otto's war room banner

otto's war room banner

Monday, September 02, 2019

Fifty years on the frontline: Revolutionary contributions of Ho Chi Minh


By Harsh Thakor
Ho Chi Minh was not only one of the greatest Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries but amongst the greatest men ever who rendered service to the liberation of mankind. He infused a new spirit not only amongst the people of Vietnam but the entire world when waging a war against imperialism. Above al he never mechanically copied the French Communist party and even revolted against its lack of genuine Marxist-Leninist content. He also did not blindly eliminate path of Chinese people’s war of Mao but applied it to the conditions of Vietnam. He was an abject example of how a great Marxist Leninist revolutionary develops from the very grassroots like a businessman learning his trade from sheer practice. Few men ever had biographies which were so touching which revealed the inner spiritual change in a revolutionary to wage a crusade against all odds. His life revealed simplicity in regions of divinity but achievements in metaphysical proportions. He proved the essence of mastering Leninist theory to win anti-colonial wars and the correctness of Chairman Mao's theory of protracted peoples War. He was responsible for Vietnam defeating America and thus achieving the greatest ever anti-imperialist victory in the history of mankind. There are no adjectives that could do justice to how Vietnam overcame all the odds to defeat America. Chairman Ho had won the adulation or hearts of the people of the world like few men ever did .His path imbibed a spiritual change to create a new man amongst people world over. I can never forget the creativity of the tactics of the Vietcong when building underground tunnels. His mass line practice and leadership had a lot to do with the great bastion of the Peoples Guerilla army or the Vietcong penetrating into the very soul of the masses and carrying out heroic military offensives. I recommend readers to read an analysis in an Indian revolutionary journal 'The Comrade'. In November 1995 which brilliantly summed up how Vietnam adopted the mass line to defeat America. Few men ever could galvanize masses in the manner of Ho .Ho blended the genius or creativity of a poet of musical composer with the skill of a surgeon and tenacity of a boulder in encountering the most hazardous paths in his journey.

His biography is close to the most fascinating any reader would wish to unravel. From his very youth he started his revolutionary journey being inspired by all the anti-colonial movements worldwide and experiencing the cruelty of his own French colonialists. He gained his early baptism working as a cook on a French steamer and serving as a waiter in France and then London where he read the writings and news of revolutionaries and movements. He founded the Vietnam workers party. Subsequently he went as a representative of his country in the Commenter meeting. The turning point in his political career came when he met Lenin from whom he grasped the necessary revolutionary dialectics. Here he understood the essence of not only building a communist party but a truly revolutionary one, unlike the revisionist French Communist party. Ho was also deeply inspired by the war waged by the Chinese Communist part deploying guerilla tactics. His political insight played a major role in the inroads the Vietnam workers made in the broad Vietnamese masses’ Ho founded the Vietnam Workers party in 1930.He introduced and became editor of the party newspaper. With meticulous skill he evaded the agents of the Kuomintang in Hongkong. From the mid 1930's he was able to set up party branches all over the country. Through establishing Soviets which laid the base of people capturing power from the French colonialists. What was crucial was his understanding of building a peoples democratic revolution with the four class alliance and agrarian revolution as the axis as opposed to Trotskyite line of Socialist revolution. It was a revelation how like a spark turning into a prairie fire moral peoples or parallel rule spread over a huge range of villages and towns for land rights, housing, education, health, transport etc. Land rent was reduced to 25 percent, eight hour day was awarded to workers, literacy was free almost everywhere.. With great tactical ingenuity Ho led his party to capitalize on the cracks in the armory of the French rulers after World War 2 and weakening of other colonial powers .In battle of Dien bien Phu the Vietnamese forces overcame the French by launching offensives in several distant region s to disperse the forces of the enemy. Never in the history of mankind had a Western army been defeated by guerilla forces like at Dien Ben Phu.Since his inception as a leader his practice was in ideal contrast to the collaborationist or pro-British policies of the Indian National Congress led by Gandh-Nehru. In the 1954 Geneva agreement Ho displayed outstanding qualities of Leninist statesmanship Later although now not formally in charge ,his moral leadership and tactical ingenuity played a major role in the Vietcong launching a thumping blow on the American enemy in the Tet Offensive. Although the American enemy was much more powerful the tactical maneuvering of Vietnamese forces won the day with their element of surprise. To prepare the Vietnamese Peoples Liberation Front destroyed the enemy supply lines and transport routes. The real turning pint was that the Vietcong could move like a fish in water being based in the very hearts of the masses. The base of a Socialist Society is what facilitated this -Thus a victory for Marxist-Leninist ideology. No under or over estimating the enemy. Although Ho died before the final victory of Liberation led by General Lu Duan in 1975 It would be incorrect not to give him the moral credit for the final victory.

True he did make errors like adopting a centrist line and not formally upholding the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China and not completely demarcating from Kruschevite revisionism. He was also not critical of the class collaborationism of Gandhi and Nehru in India or of the revisionism of Fidel Castro. It is a lesson for al cadres how centrism leads to revisionism and after the 1970's the Vietnamese Communist party took the rightist path. Ironic the nation that won the greatest peoples War after USSR defeating the Nazis has not supported a single Revolutionary armed struggle in the last 4 decades be it in Asia, Latin America or Africa. Perhaps Chairman Mao's establishing relations with Nixon and placing greater emphasis on Soviet Social Imperialism could take a share of the blame and the eventual victory of the rightists led by Deng Xiaoping. Today Vietnam practices state capitalism.

Although formally adopting a centrist path, morally he was one of the closest comrades in arms to Chairman Mao. All cadres should meticulously read the writing of Ho which possessed the characteristic dialectical Leninist touch .His military writings also had classical analysis which were illustrated in the famous victories at Dien Ben Phu or in the Tet Offensive. Even as Maoists we have to remember that since the Chinese Revolution of 1949 no Maoist armed struggle equaled the achievements of the Vietminh and the Vietcong. The war in Iraq against America to an extent emulated the Vietnam experience. It was a very common saying in the late 1960's and early 70's to create many Vietnam. It greatly inspired comrades in India supporting Naxalbari path and there was a very supportive statement in 1969 paying homage to Ho after his death. In this regard there is a very sectarian attitude in the role of the International Maoist camp towards Ho Chi Minh like Revolutionary Internationalist Movement earlier and Maoist forces in Europe and Canada. With the Palestinian or Middle East situation at the forefront of the anti-imperialist movement toady there is no more inspiring struggle than the Vietnam War to defeat the fascist Israel and America. Even if wars may take a different shape they could still emulate many of the ideas of Vietnam. Chairman Joma Sison still ranks him amongst the greatest of revolutionaries "

"Ho Chin Minh is a great revolutionary leader of the Vietnamese people and the world proletariat. He led to victory the people's war that confronted French and US aggression and inflicted the first frontal and definitive defeat of US imperialism in a country that it has dominated.

Under Ho Minh's leadership, the Vietnamese proletariat and people won victories on their self-reliant struggle even as China assisted their struggle for certain periods and so did the Soviet Union, especially in the run up to victory in the late years of the 1960s to 1975. It is a matter of historical fact that even as the Soviet Union was already social imperialist Ho was able to wisely use its assistance to defeat US imperialism. Without Soviet assistance, South Vietnam would not have been liberated at the rate it was liberated.

Only infantile Maoists, characterized by dogmatism and sectarianism, deny the historical facts. Even Mao highly respected Ho as a comrade. Only a fool can condemn Ho for forthrightly availing of the Soviet assistance, when this was crucial for bringing down thousands of US planes and mobilizing armed personnel in both North and South. Ho did not put forward any systematic theory and practice of "centrism". And he cannot be held mainly or greatly responsible for the social developments in Vietnam due to the influence of Soviet social imperialism and then in current time US imperialism, just as Mao cannot be held responsible for the forces and trends opposing his line before, during and after the cultural revolution.

In waging people's war, a Communist
Party always needs to uphold the correct ideological line and accepts as members only those committed to becoming proletarian revolutionaries. But in the realm of political work and struggle, the Party has to win masses with various thoughts and beliefs and employ the tactics and methods of the united front; and in external relations the Party has to engage in diplomacy with various countries and in broad anti-imperialist solidarity with various forces without the preconditions that they are pure communists or Maoists. The infantile Maoists cannot understand the world beyond the confines of dogmatism and sectarianism. They do not actually do any effective mass work. And in due time they usually shrink in a corner and split among themselves. They waste their time in uttering mantras and in shallow exegesis and do not adopt any mass line and do not do any mass work. They are capable of only organizing small groups claiming ideological purity and browbeating every one else."  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post.Thank you!