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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

April 5, 2006

Written by C.N.

Viet Nam Becoming Too Capitalistic

It is rather ironic that one of the last remaining capitalist countries is being criticized for abandoning communist principles by its own citizens. That is apparently what’s happening in Viet Nam, where workers are protesting the erosion of worker rights and socialist ideals as the government focuses on joining the globalized capitalist economy:

In Vietnam, workers across the nation are organizing in numbers rarely seen since the communist takeover in 1975. Some 60,000 workers are demanding, among other things, the right to a decent salary, improved working conditions and, most important, to strike and to form their own union. . . .

The great majority of the workers come from impoverished rural areas in search of job opportunities in urban centers. They earn an average wage of about $2 per day — the lowest in Southeast Asia — and can’t pay for basic living needs. Urbanization, globalization and tourism have sent the cost of living skyward. . . .

[Some of their demands:] “Wherever there is exploitation, oppression, people must rise up in mass to take over the ownership, overthrow the capitalist conglomerations, and seize control for the poor people. . . . In case our eight-point demands are not realized, we will select one site to launch our struggle (and) seize the plant, the business of foreign capitalists, similarly to what the Communist Party has done in the past.”

This development only highlights a fundamental fact that many of us have known for years — Viet Nam is not a communist country. Instead, it is a totalitarian country, controlled by a paranoid regime that only uses communist principles as a facade. True communism would involve exactly what the workers are asking for — protection for the poor, workers’ rights, and a social philosophy focused on the well-being of the entire country, rather than just a privileged few.

We’ll have to keep an eye on this situation, but it would be quite a story if the fake communists are shamed into acting like real communists.

Author Citation

Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Viet Nam Becoming Too Capitalistic" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <> ().

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