At the 19th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties
(Saint Petersburg, 2 November 2017)
1. First of all, I would like to convey to all Russian comrades and representatives of all fraternal parties the warmest greetings and solidarity from the Communist Party of Vietnam.
2.100 years ago, the Great October Socialist Revolution had open a new bright future for humanity – an epoch of socialism – a society free from exploitation of man by man, a society based on equality between all nations, nationalities and human beings, a society oriented towards progressive and human values. The foundation of the Soviet Union had changed one of the most backward country in Europe into the world economic, scientific, cultural and military superpower; turned hundreds millions of peasants and workers living in slavery and poverty to the masters of their society free from unemployment, where all people had been enjoying free housing, education, healthcare and living in dignity. The Soviet Union and its heroic people had played a decisive role in the liberation of humanity from fascism in the Second World War, sacrifying 27 million people and nearly 1/3 of the national wealth. The strong support of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries had enabled the victories of many other nations of the world in the national liberation struggle against colonialism and neo-colonialism, against imperialist aggressions and the apartheid in the 20th Century. The very existence of the socialist system and particularly its obvious superiority in the area of social justice and progress had been also an important factor in forcing capitalist ruling class to accept many compromises in favor of the working class and people, particularly, by developing welfare system in their respective countries. In words, the October Revolution had changed the fate of not only Russian people but also of the world for the better. This is an undeniable fact. Lenin was not only a great dreamer; he was actually a great creator of the new future of mankind.
3. The collapse of the Soviet Union and socialist countries in Eastern Europe was not at all inevitable. It was also not due to objective reasons despite the fact that socialist countries had been always the main target of the permanent attacks by the imperialist and reactionary forces (this had been proved by the history of the 20th Century, particularly by the Victory of the Soviet people in the WW II and the victories of the people of Vietnam and Cuba against imperialist aggression). The main reason is the subjective mistakes of the leadership of the CPSU in both leftist and rightist deviation from Marxism-Leninism, appeared in the forms of revisionism, communist arrogance, infantile sickness of leftism, opportunism and betreayl, about which Lenin had repeately warned. The communist arrogance and leftist deviation was reflected in the conclusions about the “invincibility” and “triumph” of socialism or that Soviet Union had entered the stage of “full-scale of building communism” in 1960’s or “developed socialism” in 1980’s, underestimating the potentials and capacity of capitalism, which, according to Lenin, “will hit back with a force a hundred times stronger”. This had led to the stagnation in theoretical, policies and carders’ works required for the new period of socialist construction since 60’s. As a result, the country had lost its dynamics in socio-economic, political and culture-ideological development in the 70’s and 80’s while the over centralisation and bureaucratisation had distanced the Party, State and political system from working people and reality. The “perestroika” did not at all change the situation towards “more socialism” as promised but in opposite, had led to the collapse of the socialist superpower, mainly because of the opportunism and betrayal of the top CPSU leadership. This had show that the leftist deviation can create an obstacle for socialist construction but the rightist deviation will lead to the destruction of socialism, proving Lenin’s conclusion that “the mistakes of right doctrinarism” is a thousand times more dangerous than the “left-wing communism”.
4. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union and socialist countries in Eastern Europe doesn’t mean the “end of history”; it doesn’t mean that socialism is no more relevant. The prediction of many bourgeois scholars of the “chain reaction” to be followed in Asia and Latin America did not realised. In opposite, Vietnam, China and Laos have achieved tremendous socio-economic development through process of reform and renewal towards socialism while Cuba and the DPRK have been firmly defending their socialist states despite faced the on-going blockage, embargo and permanet sabotage by the imperialism. The rise of the left in Latin America and their endeavous in advancing “21st Century socialism” also show the viability of the socialism today. Despite many difficulties and challenges faced, communist and worker’s parties had overcome the crisis in the 90’s and are actively engaged in the struggle for social justice and socialism in many countries. The on-going economic, social and ecological global crises, particularly the unprecedented level of disparity and social insecurity reveals clearer the deep contradictions and anti-human, anti-progress nature of the modern capitalism, once again emphasizing the necessity, importance and values of social equality and socialism in present world. Therefore, the ideas and banner of the October Revolution remain and even became more actual for the humanity today.
5. The worldwe live in today is very different from the world 100 years or even 30 years ago. The nature of the basic contradictions, particularly the class one, remains almost the same but their form of apperance is significantly different because of the deep changes in the structure of the economy, society, labor and particularly, of the working classes itself. The systems of social relations, knowledge and information have also gone through radical changes. Especially, the level of political awareness and mobilisation of the masses has became very complex due to the impact of the collapse of the socialist system, intensified ideological offensive by capitalism and depolitisation and fragmentation by the emerging “civil societies”, populism and extremist forces, ect. These, among others, have contributed to the reality that the level of people’s struggle today is far from being corresponding to the level of the exploitation and domination by the capital and while the exploitation and domination of the capital became more systemic and globalised, the struggle of its victims is still very much fragmented. Besides that, the general attitude in societies concerning the forms of resistance and struggle today is also different comparing to the past period. At the same time, capitalist class, although facing crisis, continues to strengthen its monopolistic control and domination over the systems of production and distribution, finance, knowledge and information as well as political institutions, military and security in many countries and at a global level. The “revolutionary conditions”, as described by Lenin, are not yet in existence at present in most of the countries.
6. The new conditions require from us new strategies and tactics of the struggle while remaining adherent to the ultimate socialist objective, having in mind that “all nations will not reach socialism in the same way” as concluded by Lenin.
Marxism-Leninism should continue to be our basic ideological foundation lightening our struggle in the next period, but we need to creatively develop and apply it based on “concrete analysis of concrete conditions” in each country, avoiding all forms of dogmatism, leftist and especially rightist deviation.
Special focus and efforts should be put in the renewal and building revolutionary political parties to meet the requirements of the new period. While maintaining the basic nature of the vanguard of the working class, we should also find the ways to address the changes in the structure of the labor in contemporary societies. While maintaining the principle of democratic centralism, we need also to overcome the dangers of overcentralisation and bureaucratisation and to practice internal democracy in such a way so that the party can always recruit the most militant, ethical and wise people into its rank, especially into its leadership and maintain itself as a symbol of the “brain and conscience of the times” or exmple of “ethics and civilisation”, as defined by Lenin and Ho Chi Minh.
The main and most important power of our struggle is power of the masses. In the context of domination of neo-liberal, capitalist and right-wing ideology, we should work out new methods of political – ideological education of the masses, taking into consideration of the growing influence of the electronic media at present. It’s also very crucial to have new strategies and methods of an effective mass mobilisation in the context of changing social structure and relations in today’s societies. We need to admit the fact that our influence is still limited at present and find the way to build coalitions with other progressive forces for achieving concrete targets without losing our nature, principles and ultimate objectives.
7. Nearly 100 years ago, Ho Chi Minh had brought the light of the October Revolution and Marxism-Leninism to Vietnam, founded the Communist Party of Vietnam and guided the Party to lead Vietnamese people to the successful August Revolution, ending colonialism and feudalism in Vietnam, establishing the first people democratic republic in South – East Asia. The struggle of the Vietnamese people under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh and the Communist Party of Viet Nam for national liberation against the French and then American imperialists, strongly supported by the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, have achieved glorious victories in 1954 and 1975, contributing to the ending of the colonialism and neo-colonialism in the world in the 20th Century. Socialist system headed by the Soviet Union had extended significant assistance to Vietnam in the process of rebuilding the country and construction of socialism after the war. All these will remain always in the mind of the Vietnamese people.
This year, the Communist Party of Vietnam has launched a national-wide programe titled “Historic significance and implications of the Great Russian October Revolution and practical socialism on Vietnam’s contemporary revolution”. On the last 26 October, we conducted a national conference under the theme “100th Anniversary of the October Revolution and Practical Socialism – historic values and significance in the contemporary world”. The Party, State and people of Vietnam will conduct a National Celebration of the Centenary of the October Revolution on the upcoming 5 November. Vietnamese medias and publishers have been devote many works to the October Revolution.
8. The October Revolution, the achievements and failure of the real socialism as well as the developments of the world during the past 100 years can lead to the following important conclusions:
First, historic reality had shown that only genuine and scientific socialism can settle the basic contradictions of the times, fully liberate human being, classes, societies and nations, bring about equality, justice and happiness to everyone and stable peace to humanity. This should be a society oriented towards the humane and progressive values, with the power of the people, by the people and for the people, securing equal and sustainable development and consistently improving materialistic and spiritual life of the people.
Second, building socialism is constructing a qualitatively new society, which demands permanent creativity in renewing and updating theoretical works and policies to address the emerging contradictions and meeting the requirements of the new periods of development; avoiding any stagnation and self-satisfaction. It demands the creative application of Marxism-Leninism in a historic concrete situation of each country, avoiding conservatism or dogmatism as well as all forms of leftist and especially rightist deviation.
Third, building socialism is not a spontaneous of short-term business but a self-conscious, oriented and long-term process demanding a stable, permanent and consistent leadership of a political force faithful to this ultimate objective; any interruption can lead to the abolishment of all achievements of the people struggle. On the other hand, any party in power will face permanent danger of bureaucratisation, corruption or political, ideological and ethnic degradation. That’s why it is very important and crucial for a ruling party to permanently renew itself, to strengthen its militancy and leadership capacity, maintaining itself as “a brain and conscience of the times” and “example of ethics and civilization” as demanded by Lenin and Ho Chi Minh.
Long live the Great October Socialist Revolution!
Long live socialism!
Long live international solidarity!