The 12th Party Congress while emphasizing to comprehensively and synchronously scale up the renovation affirmed to continue addressing the 9 major relations in the renovation process, in which the second biggest relation is that between economic and political renewal. More concretely, three out of the six key tasks during the 12th Party Congress tenure set out by the Communist Party of Vietnam focus on political and economic renewal, and the two tasks on political renewal is placed as primary duties. This shows the role and importance of economic renewal, political renewal, and the relationship between them.
1. Looking back at the 30 years of renovation, the relationship between economic renewal and political renewal has been identified as the basic of primary importance in the process of national renewal, an important content in Party viewpoints, lines and policies on renovation of the Party and State. Moreover, full awareness and proper settlement of this relationship is a breakthrough in the theory of the Party on the renewal to advance to socialism in Vietnam.
So far, there has been fundamental renewal of the Party leadership and State management in addressing the relationship between economic and political renewal. Efforts have been made to overcome notions and ways of doing things which have existed for decades such as overemphasizing the role of politics over economy, considering politics as the decisive factor of economy and all areas of social life, a simple awareness on the impact of politics on the economy, political intervention into the economic process, political impact on economy mainly by administrative and subjective orders of leading and management agencies at all levels.
At the same time, there have been fundamental changes in the Party leadership and State management from directly planning to policy, from direct command and operation to indirect management and regulatory policies, creating an enabling environment for democracy, freedom, proactivity, self-responsibility to the producers and businesses and changing the mode of political impact on the economy through the role of institutions and policies.
The renovation in Vietnam neither started with politics nor politics and economy at the same time. The issue is that political orientation is increasingly clear for economic development; policy on transformation of mechanisms and economic structures has become more in line with reality, creating preconditions for the liberation of social productive forces, economic growth, enhancement of the country's position and strength and people’s creativeness and political activeness.
2. However, there remain many problems in theoretical and practical relationship between economic renewal and political renewal which have not been fully perceived and resolved properly in time to accelerate the renovation. They are the issues of market-economic development and democracy the market, building of an equity and civilized society, cultural development, socio-political stability, environmental protection; economic development and the requirements to renew the content and leading methods of the Party and build the rule of law State; and acceleration of industrialization, modernization and international integration with political system renovation. That is also the issue of correct awareness and proactivity of political economic renewal. Political renewal aims to establish political guarantees for economic development and people’s right to be masters and interest. Party leadership and rule and State management should be enhanced to meet the requirements of economic development.
Objective causes of the above situation are the renewal of politics and the political system have taken place at a time when developing the socialist-oriented market economy, international integration, building the socialist rule of law State and expanding and promoting democracy are new, difficult and complicated issues in both theory and practice, requiring both implementation, drawing experience, and developing theory amid rapid, complex and unpredictable developments in the world situation and hostile forces’ sabotage, especially in the field of ideology and politics.
The subjective cause of the above situation is the delay in renewing awareness on political renewal, political system, political institutions when the renovation has been deepened. The concretization of the “Party leadership-State management-people as masters” has not yet met the requirements of economic development. Part of officials and Party members have degraded in morality and lifestyles due to lingering unhealthy customs, habits, and illegal interest. There remain constraints and limitation in theoretical study resulting in limitations of ideological work, organization, personnel, training and retraining of officials at all levels and hindrance of economic growth.
3. On orientations to address the relationship between economic renewal and political renewal in the coming years: First of all, be aware of the rule that the economy eventually decides politics; all political changes are reflection of economic changes and regulated by economy. Assessment of the political situation must be based on economic situation; Assessment of political renewal must be based on economic renewal. At the same time, politics plays the guiding and leading role for economy (through mechanisms and policies); only political renovation can promote economic renewal (on the basis of objective rules of economic and economic renewal).
Economic and political renewal must be placed in the development trend of the times; continue to renew awareness on socialism; continue to overcome “spontaneous privatization” of the agrarian society, improve the quality of development and implementation of the “contracted development.” Identify new requirements from the relationship between economic and political renewal; implement sustainable development orientation in the socio-economic strategy; exercise democracy in economic and political activities; firmly defend independence and sovereignty in the process of international integration; and build a new culture as the foundation of economic and political renewal.
The relationship between economic and political renewal must be placed in the dialectical relation with other relations in the renovation process, and be perceived and addressed as goals and conditions of the settlement of other relationships of the renovation. The relationship between economic and political renewal must be settled in the direction of establishing and perfecting the economic - political - social unity and harmony and building a modern market economy with political democracy, and social equity and civilization.
There is a need to choose and apply scientific methods in solving the relationship between economic and political renewal. Identifying dialectical vision with systematic method is considered as a criterion of leadership ability, management and theoretical studies on the relationship between economic and political renewal. Renovate and develop culture, and create a proactive and creative environment in face of rapid economic change and international integration.
Firmly grasp viewpoints guiding the relationship between economic and political renewal. Developing the socialist-oriented market economy is both using the rules of the market economy in order to liberate the productive forces, gradually shaping the economic base of socialism and remaining persistent, maintaining the nature of the socialist regime, ensuring that values of socialism play the key role in each development stage of the country. Ensure all forms of ownership, and economic sectors are equal in the market and before the law to mobilize resources for economic and political development.
Address the relationship between economic and political renewal in a synchronous and thorough manner with inheritance, and appropriate steps, forms and methods, meeting the requirement of proactivity and international integration; build an independent economy, autonomy, and firmly safeguard socialist Vietnam; enhance the ruling capacity of the Party, the management capacity of the State and promote the people's right to be masters in the context of market economy and international integration. Ensure harmony and order in the process of political and economic renewal in terms of scope, extent and pace. Harmoniously renovate economy, politics, culture, society, national defense and security.
Properly and harmoniously handle the relationship between renewal-stability-development in economy and politics. Economic and politic renewal is to make politics and economy conform to each other, making the implementation of economic goals the implementation of political objectives, and strengthening politics to be able to orient economic adjustments. Stabilizing politics is to maintain (relative) balance between components of economy, and politics, society, and create cohesion, unity and strength as a whole. Renovation-stability-economic and political development are closely related to each other, paving the way for another existence, and development.
Identify demands for required compatibility between economic and political renewal; clarify the requirements and urgency of political renewal to meet the requirements of economic renewal; clarify stages and steps of economic and political renewal; promote positive factors, and limit negative factors that hamper the relationship between economic and political renewal. Proper settlement of the relationship between economic and political renewal is to bring about quality and efficiency for both economic and political renewal.
4. On measures to solve the relationship between economic and political renewal in the coming years: First, to raise awareness about the relationship between economic and political renewal. Continue to study trends, and development of the time and features of the relationship between politics and economics in Vietnam based on new understanding of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought on the path to socialism in Vietnam. Regularly review practical, and theoretical development, discover and forecast to have correct lines and measures to properly handle the relationship between economic and political renewal. Continue to study and consult theory as well as practices of developed countries and successful “start-up nations” following the path of “contracted development”. Disseminate and communicate within the Party and among people about the achievements and limitations of economic and political renewal, opportunities and challenges of economic and political renewal in new stage; detect new elements, replicate good practices in addressing the relationship between economic and political renewal.
Focus on building and perfecting the socialist-oriented market economy, the institution of political, democratic and socialist rule of law, and the institution “Party leadership - State management - people’s right to be masters.” Renovate the organization and personnel work to meet the requirements for economic and political renewal; develop science, technology, education and training and culture as required by the renovation in the early 21st century, meeting the requirements of economic and political renewal.
Identify and bring into play timely factors that guide, promote, create demands, and conditions of economic renewal towards political renewal, such as the formation and development of market economy, the process of restructuring and transformation of growth pattern; renovate macroeconomic stability; renovate law making and enforcement to create an environment for equal competition and transparency among businesses of all economic sectors; renovate economic planning and development under the market mechanism; implement fiscal and monetary policy to ensure healthy development of the economy; create synchronous market categories and ensure their smooth operation; continue to renovate and perfect land policy; accelerate the equitization of state-owned enterprises; and exercise equality between economic sectors.
Identify and timely restrict factors that hinder economic renewal for political renewal, such as the limited leadership capacity of the Party and management of the State in the development of market economy, stratification of the rich and the poor, environmental pollution, social evils, low global competitiveness index, waste in economic resources, large amount of agricultural labor in the economic structure, insufficient state-owned enterprises, undeveloped markets, inefficient and incomplete legal and administrative framework for the market economy, inequality between economic sectors, corruption and waste which have not been prevented and remedied and many countries and international organizations have not recognized Vietnam’s market economy.
At the same time, uphold the results of political renewal to promote economic renewal, such as perfecting the rules, regulations, working procedures for renewing the Party leadership over the political system; strengthen the Party and the State leadership and management of the economy; continue renovating the Party and State leadership and management for economic development; build and complete the socialist rule of law state; build a contingent of clean and capable cadres and public employees to meet the requirements of economic renewal; build and perfect socialist democracy, and the mechanism for people to exercise their right as masters; and bring into play democracy, responsibility and discipline.
Discover and fix political elements that hinder economic renewal, such as incomplete socialist democracy; national unity has not been brought into full play; Party building work is limited; there remain constraints in the Party; the building a socialist rule of law State has fallen short of demands for economic development and management of the country; the Vietnam Fatherland Front and mass organizations have not been fully exercised their function of social criticism; organization and personnel work as well as policy have not met the demands of economic development.
Economic renewal should be better associated with democratization; institutional reform should be linked to legislative reform. Combine economic renewal with political renewal in which economic renewal is the core, political renewal is important, focusing on remove political obstacles to economic development. Identify breakthroughs in economic and political renewal, develop theory on economic and political renewal consistent with each stage. Economic and political renewal must be carried out in a coordinated, systematic manner with focus. Ensure political stability, proactively carry out political renewal to meet the requirements of economic renewal.
Politics should reflect the demand of economic rules so that in each step of economic development, politics must open the way by renovating economic lines, policy, organization and personnel. If lines, policies, organization and personnel work conform to economic development rules, politics will assume the leadership role for economic development. In such conditions, “politics cannot fail to take the leading position compared to economy”, as V.I. Lenin once remarked. The leading position of politics is manifested in the quality of lines and policies, quality of organization and training, staffing, especially leaders, in socio-economic efficiency, in improvement of the material and spiritual life of the people.
When the market economy has been constantly modernized to the high level as at present, “the leading position” of politics is also reflected in political attitudes towards intellectuals on development of science and technology, education and training and effective cooperation between science and technology, education and training and economic development. The synchronous development of these fields which increases national competitiveness is the primary criterion of political quality measurement towards economy.
It is necessary to clearly recognize the relationship between economics and politics in Vietnam in current development. Shifting to the socialist-oriented market economy and international integration are an important advance of decisive significance on the formation of new economic relations, completely different from the past in terms of nature and its decisive role towards politics in an objective manner, and politics has, more than ever, also demonstrated its creativeness towards economic development.
The market economy of Vietnam has not yet fully developed and modernized as industrial material basis have been under construction and has come under pressure of highly-developed world market. This economic nature must be reflected in economic structure, operation, quality, efficiency, organization and economic management. Therefore, it is necessary to recognize the decisive role of economy towards politics and the proactivity and creativity of politics in promoting economic development through the building of a State for development, and regulating benefits The proactivity and creativity of politics also lies in the respect for the advanced portion among people and in society. Moreover, the proactivity and creativity of the political is assessed through level and quality of building and implementing socialist democracy, people's knowledge enhancement, people development as a sustainable basis of economic and political development.
Creativity in developing lines and policies must be considered as the main driver for development in all areas of social life, primarily in the fields of economy and politics. The renovation is only successful thanks to the vision and determination of the political leaders of the country, along with manager of startup enterprises. Political stature is demonstrated in creativity, in attracting talent, as well as in economics and politics. Political power should be based on pervasive cultural values imbued in the nation, in every cadre, Party members and people.
The renovation in Vietnam is currently at a turning point when viewed from the economic situation and domestic politics. This turning point is in-depth and wide when viewed from the world economic and political situation which Vietnam is integrating. Therefore, economic and political renewal this time closely associates in a system in motion to reach a new height. Renovation motivation in the current period and coming time does not only aim at economic growth, but also politics, culture, society and international relations to follow the development trend of the time in the early 21st century which are sustainable development, building harmonious relationships, and harmonious development of individuals and communities, between people and natural environment. The relationship between economic and political renewal should be placed at a higher level with new quality in the Party and the State strategies and solutions, in political awareness, will and practical revolutionary action of the entire Party and the people.
This article was published on Communist Review No 887 (September 2016)
Assoc. Prof, Dr Le Minh Quan, Vice General Director of Department of Schools of Politics, Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics