Thông tin trích dẫn: 
Nguyen Thi Thanh (2023), Controlling the power of the political party under Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts, Universum: Social Sciences, № 4 (95), pp. 52-55, DOI - 10.32743/UniSoc.2023.95.4.15231, ISSN 2311-5327.

DOI - 10.32743/UniSoc.2023.95.4.15231


Controlling power is considered a central issue in the leadership and governance of political parties worldwide. This is also the concern of President Ho Chi Minh when leading the revolution to liberate the nation and build Vietnam. According to Ho Chi Minh, the nature of the Party’s control over power is to form political institutions to check and supervise the contingent of cadres, limit the alienation of power, and exercise the rights of freedom and democracy for citizens and society. That is a common requirement in building contemporary political parties.


Контроль над властью считается центральным вопросом в управлении политическими партиями по всему миру. Этот же вопрос являлся основополагающим для президента Хо Ши Мина, когда он возглавлял революцию по освобождению нации и развитию Вьетнама.  По словам Хо Ши Мина, природа партийного контроля над властью заключается в формировании политических институтов для проверки и надзора за кадровым составом, ограничения отчуждения власти и осуществления прав на свободу и демократию для граждан и общества. Это общее требование для создания современных политических партий. 


Keywords: state power, political party, Ho Chi Minh ideology, democracy, political institutions

Ключевые слова: государственная власть; политическая партия; идеология Хо Ши Мина; демократия; политические институты.


Ho Chi Minh has built a system of comprehensive and profound views on the purpose, subject, object, content, method, and role of inspection and supervision for cadres in establishing a contingent of cadres and party members. This is to ensure the leadership and ruling role of the Party and boost the people’s democratic rights towards building an integrity and strong Party, serving the cause of national independence associated with socialism in Vietnam. By the method of logic, historical method, and systematic approach, the author generalizes the general perceptions on the control of the power of the political Party and analyzes Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts on inspecting and supervising cadres as well as its value in controlling the Party’s power.

1. The political Party’s view of controlling power

Political parties are understood as organized, stable political forces representing certain ideologies of worldview and human life, supported by the people, capable of linking citizens of the same political orientation under the Platform to participate in state agencies to realize the goals determined by the Party. When the Party gains state power, it becomes the ruling Party, performing the task of political leadership for the state and society. Therefore, it can be said that controlling the power of a political party is an activity of checking, monitoring, and evaluating whether the exercise of power by the subject in power is following the standards and contents previously established by the Party. From there, there are proactive methods to prevent the denial or violation of organizations and individuals to the general power of society.

In most bourgeois countries that follow political pluralism and multi-party systems, a political party can only become the ruling Party when it wins an election, has a majority of seats, or prevails in Parliament. For socialist countries, there is usually a one-party rule. The Communist Party’s leadership role is enshrined in the Constitution, and the Party’s political power does not depend on election results as in countries with political pluralism and multi-party systems. However, no matter which political system the parties follow, they constitutionally affirm that the original power is from the people. The political Party’s power is demonstrated by introducing members to elect and hold positions in the apparatus of the Party and State at the central and local levels as well as in implementing political lines and domestic and foreign policies according to the viewpoint of the ruling Party. At this time, the Party must control its own power and link control of power with entities outside the Party to avoid the alienation of power and to protect the position and interests of the Party, citizens, and society.

As for controlling the political power of the Party, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels said: “Political power, in its own right, is the organized violence of one class to oppress another” [3, p. 628]. Under the leadership of the Communist Party, the working class realizes their political power by organizing the Party apparatus, government, creating development guidelines and policies in all fields to affirm their position before other classes. Vladimir Lenin affirms that when becoming the ruling Party, the issue of controlling political power is inevitable and vital. Because, at this time, cadres and party members will be the representatives of the Party to propagate the Platform, guidelines, and policies to the masses. Furthermore, they also represent the people and are authorized by the people to participate in the Party’s organizational system and public administration.

Thus, according to the Marxist point of view, the original power in the Party and society belongs to the people. Cadres and party members are empowered by the people and hold positions and powers. If they are corrupted by power, it will cause great harm to the interests of the Party and the people. Hence, to control power in the Party, it is essential to supervise the power of cadres and party members. The first thing is methods of self-criticism and criticism: “Self-criticism is a necessity for every political party to be alive and full of life,” and “we advocate criticism not to criticize, but to make the right resolutions” [4, Volume 42p. 440]. The second thing is inspecting and supervising the use of power by cadres and party members, especially those who hold positions in the Party and state apparatus. “We need to check the capacity of the staff and the actual compliance” [4, Volume 45, p. 19]. In particular, Lenin made it clear how to ensure an equal position and relative independence and promote the role of the Central Inspection Committee with the Central Executive Committee and the Politburo so that “no authority of the General Secretary or any member of the Central Committee can prevent us from questioning, examining the files, grasping the situation clearly, and handling everything properly” [4, Volume 45, p. 440]. At the same time, he affirmed that boosting the people's role in criticizing and supervising cadres with mandatory reports on the performance of assigned tasks was crucial. On that basis, the Party can “dismiss the crooks and bureaucratized, dishonest, and weak-minded communist party members” [4, Volume 44, p. 154]. Thus, to effectively control power in the Party, the General Secretary, Central Committee members, and each Party member must be equal before the Party Charter and the Central Inspection Committee without bias. It can be seen that, from the point of view of bourgeois thinkers and Marxists, the original power of the political Party comes from the people. All citizens exercise their rights and obligations equally and have a mechanism to ensure their fulfillment by law. However, Marxist thinkers in general and Ho Chi Minh attach great importance to moral values and consider this a way to create equality when controlling the power of Communist Party members.

2. Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts on inspecting and supervising cadres

Objectives of inspection and supervision

Ho Chi Minh emphasized the duality of power and asked the Party to “always control cadres” [2, Volume 5, p. 314]. Cadres and party members need to know how to self-criticize and control their work and behavior. The people have the right to control their actions to prevent corruption” [2, Volume 4, p. 177]. Therefore, inspecting and supervising cadres help to establish, operate, and develop political power.

Subjects of inspection and supervision mentioned by Ho Chi Minh include Party committees at all levels, Party agencies, party organizations, Inspection Committees, and inspection and supervision teams. “Leaders who self-check are experienced and reputable” [2, Volume 5, p. 637]. External entities, which are state agencies, the masses, socio-political organizations, and the press, will coordinate with the Party in inspecting and supervising cadres.

Subjects inspected and monitored

Ho Chi Minh pointed out that the subjects exercising power were those subject to control, including high-ranking officials, ordinary cadres, central officials, local officials, cadres in political system agencies, and staff in all divisions and fields.

Contents of inspection and supervision

The first is to inspect and supervise cadres on standards, the performance of obligations, and the rights of party members. The second is to inspect and supervise cadres on awareness and action under the Party outline and the Party chapter because “The Party outline and chapter are to ensure the unity of the Party in terms of politics, ideology, organization, and action. That is the source of the Party’s forces” [2, Volume 8, p. 282] and requires “cadres and party members to strictly follow the policies of the Party and the State.” [2, Volume 14, p. 693]. The third is to inspect and supervise the implementation of the principles of party organization and activities, especially self-criticism and criticism under the motto “Burning yourself with fire, which means that cadres self-criticize strongly, are not afraid of losing the reputation to erase their shortcomings, and serve as a model for the masses” [2, Volume 11, p. 462]. The fourth is to inspect and supervise using party finances and combating waste with appropriate policies to repel individualism. The fifth is to examine and manage grassroots cadres in performing the Party’s guidelines, and the State’s policies and laws. Ho Chi Minh said: “Leaders in some provinces, districts, and communes rarely inspect, urge, and help the people” [2, Volume 15, p. 547]. Or, “At the lower and grassroots levels, the cadres in charge are not good, have not served the people, and do bad things. The people know these things well. Nevertheless, we haven’t examined them closely. Therefore, even if the direction is right and the policy is good, they will not bring practical results to the masses. To overcome this problem, Ho Chi Minh asked all levels of party committees and organizations to “regularly inspect the work and cadres” [2, Volume 15, p. 547]. The sixth is to inspect and supervise cadres in improving revolutionary morality and eliminating individualism. It is vital to raise awareness and practice of qualities: loyalty to one’s country, gratitude to one’s people, working for the benefit of one’s country and people, industry, thrift, honesty, righteousness, public spirit, and selflessness. He mentioned three types of responsibilities of cadres: responsibility to the people, responsibility at work, and responsibility to superiors, and He paid attention to the relationship with the revolutionary moral enhancement of the party organization and the rise of citizens’ morality. According to Ho Chi Minh, inspecting and supervising cadres is to raise awareness of the dangers and principles and solutions to remove individualism. He stated: “Individualism causes disunity, lack of organization, discipline, and a sense of responsibility, failing to properly observe the lines and policies of the Party and State, and harms the interests of the revolution and the people. In short, individualism leads to many mistakes” [2, Volume 15, p. 547], causing cadres to use excessive power and harming the public interest. Thus, Ho Chi Minh requested that inspecting and supervising cadres to eliminate individualism should be consistent with improving the revolutionary morality from the point of view of taking the people as the root, building and defending the fatherland, and “talk the talk and walk the walk.” Cadres need to set an example, cultivate morality, and perfect the inspection and supervision mechanisms in the Party and society.

Methods of inspection and supervision

Ho Chi Minh said that “good control was based on two things. The first is that the control must be systematic and take place regularly. The second is that controllers must be reputable.” [2, Volume 5, p. 327]. In particular, attention should be paid to the self-inspection and supervision of officials. To ensure effectiveness, firstly, the Party had to listen to the criticism of other Parties and the people. Secondly, it is necessary to pay focus on the method of inspection and supervision in combination with the requirements: “Each party member, cell of Party, and Party Committee at all levels must continually strengthen the Party’s ideological work, improve revolutionary morality, and ensure Party discipline and organization [2, Volume 11, p. 363]. Thirdly, party members must comment, self-criticize, and review the things that others have criticized to correct mistakes. Thus, the party members shall be honest and close to the people, cadres outside the Party, and everyone. By doing so, cadres inside and outside the Party will trust, unite, and learn from each other for mutual progress” [2, Volume 8, p. 192]. On the other hand, “the Party’s inspection must be strict” [2, Volume 15, p. 547], and control needs to be proactive and direct to prevent bureaucracy, formality, and passivity of the cadres and party members. He explained specifically: “How to control? Not just sitting in the room and waiting for people to report, but having to go out and see it with your own eyes. There are three things that make us need such control:

To know clearly whether officers and employees are good or bad.

To know the advantages and disadvantages of agencies, and

To know the advantages and disadvantages of orders and resolutions [2, Volume 5, p. 327]. Senior cadres must always urge and check the work of junior cadres. The people help the Government and the Union to check the work and behavior of the cadres. Furthermore, “when examining, one must honestly self-criticize and criticize to reveal all mistakes and seek ways to correct them. Thus, cadres will attach more importance to discipline and responsibility,” [2, Volume 5, p. 637] perfect and strictly practice discipline. In addition, it is significant to focus on inspection and supervision from the top down and the bottom up, combining checking and managing cadres inside and outside the Party. Ho Chi Minh said control had two ways. The first is top-down. That is, the leader controls the results of the work of his staff. The second is bottom-up. That is, the masses and cadres check the leader’s mistakes and show ways to correct them. This is the best way to control the staff. Checking and managing the cadres inside and outside the Party has many meanings. “Firstly, there is the Party’s inspection and urging. Secondly, there are external officials to check and urge. Thus, Party members and cadres outside the Party are educated together” [2, Volume 8, p. 59].

The position and role of inspecting and supervising cadres in building a contingent of cadres and Party members and controlling the power of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh attaches great importance to the position of inspecting and supervising in Party rectification and Party building (activities to control the Party’s power), helping the Party, cadres, and Party members become more and more incorruptible, firm, and exemplary, and make them know and properly use their assigned power. He said: “To have a firm leadership, cadres and Party members must first have a firm ideology and stance to volunteer as an example” [2, Volume 7, p. 398]. And, “inspection can motivate and educate Party members and cadres to fulfill their duties to the Party and State, and set good examples for the people. From there, it contributes to the consolidation of the Party in terms of ideology and organization [2, Volume 14, p. 362]. Thus, Ho Chi Minh affirmed that in essence, inspecting and supervising cadres was to build a democratic political institution to perfect the Party’s leadership and ruling method and ensure the organization and exercise of the Vietnamese people's right to mastery. To do that, the Party must directly supervise inside and control outside the Party with political and legal bases to promote the responsibilities and roles of the State, the people, the judiciary, the press, the Front, and socio-political organizations for examining cadres in the political system.

3. The value of Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts in inspecting and supervising cadres in controlling the power of the political Party

It can be said that Ho Chi Minh’s thought on inspecting and supervising cadres is an open, scientific, and revolutionary theoretical system. It has a universal value for controlling political party power in different countries. Because regardless of the political system, controlling the power of the political Party is essentially managing cadres so that they cannot refuse to take responsibility and do not violate political power. In Vietnam, applying Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts of the Communist Party aims to form a contingent of cadres and party members with sufficient qualifications and capacity to fulfill all essential responsibilities and tasks assigned by the Party and people. The Party controls the political power of cadres and party members, and the Party leads and forms a mechanism for subjects outside the Party to inspect and supervise Party officials and members. Subjects of inspection and supervision are all Party officials and members, regardless of positions and powers, at all levels and divisions. There is no exception, and no one can be out of the Party Charter, the Constitution, and the laws of the State. The contents of inspection and supervision include:

- The observance of the political platform, the Party’s charter, policies, resolutions, directives, regulations, decisions, and conclusions of the Party, the Party Committees of higher levels, and the laws of the State;

- The realization of the Party’s principles of organization and operation, working regulations, and regimes;

- The political ideology and preserving morality, lifestyle, and responsibility to set examples of cadres and Party members under the Party’s regulations;

- The standards of party members and committee members and the performance of tasks of the contingent of officials and Party members;

- The declaration of assets and income of cadres and Party members according to regulations.

As a result, although there are limitations in terms of quality and ability, “in general, the cadres have a firm ideological stance, political will, morality, simple and exemplary lifestyle, a sense of organization and discipline, always cultivate, practice, raise their qualifications and capabilities, strive and complete assigned tasks” [1].

Thus, when applying Ho Chi Minh’s thought, the level of control and supervision of the power of cadres of the Communist Party of Vietnam is carried out in both direct democracy and representative democracy. (In a direct democracy, the people elect and self-control the power of cadres, and Party members obey the Constitution and laws). Cadres control their power through self-study and cultivate virtue to enhance their responsibility to serve the people. In terms of representative democracy, the people manage cadres’ power through the groups elected to work in public agencies, supervise them in the performance of public duties, advise on the execution of disciplinary decisions, handle violations of cadres and party members to see if the Party is worthy of its role and trust of the people. It can be seen that there are similarities in level and form between the inspection and supervision of cadres’ power in Vietnam and some countries around the world. In Japan, for example, political parties are organized and operated by law and hold power through democracy. In Sweden, the law allows the press and all citizens control over the political Party’s power. Citizens can view political documents, except in a few special cases, without giving a reason. Furthermore, they are protected by ombudspersons when communicating with state authorities and monitoring the application of important laws. In the United States, according to the Constitution, the President is the head of the political Party that wins through elections, elected by the entire people via indirect election. The President is closely examined by voters and is subject to the scrutiny of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Therefore, comparing the theory and experience of controlling power of the Communist Party of Vietnam and political parties in the world has great value in building democratic institutions for the ruling parties and society.

Regarding the method of controlling the power of the political Party, Ho Chi Minh pointed out that there were two primary ways: Controlling power within the Party and controlling the Party’s power from the State and society. The key points of the above two methods are mainly managing cadres, the relationship of cadres with the party organization, with the people, and the mechanism to implement the principle of “Party leads - People master.” The specific value that cadres receive is to fight against all violations of citizens’ democratic rights, adhere to the Party’s program and lines, and uphold the qualities of honesty, thrift, and work with high efficiency. Ho Chi Minh’s methods of controlling cadres have methodological value for managing power in countries under one-party systems and in countries under multi-party and bi-party systems. Countries with one Party need to apply the following methods: Cadres self-reflect, control their work by self-criticism, set an example of responsibility, and listen to criticisms of party organizations, other cadres, and the people through the election and dismiss officers if there is any violation following the Party’s regulations and state law. For the multi-party and bipartisan system, the following methods should be emphasized: Actively and flexibly combining inspection and supervision of cadres in the Party and the opposition party, controlling from the top down and the bottom up, and keeping discipline. In addition, the general methodologies are regularly and systematically testing and monitoring, creating the reputation of the controller, having a mechanism to promote the role of state inspection, supervision, and criticism of the people, socio-political organizations, the press, and judicial authorities on establishing teams of officers, receiving and settling complaints and denunciations related to officials violating ethics and laws to authorities. In particular, applying Ho Chi Minh’s point of view on developing a basis for controlling the power of the political Party’s cadres by using morality, especially by setting the moral examples of the heads of party organizations, has practical significance for political parties. Regarding the use of the law, the fact that Ho Chi Minh creates a constitutional mechanism to ensure the independence of the judiciary, judicial officers, supervision, inspection, and handling of power violations among the Party’s cadres is an ideal, topical solution, contributing to ensuring the principle of democracy and the rule of law in controlling the power of political parties.


In summary, according to Ho Chi Minh’s thought, the core value in managing the political Party’s power is to establish a public mechanism and perfect a democratic political institution, especially concretize regulations on executing direct democracy by citizens in inspecting and monitoring the power of cadres. Therefore, political Parties must have strict methods to control internal teams and build a cultural environment: Focusing on the leadership of the Party and the State in perfecting the law on inspecting and supervising cadres, upgrading the effectiveness of the Government’s administration on personnel policies. Furthermore, it is imperative to promote democracy in socio-political organizations, independence of the judiciary, the responsibility of heads of socio-political organizations, the dynamism of each citizen to create a balanced institution to control and limit the power of cadres, gradually perfect democratic institutions, by the people and for the people.



Central Executive Committee. Resolution No. 26-NQ/TW dated 19/5/2018, The Seventh Conference of the Party Central Committee (term XII) on focusing on building a contingent of cadres at all levels, especially at the strategic level, with sufficient quality, capacity, and prestige on a par with their task requirements. Hanoi, 2018.
Ho Chi Minh. Complete volume. Hanoi: National Political Publishing House, 2011.
K. Marx and F. Engels. Complete volume. Volume 4. Hanoi: Truth National Political Publishing House, 1995.
V.I. Lenin. Complete volume. Hanoi: Truth National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2006.
 Информация об авторах

Nguyen Thi Thanh
Lecturer, Ha Noi Metropolitan University; PhD student, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Hanoi, Vietnam - Thư mục tài liệu Khoa học Xã hội và Nhân văn.

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