FOREWORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Lenin and Stalin On Colonial Revolution - Reply to An Independent Marxist. . .
NOMENCLATURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
A SHORT CHRONOLOGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
2. ENTRY OF THE FRENCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
3. THE CLASS FORCES OF VIETNAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Early Career of Nguyen Ai Quoc-Ho Chi Minh
The Thanh Nien - Proto Nationalist - Communist Organisation
The Destruction of The Purely Revolutionary Democratic Forces
6. THE MARXIST-LENINIST VIEW OF THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION; IS DISTORTED BY REVISIONISTS AT 1928 COMINTERN CONGRESS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
7. THE WORKER'S MOVEMENT IN VIETNAM AND THE FORMATION OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Formation Of A Party
The Rectification Insisted Upon by the Comintern
The Comintern Swings to the Right Line of the Seventh Congress
9. THE REVISIONISTS ENCOURAGE THE BOURGEOISIE - THE DISSOLUTION OF THE ICP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
10. FRENCH RULE ONCE AGAIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
11. THE 1953 GENEVA CONFERENCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
12. THE PARTITION OF VIETNAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
15. THE STAGE OF ARMED REVOLT AGAINST THE SOUTHERN COMPRADOR STATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . 81
17. PRESENT DAY VIETNAM BEHOLDEN TO THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87
CONCLUSIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
REFERENCES & BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

                        Foreword :
    As the main leader, who guided the struggle of Vietnamese peasants and workers to achieve national liberation from foreign imperialism, Ho Chi Minh occupies a unique place in history. The national liberation was achieved in several gigantic steps - first against a French rule; then against a combined French and Japanese imperialism; then against French imperialism again; and then finally against USA imperialism. These heroic feats are in no doubt, and both Ho Chi Minh and the Indochinese Communist party are deservedly honored as twentieth century nationalist warriors against imperialism. But, questions are often raised about Vietnamese Communism. The following views are commonly raised : The most outstanding feature in the growth of Vietnamese communism has been its internal fusion of two separate movements: an anti-imperialist movement integral with Vietnamese patriotic traditions, and a Communist movement..The Janus face of Vietnamese Communism has been the central difficulty of those who seek to identify its nature.
Huynh Kim Khanh "Vietnamese Communism 1925-1945"; Ithaca USA; 1982; p.20.
    This Janus face, of Vietnamese communism, is described by that same scholar, as being a graft of Marxism-Leninism placed onto a scion of Vietnamese nationalism. This is offered as an explanation of the Indochinese Communist party policies. How should Marxist-Leninists see Vietnamese Communism? Certainly if the prostitution that is now rampant in today's Ho Chi Minh City, is to stand for Socialism - then Marxists-Leninists have a duty to explain how it can!

    Despite attempts to obfuscate and complicate matters by revisionist and pseudo-academics, Marxism-Leninism stands by a clear set of principles, that are the product of the theory and practice of revolutionary battles by the world's proletariat and peasantry. Can it be simply "grafted" upon something else, and remain Marxism-Leninism? Of course Marxist-Leninists are aware that to put its principles into practice, Marxist-Leninists must be flexible and apply the principles according to the country in which they are practicing. Stalin endorsed this view just as did Lenin.

"The nationally peculiar and nationally specific features in each separate country must unfailingly be taken into account by the Comintern when drawing up guiding directives for the working-class movement of the country concerned".
J.V. Stalin:  'Notes  on  Contemporary Themes' 1927,  in: 'Works', Volume 9; Moscow; 1954; p. 337
    But as to a simple graft, of Marxism-Leninism, onto a stock of Nationalism - definitely is unlikely to yield a Marxist-Leninist plant. What plant came of the ICP policies?

    The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) was founded in northern Vietnam in September 1948; and then in 1953, the imperialists partitioned the states of North and South Vietnam at the Geneva Peace Conference. These were unified into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1976. But, the nature of Vietnamese communism and its state has puzzled many. We are not aware of any detailed Marxist-Leninist analysis of Ho Chi Minh, and his legacy in modern Vietnam. Some brief analyses provided by Marxist-Leninists, suggest that Vietnam did not, ever proceed beyond the first stage of the national democratic revolution. This was claimed by the Communist League of Britain. They depicted Ho Chi Minh's close comrade-in-arms, Le Duan, (General/First Secretary of the Vietnamese Workers Party (now the Vietnamese Communist Party) from 1960 until his death in 1986, as pursuing an essentially Maoist line :

"Leduanism follows Maoism in departing from Marxism-Leninism in putting forward the programme of the peaceful transition to "socialism" through state capitalism, by the formation in cooperation with the national capitalists, of joint state-private enterprises. Participation in these according to LeDuanism, remouds the national capitalist ideologically into workers", : "Our Party guided the workers and peasants to establish a national united front with the bourgeoisie". Le  Duan:  'Leninism and Vietnam's Revolution',  in:  'On the Socialist Revolution in Vietnam', Volume 1; Hanoi; 1965; p. 34     The Communist League also pointed out the programme of peaceful transition into socialismvia the process of forming joint stock companies with capitalists was not a Marxist-Leninist principle : "Leduanism also follows Maoism in putting forward the programme of the peaceful transition to 'socialism' through state capitalism, by the formation, in cooperation with the national capitalists, of joint state-private enterprises. Participation in these, according to Leduanism, remoulds the national capitalists ideologically into workers",

"The national bourgeoisie.. are willing to accept socialist transformation, therefore our Party's policy is peacefully to transform capitalist trade and industry, gradually to transform capitalist ownership into socialist ownership, through State capitalism, and to transform the bourgeois from exploiters into genuine workers through ideological education and participation in productive labour".
Le Duan.: ibid., Volume 2; p. 39.

    We present a more detailed analysis of Ho Chi Minh and the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP), which supports this overall analysis. The starting point for Marxist-Leninists, must be the attitude to the revolution in colonial and semi-colonial countries. In this point at least, we are in full agreement with Ho Chi Minh himself, who claimed that he became an adherent of the Third International, but only after understanding Lenin's positions in the Theses on Colonial and semi-colonial countries. 
    In previous issues, we have analyzed the Marxist-Leninist approach to colonial and semi-colonial countries in considerable detail, and we refer the interested reader to those issues. Marxist-Leninists hold that the liberation of colonial and semi-colonial countries, requires a two stage revolution, passing from the stage of national liberation (The National Democratic Revolution) through to the second stage - the Socialist revolution. This passage from one stage to the next must be uninterrupted, without a Chinese Wall, between the two parts. This overall strategy ensures the maximum opportunity for forming all potential and necessary allies in this massive task:     As Stalin states, after the victory of the first stage, the proletariat, having mobilized the largest force possible, should then be able to :     Indeed unless that happens, the revolution will be crushed, says Stalin:    Most Marxist-Leninists agree, although still, some Marxist-Leninists, cannot accept the full implications of these remarks. Those of a Maoist persuasion, refuse to accept the implications, because of their adherence for the revisionist so called New Democracy theory of Mao Ze Dong. The revisionist theory of New Democracy, is discussed at length elsewhere. [See Joint Statement Alliance, Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (Turkey); Communist League:'Upon Unity & Ideology -An Open Letter to Ludo Martens;' London; 1996. At: ]

    Two other aspects however, demand some limited specific attention here.
    Firstly : Is a revolution possible without a national bourgeoisie, or if there is only a small
    Secondly : Are nations only formed out of feudalism, and did Stalin try to revise the concept of the Asiatic Mode of Production?

    A self proclaimed Independent Marxist- Ken Post - has produced a magnum opus in three volumes on the Vietnamese movements, a most useful source. He takes the view that in Vietnam, at best there was a very small national bourgeoisie. In this he is in agreement with many others. But he goes so far as to say it was non-existent, although he himself, is inconsistent here. Nonetheless he makes the following valid point: As for the national bourgeoisie', the basic question in Viet Nam was whether such a thing really existed at all, in the sense in which such a class force in India gave strength to the Congress Party and in China to the Kuomintang (KMT).
Post K: "Revolution, Socialism, &  nationalism In Vietnam"; Vol 1; London; 1989; p. 57.
    It is true that the Vietnamese national bourgeoisie was small, and it is true that it was not comparable to the forces of either the KMT or Congress. Ho Chi Minh, reflects this point, when he underscores the small size of the working class, stating:     That the working class was small was admitted in the printed views of one of the charter groups of the Indochinese Communist Party - Thanh Nien - under Ho Chi Minh's leadership: It would be useless if not harmful: To Preach the revolution in the name of democratic or Communist principles, for the Vietnamese people have not yet received any political education.
And Vietnamese society:
Did not yet possess a true capitalist class..
If anything Vietnamese society was:
Made up of heterogenous classes, all of whom were deprived by the French administration of their rights and revenue.
Vietnam was not yet ready for a class revolution for:
The actual circumstances oblige the Vietnamese people to foster the national revolution and not a class revolution. That is why it is a duty of the rich, the poor, the mandarins, and the members of the public to unite with one another in order to assure the triumph of the national revolution.
Thanh Nien: 24 October 1927; Cited by Khanh Ibid; p. 86.
    In reality, where the national bourgeoisie is weak, this assists the workers and the peasantry who are organised, in moving from the first stage of the national liberation to the second stage uninterruptedly. The actual size and nature of the Vietnamese national bourgeoisie is dealt with below. But here we address the root question for colonial type countries.
    These are: What is a Marxist-Leninist party to do when there is a very small national bourgeoisie? And: What is the party to do if there is a very small working class?

    Post draws attention to how troubled Frederick Engels was, upon the correct strategy in such colonial type countries. He cites Engels' hesitations as to whether these countries can achieve socialism in the absence of aid from the more developed countries :

Colonial possessions like India and Algeria might at best achieve a nationalist revolution, but then as semi-civilized' countries would have to wait until Europe and North America were reorganized' after socialist revolutions there and then follow in their wake.
F.Engels Letter to Kautsky, 12 September 1882, Cited by Avineieri ed 1969; p.473.
[EDITOR May 2002: Engels does make this point, but in more careful detail as the translation in the Works shows: "Marx & Engels Collected Works; Volume 46; 1992; Moscow; pp.320 323.
    But the full impact of the revolutionary movements against imperialisms, was yet to come. It was for that reason that the tactics and strategy for the colonial and semi-colonial countries could only be properly worked out by later leaders, and not by Engels. In fact, both Lenin and Stalin considered the cases of the very under-developed countries carefully. They recognised the different levels of development across the colonial world. Lenin knew of course, there were countries where the industrial proletariat is weak, as Stalin states:     Lenin's Report and Theses at the 2nd congress of the CI advised that in the absence of a significant working class in the backward colonial-type countries, the leadership of the national democratic revolution by the working class should be exercised by the working class of the developed capitalist countries and in particular by the working class of Soviet Russia. In that case a capitalist stage may be avoided: If the revolutionary victorious proletariat carries on systematic propaganda among them, and if the Soviet governments render them all the assistance they possibly can.. the backward countries may pass to the Soviet system, and after passing through a definite stage of development to Communism without passing though the capitalist stage of development.  Lenin. Report on the Commission. Ibid, Vol 10: p.243.

If the victorious revolutionary proletariat conducts systematic propaganda among them and the Soviet government come to the aid with all the means at their disposal-in the event it will be mistaken to assume that the backward peoples must inevitably go through the capitalist stage of development. Not only should we create independent contingents of fighter and party organisations in the colonies and the backward countries, not only at once to launch propaganda for the organisation of peasants' Soviets and strive to adapt them to the pre-capitalists conditions, but the Communist International should advance the proposition, with the appropriate theoretical grounding that with the aid of the proletariat of the advanced countries, backward countries can go over to the Soviet system, and, through certain stages of development to communism, without having to pass through the capitalists stage.
Lenin. Report on the Commission. Ibid, Vol 10: p.243.

    Post will accept this, it seems, when Lenin speaks upon this matter, but not Stalin. Post's attempt to draw a division between Lenin and Stalin on this question, is nonsense. Stalin, in addressing the People's of the East, distinguished in 1925, At least three categories of colonial and dependent countries: Firstly countries like Morocco who have little or not proletariat, and are industrially quite undeveloped. Secondly countries like China and Egypt which are under-developed industries and have a relatively small proletariat. Thirdly countries like India, which are capitalistically more or less developed and have a more or less numerous national proletariat. Clearly all these countries cannot possibly be put on a par with one another.
J.V.Stalin. "Tasks of University of Peoples of East." 1925.  'Works'; Vol 7; Moscow; 1954 p.148.
    What was Stalin's prescription for the first or second type of country, fitting Vietnam? We see that it was not any different from Lenin's: Lasting victory cannot be achieved in the colonial and dependent countries without a real link between the liberation movement in those countries and the proletarian movement in the advanced countries of the West.
Stalin; Ibid; p. 148.
    Obviously when there is no socialist country able to provide aid, the situation becomes extremely serious for such a country. After the fall of the USSR following Stalin's death, only the People's Republic Of Socialist Albania (PRSA) was left. But this was itself in a somewhat embattled and precarious situation, and did not have too many spare resources. It is perfectly in keeping with Lenin and Stalin's views then, that the overwhelming support given by the progressive peoples and proletariat of the world, did in fact, assist the successful national liberation of Vietnam during the protracted war. But this still left the problem of the transition to socialism un-resolved and un-assisted, and we would argue, in Vietnam this was never performed.     Another series of questions are raised by Ken Post, namely is there any possibility of a National Democratic Revolution, even taking place in a state where there is no feudal mode of production? Post states that for Stalin and Marxist Leninist Orthodoxy, that it was impossible to form nations under feudalism or its equivalent. The self-styled Independent Marxist' Ken Post, makes the usual case - Stalin creates an orthodoxy that stifles reality and controls all corners of the Communist International.

    Post first disputes that Vietnam was ever a feudal state at all - he argues that it was a central state apparatus under Asiatic Mode. This allows him to set up a Straw Stalinto attack, who maintains that nations can only arise when capitalists attack feudalism. For his attack on a straw Stalin, Post wants a Stalin to somehow stand alone and separate from Lenin.

    Post wants the impression that Stalin countermanded any possible evolution of a nation from a feudal' or centralised state of the type evolved under the Asiatic Mode of Production. Post cites Stalin, stating in 1929, that the struggle of capitalists against feudalism, was necessary for nations to arise:

How could nations have arisen and existed before capitalism, in the period of feudalism, when countries where split up into separate independent principalities, which far from being bound together by national ties, emphatically denied the necessity for such ties.
Stalin JVS: "The National Question & Leninism"; Vol 11; Moscow 1954; p.351;
Rendred here as only a partial citation by Post p.87 Volume 1; Ibid.
    But, Independent Marxists must understand that even Stalinists can read. What do we find when we do read? Further examining Post's partial citation, we find that Stalin in the original, has just before Post's partial quote, introduced the term modern nations: Stalin does then, go on, to the quote that Post has given in isolation, as we have cited above. But, following that quote Stalin has this to say: Of course the elements of nationhood - language, territory, common culture etc. - did not fall from the skies but were being formed gradually, even in the pre-capitalist period. But these elements were in a rudimentary state, and at best, were only a potentiality, that is they constituted the possibility of the formation of a nation in the future given certain favorable conditions. The potentiality became a reality only in the period of rising capitalism, with its national market and its economic and cultural centres..
Stalin: "The National Question & Leninism"; Ibid; p. 351.
    So Post is right in stating that Stalin does link, explicitly, the development of capitalism and the modern nation. It is fortunate then, for Marxist-Leninists, or Stalinists (and perhaps even for Independent Marxists), that Stalin goes on to quote the position of Lenin; in What The Friends of the People Are, And How They Fight The Social-Democrats.
    Says Lenin against Mr Mikhailovsky: ..The actual merging of all such regions, lands and principalities into a single whole. This merging.. was brought about by the growth of exchange between regions, the gradual growth of commodity circulation, and the concentration of the small local markets into a single, all Russian market. Since the leaders of this process were the merchant capitalists, the creation of these national ties was nothing but the creation of bourgeois ties.
Cited by Stalin In Ibid; p. 352.
    That Post himself understands that there may be a difference between a modern nation using Stalin's terminology, and other forms of national consciousness; is seen in his own assessment of Vietnam prior to the entry of French imperialism: The final product of many centuries of pre-colonial Vietnamese history may therefore be seen as a Khinh nation with a centralised state, but not as a Vietnamese nation state.
Post Ibid Volume 1; p. 104.
    Post is anxious to argue that the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP), conformed to a vague
Marxist-Leninist orthodoxy, when it did not use the formulation chosen/favoured by Post; ie that the essential transition of the Kinh pre-nation, to a Kinh nationhad already occurred, but within the Asiatic mode. Post also argues that since the Vietnamese national bourgeoisie did not exist, the ICP had to find a "patriotic" vehicle, based in the "masses": Almost timeless patriotic spirit, which in class terms was in the custody of the masses, rather than that of a national bourgeoisie, and which could also be dissociated from the old regime.  Post Ibid Volume 1; p. 104.     He also states that this vehicle was in the mass custody, of the peasantry and not the working class: Marxist-Leninist orthodoxy led the (ICP) to seek a national sentiment which could serve as a major driving force in the predicated first stage of the revolution, and also as a base for this among the peasantry.
Post Ibid Vol 1; p. 107.
    Post further states that, as according to him, "there was no Vietnamese bourgeoisie", the ICP were applying a meaningless theory anyway. Besides he says, "there was never was any feudalism". And thus he says, there cannot be any struggle against feudal remnants. The only potential theoretical solution to all these problems, says Post, was one that was forbidden by Marxist-Leninist orthodoxy. This solution was that of the Asiatic Mode of Production:     What exactly is Post's point here? Post wishes to assert that "Stalin foisted an incorrect position upon the ICP", namely that there was a national capitalist class; and that therefore the first stage of the revolution had to deal with remnants of feudalism. He also wishes to smear Stalin as having fostered a cover-up of Marx's views on Oriental Despotism. Post arrives at these conclusions from this chain of following logic: a) Since, he asserts, there was no national capitalist class in Vietnam, there could not be a first stage of national liberation struggle, in alliance with the National capitalist class;

b) He asserts, that Stalin's dogmatism foisted the Vietnamese Communist Party with the incorrect view that there had to be such a class;

c) Post then asserts that to buttress this incorrect view, Stalin insisted that there had to be a remnant of feudalism- and that this was equally incorrect:

It seems almost certain that the ICP's First Central Committee in 1930 followed Stalin's May 1927 specification of China as dominated by survivals of feudalism', the exact phrase (di kich phong kiem) used of his own country by Tran Phu.
Post Ibid; p. 87.
d) Finally Post asserts that this was all linked to Stalin expunging' the possibility of an alternative to feudalism, because he denied Marx's solution for the existence of a centralised state in the East that bore features dissimilar to that of feudalism , the Asiatic Mode of production. In short, according to Ken Post, Stalin had :
In 1939, in his Dialectical and Historical Materialism, expunged the Asiatic mode from the armoury of Marxist theoretical concepts.
Post Ibid; p. 87.
    Incidentally, Post himself, draws back from characterising the pre-colonial history of Vietnam: I do not intend to enter into any debate concerning the appropriate label to place on pre-colonial Viet Nam.
Post Ibid; p.87.
    It does seem a little strange, that the rooster which has crowed so loudly, then goes back to sleep! So be it. We point out that Stalin in Dialectical And Historical Materialism hardly expunges the mode of Asiatic production! He simply says, (and it is appropriately short, in a small section that comprises a twenty five page introduction to this topic, that Post might think needed 25 volumes perhaps), that there are : Five main (The emphasis is in the original-ed) types of relations of production are known to history: Primitive communal, slave, feudal, capitalist and Socialist.
Stalin: "History of the CPSU(B)" - Chapter Four part 2; Moscow; 1939; p. 123.
    Is this really disputable? Given the overwhelming sway over the entire world social and political and economic formations that the feudal to capitalist transition of the Western world, has played - how can this be sensibly disputed? Elsewhere and hopefully in the near future, we will reply more fully on the subject of the Asiatic Mode, both to Post and the other similar assertions made by others, including Karl A. Wittfogel. ( Wittfogel K.A. "Oriental Despotism"; New York; 1981 ).
[Since Alliance 27 was published, we have web-published "Oriental Depsotism", a part of "The Development of Society" by Communist League: at:  ].
    But we will here only comment on three matters, in relation to Post's use of the Asiatic Mode of Production in this context.

    Firstly, we must note that Post is himself content to assert that the structure of a centralized stategave:

An element of continuity in Vietnamese history which had played a part in fostering a sense of national identity..
Post; Ibid; Page 87.
    That being the case, it should be adequate, to remind the Independent Marxist (Independent - of what we wonder?), that Stalin in his original work on the nation had already pointed out that in the East, that it was possible to form states that were multi-national, by other routes than via the standard feudal to capitalist route. In reality, these states resemble those of the Eastern bureaucracies. Stalin here is mainly talking of Eastern Europe, including Russia - a state that both he and Lenin had used, as examples of Oriental Despotism. Stalin described them as follows, as having arisen from a: Historically formed, powerful and well organized aristocratic military bureaucracy... That is how matters proceeded in the East. This special method of formation of states could only take place where feudalism had not yet been eliminated, where capitalism was feebly developed, where the nationalities which had been forced into the background had not yet been able to consolidate themselves economically into integral nations.
Stalin: "Marxism & The National Question"; Vol 2; p. 314 Moscow; 1946.
    Such a state certainly existed in pre-colonial Vietnam, and Post himself cites data to that effect. It is true that Stalin uses the term above, feudal. It is further true, as Post remarks, that the term feudal remnantswas used by Stalin in relation to China (See our third point below).

    The second comment is that of a historical correction. It is true that this term and concept of Asiatic Mode Of Productionwas contested in the 1930's, but it was not contested by Stalin. It was contested by Godes and Yolk, in an ideological debate in the 1930's. These hidden revisionists argued, that it was immaterial whether the Asiatic mode of production existed in reality, it was necessary it repudiate it for political reasons:

YOLK : I want to warn against this theory. What is really important is to unmask it politically, and not to establish the pure truth', as to whether the Asiatic mode of Production' existed or not.
"Dikussia ob Asiatskom sposobe proizdostvo"; Moscow/Leningrad; 1931; p.89
    The rather remarkable political reasons given, were that it was objectionable to Asian bourgeois nationalists, and so tended to alienate the latter from the Asian communist parties  (Ibid; p.34). But such a denial of the historical materialist approach to state formation adopted by revisionists such as Yolk, is not equivalent to a demonstration that Stalin was attempting to revise Marx. Given everything that Stalin had already written upon the bourgeois nationalists movements, (eg They are bound to renege, they are weak etc) it is hardly credible that Stalin would have used such reasoning.

    Those that cannot understand that a hidden class battle, was going on inside the USSR, after the open defeat of Trotskyism and Bukharinism are not able to extricate themselves from simple errors. The easiest thing for them to do, is to equate all that happened in the international movement and the USSR as Stalin's will! This speculative type of comment, is routinely made without any evidence whatsoever. It is simply the bourgeois sanctification of dumping upon Stalin, that allows this shallow-ness to pass as historical analysis.

    The third and final comment is that, we contend that the term feudal remnants replaced the more correct form of remnants of Oriental Despotismfor one main reason. Once imperialism entered the scene - all prior bets as to the paths of development were off. The introduction of imperialism short-circuited the future development and introduced elements of feudalism, as known from the form it took in Western Europe, in the form of rural comprador landlords with private property.

    Erudite Independent Marxistssuch as Ken Post, doubtless do not need reminding, that the sine qua non of Oriental Despotism, is no or limited private property in land. As Marx put it in correspondence to Engels, just as he and Engels were together re-formulating the concept of the Asiatic Mode of Production from earlier less systematic observations:

Bernier rightly sees all the manifestations of the East - he refers to Turkey, Persia, Hindustan - as having a common basis - namely the absence of private landed property. This is the real key, even to the Eastern heaven
Marx To Engels Letter 2 June 1853. Collected Works, Volume39; Moscow 1983; pp 333-334.
    But one of the first things the imperialists did to stabilise their rule, after forcing and effecting their military entry into the future colonies, was to establish a land tenure loosely based on their feudal' notions. There is good evidence that once having arrived in India for example, the British introduced a land tenure system alien to the original mode of production. The same happened in Vietnam, under the French:     Moreover the rapid penetration of imperialism, ensured that the basis of production was that of commodity and market relations. The economy was rapidly geared to the classic goal of imperialism, the production for export of raw materials and foodstuffs: This development of new classes and class relationship was associated with the transformation of an ancient pre-colonial economy producing mainly for domestic consumption into a colonial economy geared to production for export.. The basic export was rice.. In pre-colonial Vietnam the export of rice was forbidden... From the earliest days of the colonial era western Cochin China began to be developed as a region producing rice for the world market - 57,000 tons exported in 1860; 3000,000 in 1880; 1,200,000 in 1920; 1,900,000 in 1928... During this period the level of rice consumption of the Vietnamese actually fell."
Hodgkin Ibid; p.178-9.
    Is Post really denying for instance that things such as corvee (forced labour) and such things, as still existed under French rule in Vietnam, are not feudal remnants? He himself cites facts like: The landlords extracted half or more of the crops each year from their tenants, in some areas 70% , plus cash payments, unpaid labour ad gifts on such occasions as the Landlord's birthday or Tet (The Lunar New Year). They and the rich peasants also acted as moneylenders .... etc etc!"
Post Ibid; p. 32.
    That Stalin was drawing on correct Marxist theory in this question, can be shown by further reference to the fountain head of Marxism - Marx himself. Thus in discussing the impact of British imperialism upon the Indian Oriental Despotic state, Marx everywhere elaborates the erosive nature of imperialism upon prior state structures and villages. He talks of the introduction of the material foundations of Western society. We will only give one citation to illustrate this, though plenty more can be found: England has to fulfill a double mission in India: one destructive, the other regenerating- the annihilation of old Asiatic society and the laying of the material foundations of Western society in Asia."
Marx: "Future Results Of British Rule In India"; Marx-Engels "Articles On Britain" Moscow;1971; p.198
    This ensured that there was a capitalist ethos that developed, and this with time would lead to a small national capitalist class - some of it arising from transformed landowners; and this all resulted in a working class. There were still feudal remnants married to oriental despotic remnants - a marriage hosted by foreign imperialists.

    To quickly buttress the general view here, we will show that Post himself offers further data that supports this general analysis. We will repeat some of this in the main text, but it is convenient to cite this here.

The expansion of capitalism after the First World War inevitably meant a growth of the working class which it had created ... The figure always given is 221,000 for Indochina as a whole in 1929... What must be clearly understood is that only those employed in European - owned establishments were counted.. Excluded were the many thousands more who worked in Chinese and Vietnamese establishments and plantations, the dockworkers and masses of coolies who carried goods in all market places, construction workers and any other sort of daily paid labour.. A figure of 1 million might be more appropriate."
Post K., Ibid; p. 28.
B). A vigorous commodity market had been established with the result that there was a true money based economy:
  Vietnamese underdevelopment was determined above all by the 4,170 francs invested by private enterprises between 1924 & 1938, compared with only 490 million from 1888 to 1918. Much of this went into mining and industry .. but rubber was also a major concern... Mining was a major sphere of capital investment after the First world war. Capital also went into manufacturing which basically meant agricultural processing, above all rice-milling in Saigon and production of consumer goods such as textiles, sugar and matches. The biggest single such enterprise was the cotton mill at Nam Dinh at Tonkin employing at peak periods as many as 5,000 workers.
Post K; Ibid; p. 25-26
C). The penetration of finance capital was wide ranging:
  Formed in 1875, largely with capital from the giant Banque de Pais et du Pays Bas, the Bank of Indochina, was given the power to issue currency for the new Indochina and was thus tied closely to the colonial state apparatus... This became even clearer in 1931, when the Bank's monopoly over the issuing of currency was renewed for another 25 years while at the same time the French state took up 20% of its shares. By the late 1930's the Bank controlled a formidable range of enterprises in Indochina, particularly in manufacturing but also in transport, finance and mining.. It was not the only big financial house in Indochina."
Post Ibid; p. 27.
D). There was a large landowning class who spread out from this base and into the liberal professions and trade and industry. They were at times in contradiction with, even - the Bank of Indochina:
  The big landowners of Indochina.. Represented the only sphere in which a substantial number of Vietnamese could expect to become really rich... rice from Cochin China was the biggest part of the Indochinese exports reaching a peak of 2,390,000 metric tonnes in 1928.. From this substantial material basis the Cochin China landed interests could even resist the Bank of Indochina, as they did when the revaluation of the piastere in May 1931 ... threatened to result in a decline of trade with other Asian countries. Moreover, from it they also spread to the liberal' professions and to some extent into trade and manufacturing."
Post Ibid; p. 28.
    All this is adequate to suggest that a national capitalist class, even if weak was arising. We argue that there was a small - but a definite national capitalist class - which had arisen by virtue of the contact with imperialism, by virtue of the natural development of commodity production given the presence of imperial France.

    Post is clearly driven to hasty conclusions, only upon an automatic repugnance of any scientific consideration of the Stalin era, as others have sought to provide. Post makes clear his admiration for the Vietnamese struggle in several places:

The Vietnamese revolution (is) the single most dramatic manifestation of the world liberation movement."
Post K. Volume 3: "Socialism in Half a Country"; London; 1989; p.1.
    His general intent is to defend Vietnam, and to blame Stalin, for any errors that have occurred in Vietnam. For the bourgeois world, an Independent Marxist must indeed be... independent of the label - and - potential stigma of - Stalinist'. Yet we recommend Post gets to a good library where the relevant volumes of Stalin may not yet have been burnt. His admiration for the Vietnamese revolution, may then have a more practical value for the Vietnamese people.

    Following Ho Chi Minh's own usage of his many various names, we will refer to :     Furthermore, we may refer to either Indochina and Vietnam as interchangeable up to 1945. 208-111 BC Kingdom of Au Lac, conquered by Chinese warlords.
Repeated invasions lead to long periods of Chinese and Mongol rule. But repeatedly they are fought off by rebellions:
39-43 AD The Trung Sisters Rebellion,
246 The Lady Trieu Rebellion;
1287-88 The General Tran Hung Dao Rebellion
10th century AD Vietnam-Annam by now known as independent entity of the Kinh people. Centralised Oriental Despotic State established, which is centralised, with village communes, & known as the kingdom of Dai Viet (Great Viet).
1075-77 Definite victory over the Chinese emperor, who fails to re-establish rule.
1075 Chinese system of exams for a Confucian bureaucracy.
1042 Canal and dyke building introduced into the code of laws.
1628-1788 Vietnam divided in the Secession period into two halves.
1788-1802 Tay Son Revolt. Led by Nguyen brothers, of whom one becomes Emperor briefly.
1787 Nguyen Anh assisted by French under terms of Treaty of Versailles : French and Vietnamese monarchy exchange military support for territory. He takes the name Gia Long.
1802 Nguyen Emperor Gia Long re-unites Vietnam into one whole.
1858 French Admiral Fleet bombarded Da Nang, the first major act of aggression by the French against Vietnam.
1859 French invade Cochin China.
1861 Treaty of surrender (Treaty of Saigon) signed by Emperor Tu Duc, following battle of Ky Hoa .
1882 French occupy Tongking.
1884 French occupy Annam, linking Cochin Chian with Tonking, Cambodia (Kymer) and Laos.
1884 Vietnam administratively divided by French into Annam, Tongking and Cochin China.
1885-1888 Rebellion against French of Emperor Ham Nghi; this is the first of the Can Vuong Monarchist rebellions; the second was that of Phan Dinh Phung (1885-1895); the third was of Bai Xay (1885-89) and the last was of De Tham (1890-1913).
1920 Tours congress of French Socialist Party, attended by Nguyen Ai Quoc
April 1925 : The ECCI takes the route of Bolshevisation.
February 1930 Formation by fusion of three groups, of Indochinese Communist Party (ICP); also the Yen Bay Mutiny; & French destruction of the VNQDD.
August 1930 Nghe-Tinh Soviet movement starts. Ends August 1931.
October 1930 First Conference of Vietnamese Communist Party, adopts name Indochinese Communist Party.
April 1931 ICP joins Third International.
1933 Ho Chi Minh goes to Moscow.
July 1935 Seventh World Congress of Comintern.
September 1939 Second World War
November 1939 Sixth Plenum of ICP calls for national liberation revolution. Sets up National United Indochinese Anti-Imperialist Front.
June 1940 Collapse of France
August 1940 Franco-Japanese Treaty.
May 1941 Eight Plenum ICP; Viet Minh founded; Truong Chinh Secretary General.
December 1941 Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.
January-June 1942 Japanese occupy South East Asia and Pacific.
May 1944 Viet Minh prepare for insurrections.
9 March 1945 Japanese coup against French in Vietnam.
May 1945 Ho Chi Minh returns from China.
August 8th 1945 USSR declares war on Japan.
August 14th Surrender of Japan
18th August 1945 Insurrection in Saigon
2nd September 1945 Ho Chi Minh reads Vietnam's Declaration of Independence in Hanoi.
July 1951-July 1953 Talks & Armistice; but war continues.
February 1953 French government contacts DRV delegation via Vietnamese Imperial house.
November 1953 President Ho makes peace overtures via Swedish journalist.
February 1954 USA & USSR & Britain & France announce Geneva meeting: China & involved nations' to settle Korean question and Indochinese conflict.
13 March : Final assault on Dien Bien Phu
April 1954 : Pentagon considers replacing French ground troops.
May 1954 Geneva Talks. DRVN led by Pham Can Dong (Deputy PM & Foreign Minster). July 1954 Cease fire. Denounced by Emperor Bao Dai. Demarcation Zone at 17th Parallel divides Vietnam.
October 1954 French forces leave.
1955 USA aids Saigon government of Ngo Dinh Diem.Diem rejects Geneva & refuses elections in July.
October Diem defeats Bao Dai in referendum & proclaims himself head of Republic of Vietnam.
December Land reforms in North.
1960 J.F.Kennedy takes USA Presidency.
December North Vietnam forms National Liberation Front for south Vietnam (Viet Cong).
1963 November Diem and brother Nhu shot in coup inspired by USA.
Kennedy assassinated. Johnson becomes President.
1964 Tonkin Gulf Incident provocation; extraordinary war powers granted to Johnson by Congress.
1965 February Operation Rolling Thunder : USA blanket bomb North Vietnam.
December US troops reach nearly 200,000.
1967 By December 500,000 troops of USA in Vietnam.
1968 January North Vietnamese launch Tet Offensive.
March Johnson advised by chiefs of staff to negotiate.
November Nixon becomes President.
1969 Paris talks commence.
March Nixon starts secret bombing of Cambodia.
September Ho Chi Minh dies. Le Duan is Secretary of Workers' Party.
November My Lai massacre revealed.
1970 Paris talks - Kissinger and Le Duc Tho
April Invasion of Cambodia;
May Huge demonstrations across USA anti-war; Kent State Massacre by US troops against demonstrators in Ohio.
1972 April Nixon intensifies bombing of North Vietnam;
June The Watergate scandal erupts.
1975 Ho Chi Minh Campaign;
April President Ford calls war finished.
April North Vietnamese forces capture Saigon;
1977 Carter comes to presidency. Pardons 10,000 US Vietnam War draft evaders. Real talks begin with Secretary State Holbrooke.

1. PRE-COLONIAL VIETNAM - TOWARDS AN ORIENTAL DESPOTIC STATE     Ancient Vietnam's history dates back to the earliest rice based cultures from pre-historic times, an assertion possible from bronze and polished stone tool artefacts (Post Ibid p. 82.). But the Kingdom of Au Lac, at an even higher level of development, still could not prevent conquest by Chinese warlords in 208 BC, and further invasions from the Northern Chinese neighbors occurred in 111 BC. But it is a culture that is known as independent, since it developed separately from Chinese rule in about the 10th Century - after approximately 1000 years of rule by China.

    The Kinh people (Forebears of the Viet peoples) had established a centralised state which ruled over a system of village communes. They called their kingdom Dai Viet (Great Viet). Both the features of a central state, and of village communes - were enhanced under Chinese rule. Therefore, it can be stated that Dai Viet developed some of the key features of an Oriental Despotic State : An increased bureaucracy (based on Confucianism), irrigation schemes with flood control techniques and a water economy. In 1075 the Chinese system of exams for the bureaucracy were adopted, and canal and dyke building introduced into the code of laws by 1042.

    But repeated risings against the Chinese rule continued, and were led by such revered figures as the Trung Sisters (39-43 AD) the Lady Trieu (246 AD), and General Tran Hung Dao (1287-88). All these early leaders of the Vietnamese, were later to be invoked by Le Duan, in 1975. These struggles - first against Chinese invaders, and then against the Mongol invasion and occupancy, were to achieve a definite victory when the Chinese emperor could not re-establish in battle, his rule in 1075-77.

    The Kinh rulers proceeded to build a more stable state, and one more clearly Vietnamese as opposed to Chinese. The communally produced rice economy was the basis of the state. By the 14th century, the language had become more clearly distinguished from Chinese, by the adoption of the written form known as nom, a simplification of the Chinese alphabet-character system. All the land belonged to the Emperor, but it was put at the disposal of communes. Through a system of notables, they controlled the use of land through a village council with periodic re-allocation of land. Thus it is possible to say that there was an Oriental Despotic form of land administration and state. The bureaucracy formed a powerful caste within the state, conforming to Confucian principles, and were later described by historians of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam as salaried executives of the existing ruling class.   (Post Ibid; p. 89).

    Repeated wars with neighboring states - the Cham Kingdom, resulted in a dynastic succession to the throne, by the Ly usurper to the Emperor. But following this the Ming Chinese dynasty invaded and occupied then Vietnam from 1407-1428. This was resisted by Loi Le, whose success in throwing off Chinese rule led to a dynasty lasting 350 years. As Emperor Le Thai To, his edicts were promulgated, forbidding private expropriation of land, and giving new prominence to hydraulic works. But even so, later on, by the 16th century, there had been significant erosion into the communal land, and therefore, despite these proclamations, private land was in the hands of the nobility.

    The Vietnamese state surged Southward, and it swallowed the Cham Kingdom, and this even allowed some expansion for the poorest peasants, who had been trapped' in the old communes. But the dynasty became debauched, and was overtaken by the two noble families of the Nguyen and Trinh. They divided the state into two halves, and each ruled in their own corner. But they warred against each other also. As the neighbor Kymer state collapsed, the Nguyen moved into its territories, occupying what later became Saigon, in 1690.

    By the year 1540, Portugese traders had probably first entered Vietnam, in search of trade for silk, ebony, aloes, sugar, musk, cinnamon and rice. Missionaries entered also, paving the way for the full penetration of imperialism. One, Alexander Rhodes, over the years 1630-1645, contributed a lasting achievement. He romanized the script, forming the simplified Quoc ngu'. (Hodgkin, Ibid; p. 76). Other imperialists were not far behind. By 1660 the Dutch had entered, and they playing divide and rule, supported the Trinh dynasty, against the Portugese backed Nguyen.

    However the rack of the peasants under the numerous oppressions, soon led to cracks. By 1771, a massive series of peasant rebellions, some of them involving seeds of a Utopian Socialist ideology, like that of Nguyen Huu Cau,   (Hodgkin; Ibid; p. 84) had culminated in that known as the Tay Son revolt, (Meaning Mountains of the West'). In origin it was spontaneous like most of the rebellions over the period, but soon became led by three brothers Nhac, Lu and Hue broke out. All brothers took the name Nguyen at the beginning of the revolt, and originated in the peasantry but had become traders. The movement raised a red flag as a banner, and adopted the slogan Lay cua giau chia cho dan ngheo' (Seize the property of the rich and distribute it to the poor').   (Hodgkin Ibid.; p. 85).

    This was eventually to lead to the re-unification of Vietnam. In the struggles, Nguyen Hue fought off both the Nguyen regime, and the Trinh regime, and also the newly re- invading Chinese armies. Finally Nguyen Hue, fought off the counter-rebellions, and took the name Quang Trung as emperor. But his death was followed by a counter-revolution, and the throne was re-taken by a representative of the old Nguyens, Nguyen Anh. He was heavily influenced by the French priest, the Bishop of Adran, Pierre Pigneau de Behaine.  (Hodgkin; Ibid; p. 94).

    It was this priest, who persuaded the court of the French king Louis XVI to sign the Treaty of Versailles in 1787. This exchanged military support to Nguyen Anh, for the cessation and sovereignty to the French of the islands of Tourane (Da Nang) and Paulo Condore and a grant for complete exclusive trade with the kingdom of Cochin-China'. The French assisted Nguyen Anh's military battles against the victorious Tay Son led finally by Quang Trung. The death of Quang Trung yielded the victory to the old Nguyen dynasty.

    The role of the communes had already been renewed and increased by Quang Trung, who had tried to carefully cut down the noble class.

    But, the resurgent Nguyen dynasty under Nguyen Anh, was supported by the small landowners and the nobles, whom he raised again. In any case, despite all this, the entry of foreign imperialism was assured. This now led to the final pre-colonial dynasty - that of the Nguyen descendant, who now re-named himself as Gia Long. He was able now, to re-unite the two parts of Vietnam and the name was changed from the Chinese derived term - An nam - to Viet Nam.

    The new dynasty restored all power to the landowning bureaucratic class, and drove towards full absolutism under his descendant Minh Mang. The new capital was Hue. The Confucian system was re-entrenched, and many Chinese institutions were copied to strengthen central rule.

    During this period, Chinese mercantile influence was heavily established, especially in the mining industry. This was the most important industry in Vietnam in the 19th Century, and concentrated on gold, silver, copper lead, zinc and tin (Hodgkin; Ibid; p.113). In fact in the 19th century, the Chinese expatriate merchants formed the dominant- if not the only - members of the merchant class. They dominated foreign trade, concentrating on luxury gods such as silks, satins, Indian cottons, porcelain, tea, drugs. But there was a small group of Vietnamese traders, who were confined mostly to internal trade - rice, slat, sugar, arec, nuoc mam, alcohol, textiles, pottery, sampans (Hodgkin; Ibid; p. 114).

    The French began their infiltration with missionaries. As noted above, they were instrumental in forming an alliance with Gia Long. The missionaries established a mass base in Vietnam from about the 1830's. By 1841, this had resulted in 350,000 claimed converts (Thomas Hodgkin; Ibid; p. 121). Over the next 25 years, there followed open warfare between the dynasty and missionaries. The Nguyen dynasty balked at the increasing influence of the Christians and the missionaries were at various times expelled. The earlier amiable relationship of the Treaty of Versailles had soured.

    It is true, that the Vietnamese at first were interested in establishing trade with their sugar, and were at times favorably disposed. The trade that had been rising with Britain, now fell off in favour of the French. But this willingness to trade steadily changed. By the year 1852 there had been several abortive military missions to Vietnam. Steadily escalating tensions finally led to an invasion in 1858.

    The missionaries tried to entice the French Government into action. Guizot had already in been aware in 1843, before the British annexed Hong Kong, that the French needed a point d'appui (point of application) to rival and counter-act other European Imperialisms (Hodgkin; Ibid; p. 126). At first the French Government was rather hesitant. The Admirals of the French fleet were less so, and in 1858 the Admirals bombarded Da Nang, the first major act of aggression by the French against Vietnam. Continued pressure and, his own greed - finally convinced Napoleon III, to overcome all hesitations, by the year 1858 - the year of the first serious French governmental intervention. The pretext of missionary persecution was taken. In reality, the pretext of Gia Long's Dynasty's persecution of the missionaries allowed the French fleets to carry out their intentions, and to invade. Admiral's Rules were established in Vietnam.

    The process of land alienation from Vietnamese peasants to French and Vietnamese landowners began in the early days of Admirals' rules, and it took place on an increasing scale above all in Cochin-China. The Emperor by this stage, no longer tried to fight off invasion. The logic of imperialism and its superior forces - were no match at that stage for an essentially declining Oriental Despotism. Emperor Tu Duc was reviled by his people:

Since I grew Up, King Tu Duc has spoiled everything, People are hungry, but their moans don't reach his ears.. Since the coming of Tu Duc, the harvest is lost,     Wrote the poet Nghe An  (Hodgkin; Ibid; p.140). A folk song of the Rebellion of the Yard of the Ten Thousand Years', referred to the walls of the emperor's mausoleum being constructed; and went : Ten Thousand years, and what are those ten thousand years?
The walls are made of the workers' bones, and the moats are filled with the peoples' blood.
Hodgkin Ibid; p. 141.
    The peoples' rebellions continued but to little avail.

    There were several phases of invasion. The period 1858-1885 - is characterised as a phase of conquest and initial weak resistance. But a more serious resistance culminating in the Can Vuog movement (Loyalty to the King) of 1887-1897, ensued. A humiliating treaty of surrender was signed by the Emperor Tu Duc named the Treaty of Saigon, following the loss of a battle at Ky Hoa in 1861. The first anti-French peoples rebellion led by Nguyen Huu Huan and Truong Cong Dinh, in 1859, during the battle of Saigon, continued on after the Treaty. The partisans were disowned by the monarchy, were defied by Truong Cong Dinh. The rebellions failed.

    A large indemnity was paid by the Monarchy to France, three ports were opened to the French including Da Nang, and the Mekong was opened to the French. Cochin China was basically conquered. The next period took the French into the Northern parts of Vietnam and the conquest finally of Nam Bo. It was in part, a process further prolonged by the reluctance of the Chinese, to oversee quietly the French incursion to their immediate South.

    The Can Vuong movement of deposed king Ham Nghi was a pro-Monarchist anti-French rebellion that is dated from 1885. It also was un-successful, and Ham Nghi was captured in 1888 and the puppet Dong Khanh had already been installed in 1885. But rebellions continued. However, the French process once begun, was un-stoppable at this juncture in time, and the Can Vuong was finally crushed in 1896. By the time of the formation of the Indochinese Communist party, colonialisation was complete:

By 1930 the area of land concession obtained by the French was 104,000 hectares in Tonkin, 168,400 hectares in Annam .. and 605,500 hectares in Cochin China.  Thomas Hodgkin; "Vietnam :The Revolutionary Path"; London; 1981; p.177


I) Classes In The Countryside - Land Owners -The Chief Component of The Comprador Class; And Rural Proletarians -Poor Peasants:
    The French carefully nurtured their agents in the countryside. By 1883, the French had established collaborators in the Mandarinate and the land owning class, especially by granting lands by bribing cooperation. The wealthy dien chu were helped to continue and intensify the exploitation of their poor dependent landless peasant , the tu dien' ; or the share-croppers ta-dien'. This was a distinguishing feature of French colonialism in Vietnam as opposed to its presence in Algeria: One important characteristic of the Vietnamese colonial economy - in which it differed form Algeria or Zimbabwe - was the presence in the main area of colon settlement, Cochin-China, of a substantial indigenous, Vietnamese, Landlord class - the wealthy dien chu' who lived off the labour of their own tu dien'. This landlord class had already begun to merge under the Nguyen. But from the beginning of the French occupation it began to include new elements -drawn from the interpreters-secretaries, messengers, soldiery and other collaborating categories whom the French thought it prudent to attach to themselves by enabling them to acquire the best land, credit and influence".
Hodgkin Ibid; p. 178
    Given the fleet's role, the first governors were all admirals. Admiral De La Grandiere exercised the principle right of the sovereign' in large-scale land alienations, in order to widen the comprador landlord class: Land belonging to the peasants who had fled from their villages at the time of the
French occupation .. was sold, or in some cases, given to French colons and Vietnamese collaborators. When the original owners of the lands came back as ordered.. They were often forced to become tenant farmers or sharecroppers (ta dien) on their own land. .. The foundations of the new French-Vietnamese landowning class in Nam Bo were laid."
Hodgkin Ibid; p. 154.
    The economy was being geared to the classic goal of imperialism, the production for export of raw materials and foodstuffs . The whole enterprise was being devoted to the export of rice. Land was the basis for the French exploitation:     At the same time as the grueling field work laid on the peasants, an enormous tax squeeze was imposed (Hodgkin Ibid; p. 154). The peasant was left starved and heavily exploited: The peasant, out of the 80 francs which the last in a series of French intermediaries obtained for 100 kilos of white rice, received only Fr 10.20 , or 12.75%."
Hodgkin Ibid; p. 179.
    To complete the misery of the peasantry, Chinese money-lenders and Indian Chettis (Nattukottaichetty) money lenders and the French Credit organisations (eg Credit Mutuel Agricole) bled the peasants further, aggravating the ruinous taxation. The taxes levied were so onerous - in order to disenfranchise the peasantry even more. The remaining were the older traditional direct taxes, but there were also indirect taxes on opium, salt and alcohol. The French sought to develop mines, rubber, tea and coffee plantations, and a few manufacturing plants of textiles, cement vegetable oils, bricks, bottles, alcohol, sugar, cigarettes, matches. The plantations were mainly French owned - some 90% of them"
Hodgkin Ibid, p. 182.
    The heart of the newly created comprador landlord class was in the main geographical area of the French colon' settlements - Cochin China:     The plantations created a new rural proletariat or landless peasantry that was becoming proletarianised. But there was also an urban working class, though it was small. By 1929 the mines employed over 50,000 workers and the rubber plantations about 40,000. But on the whole , Industry was limited in the interest of French banking and exports from France. A corvee (Forced labour - using so called coolies' - or workers selected by vindictive purpose by village notables or mandarins) was maintained under French colonial administration.
    The material basis for the comprador class included two other elements. One was the administrative civil servants of the Mandarinate. In the area of Bac Ky, especially, this became the backbone, being totally French appointed mandarins. They were: Mainly agents of the colonial government. These middle aged mandarins .. Obtained their sinecures not by professional competence or devotion to public service, but as rewards for their loyalty to the French. The earlier literati mandarins were steeped in the traditions of Confucianism, the French -appointed mandarin had at most some training at the College du Protectorate... Their notoriety for corruption was rivaled only by their obsequiousness to their French masters. The Bac Ky collaborators were united in their praise of Great France (Dai Phap) and their hatred of Vietnamese anti-colonialists."
Khanh Ibid, p. 40-41.
    The third main part of the comprador class was the Chinese merchants: The Chinese bangs'( ie national groupings-ed)... dealt directly with the French authorities."
Hodgkin; Ibid; p. 176.

The Vietnamese bourgeoisie .. described.. As rickety' seems only to have begun to
emerge after the First World War... But they were prevented by the French colonial regime from developing any form of national capitalism, and as compradores for the French capitalist interests played a much inferior part to the Chinese.
Hodgkin; Ibid; p. 187.

ii) The Comprador Capitalists Class's Political Representatives
    The political leaders of the Comprador and landlord classes, became two ideologues named Nguyen van Vinh and Pham Quynh. They organized themselves at the end of World War I, into the Khai Tri Tien Duc (Association for the Intellectual and Moral Advancement of the Annamese) or AFIMA . In fact this was founded at the initiative of Governor General Albert Sarraut and Louis Marty the Director of the Secret Service, and thus was initially intended to be a comprador agency.

    The second collaborationist grouping was based on the Dang Lap hien (Constitutionalist Party) founded in Nam Ky, in 1919. At its inception, it had some potential for progressive expression, but became cowed very quickly. It included leading landowners and professionals:

Near the end of World War 1, a small but vocal group of French educated Saigon intellectual centered around the wealthy newspaper publisher Bui Quang Chieu, formed the first open political organisation in Vietnam the Constitutionalist Party. .... with limited political goals. Their original objective was to persuade the political governor to provide greater opportunity for Vietnamese to compete against French and overseas Chinese in manufacturing and commerce.
W.J.Duiker; "The Communist Road to Power In Vietnam"; Colorado, 1981; p.11
    It never had a constitution or membership list, and was never organized. This goals were protecting of job and some reforms to allow them to be assimilated as they put it, into French life. They wished to be naturalized as Frenchmen. They were headed by leaders such as Nguyen Phan Long and Vuong Quang Nhuong, Bui Quang Chieu. At times between 1920 and 1926, they took a position that appeared to be progressive (see below), and they even participated in anti-colonial activities.

But by the end of the 1920's they had completely distanced themselves from the increasingly clearly revolutionary factions, that were led by the then named Nguyen Ai Quoc (later to be known as Ho Chi Minh). They became a convenient shield of the French as pressures mounted, and as such, they formed the Cabinet of a short lived French sponsored government of the Secessionist Republic of Cochin China (1946-1947). Then, but only briefly, Nguyen Phan Long served as Prime Minster in 1950, during the Protracted Resistance', with the puppet Emperor Bao Dai.

    There is little doubt that this class was extremely small and had little power. They had apart from the obvious limitation of being suppressed by foreign French imperialism, they had little chance to develop with the capture of the leading mercantile opportunities prior to that by the Chinese merchants. Nonetheless, it did exist: Apart from commerce in which they had been involved since the 17th century, they succeeded in establishing some small scale enterprises in transport printing, construction, and some processing industries, textiles, sugar rice distilling, But they were prevented by the French colonial regime from developing any national; capitalism, and as compradores for French capitalist interests played a much more inferior part of the Chinese.
Hodgkin Ibid; p. 187.
    To deny its existence seems fool-hardy, especially given the positions taken in later periods by the DRV. Although a school of thought exists that denies this, as we discuss in the Foreword, it is significant that the Vietnamese state and its own leading authorities have never denied this. On the contrary, they have been quite explicit about its positive role, in the struggle for national independence. Even the debunkers of the concept of an Indochinese national bourgeoisie, themselves acknowledge, that a rise' to a degree of independence from French interests was observable in the landowner class: The big landowners of Indochina.. Represented the only sphere in which a substantial number of Vietnamese could expect to become really rich... rice from Cochin China was the biggest part of the Indochinese exports reaching a peak of 2,390,000 metric tonnes in 1928.. From this substantial material basis the Cochin China landed interests could even resist the Bank of Indochina, as they did when the revaluation of the piastere in May 1931 ... threatened to result in a decline of trade with other Asian countries. Moreover, from it they also spread to the liberal' professions and to some extent into trade and manufacturing.
Post Ibid; p. 28.
    This same ambiguous phenomenon in the landowning classes is noted by other writers of the period also: It was in the big cities that the seeds of a new stage of Vietnamese nationalism began to take root. The first shoots ironically appeared in the social class most closely tied to the colonial regime - the affluent commercial bourgeoises of Cochin China. Near the end of World War 1, a small but vocal group of French educated Saigon intellectual centered around the wealthy newspaper publisher Bui Quang Chieu, formed the first open political organisation in Vietnam the Constitutionalist Party. .... with limited political goals. Their original objective was to persuade the political governor to provide greater opportunity for Vietnamese to compete against French and overseas Chinese in manufacturing and commerce."
W.J.Duiker; "The Communist Road to Power In Vietnam"; Colorado, 1981; p.11.
    This became the Constitutionalist Party who quickly came into line:     Most of the affluent commercial and professional people who formed the basis of the thin National bourgeoisie, were located in Saigon: At the upper end of the spectrum was an increasingly affluent commercial and professional bourgeoisie composed for the most part of bankers, land speculators, absentee landlords... engineers, agronomists, doctors and merchants. This group benefitted substantially from French economic policies.... most appear to have been self-made' men.. Saigon was the one city where fortunes could be made quickly, even by enterprising Vietnamese.
Duiker Ibid; p. 9.

iv) The Working Class

    By the outbreak of the First World War, the class of proletarian workers had already come into being. Under colonial rule, it never developed a Labour aristocracy, and thus small, it did have the advantage of being homogeneous. Its numbers were small in comparison to the peasantry, but still of the order of between 500,000 to 1 million. Estimates vary: The expansion of capitalism after the First World War inevitably meant a growth of the working class which it had created ... The figure always given is 221,000 for Indochina as a whole in 1929... What must be clearly understood is that only those employed in European - owned establishments were counted.. Excluded were the many thousands more who worked in Chinese and Vietnamese establishments and plantations, the dockworkers and masses of coolies who carried goods in all market places, construction workers and any other sort of daily paid labour.. A figure of 1 million might be more appropriate.
Post K., Ibid; p. 28.
    The figure of 1 million derives from sources such as Le Thanh Koi, and appears to be supported by a number of the more progressive writers (Hodgkin; Ibid; p.184). The importance of the forced labour, the corvee - and the proletarianisation that this process forced, was emphasized by Nguyen Ai Quoc (Ho Chi Minh) in the 1920's (Cited Hodgkin Ibid; p. 184). They were mainly from the North and center of the country and were landless peasants who had been procured by the mandarins. The mandarins and the village notables provided the men for this corvee which theoretically was fixed at 30 days per year in 1897, and supposedly abolished by law. But they were still used expensively in the railroads, roads, and rubber plantations.

    The intensive exploitation of the mines, the rubber plantations , and the colonial type light industry, provided fuel for the development of trade unions. Strikes in the plantations had started even before World War One (Hodgkin; Ibid.; p. 219). It was Ton Duc Tuang, a militant who returned from France in 1920, who seriously undertook the organisation of these. He had participated in the strike at the Ba Son arsenal in 1912. He prepared the ground for the 1925 strike at the same arsenal, which was a naval base. He had organized the underground union since 1920. Despite French troop intimidation, the several thousand workers won all their demands.

    In conclusion there was a small but significant class of workers, who had no party representing their interests until the Indochinese Communist Party was formed.

    This class fed the revolutionary movement with a number of its leaders. But before
that it fed the early national movements, as noted below. The best of the Confucian literati - those that had not joined the French appointed mandarin system, were often anti-colonial in sentiment. The Franco-Annamite system so called, of education for the small minority of Vietnamese, led to a small but capable intelligentsia. They were frustrated by the limits of colonialism and were to provide fertile ground for anti-imperialism.


    As this section will show, there was no seriously organized , mass based party that could effectively challenge the French using the slogans of bourgeois nationalism alone. The organisations discussed below, all had their primary base in the petit bourgeoisie and the more enlightened Confucian literati - those that had not joined the French Mandarinate. But the ability of these organisation to combat French imperialism was limited. It was this that would allow the monopoly of the Indochinese Communist Party in the battle for National liberation.

    The Constitutionalist Party, as discussed above, was not a consistent supporter of independence and it very quickly drew its demands back to accommodate French imperialism. Objectively, then it could not serve as the vehicle for French nationalist expression. The contradiction in its own positions, came to a head over the granting of a rice monopoly of exports for twenty years to a French consortium:

One serious attempt of the Constitutionalists to challenge French economic power, over the decision of Lieutenant-Governor Maurice Cognacq to grant a twenty-year monopoly on rice exports from Saigon to the French consortium Homberg', produced a split within the group. The ultra-collaborators who saw their interests a rice landowners bound up with the French, left the party and their leader Le Quang Trinh founded his own rival newspaper in March 1924, e Progres Annamite'; whose sole concern it was to provide a focus of loyalty to the colonial government'.
Hodgkin; Ibid; p.217.
    Perhaps the most serious potential party that could represent the interests of any nascent national capitalist class, was formed in 1927 by Nguyen Thai Hoc, and was called the Vietnam Quoc Dan Dang (V.N.Q.D.D.) Their antecedents lay in several groups in the region of in Bac Ky, who were inspired by Sun Yat Sen. But after the February 1930 mutiny at the Yen Bay garrison was brutally put down (see below), the V.N.Q.D.D. were effectively destroyed and no longer played any role. Any surviving militants that the army and police did not murder, on the whole joined, the by then established Indochinese Communist Party.

    The Confucian literati in general, took an anti-colonial line. Reflecting this, a number of movements were started. Most were located and were interested primarily in the concerns of the city petit bourgeoisie. They attracted mainly teachers and intellectuals. In the main, these groups were unable to consolidate the aspirations of the masses.

    One of the best of the other many small groups that arose, was perhaps Dang Thanh Nien (Youth Party or Jeune Annam). It planned to buy back Indochina from the French, but despite this naivete it mobilized a number of the young and intelligentsia.

    Of a higher caliber still, was Viet Nam Nghia Doan (Vietnamese Corps for Righteousness) who later became part of Tan Viet Cach Menh Dang (Revolutionary arty of the New Vietnam) who later became part of Tan Viet (New Vietnam) and then became part of the unified Indochinese Communist Party (ICP). Again it was led by Confucian literati - Le Huan, Ngo Duc Ke, and Tranh Dinh Thanh.

    Clearly the tempo of struggle against the French rule was rising by the mid 1920's.

    Phan Boi Chau was another son of a literati, a scholars' family. He joined the anti-French movement while still in school in 1874. His path crossed monarchism, and enlisting foreign (Mainly Japanese and even Chinese and German) aid in liberation, and wound through individual terror. He first participated with Nguyen Thanh (a former leader of the monarchist Can Vuong movement crushed by the French, as discussed above) in the formation of the Dong Du (Eastern Study), and the Duy Tan Hoi (Renovation Society) which was formed in 1904. Initially the goals of the movement certainly entailed monarchist revivals, and to this end, even wealthy monarchist landowners in Cochin China like Nguyen Than Hien, adhered to Phan Boi Chau at first (Hodgkin; Ibid; p.193).

    But this movement then turned its attention to Japan as a possible savior of Vietnam against the French. In Japan he met Sun Yat-sen who influenced him tremendously. The Japanese betrayed him, in signing the Franco-Japanese Treaty of 1907. One of the clauses of this treaty was to expel Phan Boi Chau and his associates. He returned to Vietnam, where many of his initiatives were based on individual terror and anarchist actions. A poorly organised rising in Hanoi in 1908, led to severe repressions. He left for Hong Kong, and later Canton. A period in prison there, was followed by three risings in Vietnam. These were the Nam Bo (Cochin-China) rising of 1916); the Duy Tan plot of 1916; and the Thai Nguyen insurrection of 1917-1918. All failed. Again he fled to China.

    But he was kidnapped and brought back to Vietnam by French agents. In the autumn of 1925 the trial of Phan Boi Chau took place. The student masses were successful in releasing him from prison and obtaining his amnesty. He then settled in Canton, China, where he turned to gradualism, and counseled the youth to proceed slowly and to transform Vietnamese society from within the framework of French colonial rule (Khanh Ibid; p. 37).

    In March 1926 the funeral took place of Phan Chu Trinh - a leader of another reformist faction of the Confucian literati. Vast crowds in Saigon wore black arm bands, and many suffered reprisals for attending his funeral. The funeral was transformed into a mass rally that demanded liberation. Similarly, even the return of Bui Quang Chieu, the leader of the Constitutionalist Party, from France, was marked by huge rallies to welcome him back. This party then had not shown its reactionary colours clearly, and he demanded liberalizations.

    But by the end of the 1920's most of the liberal anti-colonial Confucian literati based groups had withdrawn from the struggle for national liberation. Aside from the V.N.Q.D.D. - who in contrast, had been physically repressed and annihilated by 1930, most of the others simply fell by the wayside. In contrast, some good elements did regroup themselves, whilst in exile in China. The Tam Tam Xa (Heart to Heart Association), was formed in China in 1923. Led by school teachers who had gone there to learn how to wage an anti-French struggles they came across Ho Chi Minh in 1925 (See below) and became part of the Thanh Nien Cong San Doan (Communist Youth Corps).

    The figure who would later become known as Ho Chi Minh, was born in 1890. His birth name was Nguyen Sinh Cung, he was the son of a determined anti-colonial mandarin ( a government bureaucrat, a civil servant), who was victimized for his anti-French views (Lacouture, Jean, "Ho Chi Minh"; London; 1969; pp.15-17). He had a poor childhood, but one heavily influenced by his entire family's anti-colonial spirits.

    Schooled in both French and Quoc Ngu (The romanized transcription of Vietnamese, which became the Vietnamese national language), his involvement began in a small way in the insurrectionist activity of 1908, while at school. He taught briefly, and then he went to sea in 1911. He arrived in Paris in 1913. He worked in kitchens, and then as a self-employed photographer. He soon joined the Vietnamese Overseas workers movement Lao Dong Hai Ngoai.

    In Paris, he took the name Nguyen Ai Quoc - meaning Nguyen the Patriot'. Coming into touch with the then Socialist Party, he became a member of the French Jeunesses socialistes - or The Young Socialists.

    Ho and a friend Phan Van Truong - drew up a an eight point programme for Vietnam's liberation which they tried to present to the Conference Secretariat of the Peace Conference. They were denied entry. The Plan was in fact:

A plan inspired by President Wilson's Fourteen Points' and was extremely moderate: permanent representation in the French parliament; freedom of the Press; freedom to hold meetings and form association; political prisoners to be granted an amnesty and released form goals; government by statute in place of government by decree; equality of legal rights between French and Annanese...
Lacouture; Ibid; p. 26.
    At this stage then, Nguyen Ai Quoc, was still a liberal progressive democratic nationalist. Although President Wilson and the Conference refused to accept his presence, the Socialist Congress at Tours of 1920, embraced him. His address castigated French colonialism in Indochina. The Tours Congress took the decision to affiliate to the Third Communist International. Ho welcomed this decision, and he voted for the motion to affiliate. Nguyen Ai Quoc later said that his attitude to the Third International was decided by the reading of Lenin's Theses on Colonial and Semi-colonial Countries. In his own words:     Nguyen Ai Quoc, now joined the Communist group of Marcel Cachin and Frossard. He proceeded to publish his first book, Process de la Colonisation Francaise'. He then set up the Intercolonial Union; becoming the founder editor and distributor of its organ Le Paria', which was printed from 1922-till 1926.

    By 1922, he was in Moscow, perhaps attending the Fourth Congress of Comintern (Lacouture; Ibid; pp 40-41). But he went for a more extended period just after the death of Lenin in January 1924. Ruth Fischer spoke highly of him at a later time. It appears that Dimitrov became a leading mentor of Nguyen Ai Quoc. It seems, that of the leading members of the Comintern, only M.N.Roy was not favorably impressed. Stalin's view is not recorded to our knowledge (Lacouture; Ibid; p. 42). His participation in the Fifth Congress of the Comintern (17 June - 8 July 1924) is recorded in transcripts, where he attacked L'Humanite (The organ of the French CP) for errors related to the colonial question. His second speech dwelt on the importance of the peasantry.

    In the next major step in his career, Nguyen Ai Quoc was sent to China as part of Mikhail Borodin's Comintern mission, in December 1924- January 1925. Canton was a revolutionary center for the Vietnamese as well as for the Chinese. His role in Borodin's mission was to contact the Vietnamese followers of Phan Boi Chua - who had been exiled, and was in Canton (See above). Nguyen Ai Quoc, quickly won a number of this clique over, and organized the first revolutionary cell for the Annamite or Vietnamese movement. Another target for conversion to communism, was the predominantly nationalist organisation -TAM TAM XA (Union of Hearts). Tam Tam Xa had adopted individual terror tactics that Nguyen Ai Quoc disparaged.

    By June 1925, Nguyen Ai Quoc and two Vietnamese revolutionaries had set up : VIETNAM THANH NIEN CONG SAN DOAN (Vietnamese Communist Youth Corps); or THANH NIEN.

    During this period, Nguyen Ai Quoc was also active in other forums, setting up the Pan-Pacific Workers Union, and attended its first Congress in 1927. And the Congress Against Imperialist War of 1928 - the later with Madame Sun Yat-Sen, Nehru and Hatta and Tha Thu Thau, who went on to become a Trotskyite.

    The Thanh Nien, published a news-sheet by the same name. Thanh Nien quickly became a very active publishing and teaching house for revolutionaries from Vietnam. It was not a Bolshevik party, and reflecting this, its line was in many aspects very loose. It claimed to be consciously working towards the formation of such a party, and certainly had strict discipline. Thanh Nien insisted upon the need for revolutionary theory, and demanded its members study history. But it was still decidedly somewhat eclectic. Thus, alongside praise of the Bolsheviks of the USSR, there were recommendations towards Confucius, despite the full knowledge on the party's part, that Confucius had been totally reactionary: The monarchs venerated Confucius not only because he was not a revolutionary, but also because he conducted intensive propaganda in their favour... If Confucius lived in our days, and if he persisted in those views, he would be a counter-revolutionary. It is possible that this superman would rather yield to the circumstances and quickly become a worthy follower of Lenin. As far as we Vietnamese are concerned, let us perfect ourselves intellectually by reading the works of Confucius and revolutionarily by reading the works of Lenin.
Khanh Ibid. P. 80.
    This may have been in order not to alienate the mandarins, some of whom were anti-French. Nonetheless, on one line there was full clarity in Thanh Nien and this reflected Nguyen Ai Quoc's insistence. This was on the current stage of revolution in 1925 onwards. It was quite clear, that this stage reflected was the primacy of the National Revolution, over the social revolution. ie It believed that the National Democratic Stage of revolution was being fought now. This was Nguyen Ai Hoc's view. But some confusion about the line existed. As Thanh Nien expressed it: It would be useless if not harmful: To Preach the revolution in the name of democratic or Communist principles, for the Vietnamese people have not yet received any political education.. And Vietnamese society:
Did not yet possess a true capitalist class..
If anything Vietnamese society was: Made up of heterogenous classes [all of whom were deprived by the French administration of their rights and revenue. Vietnam was not yet ready for a class revolution for: The actual circumstances oblige the Vietnamese people to foster the national revolution and not a class revolution. That is why it is a duty of the rich, the poor the mandarins, and the members of the pubic to unite with one another in order to assure the triumph of the national revolution.
Thanh Nien: 24 October 1927; Cited by Khanh Ibid; p. 86.
    This obfuscating of class boundaries, is anti-Marxist-Leninist and cannot be considered a correct weighing of class forces. No mention is even made of comprador or collaborationist forces, and no assessment is made of the nascent' capital, and no indication given of the landowners and their positions vis-a-vis imperialism is made. However, the conclusion of all this, was to emphasize the national revolution. In this the overall conclusion was undoubtedly correct at this juncture. That this above synopsis of the line accurately reflects the views of Nguyen Ai Quoc can be seen from his own statement: The goal of the first period is the overthrow of the despotic government. In Vietnam, whether the people have been bestialized, dehumanized, exploited and subjugated, it is necessary to.. unite them in one powerful bloc, raise them against their tyrants and lead them to the reconquest of their rights.. The goal of the second period is the intensive exploitation of the triumph of the revolution. Thus after having kicked the French out, of our borders, we must destroy the counter-revolutionary elements, build roads for transportation and communication, develop commerce and industry, educate the people and provide them with peace and happiness.
9 April 1925, Cited Khanh; Ibid; p. 84.
    Elsewhere, Nguyen Ai Quoc insists on the leadership of the Marxist-Leninist party, such as in the 1926 book entitled The Road To Revolution. Lacouture summarizes Nguyen Ai Quoc as putting the following views for the Vietnamese Revolution: 1.The revolution was a task for the broad working class and peasant masses, not for a handful of men. Hence the need to organise the masses.
2. The revolution must be directed by a Marxist-Leninist party.
3. The revolutionary movement in every country must be in close touch with the international proletariat. Action must be taken to ensure that the working class and the toiling masses were able to tell the Third International from the second.
Lacouture; Ibid; p. 46.
    But, elsewhere over this period, Nguyen Ai Quoc was careful to emphasize the need to tailor-down' the concepts that were put before the masses. As he said in an article to L'Humanite: In all the colonized countries, in old Indochina as well as in young Dahomey, no one understands what a class struggle, a proletarian force.. a workers' organisation is. In the eyes of the natives, Bolshevism, signifies either the destruction of everything, or emancipation from the foreign yoke. The first meaning given to this term, pushes the ignorant and fearful masses away from us; the second leads them to nationalism. One is just as dangerous as the other.
Cited; Khanh Ibid; p. 62.
    There is no doubt that there is a tendency to avoid class-based terms by Nguyen Ai Quoc, throughout this period. The motto for the Thanh Nien remained:     This being so, the classes that were to be involved, were elsewhere itemized a little more clearly, than they were in the first quote given: The conflict in colonized Vietnam .. Is one between the French colonialists and the most oppressed elements (workers and peasants; the other social groups.. Were intermediary elements who could be at best be friends, allies or fellow travelers of the revolutionary workers and peasants. The workers and peasants are the roots of the revolution. The students small merchants and small landowners are also oppressed but not as miserable as the workers and peasants. These three groups are only the friends of the workers and peasants.
Cited Khanh Ibid.; p. 85.
    Nonetheless, a clear description of class forces is lacking. However the central role of the peasantry, in a country like Vietnam, was seen by Nguyen Ai Quoc very quickly. In fact, early on in his career, at the Fifth Congress of Comintern, Nguyen Ai Quoc had emphasized the role of the peasantry: The revolt of the colonial peasants is imminent. They have already arisen in several countries.; but each time their rebellions have been drowned in blood. If they now seem resigned, that is solely for lack of organization and leadership. It is the duty of the Communist International to help them get together.
Lacouture; Ibid; p. 43.
    His views on the peasantry, were not un-noticed by the Comintern, which was soon to fall into the leadership of the hidden revisionists Otto Kuusinen and Dimitri Manuilskii. They were about to turn the line of the Comintern on the revolution in colonial and semi-colonial countries drastically to the Ultra-Left. We analyze this below.

    Thanh Nien now fell victim to the counter-revolutionary Chang Kai-Shek who stormed the Communist Party China in Canton. Nguyen Ai Quoc fled to Moscow. The Canton resistance fell, and Thanh Nien activities in China ended. By mid-1929, the Canton apparatus was defunct. It had achieved the first steps in welding a national movement, that could act as the force to liberate Vietnam. The paucity of the national capitalist class, and of the organisations that could represent them, meant that the Thanh Nien could take an initiative. But, the absence of the Marxist-Leninist vanguard became ever more urgent.

    The party that represented the interests of only the nascent bourgeois nationalist capitalist class, was formed in 1927 by Nguyen Thai Hoc, and called the Vietnam Quoc Dan Dang (V.N.Q.D.D.) As discussed earlier, the organisation had always had a tendency toward adventurist terrorist tactics. It was mainly urban based, and petit bourgeoisie in composition, though it had many other classes and strata involved, including the literati, military elements and rural notables and landlords.

    Two events, both in February 1930, forced the French military and police to destroy this organisation. The first was a successful assassination of The Director of the General Office of Indochinese manpower - Bazin. His murder triggered widespread repression and murder on the part of the French. The Central Committee bar two were arrested. But then the V.N.Q.D.D. launched a mutiny at the Yen Bay garrison which was brutally put down. This was a desperate move, on the part of an enormously weakened party with little reserve.

    Secondly, the Chairman, Nguyen Thai Hoc, now called a general insurrection knowing it was likely to fail. An emergency conference agreed with him Massive aerial bombardment of the population was instigate after the one day it took to suppress the initial mutiny. All leaders of the V.N.Q.D.D. were rounded up, and many executed, including Nguyen Thai Hoc.

    Yen Bay prompted the collaborationists to fully reveal themselves as such. Both the main collaborationist organisations - AFIMA and the Constitutionalists fell quickly in to a vociferous support of the French.

    The elimination of all other parties, determined to pursue the course of national liberation - left the followers of Nguyen Ai Quoc, with no serious opposition. There was no single unified Party, of either nationalist stripe, or of Communist stripe. The elements of the Indochinese Communist Party and Vietnamese Patriotism became very blurred, and one that became further complicated by the Comintern. A duality arose within one party:

Communism was to evolve a dual character in Vietnam, being both a national liberation movement governed by traditions Vietnamese patriotism, and an affiliate of the international Communist movement, profoundly affected by the vicissitudes of the Comintern. Depending on international and local circumstances, sometimes the Vietnamese Communist movement would be directed by revolutionary patriots, who insisted on the primacy of national liberation, and at other times by proletarian internationalists, who tended to well disposed to sacrifice the cause of Vietnamese revolution to the common international revolutionary intent as determined by the Comintern.
Khanh; Ibid; p. 99.
We must now, examine Comintern decisions in this period.     Nguyen Ai Quoc had been impressed with Lenin's appreciation of the conditions in colonial countries. Lenin had pointed out that in countries where the industrial proletariat is weak, the working class needed allies:     Lenin saw the absence of a significant working class in the backward colonial-type countries with which he was primarily concerned, as a potential problem. But it could be solved he said, by the native working class and its party, being assisted by the working class and its party of Soviet Russia and of the proletariat of the developed countries: If the revolutionary victorious proletariat carries on systematic propaganda among them, and if the Soviet governments render them all the assistance they possibly can.. the backward countries may pass to the Soviet system, and after passing through a definite stage of development to Communism without passing though the capitalists stage of development.
Lenin. Report on the Commission. Vol 10: p.243.
    Stalin, agreed with Lenin , on the significant distinctions between various undeveloped countries. Thus, Stalin when addressing the People's of the East had distinguished by 1925, At least three categories of colonial and dependent countries: Firstly countries like Morocco who have little or not proletariat, and are industrially quite undeveloped. Secondly countries like China and Egypt which are under-developed industries and have a relatively small proletariat. Thirdly countries like India, which are capitalistically more or less developed and have a more or less numerous national proletariat. Clearly all these countries cannot possibly be put on a par with one another.
J.V.Stalin. "Political Tasks of the University of Peoples of the East." May 18. 1925; Ibid.
    Stalin's solution for some of these countries, included the tactic of the alliance with the poorest and middle peasantry. This tactic derived directly from Leninism. But in this period, Stalin did put forward a new variation, he became the leading proponent of the Workers and Peasants Parties. It was precisely these parties that the hidden revisionists now disrupted. In Alliance 23, we described how the Communist International was hijacked from Marxist-Leninist control (Alliance 23; The Theory of the 'Black nation' in the USA"; 1996; Canada.) This occurred at the 1928 6th Congress of Comintern. Following the death of Lenin, the control of the Comintern was exercised initially by Zinoviev. After his exposure as a revisionist, it had passed briefly to Bukharin. But in the exposure of Bukharin-ite right revisionism, the control of the Comintern, fell into the hands of the hidden revisionists Otto Kuusinen and Dmitri Manuilsky.

    The Communist International now proceeded to implement a disastrous Ultra-Left Turn. As part of this Ultra-Leftism, all non-pure Communist organisations, such as the Workers and Peasants Parties were destroyed. The 6th Comintern Congress in 1928, was dominated by Otto Kuusinen, who later showed himself as a proven open revisionist. His participation at the infamous 20th Party Congress of the CPSU confirms this. For the moment however, he remained as a hidden revisionist.

    The line of the Comintern regarding the colonial revolution, was subverted by Kuusinen on several aspects. It became now, a revisionist line in contradiction to both Lenin and Stalin. Lenin had said that the Communists should support the truly revolutionary sections of the bourgeoisie in national liberations movements:

We Communists should and will support bourgeois liberation movements in the colonial countries .. when these movements are really revolutionary.
Lenin, Report of the Commission on the national and Colonial Question, Ibid, vol 10, p.241.
    The Theses of the 1928 Congress only paid lip service to this, and to the need to find genuine national-revolutionary movements to work with; and to the division of the colonial bourgeoisie into the comprador and national section. The Theses even speak of a radical profound objective contradiction of interest between the national bourgeoisie and imperialism. However the essence of the Theses was that no section of the bourgeoisie could be a significant ally: The national bourgeoisie is incapable of offering any serious resistance to imperialism.. The national bourgeoisie has not the significance of a force in the struggle against imperialism.
Theses on the Revolutionary Movement in the Colonies and Semi-Colonies, 6th Congress CI, in "International Press Correspondence", Vol 8, No.88, Dec 12th, 1928. p.1666, 1667.
    The Theses then draw the correct conclusion that: Without the hegemony of the proletariat.. the bourgeois-democratic revolution (in a colonial type country) cannot be carried through to the end."
Ibid, p.1666.
    But, according to the CI, and in opposition to Lenin, any bloc was to be rejected: It is necessary to reject the formation of any kind of bloc between the Communist Party and the national-reformist opposition (in a colonial-type country-Ed)."
Theses, Ibid, p.50.
    In his Report Kuusinen now attacked the Workers and Peasants Parties (WPP) of India, that had been so successful: For a time some comrades considered the advisability of labour and peasant parties'.. It is now clearer than before that this form is not to be recommended, especially in colonial and semi-colonial countries. It would be an easy matter for the labour and peasant parties to transform themselves into petty bourgeois parties, to get away from the Communists, thereby failing to help them to come into contact with the masses."
O.Kuusinen, Report on the Revolutionary Movement in The Colonies and Semi-Colonies, 6th Congress, CI In :"International Press Correspondence", Volume 8, No. 70; October 4th, 1928, 1230-1.
    Of course, the some comradesreferred to cryptically by Kuusinen, was aimed at Stalin. Stalin favoured the formation of such parties in the colonial type countries: In countries like Egypt and China.. a revolutionary bloc of the workers and peasants and the petty bourgeoisie.. can assume the form of a single party, a workers and peasants party, provided however, that this distinctive party actually represents a bloc of two forces - the Communist Party and the party of the revolutionary petty bourgeoisie.. In countries like India.. a revolutionary anti-imperialist bloc.. can assume, although it need not always necessarily do so, the form of a single workers' and peasants' party, formally bound by a single platform."
Stalin, "The Political Tasks of the University of the Peoples' of the East",Vol 7; Moscow,1954; p.149,150-1.
    This attack on the Workers and Peasants Parties (WPP), was entirely in line with Trotsky in June 1928, and submitted to the congress: The cardinal question for us here as everywhere and always, is the question of the communist party, its complete independence, its irreconcilable class character. The greatest danger on this path is the organisation of so-called Workers and Peasants Partiesin the countries of the Orient.. Stalin advanced the formula of the two-class Workers' and Peasants' Partiesfor the Eastern countries.. it is a question here of an absolutely new, entirely false and thoroughly anti-Marxist formulation of the fundamental question of the party and of its relation to its own class and other classes.. Without a relentless condemnation of the very idea of workers and peasants parties for the East, there is not and cannot be a programme for the Comintern.
L.Trotsky : "Summary and Perspectives of the Chinese Revolution", In "3rd International after Lenin", London; 1974; p.162-3, 171. Volume 9, no.48; September 11th; 1928; p.1037.
    In his Main report to the Plenum, Otto Kuusinen renewed the attack on the WPP in India, implying that their development had held back the development of the Communist Party India, alleging that they had carried out "hardly any work" among the peasantry: Our greatest weakness there (ie India) is the act that we are not yet firmly enough established as a Communist Party. A good many Indian Communists have worked in the ranks of the WPP. We have advised that them to endeavour to induce these parties to reorganise themselves, to assume another organisational form in keeping with the principles of Leninism. But not the two-class character of these parties was the worst thing; much worse was the fact that hardly any practical revolutionary work has been done yet among the peasantry.
Kuusinen: Report on the International Situation  and the Tasks of the CI, 10th Plenum ECCI, In "International press Correspondence" Vol 9, No.40, Aug20th, 1929; p.847.
    As we concluded in Alliance 5,  this profoundly disrupted the national liberation & social revolution in India ( ). These discussions had enormous repercussions on the Indochinese Communist party strategy also.

    Indochina, had an overwhelming preponderance of peasants in its population. They were amongst the most exploited and among the most militant of the population. To down-peddle their capacity for revolution, as insisted upon by Kuusinen and the revisionist led CI, was to limit the Indochinese revolution. It is these facts that explain the otherwise un-interpretable, later absence of Nguyen Ai Quo from the revolutionary scene in Vietnam, after he had forged the united Indochinese Communist Party in 1930.

    The tension between the national' and the social revolutionary' ends of the spectrum within Thanh Nien, and its heir the ICP, came into conflict, and was spurred on by Kuusinen's new revisions of Lenin's Theses. Two factions emerged within the Thanh Nien, that would carry over into the ICP. The first was a so called Indochinese factionwhich stressed the issues of class conflict; and a so called Vietnamese faction which stressed the issues of nationalism.  (Khanh Ibid; p. 116).

    In reality the first was a potentially Marxist-Leninist faction; represented by figures such as Ngo Gia Tu, Nguyen Van Tuan, and Tran Van Cung from the Bac Bo area of Vietnam, who were misguided by the Comintern into left adventurism.
    In reality the second faction was a national bourgeois faction, represented by such figures as Nguyen Ai Quoc.

    The working class was small in number - but it was densely concentrated in industrial zones: By 1929, the extractions industries employed 30,000 workers including 25,000 in the coals fields of Tonkin, 3,500 in the cotton mills at Nam Dinh, and 2,000 in the Franco-Annamese Weaving Company.
Lacouture; Ibid; p. 50.
    Furthermore a strike wave in 1928 had shown that the proletariat was organized.

    Nguyen Ai Quoc, had already set up the organisation called the Thanh Nien, discussed above. By 1926 Thanh Nien, had taken the line that it was necessary to establish a Marxist-Leninist party in Vietnam. However it did not take active steps to do so, until their hand was forced by calls from outside. According to the account of Tran Van Giau for Hanoi University -Nguyen Ai Quoc was in Siam during this period.

    The Kuomintang coup displaced the Thanh Nien from Canton. It was mainly directed from within Vietnam in this period. But the First, and last, Congress of the Thanh Nien, was held in Hong Kong. Here a jolt was given by Tonkin delegates who proposed to form a party. They were rebuffed. The majority felt it was premature, and reflected the Vietnamese nationalist faction (Khanh Ibid; pp.116-122). But by the end of the Conference, a letter was sent to the Comintern asking for approval to establish a Marxist-Leninist organisation. But events moved fast.

    The Tonkin delegates, the Indochinese faction, boycotted the remaining part of the conference, and returned home to proceed to establish a party. They established independent cells, in Tonkin and North Annam, and proclaimed the formation of Indochinese Communist Party (Dong Vuong Cong San Dang), on 17 June 1929.

    This surprised the Thanh Nien. Nguyen Ai Quoc's's comrade in the Thanh Nien, Lam Duc Thu responded by forming the Communist Party of Annam (Annam Cong San Dang). Meanwhile, a third and separate organization was also set up by the Revolutionary party of New Vietnam (Tan Viet Cach Mang Dang), who created the League of Indochinese Communists .

    The Comintern learning of this situation, instructed Le Hong Phong to weld unity. At the same time, the Thanh Nien, located Nguyen Ai Quoc in Siam, where he was supposed to be in secret. It was they, and not the Comintern, who alerted him to the new situation (Hodgkin; Ibid; p.238). At about the same time the Comintern issued a directive dated 27 October 1929, entitled On the Formation of a Communist Party In Indochina, which called for one party:

    Nguyen Ai Quoc called a special meeting in Hong Kong, to arrange a fusion of the parties that had newly arisen, at what is now called the Unification Conference. On January 1930, Nguyen Ai Quoc returned to Hong Kong. By 3 February 1930 the three parties had been united. The name chosen was Vietnam Cong San Dang, or the Vietnamese Communist Party. But under Comintern pressure, this was later to be changed in October 1930, to Dong Vuong Cong San Dong or the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP). A manifesto was published on 10 February with ten points, that encompassed the bourgeois democratic revolution including the agrarian revolution: 1. To over-throw imperialism, the feudal system and the reactionary bourgeoisie in Vietnam.
2. To win complete independence for Indochina;
3. To form a government made up of workers, peasants, and soldiers;
4. To nationalize the banks and other imperialist concerns and place them under the control of the proletarian government;
5. To confiscate the agricultural concessions and other estates owned by the imperialists and bourgeoisie reactionaries, in order to share them out among the poor peasants;
6. To introduce the eight hour working day;
7. To abolish compulsory loans, the poll tax, and the other iniquitous taxes afflicting the poor;
8. To accord the people democratic liberties;
9. To provide education for all;
10. To achieve sexual equality'.
Lacouture Ibid; p.54-55.
    It is likely that Nguyen Ai Quoc emphasized the peasant aspect of the alliance between workers and peasants at the expense of the workers. On arriving back in Vietnam, Nguyen Ai Quoc had made some verbal cautions about the term worker: The situation doesn't call for sweeping phrases about the workers. Our first task must be to overthrow the French colonists and set the nation free, and for that we must arouse a sense of patriotism in every single person.
Lacouture Ibid; p.55.
    But the tension remained between the interpretation of the Indochinese faction with the emphasis upon a class struggle, and the Vietnamese faction including Nguyen Ai Quoc, with an emphasis on nationalism. Both these factions, one under Comintern guidance, had forgotten' the dialectical fusion of the two thrusts, as advised by Lenin and Stalin.

    Despite the outer unity then, the contradictions remained inside the ICP. Initially, Nguyen Ai Quoc's influence was higher. Thus although the ICP was committed to be the vanguard of the proletariat, in the fourth clause of its Summary of Party Strategies, the statement given was:

The Party must do its best to maintain relationships with the petit-bourgeois intellectual, and middle peasant groups such as Thanh Nien, Tan Viet, Nguyen An Ninh factions etc. to attract them to follow the proletariat. As concerns the rich peasants, medium and small landowners, and Vietnamese capitalists who have not shown themselves to be clearly counter-revolutionary, we must make use of them, or at least neutralize them. Whichever organization has demonstrated its counter-revolutionary character (Such as the Constitutionalist Party etc) must be overthrown.
Khanh Ibid; p. 126 From Ho Chi Minh Hanoi 1976 (In Vietnamese).
    This contradicted the prescriptions of the 6th Comintern Congress, as did the ICP's fourth clause in the Summary of Party Strategies: While making propaganda for the slogan An independent Vietnam,we must make propaganda for, and establish contacts with the oppressed peoples and the world proletariat, especially the French proletariat.
Khanh Ibid; p. 126 From Ho Chi Minh Hanoi 1976 (In Vietnamese).
    The plan as laid out in clauses four and five were not in contradiction with the strategy and tactics of Lenin and Stalin. But they were in contradiction with those prescribed by Manuilsky and Kuusinen. A call to heel was to come quickly.     The Comintern quickly denounced the Unification Conference as unprincipled', and ordered a special conference, now termed the First Plenum of the Central Committee in Hong Kong in October 1930, to rectify' the situation. The landlords are a class which does not participate in the cultivation of the land, nor does it live like peasants. They use their land in order to get their share of the corps, that is they oppress and exploit the peasants. Although it is true that some of them have a few hundred hectares of land, while others five to seven thousand hectares, all of them belong to the landlord class, the enemy of the peasants. They must be overthrown and their land confiscated.
Khanh Ibid; p.127; citing Resolutions from Vietnamese party texts.
    But this ignored the differentiation of some rich peasants from the landlord class, and ignores the fact that some of the landlords had already expressed and shown anti-French intent, as shown earlier (See p. ). It therefore tended to narrow the potential anti-imperialist front.     Again this was contrary to the Marxist-Leninist line established previously, and it was an ultra-left error that would tend to narrow the anti-imperialist front.     This also tended to disrupt the national liberation struggle, and it ignored the history of the region's previous national struggles. It caused much resistance inside the Party, but was adopted finally. The name was changed to the Indochinese Communist Party, until the ICP was dissolved formally in 1945. When the party was in state power, it adopted the name of the Vietnam Workers Party (Dang Lao dong Viet Nam).

    To enshrine the stamp of the Comintern, the ICP at the First Plenum adopted the Political Theses of the ICP. These were drafted by Tran Phu, and insisted upon the tactics specified above, although it agreed that the current stage was the stage of the bourgeois democratic revolution. Despite this agreement', the Theses insisted that the national features were no longer as important, owing to the independence' of the masses:

Struggle of the worker-peasant masses has taken on a very clearly independent character and is no longer influenced by nationalism as it used to be.
Cited in Khanh Ibid; p. 130.
    As one historian of the party, Khanh, comments, in toto these changes were serious: This subordination of Vietnamese patriotism to left wing Communist sectarianism almost caused a fatal collapse of the ICP.
Khanh Ibid; p. 141.
iii) The Nighe Tinh Xo-Viets (Soviets)
    In the wake of the Yen Bay massacres, in April, 1930 the CC of the ICP had already met in Hong Kong to discuss the Comintern's issues as seen . But, shortly after this, spontaneous eruptions of peasant anger resulted in the formation of Soviets, in Northern Annam province. An international economic depression had made conditions for the peasantry, even worse than before. There was a sharp decline in the price of rice. Even the colonial capitalists were divided and fought over the Bank of Indochina's debt recovery programme, as illustrated in its revaluation of the Vietnamese piaster to the French franc (Khanh Ibid; p. 145). Under the ensuing publicity, even in France, some awareness of the situation in Vietnam forced the future Premier Daladier, of the Popular Front Government to propose the creation of a commission on the colony. But the parti colonial' still had sway.

    A definite revolutionary upsurge took place with the participation of workers at the Phu Rieng rubber plantation in Nam Ky, and at textile mills in Bac Ky, and sawmills at Ben Thuy. Unrest spread rapidly throughout the country. But the heart of the upsurge was in the North, at Trung Ky. Armed self-defense militia emerged. By 12 September, 1931 6,000 peasants staged a hunger march and ended by expropriating large estates and establishing Red Villages (lang do),or peoples' Councils, or soviets - called Xo-Viets. The movement spread fast. However governmental control was never challenged at the provincial seats.

    An immediate police and military crack down on the party was started. Open terrorism was conducted in the countryside. In response the peasant movement was led into adventurist policies, and an anti-intellectual' and anti-wavering' campaign was started by the cadre of the area (Khanh Ibid; p.159). The CC of the ICP, however criticized the formation of the Soviets by the cadre of the Trung Bo, on the grounds that the level of preparation was not high enough. But the CC correctly called for and organized national support for them, now that they had been established (Hodgkin; Ibid; p. 254).

    By the summer of 1931, the movement was essentially over. In several villages the peasants turned against the communist cadres. Many cadre had been destroyed, and the ICP was severely disrupted in the area. The French captured all the important party leaders by April 1931. Some surviving cadre even wrote to the French party and the Comintern announcing the dissolution' of the party, although this was not the case. But by 1932, the French colonial administration were announcing the end of the communist threat'. Approximately 10,000 cadre were imprisoned   (Khanh Ibid; p. 160).

    In Hong Kong, Nguyen Ai Quoc was arrested, as were other Comintern agents in Singapore Joseph Ducroux, and in Shanghai, Noulens [Also known as Ruegg]. It appears that the British were not interested however in helping the French pull their chestnuts out of the fire, and seem to have assisted in Nguyen Ai Quoc's escape from prison, and proclaimed him dead from Tuberculosis. Nguyen Ai Quoc secretly made his way to China and then Moscow.

    It is not clear whether the Nghe Tinh Soviet movement was primarily a spontaneous eruption, or was deliberately fostered. There is no doubt that in recognition of the lack of preparations, the ICP CC tried to forestall the outbreak of soviets elsewhere (Khanh Ibid; p.165). But in all likelihood, elements of the ICP were nurtured by the general ultra-left policies of the Comintern rampant at that time. The failure of the movement of Soviets, allowed the Comintern to remove Nguyen Ai Quoc from control of the ICP. The French Party was placed in control, as well as the Siamese Communist Party and the Communist Party China (CCP).

    The Nguyen Ai Quoc faction within the ICP in the period between 1930-135, was in the minority and virtually silent. In fact it is strange that Nguyen Ai Quoc himself, was not even visible in party circles until 1939. His death' was even commemorated by comrades of the ICP in Moscow. It is apparent that he was in disfavor with the Comintern. It is also on record that he was in Moscow under-going further training. Yet he had been an extremely high ranking official of the Comintern prior to the 1928 6th World Congress of the Comintern.
    The theoretical positions of Nguyen Ai Quoc were now systematically attacked by the ICP. He was termed a petit-bourgeois hangover' for his adherence to the national independence of Vietnam. His strategy was severely critiqued. He was also blamed for the premature risings of the Soviets of Nghe An:

    Nguyen Ai Quoc attended the Seventh Congress of the Comintern. But Le Hong Phong was named the official ICP delegate to the seventh Congress of Comintern. There Le Hong Phong was elected to the CC of the Comintern. Upon Le Hong Phong's death, in 1940, Nguyen Ai Quoc took over the functions relating to the Comintern. Nguyen Ai Quoc strongly endorsed the line of Dimitrov and the Seventh Congress. The discrepancy between Nguyen Ai Quoc's line and the Comintern did not any longer apply, since the Comintern had swung over to a rightist position on the issue of united fronts (Both the Communist League and Alliance have analyzed these events previously:
See Alliance 12;  Dimitrov at  Compass: United Front Subversion at: ) .
   The line of Nguyen Ai Quoc was now supported by the Seventh Congress. In contrast, the line that had been adopted in the interim by the ICP, was in conflict with both the Comintern and Nguyen Ai Quoc.

    While Nguyen Ai Quoc and Le Hong Phong had been in Moscow, the ICP held its first Party Congress in Macao March 1935. It had taken a line that was not supported by Nguyen Ai Quoc. Later commentary notes this:

The book Great Dates of the Vietnamese Workers Party.. States that the Macao Congress had decided that the time and circumstances were strongly in favour of revolution. In particular the conference had decreed: It must not be forgotten that only armed warfare-the supreme form of class warfare- can lead to the overthrow of the oppressors.. In the years 1930-31 we won considerable success despite our setbacks.
Lacouture Ibid; p. 61.
    A footnote to the section in Great Dates of the Vietnamese Workers Party published by Hanoi, states that the Macao Congress was incapable of: Appreciating at their rightful value the changes which had occurred in their country and the world. This certainly was Nguyen Ai Quoc's position. Again, the conflict between the 6th Congress position of the Comintern and Nguyen Ai Quoc is well known. Lacouture, in his biography points out that Nguyen Ai Quoc was: In almost open conflict with the leadership of the ICP as a result of its decision to hold the first party congress (Macao March 1935) while and Le Hong Phong were away. Lacouture Ibid; p. 61.     But Nguyen Ai Quoc's line was now bolstered, by the line of the Comintern Seventh Congress, which was summarized by Nguyen Ai Quoc, in a report dated 1939: The Party cannot at present put forward excessive demands (national independence parliament) without risk of falling into the Japanese trap. For the time being it is advisable to claim only democratic rights:
1. Freedom to organise, freedom of assembly; freedom of the Press, freedom of speech, a general amnesty for all people sentenced on political grounds, and the entitlement of the Party to operate within the law.
2. To achieve these ends it is essential that we do our utmost to build up the Democratic Front;
The latter includes not only Indochinese, but progressive French people as well; it embraces both the workers and the national bourgeois.
3. In its dealing with the bourgeoisie the Party must show considerable tact and flexibility. Let every effort be made to incorporate it into the Front, to rally those elements which are capable of being won over to the cause and to neutralize the fluctuating elements. None of them must remain outside the Front...
5. As a means of bolstering its strength.. The Democratic Front must maintain close contact with the Popular Front in France, which is also fighting for freedom and democracy..
6. The Party must... establish close relations with the French Communist Party".  Lacouture Ibid; p. 61-2.
    Since Indo-China was a colony of the French, the attitude and the behaviours of the French Communist Party are relevant to this analysis. The line of the French CP had been in flux, resulting in an obviously different position from their previous one.     It is impossible to discuss the shift in position of the French CP, without recourse to consideration of the Comintern position. In the Comintern, there had been a shift from an ultra-left position to one that was right-ist - with an unprincipled adoption of the new United Front positions. These were, in contrast to the Marxist-Leninist tactics previously defined, to adopt a conciliatory position in class alliances and not utter a word of criticism. This took practical expression, with the Leon Blum Communist backed Popular Front Government in France.

    The Marxist-Leninist line on United Fronts, followed that originally formed by Lenin in the early days of the Bolshevik party:

We need a United Front... we adopted the united front tactics in order to help the masses to fight against capital...and we shall pursue these tactics to the end. "
V.I.Lenin: "We have Paid Too Much"; In: 'Selected Works' Volume 10; London; 1946; p. 305.
    But this correct tactic was dropped by the Comintern over the years 1928-1935. First of all, the line was turned into a Ultra-left direction, one that denied any possibility of united fronts. Then it was modified into an Ultra-right direction, with not even the right of open criticism by the Communist Party. This perversion of United Front tactics was exemplified in France.

    During the 1930's, the foreign policy of the dominant sections of the French and British imperialists was, to appease: to assist in deeds, while deploring in words, the aggressive expansion of the German, Italian and Japanese imperialists. The aim was to bring the fascist imperialists into conflict with the Soviet Union. They hoped that the world's only socialist state would be destroyed while their German, Italian and Japanese rivals would be so weakened as to enable them, the western European imperialists to dominate the whole Eurasian land mass.

    But this appeasement necessitated an unprecedented demagogic deception of the people. This invoked the trustworthiness of Hitler and Mussolini: the desirability of concessions to them in order to save the world from war: the need for non-intervention in the Spanish Civil War (that is, an embargo on the sale of arms to the legal Republican government, while the German and Italian imperialists poured in arm and troops to aid the Spanish fascists).

    The most serious threat to appeasement in 1933, was undoubtedly the rapid development in France of the united front against fascism. This was being built from below by the French Communist Party. The imperialists countered this threat with the cooperation of the leaders of the Labour and Socialist international, the Nazi secret service and the press of many countries. The plan was to gag and bind the anti-fascists in the united front being built from below, by perverting it into a united front from above-a prelude to its destruction.

    As a part of the tactics of building a united front from below, the Communist International long before 1935, had recommended that Communist Parties approached the Social Democratic Parties, with proposals on a principled basis, in a process of isolating, the leaders of the Social-Democratic parties:

In the twelve years since 1923 we addressed the Socialist Party 26 times. Each time we met with a refusal, sometimes even a rude one.
M. Thorez: Speech at 7th World Congress of the Communist International  in:
"Report 7th Congress", 'Speeches' Part  4; London: 1936: p.30.
    On February 19th, 1933 - eight days before the Reichstag fire set by the Nazis, the Bureau of the Labour and Socialist International issued a statement, declaring the readiness of the Social-Democratic Parties affiliated to it to form fronts, directed against fascism with the Communist Parties  ('International Press Correspondence  Volume 13: March 9 th., 1933; p.262). In response, the Executive Committee of the Communist International maintained that a united front - in deeds and not words - could be set up only from below": This declaration stands in sharp contradiction to the whole of the previous actions of the L.S.I and the social democratic parties. The whole policy and activity of the L.S.I. hitherto justifies the C.I. and the C.P.s in putting no faith in the sincerity of the declaration, of the L.S.I. Bureau. The Executive Committee of the Communist International, firmly believes that; the social - democratic and non-party workers, regardless of what attitude the social-democratic leaders adopt in setting up the united front, will overcome all obstacles and, together with the Communists, set up the United front not in words but in deeds."
(Ibid; p.262).
    But the Executive Committee of the Communist International called upon all Communist Parties to make yet another attempt to set up a united front of struggle with the social-democratic workers through the medium of the social-democratic parties. On the international scale indeed, nothing whatever came of the L.S.I declaration of February 19th, 1933. A month later, on March,18th-l0th,1933, the Bureau passed a resolution advising affiliated parties not to conclude united front agreements until and unless agreement on their form had been agreed between the two Internationals, and the conference of the L.S.I. in Paris in November 1934 repealed this resolution and left each affiliated party to take such action as it thought fit.

    On July 15th, 1934, however taking its stand on the L.S.I. declaration of February 19th, 1933, the National Council of the French Socialist Party voted to accept the public proposal of the French Communist Party for a united front "against war and fascism", adding:

"It welcomes it all the more as it hopes to see in this unity of action a means of preparing the organic unification of the two parties."     The price which the Communist Party paid for the conclusion of the united front pact, on August 27th, 1934 was to prove fatal to the cause anti-fascism and to the fight against war; this was to abstain from criticism of the Socialist Party for the duration of the agreement:     The bourgeois Radical Socialist Party was led by Edouard Daladier, who had resigned as Prime Minister in February 1934 at the demand of fascist rioters. He would later accompany Chamberlain to Munich, to partition Czechoslovakia with Hitler and Mussolini. In the interim however, on July 14th 1935 he agreed to extend, by its participation the Socialist Communist united front, into a wider anti-fascist People's Front with an extension of the non-criticism pact.

    In the General Election of May 3rd, 1936, the People's's Frontwon a decisive majority securing the election of 146 Socialists 136 Radical Socialists, and 72 Communists. On June 4th, 1936 the Socialist leader Leon Blum became, the Prime Minister. Blum selected a cabinet consisting of Socialists and Radical Socialists with no Communists. It became obvious within a few-weeks of the formation of the People's Front, government, that in its foreign policy it was determined to line up completely with the appeasement policy of the British Conservative government, headed then by Stanley Baldwin. The Foreign Secretary of the People's Frontgovernment, Yvon Delbos, in fact, became popularly, known as the British Under-Secretary for French Affairs.
    On June 19th, 1936 the British government dropped the sanctions imposed by
international agreement against Italy in connection with that country's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935. The French People's Frontgovernment followed suit on June 23rd, announcing this to the Chamber of Deputies, Delbos stressed he had complete faith, - in Hitler's protestations of friendship for France:

We have no intention of doubting the word of a man who during four years knew the horror of the trenches. When the Spanish fascists, headed by Franco, began their counter-revolutionary war against the Republican Government of Spain in July 1936, the French People's Frontgovernment issued on August 2nd an appeal to the British and Italian government urging:     At a mass meeting in Paris, on September 6th 1936, three days after the fall of Irun to the fascist forces, Blum declared with tears in his eyes, that his heart was with the Spanish people, but if the People's Front government had sent arms to Madrid: The most immediate consequence would have been a competition in the supply of armaments to both sides.     When interjectors pointed out that Italy and Germany were known to be sending massive armed support to the Spanish fascists, in violation of the International non-intervention agreement, Blum replied: There is not a single proof, not a single piece of evidence, to show that the agreement has been violated.     On December 9th, 1936 a joint Socialist Party -Communist Party communication said:     On January 14th, 1937 the People's FrontGovernment proceeded to extend its policy of non-intervention in the Spanish Civil War by a Bill to ban volunteers for Spain.

    On June 21st 1937, after its financial reform Bill had been rejected by the Senate, the Blum government resigned. It was succeeded by a new People's Front government headed by the Radical Socialist Camille Chautemps. It included Socialist Party members but no communists.

    At the Socialist Party Conference in July 1937, by which time the fiction that Germany and Italy were observing non-intervention in Spain could on longer be sustained even by the widest stretch of the imagination, Blum defended the People's Frontgovernment's policy of non-intervention on the grounds that it had saved peacedeclaring:

    On March 13th , 1938 Blum returned to head a new peoples' Frontgovernment composed again of Socialist Party members and Radical Socialist Party members, but no Communists. It lasted less than a month resigning on April 8th, 1938 when its financial Bill was once more rejected by the Senate.

    On April 10th 1938, Blum returned to head a new People's Frontgovernment , of Socialist Party members and Radial Socialist Party members, but again no Communists. It lasted less than a month, resigning on April 8th 1938 when its financial reform Bill was once more rejected by the Senate. In September 1938 Daladier, as the head of a People's Front government dedicated to anti-fascism made his infamous journey with Chamberlain to Munich to meet Hitler and Mussolini and sign approval for the handing over of Czechoslovakia to the Nazis.

    The People's Front had completed its allotted task. The anti fascist movement in France had collapsed in disillusionment, but the Communist Party had nobly carried out the policy of taking no action which would break up the People's Frontand the People's Frontgovernment ceased to exist, This was now done for them. After abolishing in October 1938, the 40 hour week which was the main positive achievement of the People's Frontadministration, in November the People's Front and The Peoples Front government ceased to exist, when on November 11th th government party, the Radical Socialist Party, formally left its association with the united Front.

    In the summer of 1939, the united Frontalso ceased to exist, when the Socialist Party withdrew from it. On August 27th, 1939, all organs of the Communist Party were banned, and shortly after the outbreak of the phoney waron September 3rd 1939, the Party itself was outlawed and the mass arrests of Communists began.

    At the seventh World Congress of the Communist International just four years earlier, in 1935, Cachin had declared:

    In fact of course the "Anti-fascist People's Front" was steered by the west European imperialists through Munich to fascism and war.     As one commentator, Khanh the historian of the ICP, puts it:     Despite the general assumptions that the Popular Front government would liberalize the colonial policy, this did not materialize. Blum as Prime Minister, was known to have in the past been critical of the colonial outrages such as Yen Bay and Nghe Tinh. The minster of Colonies was Marius Moutet, who was also a supposed Friend of the Indochinese. In the past, he had been an ally of Phan Chu Trinh. In regard to the French colonies, the 7th clause of the Popular Front agreement did indeed state:     In February 1937, the parliamentary commission was formed, and included two well known authors who had attacked the French regime in Vietnam also - Andree Viollis and Louis Roubaud. Several thousand political prisoners were released. The unpopular Governor-general was replaced by Jules Brevie . A labour code was passed on 30 December 1936 which reduced hours, abolished night work for women, forbad child labour under 12 years of age, and granted annual leave and a 6 day week. But the movement towards freedom was not supported.

    Hopes faded fast amongst the liberation fighters. The arrest of prominent leaders of the Indochinese Congressmovement - Nguyen van Tao, Ta Thu Thau and Nguyen An Ninh - was followed by Blum's refusal to accept pleas on their behalf. By autumn of 1936, even the labour code was annulled.

    While Trotskyism and Marxism-Leninism were battling for ideological leadership in the world wide arena, in Indochina an unusual united front developed. This was between Marxist-Leninists (Nguyen van Tao, and Duong Bach Mai), two Trotskyites (Ta Thu Thau and Phan van Hum) and other progressives. They formed in Nam ky, a group known as La Lutte.

    La Lutte between 1933-1936 operated in the South with other Trotskyites - the Octobrists, and the ICP. These Nam Ky groups came together under the leadership of La Lutte, under the hopes that the Popular Front Blum government would allow some freedoms. Papers were published, such as La Lutte Tranh Dau (The struggle) & Mai (Tomorrow) & Tan van (News). Study groups were organized, and this led to the creation of the Indochinese Congress, which was influenced by the news of such an organisation in Morocco. The purpose of the Indochinese Congress, was to collect the wishes of the peoplefor the parliamentary commission.  (Khanh, Ibid, p. 213).

    La Lutte also succeeded in elections to the Municipal Council of Saigon, and the Colonial Council of Cochin China, in the years 1933, 1935, and 1937 (Khanh Ibid, p.199). Throughout this period, the masses were to some extent, being organized; and within a month 600 action committees were organized throughout Nam Ky. These coordinated a strike wave, led in large part by the ICP. Bac Ky also was being actively organized. Here the ICP was most dominant. Again numerous communist papers were published. At this time a significant development occurred, namely the collaboration of the VNQDD with the ICP. Old VNQDD members released from prison, like Tran Huy Lieu, To Hieu, Tuong Dan Bao joined the ICP. Even the ex-founder of the VNQDD Pham Tuan Tai left a Political Testament, dying in Hanoi. This contained this advice:

    Meanwhile in Trung Ky the Indochinese Congresswas being prepared. The Surete (French secret police) noticed how the nationalists came under the sway of the communists. The ICP had turned their back on the ultra-left steps, previously demanded by the Comintern up to 1935. The aim now was to forge a national liberation struggle under Communist leadership of all social strata, into a people's front- Mat tran nhan dan.

    For the first phase of the national liberation struggle, this goal almost conformed to the goals of the Leninist-Stalinist strategy of national liberation. Where it did not adhere was the insistence that all the bourgeoisie could be drawn into a progressive Peoples Front; and on the insistence on destroying various mass movements.

    The New Line of the ICP was given by Le Hong Phong, the ECCI representative with the ICP and head of the Overseas Leadership Committee, in July 1936, following the 7th Comintern Conference. The new line, broadly followed that of Nguyen Ai Quoc. Ai Quoc stated this line, later in his report to the Comintern, in 1939:

    On 29 September 1939, the ICP CC issued the directive that:     At the 6th Plenum in November 1939, it was stressed that:     This assessment was of course correct. But some ultra-Right moves were made in association with this. A hint of this can be seen in the following wording:     To supposedly facilitate this overall strategy of national revolution, the ICP in 1937 dissolved all the clandestine mass organisations that had been set up - The Red Workers Unions, the Peasants Association, the Communist Youth Corps, the Red Aid Society - in order to accentuate and emphasise legal and overt political activity (Khanh Ibid, p. 220). In addition it postponed the agrarian revolution explicitly to obtain a broad front:     The policy now was to win over progressive elements in the landowner class, to broaden the National United Front (Khanh Ibid, p.252). The 1936 change in the line of the ICP, was signaled by a open letter to all the existing political parties. This outlined a 12 point program for a broad front. It contained moderate demands - equal eligibility, voting rights, enactment of a labour code, general amnesty for political prisoners, but it was not believed by the bourgeois parties. The party therefore launched a propaganda campaign to ensure that it was not seen as being Separatist. The ICP, only it said, wished for a strong, free and happy Indochina. It went so far as to state a unity with the French Socialist Party the French Radical Socialist Party and the French league of the Rights of Man and the Citizen:     Various fronts were formed over this period, including the Indochinese Democratic Font (1936-1939) (Mat tran Dan chu Dong-duong). Following this the Indochinese Anti-Imperialist National United Front was formed at the party Congress of 1936. Both Pham Van Dong and Vo Nguyen Giap played an especially prominent role in its leadership. But until 1944, in the main, the calls for a united front by the ICP was ignored, by the bourgeois elements and the petit bourgeois parties, especially in Nam Ky and Trung Ky where there was no reply. In Bac Ky there were mass demonstrations in Hanoi.

    It is likely that the abandonment of the old two-edged line (ie First the national democratic revolution, sliding immediately into the socialist revolution), left many of the party militants confused and uncertain (Khanh Ibid, p. 223). The cadre that were used to the pseudo-left policies of the Comintern of the previous period, did not easily accept the new line. This was understandable, given those elements in the ICP who now adopted ultra- rightist positions, such as:

    In this period, the United Front between various Trotskyite elements and the ICP broke. Despite the fact that the united front had led to successful election strategies, the ICP Central Committee insisted that the United front be broken up, calling the Trostkyites agent provocateurs. Also at this stage, Moutet banned the Indochinese Congress and arrested the principal leaders of the La Lutte. Until 28th September 1939, when it itself was banned, the ICP was left in the field. It was at this stage that at the Third Plenum in August 1937, the ICP reaffirmed the policy of the Indochinese Democratic Front - to take the legal and open route as far as possible.     The French occupation by Germany, left France so weak, that it could not maintain its imperialist position in Indochina. The Germans invaded France in June 1940, assisted by the Vichy regime of Marshall Petain. The French colonists were already divided into a pro- and anti-French wings. The latter faction advocated collaboration with Japanese imperialism. Even before the fall of France, the Japanese influenced policies in Vietnam.

    The Tonkin Railway (from Haiphong to Yunnan), which blocked supplies to the Kuomintang, was now obstructed by Japanese troops who entered Canton,. These supplies had already been slowed by Japanese pressure on French diplomats. By February 1939 the French entered Hai Nan, and some islands belonging to Indochina.

    Only three weeks after the outbreak of war, on 26th September 1939, the ICP was banned by Georges Catroux the Governor-General. The ICP had for about a year been preparing an underground resistance. Between 6-8 November 1939, the Sixth Plenum of the party was held in Ba Diem in secret, as discussed above, led by the Secretary General Nguyen Van Cu
(Khanh Ibid, p. 252).

    Nonetheless, despite the banning, in November 1940 an insurrection was launched in Nam Ky, banking on French weakness. This proved abortive, having been launched prematurely against a counter-manding order from the Central Committee which arrived too late. An ensuing French repression took many Communists into prisons. Already by the end of 1939, the main leadership was in prisons, but the repression that followed the abortive rising was even worse (Khanh, Ibid, p. 250; 253).

    Meanwhile the Japanese took advantage of the French collapse to demand the closing of the Tonking-Canton border. Catroux accepted their ultimatum within 24 hours, but he was then replaced by the Petain government, by Admiral Jean Ducoux. The Japanese were now in effective charge, as recognised by the Franco-Japanese Treaty of 30 August 1940. This recognised the:

    By September 1940 the Japanese occupation was complete. By May 1941, the Japanese had transferred territory of Laos, West of the Mekong, and the entire Cambodian province of Battambang to Thailand (which had become a comprador state to the Japanese). This was a transfer of 70,000 square kilometers (Khanh Ibid, p. 239). Finally by the Darlan-Kato Accord of 29 July 1941, an agreement was signed that incorporated Indochina into a common' defense pact.

    This new reality, further fostered the Vietnamese National revolution. In the same period, both the French and the Japanese fostered their own comprador agents. The Japanese assisted the growth of two religious sects the Cao Dai (High Tower', incorporating Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist asa well as Christian beliefs), and the Hoa Hao. Both of these had developed a large peasant based following, and aroused some fear on the French authorities parts.

    The Cao Dai was formed in 1925, and by 1932 had a large following. When in 1941, the French closed some temples, the Japanese took the Cao Dai under their protection. Similarly, the Hoa Hao, founded in 1939, was banned by the Surete, and the Japanese again took it under their patronage.

    In their own favour, the French tried to win over the diverse ethnic groups of the area. They put forward the mythic notion of the Indochinese nation composed of Annam, Laos and Cambodia. They also minimized the wage differences between the French and Indochinese. They even in 1942, promulgated progressive measures for work conditions in Indochina for the native working class, and tried to start a Youth movement'

    But although the Japanese fostered these anti-French elements, while the French attempted to curry favour also, the true Vietnamese patriots were organizing successfully. The ICP quickly won over the French led youth movement'. By June 1944 their new organisation - the Dang Dan chu Viet Nam (Vietnamese Democratic Party) had won over large sections of the urban petit bourgeoisie.

    When the Comintern changed to a rightist line on the Popular Front, it was inevitable that the line of Mao Ze Dong would be favored. Accordingly, the ICP was placed under the guidance of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), in August 1940 (Post K : Volume 1 "An Interrupted Revolution"; Ibid; p. 122). Key personnel including Vo Nguyen Giap and Pham Van Dong, were sent to Yenan for political and military training (Khanh Ibid; p. 282).

    By 1941, the ICP had made some further key decisions, ratified at the 8th plenum held in 10-19 May 1941, at the cave of Pac Bo in Cao Bang province. Nguyen Ai Quoc had now returned to Vietnam, having been absent from it for 10 years. The Plenum re-emphasized the national question. It resolved:

    It declared that the Indochinese revolution was no longer a bourgeois democratic revolution but a national liberation revolution. This meant that the hitherto twin goals - both the anti-feudal and anti-imperialist tasks - could be de-linked, and separated:     The ICP justified this move, as follows:     This is contrary to the Marxist-Leninist position. Marxists-Leninists struggle for national liberation as the first step, whilst recognizing that before the successful conclusion of the first step, inevitably the wavering bourgeois and feudal elements (even if they favor national liberation) will flinch and attempt to sabotage the revolution. In that circumstances the only solution is to rely on eh peasantry and the proletariat to take the revolution successfully towards the first step. And then to extend the sweep of the revolution into the socialist stage without a break int between. As shall be seen, the ICP certainly did not do that.

    The 8th Plenum also took a decision to create the Viet Nam Independence League (Viet Nam Doc Lap Dong Minh) commonly known as the Viet Minh. Fittingly, the ICP although it still accepted the name Indochinese, argued that he revolutions of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam should be dealt separately. In theory, there were to be set up parallel liberation leagues in each of the three that would together form , a Federal League of Independence of Indochina. This all formed part of a policy for the ICP to find the way back to the nation(tim ve dan toc).

    At the 8th Plenum, the previous 6th Plenum November 1939 decisions to move towards a National United Front, were therefore given a substance by the 8th Plenum. The Viet Minh Front was intended to cross many classes, including the feudalist elementsso long as they were patriotic:

    It is true that the wording of the Viet Minh strategy at times, in some places makes it sound Marxist-Leninist. Thus General Vo Nguyen Giap, in his work, La Guerre du Peuplesays:     But there was no attempt to move the struggle forward and to the left, if the masses surged. The 8th Plenum did make resolve to prepare for an armed insurrection (Khanh Ibid; p. 269) at that time and placed it as the central task. After the spring of 1943, guerrilla preparations were made for such an insurrection. By 1943 as the objective world situation changed, in the wake of the USSR defence at Stalingrad, the ICP CC accelerated its' preparations for an insurrection.

    The Viet Minh gained strength in the urban petit bourgeoisie and the urban bourgeoisie (Khanh Ibid; p.273). In June 1944 the Viet Minh sponsored the Vietnamese Democratic Party, which was meant to be a mass base for the intelligentsia. Other mass groups were sponsored also. By late 1943, the ICP had set up some base areas in the bordering areas of China, in Cao bang (Khanh Ibid, p.275-277). The Viet Minh also tried to exploit the differences between the Gaullist French and the Vichy French inside Vietnam (Khanh Ibid, p. 284-5). In the midst of this general forward movement, yet another premature insurrection was halted by Nguyen Ai Quoc, as he returned from 13 months imprisonment in China (Khanh Ibid, p. 288).

    Following the 8th Plenum, Ai Quoc journeyed to establish some Northen bases, towards Chian. He was arrested by the war lords of the Kuomintang, and held by in Chingshi from August 1942 to September 1943. Over this time he appears to have made some compact with the Kuomintang allowing their Vietnamese proteges some role in the future development towards Vietnamese freedom from France and Japan and enthrallment to China. Ai Quoc agreed to:     During this time he established links with various agents of the USA, in the form of the Office of Strategic Security (OSS) - the wartime ancestor of the CIA.     On 9 March 1945, the Japanese demanded that French Indochinese be made into a Japanese possession. They attacked all French strongholds without waiting for a reply. All French were made prisoners. On 11 March emperor Bao Dai, declared the:    There now ensued a period known as doc-lap banh veor pseudo-independence.
    The emperor was kept on the throne. A comprador government headed by a reluctant Tran Trong Kim, a Confucian scholar, was formed. But Japan did not formally recognize this government. But Japan did cede in July 1945, on month prior their own surrender in the Second World War, Haiphong, Hanoi and Danang, and the province of Nam Ky to Vietnam. The emperor then rescinded the treaties of 1862 and 1874 with France.

    In the aftermath of the Japanese dismissal of the French, the Vietnamese people did not respond well to the overture of the Japanese. A comprador group was formed called Alliance For A Great Viet State (Dai Viet Quoc Gia Lien Minh), but this did not win significant support. Many other groups did spring up, some of which may have been to a small extent pro-Japanese (Khanh Ibid; p. 298).

    But a major famine took hold in Vietnam that overshadowed this. The Decoux Government during the war, agreed to supply Japan with the entire exportable surplus of rice and corn during 1942-43. The colonial regime then extracted this from the peasantry. By 1943 year end the peasants were starving. Bac Ky was especially hit. By March 1945 about 2 million Vietnamese ahd died of starvation. The only forces to attempt to fight the famine were the Communists - with their Vanguard Youth organisation Thanh Nien Tien Phong. They collected money and rice (One million piastres and 1,595 tons) to send to the North in July 1945.

    It was the combination of the Japanese take-over, the national vacuum of leadership, and the Japanese surrender, coupled to the famine that led to the General Insurrection of August(tong Khoi Nghia thang Tam).

    On 9 march 1945, the ICP CC held a special enlarged conference. The party published The Historic Directive, entitled Our Action in Relation to the Franco-Japanese Conflict. This laid out the bones of the August Insurrection. It predicted that the French would lose to the Japanese. This loss would result in a coup d'etat in favour of the Japanese imperialists. In this circumstance it was advised that the French were no longer:

    As the Bao Dai-Tran Trong Kim government flailed, the ICP continued to organise. The 5 months of the Japanese pseudo-independence allowed both a military force of the ICP to emerge clearly - the Vietnamese Liberation Army (Viet Nam Giai Phong Quan); and the Viet Minh political mobilization to spread. In the rural areas, the old colonial based village notables turned over the seals of office to the Viet Minh. By June 1945, the Viet Minh had a Liberated Zoneof 6 provinces consisting of one million people. It was headed by a Provisional Leadership Committee headed by Nguyen Ai Quoc.

    The Viet Minh organised against the famine, in this process winning many supporters in the peasantry. They resorted to the confiscation of Japanese granaries by armed force. These actions undoubtedly assisted the growth of the ICP :

    Throughout this time, the Viet Minh Front tried to gain the support of the American OSS, the French Gaullists and the Chinese Kuomintang. The USA tried to first foster a joint Chinese-Indochinese state - but had been rejected by Chiang Kai-Shek (Khanh Ibid, p.316). The guerillas of the Viet Minh and the OSS had met in the jungles fighting the Japanese and it is recorded that Nguyen Ai Quoc was very fond of the Americans. As Khanh comments :     But ultimately the USA did not carry through its support to Vietnamese independence as we shall see. By July 1945 the Viet Minh were in large degree in control throughout Bac Ky and were widely seen elsewhere. The upper echelons were also pro Viet Minh by now:     The Japanese surrendered on 10th August 1945 after two massive atomic bomb explosions at Hiorshima and Nagasaki (See Alliance 30 part (iii) 'On Atomic Diplomacy': at  ). On 13 August the Viet Minh Provisional Leadership Committee of the Liberated Zone issued Military Order No 1. This declared the uprise ing. On 16 August Vo Nguyen Giap led the Liberation Army toward Hanoi. As Khanh put it:     On 30 August the Emperor Bao Dai abdicated in favour of the provisional government. The Declaration of Independence of Vietnam, was read on 2 September in Hanoi's Ba Dinh Square by Ho Chi Minh, declaring an end to French rule. It used terms that were consciously drawn from the USA Declaration Of Independence.

    Only six years later was it openly acknowledged that Ho Chi Minh, was in fact the same person as Nguyen Ai Quoc. This latter name, was the one by which the masses knew him. The subterfuge of the name, was to facilitate the sabotage of the revolution that was about to take place upon 11 November. The name Nguyen Ai Quoc was a historic name that reeked too strongly of revolution. This name was thus discarded. Along with the name was discarded the very robes of socialist revolution - the party was discarded.

    The 2nd September declaration had stated that the revolutionary objective was bai phong phna de' ie anti-feudalism and anti-imperialism. But on 11 November 1945 the Central Executive Committee of the ICP declared that it was:

        Ready to put the interests of the nation above class interests.

    It proceeded to show this was indeed true, by dissolving itself. The ICP now stated the requirements that were now relevant for revolution in Indochina:

    The Central Executive Committee of the Indochinese Communist Party met on
11 November 1945, (it) resolved that the Indochinese Communist Party dissolve itself (Khanh Ibid, p. 328-9). The faithful (tin doc) of communism who wish to go on with their ideological study shall adhere to the Indochinese Association for the Study of Marxism.

        Khanh rightly points out that this was An exceptional act.

    In this unusual atmosphere, elections were held that would form a Provisional National Coalition Government. This contained both ex-communists and the open representatives of the bourgeoisie. There were at least 30 other parties in existence. Accordingly the programme that was implemented was very far short of any socialist steps. The Bank Of Indochina was not nationalised, and its funds not seized. Various decrees, incorporating limited reforms were carried out including a programme for arms production, to abolish the opium, salt and Alcohol taxes, to foster literacy. In addition the government fought famine by a concerted food campaign and relief, assisted by a bumper May 1946 harvest.

    Apologists for the ICP, such as Post, state that the ICP was forced to dissolve itself in order to prevent the invading Kuomintang forces:

    But as Post himself admits, the ICP had decided not to fight them. Already the United National Front [composed of Cao Dai, Hoa Hoa and Trotskyites - the latter of the International Communist League (ICL)] was prevented from fighting the arrival of British and Indian troops led by General Douglas Gracey. The United Front was in fact opposed by the Viet Minh and Tran Van Giau and Ho Chi Minh. Several leading members of the ICL were simply assassinated by the ICP (Post Volume 1: Ibid; p. 130). As Post puts it :     In reality by 6 March 1946 the Vietnamese was brought into a new Indochinese Federation and this in turn was brought into a wider French Union. An agreement between France and China meant that in return for French cessation of pre-war claims on territory, the Chinese moved their troops (Post Volume 1: Ibid; p. 137). Even as the agreement was signed, the French were landing troops off Haiphong. During this time, the VNQDD and the Revolutionary League were crushed by military force by the Vietminh. But at the same time, the Viet Minh joined in another United Front with remnants of these organisations and Bhuddist and Catholic groups and other Democrats.

    During this period, Ho Chi Minh attempted to negotiate in France at Fontainebleau, the terms of the new state and the French withdrawal. But despite two months, no agreement was reached. Tension rose as war was expected. By March 1947, the French had re-invaded the major part of the country and the Viet Minh were forced into their guerilla retreat into Viet Bac. By 23 November 1946, the French launched a massive air and naval attack on Haiphong. The Viet Minh now re-launched their guerilla war.

    The period from 1946 to 1951 saw the continued armed struggle against French imperialism. The French again used various compradors, including Cao Dai and Hoa Hoa warlords, and Chinese merchants (Post Volume 1: Ibid; p.149; 151). France forced the former emperor Bao Dai into the role of Head of State of the supposed new autonomous state of Cochin China, where a state for all of Vietnam was declared in May 1948. The Viet Minh launched guerilla war with General Vo Nguyen Giap at its head. The Northern province of Viet Bac Zone, formed the base of the Democratic Republic Vietnam (DRVN).

    Using claims such as being able to wage war, the DRV made significant anti-Marxist-Leninist concessions. Thus it made peace with the feudal landlords:

    At the same time assurances were made to the landowner that wage policy would not leave land uncultivated due to the high cost of labour" (Post Volume 1: Ibid; p. 155). Moreover landlords were given compensation for lands used in absentia by revolutionary committees (Ibid). President Ho maintained publicly to the French press that the DRVN was only operating under Sun Yat Sen's Principles:     Over this time, in January 1950 the PRC and then the Soviet Union recognized the DRVN. In retaliation the US government recognised the supposedly independent' states of Viet Nam- Cochin China, Laos, and Cambodia - all of which were created as part of the French Union.

    In February 1951, the ICP held its second Congress and re-named itself the VIET NAM WORKERS PARTY (Dang Lao Dong Viet Nam). Again this significant change of name was a signal. As Ken Post notes:

    Consistent with this reassurance' towards the components of the bourgeoisie, the party blurred the differences between nations and class struggle. As the General Secretary Truong Chinh stated it, there was no difference between the two:     Accordingly the class basis was somewhat confused. In some places the report of the CC stated:     Elsewhere however, the driving forces included the national bourgeois, and patriotic personages and landlords. The most immediate influences were those of the Maoist formulation of the New Democratic State Post Volume 1: Ibid; p. 169). The CC of the ICP distinguished between the states of Eastern Europe where:     This was viewed as a transitional step towards socialism, which was thought to be more speedily achievable in China than in Vietnam:     The formulations of the Workers' Party followed those of Mao, as the manifesto wording of March 1951 on the state character shows:     During 1953, the Vietnamese struggle for independence took a new turn. Major battlefield victories were lost on the diplomatic front, and led ultimately to the formal partition of Vietnam for 13 years. The struggle waged by the DRVN had been successful, marked by the battle of Dien Bien Phu which was a notable turning point, in May 1953. This battle resulted in the surrender of the French army of 16,000 to the guerrillas led by Giap. The French were now forced back to Hanoi, deserting much geographic area. There are clear indications that the USA imperialists had been aware , as were the French themselves, that this humiliating defeat was about to take place. As Karnow comments:     The USA imperialists decided that the time had come for them to be the dominant foreign imperialism in Indochina. Already some political diplomatic steps had been taken to partly bolster the French imperialist position, as an interim step, before the USA could formally adopt their full role in Indochina.

    This interim position, was the peace negotiations between the DRVN and France, brokered between the USSR and the CPC on the one hand, and Britain and the USA on the other. On 10 May , for the DRVN, the deputy Prime minster Pham Van Dong put proposals for a speedy foreign troop withdrawal, progress towards democratic elections, a cease-fire supervised by various countries.

    Molotov, represented the now revisionist USSR, and Chou En Lai represented the revisionist PRC. Both of these two disappointed the DRVN, by accepting USA and French demands for : Separate agreements on Laos and Cambodia; and the principles of DRVN troop withdrawal from these countries; and the demand for territorial rights within Vietnam - with a division between the DRVN and the Southern so called Cochin-China part to be on the 13th Parallel. Upon French insistence, and with support from Molotov, a demarcation zone was finally made at the 16th parallel, and the timing for the withdrawal of troops was extended to 2 years. Elections - to re-unify' the country - were to be held in July 1956. In the meantime the French based regime was to be headed by Ngo Dinh Diem. (Khanh Ibid; p.215-220).

    But this agreement was not signed in full. Only the clauses relating to a cease-fire in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos were signed. For the remainder it was simply stated that the DRVN agreed to the conditions.

The DRVN correctly recognized that the struggle was now focused upon USA imperialism. Ho Chi Minh recognised that the French were now being assisted by the USA. Ho Chi Minh accordingly, significantly altered the aims of the struggle. Even before the Geneva Conference had ended, at the Sixth Plenum of the CC of the Worker's party, Ho Chi Minh presented the New Situation and the New Tasks. This stated that:

    The Viet Minh continue to work within the perspective of a broad united front in the North of the country, to unite both lower and upper echelons of society:     But severe dissension within the Workers Party as to the correctness of diluting the class struggle at this point was seen by the response to the land reforms that were initiated in the North. The Tenth Plenum September 1956 made clear that a 'leftist trend' had taken the class conflict into the villages and, that the leadership repudiated this as being 'excessive' (Post Ibid; p.278).
      The French puppet Regime of Bao Dai called a well known conservative Ngo Dinh Diem to its leadership as President of the Council of Ministers. The USA had correctly, and favorably assessed Diem's potential for becoming a comprador for the USA . Diem was heavily supported by the USA, who resisted the pressure from French Prime Minister Mendes France to remove Diem. It was the USA diplomat, Foster Dulles, who marked the seal of approval of the pro-USA comprador career of Diem (Post Ibid; Vol 1; pp 224-226). As President of the Republic of Viet Nam, Diem led the puppet regime. A so called Campaign Of Denunciation of Communist Subversive Activities was started. Under USA pressure limited peasant reforms were started also (Post Ibid; Vol 1; pp 243). But these did not extend very far as Diem protected the landlords, and even resisted the degree of reforms suggested by the USA advisers, limiting reforms to holdings of up to 100 hectares instead of 50 as suggested  (Post K: Volume 2; "Vietnam Divided"; Aldershot; 1989; p. 108).

    During this period substantial USA aid converted the former French colony into a USA neo colony (Post K: Volume 1; p.244-45). Increasingly the fiction that there were to be democratic free elections in both parts of Vietnam, was seen to be so. The Diem regime had no intention of such an election. As this became clearer, finally in 1959, the DRVN launched yet another armed struggle. Over this period the vicious nature of the comprador regime led by Diem gave raise to major opposition to Diem, from within the South part of Vietnam. This resistance included the peasantry, a large section of the organised Buddhists, and also sections of capital that were not favored by the Diem family and/or USA capital that had entered.

    Even the USA realised the degree to which the Diem regime and his corrupt family had raised the hopes of many of the people to unite with the North Vietnamese state. They tried to restrain him. His assassination was indirectly assisted by the USA who failed to guarantee his security against a coup led by Generals of the otherwise, incompetent South Vietnamese army, in November 1963. Diem was replaced by one of the Generals named Minh, who lasted as head of state until January 1964, and was followed by General Khanh. These two were far more to the taste of the USA Ambassador Lodge. The death of Diem was closely followed by the assassination of President Kennedy, and the take over of the USA Presidency by Lyndon Johnson.

13. TOWARDS ONE STATE -THE CLASS POSITIONS IN THE SOUTH     The Diem state had established a pro-USA comprador state in the South of the country, which limited the previously pro-French capitalists. However, French capital was by no means immediately rendered insignificant:     However the general tenor of the state was pro-USA comprador capital:     The Diem regime moved to the establishment of a repressive Fascist regime. In its dealing it established an oligarch rule that favored those elements of the capitalists class linked to itself directly, or to USA imperialism. In fact the Diem regime tried to establish a State led capitalist that took the form of being anti-small local capital:     As part of this process, the bureaucracy and army was built up and the state became a corporatist vehicle for the Diem oligarchy. But, those many elements that were not so favored by the Diem regime, found an objective reason to look Northwards. These elements favoured the Workers Party attempt a re-unification of the Vietnam state. Among these elements and classes, the common stand was the alienation from the Diem fascist state.     This had two primary components that were not favoured by the Diem oligarchy:     In 1959, a consulting agency headed by Paris based Father Louis Joseph Lebret had concluded that the capitalist base in South Vietnam was indeed weak. But it did exist (Post Volume 2: Ibid; p.85).

    However it was mainly based in the small petty bourgeois sector of manufacturing:

    As described above, unless this section had developed any links with Diem clique, they could not go forward. They had an objective reason to look to the DRV for leadership.     The Hoa for generations dominated the rice milling industry in Cochin China, but their influence was broader than rice and was growing:     The Hoa were therefore objectively anti-Diem. But, their loyalties were divided however, as they were also looking towards China, rather than towards North Vietnam. They were only therefore, a limited potential ally, towards the Workers Party.     As discussed previously, several circumstances ensured that the peasantry, at least the poor and middle peasants - were in favour of the DRV. In response, the USA advisers had recommended land reforms, but the Diem clique watered these down to insignificance. Especially in comparison to those that had occurred in the North, in the DRV, under the leadership of the Workers party.

    For instance, the Diem reforms' excluded the lands of the Catholics; the limiting hectare ceiling was increased from 50 to 100 hectares; the landlord could select what land to retain; and in any case many landlords flouted the regulations. In total, by fixing the limit at 100 hectares only affected the amount of redistributable land to only 20% of the ricelands, and to only 2,468 landlords. The remunerated landlords chose to be paid in French francs, and some transferred into small capitalists (Post Volume 2: Ibid; p.108).

    All this meant that the peasant of poor to middle status undoubtedly got poorer and was aware of the land reform events in the North. Thus the peasantry as a whole, excepting the larger elements favored the re-unification under the leadership of the Northen based Workers Party. Since an:

    The peasantry were an important base for the North Vietnamese Workers Party, when they wished to move the national democratic revolution to the South.     This was a small section of the population:     Nonetheless, the working class was not quiescent, even the workers in the rubber plantations were organised in favour of strike in 1958. Indeed:     Thus the small Southern working class was an objective ally of the Workers Party of the DRV.

Of the classes listed, the latter two (ie the poor and middle peasants, and the working class) were the strongest and most consistent allies to the DRV and the Workers Party in the North of the divided country.

    The leading elements of the Workers Party now introduced a major revision of Marxist Leninist theory. Truong Chinh, General Secretary (from 1951), Chairman of the National Assembly's Standing Committee, and Deputy Prime Minster, and a leading Party theoretician revised even the notion of the working class:     This revision was crucial to introduce, for the revisionist leaders of the Workers Party. This was because they had absolutely no intention of alienating those capitalists who had remained in the North. The National Assembly was elected in late 1946. The Assembly represented a class alliance of an extremely broad front, one in which it was stated that all the members, regardless of their past, who those who approved peace, unity, independence and democracy. The extreme anxiety to swing the doors of the united front wide, is signified in comments such as those of Ho Chi Minh, the President of the DRV, who expressed it as below:     The Prime Minster from 1955, Pham Van Dong, stated to the Sixth Session of the First National Assembly in 1956:     But it is easily demonstrable that by the people and other stratawhich it meant to serve, the ruling elements of the DRV in reality meant the capitalist classes. The adopted industrial policy shows this well. The DRV established the National Planning Council in October 1955. The policy was to insert socialist elements. These were:     The Enterprise statute in 1955 ensured there was class peace' in the factories:     So despite the facade offered by the name of the Workers Party, the state was being run by the Northern based capitalist class. Even in spite of the Enterprise Statutesetc, by the end of 1957, still the most prevalent industrial force was individual or capitalist industry. This can be seen in the table below (From Post Volume 2; Ibid; p.21).

                                    State      Cooperative     Capitalist      Individual
Agriculture                       0.14         9.86                  10.0              80.0
Manufacturing                28.4           7.2                      14.2              50.2
External Trade                  95          -                          -                    5.0
Internal Trade
Wholesale                          52.6        -                          39              8.4
Retail                                 25.8       14.3                      30.2           29.3
Goods                               50.2                                 49.8
Passengers                          52.2                                 47.8


    The summation of this period was supposedly as being to widen' the range of socialist economy:

    There is no reason to doubt the sincerity of Pham Van Dong when he said in 1956:     Several waves of land reform occurred during and after the Geneva negotiations. The Third Session of the National Assembly of the DRV promulgated the Agrarian Reform Law of 1954. The purpose of the laws as stated, were to mobilize the peasantry:     In the process undoubtedly some left wing elements came up against the reluctance of the Party to infringe upon the rights of the rich peasantry. This was seen in the subsequent labeling of sabotage of the line of expropriation:     In a process designed to confuse white with black, insistent exhortations to bond with the class enemy in alliance were made:     By the Ninth Plenum of the CC in April 1956 a full retreat and rectification was being planned. Restoration of property and rights of those who had been mistakenly labeled as rich peasants was to make amends:     At the 10th Plenum of the CC in September, both Ho and Giap acknowledged further that the left wing of the party had relied on the poor and destitute peasants and gone after the rich peasantry as though they were landlords (Cited Post Volume 2; Ibid; p. 275). Grave disruption to the party was acknowledged. As a consequence Truong Chinh was stripped of office as Party General Secretary and replaced by Ho Chi Minh. A peasant rising began which was put down. Immediately following this the Rectification Of Errors Campaign began (Post Volume 2; Ibid; p. 282). Many prisoners were released, estimated at about 12,000. With all the disruptions, rice production fell which was serious for the precarious stocks of the North.

    Clearly there were some separate factions within the Workers Party. That led by Truong Chinh appears to have been a pro-Chinese faction, favoring an especially close relationship with the CPC. That led by Ho Chi Minh, Giap and counting also Pham Van Doc, was a pro-USSR faction. It appears that Le Duan steered a more centrist path, not overtly allying to either faction (Lacouture; Ibid; pp215-220). Of course both these factions - and both these guiding countries - were revisionist- and not Marxist-Leninists.

    It was only in 1959, that a final decision was made to launch the armed revolt in the South against the Diem regime. This decision was taken at the 15th plenum of the CC in January 1959.     This reluctance of Ho Chi Minh, was remarkable given the fact that Ho Chi Minh had clearly recognised that the Geneva Agreement was being implemented one-sidely, in favour of the USA comprador state established by Diem:     The remaining cadre in the South, who were being attacked viciously by Diem, argued against Ho Chi Minh's reluctance to call for armed revolt in the South. The case for armed revolt was put especially by Le Duan, secretary General of the Lao Dong. Le Duan was formerly of the South, and had secretly returned to the South. By the 15th Plenum, it was no longer to possible to deny that there had to be an armed revolt in the South, in order to achieve re-unification of the country since the Geneva schedules for talks had long passed:     The objective support to Hanoi, in the Southern based National Democratic Revolution, was given by those classes discussed above, including the Hoa Chinese classes (See pp.75-77).

    These would later wield significant power in the unified state that was to be created - see below.

    Despite the fierce police regime established by Diem, even the South Vietnamese army rebelled against him. A coup was attempted in November 1960, but was put down. However clearly dissent was rife.

    At the Third national Conference of the Workers' Party in September of 1960, on behalf of the Central Committee , Le Duan expressed the need for a United Block of workers peasants and soldiers, in alliance with all patriotic classes:

    By December 1960 the National Liberation Front in South Vietnam had been established, and its leader named as Ngueyn Huu Tho. As a Front:     The Front held its first conference on 19-20 December and adopted its manifesto and programme. The NFL manifesto incorporated the Workers party perspective, calling for the NFL to:     A Ten point programme outlined this in detail. Appealing to each component class of the NFL was a specific set of promises. In regards to the peasants a reduction of land rents was promised and a guarantee to all land already distributed. Further land reforms were promised also. Workers were not promised more than protection from wage cuts, and ill treatment and dismissals. Capitalists were promise abolition of the economic monopoly of the USA and the restriction of competitive imports, and ending of production taxes. Soldiers were promised an end to conscription and family aid to those resisting USA imperialism.

    By 1961, President Eisenhower had resigned to President Kennedy of the USA. Kennedy refused to withdraw from Vietnam. Diem asked for more troops. A growing miliary investment in Vietnam was kept secret. Against warning from the more perceptive of the US establishment like Senator Mike Mansfield, the Kennedy government refused to disengage (Karnow Ibid; p. 268). But the US ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, engineered the coup by senior officers that dislodged Diem. Diem was murdered, as Cabot Lodge delivered him into the hands of a coalition of his generals, in November 1963.

    But his successors did not help the USA. When Lyndon Johnson took over the Presidency, on November 22 1963, the USA was already heavily embroiled in Vietnam. The generals had after three months, themselves been toppled by General Nguyen Khanh. But in turn he gave way to General Duong Van Minh in another power battle. Aid was now pouring in to the tune of nearly $2 million a day.

    Shortly after, in 1964 a naval fleet of the US violated North Vietnam's coastline in an attempt to bait the North Vietnamese into action (Karnow p. 362-370). The Tonkin Gulf incident was blatantly a public exercise designed to present the US navy as having been unprovokedly attacked by the North Vietnamese. This was a public camouflage behind which the US Congress give Johnson a mandate to pursue the war. It was also an evasion of the US Constitutional requirement to declare war (Karnow; p 345-362).

    The so called reprisals were limited in scale said Johnson. In reality 64 sorties were sent against North Vietnamese patrol boats downing 25 vessels with severe loss of life. As Karnow states:

    Meanwhile Khanh and his co-ruler Van Minh had precipitated South Vietnam into spasms of protest at various restrictive laws. Khanh was forced to resign An ensuring power struggle erupted. By October Phac Khac Sun was able to take control for a period. But internecine struggles between the generals continued.

    Johnson was now committed to a bombing campaign over North Vietnam. The Vietminh forces had been deployed throughout South Vietnam now, and was successfully engaged in a guerrilla war. The bombing of North Vietnam began in February 1965, and the scale of it was of immense proportions:

    Air Vice Marshall Nguyen Cao Ky took over power by spring 1965, but lasted only a short period giving way to General Nguyen Van Thieu in the farcical elections of 1967 (Karnow; p.451). All the regimes of the Comprador generals were corrupt and led to huge outpouring of dissent. In particular the Bhuddist priests were well organised and ran very public campaigns against USA imperialisms.

    By then Johnson had sent in marines and begun to plan of a long protracted ground war. The peasants took the brunt as the USA tried vainly to distinguish friend from foe. The fish of the Viet Minh swam unimpeded in the water of the peasantry, supplied from the North via the long arduous Ho Chi Minh Trial.

    It is of interest that the Chinese CPC were arguing that the North Vietnamese could not win. They pressed that they apply the lessons of protracted war of China. Le Duan and the Workers Party rejected their advice. Indeed, Giap later charged that the Chinese were collaborating with the USA:

    On January 30th 1968, the Tet Offensive was launched. Surging into more than 100 cities in the South, including Saigon. In October 1968 all bombing raids were halted in the North and the full participation of the National Liberation Front was achieved in the Paris negotiations. The talks were to drag on for five years. In the meantime, on 3 September 1969 Ho Chi Minh President of the DRV died.

    President Nixon would take the war against Vietnam into both neighboring countries like Cambodia and Laos, and against the massive numbers of the USA people - especially the youth who erupted into rebellion against the war. Kent State University demonstrators were met with the state troopers in May 1970 who killed four youths. Cambodian incursions by USA troops began in April 1970.

    By April 29 1975 the Vietcong liberated by armed force the South.

    The unified Socialist republic was proclaimed in June 1976.

    The Socialist Republic of Vietnam was founded in June 1976 by the unification of North and South Vietnam. Its state is based - as was explained by Le Duang, First Secretary of the Vietnamese Workers' Party (since September 1960)- on a united front of classes which includes the national capitalist class:     The Vietnamese Worker's Party (now called the Vietnamese Communist Party) put forward the programme of the peaceful transition to socialism by the formation, in cooperation with the national capitalists, of joint- state-private enterprises, i.e., through the establishment of state capitalism:     The same programme was applied in the South after unification. As Le Duan told the 4th Congress of the Party in December 1976:     More details of this programme had been given in a government statement published on November 2nd 1976:     In addition:     In November 1976 Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Co Thach told a meeting in Paris of the National Council of French Employers that under a new code for foreign investors:     In December 1977 Deputy Prime Minister Le Thanh Nghi admitted to the National Assembly that there had been:     In 1986 a new code of foreign investment was introduced:     It is hardly surprising that in this environment, the supremacy of capitalist relations would soon establish their usual corruption and stench. This is detailed below.     Following the liberation of South Vietnam, Vietnam started a war with Cambodia; and then incurred a war with China in 1979. We will deal with this period in a subsequent issue of Alliance. However it suffices here to say that the economic burden of the war of Liberation against the USA, was therefore naturally immensely increased for Vietnam. Only in 1989 after the evacuation of Cambodia was Vietnam able to overcome the effects of a world boycott on trade with it.

    In 1977 the Workers party began to take over the property of the Southern bourgeoisie. A lot of them were Chinese, as the Chinese bourgeoisie in the South were still dominant despite the persecution from Diem's regime, and they were exporting a large amount of capital. Disruption of both agricultural and urban economy occurred.

    But despite this:     But there was very little in the way of centralised economic planning. Many provinces of Vietnam appeared to have entirely their own policies. Thus in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), party officials permitted the Chinese bourgeois to regain control:     Nguyen Xuan Oanh, was an American trained academic who became a functionary of the International Monetary Fund, and returned to Saigon in 1963 to become the Vice President of the Southern Diem regime, and was placed in charge of the economy. In February 1965, as acting prime minister he gave Saigon's endorsement of the America blanket bombing of the North. After a coup, he then spent the next years:         This plan was in essence to:     In the midst of this crisis, Linh was made Secretary-General of the party. All the opponent of the market line were either replaced or were silent. Linh introduced the policies of doi moior Renovation. This policy was unable to achieve very much except worse crisis. At this stage the IMF entered the Vietnamese situation more decisively. It praised the policies that Linh and Kiet had introduced into Ho Chi Minh City. These two had relied heavily on the advice of Nguyen Xuan Oanh. The IMF had in 1985 blocked credits to Vietnam for failure of payment of arrears. But in August 1987, the Politburo adopted the IMF advice and instituted:      By late 1994 the IMF concluded that Vietnam:     By 1997, at a time when President Le Duc Anh and the Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet were stepping down, even the Vietnamese official army press:
    The Current state of Vietnam is a capitalist state. Its' condition is directly traceable to the nationalist deviation of Ho Chi Minh. Despite having defeated foreign imperialism in open and guerrilla warfare, and having freed their country by force, the leaders of Vietnam have allowed their people to be once more enslaved. Enslaved by Vietnamese's bourgeoisie, and enslaved by foreign imperialists - the IMF and the Chinese of Vietnam in alliance with the Overseas Chinese-Network emanating from Beijing.

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