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Ho Chi Minh’s thought on the Vietnamese revolution,and Kaysone Phomvihane’s thought on the Lao revolution

(LLCT) - On August 30th 2017, in Vientiane, Laos, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences in collaboration with the Lao National Academy of Politics and Public Administration and the Lao National Institute of Social Sciences held the international scientific seminar: “Ho Chi Minh’s thought on the Vietnamese Revolution, and Kaysone Phomvihane’s thought on the Lao Revolution”. This was the 2nd seminar coordinated by the four agencies, following the successful one held in Binh Thuan (Vietnam) in June 2017. The Political Theory Journal is honored to publish the keynote presentation of PROF., DR. NGUYEN XUAN THANG, Secretary of the Party Central Committee, President of Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics.

President Ho Chi Minh met with comrade Kaysone Phomvihane in his friendly

visit to Vietnam in 1962 _ Photo: nhandan.org.vn

The glorious and great achievements recorded by the Vietnamese Revolution and Lao Revolution under the leadership of the Indochinese Communist Party in the past, and the Communist Party of Vietnam and Lao People’s Revolutionary Party nowadays are closely associated with the life, career and thought of President Ho Chi Minh and those of President Kaysone Phomvihane. These two leaders have left to the two Parties, two States and two peoples not only a great cause but also a priceless spiritual heritage that is Ho Chi Minh Thought and Kaysone Phomvihane Thought, and a shining example of morality and lifestyle.

President Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese hero of national liberation, the great man of culture, and the genius leader who founded and forged the Communist Party of Vietnam, devoted all his life to striving for the independence, freedom and happiness of the Vietnamese people and the special relationship between Vietnam and Laos.

Through his “79 springs”, Ho Chi Minh led a “glorious life full of hardships and sacrifices, yet extremely noble and profound, pure and beautiful”. He embodies the crystalization of the Vietnamese finest age-old cultural tradition and quintessence of world cultures; and is the embodiment of will and aspiration for independence, freedom, prosperity and happiness. Ho Chi Minh has become the great man of our time thanks to his driving the course of Vietnamese history and contributing to mankind’s historical development, including the success of the Laotian revolution.

The eventful revolutionary life of Comrade Kaysone Phomvihane - Former Secretary General, President of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee and President of Lao People’s Democratic Republic “was associated with the long-term history of the arduous yet glorious struggle of the Lao people, aiming at the path of people’s democracy, building and protecting a peaceful, independent and prosperous Laos”(1).

This international scientific seminar is an occasion to express the gratitude and respect for President Ho Chi Minh and President Kaysone Phomvihane, and at the same time, to deepen the awareness of the ideological legacies of our two beloved leaders and their significance for the Parties, States and peoples of Vietnam and Laos.

In that spirit, the seminar should focus on further clarifying three basic groups of issues as follows:

Firstly, Marxism - Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought must be confirmed as the ideological base and lodestar for the Vietnam Party’s activities and revolution; and Kaysone Phomvihane Thought should be explained and affirmed as the ideological base and lodestar for the Lao Party’s activities and revolution.

Both Ho Chi Minh Thought and Kaysone Phomvihane Thought are the crystallization of the traditional culture of each country, and the cultural quintessence of each people and the whole mankind. Vietnam and Laos share many similarities in history, culture and natural conditions; the two peoples also share the same goal of national independence and socialism. The two countries are under the same leadership of the former Indochinese Communist Party, and the Communist Party  of Vietnam and Lao People’s Revolutionary Party nowadays. Therefore, Ho Chi Minh Thought and Kaysone Phomvihane Thought share many similarities, and have developed into the historic victories of each country.

Ho Chi Minh Thought and Kaysone Phomvihane Thought represent the combination and creative application of Marxism - Leninism in association with the patriotic and revolutionary movements of each country. They prove to be suitable to the era and historical background of each country in successfully resolving fundamental issues of the Vietnamese revolution and Lao revolution, aiming at the emancipation of nation, class, society and people.

Ho Chi Minh Thought is a comprehensive and profound system of views on fundamental issues of the Vietnamese revolution, resulting from Ho Chi Minh’s creative application and promotion of Marxism - Leninism in specific conditions of Vietnam. It inherited and developed fine national traditional values and absorbed the cultural quintessence of mankind. While solving the fundamental issues of the Vietnamese revolution, President Ho Chi Minh contributed to the development of Marxism - Leninism on many important issues, especially the theory of national liberation revolution and advance toward socialism in colonized and dependent countries.

The unique feature of Ho Chi Minh Thought is the consistency between theory and reality, morality and lifestyle. That includes the view and example of absolute loyalty, resolute revolutionary ideal, putting the interests of the Party, the country, and the nation above all; wholeheartedly serving the homeland and people; absolute loyalty to the country and wholehearted devotion to the people; wholeheartedly loving fellow countrymen, comrades and humans in general; being industrious, honest and righteous, public-spirited and selfless, avoiding wastefulness, being genuine servants of the people, and resolutely fighting against individualism. Ho Chi Minh’s lifestyle reflects the core values of his thought and morality through lively, natural, unique, and charismatic manner in his daily activities and behaviours. That lifestyle showcases independent, self-reliant, creative thought that attaches theory to reality; a democratic and scientific working style; a cultured, refined and humanist behavior imbued with love, respect and dedication for the people; a style of matching words with actions and winning people’s heart; a noble, pure and simple style; a public-oriented and democratic style; self-setting an example of revolutionary morality.

During the renewal period, the Communist Party of Vietnam continues to uphold Ho Chi Minh Thought. It affirms that together with Marxism - Leninism, Ho Chi Minh Thought will be the ideological foundation and lodestar for the Party and Vietnamese revolution. This is a crucial development of awareness and theoretical thinking of the Vietnamese Communist Party. His thought will forever light up the revolutionary cause of the Vietnamese people and lead it to greater successes.

For the Lao Revolution, President Kaysone Phomvihane has left to the Lao Party, State and people a valuable, great, profound and comprehensive legacy - Kaysone Phomvihane Thought.

Kaysone Phomvihane Thought manifests a creative application of Marxism - Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought to the specific conditions of Laos, inheriting and developing the fine traditional values of Laos, absorbing mankind’s cultural quintessences. Those are creative views of revolutionary ways, methods, strategies and tactics to gather and organize revolutionary forces in terms of politics, economy, military, foreign affairs, culture and ethics for the emancipation of the nation, society and people.

Comrade Kaysone Phomvihane solved creatively and successfully the key issues of the Lao revolution. They include building revolutionary armed forces; forming the national unity bloc; leading the Lao people in fighting for national independence successfully; building the people’s democracy; working out the line on socialist-oriented renovation and development in Laos. Lao communists and people can find the revolutionary and creative features of Kaysone Phomvihane Thought in many issues. First of all, it is reflected in identifying the leadership role, organizational and operational rules of the Communist Party, building a pool of Party officials and forging them in the real struggle; striving to enhance and making the Party stronger, safeguarding and increasing internal solidarity so that the Party becomes capable of fulfilling its historic mission assigned by the Lao country and people. This is a remarkable contribution of Comrade Kaysone Phomvihane to the creative application and development of Marxism - Leninism doctrine for the Communist Party in Laos.

This is the viewpoint of the people’s role and position, considering them as factors in gaining victory for the revolution. The Party should strive to gather, organize and mobilize the aggregate strength of the people for the revolutionary cause. Kaysone Phomvihane Thought is also vividly manifested in the guidelines, policies and leadership mode in building forces for the Lao revolution and Lao-Viet combat alliance as well as international solidarity.

Concerning the national renovation cause, comrade Kaysone Phomvihane worked out his views on how to make it concerted, comprehensive, principled, firm, avoiding impatience, subjectiveness and mainly relying on their own strength and securing international support and cooperation. This clearly shows the liveliness of Kaysone Phomvihane Thought which has always developed side by side with the history of the Lao revolution. Therefore, in the course of renovation, the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party stresses: “Consistently and resolutely translate the comprehensive and principled renovation cause initiated by President Kaysone Phomvihane into reality, continue buiding and developing the system of people’s democracy to achieve the goal of building Laos into a peaceful, independent, democratic, united and prosperous country”(2); It also affirms that Kaysone Phomvihane Thought makes up an integral part of the Lao Party and revolution’s ideology, to be the leading flag, guidance and lodestar for the Lao revolution to overcome all difficulties and challenges to gain new victories.

Secondly, it is necessary to comprehensively and profoundly evaluate the dimensions, role and significance of Ho Chi Minh Thought and Kaysone Phomvihane Thought for the current renovation cause in each country. The successes of the Vietnamese and Lao revolutions confirm that Ho Chi Minh Thought and Kaysone Phomvihane Thought have truly become the vitality and strength for the two Parties and peoples, and they continue to guide the development process of the Vietnamese and Lao revolutions in the direction of constructing successfully socialism and firmly safeguarding the two socialist countries.

Currently, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, the two countries are boosting the renovation cause comprehensively and actively, and proactively promoting international integration. The renovation cause of each country has gained historic achievements. At the 12th National Party Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the 10th National Party Congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, both countries confirmed to continue the goal of national independence and socialism; fostering resolutely, comprehensively and synchronously the renovation process.

The renewal, open-door policy and international integration in each country have started in the ever-changing global and regional context. The two countries have many chances for development but are faced with new difficulties and challenges as well. The cause of renovating and building the country toward socialism in the current context is glorious but also very difficult, complicated and time-consuming. That cause requires the two Parties and peoples to be consistent in the goal and path chosen by both President Ho Chi Minh and President Kaysone Phomvihane together with the Communist Party of Vietnam and Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, which has attested to its soundness and suitability in the two countries’ historical reality; at the same time it requires high political will as well as creativeness in both the thinking and action.

In the new context, both Parties confirm the position, scientific and revolutionary values of Ho Chi Minh Thought and Kaysone Phomvihane Thought, continuing to uphold them; they have found the renovation and development in the ideological heritage of the two beloved leaders to creatively apply them to solving important and urgent issues of each country’s revolution.

For the Vietnamese revolution, the deeper the renovation cause, and the faster, more complicated and unpredictable global changes take place, the more new questions, both big and urgent, will appear to demand immediate answers. As such, it is imperative for the ideological and theoretical sector of the Communist Party of Vietnam to continue their study, application, protection and development of Ho Chi Minh Thought to meet practical requirements. The enhancement of the study and adherence to Ho Chi Minh Thought, his morality and lifestyle is meant to fulfill this essential and urgent task.

For the Lao revolution, in the current context, in order to achieve the targets of the renovation cause, it is essential and urgent to emphasize theoretical research attached to summary of practice and focus on further studying Kaysone Phomvihane as an ideologist and theorist. Therefore, research into Kaysone Phomvihane Thought should be conducted on a scientific basis to shed light further on both theoretical and practical backgrounds, as well as theoretical research and possible application to Lao daily life, to be commensurate to the significance of Kaysone Phomvihane Thought.

Thirdly, we should maintain, uphold and promote the special friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos in accordance with Ho Chi Minh Thought and Kaysone Phomvihane Thought in the context of the new era and specific socio-economic conditions of the two countries.

Vietnam and Laos are two close neighnouring countries sharing mountains and rivers, together drinking from the source of the Mekong River and leaning on the Truong Son Mountain Range. The two peoples enjoy a traditional, faithful and attached relationship. The friendship between Vietnam-Laos and Laos-Vietnam is a special bond established by President Ho Chi Minh and President Kaysone Phomvihane, and fostered with continuous efforts by the two States and peoples in order to secure independence, freedom, peace, prosperity and happiness to the two nations. It represents the two peoples’ ardent desire for unity and mutual support for fighting against common enemies, building an equal, self-reliant, friendly and cooperative relationship of mutual benefits between the two countries. It is a comprehensive and sustainable cooperation throughout historical periods and previous pathways of struggling for national independence and the renovation and construction course of the two countries towards socialism at present. Embedded in the heart of every Vietnamese and Lao person now and forever is the statement of President Ho Chi Minh: “Vietnam and Laos, our two countries have a friendship deeper than the Hong Ha and Cuu Long rivers” as well as a saying by President Kaysone Phomvihane: “Vietnam - Laos relationship is forever more sustainable than mountains and rivers”.

History has proved that the revolutionary courses of the two Parties and two nations of Vietnam and Laos is always mutually-attached and mutually-impacted. Lao revolution is unable to separate itself from the coordination and support of the Vietnamese revolution, and vice versa. Having originated from the Indochinese Communist Party, the Communist Party of Vietnam and Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, in the specific circumstance of each country, the two Parties excellently play the leading role in the revolutions, and have established special relationship with each other. Comrade Le Duan and comrade Kaysone Phomvihane both shared the same idea as follows: “Our two Parties are sincere to each other; we understand each other and talk to each other like two brothers in a family. That bonds deserve to be appreciated. Rarely in the world are parties that have such a deep mutual understanding and close solidarity like ours. It can be said to be a typical sample of relationship between brotherly parties”(3). This relationship has been increasingly expanded, developed and qualitatively upgraded.

That objective historical reality further expresses the noble value of Ho Chi Minh Thought and Kaysone Phomvihane Thought, as well as the leading role of the two Parties in building and consolidating the special relationship between the two countries and peoples. Historical lessons from this exemplary relationship retain its original value and is a red thread through the development of the relation between the two Parties, two States and two peoples. At the same time, it shows more clearly that the improvement of the leading role of the Communist Party of Vietnam and Lao People’s Revolutionary Party is the key to advancing this special relationship forward in the new context of the time and the two nations. Protecting, preserving and developing this special and vitally meaningful solidarity not only means to protect the one of extremely important revolutionary accomplishments but also represents the shared responsibility of the two Parties, States and peoples, particularly the young generations’ responsibility for the two nations’ histories.

The thought and great revolutionary cause of President Ho Chi Minh and the thought and lofty revolutionary cause of President Kaysone Phomvihane are great contributions to the causes of national liberation, class emancipation, social liberation and human liberation of Vietnam and Laos. We should study the thought, morality and styles of President Ho Chi Minh and President Kaysone Phomvihane. We should also inherit faithfully and excellently the causes left by the two leaders, continue to make their thoughts a solid spiritual foundation of Vietnamese and Lao social life, thus meeting the requirements of renewing and building each country towards prosperity.


(1) People’s Daily, November 23, 1992, p.1.

(2) Quoted from the People’s Daily, November 23, 1992, p.1.

(3) Briefing some statements of Mr. Bay (Comrade Kaysone Phomvihane) and Ba (Comrade Le Duan) at the discussion between the two Parties’ Central Committees, 1971. The document is archived at the Institute of the Party’s History, Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics.

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