Theoretical achievements of Vietnam Communist Party over 85 years of leading Vietnam’s revolution (3rd Feb 1930-3rd Feb 2015)
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Over the past 85 years since the foundation of Vietnam Communist Party, under its leadership, revolutionary cause of Vietnamese people has achieved great victories with historical and timely significances: The Revolution August of 1945, the birth of Democratic Republic of Vietnam; The National Liberation after 30-year wars; successfully protecting the Southwest border and north of the country; national renewal, construction and development process. Historical reality shows that all victories during the process of party leadership are rooted in theoretical cognition, in the ability to apply and creatively develop innovative scientific theories of Marxism - Leninism into country practices.

1. Achievements of Party’s theoretical developments in People’s Democratic the Nature and Revolution.

- Establishing the viewpoint of national independence associated with socialism, which is the origin of all victories of Vietnam revolution.

At the end of 19th century and early 20th century, Vietnam sunk into black nights of slavery and misery. Patriotic movements successively failed. The failure and powerlessness before the party establishment might derives from lacking an advanced and revolutionary theoretical system which allows accurate interpretation of practices to establish and implement an effective, proper and thorough path for national liberation.

On searching for a way to save the country, Nguyen Ai Quoc had access to Marxism - Leninism and formed new-era ideology of country saving. According to him, socialism is absolutely adaptable to Eastern peoples. it is necessary to view from working class standpoint and to make the proletarian revolution in order to completely deal with national task and enable people to live in freedom, prosperity, happiness. He said “only socialism and communism can liberate the oppressed peoples and workers in the world from slavery "[1].

That strands of Nguyen Ai Quoc thoughts  were developed to the highest and were realized into strategic guidelines established by Vietnam Communist Party  right after its foundation on 3rd February 1930. The merging Conference of the Party establishment adopted the first  political ideology whose core value stated that  national independence is associated with socialism, "implementing bourgeois revolution civil rights and land revolution to reach for  a communist society "[2]. From now on, Vietnam's revolutionary developed in one single correct direction: national independence associated with socialism. It implies three epochal functions of proletarian revolution in a colonized country: national liberation is accompanied with class liberation – society liberation and human liberation.

Selecting revolutionary way of associating national independence with socialism is Party’s tremendous achievement in revolutionary theories in terms of national liberation. It is completely consistent with the movement of Vietnam revolution and era development trend that transition from capitalism to socialism advances across the world. It derives from the specific conditions of a colony and people’s burning aspirations of independence and freedom. Recognizing and acting on the path of national independence associated with socialism, along with the establishment of a viewpoint system that properly, harmoniously and creatively addresses relationship between national independence and socialism, Vietnam Communist Party successfully led the August Revolution in 1945, conducted two resistant wars against "two major empires",  standing among pioneering nations to fight for the demolition of enslaved peoples, to build sustainable independence that is closely linked with freedom, democracy and people happiness, with equality and social progress.

National independence associated with socialism has become a red thread, serving as both the goal and the motivation, both the demand and the source of all Vietnam revolutionary victories. The principle of national independence associated with socialism continues to be the basic theoretical orientation, one of the leading factors in ensuring the success of Renewal process in the past years and success of  national development, implementation the  target of wealthy people, strong country, democratic, fair and civilized society.

- Developing theories of Unique Vietnamese people’s war.

In the history of wars to defend and save the country, Vietnamese people have been facing with enemies who had great national strength and superior military power. Our defensive wars have been always placed in the context of "the small must win the big", "the weak strikes the strong", "the little fights against the big".  The only way to do that is that the leaders must find strength inside people based on traditional national consolidation.

Instilling the principles of war and revolution from Marxism - Leninism, inheriting the essence of "people’s war" to protect and save the country in the national history, Vietnam Communist Party has developed and has constantly been developing theoretical system into a people's war doctrine in Ho Chi Minh era.

Arguments for Vietnam people’s war in the new era involve the organic relationship between characteristics such as "of people", "by people" and "for people" with the fulcrum of national unity which gathered in a unified National Front under the leadership of the Communist Party. People's war is not only national liberation from the invasions, but at the same time freeing working people from all shackles of oppression and exploitation. It not only gains and maintains national independence, but also directly brings and defends the fundamental and long-lasting interests for all classes of people. This is the difference between people's war led by the Communist Party with traditional civil wars throughout history as it is the party’s achievement in theoretical developments of defensive war.

Initially formed in the resistance war against France and fully developed, reaching a high level during the resistance war against American imperialism’s  aggression, theoretical system of Vietnam people's war includes priceless arguments and experiences, i.e.  public mobilization, public arming, building armed forces as the main force; comprehensive fighting on all fields such as military, politics, economy, culture, science and technology ...; promoting self-reliance spirit, combining national power with  era power; enlisting international sympathy, support and assistance; considering fighting as rules to win; being thoroughly aware of protracted war spirit to step-by-step accomplish victories; correctly estimating enemies, being active with fighting strategies in all forms and all kinds of weapons, actively opening and ending the war ... The theories above are drawn from reality, becoming a source of Champion strength taking our two resistance wars  to success.

Theories of  Vietnam people's war in Ho Chi Minh era are  invaluable heritages and sharp instruments not only for our country in the cause of national construction and defense at present and in the future, but also contribute to  enriching Marxist - Leninist military doctrine, having a profound and long-term impact on the art of war across the world.

 - Developing theories on building revolutionary forces and strategy of great national unity.

Unity or force gathering is vital for every revolution. V.I. Lenin wrote: "Only a vanguard army alone cannot win (...) it is not just a foolish thing, but also a crime " [3].

Fully grasping the principles of Marxism – Leninism that the revolution is the cause of the masses, understanding Vietnam cultural characteristics which always put patriotism and the spirit of community cohesion as the highest value, inheriting national traditions of  "compatriotism", "all-citizen fighting", Vietnam Communist Party since its establishment has created theories to build up forces and set out the proper and creative strategy for forces unity in the entire nation.

As early as the first Political program in 1930, the Party has determined that revolutionary forces are a united bloc of whole nation gathered in the form of the United People Front based on the principles and stance of working class, alliances of peasantry and intellectual class have been considered the foundation led by the Party. These viewpoints are revolutionary and scientific, reaching beyond the limited and rigid perspectives of class that were common in the movements of communist and international workers. It has also completely overcome the purely accidental, loose, spontaneous collection of patriotic organizations before Vietnam working class steps onto the political arena. Gathering forces, building block of national unity on that principle not only is the Party policy, but also the objective demands of the revolution cause carried out by the public. It is the requirements for all social classes in pursuit of independence and freedom for the country; enable Vietnam to be peaceful, unified, independent, democratic and prosperous. Therefore, it is durable and long lasting.

Along with the strategy of national solidarity, our Party upholds international solidarity; enlist support and sympathy from people, peace-loving forces and progress forces worldwide, considering these as important constituent parts of revolutionary forces.

On the theoretical basis of national solidarity, international solidarity, Vietnam Communist Party in the process of leading the revolution has established and continuously added arguments on the construction method of forces, arts of advocacy and gathering people, organizing political fronts, international solidarity, etc, Consequently, the national "concerted, synergistic" power is multiplied at the highest level imbued with the spirit of initiative, self-reliance which are decisive factors in the victory of Vietnamese people’s national revolution and democracy.

Building forces associated with national solidarity, international solidarity, building unified fronts are combination constituting revolutionary guidelines, which are creative theories that have lasting value of Vietnam Communist Party.

- Establishing creative, proper and effective methods of revolution.

Revolutionary methods are integral parts of revolutionary party guidelines. When goals and strategic directions have been determined, the ability to establish conducting methods is decisive to the success or failure of the revolutionary movement. Creativity is the key to those methods.

In people democratic national revolutions, basing on identified strategic objectives, on the national characteristics, on the object of struggle, fully aware of Marxist - Leninist dialectical methodology and standpoint of violent revolution, Vietnam Communist Party has formed arguments on proper and highly effective methods of revolution. Political credo in October 1930 put emphasis on revolution methods, considering armed violence as an extremely important activity that could not disregard.  In the early days of the republic democracy, the country was unsteady, President Ho Chi Minh proposed action motto "taking the stable to cope with the changeable". From the practises of fighting for regaining for the government and the 30-year national liberation war, the party affirms: "Revolution is creative, without creation the revolution could not succeed", "there has never been a unique formula of how to conduct the revolution "[4].

Being consistent in principles, flexible in strategies, the Party has created many exemplary methods of building forces, of struggling forms, flexibility in mass violence, taking advantage of enemy conflicts, knowing how to fight and knowing how to win... The great victories during the democratic national revolution reflect the high-level characteristics of the Party revolutionary methodology.

2. Achievements of The Party's theoretical development of socialism model in Vietnam

- Orientating the target system, increasingly clarifying and completing the path to socialism.

Identifying national independence associated with socialism requires our party to apply the principles of Marxism - Leninism to navigate the path and model of socialism in Vietnam. Over a long process of experimentation, with many stumbling and limitations, the party redefined: From the people’s democratic and national revolution to socialism we must undergo a transitional period with the long walk path. In particular, going from a backward agricultural country to socialism skipping period of capitalist development poses a series of unprecedented theoretical and practical issues. With proper awareness of Marxism - Leninism basic principles, selectively acquiring international experience, gradually applying and summarizing the practical model, basing on human creativity, Vietnam Communist Party has gradually developed a theoretical system on Vietnam socialism model with increasingly clearer goal, path and the overall solution. The program for national building in the period of transition to socialism (supplemented and developed in 2011) pointed 8 characteristic of socialism that our people were constructing: "rich people, strong country, democratic, fair and civilized society; owned by the people; having a highly developed economy based on modern productive forces and appropriate advanced production relations ; advanced culture imbued with national identity; people living in prosperity, liberty, happiness with all conditions for comprehensive development. Ethnic communities in Vietnam reach equality, solidarity, respect and help each other to develop; Legitimate socialist state of the people, by the people, for the people led by the Communist Party leadership; maintaining friendly relations and cooperation with countries in the world "[5]. If looking at the models of "socialism" that either collapsed or "lost pace" with the development of the world, we can see Party’s great theoretical creativeness in constructing Vietnam characterized model of socialism.

Achievements of the Party's theoretical thinking about socialism and socialist construction in Vietnam are proved via the fact that our Party has identified the target system of the innovation process. Values of socialist Vietnam include "rich people, strong country, democracy, justice, civilization". Party also establishes the conditions and methods to ensure the implementation by recognizing and dealing with 8 great relationships that dominate the success or failure of the reform process: the relationship between innovation, stability and development; between economic reform and gradual political innovation; between market economy and socialist orientation; between the development of productive forces and building, completing socialist production relations; between economic growth and cultural development to create social justice and progress, between building socialism and defending the socialist fatherland; between independence, autonomy and international integration; between party leadership, state management and People ownership.

- Establish a theoretical system on the path and its basic solutions to realize model of socialism.

The first issue set out to realize the goals of building socialism is national  industrialization and modernization. From the first awareness of industrialization in the 60s of the twentieth century, our party has so far formed an opinion system on industrialization associated with the modernization. Objectives, content, models, methods and resources for industrialization and modernization, are consistent with world development and also suitable with Vietnam. Accordingly, the implementation of industrialization and modernization is linked with knowledge-based economy and the protection of environmental resources; reforming growth model; building rational, modern, efficient and reliable economic structure; ensuring harmonious development between regions; building up independent, active internationally-integrated economy; consistent in mobilization and effective use of all development resources... The above-mentioned theoretical development is effective, leading to achievements in current practice.

Establishing and developing the theory of Socialist-oriented market economy is a process of inquiry with Party’s great creativeness. Applying and developing the principles of Marxism - Leninism in the economic field, our Party has overcome the mistakes and limitations of planning economy with bureaucracy and subsidies. It establishes theories of general economic model for the transition period to socialism in our country as Socialist-oriented market economy. In the socialist-oriented market economy, the market rules are respected and fully functioned. The socialist-law-governed state is in charge of management while the Communist Party leads to ensure the successful implementation of goals for socialism: rich people, strong country, happy and prosperous people living in justice, freedom where they can develop comprehensively and freely. This is an unprecedented model of economic development, from that the party ceaselessly develops and clarifies inner elements to ensure socialist- oriented market economy. It also orients development philosophy that actively guides the whole process of developing a market economy to the creation of premises and necessary conditions for the realization of socialism elements in our country ... Practice reveals that establishing model of socialism-oriented market economy has achieved great results in terms of theoretical thinking even though it still needs to continue supplementing and completing. This model is increasingly being confirmed to be consistent with the development trend of world economy and Vietnam conditions.

Orienting to construct, develop advanced culture imbued with national identity, developing Vietnamese human resources. From the first point of building revolutionary culture in the Vietnam Cultural Outline in 1943, our Party during the process of revolutionary leadership has the largest theoretical creativeness in determining the big role of culture, regarding culture as the foundation of social spirit, both an objective and an important source of endogenous development. Party defines more clearly the characteristic features of advanced culture imbued with national identity that are being built by our people: nationality, humanities, science and democracy, ensuring unity among diversity of Vietnamese people communities. Party clearly defines the close relationship between the cultural construction with human development. Culture develops for the improvement of human dignity and human resources improve to promote cultural development.

Establishing a theoretical basis for solving social problems. Solving social problems has shown the regime preeminence and also the requirements of sustainable development. Based on practical situation and national strength, the Party has identified extensively and fully the importance, objectives and content of solving social problems. A system of scientific arguments and theoretical foundation on resolving the relationship between economic growth with social justice and market economy progress has been formed. Economic and social goals must ensure uniformity, fairness and equality for all people, of all regions. Party also determines theoretically some orientations to build a civilized society in which people have more complete and more precise awareness about the positive values of culture and religious ethics for national construction.

Building and developing theories of defense, security and national defense in new conditions. Party established theoretical perspectives of the dialectical and close relationship between two strategic tasks: building and defending the Fatherland Socialist Vietnam. Accordingly, firmly protecting the independence, sovereignty, political security and social order will facilitate national building. Vice versa, building a strong nation with economic development will guarantee and enhance the defense and security. On this basis, the party identified objectives, requirements and tasks of protecting the socialist fatherland , which is firmly safeguarding the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity; protecting the Party, State, People and socialist regimes; protecting national interests;  maintaining political stability and peaceful environment to build the country following the socialist road .... Party defines guidelines; determines the strength, force and methods for national defense; converting enemy thinking into partnership thinking basing on national interests... Especially, there is deeper awareness of the role of Party’s absolute and direct leadership, the management of State for Armed Forces, national defense and security, protecting the socialist fatherland.

Constructing and developing theoretical background on foreign policies. Grasping Marxism - Leninism standpoint of international proletarian, inheriting national pride sprit, traditions of peace-loving and peace-keeping among Vietnamese people, the Party during its leadership of struggle for national liberation and national construction and development has always given priority to objectives and tasks of external relations, which is retrieving national interest.  We have changed from some mottos like "more friends, fewer enemies", "making friends with all democratic countries and not creating animosity with anyone" to diversification, multilateralisation of external relations; from "wanting to be friends" to "being willing to make friends", "being friends and reliable partners", "being a responsible member of the international community". The concept of "we and enemy" is transformed into dialectical perspective of the "partners", the "object" on the basis of national interests depending on each historical period. That is an achievement on establishment of theoretical thinking about strategies to build, develop and protect the country in international integration.

Constructing theoretical background to promote democracy, building national political system and legitimate socialist state. Practicing and promoting democracy, building a strong political system, building legitimate socialist state with real power and efficiency are the key issues that must be conducted from the heights and depths of theoretical cognition.

From practices of revolutionary struggle, from demands of renewal process, theoretical background on promoting democracy building Vietnam legitimate state has been established and put into execution. Accordingly, the nature and characteristics of socialist democracy in Vietnam contain the universal values ​​of mankind democracy but also include feature values, reflecting the nature and cultural characteristics and national traditions. Core areas of democracy are respecting and ensuring human rights, civil rights, the power of people as commanders, associating with the construction of the political system and legitimate socialist state with the principle "all state power belongs to the people". Democracy must accompany the discipline, living and working must be in conformity with laws and constitution.

Developing theories of Party Construction in new condition. Adhere to the Marxist - Leninist principle of building the new type of proletarian party, basing on characteristics of Vietnam, the Party has increasingly and creatively developed its cognitive theories on Party building, the key issue is the nature of the Party. Credo for national building in the transition period to socialism (supplemented, developed in 2011) defined: "Party is the vanguard of the working class and the vanguard of the working people and the people of Vietnam, the faithful representative of the interests of the working class, working people and the nation ". Party has also defined more clearly and thoroughly its ideological foundation which is Marxism - Leninism and Ho Chi Minh thoughts; better defined the role of the party leadership; the position, content, tasks of Party building in condition of the ruling party, building legitimate state, developing socialist-oriented market economy and international integration ...

Achievements of theoretical awareness on the ruling Party and Party building have empowered and enhanced Party’s strength, leadership capacity, fighting capacity and role of the Party leadership during the national renewal process. On the other hand, practices of country  construction and development in the present conditions also pose urgent requirements for continuing reviewing, developing and completing the theoretical issues on Party organization and activities, on  education and training of cadres and party members, on the relationship between the Party, State and Fatherland Front, on implementation socialist democracy, promoting People’s command in society where exist complex movements and rapidly changing socio-economic conditions.

* * *

When alive, President Ho Chi Minh soon indicated theoretical role for the revolutionary Party: Party without theories is similar to people with no wisdom, ship with no compass. He said if Party wanted to be firm, it should base on  Marxism – Leninism as it is the most revolutionary and the most righteous theory so all party  members must understand and follow. Great theoretical achievements during the last 85 years result from the observance and creative realization President Ho Chi Minh’s teaching words.

These accomplishments, the actual renovation work as well as the long-term orientation for the country development have been motivating, urging us to accelerate innovation, enhance the quality of theories, thorough interpretation of the major issues to be addressed during the development of the country; contributing to forecasting and suggesting  solid scientific basis to adjust and perfect strategy, tactics; properly, practically and effectively deal with the requirements of national  construction and national defense ./.

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[1] Ho Chi Minh complete works, Vol 12, National Political Publishing House.Hanoi, 2011, p563.

[2] Vietnam Communist Party, Party complete documentation , Vol 2, National Political Publishing House.Hanoi ,2002, p. 2

[3] Lenin complete works, Vol 41, Tien Bo publishing house, M. 1977, p. 97

[4]. Le Duan, Under the glorious flag of the Party, for independence and freedom, for socialism, forwarding to win new victories, Su That publishing house, H. 1975, p. 32.

[5] Vietnam Communist Party: Documents at 11th  Congress,  National Political Publishing House, H. 2011, p. 70

Prof,Dr. Ta Ngoc Tan

Translator: Nguyen Viet Nga/Proofreader: Assoc.Prof,Dr. Hoang Van Nghia

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