2003-08-19 13:41:38 UTC
ON REVOLUTIONARY MORALITY
Ever since the beginning of its existence mankind has had to struggle against
nature - wild beasts, the weather, etc, - in order to survive. To succeed in
this struggle each individual must rely on the force of large numbers of
people, on the collective, on society. Alone, he cannot get the better of
nature and subsist.
In order to survive, man must also produce to get food and clothing.
Production, too must rely on the collective, on society. Alone, the individual
Our era being a civilized, revolutionary era, one must rely all the more on
the force of the collective, of society, in all undertakings. More than ever
the individual cannot stand apart but must join the collective, join society.
Therefore, individualism goes counter to collectivism; collectivism and
socialism will certainly prevail while individualism will surely disappear.
The mode and forces of production ceaselessly develop and change; so do,
therefore, man's thinking, social systems, etc. All of us know that from the
past to the present, the mode of production has evolved from the use of tree
branches and stone axes to that of machines, electricity and nuclear energy.
Social systems have also developed from primitive communism through
slave-ownership and feudalism to capitalism, and today nearly half of mankind
is progressing to socialism and communism.
No one can stop this development and progress.
With the coming into being of private ownership, society has been divided into
classes - exploiting classes and exploited ones -, hence the emergence of
social contradictions and class struggle. Any person necessarily belongs to
one class or another and no one can stand outside the classes. At the same
time, each individual represents the ideology of the own class.
In the old society, the feudal landlords, capitalists and imperialists
mercilessly oppressed and exploited the other social strata, especially the
workers and peasants. They plundered the common property produced by society,
turned into their own private property and lived in clover. But they kept
ranting about "virtue", "freedom", "democracy"...
Refusing to endure this oppression and exploitation for ever, the workers,
peasants and other toiling people have risen up and made the revolution in
order to liberate themselves and transform the wicked old society into a fine
new one, in which all labouring people would like happily, and from which the
exploitation of man by man would be banned.
To succeed, the revolution must be led by the working class - the most
advanced, conscious, resolute, disciplined and best organized class - with the
proletarian party as its staff. This has been incontestably borne out by the
revolution in the Soviet Union and in the other socialist countries.
To make the revolution, to transform the old society into a new one is a very
glorious, but also extremely heavy task, a complex, protracted and hard
struggle. Only a strong man can travel a long distance with a heavy load on
his back. A revolutionary must have a solid foundation of revolutionary
morality in order to fulfil his glorious revolutionary task.
Born and brought up in the old society, we all carry within ourselves, to
varying extent, traces of that society in our thinking and habits. The worst
and most dangerous vestige of the old society is individualism. Individualism
runs counter to revolutionary morality. The least remaining trace of it will
develop at the first opportunity, smother revolutionary virtues and prevent us
from wholeheartedly struggling for the revolutionary cause.
Individualism is something very deceitful and perfidious, it skillfully
induces one to backslide. And everybody knows that it is easier to backslide
than to progress. That is why it is very dangerous.
To shake off the bad vestiges of the old society and to cultivate
revolutionary virtues, we must study hard, and educate and reform ourselves in
order to progress continuously. Otherwise we shall retrogress and lag behind,
and shall eventually be rejected by the forward-moving society.
It is not only by going to school or attending training courses that we can
study and educate and reform ourselves. In every revolutionary activity, we
can and must do it. Underground revolutionary activities, the general
insurrection, the war of resistance, the present building of socialism in the
North and the struggle for national reunification are very good schools where
we can acquire revolutionary virtues.
People with revolutionary virtues fear neither difficulties, hardships nor
failures; they neither waver nor step back. For the sake of the interests of
the Party, the revolution, the class, the nation and mankind, they never
hesitate to sacrifice their own interests, and if need be, even their own
lives. This is a very clear and lofty expression of revolutionary morality.
In our Party, Comrades Tran Phu, Ngo Gia Tu, Le Hong Phong, Nguyen Van Cu,
Hoang Van Thu, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and many others have laid down their lives
for the sake of the people and the Party, thus setting brilliant examples of
total dedication to the public interest and complete selflessness.
People with revolutionary virtues remain simple, modest, and ready to face
more hardships, even when meeting with work think of how best to fulfil our
task, not of how to get the greatest reward. We must avoid boasting about past
achievements and claiming special prerogatives, or indulging in bureaucratism,
conceit and depravation. This also is an expression of revolutionary morality.
In brief, revolutionary morality consists of the following:
To devote one's life to struggling for the Party and the revolution. This is
the most essential point.
To work hard for the Party, observe Party discipline, and implement Party
lines and policies.
To put the interests of the Party and the labouring people before and above
one's own interests. To serve the people wholeheartedly. To struggle
selflessly for the Party and the people and to be exemplary in every respect.
To endeavour to study Marxism-Leninism and constantly use self-criticism and
criticism to heighten one's ideological standard, improve one's work and
progress together with one's comrades.
Each revolutionary must deeply realize that our Party is the most advanced and
close-knit organization of the working class, the leader of the latter and the
labouring people at large. At present, our working class, though still not
very numerous, is developing with every passing day. In future, agricultural
co-operatives will be organized everywhere, machines will be widely used in
the countryside, and peasants will become workers. The intellectuals will
become well acquainted with manual labour and the difference between brain and
manual workers will be gradually wiped out. Our country's industry will
develop day by day. Hence, the workers will be ever more numerous, their
strength will grow, and the future of the working class is great and glorious.
It will reform the world and itself as well.
The revolutionary must clearly realize this and firmly stick to the stand of
the working class so as to struggle whole-heartedly for socialism and
communism, for the working class and all the labouring people. Revolutionary
morality consists in absolute loyalty to the Party and the people.
Our Party pursues no other interests than those of the working class and the
toiling people. Therefore, its immediate objective is to struggle for the
gradual building of socialism in the North and the reunification of the
Under the Party's leadership our people have fought heroically, overthrown the
colonial and feudal domination, and completely liberated the North of our
country. This was a great success. But the revolution is not yet totally
victorious, and the present aim of the Party is to struggle for national
reunification in order to build a peaceful, reunified, independent, democratic
and prosperous Vietnam, to eliminate exploitation of man by man all over the
country and build a new society with happiness and abundance for all.
However, our industry is still backward. Thanks to the devoted help of the
fraternal countries, first of all the Soviet Union and China, it is
developing. For our effort to succeed, our workers must emulate one another
and strive to produce ever more, faster, better and more economically, observe
labour discipline and actively participate in the management of their
enterprises: we must oppose waste and embezzlement, and our cadres must be
truly industrious, thrifty, honest and upright, and join the workers in
Land has been allotted to our peasants, whose life has been partially
improved. But the mode of production is still scattered and backward; hence
the yields have not yet increased much and living conditions have improved but
slightly. The movement for setting up work-exchange teams and co-operatives in
our countryside must be extensively and firmly pushed forward in order to
bring about a firm increase in production; only then can our peasants escape
poverty and see their condition improved.
Therefore, revolutionary morality consists in striving to achieve the Party's
objective, faithfully serving the working class and the toiling people, and
Most members of the Party and the Working Youth Union and most cadres have
done so, but some have not. They wrongly think that now that the colonialist,
and feudalists have been got rid of in the North, the revolution has been
successfully completed. That is why they let individualism develop within
themselves, demand enjoyment and rest, and want to pick their own work instead
of fulfilling the tasks entrusted to them by their organization. They want
high positions but shirk responsibilities. Their combativeness and energy
gradually weaken, and so do their revolutionary courage and noble virtues.
They forget that the prime criterion of a revolutionary is his resolve to
struggle all his life for the Party and the revolution.
We must realize that the successes recorded by us so far are only the first
steps on a thousand-league road. We must advance further, the revolution must
make further progress. Otherwise, we shall regress, and the successes we have
gained cannot be consolidated and developed.
To advance to socialism, we must wage a long and hard struggle. We must have
revolutionaries for there still exist enemies, who oppose the revolution.
There are three kinds of enemies:
Capitalism and imperialism are very dangerous ones. Backward habits and
traditions are also big enemies: they insidiously hinder the progress of the
revolution. However, we cannot repress them, but must seek to correct them
with caution, perseverance and over a long period of time.
The third enemy is individualism, the petty-bourgeois mentality which still
lurks in each of us. It is waiting for an opportunity - either failure or
success - to rear its head. It is the ally of the two above-mentioned
Therefore revolutionary morality consists, in whatever circumstances, in
resolutely struggling against all enemies, maintaining one's vigilance,
standing ready to fight, and refusing to submit, to bow one's head. Only by so
doing can we defeat the enemy, and fulfil our revolutionary tasks.
It is due to its correct policy and unified leadership that our Party can lead
the working class and the entire people to socialism. This unified leadership
springs from the unity of thought and action of all its members.
Without this unity we would be like "an orchestra in which the drums play one
way and the horns another." It would not be possible: for us to lead the
masses and make revolution.
The Party members' words and deeds have a great bearing on the revolution for
they exert great influence on the masses. For instance: the present policy of
our Party and Government is broadly and closely to organize work-exchange
teams and co-operatvies, to carry out agricultural co-operation. But a number
of Party and Working Youth Union members do not join them, or, having joined
them, do not actively contribute to their building and consolidation. It is
individualism which has led those comrades to do as they please and to go
counter to the Party's organization and discipline. Wittingly or unwittingly,
their actions impair the prestige of the Party, hinder its work and impede the
advance of the revolution.
All the Party's policies and revolutions aim at serving the people's
interests. Therefore, for a Party member revolutionary morality consists in
resolutely implementing them, whatever the difficulties, and setting an
example for the masses. Each Party member must heighten his sense of
responsibility to the people and the Party. He must guard against and
resolutely oppose individualism.
Our Party represents the common interests of the working class and the entire
labouring people, not the private interests of any group or individual. This
The working class struggle not only to free themselves, but also to liberate
mankind from oppression and exploitation. Therefore, their interests and those
of the people are at one.
The Party member, in the name of the Party, represents the interests of the
working class and the labouring people. That is why his own interests lie
within, not without, those of the Party and the class. Success and victory for
the Party and the class means success and victory for the militant. Separated
from the Party and the class, no individual, however talented, can achieve
Revolutionary morality, for a Party member, consists in putting the Party's
interests above everything else, in all circumstances. If the Party's
interests are in contradiction with those of the individual, the latter must
absolutely give way to the former.
For having not cleansed themselves of individualism some Party members still
boast of "their services to the Party," for which they claim the Party's
"gratitude". They want to enjoy favour, honour, rank and privilege. If their
desires are not satisfied they bear resentment against the Party, complaining
that they have "no future" and are "sacrificed". They gradually drift away
from the Party worse still, they sabotage its policies and discipline.
Many cadres and fighters in the period of underground struggle and the war of
resistance heroically laid down their lives; many labour heroes and elite
workers have dune their utmost to increase production. Those comrades have
never asked for rank and honour, never demanded thanks from the Party.
Our Party has a mass character, and hundreds of thousands of member. Owing to
the situation in our country the bulk of Party members spring from the petty
bourgeoisie. There is nothing surprising in it. In the beginning, under the
influence of bourgeois ideology the stand of some Party members may lack
firmness, their outlook may be confused and their thinking not quite correct,
but owing to the fact that they have been tempered in the revolution and the
war of resistance, our Party members are by and large good militants, faithful
to the Party and the revolution.
Those comrades know that those Party members who commit errors will lead the
masses into error; therefore, they stand ready to correct any mistake they may
make, and this in a timely way, and do not allow small errors to accumulate
into big ones. They sincerely practise criticism and self criticism, with
makes it possible for them to progress together.
This conforms to revolutionary morality. During its many years of underground
activity, our Party, although harshly repressed by the colonialists and
meeting with numerous difficulties and dangers, developed and grew stronger
with every passing day, and then led the revolution and the war of resistance
to victory. This is due to its effective use of this sharp weapon: criticism
and self criticism.
However, there still remain some Party members who, unable to shake off
individualism, become arrogant and conceited and keep flaunting their merits.
While criticizing others, they do not like being criticized; they avoid self
criticism or practise it without sincerity and seriousness. They are afraid
they might lose face and prestige. They pay no attention to the opinion of the
masses, and make light of non-Party cadres. They do not realize that it is
difficult not to commit any errors in one's work. We are not afraid of
possible mistakes, but of failure to correct them resolutely. To redress them,
we must listen to criticism by the masses and practise sincere self-criticism.
Otherwise we shall lag behind and regress, which will lead to our being cast
aside by the masses. This is the inevitable consequence of individualism.
The forces of the working class and the labouring people are immense,
boundless. But they must be led by the Party if they are to win. At the same
time the Party must stay close to the masses, and skilfully organize and lead
them, if the revolution is to triumph.
Revolutionary morality consists in uniting with the masses in one body,
trusting them and paying attention to their opinion. By their words and deeds.
Party and Working Youth members and cadres win the people's confidence,
respect and love, closely unite them around the Party organize educate and
mobilize them so that they will enthusiastically implement the Party's
policies and resolutions.
That is what we have done during the revolution and the war of resistance.
But at present, individualism is haunting a number of our comrades. Claiming
to be clever in everything they stray from the masses, refuse to learn from
them and want only to be their teachers. They are reluctant to engage in
organization propaganda and education work among the masses. They become
infected with bureaucratism and commandism. As a result the masses neither
trust nor respect them much less love them. Eventually, they can do nothing
The North of our country is advancing to socialism. This is the urgent
aspiration of millions of labouring people. This is the collective undertaking
of the toiling masses under our Party's leadership. Individualism is a big
obstacle to the building of socialism. Therefore, the success of socialism
cannot be separated from that of the struggle for the elimination of
To struggle against individualism is not "to trample on individual interests".
Each person has his own character, his fortes, his private life and that of
his family. There is no harm when the interests of the individual do not go
counter to those of the collective. But one must realize that only under the
socialist regime can each person improve his private life and develop his
personality and his strong points.
No system equals socialism and communism in showing respect for man, paying
due attention to his legitimate individual interests and ensuring that they be
satisfied. In a society ruled by the exploiting class only the individual
interests of a few people belonging to this class are met, whereas those of
the toiling masses are trampled underfoot. But in the socialist and communist
systems, of with the labouring people are the masters, each man is a part of
the collective, plays a definite role in it and contributes his part to
society. That is why the interests of the individual lies within those of the
collective and are part of them. Only when the latter are secured can the
former be satisfied.
The interests of the individual are closely tied to those of the collective.
If there is any contradiction between them, revolutionary morality demands
that the former yield to the later.
The revolution unceasingly progresses. So does the Party. And so must the
The revolutionary movement involves hundreds of millions of people.
Revolutionary work involves thousands of extremely complex and difficult
tasks. In order to be able to assess all complex situations, clearly see the
contradictions, and correctly solve the various problems, we must strive to
Only by so doing can we consolidate our revolutionary morality, firmly
maintain our stand, raise our theoretical and political level, and fulfil the
tasks entrusted to us by the Party.
To study Marxism-Leninism is to learn the spirit in which one should deal with
things, with other people and with oneself. If means to study the universal
Marxist-Leninist truths in order to apply them creatively to the practical
conditions of our country. We must study with a view to action. Theory must go
hand in hand with practice.
But some comrades only learn by heart a few books on Marxism-Leninism. They
think they understand Marxism-Leninism better than anyone else. Yet, when
faced with practical problems, they either act in a mechanical way or are
thrown into confusion. Their deeds do not match their words. They study books
on Marxism-Leninism but do not seek to acquire the Marxist-Leninist spirit.
They only want to show off their knowledge, not to apply it to revolutionary
action. This is also individualism.
Individualism spawns hundreds of dangerous diseases: bureaucratism,
commandism, sectarianism, subjectiveness corruption, waste... It ties up and
blindfolds its victims whose every action is guided by their desire for honour
and position, not by concern for the interests of the class and the people.
Individualism is a cruel enemy of socialism. The revolutionary must do away
At present, the task of our Party and people is to endeavour to increase
production and practise thrift in order to build up the North, gradually take
it to socialism, and turn it into a strong base for the reunification of the
country. This is an extremely glorious task. Let all members of the Party and
the Working Youth Union, let all cadres within and without the Party be
resolved to devote all their lives to serving the Party and the people. This
is the noble virtue of the revolutionary, this is revolutionary morality, the
Party and class spirit, which ensures victory for the Party, the class and the
Revolutionary morality does not fall from the sky. It is developed and
consolidated through persevering daily struggle and effort. Like jade, the
more it is polished the more it shines. Like gold, it grows ever purer as it
goes into the melting pot.
What can be a greater source of happiness and glory than to cultivate one's
revolutionary morality so as to bring a worthy contribution to the building of
socialism and the liberation of mankind!
I earnestly hope that all members of the Party and the Working Youth Union and
all cadres within and without the Party will strive hard and progress.
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