Ho Chi Minh Thought

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"Revolutionary morality does not fall from the sky. It is developed and consolidated through persevering daily struggle and effort. Like jade, the more it is polished the more it shines. Like gold, it grows ever purer as it foes into the melting pot."

Ho Chi Minh Thought is an Authoritarian Left ideology which applies the characteristics of Marxism–Leninism to (North) Vietnam. Although named after him, Ho Chi Minh Thought is not based exclusively on Ho Chi Minh's ideas, as it is also based on the ideas of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), and may include ideas espoused by the CPV, even if they differ from, or build upon Ho Chi Minh's own ideas. It is centered around values such as national liberation, class liberation, independence, and a revolutionary attitude.





Ho Chi Minh (born Nguyễn Sinh Cung) was a Vietnamese revolutionary and statesman. He served as Prime Minister of North Vietnam from 1945 to 1955 and President from 1945 until his death in 1969.

Nguyễn Sinh Cung was born during the 1890s (The exact year is disputed) in the village of Hoàng Trù, Central Vietnam under French colonial rule. His father Nguyễn Sinh Sắc was a Confucian scholar and teacher, and in accordance with Confucian tradition gave his son a new name at the age of 10: Nguyễn Tất Thành meaning "Nguyễn the Accomplished".

Thanh (Ho) travelled the world throughout his youth and lived and worked in both France, the UK, the US, the Soviet Union, and China (ROC) constantly changing his identity and backstory whenever it suited his interests. Ho's early life is full of contradictions and is heavily disputed by scholars.

In 1941, Hồ Chí Minh returned to Vietnam to lead the Việt Minh independence movement against the Japanese and French Fascist Imperial Forces. The Vietnamese anti-colonial resistance during the Pacific War was directly supported by the US through the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor to CIA.

Following the August Revolution (1945) organized by the Việt Minh, Hồ Chí Minh became Chairman of the Provisional Government (Premier of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam) and issued a Proclamation of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Although he convinced Emperor Bảo Đại to abdicate, his government was not recognized by any country. US President Harry S. Truman was much less interested in the decolonization of Asia than his predecessor Franklin D. Roosevelt was and turned against the Vietnamese cause for independence from France.

Following the Declaration of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the Viet Minh brutally suppressed and imprisoned thousands of non-communist Vietnamese nationalists and Trotskyists thus securing the dominance of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV).

First Indochina War

The First Indochina War was between the French Colonial Forces and the Viet Minh anti-colonial resistance from 1946 to 1954.

On 23 September 1945, with the knowledge of the British commander in Saigon, French forces overthrew the local DRV government and declared French authority restored in Southern Vietnam, and began to gradually retake control of the entire country forcing Ho Chi Minh and his comrades underground. The French tried to stabilize Indochina by reorganizing it as a Federation of Associated States. In 1949, they put former Emperor Bảo Đại back in power, as the ruler of a newly established State of Vietnam.

The first few years of the war involved a low-level rural insurgency against the French. In 1949 the conflict turned into a conventional war between two armies equipped with modern weapons from other countries. The French were supported by the US and the ROC , with an army consisting of troops from their colonial empire which included both African , Arab, and Asian collaborators. The Viet Minh was supported by Communist China and the Soviet Union.

The First Indochina War came to an end following the International Geneva Conference on July 21, 1954, when the new socialist French government and the Việt Minh made an agreement that gave the Việt Minh control of North Vietnam above the 17th parallel. The south continued under Bảo Đại. A year later, Bảo Đại would be deposed by his Prime Minister, Ngô Đình Diệm, creating the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam).

Land Reform

Between 1953 and 1956, the North Vietnamese government instituted various agrarian reforms, including "rent reduction" and "land reform", similar to what their Chinese counterparts under Mao did at the same time, which resulted in significant political oppression with executions which ranged from between 10 000 - 50 000 people. In 1956, leaders in Hanoi admitted to "excesses" in implementing this program and restored a large amount of the land to the original owners.

Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was one of the deadliest wars and major conflicts of the Cold War that took place in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975.

North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union, China, and North Korea. South Vietnam was supported by the US and other anti-communist allies such as South Korea , The Philippines , Thailand , Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries.

At the 1954 Geneva peace conference, Under the terms of the Geneva Accords, civilians were allowed to move freely between the two provisional states for a 300-day period. Elections throughout the country were to be held in 1956 to establish a unified government. Around one million northerners, mainly minority Catholics, fled south, seeking a life free from communism. The exodus was coordinated by a U.S.-funded $93 million relocation program, which included the use of the Seventh Fleet to ferry refugees.

Following Geneva Accord of 1955, 90,000 Viet Minh were evacuated to the North while 5,000 to 10,000 cadre remained in the South, with orders to refocus on political activity and agitation against the South Vietnamese government then led by President Ngô Đình Diệm.

Said communist infiltrators located in the South recruited local dissidents to Diệm's regime and formed the Viet Cong, an armed communist revolutionary organization that fought under the direction of North Vietnam, as an extension of the People's Army of Vietnam (VPA) against the South Vietnamese government.

The Buddhist Crisis caused by President Ngô Đình Diệm's preferential treatment of Catholics at expense of South Vietnam's Buddhist majority proved useful for the communists' cause for reunification.

The Communist Party of Vietnam approved a "people's war" on the South in 1959. As the level of guerilla attacks against South Vietnamese government officials and civilians by the Viet Cong intensified, U.S. President John F. Kennedy decided in November 1961 to substantially increase American military aid to South Vietnam. By 1962, there were 12,000 U.S. military advisors in Vietnam.

Following JFK's assassination in 1963, US Military involvement in Vietnam increased massively under President Lyndon B. Johnson. After the Gulf of Tonkin incident, LBJ began to send ground troops to Vietnam. As US forces kept bombing Vietnamese cities and villages killing thousands of civilians in the process, and American lives were sacrificed, opposition to US involvement in Vietnam began to mount at home, particularly in the form of the Hippie Movement. It wasn't just hippies and civil rights activists who opposed the war but also many prominent US politicians and military strategists such as George F. Kennan and perhaps surprisingly Henry Kissinger, who saw the war as a lost cause and that there were more cost-effective ways to counter the spread of communism rather than sacrificing thousands of American lives on the other side of the globe.

The Phoenix Program was initiated in 1967 and coordinated by the CIA, involving the American, Australian, and South Vietnamese militaries with the purpose of identifying and destroying the Viet Cong via infiltration, torture, capture, counter-terrorism, interrogation, and assassination. The Phoenix Program "neutralized" 81,740 people suspected of VC membership, of whom 26,369 were killed and the rest surrendered or were captured.

In January 1968 the Viet Cong (VC) and North Vietnamese People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) launched the infamous Tet Offensive, a campaign of surprise attacks against military and civilian command and control centers throughout South Vietnam. Over 14 000 South Vietnamese civilians were killed during the Tet Offensive. A large part of that number is attributed to the Massacre at Huế that caused between 2000-6000 civilian casualties during the communist's capture, military occupation, and later withdrawal from the city of Huế.

On 10 May 1968, peace talks began between the United States and North Vietnam in Paris at the time fighting between US and Vietnamese kept going on the ground. The Vietnam War made LBJ deeply unpopular at home and caused him to decline seeking re-election. Vietnam was a major political issue during the United States presidential election in 1968. The election was won by Republican party candidate Richard Nixon who had campaigned on ending the war without letting South Vietnam fall to the communists. Nixon and Kissinger began a process of "Vietnamization" to train ARVN troops so that they could defend themselves from the communists while US troops withdrew from Vietnam.

After death, the death of Ho Chi Minh in 1969, General Secretary of the CPV Lê Duẩn became the de-facto most powerful leader of North Vietnam. Lê Duẩn was overly optimistic about re-taking the South and would not make any concessions to the US.

The war was central to the 1972 U.S. presidential election as Nixon's opponent, George McGovern, campaigned on immediate withdrawal. Henry Kissinger had continued secret negotiations with North Vietnam's representative Lê Đức Thọ and in October 1972 reached an agreement. On 15 January 1973, all U.S. combat activities were suspended. Lê Đức Thọ and Henry Kissinger, along with the PRG Foreign Minister Nguyễn Thị Bình and a reluctant President Thiệu of South Vietnam, signed the Paris Peace Accords on 27 January 1973 which officially ended US involvement in the Vietnam War.

The North Vietnamese communists continued their assault on South Vietnamese cities and due to the lack of outside support, the South Vietnamese elite was left unmotivated to defend their country, and many fled Vietnam for the US. On 27 April, 100,000 PAVN troops encircled Saigon. Chaos, unrest, and panic broke out as hysterical South Vietnamese officials and civilians scrambled to leave Saigon. Martial law was declared. Operation Frequent Wind, the largest helicopter evacuation in history was initiated. More than 7,000 people were evacuated by helicopter from various points in Saigon and taken to ships set for the US.

On 30 April 1975, PAVN troops entered the city of Saigon and quickly overcame all resistance, capturing key buildings and installations. Two tanks from the 203rd Tank Brigade of the 2nd Corps crashed through the gates of the Independence Palace and the Viet Cong flag was raised above it at 11:30 am local time.

The Fall of Saigon meant that at last Vietnam was reunified under one communist government. The communists renamed the former South Vietnamese capital Ho Chi Minh City, although the name "Saigon" continued to be used by many residents and others. All remnants of South Vietnam were destroyed, all businesses were nationalized, capitalism was abolished, and hundreds of thousands were either killed or taken to re-education camps.

The 20-year-long war had devastated the country and left it without an industrial base for self-sufficiency which proved fatal as the communist government of Vietnam was left without any allies to help re-build the country. Over a million Vietnamese citizens were forced to flee the country in search of a new life. Most refugees fled by boats by sea, leading to the harrowing images of "Vietnamese boat people." The number of boat people leaving Vietnam and arriving safely in another country totaled almost 800,000 between 1975 and 1995. Several tens of thousands of refugees eventually returned to Vietnam, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

Laotian Civil War


Third Indochina War

The Third Indochina War was a series of interconnected armed conflicts, mainly among the various communist factions over strategic influence in Indochina after the Communist victory in South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia in 1975;

  • FULRO insurgency against Vietnam - The FULRO insurgency was a nearly three decade long insurgency against the North and South Vietnamese governments. The FULRO insurgents represented the interests of minority Muslim and Hindu Cham, Christian Montagnards, and Buddhist Khmer Krom against the ethnic Kinh Vietnamese. They were supported and equipped by China and Cambodia according to those countries' interests in the Indochina Wars.
  • Communist insurgency in Thailand - The Communist Insurgency in Thailand was a guerrilla war lasting from 1965 until 1983, fought between the Communist Party of Thailand and the government of Thailand. WIP
  • Cambodian-Vietnamese War - The Cambodian–Vietnamese War was an armed conflict between Democratic Kampuchea, controlled by the Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam now with Lê Duẩn as General Secretary of the CPV.

The Cambodian-Vietnamese War had its roots in the Vietnam War when Vietnamese and Cambodian communists had formed an alliance to fight U.S.-backed governments in their respective countries. Despite their cooperation with the Vietnamese, the Khmer Rouge leadership feared that the Vietnamese communists were planning to form an Indochinese federation, which would be dominated by Vietnam. In order to prevent Vietnamese domination over Cambodia the Khmer Rouge leadership began, following the fall of the Lon Nol government in 1975, to purge Vietnamese-trained personnel within their own ranks. Multiple attacks on Vietnamese land followed this wall.

Fighting between the two countries continued throughout the late 1970s, as China tried in vain to mediate peace talks between the two sides. By the end of 1978, Vietnamese leaders decided to remove the Khmer Rouge-ruled government of Democratic Kampuchea, perceiving it as being pro-Chinese and hostile toward Vietnam's security. On 25 December 1978, 150,000 Vietnamese troops invaded Democratic Kampuchea and overran the Kampuchean Revolutionary Army in just two weeks, thereby ending the Cambodian genocide perpetrated by Pol Pot, which had been responsible for the deaths of almost a quarter of Cambodia's population between 1975 and 1978.

On 8 January 1979, the pro-Vietnamese People's Republic of Kampuchea (PRK) was established in Phnom Penh, marking the beginning of a ten-year Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia. However, the Khmer Rouge's Democratic Kampuchea continued to be recognized by the United Nations as the legitimate government of Kampuchea, as several armed resistance groups were formed to fight the Vietnamese occupation with tactical and logistic support from the UK and Thailand among other countries.

This resulted in another conflict, the Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979 as China launched a military offensive against Vietnam in response to Vietnam's actions against the Chinese Khmer Rouge regime. Chinese forces invaded northern Vietnam and captured several cities near the border. The Chinese military offensive against Vietnam has been universally regarded as a massive failure as it resulted in tens of thousands of casualties on both sides and achieved little of strategic value.

On 14 January 1985, Hun Sen was appointed Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Kampuchea and began peace talks with the factions of the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea. The Cambodian-Vietnamese war came to an end through the 1991 Paris Peace Agreements which also marked the end of the Third Indochina War as a whole.

Đổi Mới

Đổi Mới which means "renovation" or "innovation" in Vietnamese is the name given to the economic reforms initiated by the Communist Party of Vietnam during the 1980s with the supposed goal of creating a "socialist-oriented market economy".

The father of Đổi Mới is said to be Nguyễn Văn Linh who was the general secretary of the CPV from 1986 to 1991. Nguyễn Văn Linh could be seen as the Vietnamese equivalent to Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang as he liberalized the Vietnamese economy and politics. While Đổi Mới was officially introduced at the 6th National Congress of the CPV in 1986, the Vietnamese government had allowed decentralization of economic decision-making since 1979.

One of the most important advocates for Đổi Mới was Võ Văn Kiệt who served as Prime Minister of Vietnam from 1991 to 1997. Võ Văn Kiệt can be seen as Vietnam's equivalent of Deng Xiaoping as he oversaw his nation's return to the world arena after decades of war and isolation and normalized relations with the US, ending 20 years of formal mutual enmity and American embargo after the fall of Saigon. Võ Văn Kiệt's advocacy for privatization and deregulation of the economy was met with much criticism from more conservative Party members and the CPV just like its Chinese counterpart became plagued by power struggles and factionalism between reformists and conservative members.

In the early 1990s, under Võ Văn Kiệt, Vietnam accepted World Bank reform advice for market liberalization and the number of private enterprises increased, and investment from foreign corporations was encouraged thus moving Vietnam further and further away from Ho Chi Minh's vision of a communist society.

As a result of vast privatization and economic reforms, Vietnam underwent a miraculous economic transformation in the 1990s. However, massive inequality, negative environmental effects, lack of social welfare, exploitation by both domestic and foreign corporations, and high levels of corruption and nepotism still plague Vietnam to this day.

During the 2000s the CPV, just like its Chinese counterpart under Jiang Zemin and Zhu Rongji, came to be largely dominated by "right-leaning" politicians such as Nguyễn Tấn Dũng, Nguyễn Minh Triết, and Trương Tấn Sang, who advocated for an authoritarian capitalist form of government with economic growth being prioritized over equality and welfare. During the Premiership of Nguyễn Tấn Dũng (2006-2016), human rights deteriorated significantly and Vietnam became one of the most dangerous countries for journalists.

In 2011 Nguyễn Phú Trọng became the General Secretary of the CPV and the most powerful man in the country. Nguyễn Phú Trọng bares many similarities with China's Xi Jinping due to his outspoken disdain for his fellow party members' loss of "Marxist-Leninist virtue", increase in censorship, persecution of human rights activists and political dissidents. Nguyễn Phú Trọng in a similar manner to Xi managed to consolidate power through a large-scale anti-corruption campaign against political opponents without enacting any judicial reform. The CPV under the regime of Nguyễn Phú Trọng's government has in recent times faced a lot of controversy over its handling of the Covid19 pandemic. Although Vietnam's response to the pandemic has received international acclaim for its effectiveness to stop the spread of the virus it has been met with much criticism at home for imposing strict and inhumane lockdowns which many Vietnamese citizens perceive as another move by the CPV to maintain its dictatorship.

How to Draw

Flag of Ho Chi Minh Thought

The flag of Ho Chi Minh thought is basically the Vietnamese flag.

  1. Draw a ball,
  2. Colour the ball red,
  3. In the centre, draw a yellow star,
  4. Add the eyes and you're done!
Color Name HEX RGB
Red #DA251D 218, 37, 29
Yellow #FFFF00 255, 255, 0


Đồng chí

  • National Communism - Uncle Ho was nationalist first, and communist second.
  • Castroism - My fellow communist friend, and closest ally, dedicated to crushing imperialism, bringing progress and liberation for the masses. You should consider open your market more if you want the US embargo lifted. It worked for both me and Dengism.
  • Maoism - My original role model and main inspiration. Helped me a lot during my independence and fought the USA with me.
  • Juche - My less market-friendly Korean counterpart. Helped me, for a while, during the Vietnam War.
  • Agrarian Socialism - Welcome to the rice fields!
  • Particracy - The CPV is the sole legal party of Vietnam and the protector of the socialist revolution.
  • Capitalist Communism - My modern self!
  • Patriotism - Based!
  • Khrushchevism - Thanks for your support during the war.
  • Brezhnevism - You too.
  • Conservative Socialism - What some CPV members aspire for.
  • Titoism - Friend from Yugoslavia, just as you liberated yourself from Nazis, we liberated ourselves from French and American imperialism!
  • Roosveltanism - Thanks for helping me against the Japanese imperialists and your support for the decolonization of Asia. Your successor Truman could've learned a thing or two from you.
  • Hun Sen Thought - I helped your rise to power in the 1980s. Together we defeated Pol Pot in Cambodia.
  • Putinism - Another good friend.
  • Kaysone Phomvihane Thought - A good follower of mine from Laos. I sent troops to help him get in power against the monarchy.
  • Samouthism - My Cambodian counterpart, such a shame you were killed by your mad apprentice.
  • Eco-Socialism - Fellow socialist and tree lover.
  • Marxist Feminism - Women played a crucial role in fighting for the liberation of Vietnam.

Nhà cung cấp viện trợ tạm thời

  • Stalinism - Thanks for supporting my liberation from the French colonialists but why did you oppose my national reunification?
  • Hoxhaism - Once we were friends but one can easily imagine Hoxha’s reaction had he lived to see how modern Vietnam turned out to be.
  • Marxism–Leninism - My former self. The current General Secretary of the CPV has been disappointed in the loss of ”Marxist-Leninist virtue” among his fellow party members. Rightist elements of the Party have mostly brought exploitation from international corporations and huge inequality and it’s time to change that.
  • Tridemism - One of my main inspirations but I turned on you later as I banned all other political parties in Vietnam. Also, Chiang Kai-shek is basically the Chinese equivalent of Ngô Đình Diệm.
  • Democratic Socialism and Progressivism - Just because you protested against US involvement in the Vietnam War doesn't mean I'm going to end the CPV's one-party rule.
  • Neoconservatism - I remember when I absolutely wrecked you in the 1970s using the forest and gave you flashbacks, but after the Doi Moi reforms our relations have improved significantly. I love to discuss old war memories with veterans like John McCain, Robert McNamara, and Bob Kerrey. However, I suspect that you're attempting to turn me into a US proxy state in your new cold war against China.
  • Dengism - Once we were mortal enemies but now I kinda admit that we followed the same path since I initiated the Doi Moi reforms. China is also Vietnam's largest trade partner which has received much domestic backlash. But stop claiming all of the South China Sea for f*ck sake. It isn't all yours.
  • Authoritarian Capitalism - My current self due to the actions of rightists like Võ Văn Kiệt and Nguyễn Tấn Dũng. However, the General Secretary of the CPV, Nguyễn Phú Trọng doesn't seem to be too happy about it.
  • Corporatocracy and Neoliberalism - I like to say that the past 30 years of privatization and austerity, IMF loans, and foreign investment by western and Chinese corporations is all part of some grand plan to build a "social market economy" on the path to communism, but truth to be told, is that I don't even believe my own words anymore. But Nguyễn Phú Trọng will partially revert it.
  • Macrism - You were a good partner as a representative of Argentina and very kind to participate in the tribute to Ho Chi Minh. Also, Federico Pinedo praised my market socialism in 2018. Such a shame that you decided to go with him!
  • Third Way - Thank you, Obama, for lifting the US embargo on lethal arms sales to Vietnam. Why did you support Mai Khoi?
  • Kleptocracy - Corruption is a big problem in Modern Vietnam. However, actions have been taken to reduce it.
  • Network Monarchism - One of the most paranoid anti-communists I ever encountered and we were enemies during all three of the Indochina Wars. I even trained and supported communist militant rebel groups in Thailand during the 1960s and 1970s. But I suppose we're good now that I'm not considered to be a "true communist" anymore.
  • Lee Kuan Yew Thought - Same as above.
  • Mediacracy - Reporters Without Borders ranked Vietnam 174/180, as if I care about petty things like "freedom of the press."
  • Anarcho-Communism - You make me laugh! Your vision ain't possible without a "transitionary state" and a vanguard party to protect the revolution from imperialists This one is cool tho
  • Labour Zionism - Unlike most other socialists, I don't have any major problems with you as Israel-Vietnam relations are quite good. Bac Ho even met Ben-Gurion in person and offered him help to establish a Jewish government in exile located in Indochina, an offer he declined. Still, your human rights abuses in Palestine concern me...
  • Paleoconservatism - Also protested against US involvement like him, despite being on the opposite side of the cultural spectrum, yet is not a fan of socialism and dislikes my later detente with NATO.

Bọn đế quốc bẩn thỉu

  • Liberal Democracy - Weak system! One-party rule is the way to go.
  • Eisenhowerism - I won't forgive you for aiding the creation of Fake Vietnam.
  • Truman Doctrine - Damn you for backstabbing me and supporting the French imperialists during the First Indochina War.
  • JFKism and LBJism - I won't forgive you either for supporting South Vietnam and bombing me! The effects of Agent Orange are still felt to this day.
    • So you're saying we got the last laugh at the end?
  • Nixonism - Same as above but at least you got the US out of the war, which made it possible for me to seize the south.
  • Trotskyism - Anyone who does not follow the line of my party will be broken down.
  • Person Dignity Theory - Fuck you Diem! Neocolonial puppet.
  • Thiệuism - Same as above. The Tet Offensive sure made you lose face.
  • Cao Ky Thought - My second-worst enemy, a literal Nazi.
  •  Monarchism - Haha Monarchy go bye bye!
  • Imperialism - Well, France, if only if you could take your own advice in exclaiming vive la révolution! (But those indigenous separatists had it coming!)
  • Thai Fascism - F*ck you Plaek Phibunsongkhram and Thanom Kittikachorn, imperialist collaborators!
  • Ilminism - You support South Vietnam?! THEN I'LL SUPPORT NORTH KOREA!
  • Showa Statism - Japanese go home!
  • Climate Skepticism - NOOOOO!!! I NEED THOSE TREES TO HIDE IN!!!
  • Anti-Authoritarianism - Prepare to die, foreign-backed color revolutionaries.

Further Information







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