Trường Chinh (born Đặng Xuân Khu; 9 February 1907 – 30 September 1988) was a Vietnamese communist political leader and theoretician. He was one of the key figures of Vietnamese politics. He played a major role in the anti-French colonialism movement and finally after decades of protracted war in Vietnam, the Vietnamese defeated the colonial power. He was the think-tank of the Communist Party who determined the direction of the communist movement, particularly in the anti-French colonialism movement.
During the transitional period in Vietnam between 1941 and 1956, Trường Chinh was the General Secretary of the Communist Party as well as the real leader of the communist party in terms of designing strategies as well as implementing them. In 1957, after the failure of the Land Reform program, he was dismissed from his post of General Secretary and had less power. Hồ Chí Minh selected Lê Duẩn to succeed him as the General Secretary and he became the most powerful person after the 1960s. However, Trường Chinh was still an influential thinker in the Party during the Second Indochina War and after the reunification of Vietnam; he was head of state of Vietnam from 1981 to 1987. Following the death of Lê Duẩn in 1986, he succeeded Duẩn as top party leader. His last vital role was to carry forward the Đổi Mới renovation that still affects Vietnam to this day.
For the Centenary of Lenin’s Birth (1971) (excerpts) edit
- Leninism is the Marxism of the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, of the period of transition from capitalism to socialism on a world scale.
- Marxism-Leninism is the acme of human thought in our time. It not only explains the world thoroughly, but transforms it radically. It is the beacon lighting the path of the international working class, the oppressed peoples and the whole of progressive man-kind, who are struggling to rid themselves of all oppression and exploitation and to build a new world, a world of genuine peace, freedom and happiness.
- The collapse of world imperialism is a long historical process comprising different types of revolutions in various countries, determined by their unequal level of economic, political and social development.
- The working class' invincible strength is due to its vanguard party which leads the revolution according to a judicious line. the Marxist line, and sets up a firm worker-peasant alliance to serve as the basis for uniting all popular forces with a view to isolating the enemy to the utmost and overthrowing him.
- The triumph of socialism in the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries proves that it is entirely possible to realize it in one country or in a number of countries even in conditions of encirclement by world capitalism.
- Starting from the Leninist thesis on the possible success of the revolution in a single country, even one that was economically underdeveloped but constituted the weakest link of the imperialist system, our Party asserted that the Vietnamese revolution was closely related to the revolution in the metropolitan country but was not subordinate to it. Moreover, owing to the concrete conditions of Vietnam and the world in the era of imperialism, it was possible for socialist revolution to triumph in Vietnam before it would in many a developed capitalist country.
- Ever since the US imperialists ousted the French colonialists from South Vietnam and rigged up a puppet Saigon administration to their devotion, then sent troops for direct aggression against the South of our country, our entire people have been waging a sacred war of resistance against US aggression, for national salvation, in order to liberate the South, defend the North and proceed to the peaceful reunification of the country.
- Our people's patriotic war of resistance against US aggression has achieved great victories in all fields, compelling the American imperialists to unconditionally end their war of destruction against the North, withdraw part of their troops from the South and come to the four-party conference in Paris.
- The Machiavellian machinations of the US imperialists against Vietnam and Indochina betray a passive character on the strategic plane, being conceived in a posture of weakness and defeat and fraught with insolvable contradictions. They arouse increasing opposition from the peoples of Vietnam, Indochina, the United States and the world. They have met with initial setback and are bound to fail completely.
- The powerful attacks which are taking place on the South Vietnam battlefields show that our people have the required determination and strength to defeat the US aggressors, liberate the South, defend the North and advance toward the peaceful reunification of the country.
- Let our entire people and armed forces advance on the impetus of their victories and completely defeat the US aggressors and their stooges!
Forward Along the Path Charted by Karl Marx (1968) (excerpts) edit
- The proletarian who sells his labouring power to the capitalist is paid a wage which corresponds only to a part of the time of labour he spends, the value of the rest, the surplus value, being pocketed by the employer. This viewpoint eloquently proves that all the wealth of the bourgeoisie is made up of the surplus value produced by the proletariat and appropriated by the capitalists.
- Capitalist primitive accumulation, the emergence of capitalism in the course of history, means essentially savage and ruthless despoliation of small producers by the bourgeoisie. Capitalism came about by the elimination of small production, the abolition of small producers' private owner-ship based on individual labour and its replacement by capitalist private ownership based on exploitation of the labour of the proletariat through the agency of the wage system.
- The cogency of Marxism precisely resides in its ability to reflect accurately the objective laws of historical development; and to represent the most advanced class, the most revolutionary class of modern society, the proletariat, and hence strike roots into the broad masses, to win the hearts and minds of millions and millions of people, and stir them into an implacable and uncompromising fight against the enemy of their class, against world bourgeoisie, and into the building of a classless, communist society.
- Today, the world socialist system, which consists of thirteen countries in three continents, with a population of more than a thousand million, has been established. The movement of the working class and labouring people in the capitalist countries for democracy and social progress and the national liberation revolution in Asia, Africa and Latin America are vigorously growing. The colonial structure of imperialism is swiftly sliding towards disintegration with a momentum that no reactionary force can halt.
- To overthrow the imperialist aggressor, stress should be laid on the question of national liberation. An anti-imperialist national united front should be founded, and the fire of revolutionary struggle should be concentrated on the imperialist aggressors and the feudalists, their devoted agents, in other words the king, mandarins and village tyrants.
- The working class must provide firm leadership to the people's national democratic revolution and cannot share it with any other class, least of all let it fall into the hands of the national bourgeoisie.
- With a view to the implementation of this general line, our Party's policy is on the one hand to strengthen dictator-ship over the enemy of the people, repress the counter-revolutionaries, maintain order and security; on the other, to develop democracy with regard to the people, put their democratic rights into effect in a correct fashion, gradually build and consolidate socialist legality, and create conditions for the people to participate in a concrete manner in the. management of the state.
- Parallel to these two revolutions and with a view to effectively serving them, we carry out an ideological and cultural revolution. In the field of ideology, we must foster and strengthen proletarian ideology, fight all forms of bourgeois ideology, criticize petty-bourgeois ideology and continue to do away with all vestiges of feudal and other erroneous ideologies. In the field of culture, we inherit in a critical way the national culture, and build for Vietnam a new culture, socialist in content and national in character.
Implementing the Land Reform (1958) (excerpts) edit
- Our people. the overwhelming majority of whom are peasants, are making revolution, are fighting against the aggressors, and are building the country. To bring both our patriotic war and our national construction to victory, we must wipe out the imperialist aggressors and liberate our peasants from the feudalist yoke.
- Land reform is the immediate and major method of accelerating the development of the national economy. Only if the national economy is developed can supplies to the front and the rear area be guaranteed, the people's strength be replenished, and only then will we have enough manpower and material resources to carry on a protracted war of resistance until final victory.
- Since the beginning or French imperialist rule in Vietnam, the Vietnamese landlord class has relied on the imperialist forces to oppress and exploit the Vietnamese peasants still more harshly. A considerable number of peasants toil all the year round and yet do not ·have enough to eat and to wear. Under the colonialist and semi-feudal regime, when any natural calamity occurred enormous· numbers of labouring peasants would die of starvation. At the end of 1944 and early in 1945, two million of our peasants died of starvation not only due to savage exploitation by the feudal landlord class, but also because the Japanese fascists and the French imperialists brutally robbed them of their resources. This has aroused deep hatred in. the hearts of every peasant in our country.
- Imperialism and feudalism, the two most reactionary forces, have dominated Viet Nam in collusion for more than 80 years now. It was the feudalists of the Nguyen dynasty who sold our country to the French imperialists, and who became the puppet administration, lackeys to the French imperialists who then occupied our country.
- As a matter of fact, we must clearly see that imperialism is the foremost enemy of our people, because it is the more brutal. It brings troops to invade our country and massacre our fellow countrymen. For this reason, the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal tasks are twin main tasks, but the anti-imperialist task is the foremost task.
- If we want our revolution to be successful and our patriotic war and national construction to be victorious, we must rely mainly on the workers and the peasants, of whom the peasants make up the overwhelming majority. The aspiration of tens of millions of peasants of our country at present is national independence and the distribution of land to the tillers.
- Our patriotic fight must be long-drawn-out. Its requirements in terms of manpower and material resources are increasing daily. These are mainly contributed by the peasants; but the peasants, who have little or no land at all, are poverty-stricken.
- The effect of the land reform bringing land to the peasant masses is to enhance their enthusiasm and their zeal in increasing production and taking part in the war of resistance, and consequently the resistance forces will grow in strength.
- Our agrarian policy in the present revolutionary stage is aimed at abolishing imperialist and feudalist land ownership, in order to wipe out the feudal regime of exploitation of the landlord class. For this reason, apart from the land and property of the imperialists which we must confiscate, our policy is to confiscate, requisition, and forcibly purchase the land of the landlord class, but not to confiscate, requisition or forcibly purchase land in general upward of a certain area.
- We should not only deal with the landlords' scattering of land and their opposition to the agrarian policy until now, but also deal with scattering of land and opposition to the agrarian policy from now on.
- Confiscation and requisition are both carried out without compensation. The only difference between these two measures being their political significance. As for forcible purchase, it will be followed by compensation.
The August Revolution (1946) (excerpts) edit
- With inconceivable strength, the whole Vietnamese people rose up and did their utmost to break the yoke imposed by the French and Japanese fascists, and resolutely went forward; side by side with the peoples of China and Indonesia, they marched in the vanguard of the Far-East peoples' liberation movement.
- First of all, the triumph of the August Revolution was due to the two following subjective and objective conditions: Subjective condition: our people are united around the Vietminh Front led by the Indochinese Communist Party. The proletarian class exercises this leadership without sharing it with any other class. It results from this that the revolutionary forces of our people are not scattered, that they have no rivalries or internal conflicts (except in some insignificant cases), and that at the decisive hour, they can be gathered together under the leadership of a single organisation to launch a direct and massive attack against the fortified enemy lines. Objective condition: World War II created for the Vietnamese people an extremely favourable opportunity: the enemies of the Vietnamese Revolution, the Japanese and French fascists, had exhausted each other and grown weak. Moreover, the Japanese were then defeated by the Soviet army; that was enough for the Vietnamese people to fell them with a single blow and to seize power.
- Besides, the August Insurrection was a real revolution. The Vietnamese people, in bloody combat and with arms in their hands, had to struggle against the Japanese fascists to regain their freedom and independence. Immediately after this, to defend these rights, they had to shed more blood. It is by the August Revolution that the dictatorial and fascist monarchical regimes have been overthrown and the democratic republican regime set up.
- In its domestic policy, the Indochinese Communist Party organized the different strata of the people into the National Liberation Front: the Vietminh Front. The programme of this Front assured the protection of human and civil rights and of property, the respect of private property, the liberty of conscience, as well as equality between nationalities and the sexes, with the aim of realising the unity of the whole people against the Japanese and French fascists.
- We admit that, because of the extremely intricate situation of our country and the relatively limited strength of the Vietnamese Revolution, it was not possible to carry out a systematic elimination of the counter-revolutionary elements on Jacobean or Bolshevik lines. The Vietnamese Revolution was not opposing only the counter-revolutionary forces at home; other forces were intervening from abroad in favour of the French reactionaries and other traitors. It was due to this that the latter were able, in certain places, and at certain moments, to equal, and even to overpower the revolutionary forces (in Saigon, for example).
- The more democratic the power, the more dictatorial it must be – that is, it must exercise the democratic dictatorship of the whole people against the very small reactionary minority ready to grab back their age-old domination and hinder the march of the revolution. Not being firmly repressed, the reactionaries at home have been used by the French and international reactionaries to create difficulties for the revolutionary power and to divide our people.
- The August Revolution was a revolution of national liberation. It aimed at liberating the Vietnamese people from the colonial yoke and making Vietnam an independent nation.
- Born in the new times, the democratic republican regime in Vietnam inevitably bears the mark of the new times. The August Revolution is a revolution of national liberation in its form and one of new democracy in its content. In other words, the August Revolution is a revolution of national liberation with a new democratic character. It constitutes a step in the national democratic revolution of Vietnam.
- The regime of feudal and semi-feudal exploitation must be abolished, and “land to the tillers” must be realized. So far, the Vietnamese Revolution has only restricted that feudal and semi-feudal exploitation. It must progress further to realise land reform and wipe out all vestiges of feudalism. In brief, the Vietnamese Revolution must fulfil both the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal tasks to realize independence, freedom and happiness for the people. In other words, it must complete the task of democratization to pave the way to the socialist revolution in the future: to socialize all means of production, abolish from Vietnam the regime of exploitation of man by man.
- If we strive only for national reconstruction but neglect to struggle for sovereignty and territorial integrity, national independence will certainly not be recognized and our country will be reduced to an autonomous state.
- We should ally ourselves not only with the French people, but also with all peace-loving and democratic peoples, particularly with the Chinese people, our great neighbours who are resolutely struggling for democracy, unification and independence. In a word, we must unite with all the oppressed peoples who are fighting to liberate themselves.
- The French reactionary colonialists hoped to solve the Vietnamese problem by armed force according to their own will. But the Resistance war carried out by the Vietnamese people has shattered their illusions, The Vietnamese people are ready to wage a long struggle to overcome all difficulties and obstacles and resolutely fight all brutal plunderers and their stooges until they recover the integrity of their territory and gain complete independence, liberty and happiness.