Ho Chi Minh

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Remember that the storm is a good opportunity for the pine and the cypress to show their strength and their stability.

Hồ Chí Minh (May 19, 1890September 2, 1969) was a Vietnamese revolutionary and statesman, who later became Prime Minister (1946–1955) and President (1955–1969) of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

Quotes[edit]

  • The hour has struck! Raise aloft the banner of insurrection and lead the people throughout the country to overthow the Japanese and the French! The sacred call of the fatherland is resounding in our ears; the ardent blood of our heroic predecessors is seething in our hearts! The fighting spirit of the people is mounting before our eyes! Let us unite and unify our action to overthrow the Japanese and the French.
    • "Letter from Abroad" (June 6, 1941)
  • "All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness".
    This immortal statement was made in the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America in 1776. In a broader sense, this means: All the peoples on the Earth are equal from birth, all the peoples have a right to live, to be happy and to be free.

    The Declaration of the French Revolution made in 1791 on the Rights of Man and the Citizen also states: "All men are born free and with equal rights, and must always remain free and have equal rights."
    Those are undeniable truths.
  • To have a good crop we must weed the field, otherwise the rice will grow badly in spite of careful ploughing and abundant manuring. To be successful in increasing production and practicing thrift, we must also weed the field, that is root out embezzlement, waste and bureaucracy. Otherwise they will harm our work.
    • "To Practice Thrift and Oppose Embezzlement (1952)
  • We want to build a new society, a free society where all men are equal, a society where industry, thrift, integrity and uprightness prevail hence we must wipe out all bad habits of the old society.
    • "To Practice Thrift and Oppose Embezzlement (1952)
  • The duty of the cadres is to love and take care of every fighter and to value and save every cent, every bowl of rice, every work hour of their compatriots. Our fighters and compatriots have the right to demand that the cadres fulfill this task, and to criticize those who do not.
    • "To Practice Thrift and Oppose Embezzlement (1952)
  • Democracy means to rely on the masses, correctly follow the mass line. Hence to be successful, the movement against embezzlement, waste and bureaucracy must rely on the masses.
    • "To Practice Thrift and Oppose Embezzlement (1952)
  • It is crystal clear that once victorious, socialism can never tolerate the personality cult and its harmful consequences. The energetic measures taken by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to do away with the personality cult, and its consequence, set a brilliant example of unprecedented political boldness.
    • "Development of Ideological Unity Among Marxist Leninist Parties" (August 3, 1956)
  • Obviously, Lenin meant that the stage of fierce civil war and the restriction of democracy imposed on the Soviet people were only provisional and had to be abolished as soon as the new regime was consolidated.
    • "Development of Ideological Unity Among Marxist Leninist Parties" (August 3, 1956)
  • The CPSU again demonstrates that the most important aspect of self-criticism is to practically and effectively correct one's errors.
    • "Development of Ideological Unity Among Marxist Leninist Parties" (August 3, 1956)
  • Our era being a civilized, revolutionary era, one must rely all the more on the force of the collective, of society, in all undertakings. More than ever the individual cannot stand apart but must join the collective, join society.
    • "On Revolutionary Morality" (1958)
  • To make the revolution to transform the old society into a new one is a very glorious, but also extremely heavy task, a complex, protracted and hard struggle. Only a song man can travel a long distance with a heavy load on his back. A revolutionary must have solid foundation of revolutionary morality in order to fulfill his glorious revolutionary task.
    • "On Revolutionary Morality" (1958)
  • Only in a socialist system are the interests of the individual, the state and the collective at one. That is why only a socialist constitution can encourage the citizens to fulfill enthusiastically their duties to the society and the fatherland.
    • "Report on the Draft Amended Constitution", (December 18, 1959)
  • Under the banner of Marxism-Leninism, let our party, with the seething spirit of an invincible army, unite even more closely, and lead our working people boldly forward to new victories in the struggle for socialist construction in the North and for the reunification of the country.
    • "Thirty Years of Activity in the Party" (1960)
  • Our cause is just our people are united from North to South; we have a tradition of undaunted struggle and the great sympathy and support of the fraternal socialist countries and progressive people all over the world. We shall win!
    • "Appeal to Compatriots" (1966)
  • A people who have courageously opposed French domination for more than eighty years, a people who have fought side by side with the Allies against the Fascists during these last years, such a people must be free and independent.
    For these reasons, we, members of the Provisional Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, solemnly declare to the world that Vietnam has the right to be a free and independent country and in fact it already has been so. The entire Vietnamese people are determined to mobilise all their physical and mental strength, to sacrifice their lives and property in order to safeguard their independence and liberty.
    • Vietnamese Proclamation of Independence (2 September 1945), Ho Chi Minh, Selected Works (1960-1962), Vol. 3, pp. 17-21
  • Remember that the storm is a good opportunity for the pine and the cypress to show their strength and their stability.
    • As quoted in From Colonialism to Communism : A Case History of North Vietnam (1964) by Văn Chí Hoàng, p. 37
  • Nothing is more precious than Independence and Liberty.
    • Political slogan, quoted in Ho Chi Minh and His Vietnam : A Personal Memoir (1972) by Jean Sainteny, p. 172
    • Variant translation: Nothing is more valuable than freedom and independence.
      • World Marxist Review: Problems of Peace and Socialism (1979), p. 91
  • The Trotskyists are not only the enemies of Communism, they are also the enemies of democracy and of progress. They are the most infamous traitors and spies.
  • Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom... Independence without freedom is worse than no independence.


Disputed[edit]

  • You fools! Don't you realize what it means if the Chinese remain? Don't you remember your history? The last time the Chinese came, they stayed a thousand years. The French are foreigners. They are weak. Colonialism is dying. The white man is finished in Asia. But if the Chinese stay now, they will never go. As for me, I prefer to sniff French shit for five years than to eat Chinese shit for the rest of my life.
    • As quoted in Vietnam : A History (1983) by Stanley Karnow, p. 153; also in A Phoenix Reborn: Travels in New Vietnam (2008) by Andrew Forbes
    • The historian Professor Liam Kelley of the University of Hawaii at Manoa on his Le Minh Khai's SEAsian History Blog challenged the authenticity of the alleged quote where Ho Chi Minh said he would rather sniff French shit than eat Chinese shit, noting that Stanley Karnow provided no source for the extended quote attributed to Ho in his 1983 Vietnam: A History, and that the original quote was most likely forged by the Frenchman Paul Mus in his 1952 book Viêt-Nam: Sociologie d’une Guerre, Mus was a supporter of French colonialism in Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh knew that there was no danger of Chinese troops staying in Vietnam, and in fact the Vietnamese at the time were busy spreading anti-French propaganda as evidence of French atrocities in Vietnam emerged, while Ho Chi Minh showed no qualms about accepting Chinese aid after 1949. https://leminhkhai.wordpress.com/2012/09/01/ho-chi-minh-said-what/ (proof that he runs the blog)

Quotes about Ho Chi Minh[edit]

  • There was one exception to the rule that all our foes have committed and that is the Decadence Assumption. Ho Chi Minh never underestimated America. His avowed hero was George Washington and he remained in awe of the U.S., all his life. He remains the only enemy leader who ever defeated us at war, and then only because our hubris (not decadence) got the better of us.
  • I have met many people in the course of my political career, but none has made such a particular impression on me. Believers often talk of the Apostles. Well, through his way of living and his influence of his peers, Ho Chi Minh was exactly comparable to these 'holy apostles'.
  • One thing is clear, the president of North Vietnam is not a fanatic. He is a very strong and determined man, but capable of listening, something that is very rare in a person of his position.
    • Martin Niemöller, as quoted in Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (1984) by James Bentley, p. 225
  • It was generally conceded that had an election been held, Ho Chi Minh would have been elected Premier.
    • Dwight D. Eisenhower, in The White House Years: Mandate for Change: 1953–1956: A Personal Account (1963), pp. 337-38
  • Although Ho was prominent in founding the French Communist Party and the Indochinese Communist Party, he was above all else a nationalist who sought a unified, independent Vietnam. Only after democratic nations such as France and the U.S. refused to support the DRV's bid for independence did Ho turn to China and the Soviet Union for support; both extended diplomatic recognition in January 1950.
    • Allan R. Millett, Peter Maslowski, and William B. Feis, For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States From 1607 to 2012 (2012), p. 511
  • Ho left no significant theoretical innovations, much less an integrated body of theory. This has, of course, no prevented some in the Vietnamese Communist Party from claiming that Ho left behind 'Ho Chi Minh Thought', which was described as a new development in Marxist Leninist theory.
    • Walden Bello, Down with Colonialism

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