Socialist democracy according to Vietnamese culture


Ideological issues, particularly those of socialist democracy, have become hot topics on online forums and websites in the buildup to Vietnam’s 12th National Party Congress. Political dissidents and reactionaries, who boldly consider themselves “patriots,” are ebulliently discussing and criticizing the socialist democracy in Vietnam, and giving reactionary “suggestions” and “proposals” to the Party.
According to them, the Vietnam Communist Party “should change its political creed, give up the wrong direction on building socialism in Vietnam and eliminate the current political system to build a western national democratic model.” They, indeed, want Vietnam to follow a “pluralist and multi-party political system,” alien to the Vietnamese.
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To reach their target, they have provided wrong, irrational and impractical arguments. They have even distorted the Party’s political creed and policies, and Vietnam’s 2013 Constitution.
However, they have shown themselves to be ignorant about basic theories and practices of democracy, particularly socialist democracy. First, democracy is understood as a political institution of a state and society, which is based on the fundamental principle: people generating power via elections. Democracy is seen as the main driver for social development. Thus, the ruling classes, in the socio-economic forms, usually use the rhetoric of democracy to mobilize the concerted strength of a community, society and nation.
The Russian Revolution in 1917 opened the country up to a new-style of democracy, a socialist democracy. In that democracy, the working class took power and led the country, but served the interests of the entire people. Today, there exist various democracy models in the world. Generally speaking, where democracy models differ from each other lies in the answers to the following questions: What political force holds power and who does it serve? Is the political system a multi-party model or single-party one? Does the political system follow the power separation pattern or power cooperation one?
Vietnam’s democracy originated from the August Revolution, which was in fact a revolution of people struggling for national freedom, independence and democracy. The national democracy was severely tested in the wars against foreign invaders. In peacetime, when the whole nation entered into the building of socialism, that democracy followed the old socialist model with the following easily-identifiable characteristics: In politics, it was a proletarian dictatorship; in economics, it was a centralized, subsidized and bureaucratic economy with only two economic sectors: state-run and collective.
In 1986, the Party decided at the 6th National Party Congress to build socialism in the country on a new model. Learning valuable lessons from reality, the Party continuously revised and perfected the new model from the 7th National Party Congress until now. The current model has the following main components: a rule-of-law State led by the Party, society mastered by people and socialist-oriented market economy.
Although Vietnam has attained numerous great achievements over 30 years of doimoi (renewal), there still exist socio-economic issues that need resolving. It is fair to say that the gap between the rich and poor is widening; corruption, groups’ interests and “term-of-office” (short-run) thinking and planning tends to prevail; and people’s rights as the master of the society are violated in some areas and sectors. What is more, the Resolution of the 4th Meeting of the Party Central Committee of the 11th tenure publically pointed out the principal causes of the situation, saying that a “not-small” number of cadres and Party members at various levels degraded in thought, political stance, ethics and life-style. Against this backdrop, the Party and State have focused their work on ensuring and promoting socialist democracy, particularly people’s rights to master the State and society.
To bring democracy to life, the 2013 Constitution concretized the people’s rights to master the State and society. At the same time, a series of laws, including Law on the Organization of Government, Law on the Organization of the People’s Court and Law on the Organization of People’s Procuracy, have been revised and amended. The revised and amended laws aim to increase people’s rights and ensure a socialist democracy. The rights of internees, indictees and inmates are even protected, and legal procedures and the role of lawyers in legal proceedings and prosecution processes are also highlighted in laws.
The Standing Committee of the National Assembly passed the UN Convention Against Torture at its session in the beginning of October 2014. Vietnam’s adoption of this convention demonstrates the Party’s and State’s high resolve to improve the practice of human rights and democracy in the country.
Meanwhile, the Vietnam Fatherland Front, the organization of the entire people, is actively implementing the Resolution of the 11th National Party Congress and 2013 Constitution. Under the banner “Unity-Democracy-Renovation,” it is improving its main role and function of supervising and criticizing authorities of all levels. It is noted that capitalism does not have such an institution to ensure democracy and people’s rights.
In our socialist democracy, the leadership of the Party over every State and social activity is the immutable principle. Yet, the Party’s leadership does not mean that the Party participates in the business of the Government or reduces the people’s rights to master the State and society. Rather, the leadership of the Party is clearly defined in Article 4 of the 2013 Constitution.
In our socialist democracy, people’s rights of speech and freedom of the press are also guaranteed and increasingly improved. In fact, many political issues that used to be viewed as “sensitive” are now made public. Generally, there is almost no limit to the press in our socialist democracy; in other words, the press has the right to access any information sources, except for national secrets.
In short, although it is not practical when comparing democracy models, it must be noted that our socialist democracy has its own advanced and good characteristics. The model provides opportunities for people to fully practice their political and socio-economic rights and other rights, including people’s right to master the State and society, on one hand; and guarantees and improves all human rights for the citizens on the other hand. And more importantly, that model agrees with the Vietnamese national culture, traditions and moral values; as a result, a great majority of the Vietnamese people is happy with it.
Chia sẻ bài viết ^^
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All comments [ 15 ]

John Smith 6/10/15 12:36

Socialism and the path to socialism is a fundamental and practical theoretical topic with broad and complicated content, demanding thorough and in-depth study.

LawrenceSamuels 6/10/15 12:38

We need a society where development is truly for humans, instead of exploiting and trampling on human dignity for the sake of profits. We need economic development in parallel with social progress and fairness instead of a widening gap between the rich and the poor and social inequality.

yobro yobro 6/10/15 12:39

the Vietnamese people have undergone a prolonged, harsh, sacrifice-filled revolutionary struggle against colonialist and imperialist domination to win national independence and sovereignty in the spirit of the slogan "There is nothing more precious than Independence and Freedom".

MaskOf Zero 6/10/15 12:40

To date, though there remain some issues that need further study, we realize that the socialist society that the Vietnamese people are striving for is a society of prosperous people in a strong nation characterized by democracy, fairness, and civilization.

Only Solidar 6/10/15 12:41

It's a society where the people are the masters, which has a highly-developed economy and is based on modern forces of production and progressive relations of production.

Deck Hero14 6/10/15 12:42

The more we delve into reality, the more we are aware that the transitional period to socialism is a long, extremely difficult and complicated process because it needs to create a profound change in all areas of social life.

Pack Cassiopian 6/10/15 12:43

Vietnam is bypassing the stage of capitalism and moving on directly to socialism from an obsolete agricultural society with low productivity further weakened by decades of wars.

Love Peace 6/10/15 12:44

Constant attempts at sabotage by hostile forces have hindered Vietnam's path to socialism, which unavoidably involves a lengthy transition period through various stages and forms of socio-economic organization accompanied by inevitable conflicts between the old and the new.

Gentle Moon 6/10/15 12:46

Our Party sees culture as a spiritual foundation of society and considers cultural development on a par with economic growth and social progress in its fundamental orientation toward socialism building in Vietnam. T

Jane smartnic 6/10/15 12:47

The culture Vietnam is building is progressive and imbued with national identity, a united-in-diversity culture based on advanced humanitarian values, where Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh's thoughts play a leading role in social spiritual life, where we inherit and uphold the fine traditional values of all ethnic groups in Vietnam, absorb humankind's cultural achievements, and strive to build a healthy, civilized society that promotes human dignity, higher knowledge, morality, physical fitness, aesthetics, and a fulfilling lifestyle.

erica black 6/10/15 23:14

Are you sure that a multi-party model will be better than single-party one? Let see many countries over the world with a multi-party political system, where there are many problems resulted by the dispute and conflict among parties.

Dennis White 6/10/15 23:22

I think the multi-party or single-party model is not important, but it's important that the society is good and it's people live in a peaceful, stable and prosperous environment

Jack Walker 6/10/15 23:27

the selection of the political system also needs to be based on the situation and characteristics of each country

Evans David 6/10/15 23:36

almost Vietnamese people support the current political system and trust in the leadership of the Communist Party, so why change?

Elizabeth Green 6/10/15 23:41

some people want to take advantage of fighting for democracy to get political and economic profits

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