Photo via The Diplomat
I don’t want to give too much credit to the idiots in the Communist Party by acknowledging their coming leadership convention as anything other than completely worthless. However, observing from the outside, one can see some interesting shakeups within the Party that might be worth a watch. A storm has been raging within the VCP, and could possibly boil over any day now.
This may come as a surprise to some of you, but the communists actually hate each other. This little detail held little relevance up until now, but with the new leadership convention coming up, and with it some high government positions on the line, old rivalries between members are reigniting, tempers are flaring, and the gloves are coming off. The major positions of General Secretary, President, and Prime Minister are all up for grabs, and unlike the previous years, the candidates (more like combatants) are showing little reservation in attacking each other openly. The power struggle is real.
The 12th National Congress of the VCP
Every five years, the Vietnamese Communist Party carries out a leadership transition. Known as the National Congress of the VCP, or Party Congress, these five-yearly conventions see the transfer of power to a new generation of Communist Party leaders to run the country.
These leadership conventions have been irrelevant in the past, as every new leadership seems to just carry on with the practices of their predecessors: corruption, suppression, and kowtowing to the Chinese.
For all we know, the results for the coming congress could be exactly the same as the previous years. However, when looking at the current disarray within the Party, and the breakdown of the selection process (they’re basically killing each other right now), there might be reason to pay attention.
Skipping all the smoke and mirror explanations, the Party selection process essentially boils down to patronage. The old leaders prop up their proteges, who promise to carry on the VCP family business of making each other rich by taking from the people. No one rocks the boat, no one speaks up against China, and every crook in the system is happy. Anyone who disagrees gets marginalized, usually politically, but sometimes permanently, by extreme measures.
It’s worked in the past. Leaders are usually chosen at this point, only waiting to be made official at the week-long convention. This time however, with a great rift within the leadership, a leader has still yet to be selected, and as cliche as it sounds, it’s anybody’s race.
Though the system is unpredictable, and neither of the following two contenders are guaranteed victory, this leadership race has largely been seen as revolving around these two famous figures of the current VCP:
Nguyen Phu Trong (Left) vs. Nguyen Tan Dung (Right)
These two guys HATE each other.
Over the past five years, the two have taken subtle jabs at each other that didn’t seem all too important, because they are all communists, and they’re all scum. Though that fact is still true now, the differences in positions that these two hold have suddenly become relevant.
Currently, the Prime Minister Dung is trying to finally break into the seat of General Secretary (the supreme leader of the Party). Meanwhile, the current General Secretary Trong is trying to retain his position, and prevent Dung from gaining the title.
Quoting Alexander L. Vuving, I will describe concisely that “Trong is pro-China and anti-Western while Dung is pro-U.S. and anti-China.” Vuving himself actually discourages this generalization, calling the reality “far more nuanced and complex” than this description suggests. I disagree with Vuving here regarding the complexity statement, and argue that the seemingly over-simplistic description does adequately illustrate the two men. It works for me, based off of what I’ve seen, so I will therefore continue to use this framework to describe the difference between Dung and Trong.
Dung’s selling points, according to Jonathan D. London, is that he is “Vietnam’s most eloquent statesman, a reform champion, and a patriot keen to end Hanoi’s deference to Bejing.” Moreover, he appears to favor “liberalizing market reforms and a willingness to expand freedoms ‘in accordance with the law.'” The Economist describes Dung as “unusually knowledgeable about industry, well-advised by Western-educated staff and knows what investors want to hear.” The source also describes him as Vietnam’s “least uncharismatic politician,” which I think is the British way of saying that he’s Vietnam’s most charismatic politician. I’ll express my skepticism at these remarks, but remain impartial here and say that they are possibilities.
From the evidence gathered, it seems Dung’s strengths stem from the fact that he actually knows how to read, and is not a brainwashed Chinese slave-puppet like his closest competitor and arch rival, ole Nguyen Phu Trong, aka Trong Lu.
Before I proceed further, it is important for me to bring up Dung’s corruption. He is just very, very corrupted. He’s got lots of money that he didn’t work for, and is in no way, shape, or form a decent human being. To be fair, though, he’s a communist, and all of them are corrupted. All of them. I’m about to rip Trong Lu apart, but feel that I need to clarify my views on Dung first: Nguyen Tan Dung is a huge piece of shit, make no mistake. Now that we cleared that up, let’s talk about our pal Lu.
What can we say about Trong Lu? Well, for starters, Jonathan London claims that Trong is “Not known for his intellectual dynamism,” which I gather is just a nice way of saying that Trong is hopelessly stupid. This description is not false, but rather quite true, as a matter of fact. We’ve touched on this topic before, we know that Trong Lu is an absolute idiot. He is understood to be part of the conservative faction of the VCP, otherwise known as the nitwit morons who still cling to Marxism and look to China as their big brother overlords. These “conservative” wingers are the ones who have come to dominate the Party, and are the main culprits charged with “selling out to China.”
I can go on a long tirade about this conservative wing of the Party, but for the sake of brevity, I will sum them up in one sentence: The conservative faction of the VCP are the cowardly Chinese puppets who are handing the country over to China, and Nguyen Phu Trong is the poster boy at the forefront of this faction.
Moreover, Trong is just kind of a loser overall, saying things that he shouldn’t be saying, and humiliating himself on a regular basis. Recently, in an attempt to prevent his enemy Dung from vying for the party chief position, Trong set a decree stipulating that only a Northerner is eligible of becoming General Secretary of the VCP. Dung is a Southerner, and so are many other members of the VCP. Trong’s open discrimination effectively alienated many members of the VCP who are not from the North. As a result, the rift within the Party has only grown larger.
As an outside observer who hates the VCP, I think it’s hilarious. However, as a rational human being, I am just dumbfounded that a grown man, well into his senior, and is CURRENTLY IN CHARGE OF AN ENTIRE FUCKING COUNTRY, is capable of saying something so childish, divisive, and self-destructive. Just when you think he couldn’t get any dumber, he still somehow manages to blow us all away with his stupidity. Honestly, Nguyen Phu Trong is the pinnacle of stupid. He’s just so stupid. SO. STUPID.
I have to stop here, people. I’ve got so much ridicule for Trong Lu that I’m currently at risk of veering off topic. We’re talking about the VCP leadership race, right? Yes, right. To sum up, Trong Lu is a Chinese puppet-slave, a pathetic coward, and is just really, really, REALLY stupid. He has dealt inconceivable damage to the country, and it is appalling that he is trying to retain his grip on power.
Fuck ’em both.
I know that from the comments given above, you may have an idea of which competitor I may hate somewhat less than the other. But, at the end of the day, they’re still both communists, and they’re both scum.
If Dung wins, the country will still be a mess. If Trong wins, not only will the country still be a mess, but he will continue to hand the country over to China, piece by piece. So, one choice is bad, the other is just worse.
And that, my friends, is the hand dealt to the people of Vietnam under the communist system. It’s not like they get to choose, either. There’s no voting in Vietnam, remember?
This article is less for the purpose of analyzing the coming leadership convention, and more just to make you all aware that a convention is going on.
The 12th Party Congress of the VCP commences on January 20, 2016, and lasts for about a week or so.
Only after the new leader takes power, after he makes clear what his intentions are, can we determine the true verdict. Only then can we judge whether this leadership convention matters or not.
A wise man once said, “Don’t listen to what a communist says, but look at what a communist does.” In keeping with these words of wisdom, no verdict will be provided today.
Second photo credits: Nguyen Phu Trong photo via VOA, Nguyen Tan Dung photo via ABC Austrailia