The Road to Revolution by Ho Chi Minh, translated by VietAnon
You can not select more than 25 topics Topics must start with a letter or number, can include dashes ('-') and can be up to 35 characters long.

195 lines
15 KiB

\section{The character of a revolutionary}
To yourself
\item Diligent while still economical
\item Amiable without selfishness
\item Self critical
\item Careful without being cowardly
\item Inquisitive
\item Patient
\item Always reasearch and review
\item Do rather than say
\item Firm grip on ideology
\item Selflessness
\item Refraining from material desires
\item Secretive
To your comrades
\item To individual one must be forgiveful
\item To organization one must be strict
\item Willing to educate
\item Be direct without being reckless
\item Be considerate
To your work
\item Careful examination of every situation
\item Decisive
\item Brave
\item Loyal to the organization
\section{The purpose of this pamphlet}
\item Whatever you do, big or small, of any difficulty, if you don't work hard, you won't succeed. There is a Chinese proverb that says, \enquote{A lion catches a rabbit with all its might}. For the strength of a lion, even if it’s not hard to catch rabbits, you still have to use all your strength, let alone do such a great job as freeing the shackles of slavery for your fellow citizens, for humanity, if you don't try your best, how can you?
\item Many people would find the task so difficult that they get discouraged, not understanding that \enquote{with the flow of water even rocks wear away} and \enquote{with patience and grit, a hunk of iron can become a needle}. No matter how difficult the task, with determination it can be done. If few people can't do it, together many people can. If you can’t do it in a lifetime, it must be done in the next.
\item For us to be united and persistent in a mission, everyone must first understand why it has to be done, why you can’t not do it, why everyone has to lend a hand, why you have to do it right away rather than wait for each other. With this we’re united in purpose; with the same purpose we’re united in will; with strong will we’re united in hearts, combined knowing how any task can quickly be done.
\item The theory and history of revolution are written in thousands of works. The French were afraid of this, so they forbade us to study, and forbade us to watch, so our compatriots were still vague about the word revolution. Some had proposed a little, but did it in a very confused way, inciting people to riot without showing how to organize; or make people get used to dependency, and forget about self-reliance.
\item The purpose of this book is to tell our compatriots clearly: (1) Why must we be revolutionary if we want to live? (2) Why is the revolution a matter of everyone, not a matter of one or two individuals? (3) Bringing the revolutionary history of other countries as an example to learn from. (4) Bringing the world movement to the eyes of our compatriots. (5) To know who is our friend? Who is our enemy? (6) What is to be done in a revolution?
\item This pamphlet needed to be brief, easy to understand, easy to remember. Surely some people will criticize its literary value. Yes! Its purpose is to be as simple and to the point as possible, as sure as 2 times 2 is 4, no embellishments.
For more than sixty years, we have been under the jackboot of French imperialism; more than twenty million dying compatriots are still at death’s door. You have to speak up loudly and act quickly to save the people, there’s no time to waste on refining every word!
Hopefully this pamphlet will be read by compatriots, for the people that read it to think, think then wake up, wake up then stand united to commit to a revolution.
Every word and desire of this pamplet lies in only one word: Revolution! Revolution!! Revolution!!!
\subsection{What is revolution?}
Revolution is breaking the old into the new, breaking the bad into the good. For example, Mr Galileo (1633) was a revolutionary scientist. In the past, everyone thought that the Earth was flat and the center of the universe, and through calculations and surveying\footnote{Surveying: measurment.}, he found that the Earth was round and revolved around the sun.
Mr. Stephenson (1800) was a revolutionary mechanic. In the old days there was only walking and horse-drawn carriage to travel on land; he revolutionized transport through the railways.
Mr. Darwin (1859) was a revolutionary biologist\footnote{Biology: the study of life.}. In the past, no one understood the biological principles\footnote{Evolution: transformation of life.} in the change of all life, he discovered why there was such a mechanism, evolution.
Mr. Marx was a revolutionary economist. He had clearly studied and pointed out where capitalism, imperialism, class struggle, and so on comes from; what is their history, what is their phenomenon, and what will be its results.
\subsection{How many parts does the revolution have?}
That is revolutionary thought, revolutionary people and from there are the 3 revolutions of our time:
\item Capitalist Revolution.
\item National Revolution.
\item Proletarian Revolution.
Capitalist Revolution like the French Revolution in 1789. American Revolution in 1776 (evicted Britain), Japanese Revolution in 1864\footnote{The Meiji restoration}.
The revolutionaries like the Italians chased the Austrian power in 1859. The Chinese revolted and pushed out the Manchus in 1911.
The revolutionary class like the Russian workers and peasants defeated the forces of capital and took power\footnote{Forming the dictatorship of the proletariat} in 1917.
\subsection{The origins of capitalist revolutions}
\item Capital in the city is new capital, it owns factories and makes goods. If you have factories, you want more workers to work in them to operate machineries. If you create products, you want more people to buy them. If you want more people to buy and sell, you need convenient transportation.
% FIXME: I am unsure of the paragraphing here since there is only four periods in the original text but five here
\item The capital in the countryside is the landlord, they want to keep the feudal system, and their sovereignty of farmlands; power is in the hands of the nobility there; they treat the people like cattle and livestock, refusing the peasants from moving to plow the field for them. To the merchants, how much tax they will collect is completely of their whims with no measure or restraints, money for each regions is just as restrictive, for travel the merchants have to ask them for permission, it creates many obstacles for new business.
Landlords tried their best to block new capital, and new capitalists tried their best to overcome landlords, and the two sides clashed causing capitalist revolutions.
Never have the two sides fought each other so vehemently and clearly, more conspicuously than in the United States. From 1861 to 1865, the northern provinces (new capitalist) sent troops to fight the southern provinces (plantation owners) like two hostile countries\footnote{The American Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865 between the industrial bourgeois corporations of the North and the corporations of the Southern slave owners (BT).}.
\subsection{The origins of nationalist revolutions}
When a country that relies on strength comes to conquer a weak country, governs its people by force, and takes all economic and political rights. The people of that country have lost both their freedom and independence, and the more they make, the more they are plundered by those powers.
After they have taken all the goods and rights of the people, when there is a war, it forces the people to die as their cannon fodder. As in the Great European War of 1914-1918, the French forced us to join the army, and then taxed the families of those conscripted. If you win, they will benefit, if you lose, you will die and lose all that you have.
In short, these powerful nations enslaved other peoples, like France with Annam. When the enslaved people could not stand it anymore, waking their national consciousness, united, knowing that it would be better to die free than live as a slave, joined forces to drive away their oppressors; this is the nationalist revolution.
\subsection{The origins of class revolutions}
In the world now there are 2 classes:
\item Capitalists (not working but benefiting).
\item Workers and peasants (working hard but not benefiting).
For instance an An Nam worker, working at Hon Gay coal mine, working 11 hours a day, every day til the end of the year, only getting 3 dimes a day, not eating enough to live, wearing little to no clothes, having no medicine to treat his diseases, dying without even a coffin.
As for the mine owner, he never got involved in any work, but he ate and wore luxuriously, traveled on his horses and automobiles, and earned a few hundred million dong a year in profits (in 1925 he got 17,000,000 dong). Let's ask whether if those 17 million was made by the Western owner or was it made by An Nam workers? Our peasants do not have fields to plow, but the Western plantations occupy all 122,000 acres of good farmlands in An Nam, and 150,000 acres in Cochinchina.
Our people in some places do not have enough to eat, starving to death, but every year the landlords sells rice for nearly 1,000 million of french money\footnote{Francs} (in 1925 it sold 911,477,000 quan).
Our country is like that, so are other countries. Workers and peasants could not stand it, united to drive capital away, as in Russia, this was the class revolution; in short, the oppressed class stages a revolution\footnote{With the core being the proletariat} to overthrow the class that oppresses them.
\subsection{How many parts does a revolution consists of?}
Revolution is divided into two parts:
\item Just as Annam fights the French, India fights Britain, Goryeo\footnote{Now Korea} fights Japan, the Philippines fights America, and China chased away the imperialists to win the freedom and equality of their own people, those are all nationalist revolutions.
\item All peasants and workers in the world, of any country, any race, unite together in brotherhood, to destroy all capital in the world, making any country, any people can achieve happiness, making the world truly equal - that is the world revolution.
Although the two revolutions are different, because the natioanlist revolution were not divided into classes, but all scholars, farmers, and merchants all agreed to oppose the imperial powers. In the world revolution, the proletariat will be the leading vanguard class. But those 2 Revolutions are still intrinsically related to each other. For example: if Annam is successful in the Revolution, then it weakens the French capitalists. And when the French capitalist is weakened, the French workers and peasants can easily become the Revolutionary class. And if the French Revolution workers and peasants succeed, the Annamite people will be free.
Therefore, the Annam Revolution and the French Revolution has to communicate with each other.
\subsection{Who are the revolutionaries?}
From oppression, revolutions are born, so the more oppressed the person, the stronger the revolutionary will. Before capital was oppressed by feudalism, it was revolutionary. Now capital is oppressing the workers and peasants, so the workers and peasants are the masters of the revolution\footnote{That is, workers and farmers are the core force, the main vanguard of the revolution.}.
\item Because workers and peasants were more severely oppressed,
\item It is because workers and peasants are the most numerous, therefore the most powerful,
\item It's because the workers and peasants own nothing, if they lose, they only lose a miserable life, if they win, they gain the whole world, from this they gain their bravery. For these reasons, workers and peasants are the root of the revolution; and students, small traders, small landowners were also oppressed by capital, yet not as miserable as workers and peasants; those 3 classes are just revolutionary companions of workers and peasants.
\subsection{Is staging a revolution difficult?}
It is very difficult to change an old society which is thousands of years old and to build a new one. But by knowing how to do it, knowing how to work together for that goal, then you can definitely do it, then it's not difficult. It's only difficult because of yourself, if you’re determined to do it, it can be done. But if you want to make a revolution, you need to know:
\item The capitalists and imperialists use religious and cultural dogmas to make the people ignorant, tie the people down by law, use force to frighten the people, and make them greedy with material wealth. With these mehthods they make people shiver when they hear the word \enquote{revolution}.
Therefore, the revolution must first enlighten the people.
\item People suffer too much so riots are frequent, such as the An Nam people who resisted taxes, the poison plot of Ha Noi, and Cochinchinese destroying French outposts; because they had no ideology, no plan, failure was continuous.
So a revolution has to explain theory and ideology\footnote{Meaning explaining revolutionary theory and Marxism-Leninism} to the people.
\item Because the people do not understand the situation in the world, do not know how to compare, lacking strategies, so they rebeled when they should not do it, or didn’t rebel when the time was right\footnote{That is, not knowing how to seize the revolutionary opportunity}.
Revolutionaries must understand the world's tides, and must present these strategies to the people.
\item The common people are divided\footnote{The common people are divided (due to the colonialists' plot to divide
and conquer)
} from one faction to another, like our people, the South is suspicious of the Midlands, and the Midlands despise the North, leading to our strength being weakened, like separated chopsticks.
Therefore, the revolutionary power must be concentrated, and in order to concentrate, there must be a revolutionary vanguard party.
\subsection{What is needed first in a revolution?}
First of all, there must be a revolutionary party, in order to mobilize and organize the people domestically, and to communicate with the oppressed nation and the class proletariat abroad. If the Party has a firm hold on the revolution, it will succeed, just as a great helmsman running a stable boat. If the party wants to be strong, it must have ideology as its core, everyone in the party must understand it, and everyone must follow it. A party without ideology is like a person without wisdom, a ship without a compass.
Now there are many doctrines, many theories, but the most genuine, most certain, most revolutionary ideology is Leninism.