GUEST BLOG – Colin Campbell, from Toronto, tries to understand Vietnamese communism

Trying to explain Vietnam in a few sentences is like trying to complete a large abstract motif jigsaw puzzle in one quick setting.

There is no one quick way and understanding comes from many discussions with both locals and fellow travellers. There is no one way of understanding, and things are not always what what they at first seem. It is widely assumed that since 1975 Vietnam is an communist-controlled country. Yet the Russian-backed communism that Ho started  in order to get rid of the US and Chinese (the French having left), is in no way evident today.

In 1986 the local form of communism was deemed to be a disaster, and to outward appearance the country looks capitalist today:  little business regulation; ample opportunity to make money; low taxes;  and no cost of a social net since there is none.

The party doesn’t interfere much as long as some things are carefully done. From our guides and our own discussion we heard many different views but the conclusion all seem to agree on is Vietnamese have agreed to forget the past and move on all together for a prosperous future.

 

“Uncle Ho”. From 1975-1986, all Vietnamese household were required to hang a picture of Ho Chi Minh.

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