Shining Ho Chi Minh’s thought, morality and lifestyle, arousing and realizing the aspiration for national prosperity and well-being

Politburo Member, President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Wednesday, December 8, 2021 07:43

Communist Review - On the occasion of the preliminary review of 5 years implementing Directive No. 05-CT/TW dated May 15, 2016 of the Politburo on “enhancing the studying and following of Ho Chi Minh's thought, morality and lifestyle”, Comrade Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Politburo member, President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, has releashed an article titled “Shining Ho Chi Minh's thought, morality and lifestyle, arousing and realizing the aspiration for national prosperity and well-being”. We are honored to present his full text.

Listening to Uncle Ho's teachings _Photo: Archives

President Ho Chi Minh - a great leader of our Party and nation, a great teacher of the Vietnamese revolution, a hero of national liberation, a world man of culture, an exemplary international communist soldier, has dedicated his whole life for the country and its people. Ho Chi Minh's thought, morality and lifestyle are invaluable assets of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Vietnamese nation and people; it is the predominant contributor to the victory of Vietnamese national liberation, serving as a lodestar for the renovation work for the goal of prosperous people, strong country and a democratic, just and civilized society. On the occasion of the preliminary review of 5 years implementing Directive No. 05-CT/TWdated May 15, 2016 of the Politburo on “enhancing the studying and following of Ho Chi Minh's thought, morality and lifestyle” and implementing Conclusion No. 01-KL/TW dated May 18, 2021 of the Politburo on continuing to implement this important Directive as well as celebrating the 110th anniversary of Uncle Ho's departure to find a way to liberate the country (June 5, 1911 - June 5, 2021) and the 80th anniversary of the day he returned to the Fatherland to directly lead the Vietnamese revolution (January 28, 1941 - January 28, 2021), I would like to express some of the following thoughts: 

1- The aspiration for national independence, prosperity and well-being immensely influenced Ho Chi Minh’s whole life, career and thought. That aspiration prompted him to set foot in several countries and find a way to liberate his nation, mingle with the life of the working class in both metropolitan and colonial countries, and study theories as well as realities while doing a couple of jobs as his livelihood. Heading to the West to find a way to liberate the country opened his mind, brought him to Marxism-Leninism, opened the doors for the nation to catch up with the trend of the times, and overcome the isolation of the Vietnamese revolution. Figuring out the right way to liberate the country, he embarked on an arduous but glorious revolution, accepting all hardships and sacrifices to realize his goals and ideals with burning aspiration, strong determination and extraordinary effort . The way he spoke from his heart “I only have one desire, the ultimate desire is to make our country completely independent, our people completely free, all compatriots have food to eat, clothes to wear, anyone can study”(1) is simple, but powerful and influential. His aspiration for “Independence - Freedom - Happiness” is mentionned in all state documents associated with the national name from “Democratic Republic of Vietnam” to “Socialist Republic of Vietnam”. That aspiration is the sound of the country, expressing his iron will and determination in response to the nation’s destiny and future, and the direction of history. That is the spirit of “it doesn’t matter whether we will have to burn the whole Truong Son Mountain range to win our independence” in the August 1945 Revolution, “We would rather sacrifice everything than lose our country, than return to slavery” in the Appeal for National Resistance. It is the immortal truth “Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom” that urged the entire nation and compatriots to stand up to defend their conscience and dignity, gain the right to life and the pursuit of  happiness; It inspired oppressed people and friends across five continents about a civilized and heroic Vietnamese people.

His aspiration became “Vietnamese aspiration in the Ho Chi Minh era”. His ideological legacy continues to serve as the lodestar for today renovation cource, strengthen the belief in Vietnam’s bright future and the desire for prosperity and well-being in the 21st century. The 13th Party Congress set the goal that by 2045 - the 100th anniversary of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam) - our country will become a high-income developed, country with socialist-oriented market. The wealth, prestige, status and potential of Vietnam built up in the Ho Chi Minh era, including 35 years of achievements in renovation, have been creating a solid foundation for Vietnamese people to confidently move forward. Becoming a developed country is a long journey that needs both aspirations to growth and bravery, strong will and determination.

Realizing the aspiration for prosperity and well-being requires Vietnam to continue to promote the comprehensive renewal, arouse the will and strength of the whole nation, and promote Vietnamese cultural values ​​and the people’s strength. Since the third decade of the twenty-first century, the world has experienced rapid, complicated and unpredictable changes, competition among countries in terms of speed and quality of development is getting more and more fierce. The Fourth Industrial Revolution whose impacts are profound, still needs restructuring to create breakthroughs. With each step we take towards, President Ho Chi Minh's bravery, will, and aspiration continue to illuminate, and consolidate Vietname people’s belief in their strength to fulfill his wish.

2- President Ho Chi Minh - a role model of loyalty to the country and its people, unconditional love and strong belief in the strength of the people. Vietnamese people have not only inherited the traditions of their ancestors “pushing the boat is the people, but flipping the boat is also the people”, “benevolence aims at keeping peace within the people”, but also developed Ho Chi Minh's humanism. It was his love for his suffering compatriots that led him to the ideal of communism, the pathway of national liberation associated with the liberation of social class and humans. His political decisions are always wise, because his approach always revolves around ultimate benefit of the nation, in accordance with the law, the people’s wishes, the world trends, and humanism. He admonished: “Truth means something beneficial to the Fatherland, to the people. What contradicts the benefits of the Fatherland and the people is not the truth”(2); “We must do our best for the sake of our people. We must avoid any acts that are harmful to them”(3).

Unlike many thinkers who look at the people with compassion, President Ho Chi Minh, as a great thinker, treated people with immense love. He believed that “There is nothing more precious than people”, and “In the world, there is nothing stronger than solidarity within the people”. With the spirit of “liberating us without relying on any external forces”, he and our Party have triggered the great power of the people through education and enlightenment, making people firmly believe in their ability, be brave, and take actions to liberate themselve from slavery, poverty and backwardness. Taking the duties and responsibilities “like a soldier obeying the orders of the nation to the front”, President Ho Chi Minh devoted his whole life to serving the Fatherland and the people. He thinks that if people go hungry and get cold, it is the Party and Government's fault. If the people die of hunger and cold after gaining freedom and independence, their freedom and independence become meaningless. Only when they are well fed and fully clothed do they understand the value of freedom. His immense love is for everyone, every family and social class, ranging from workers, farmers, intellectuals, women, young people, old people, children, ethnic minorities to people with meritorious services to the country. For workers and peasants, he set forth the principle of never sacrificing their benefits for any other class. There must be a specific policy for these people, because they directly produced wealth for society, contributed a lot to the revolution, suffered a great deal of oppression of colonialism and feudalism. For people with tremendous contribution,  it needs special policies to preserve Vietnamese tradition “When you eat a fruit, think of the man who planted the tree such as privileged regimes to support war invalids, wounded veterans, martyrs' relatives  and youth volunteers, building memorial steles to remind today's generations about the ancestors' sacrifice for the country's freedom and heighten their patriotism. For disadvantaged people, the Party and Government must create opportunities to help them promote their positivity, confidence, and endeavor to become useful citizens.

Ho Chi Minh’s thought was imbued with patriotism, love for the people, liberation of the nation and the people as well as ensuring welfare for its people. At the first meeting of the Provisional Government (September 3, 1945), after the Declaration of Independence, President Ho Chi Minh proposed six urgent tasks: Fighting hunger, illiteracy and innumeracy, abrogating backward customs and unreasonable taxing, holding general elections to elect the National Assembly, respecting the people's right to freedom of belief and religion. He regularly presented the concept of socialism in a simple but appealing way. It is a system of “How to provide people with sufficient food, clothing, medicine when they are sick and ensure their access to education, exemption from working when they reach old age and the abolition of backward  customs(4); It is a society where “Its people’s rewards depend on their productivity”; Socialism is “prosperous people, strong country”... For 24 years in the position of President, he had devoted to leading and directing the institutionalization of humanistic views, when formulating the constitution (the 1946 Constitution and the 1959 Constitution), laws and policies to promote people’s legitimate interests  and living standards.

Based on Ho Chi Minh's thought, the Platform for national construction in the transitional period to socialism (amended in 2011) determined that all activities of the Party must derive from the interests and aspirations of the Party, the people's legitimate aspirations; the Party's strength lies in its close attachment to the people; The Party and the State are responsible for ensuring prosperity and welfare for its people. The 13th Party Congress declared that people are the center of all development strategies; therefore, it is vital to respect and protect human rights including their welfare and social security. Furthermore, continuing to build and perfect the socialist rule of law state plays a crucial role in order to ensure institutionalization of the people's will, respect and promote the people's empowerment, control the state’s power, and prevent the risks of corruption and moral degradation. In terms of market economy, the Party and State must pay great attention to all social classes; associate economic growth with the realization of social progress and justice in each step and development policy, unify economic policies with social policies; ensure equality so that no one is left behind. Those are practical solutions, particularly spreading significant acts of Uncle Ho in terms ofcaring for the people, building the state for the people and by the people, and strengthening the relationship between the Party and the people.

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Politburo member, State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc with delegates to the 13th National Party Congress _ Photo: VNA

3- President Ho Chi Minh’s invaluable philosophy of development has orientated today’s sustainable, inclusive and harmonious development. What great people have in common is that they pioneer in putting forward ideas with timeless values, but the farther we move back to the past, the deeper our understanding of these values is. President Ho Chi Minh is an example of the philosophy of sustainable, inclusive and harmonious development. Being aware of the “bad development” models, since the middle of the twentieth century, President Ho Chi Minh had advocated: “Providing enough food for the poor/Those who have enough to eat become  quite rich/ Those who are quite rich must get richer(5). It is the non-exclusive philosophy of development that today's global agendas join hands towards the goal of sustainable, inclusive and harmonious development, such as the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG-2030).

Right after the August Revolution in 1945, President Ho Chi Minh launched a movement against the Hunger and illiteracy and innumeracy; however, it was  until the end of the twentieth century that issues of eradicating extreme poverty, lack of food, and universalization of primary education were introduced  in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. In the 1960s of the last century, when most countries still relied on excessive use of natural resources, leading to environmental degradation, and damaging the development ability of future generations, he launched the “Tree Planting Campaign” to protect the environment. It took half a century for humanity to reflect on the “response” of nature; environmental changes such as pollution and climate change started to threaten the sustainable development. Witnessing two devastating world wars in the 20th century and many local wars, then the cold war that divided the world into two factions, President Ho Chi Minh always fought tirelessly for national independence, democracy and social progress, for peace, friendship and cooperation among peoples. In early 1947, he sent a message to the world: Vietnam wished to “make friends with all democratic countries and not trigger enmity with anyone”(6). Today, there are still risks of wars and local conflicts in some regions of the world, but Ho Chi Minh's aspiration for peace, friendship and cooperation among countries with different political regimes still stands the test of time and is becoming the guildlines of most countries and peoples.

Proving effective to implement, President Ho Chi Minh's development philosophy from 1945 to the present coincides with many goals and contents of the United Nations' global agenda on sustainable development, including especially poverty eradication, anti-illiteracy, gender equality, environmental protection, and responses to climate change. His development philosophy has been leading our nation on the journey of becoming a prosperous and developed country. Over the past few years, the programs “The whole country joins hands for the poor”, “Helping children to go to school” or the initiative “Planting 1 billion trees” in the next 5 years… have been illuminated by his philosophy. The market economy has been effective in allocating resources, but its spontaneity also causes numerous consequences for development, especially the pursuit of economic profit while ignoring public benefits, the rich-poor gulf, environmental pollution, negativity... In order to tackle this issue, we must effectively implement the sustainable development strategy, based on economic - social - environmental pillars; inclusive development, while closely linking economic growth with progress and social justice, ensuring that all people enjoy the fruits of growth, no one is left behind. These contents continue to be emphasized in the article of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong “Some theoretical and practical issues about socialism and the path to socialism in Vietnam”.

4- President Ho Chi Minh - a moral example with noble style and unity between thoughts, speech and actions. As a brilliant thinker, a genius organizer, an experienced activist, he understands that building a new society with new people is a long and arduous process because we have to abolish backward customs while creating new, progressive and civilized ones; therefore, there must be pioneers who “set a standard for others to imitate”. It is only through action that people fully and honestly reveal the moral values they would pursue and take as their guideline. Therefore, ethical practice is the most effective method of conveying thoughts for others to reflect and follow. He emphasized: “a good example is worth more than a hundred propaganda speeches”(7); “In front of the masses, it's not because of the word communist that we write on our forehead, but our morality that makes them love us”(8).

Setting ethical standards of “diligence, thrift, integrity, righteousness, and impartiality” for cadres and party members, he practiced himself these values to set examples for others. Leading a simple life, he despises luxury and showy appearances, wasting people's time and money. He once said that everyone likes to eating and dressing well, but if ones eat and dress well while disturbing others, they should not. Setting an example of righteousness and impartiality, he is dedicated and devoted to serving the Fatherland and the people.  He evendoes not care about fame and rewards, criticizes corruption and self-interest poinsoning public administration. In order for the practice of morality among cadres and party members to become a routine, he requested to to wipe out individualism - the cause of moral erosion. He also advised each cadre to self-criticize and get rif of bad habits.

The noble qualities of President Ho Chi Minh are the result of the lifelong process of cultivating and practicing revolutionary morality. According to him, revolutionary morality is not a natural ability, but results from daily struggle and practice. It is sharpened through practice. Right from the founding of the Party, in his work “Revolutionary Road” (1927), the first thing that he emphasized was the “qualities of the revolutionary”, especially qualities such as “spiritedness and impartiality”, “non-fame seeking”, “humbleness”, “walk the talk”, “sacrifice”, “few materialistic desires”... His whole life is the most vivid and convincing proof of this behavior as he led a basic but quality life, and always overcame hardships with other compatriots and comrades.

President Ho Chi Minh's dedication in terms of ideology, morality and moral practice is of great significance to the Party’s development of ethics, public ethics and judicial integrity. Inheriting, applying and developing his ideas, the 12th Congress of the Party, for the first time, added the content of building the Party’s morality; The 13th Party Congress continued to emphasize and set specific requirements and tasks for propaganda, education and practice of ethics in work and daily life of each cadre and party member. By this way, his idea “Our Party is moral and civilized” has increasingly become part of the entire organization and activities of the Party and the whole political system, contributing to building a pure  and strong Party and a socialist rule-of-law state of the people, by the people and for the people and also strengthening the close bond between the Party, the State and the people.

5 Studying and learning from Ho Chi Minh's thought, morality and style in current situations must be identified as an important and regular task of each party committee, organization and member. After 5 years of fully implementing Directive No. 05-CT/TW, it has brought a new spirit, determination and motivation for the defence and development of Vietnam. Ethics, lifestyle, working style and methods, and disciplinary awareness  among  cadres and party members have been improved. Ho Chi Minh's thought, morality and lifestyle on perserverance towards the goals and revolutionary ideals, loyalty to the country, dedication to the people, love for compatriots and comrades; diligence , thrift, integrity, public-spiritedness and impartiality  anti- individualism,... have been deeply imbued, studied and practiced. This is to show Vietnam’s political responsibility and deep affection for Vietnamese beloved Uncle Ho.  

Promoting the significant achievements in the past 5 years, Vietnam needs to continue to raise awareness of cadres, party members and the public about the great value of Ho Chi Minh’s thought, morality and lifestyle and effectively implement the Resolution of the 13th Party Congress to motivate people to fulfill all tasks. All Party member must study and learn from Uncle Ho to hone bravery, intelligence, capability and prestige and prove himself in leadership roles. It is necessary to regularly educate cadres and party members, especially the young generation, on Uncle Ho’s ideals and moral standards. Full awareness of his ideology is the first and foremost factor to making it become part of each comittee, organization and individual.

Studying and learning from Uncle Ho requires Vietnam to make efforts to successfully construct and perfect socialist rule of law state of the people, by the people, for the people, and led by the Party. This requires transparent, effective and feasible legal system, a government of integrity and action , a disciplined, professional, transparent and modernized public administration. In the coming period, the construction and perfection of the socialist rule of law state must be considered as a key task in renewing the political system, ranging from building regulatory framework, improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the political system and state agencies, controlling the State’s power, respecting and protecting human rights, citizens' rights, and so on, to building a contingent of cadres and civil servants who are talented, ethical, and charismatic. The State must fully institutionalize the guildlines of the Party and the will of the people; create a legal institutional environment to protect human rights and citizens' rights; promote the democratic rights of all organizations and citizens in daily life; uphold the rule of law to ensure every citizen’s compliance with laws. All actions of state agencies from central to grassroots levels must derive from the interests of the people and the country; A due consideration should be given to the effective control of state power, the fight against corruption, bureaucracy and any other corrupt behavior. It is also vital to build professional cadres and civil servants who put their heart and soul into work. Studying and learning from Uncle Ho must be closely associated with the implementation of political tasks of each locality, agency and unit; Great importance should be attached to building a strong Party, improving the effectiveness and efficiency of authorities at all levels, strengthening and consolidating the great national unity bloc, promoting the mastery right of the people, effectively implementing key tasks, focusing on breakthrough stages, and removing any barriers to progess, stepping up the patriotic emulation movement, spreading good deeds in society and combating bureaucracy and corruption, apply severe penalties to deter crimes and ensure self-discipline and compliance with laws.

The purpose of studying and learning from Uncle Ho is to fulfill the responsibility of setting an example of cadres and party members, especially the heads of Party committees, organizations and agencies. Good examples from leaders are reflected in  pioneering in every task, being ready to shoulder all difficulties and hardships, daring to think, to do, to make breakthroughs and to take responsibility, avoiding indifference and stagnation in the completion of duties and tasks, avoiding difficult jobs, indifference, insensitivity to people's frustrations, stagnation in the performance of assigned duties and tasks. Leaders can also set examples of ethics, thrift, integrity, impartiality, his fight for human rights, giving wholehearted effort in work and establishing a close-knit relationship with the people. It is necessary to acknowledge the excellent examples, and reward them so that they truly become typical examples for others to learn and follow.


President Ho Chi Minh left Vietnamese Party and people a precious ideological legacy, a moral example, a beautiful style and a brilliant Ho Chi Minh era. Studying and learning from Ho Chi Minh's thought, morality and style requires each party committee, organization and member to raise their awareness and self-discipline on all three contents: studying, following Uncle Ho and setting examples. Seriously studying and learning from Uncle Ho, cadres and Party members equip themselves with a practical and effective method of cultivation and training to fulfill their assigned roles and responsibilities, and meet the Party and the people’s expectations./.


(1) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2011, Vol. 4, p. 187

(2) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, ibid., Vol. 10, p. 378

(3) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, ibid., Vol. 4, p. 65

(4) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, ibid., Vol.13, p. 438

(5) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, ibid., Vol. 5, p. 81

(6) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, ibid., Vol. 5, p. 256

(7) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, ibid., Vol. 1, p. 284

(8) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, ibid., Vol. 6, p. 16

This article was published in the Communist Review No. 967 (June 2021)