The Bloated Bureaucracy of Vietnam

  Before we dive into the discussion of the bureaucracy which chokes Vietnam like a boa constrictor, it would be useful for us to define “bureaucracy”. Many Communists throw the word around but do not know what it means. We take our definition from Alexandra Kollontai. Writing for the Workers Opposition, she states: “ Bureaucracy is a direct negation of mass self-activity. [...] Restrictions on initiative are imposed, not only in regard to the activity of the non-party masses [...] The initiative of Party members themselves is restricted. Every independent attempt, every new thought that passes through the censorship of our centre, is considered as ‘heresy’, as a violation of Party discipline, as an attempt to infringe on the prerogatives of the centre, which must ‘foresee’ everything and ‘decree’ everything and anything. If anything is not decreed one must wait, for the time will come when the centre at its leisure will decree. Only then, and within sharply restricted limits, will one

Interview With A Vietnamese Anarchist

We've recently had the opportunity to interview a Vietnamese Anarchist. Because Vietnam is a police state, we thought it would be best to not ask them too many questions which may be used by the State to incriminate them. Apologies in advance. If you would like to see something specific about Vietnam, please email us. Q: For our readers who are unfamiliar with the philosophy, could you explain what Anarchism is? A: Anarchism is an ideal where the autonomy of the individual is of most importance. Q: What methods of change are preferred by Anarchists? Could there be ballot-box Anarchism? A: Anarchism requires revolution, it's impossible to destroy societal hierarchical classes by submitting yourself to the game of the powerful. Q: And for social organization, how would society look if it was anarchist? A: I think there will be organizations within local communes, which will cooperate together on the basis of mutual assistance and free association. Q: What or who would you say was

On Third World Struggles

 [Original article by Ngo Van Xuyet.] What does “national liberation” mean for workers and peasants? The imperialist powers speak of “the right of peoples to self-determination,” and this phrase is adopted by the parties striving for power in colonial and semicolonial countries. We propose to banish the word “people” from our vocabulary: it implies an equality of right between the exploiting classes and the exploited masses. Who “selfdetermines” whom in the new national “peasant” states? In countries within the Western sphere of influence, national independence hands power over to the local bourgeoisie, which exploits the proletariat, and to the landowning class, which exploits the peasantry; in countries within the so-called “Communist” bloc, the state-capitalist bureaucracy exploits proletariat and peasantry alike. For workers and peasants, national liberation means nothing more than a change of masters. Needless to say, in countries like India, where imperialism has handed power ove

Lessons From Vietnam

  The 1930s-1940s proved to be a period of intense social upheaval and proletarian action in colonial Vietnam. Faced with the Stalinist class-collaborationists of the Viet Minh, and the colonial empire of France, the proletariat in Vietnam tried to forge its own communist path. Proletarian elements grouped around the League of Internationalist Communists tried to push this path along, and help the proletariat realize it’s force as a distinct class. Although the struggle ended in victory for the bourgeoisie, and the League had most of its members liquidated by the Viet Minh, drawing lessons from the period is still crucial. That is what we have set out to do in this piece. The Proletariat as the Revolutionary Class The most immediate lesson one can draw from the period is that the proletariat is the only revolutionary class in the capitalist epoch. It was the industrial and rural parts of the proletariat which formed the embryos of a dictatorship of the proletariat. Notable among these

Vietnam’s Bourgeois Mythology

  [note: The mythology in question here is unrelated to the Sorelian conception of myth.] The most revered figure in Vietnamese politics is the guerilla fighter. The guerilla fighter, with their conical hat and second-hand firearm, is an idol of the nation, but one who is horribly disfigured. Rather than the nationalist republican they were, the guerilla is presented as a mystical proletarian partisan who, with their comrades, fought the forces of world capital itself.  In fact the fighter, given their role in Vietnamese conflicts, is propped up as the basis for Vietnam itself. They are given festivals, ceremonies, processions, and museums innumerable.[1][2] And their politics, thoroughly maimed and separated from them, are propped up as the basis for Vietnam’s politics. Like the creation myths of old, the fighter is made the personal creator of the nation, and so the characteristics of the creator are passed down to creation. In this way a link is forged between the fighter and Vietna

Brifly on the Land Reform Program in Vietnam, 1953-1956

As we have looked at previously, the “Communist” Party of Vietnam has a plentiful history of being non-communist. An often overlooked dimension of this, which we will attempt to cover briefly in this piece, was the Land Reform Program (henceforth referred to as the LRP) which lasted from 1953-1956 in what was then the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (“North Vietnam”). Before we begin, it is important to dispel illusions about the LRP perpetuated by reactionary forces, both red and white. Firstly, the Program was not a genocidal blood bath. Claims like these are backed up by “evidence” originating in imperialist institutions from anti-communist authors. A notable example is one Hoang Van Chi, the author of the book From Colonialism to Communism , who was credited by C.I.A. agent George Carver as being a “cadre” of the Viet Minh. Chi was never in the Viet Minh, although he was a part of the Ministry of Information in South Vietnam under the Diem dictatorship. Chi was also funded by the Co

Grab Workers Strike in Vietnam

  It is no secret that capital has permeated every level of society in Vietnam. But now the contradictions of capitalism are starting to show once again. And resistance is being made manifest through the strike. Although the resistance is not great, no struggle must be discarded, especially not the one Vietnam is faced with now. Hundreds of proletarians working for the ride hailing service Grab have gone on strike recently, following a proposal by Grab to institute a new fee plan. Said fee plan would increase the percentage of tips that Grab could take from it’s drivers - the “take rate” - from 20% to 30%. The new plan would also increase the fee for Grab’s car and bike services by 5% to 6%. The plan, indicative of the bourgeoisie’s tendency to shrink wages, was proposed in response to a new tax plan by the Vietnamese government. Although those striking are all drivers for Grab, this new plan has naturally angered those who use the service, who will be forced to pay more.[1] This is no