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The eternal vitality of Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, morality and style

(LLCT) - Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, morality, and style were distilled, inherited, supplemented, and developed from the fine traditional cultural values of the nation and the quintessence of humanity. Their values are eternal, owing to their scientific and revolutionary nature as well as unity between theory and practice, between words and actions. They have made valuable contributions to the peace, progress, and development of the nation and humankind. In the current revolutionary period, Ho Chi Minh's ideology, morality, and style remain the ideological foundation and the guideline leading the revolution of the Party and the people to success and have become timeless with the nation and the era.

Keywords: Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, morality and style.

The eternal vitality of Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, morality, and style are recognized by Vietnamese and world people owing to its great value and contribution to the nation and humanity and to peace, progress, and development in the world. To Vietnamese people, the evaluation of a doctrine and ideology is not necessarily derived from its internal standards but comes from the interests of the Fatherland: “The doctrines which could save the nation and help the people will be advocated and chosen”(1). Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, morality, and style were distilled, inherited, and developed from the fine traditional cultural values of the nation and the quintessential values of the world culture. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has affirmed that Ho Chi Minh Thought “...is the crystallization of the thousand-year-old cultural traditions of the Vietnamese people, and the embodiment of the aspirations of nations desiring to define their cultural identities and strengthen mutual understanding among them”(2). Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, morality, and style have enduring value, also because they have a scientific and revolutionary nature and unity between theory and practice as well as between words and actions.

Ho Chi Minh Thought was crystallized from Vietnamese national culture. Its core contents include humanistic and revolutionary ideologies on national liberation, social liberation, and human liberation, as well as an aim at building a world of peace, friendship, and development. Besides, Ho Chi Minh’s thought and morality also absorbed the quintessential values of world culture: Buddhist philosophies of “compassion, joy, salvation”; Confucius thoughts of “harmony, universality” and “virtue”; Christian thoughts of equality and charity; and the “Three Principles of the People” of Sun Yat-sen. However, above all, his thought was absorbed from the revolutionary ideology, the ultimate aim for humanity, and the revolutionary cause of human liberation of Marxism - Leninism. In this regard, Ho Chi Minh observed: “Confucianism has the advantage of cultivating individual morality. Jesus’ religion has the advantage of lofty benevolence. Marxism has the advantage of being a dialectic working method. Sun Yat-sen has the advantage that its policy is appropriate to our country’s conditions. Did Confucius, Jesus, Marx, and Sun Yat-sen have that point in common? All of them want ‘to strive for human happiness and social welfare.’ If they were still alive, if they gathered together in one place, I believe that they would definitely live together as close friends. I am trying to be their humble student”(3). It can be said that, with his genius intelligence, Ho Chi Minh collected, refined, supplemented, and developed the world’s precious cultural concepts to create eternal values, without being dependent on differences in era and ideology.

Unlike the formations of many other ideologies in the world, the thought, morality, and style of Ho Chi Minh were formed in his search for a way to save and liberate his nation. Born and raised amidst his country’s fall, Ho Chi Minh experienced unfathomable bitterness and suffering of slavery. Having acquired patriotism and the resilient fighting spirit of his predecessors, he exerted a will to save the country from colonial and feudal domination. During his search for a revolutionary path, he acquired the revolutionary theory of Marxism - Leninism which is the peak of contemporary culture. He found the way of national liberation and development, namely “the path of the proletarian revolution” and “national independence in consistence with socialism”.

Although he considered the revolutionary theoretical system of Marxism - Leninism as a “miracle handbook”, he, by observing and studying the historical conditions of the colonial countries, contended that a multitude of classic arguments were only true in European conditions, “but Europe is not the whole world”. Therefore, he had the notion that it was necessary to research, supplement, and develop theories and to apply creatively in practice without being dogmatic and stereotyped. He said, “Marxism - Leninism is not a bible but a guide to take action” and while mastering the basic principles of Marxism - Leninism, “communists in various countries must concretize Marxism - Leninism in accord with the circumstances of each time and place”(4), and must apply properly to suit the practical historical conditions and requirements of the revolution. That is an important difference that demonstrates Ho Chi Minh’s superiority in creative thinking and revolutionary methods and created the sustainable value and vitality of his thought, morality, and style. Our Party affirmed: “Ho Chi Minh Thought is the result of the creative application of Marxism - Leninism in our country’s specific conditions and in reality, Ho Chi Minh Thought has become a precious spiritual property of the Party and the nation”(5).

According to Ho Chi Minh, revolutionary theories should not only be absorbed but also be effectively applied in practice so that they could prove their value. Based on the revolutionary theory of Marxism - Leninism, he supplemented, developed, and applied creatively the theory to Vietnamese practice. His new perspective system was presented through the recognization and resolution of the relationships between nation and class, the ties between the proletariat and the colonial revolution, and the revolutionary forces’ role in the national liberation revolution. Those were new theoretical issues and not easy to be acknowledged at the time. The victory of the August Revolution in 1945 gave birth to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and abolished 80 years of colonial rule as well as hundreds of years of feudalism oppressing Vietnamese people. The success of the August Revolution ushered in a new era of independence, peace, and socialism in national history. Simultaneously, it marked an important turning point in the world’s modern history. The worldwide revolutionary movement in the mid-50s of the 21st century showed that Ho Chi Minh’s outstanding theoretical contributions suitably supplemented the revolutionary theoretical treasure trove of Marxism - Leninism. Additionally, it inspired, encouraged, and led all colonial peoples in the world to follow Vietnam, to stand up for the national liberation revolution, to completely abolish international colonialism, and “to erase the stains of humanity”. That is a vivid demonstration of the rightness, creativity, and eternal value of Ho Chi Minh’s thought, morality, and style. Dr. Ahmed, UNESCO Asia-Pacific Director said, “Only a few historical figures have become part of the legend while alive and Ho Chi Minh is obviously among them. He will be remembered not only as a liberator for his Fatherland and colonized people but also as a modern sage who offered new perspectives and hope to uncompromising fighters to remove injustice and inequality from this world”(6).

The values of Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, morality, and style, with their distinct attributes, are imbued with the nation’s traditional culture: patriotism, compassion, solidarity, and respect for love, among other things. That is the ideology, morality, and style of a great man of culture, a great master with great wisdom, great courage, a pure mind, noble virtue, diligent wisdom, and respectful behavior who always stay close and devote to their people. The late Prime Minister Pham Van Đong believed that it was “a life that is full of glory and arduous sacrifices, extremely noble and rich and monumentally pure and beautiful”(7).

President Ho Chi Minh passed on a great revolutionary cause to our nation. Furthermore, he left a noble legacy for the Party and people which is a glaring exemplar of high moral quality and a life-long, selfless sacrifice for the country and people’s happiness. Ho Chi Minh possessed the proper qualities of a genius leader. Moreover, he was the embodiment of a new type of the people’s leader: great but not distant; noble but extremely simple, close, familiar and attached to the masses; wholeheartedly taking care of the cause of national independence and national reunification; and desiring to build a strong, rich Vietnam and a prosperous and happy life for the people. Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, morality, and style have everlasting value because of the spirit of service, attitude and responsibility towards the people. For Him, the morality of the revolutionist was not only a good word or a good idea, but also expressed by the will to maintain national independence, sovereignty, unity and wealth; to promote the people’s ownership and care for their interests; and to pay attention to the holistic development and happiness of human beings, which is considered the ethic of living and being as humans. Ho Chi Minh confided: “The only purpose in my whole life is to strive for the interests of the Fatherland and the happiness of the nation. That I have to hide in the mountains, or go in and out of prison, or rush into danger is for that purpose”(8). He had only one desire and aspiration: “...the ultimate desire is to make our country completely independent, our people completely free, everyone can have food and clothes, everyone can receive education”(9). Until he said his farewell to this world, he only regretted “...not being able to serve anymore and any longer”(10). It is that very noble desire and purpose that gave him an immense will and endeavor to “not be seduced by richness, not be moved by poverty, not be subdued by power”(11). It was also a fulcrum to help him overcome all hardships and difficulties, and lead our people to a happy shore. Ho Chi Minh’s image is that of a great leader with leadership wisdom, a model for a close relationship, attachment to the people, wholehearted love for the people, and reliance on the people because “revolution is the cause of the masses”, the power of the people is invincible, and one needs to “take the people as the root”. He said: “A mission with tenfold ease cannot be completed without the people, a mission with hundredfold difficulty can be completed thanks to the aid of the people”(12).

President Ho Chi Minh regularly reminded high-ranking leaders of the Party and State as well as each cadre and party member of the need to practice and cultivate morality, uphold the spirit of service and responsibility to the people, and take care of the people’s material and spiritual life. He analyzed that “if the country is independent but its people do not enjoy happiness and freedom, independence will make no sense”(13). Therefore, each cadre and party member must fulfill their responsibilities and be both the real leader and the loyal servant of the people. According to him, the morality of officials is depicted by the close bonds with the people, the understanding of people’s aspirations to help promptly, and “solve problems among the people”. He critically criticized the officials having bureaucratic thought, being distant from the people, appearing to be a “revolutionary official”, being opportunists, abusing power, and “oppressing the people”. Revolutionary morality is not far-fetched; it must be manifested every day and must “listen to the opinions of party members, the people, and of those who are unimportant”(14). That is the key to tightening flesh-and-blood relations and building trust between the Party and people.

Ho Chi Minh’s morality and style are presented in his attachment to the people. He never considered himself higher than the people. He believed he was a lifetime loyal and devoted servant of the people, “like a soldier obeying the nation to go into the battle”(15). Therefore, our people and international friends, from intellectual dignitaries, scientists to laborers, all love and respect him. President Ho Chi Minh is an incomparable moral example, a monument of a great soul and a great personality. He was undoubtedly close, warm and tolerant with a simple and humble lifestyle. The Party affirmed: “President Hồ’s life was as pure as the driven snow. It is a wonderful example of a resilient revolutionary spirit, independent and self-reliant spirit, humanity and passionate love for the people, impartiality, humble and simple conduct. His thoughts and morals lighten and uplift our hearts permanently”(16).

President Ho Chi Minh is no more alive, but the everlasting value of his ideology, morality, and style and his great revolutionary cause still shines and is forever an example to encourage our people and nations in the world that desire peace, freedom, and justice to fight for national independence, peace, and social progress. Academician from the Russian Academy of Sciences, V.M Joseph wrote: “…in every transformation, there are important things that do not change. They are the socialist ideal, humanitarian, liberal, democratic, and social justice ideas that President Ho Chi Minh, the great patriot and internationalist, devoted his whole life to. Time will pass, but progressive humanity will remember President Ho Chi Minh’s name and career forever”(17).

The Party’s victories in national liberation, construction and defense along with achievements in the renovation vividly demonstrate that: “The world has changed and will do so but Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts will be everlasting in the treasure trove of human culture”(18). In the new revolutionary period, Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, morality, and style remain to be the foundation of thought, the guideline, and the light for the revolutionary cause of the Party and the people to achieve success and become immortal with the nation and era.

__________________

Endnotes:

(1) Modern Vietnamese cultural issues, Education Publishing House, Hanoi, 1998, p.184.

(2) Resolution 24c/18.65 of the General Assembly of UNESCO 24-1987.

(3) Vo Nguyen Giap: Ho Chi Minh’s thought and the way of the Vietnamese revolution, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 1997, p.43.

(4) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, vol.11, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2011, p.95.

(5) CPV: Document of the 7th National Congress of the National Delegate, The Truth Publishing House, Hanoi, 1991, p.127.

(6) Tran Van Giau: Ho Chi Minh Thought Research, vol.2, Published by Ho Chi Minh Institute, Hanoi, 1993, p.42.

(7) Pham Van Dong: Culture and innovation, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 1994, p.126.

(8), (13), (15) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, vol.4, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 1995, p.240, 56, 161.

(9), (10), (12) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, vol.12, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 1996, p.517, 512, 212.

(11) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, vol.6, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 1996, p.184.

(16) Le Duan: Moving forward towards new victories under the Party’s glorious flag, for independence and freedom, for socialism, The Truth Publishing House, Hanoi, 1980, p.36.

(17) National Center for Social Sciences and Humanities - UNESCO Committee of Vietnam: President Ho Chi Minh - The hero of national liberation and the great man of culture, Social Science Publishing House, Hanoi, 1995, p.120.

 

(18) Vo Nguyen Giap: Ho Chi Minh Thought, the Formation and Development, The Truth Publishing House, Hanoi, 1993, p.73.(14) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, vol.5, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 1996, p.285.

 

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Tran Minh Truong

Institute of Ho Chi Minh and Party Leaders,

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

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