League of Nations

Founding of the Communist Party of Indochina (February 1930)

Workers, peasants, soldiers, youth, and pupils!

Oppressed and exploited compatriots!

Sisters and brothers! Comrades!

Imperialist contradictions were the cause of the l9l4-18 World War. After this horrible slaughter, the world was divided into two camps: one is the revolutionary camp including the oppressed colonies and the exploited working class throughout the world. The vanguard force of this camp is the Soviet Union. The other is the counterrevolutionary camp of international capitalism and imperialism whose general staff is the League of Nations.

During this World War, various nations suffered untold losses in property and human lives. The French imperialists were the hardest hit. Therefore, in order to restore the capitalist forces in France, the French imperialists have resorted to every underhand scheme to intensify their capitalist exploitation in Indochina.* They set up new factories to exploit the workers with low wages. They plundered the peasants' land to establish plantations and drive them to utter poverty. They levied many heavy taxes. They imposed public loans upon our people. In short, they reduced us to wretchedness. They increased their military forces, firstly to strangle the Vietnamese revolution, secondly to prepare for a new imperialist war in the Pacific aimed at capturing new colonies; thirdly to suppress the Chinese revolution; fourthly to attack the Soviet Union because the latter helps the revolution of the oppressed nations and the exploited working class. World War Two will break out. When it breaks the French imperialists will certainly drive our people to a more horrible slaughter. If we give them a free hand to prepare for this war, suppress the Chinese revolution, and attack the Soviet Union, if we give them a free hand to stifle the Vietnamese revolution, it is tantamount to giving them a free hand to wipe our race off the earth and drown our nation in the Pacific. 

French Colonial Indochina

However, the French imperialists' barbarous oppression and ruthless exploitation have awakened our compatriots, who have all realized that revolution is the only road to life; without it they will die out piecemeal. This is the reason why the Vietnamese revolutionary movement has grown ever stronger with each passing day: the workers refuse to work, the peasants demand land, the pupils strike, the traders boycott. Everywhere the masses have risen to oppose the French imperialists. 

The Vietnamese revolution has made the French imperialists tremble with fear. On the one hand, they utilize the feudalists and comprador bourgeois in our country to oppress and exploit our people. On the other, they terrorize, arrest, jail, deport, and kill a great number of Vietnamese revolutionaries. If the French imperialists think that they can suppress the Vietnamese revolution by means of terrorist acts, they are utterly mistaken. Firstly, it is because the Vietnamese revolution is not isolated but enjoys the assistance of the world proletarian class in general and of the French working class in particular. Secondly, while the French imperialists are frenziedly carrying out terrorist acts, the Vietnamese Communists, formerly working separately, have now united into a single party, the Communist Party of Indochina, to lead our entire people in their revolution.

Workers, peasants, soldiers, youth, pupils!

Oppressed and exploited compatriots!

The Communist Party of Indochina is founded. It is the party of the working class. It will help the proletarian class lead the revolution in order to struggle for all the oppressed and exploited people. From now on we must join the Party, help it and follow it in order to implement the following slogans:

  1. To overthrow French imperialism, feudalism, and the reactionary Vietnamese capitalist class.
  2. To make Indochina completely independent.
  3. To establish a worker-peasant and soldier government.
  4. To confiscate the banks and other enterprises belonging to the imperialists and put them under the control of the worker-peasant and soldier government.
  5. To confiscate all of the plantations and property belonging to the imperialists and the Vietnamese reactionary capitalist class and distribute them to poor peasants.
  6. To implement the eight hour working day.
  7. To abolish public loans and poll tax. To waive unjust taxes hitting the poor people.
  8. To bring back all freedom to the masses.
  9. To carry out universal education.
  10. To implement equality between man and woman.

*      Indochina is also referred to as Mainland Southeast Asia or the Indochinese Peninsula. This large peninsula consists of Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia (not Sarawak), Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, and Vietnam. French Indochina is a historical term that includes the nations of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

Questions for Reflection and Investigation: Founding of the Communist Party of Indochina

  1. Define imperialism, colonialism (colonization), compatriots, vanguard force, counterrevolutionary, comprador bourgeois, and proletarian class.
  2. Research the primary causes of the First World War. Of the historical reasons cited for the war which relate directly to imperialism and colonization?
  3. Research the origins of the League of Nations. What was its charter? Why does Ho claim that the League was against people who wanted to break the bonds of colonialism?
  4. What reason does Ho give for France’s involvement in Vietnam? How did the French exercise their control over Vietnam in Ho’s eyes?
  5. Why is it evident in Ho’s eyes that the Vietnamese would revolt against the French?
  6. In Ho’s mind, why will the Vietnamese revolution succeed?
  7. Comment on the 10 directives of the Communist Party. Which directives are rights similar to those we expect to have within our own country? Which directives do you question and why? What directives do you support and why?