Monday, May 31, 2010

11th Vietnamese National Party Congress To Consider Supplements to 1991 Platform

At the time the 1991 party platform was issued, our party declared 'The platform will be continuously supplemented as new issues arise.' In a recent article, Political Bureau member and National Assembly chairman Nguyen Phu Trong wrote: 'While carrying out the cause of reform and the 1991 party platform, the awareness of the party has grown, and it has developed in many basic and important respects which help to clarify and perfect the path of reform and the construction of the country during the transitional period to socialism.' 'This is also an important base for the coming 11th National Party Congress to consider and determine the supplements to the 1991 platform,' Trong said.

The 7th National Party Congress in June 1991 approved the platform, that is, the '1991 platform,' for the construction of the country during the transition to socialism. The platform, with its strategic orientation and ideological basis, determined the direction for Vietnam's transition to socialism.

Trong, who is also chairman of Party Central Committee Theoretical Council said 'After nearly 20 years of implementing the platform, our country has gained great historically significant achievements that have changed the face and status of the country.'

At the time the 1991 platform was issued, however, our party declared 'At present we do not have the basis on which to picture the shape of the society in the future. Nevertheless we can draw the principles and direction for the period of transition to socialism of our country. The platform will be continuously supplemented as new issues arise,' according to a speech by General Secretary Nguyen Van Linh at the ninth Plenum of the sixth Central Committee in August 1990.

In fact the country and the world have undergone significant changes since the 1991 platform. Many emerging issues were understood and resolved effectively by our party, and the content of the 1991 platform was supplemented, reflecting a deeper understanding.

The platform reflects the current situation, our country's revolutionary period and its lessons, the characteristics of the transitional period, and specifics of socialism in Vietnam, the goals, tasks, and directions for the gradual transition to socialism. It includes the economy, politics, culture, society, national defense and security, foreign affairs, and party and political system development. All these elements, at different levels, help to supplement the platform and develop consciousness.

Summarizing the content and reasoning of the platform, Trong emphasized that 'the transition to socialism is a long, difficult, and complicated course.'

Difficulties and Challenges
Socialism is the target and the ideal. Achieving socialism is inevitable, and the irreversible path of Vietnam's revolution. The 1991 platform said 'Socialism is facing many difficulties and challenges. The world is experiencing uncertain conditions. But mankind will definitely progress to socialism because this is the evolutionary law of history.' But what is socialism and how to progress to socialism? This is what the party always thinks about and studies, how to follow the rules of the world while adjusting them to the specific conditions and characteristics of our country.

In the years of following the path of reform, the party has gradually surmounted simple and immature concerns such as reconciling the ultimate goal of socialism with the tasks of the immediate period, incorrectly equating the market-oriented economy with capitalism, making light of the achievements and values of mankind in the period of development of capitalism, quickly abolishing the private economy, and equating a law-governed state with a capitalist state.

Leadership Factor
'Although some issues require further study, we can generalize that a socialist society is a society with wealthy people, a powerful country, with democracy, justice, and civilization, owned by the people, with a highly-developed economy based on a modern production force and public ownership of the means of production, with a law-governed socialist state of the people, by the people, and for people under the leadership of the communist party,' Trong wrote.

The chairman also affirmed that the concept of the socialist-oriented market economy 'was a creative breakthrough in the reasoning of the Party and is an important theoretical argument after 20 years of carrying out the 1991 platform. It arose from Vietnam's reality and lessons from the experiences of the world.'

The 8th National Party Congress in June 1996 introduced an important new concept of productive economy and socialism: 'Productivity is not opposed to socialism, but it is an achievement of human civilization. It is necessary for the cause of socialist construction, even when socialism is already built.'

However, at that time, we said only that: 'Applying different forms of economy as well as management methods of the market economy are to use its positive side to serve the purpose of building socialism without following the capitalist road. Some aspects of the market-oriented economy are contrary to the nature of socialism. Employing the market economy, we need to overcome and limit as much as possible those negative aspects.'

Starting with the 9th National Party Congress in April 2001, the concept of 'socialist-oriented market economy' was entered officially into the documents of the party, and has been considered to be the economic model for the transitional period to socialism in Vietnam.

Promoting Strength of National Unity
According to Trong, the basis characteristic of the socialist-oriented market economy is uniting economic and social policies, and economic growth goes along with social progress and justice.

The chairman mentioned maintaining a peaceful environment, independence, self-reliance, and integration into the world. He emphasized the task of building a modern people's army and police and improving their fighting strength. He also emphasized democracy, the construction of a socialist law-governed state, and promoting the strength of national unity. Trong affirmed: 'Building socialist democracy and ensuring that the power really belongs to the people are important long-term goals of Vietnam's revolution.'

The policy to build a law-governed socialist state was a new awareness of our party in the 1990's, and was not in the 1991 platform.

A law-governed socialist state is different in nature from a capitalist state in that the laws in a capitalist state are a tool to protect and serve the interest of the capitalist class, while the laws in a socialist state express and carry out the rights of the people and protect the interest of the majority.

After emphasizing the role of the party as team leader of the working class, the people, and the nation, and as the ruling party with a party-building mission, Trong affirmed that our party considers party building to be the key and vital task of the revolutionary movement.

Need of the Hour
This sets out the requirement for the party to evolve, to reform itself, to promote the ideological mission, to train in moral qualities, and to fight against regression, degeneration, and corruption. It must reform and consolidate the party organization and the political system, raise the quality of officials and party members, improve job performance, enhance inspection and supervision, improve and streamline leadership and work practices, maintain a strong link with the people, and rely on the people to build the party. Especially beware of the risk of deviations from policy, degeneration, bureaucracy, and aloofness from the common people.

The chairman concluded that while carrying out the cause of reform and the 1991 party platform, the awareness of the party has grown, and it has developed in many basic and important respects which help to clarify and perfect the path of reform and the construction of the country during the transitional period to socialism. This is the basis for the 11th National Party Congress to consider and determine the supplements to the 1991 platform.

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