Some theoretical and practical questions on socialism and the road to socialism in Vietnam
In the past, when the Soviet Union and the socialist country system still existed, there was nothing to discuss about socialism in Vietnam. However, since the model of socialism in the Soviet Union and many Eastern European countries collapsed and the world revolution fell into decline, the question of Vietnam’s path to socialism has been raised in new.
We recognize that capitalism has never been as global as it is today and that it has also reaped great achievements. However, capitalism has still failed to overcome its inherent contradictions.
The social protest movements which have erupted in many developed capitalist countries in recent times have revealed the nature of capitalist political institutions. In developed capitalist countries, so-called “free” and “democratic” elections cannot change the dominant forces, although they can change the government.
We need a society where development is really for people. We need economic development in tandem with social progress and justice. We need a society of compassion, solidarity and mutual aid, towards progressive and humanitarian values. We need sustainable development in harmony with nature to guarantee a healthy living environment for current and future generations. And we need a political system where the power is really of the people, by the people and for the people.
National independence associated with socialism is the fundamental and transversal guideline of the Vietnamese revolution and is also the key point of the ideological legacy of President Ho Chi Minh.
During the years of Doi Moi (Reformation), the CPV was increasingly aware of socialism and the period of transition to socialism.
So far, although some issues still require further study, a general perception has formed: the socialist society that the Vietnamese people are striving to build is a society of rich people, strong countries, democracy, justice and civilization; belonging to the people; a highly developed economy based on modern productive forces and appropriate and progressive production relations; and an advanced culture imbued with national identity. It is a society where people have prosperous, free and happy lives and the conditions for global development; ethnic groups are equal and united, respect and help each other; there is a socialist rule of law of the people, by the people and for the people, led by the Communist Party; and there are friendly and cooperative relations with countries all over the world.
To this end, we must: accelerate industrialization and modernization in association with the development of the knowledge economy; develop a market economy with a socialist orientation; build an advanced culture imbued with national identity, improve people’s standard of living, ensure social progress and justice; firmly guarantee national defense and security, as well as social order and security; to implement the foreign policy of independence, self-sufficiency, multilateralisation, diversification, peace, friendship, cooperation and development and proactive and active international integration; build a socialist democracy, advance the will and the strength of the great bloc of national unity, allied with the strength of the time; build a socialist rule of law for the people, by the people and for the people; and build a totally pure and strong Party and political system.
A fundamental and important characteristic of the socialist orientation in the market economy in Vietnam is to combine economy and society, economic policies with social policies, and economic growth with social progress and justice.
In the socialist political regime, the relation between the Party, the state and the people is the relation between the subjects who share the same goals and interests; all Party directives, policies, laws and state activities must serve the interests of the people. The political model and the general operating mechanism are Party leadership, state governance and ownership by the people. Democracy is the nature of the socialist regime and is the goal and the driving force behind the construction of socialism. Building a socialist democracy and ensuring that power truly belongs to the people is an important and long-term task of the Vietnamese revolution.
Being deeply aware of the leadership of the Communist Party is a decisive factor in the cause of Doi Moi and would ensure the development of the country in accordance with the socialist orientation. We have paid due attention to the building and rectification of the Party, considering it to be a vital essential task for the Party and the socialist regime. The CPV constantly took Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s thought as the ideological foundation and the common thread of revolutionary actions, and took democratic centralism as its basic organizing principle. The leadership of the Party was based on a platform, strategies and guidelines on policies and broad guidelines. Aware of the risks of corruption, bureaucracy and degradation, especially in the context of the market economy, the CPV ordered regular self-renewal and self-rectification, as well as the fight against opportunism, the individualism, corruption, bureaucracy, waste and degradation within the Party and throughout the political system.
The Doi Moi process, including the development of the socialist-oriented market economy, has truly brought significant and positive changes to the country over the past 35 years.
Apart from these achievements, there remain gaps and limitations, as well as challenges for national development. The CPV has been aware of these challenges. It is a very hard and arduous struggle, which requires new vision, new courage and new creativity.
Theory and practice show that the construction of socialism creates a qualitatively new type of society, which is not at all easy. Therefore, in addition to determining the right guidelines and ensuring the leadership of the Party, it is essential to promote the creativity, support and active participation of the people.
On the other hand, while determining political orientations and making decisions, it is necessary for the Party to study the experience of the world. We must proactively and actively integrate into the world and materialize the foreign policy of independence, self-sufficiency, peace, cooperation, development, multilateralisation and diversification of international relations on the basis of respect for independence. , sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-interference in the internal affairs of the other, equality and mutual benefit.
It is very important to stand steadfast and firm on the ideological and theoretical foundation of Marxism – Leninism. These scientific and revolutionary characteristics of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh thought are enduring values which were pursued and realized by revolutionaries. They will develop further in the fields of revolution and science. We must absorb them and selectively supplement them in a spirit of criticism and creativity.