Part 3. Faith in Reform (Canh Tan)

Part 3. Faith in Reform (Canh Tan)

For over 150 years, Vietnam has had to overcome countless difficulties and challenges. Our people paid enormous sacrifices in blood to throw off the colonial yoke only to fall victim to quarter century of civil war over ideologies. While other nations facing the same circumstances as Vietnam shed colonialism to become the dragons and tigers of Asia, our country went from civil war to one-party rule under the dictatorship of the Vietnamese Communist Party. The last 25 years of the 20th century ought to have been the opportunity for the entire people to contribute toward rebuilding Vietnam into a modern nation. Sadly, this opportunity was wasted because of the grave mistakes of the Communist Party and the placing of its leadership’s parochial interests above those of the nation. Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, Vietnam is still among the most impoverished and backward nations of the world.

Furthermore, the dictatorship today is the root cause of many of Vietnam’s social ills: widespread corruption, abuse of power, disregard for the rule of law, trampling of human dignity, and social injustice. All of these problems have brought about the deterioration of morality and ethics, the decline of personal integrity and character, and undermined the social foundation of Vietnam. Therefore, the central issues facing Vietnam are national independence and national reform, unresolved issues carried over from the last century. The common solution to these interrelated problems is a comprehensive revolution to eradicate the shame of backwardness and underdevelopment, to rekindle the national spirit, and to end the social injustices that have plagued Vietnam for too long.

For that reason, Viet Tan proposes a revolutionary action plan with two priorities: freeing the country by abolishing the dictatorial regime of the Vietnamese Communist Party and rebuilding the country by reforming the social ethos, the social institutions and the social environment.

The priority of freeing the country is a struggle to regain freedom for every person, to liberate the people from dictatorship, and to establish a government accountable to the people. The guiding principle in this struggle is that the power of the people is paramount for mobilizing the nation and, along with international cooperation based on mutual interests, will force changes on all fronts, alter the status quo, and create an environment of political pluralism. Depending on the situation, our strategies may change, but our guiding principle based on paramount reliance on the power of the people will not change. That is also a principle of life, for only Vietnamese will care for and resolve the issues of Vietnam in the most favorable way. And only when each person stands up to fight for his interests will he truly be the master of his destiny.

The priority of rebuilding the country is an endeavor to comprehensively reform the country in three areas: the social ethos, the social institutions, and the social environment. Viet Tan believes that reform must be a continuous process of selective transformation aimed at rebuilding the nation economically and morally. In the context of globalization, the reform movement for Vietnam must also aim at preserving the nation’s independence and sovereignty. Reforming Vietnam is a continuous goal and yet also urgent in order to shorten the development phase and catch up with the Asian dragons in the next 20 years.

This revolutionary action plan can only succeed with the participation of every segment of the Vietnamese people, both inside and outside of the country. Viet Tan is only a part of the national community. It aspires to be one of the means for the Vietnamese people to unite and carry out the reform to rebuild Vietnam. Being in power is usually seen as a basic condition to implement policy. However, given Vietnam’s multitude of problems, reform efforts are not easily accomplished through the government structures alone, but depend also on the ability to persuade and empower the people. Based on the principles and strategies that have been proposed, Viet Tan, whether it is in government or not, will at all times make the best of circumstances and strive to contribute to the reform of Vietnam.

Today, having grasped the fundamental problems of the country, the underlying power of the people, and the downward spiral of the Communist Party, the Vietnamese people can look with optimism toward a brighter future for the nation. The rapid advances of science and technology are a major advantage for our efforts to modernize Vietnam. Intelligent and hardworking, the people in Vietnam yearn for freedom to advance unhindered. The overseas Vietnamese, successful and democratic-minded, will play an important role in the reform movement. United in the spirit of Harmony and Unity, the people of Vietnam together have the necessary and sufficient ability to transform the nation.

The just cause of the Vietnamese people today is the aspiration to end all injustice, achieve a brighter future for succeeding generations, secure a meaningful life for each person, and end all oppression. Vietnamese everywhere desire to build a new Vietnam, a new Vietnamese society in which humanism is the basis for renewed national pride and prosperity.

History has proven that the will of the people always prevails. With the determination and passion of all idealistic Vietnamese and favorable conditions both inside and outside Vietnam, the reform movement for Vietnam must succeed. All patriotic Vietnamese stand united to take the country into a new era—an era of development, decency, and fairness.

Vietnam will be a peaceful and prosperous nation, wherein its people will live freely, democratically, and responsibly so that it may contribute to the development of peace and stability in southeast Asia and the world.