Tran Quoc Viet (danlambao) – This year marks the eighty second anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of Vietnam. We might not know the date of birth of our parents, but it is impossible to forget the birth of the Party when every year the occasion is highlighted by constant media broadcasting of the endless celebrations, including the display of banners hung across the street in the country.
So unless you have been deaf or blind since birth, or have barely started learning to walk, you are sure to know of this birthday.
This is first misfortune of people living in a communist society: at least one part of your memory must belong to the Party.
The Party never “dies” once it is born. On October 1, 1949, half a million people gathered in Tiananmen Square and chanted loudly: “Long live Chairman Mao!” On September 2, 1945, a sea of Vietnamese also chanted “Long live President Ho Chi Minh!” If the founder lives forever, then so must the Party.
This is the second misfortune of people living in a communist society: after those chants were echoed, the history of the country and its people became merely the extension of the history of the Party.
Thus began the domino effect of social regression. We gradually lost language, morals, culture, and traditional identity. We are constantly under the shadow of the Party from the time of our birth to the time of our death. Our lives are shrouded in pretense, fake reality, education, literature, history, religion, military, journalists, writers, poets, authors, historians, intellects and even fake nature, with the slogan, “Celebrate the Party, celebrate Spring.”
This is the third misfortune of people living in a communist society: our lives are blanketed in falsehood.
Poet Boris Pasternak wrote: “I was the only one; while all around me are immersed in a lie:
Life is not a walk across a field. ”
Under communist rule, the green field has been paved over with cement and thus, grass, plants, and any signs of life have been destroyed. In turn, we use the concrete as stage where we act under the guidance of the Party, and like it or not, we relinquish our individualism and ethics. We are both victims and perpetrators of this great tragedy that is taking place on that cement floor.
This is the fourth misfortune of people living in a communist society: we cannot be ourselves. In the name of a utopian paradise, the Party encourages animal instincts while ignoring human civility.
Today we are finally seeing some cracks in the concrete ground, and through these cracks the sun is shining through and giving life to the seeds of the human spirit that is desperately trying to rise once again.
Let us hope for and act towards the ultimate goal: power in the hands of the people.
But the Party will live on if we stand on the sidelines waiting to history to happen. Let us proceed on down the road and build churches and temples to nurture our spirituality and faith. Let us mend the broken pieces of our culture, of civil society. If we can do these things, we will be able to minimize the influence and control of the Party, and more importantly, we will once again find the meaning of life; the first step on the difficult road to regain our character.
Russian protesters have chanted, “We exist!” in the bitter cold of winter. Tunisian voters joyfully shouted, “We vote, we exist!” while standing in line for hours to vote freely for the first time.
Someday we will loudly chant as they have: “We exist!” We are not invisible, faint shadows of the Party. Our most effective weapon is hope and courage.
When that day comes, when control of the government returns to the hands of the people, we, with our wounded bodies, will help each other build a future together.
It has been eighty-two years since the birth of the Communist Party of Vietnam. The Party is like a dinosaur on its last breath but still clinging onto life by sucking on the blood of the country of Vietnam. Its long tail is that of “socialist orientation”, its giant belly is filled with greed, and its little brain lies in its small head in comparison to its giant body. That little gray matter does not have the ability to see a future beyond the next year. How can we trust our fate and the fate of our country to this gray matter?
If we do not do anything, our children will continue to count the Party’s birthdays, and the body of the dinosaur will continue to damage generations to come.