Below is the full speech of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong at the conference to review the five-year implementation of the Politburo’s Directive No.5 on “Promoting the study and emulation of Ho Chi Minh thoughts, morals and style”, held in Ha Noi on June 12.
The entire Party, people and army of Viet Nam are paying homage to our great President Ho Chi Minh and celebrating, in a wide variety of ways, his 131st birthday, the 110th anniversary of his departure in search of national salvation, and the 80th anniversary of his return to the homeland to directly lead the Vietnamese revolution. The Vietnamese people across the country are also rejoicing with pride and confidence at the resounding success of the 13th National Party Congress, and the election of deputies to the 15th National Assembly and all-level People’s Councils for the 2021-2026 term. In such an ambience, we are today to solemnly organize the National Conference to review
the 5-year implementation of the Politburo’s Directive No.5 on “Promoting the study and emulation of Ho Chi Minh thoughts, morals and style”. This is necessary deed of great significance.
On behalf of the Party Central Committee , I would like to extend my warmest welcome, most sincere greetings and best wishes to the leaders of the Party and State, the exemplary collectives and individuals, and all delegates attending this Conference.
As we all know, our beloved President Ho Chi Minh is the brilliant leader of the Party and nation, the great mentor of the Vietnamese revolution, the national liberation hero, an exemplary fighter among international communists, and a world cultural celebrity. He is no longer with us, but the legacy he left for our Party and people is monumental and invaluable, including the Ho Chi Minh Era, Ho Chi Minh’s cause and Ho Chi Minh thoughts, morals and style, and an exemplary model for us to always follow. He is the noblest symbol of Viet Nam’s patriotism and revolutionary heroism, a radiant crystallization of virtue, wisdom, courage and conscience of our nation and our time.
Throughout his life, President Ho Chi Minh made tireless efforts in dedication to our Fatherland, our countrymen and our cause of national liberation, class liberation, social liberation and human liberation. His was a life full of hardships and sacrifices. Yet it is an extremely glorious and noble, a truly vibrant, virtuous and admirable life. He had gone down in history as a colossus, even a legend during his lifetime. His life and cause have become a symbol of revolution, inspiring hope and dream for the Vietnamese and the progressive people around the world in their struggles for independence, freedom, peace, democracy and social progress. “Our nation, our people and our country nurtured President Ho Chi Minh, the great national hero, and it was him who in turn glorified our nation, our people and our country.”
The thoughts, morals and style of President Ho Chi Minh are invaluable spiritual assets of our Party and people, illuminating our revolutionary cause, guiding each step forward to the success of the Vietnamese revolution. Studying and following President Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts, morals and style remain a crucial, regular and indispensable task for the entire Party and people, particularly the Party organizations, State agencies, and Party cadre and members, in their endeavors for self-improvement, and in service of the country and people.
How, then, should we understand Ho Chi Minh Thought? Ho Chi Minh morals? And Ho Chi Minh style?
– In brief, Ho Chi Minh Thought is a system of fundamental positions, understanding and guiding thoughts by President Ho Chi Minh concerning Viet Nam’ revolution and its way forward in the present era. It is resulting from the innovative application and further development of Marxism-Leninism against the backdrop of Viet Nam’s particular condition, inheriting and advancing the traditional virtues of our nation while absorbing the cultural quintessence of mankind. President Ho Chi Minh had said on multiple occasions that “Viet Nam is one country. The Vietnamese are one nation. Rivers may run dry, mountains may erode away, but this truth shall never change”; “We would rather sacrifice all than forfeit our country or be slaves”; “Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom”; “Even though we have to set ablaze the Truong Son Range , we must resolutely win national independence”; “I have but one desire, a desire above all else, and that is for our country to be truly independent, our people to be truly free, for every single one among our countrymen to have food, clothes and education, and for our nation to enjoy a commensurate standing in the world.”. “If our country were to be independent yet our people are without happiness and freedom, that independence would be meaningless”.
Therefore, independence must go hand-in-hand with socialism. National liberation must be coupled with class liberation, social liberation, and human liberation. To that end, we must conduct socialist revolution. Whether Viet Nam would become prosperous and the Vietnamese nation would stand proudly as equals to major powers of the five continents, are much predicated upon our ability to marshal the strength of the all-nation unity and rally all forces, ethnicities, religions and patriotic Vietnamese national. “Unity, unity, great unity. Success, success, grand success!””For national salvation and liberation, there is no way other than the way of proletarian revolution”. “Today there are so many theories and doctrines, yet the truest and most revolutionary of all philosophies is Leninism, Marxism-Leninism”. Revolutions are the people’s cause, for the people and by the people, under the judicious leadership of a true revolutionary party. Only with a strong Party would the nation be strong, for the Party is the vanguard and the leader of the working class, the working people, and the entire nation.
– Ho Chi Minh Morals are indeed the revolutionary morals. These are the virtuous qualities of a revolutionary: diligence, frugality, integrity, uprightness, public-spiritedness and selflessness. Diligence means to work hard and tirelessly, and devote whole-heartedly to the common good in the interest of our country and people. Frugality means to exercise moderation without extravagance or luxury, especially when it comes to public property. Integrity means to keep ourselves untarnished and untainted. Uprightness means to remain true and honest, never to bend our knees, and uphold a noble and righteous spirit. Public-spiritedness and selflessness mean to act in the common good and place the common interest above all, without private designs for personal gains. We must resolutely combat individualism, “wipe out individualism”, as “individualism is the enemy from inside”, “the most wicked foe”, and “an insidious and crafty enemy that pulls the unwary down a slippery slope”. President Ho Chi Minh paid special attention to the education and reinforcement of revolutionary morals. He often said that “just as rivers would run dry without their sources, or as trees would wither without their roots, revolutionists must have morals, without morals no matter how talented they are, they shall not be able to lead the people”.
– Ho Chi Minh Style refers to a humble lifestyle and simple presence. It also means to be willing to learn from, to stay close to, to respect, and to trust the people. Everything is done in the best interest of the people. The Party cadre and members are the servants of the people, neither their masters nor “revolutionary mandarins”. Each Party cadre and member must take it upon themselves to study and discipline themselves so as to continually enhance their understanding and expertise, and ennoble themselves as principled human beings, who are “wholly loyal to the Party, wholly filial to the People, who shall fulfill any mission, overcome any hardship, and defeat any enemy”.
In his life, President Ho Chi Minh was especially attentive towards the education and cultivation of the Party cadre and members. He often shared that “ours is a ruling party. Each Party member and cadre must be truly immersed in revolutionary morals, to truly uphold diligence, frugality, integrity, uprightness, public-spiritedness and selflessness. We must maintain a truly untarnished Party that is a worthy leader and a loyal servant of the people”. It is important to understand that “success or failure of all things boil down to whether our cadre is good or bad” and “cadre is the root of all our work”. As such, it is essential to pay special attention to the education, training and cultivation of the Party cadre and members, nurture a wealth of exemplary persons and deeds. Uncle Ho reminded us that “good folks and good deeds are as flowers blossoming in spring, setting the bright examples of revolutionary heroism”. “Upholding exemplary persons and deeds to educate each other daily is one of the best ways to build our Party, build the revolutionary organizations, and build a new people and a new life”.
In recent years, the Party has early invoked and provided leadership over the study and emulation of Ho Chi Minh thoughts, morals and style through various decrees and resolutions. The most recent iteration is Directive No. 5 issued by the 12th Politburo on “Promoting the study and emulation of Ho Chi Minh thought, morals and style” in conjunction with the implementation of the Resolution of the 4th Meeting of the 12th Central Party Committee on “Strengthening Party-building and rectification, combating and stemming the tide of degradation in political thoughts, morals, lifestyles, and signs of ‘self-evolution’ and ‘self-transformation’ within the Party.” Through new, creative and practical ways of conduct, these efforts have achieved important and fairly well-rounded achievements. As a result, dramatic positive and far-reaching changes have been generated within the Party and the entire society, and were highly applauded by the 13th Party Congress.
Notably, the leadership and guidance concerning the study and emulation of Ho Chi Minh thoughts, morals and style were exercised seriously, professionally and with high quality. There has been improvement in the cultivation of morals in conjunction with the duty to set the example. The Party committees, cadre and members, and heads of organizations and units, especially the Members of the Politburo, Members of the Secretariat and Members of the Central Committee, have set examples through concrete acts and deeds, taking to heart the mantras “Leaders first, subordinates later”, “inner first, outside later” and “studying side-by-side with doing”. Mass education was conducted in a variety of innovative ways, thus positively improving both the awareness and actions of the Party cadre and members and the broader public. This has gradually turned the Ho Chi Minh thoughts, morals and style into the spiritual bedrock of our society. Inspections and supervision have received due attention and proved to be an effective channel of education and deterrence and prevention of wrongdoings.
These positive results have contributed to our fights against degradation in political thoughts, morals, lifestyle, and signs of self-evolution and self-transformation among Party cadre and members, particularly among the leadership and managerial echelon and heads of organs, offices and units. Such accomplishments are a boon to the building of a collective of Party cadre who are endowed with solid political mettle, untarnished morals, and a righteous sense of responsibility and motivation. They themselves are also the exemplary vanguard that shall successfully fulfill any given task, and the contributors to breakthroughs in socio-economic development, nation-building and defense. A plethora of difficult and highly complex issues in Party-building, especially with Party rectification, were mentioned across different terms of office, and as of the tenure of 12th Congress, saw clear improvements.
From within the movement of studying and emulating Uncle Ho has emerged a multitude of exemplary collectives and individuals. Their undertakings are encouraging to the broader society, inspiring the national spirit and patriotism, and the motivation and desire to devote to the nation from all walks of life. Their examples speak to the entire Vietnamese nation, exhorting us to resolutely and eagerly work towards the goal of national independence alongside socialism.
On behalf of the Party Central Committee, I would like to send my warm congratulations and salutations to all exemplary collectives and individuals of excellence in their study and emulation of President Ho Chi Minh. Each and every such exemplary collective and individual are as “beautiful flowers”, whose efforts are blooming into “a forest of beautiful flowers” for our nation. Such endeavors of yours are well recognized by the Party and State. It is my hope that you would continue to build upon these accomplishments, set the examples and duplicate your good deeds for others to follow, and therefore grow.
However, apart from these achievements, there remain considerable shortcomings in the implementation of Directive No. 5 that require rectification. These include the irresolute, slow and impractical guidance, directions and organization of implementation, and the indistinct roles and responsibilities of the leadership in certain places. Commitments to self-improvement and discipline alongside the duty to set examples were not truly effective among a part of the Party cadre and members. The identification of potential breakthroughs was muddled in places. Refutation of false and hostile narratives remains passive. Discovery and praise given to exemplary collectives and individuals in studying and emulating Uncle Ho are yet timely or complete. Public information and commendation of such exemplary persons and deeds are not persuasive enough from time to time.
The struggles against phenomena of degradation in political thoughts, morals and lifestyle are not yet carried out with due vigor. It is exhibited by the insincere and superficial process of self-criticism and criticism in a number of places from time to time. It also includes the unwillingness to admit but blame the mistakes on external circumstances, and hesitation in confronting wrongdoings. Inspections and supervision are executed irregularly and irresolutely with limited scope. Early warning and prevention of violations remain inefficient.
After 35 years of Doi Moi, from a poor country with outdated and underdeveloped physical, technical, economic and social infrastructure, Viet Nam has arisen and achieved enormous and historical accomplishments. “Our country has never enjoyed such fortune, power, international standing and prestige as it does today”.
The international and domestic landscapes are changing rapidly, in complicated and unpredictable ways, with opportunities intertwining with challenges and adversities. This poses new, more complex and more urgent questions to our cause of nation-building, renewal and development. The revolutionary cause of our Party and people is still faced with a multitude of hardships and challenges. The four threats warned by our Party still remain relevant, perhaps even more severe in certain aspects. Hostile elements are relentlessly working to subvert the revolutionary cause of our Party and people through denying the leadership of the Party and dividing the Party from the people, with the aim of overthrowing our Party and polity.
This state of affairs has exerted dramatic and multidimensional effects on our Party cadre and members and the people. It requires us to continue stepping up the study and emulation of Ho Chi Minh thoughts, morals and style, protecting the ideological cornerstone of the Party, and combating and refuting misleading and hostile narratives in order to meet the requirements of the revolutionary cause in the new period.
The Resolution of the 13th Party Congress clearly pointed out that “in the upcoming years, we must especially pay attention to and advance comprehensive Party building and rectification with regards to politics, ideology, morals, organization and cadre work”. “We must remain steadfast and perseverant in the implementation of the Resolutions of the 4th Meeting of the 11th Central Party Committee and the 4th Meeting of the 12th Party Central Committee on Party-building in conjunction with stepping up study and emulation of Ho Chi Minh thoughts, morals and style. This must be conducted through vigorous, determined and cohesive measures in order to stem the tide of degradation in political thoughts, morals, lifestyle, and signs of self-evolution and self-transformation within our own ranks”.
The Party Committees, Government and State agencies must build upon the achievements of the past years, and continue to strengthen the study and emulation of Ho Chi Minh thoughts, morals and style. The Party cadre and members must take it upon themselves to seriously and effectively meet the requirements and fulfill the tasks set under the recent Conclusion No. 01-KL/TW dated 18 May 2021 of the Politburo on “Promoting the study and emulation of Ho Chi Minh thoughts, morals and style. In this regard, it is important to focus on and effectively implement three tasks, namely the study and emulation of President Ho Chi Minh thoughts, morals and style, and setting good examples among the Party cadre and members.
Learning from Uncle Ho means to study the revolutionary thoughts, world outlook and perceptions of life, and the morals and lifestyle of a genuine communist. Learning from Uncle Ho should become part of the lifestyle, way of thinking, and work method of each Party cadre and member, and people. The thoughts, morals, and lifestyle of President Ho Chi Minh need to be truly integrated into the social life and become the spiritual bedrock and sources of immense strength, thus enabling the entire Party, people, and army to fully demonstrate our internal synergy, overcome difficulties and challenges, and accomplish all revolutionary missions in the new period.
Every Party cadre and member needs to fully understand the thoughts of Uncle Ho and become consistent in their thoughts and deeds, words and actions. Each and every person can find in Uncle Ho’s philosophy a moral standard to learn from and emulate, and a natural need and desire for self-improvement. Such qualities are the courage, perseverance, and absolute loyalty to the revolutionary goals and ideals; diligence, frugality, integrity, uprightness, public-spiritedness and selflessness; closeness to, faith in and love for the people, and the willingness to learn from and forge a flesh-and-blood connection with the masses; and whole-hearted dedication to the Fatherland and the people. These virtues help nourish patriotism, the spirit of national self-reliance and resilience, the aspirations for prosperity, happiness, and the desire to play our part in national development to bring about enduring prosperity to our people.
With a well-trained and mature pool of Party cadre and members, our Party will grow stronger with enhanced combativeness and candor. As such, our Party befits the revolutionary leadership and mission, and meeting the people’s trust and expectations to be “the worthy leader and the loyal servant of the people”.
Emulating Uncle Ho means to promote a strong shift from “studying” to “emulating”, and deliver on promises through concrete programs and actions to implement the political mandate at each locality, agency, and unit, and in the work of Party building and rectification. These efforts need to go in tandem with upholding the responsibilities and ethics of each Party cadre and member, effectively implementing the breakthroughs and resolving critical pressing issues in reality, with the Ho Chi Minh Thoughts and Marxism-Leninism as the guiding principles in all actions.
Each Party cadre and member needs to have a thorough understanding of Ho Chi Minh Thoughts on Party building and rectification in terms of political thoughts, ideology, morals, lifestyle, organization and personnel. It is important to enhance the leadership capacity and the combativeness of the Party, build a socialist rule-of-law state that is “truly of the people, by the people, and for the people”.
Being an exemplar means to learn from and emulate Uncle Ho and at the same time set an example. It is crucial to promote the effectiveness of the inter-relationships between these three tasks through upholding the pioneering role of the Party cadres and members. In this connection, the leaders of the Party committees, authorities, and agencies, particularly the members of the Politburo, the Party Secretariat, and the Party Central Committee need to take the lead in setting examples.
Each Party cadre and member needs to shoulder the responsibility of being a role model. The higher the position and rank, the more responsibility one must take in setting example in the cultivation of morals, in the lifestyle, manner, and work discipline for the people to follow. It is of great importance to firmly uphold the ideology and correct viewpoints; dare to think, dare to act, and dare to assume responsibility; and dedicate to the country and people. A leader must display science-based leadership, grounded in democracy and reality, and serve as the nucleus of solidarity and unity, in order to stimulate and harness collective wisdom. As Uncle Ho said, “a living role model is worth more than 100 motivational speeches”.
It is essential to “uphold revolutionary morals, wipe out individualism”, persistently and patiently combat, prevent and repel corruption, vices, stem the tide of degradation in political thoughts, morals, and lifestyle of Party cadres and members, and the phenomena of “self-evolution” and “self-transformation”. The study of Ho Chi Minh Thoughts and emulation of his morals and lifestyle must become a routine task, for they serve the Party’s spiritual need and leave behind a deep imprint on the cultivation of the Party culture. Such endeavors will truly bring about a truly “virtuous and civilized” Party.
While performing these three tasks, it is important to closely combine “building” and “combating”. In this process “building” is of fundamental and strategic significance while “combating” is a vital and urgent task. It is essential to “walk the talk”, promote “lifelong self-improvement” and regularly conduct “self-reflection” and “self-correction”. We need to exert every effort to combat, prevent and stem the tide of degradation in political thoughts, morals, lifestyles, and signs of ‘self-evolution’ and ‘self-transformation’ within the Party. We also need to persistently and patiently fight corruption and wrongdoings, bearing in mind that there is neither “red zone”, exception nor influence from any ill-intentioned organization or individual in these struggles. To that end, it is vital to enhance inspections and supervision, warning and deterrence against any wrong thoughts or deeds. At the same time, we need to encourage the Party cadre and members to think and act in the interests and for the happiness of the people, and to build a truly pure and strong Party.
Our people often say that “Party members are the ones at the forefront, followed by the people”. Throughout different chapters in the revolutionary history of our nation, our people always have the firm belief that “Under the able leadership of the Party, our nation has incessantly advanced from one victory to another”. “Our party has nurtured a generation of revolutionary youth, regardless of being male or female, that are enthusiastic and courageous in all aspects. They are as beautiful flowers bloomed from revolutionary heroism”.
I sincerely hope that after this Conference, the movement of studying and emulating President Ho Chi Minh thoughts, morals and style will continue to be promoted and deepened to be more practical and effective, thus contributing to the successful implementation of the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress and the cause of renewal, nation-building and defense. We will exert every effort so that by the mid-21st century and on the centenary of the birth of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam, now the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Viet Nam will become a developed and high-income country. This also aims to realize President Ho Chi Minh’s wish for Viet Nam to stand proudly as equals to major powers across all five continents.
May I wish you all good health, happiness and success!
Thank you for your kind attention.