applying international experiences in this field, learning from good practical models, and relying on the people’s creativity, the CPV has gradually developed a theoretical system for an appropriate socialism model in Vietnam in which it clarifies in details the overall goals, paths and solutions. The Platform for national construction in the transition to socialism (supplemented and developed in 2011) points out the eight characteristics typical of a socialist country that Vietnam is aiming at: “A strong, democratic, fair and civilized nation; the country that is mastered by the people; having a highly developed economy with appropriate modern productive forces and advanced production relation; having an advanced culture strongly imbued with national identity; the people have a prosperous life, freedom, happiness, and conditions for comprehensive development; all the ethnic communities enjoy equal condition and unite with, respect for and help each other to develop; the socialist law-ruled State of the people, for the people and by the people under the leadership of the CPV; having friendly and cooperative relations and cooperation with other countries”(4). Having a look at the socialism models that either collapsed or have become “out of tune” with the general development trend in the world, we can be grateful for our Party’s theoretical creativity in building the socialist model for Vietnam. 

Other theoretical achievements of the Party with regards to socialism and socialism building in Vietnam, include: it has pointed out the objectives of the country’s renovation cause, also known as the fundamentals of socialism in Vietnam, which are: “prosperous people, strong, democratic, fair and civilized country”; it has set out the conditions and methods for implementation of the goals by understanding and resolving the 8 key relations that are decisive to the success of the country’s renovation cause: between renovation, stability and development; between economic reform and gradual political reform; between the market economy and socialist orientation; between developing productive forces and step-by-step building and perfecting socialist production relations; between economic growth and cultural development and attaining social justice and progressiveness; between building socialism and defending the socialist Fatherland; between independence, self-reliance and international integration; and between Party leadership, State management and People mastership.

- To reach the goal of socialism, the CPV has worked out the paths and the fundamental solutions as bellows:

First, to carry out national industrialization and modernization. This is seen as the prerequisite for Vietnam to meet its socialism target. Since it first came to know about industrialization in the 1960s, so far, the Party has developed a system of theories on which it specifies that Vietnam should combine industrialization with modernization and work out the objectives, content, model, methods and resources for each of the process that keep abreast with the world trends and suitable for Vietnam.  Accordingly, the implementation of industrialization and modernization should associated with developing a knowledge-based economy and protecting our environmental resources, renovating our model of economic growth, building a rational, modern, efficient and sustainable economic structure, ensuring a harmonious development among regions, building an independent and self-reliant economy, participating proactively and positively in the international economic integration process; and be consistent in the promotion and effective use of all development resources, etc. The above-mentioned theoretical developments have been successfully transferred to current practical achievements.

Second, to creatively establish and develop the theories about the socialist-oriented market economy for Vietnam. The CPV learns from the mistakes and limitations of the previous subsidized, central planning and bureaucratic economy to come up to the theories for developing a transitional socialist-oriented economy, in which the market rules are to be respected and applied fully, and the leadership of the CPV and the management of the socialist law-ruled State are prerequisite to ensure suitable socialist orientation for each stage of development. In Vietnam, the economy aims at the goal of a rich country where its people should be prosperous and happy and enjoying democracy, justice and freedom and chances for comprehensive development.

Third, to work out the orientations for building and developing an advanced culture imbued with national identity, and for human development. The Party first developed the theories on building a revolutionary culture in its Cultural Platform in 1943, and throughout the process of leading the revolution, it has made great theoretical creations that assert the tremendous role of culture and see culture as both the foundation of societal spirit, and the goal and important endogenous resources for development. The resolution of the 9th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (11th tenure) further identifies the most typical characteristics of an advanced culture imbued with national identity that we aim at, to be: national, humanist, democratic and scientific, and diversely united among all ethnic communities in Vietnam. The Party clearly points out the close reciprocal relationship between human development and cultural development where the latter serves the purpose of perfecting human personality and the former, of promoting cultural development.

Fourth, establish theoretical foundations for resolving social issues. Solving social issues manifests the superiority of the regime and is also the requirement of sustainable development. The Party asserts the importance of addressing social issues and specifies the objectives and contents for doing this; it has established a system of scientific arguments and cognitive reasoning on resolving the relationship between economic growth and social advancement and social justice in the context of the market economy, so that economic and social goals are concerted, fair and equal for all people and regions.

Fifth, formulate and develop the theories on national defense, security and protection in the new situation. The CPV confirms the dialectical and close relationship between the two strategic tasks of building and defending the Socialist State of Vietnam. On this basis, it sets out the specific objectives, requirements, and tasks for attainting socialism to be: safeguarding national independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity; protecting itself, the State, people and the socialist regime; ensuring national interests, maintaining political stability and peaceful environment, etc; well defining the steering guidelines determining the strength, forces and method of national defense; transforming stance from “friends-enemies” into “partners and subjects” for the sake of national interests, etc. In particular, the CPV becomes acutely aware of its absolute and direct leadership role in all aspects of life and the role of State management of the armed forces for national defense, security and protection of the socialist country.

Sixth, formulate and develop the theories on foreign policies. During its leadership in the struggles for national liberation and construction and development, the Party always set out the goals and targets of foreign policies: protecting national interests, changing from the motto: “more friends, less enemies,” “befriend all nations” to “multilateral and diverse relations, be proactive and active in international integration”; changing from the concept of “want to befriend” into “be ready to befriend,” “a friend and reliable partner”, and “responsible member of the international community” on the basis of respect for national and ethnic interests appropriate for each historical period. The Party and State adopts consistent foreign policy principles of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation and development.

Seventh, develop the theoretical basis for the promotion of democracy, and set up a political system and build the socialist law-ruled State. From the practicalities of the revolutionary struggle and stemming from the demands of the renovation cause, the Party has worked out and put into practice the theoretical foundations for promoting democracy and building the socialist law-ruled State. The core contents of Vietnam democracy are to respect and ensure human rights, civil rights, and mastership of the people, associated with building the political system and the socialist law-ruled State following the principles of “all the state powers belong to the people”, and democracy should be exercised with respect for rules and disciplines, and the people should live and work by the Constitution and law.

Eighth, develop new Party-building theory for new situation. Abiding Marxist - Leninist theory on building the new type of proletarian party, considering Vietnam’s specific conditions, the CPV has made a lot of developments and creations in theoretical cognition with regard to Party building, especially with regard to its nature. The Platform for national construction in the transitional period to socialism (supplemented and developed in 2011) determines that: “The Party is the vanguard and the faithful representative of the interests of the workers, the working class and the nation”. The realities of national construction and development now also pose urgent requirements on us to further review, develop and perfect the theories on the organization and operations of the party in order to continuously enhance the Party’s firm stuff, fighting capacity and leadership competence, creating a sustainable basis for the cause of socialism building.

President Ho Chi Minh soon specified the role of a sound doctrine for a revolutionary Party. He said, “A Party without a good doctrine is like a man without intelligence and a ship with no compass. Now theories and doctrines are many, but the most genuine, surest, and most revolutionary one is Leninism.” The greatest theoretical achievements that the CPV has made over the past 85 years are fruitful results of the strict following and creative applying of Ho Chi Minh’s teachings.

Those achievements, the success of the renovation cause as well as the long-term directions for national development have been creating the motivation prompting Vietnam to accelerate its renovation, improve the quality of theoretical work, thoroughly interpret and solve the big problems in the process of national development; contribute to forecast and propose solid scientific grounds for adjusting, perfecting the strategies and polices; appropriately, exactly and effectively meet the requirements of national construction and defense for the happiness of the people. 


Prof., Dr. Ta Ngoc Tan

Member of the Party Central Committee

President of Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics


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