Social Scientist. v 4, no. 42 (Jan 1976) p. 49.


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Lessons of the Vietnamese Revolution

ON 30 APRIL 1975, the heroic Vietnamese people finally liberated Saigon, and driving out all US personnel put an end to the 117-year-long colonial rule^ in particular US neocolonialism that lasted a quarter century. Never in human history has so remarkable a victory been won, and by so small a nation over a superpower possessed of so gigantic a military force. Apart from military and political implications the Vietnamese triumph is a landmark in the philosophical and theoretical advance of the human race.

The victory was heralded by the Declaration of Independance of the Democtatic Republic of Vietnam. Drafted by President Ho Chi Minh, it was announced to the world on 2 September 1945 and since then has continued to guide and inspire the Vietnamese nation. In it Ho Chi Minh cites from the 1776 American Declaration of Independence: "All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". Another passage is quoted from the Declaration of Rights of Man and the Citizen made at the French Revolution in 1791: "All men are born, and always continue, free and equal in respect of their rights.'^ Ho Chi Minh describes these as 'immortal statements' and 'undeniable truths'. Consistently emphasized in the Vietnamese Declaration are the objectives of liberty, equality and fraternity as well as the ideas of humanity and justice.

In all class societies, and especially under capitalism, colonialism and fascism in this century, human dignity and justice have been repeatedly trampled upon. With the victory of the Vietnam revolution, human dignity has been defended and justice has triumphed, thereby giving tremendous encouragement, hope and conviction to all the oppressed nations and peoples, indeed the entire human race.

The special significance of the Declaration of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam is that it has not only furthered the principles of the American Declaration of Independence and the Human Rights Declaration of the French Revolution,but has put forward the principles of equality and independence of all nations. After quoting a passage



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