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Vietnam Update: The Politics of Life – Call for Papers

[ndlr] Appel à communications.

CALL FOR PAPERS

2017 Vietnam Update: The Politics of Life

20-21 November 2017

Australian National University, Canberra

Vietnamese people often tell their foreign visitors that Vietnam is the most secure place in the world. The country has no terrorists, no political disorder, and the police are second to none. Decades of devastating warfare are long-past. Poverty is declining and incomes are rising in a region with good economic prospects. People in Vietnam appear to fling themselves at life’s everyday challenges with intensity and no little optimism.

But Vietnamese today are questioning ends and means, particularly as they relate to human security; they thirst for transparency and reliable ways to assert control over life. In the country and the city, in material, ideological and psychological realms, and at local, national and regional scales, the ability to feel secure is slipping away. This leads to high system maintenance costs and exhaustion as people exert themselves to amass the means and the trust they require to obtain existential security. Increasingly, questions are being asked as to whether life might be lived in a better way.

This Vietnam Update is dedicated to exploring the politics of life in Vietnam. The organisers call for original research papers that address the following sets of questions:

  1. For many Vietnamese, the most significant risks to life come from their own region as neighbours stake claims and leverage power asymmetries in ways perceived to be detrimental to the very existence of the country. Doubts about co-ordinating mutual security through ASEAN co-exist with concerns about the merits of rapprochement with America. Preoccupations with China manifest in anxieties about encirclement, infiltration, collusion, manipulation and incitement. How are such anxieties given voice and how does the government respond? Online criticisms and protests by activists are met with repression, but throughout the country – both within the government and beyond  – debate rages about how to secure the nation. One of the deepest questions is: who is to be trusted with the nation’s security?
  2. The recent censure and demotion of high level leaders for misconduct or poor performance attests to the openly competitive nature of political power. Party leaders continue to warn about the threats posed by ideological and moral degradation, but are there indications that leaders are being selected according to new standards of meritocratic governance? It has become conventional to tie political outcomes to factional power struggles or a contest over the spoils of patronage but to what extent does politics represent a contest between alternative visions for how the country should be governed and how life is to be lived?
  3. Capitalist market relations are central to gaining access to basic life needs formerly obtained through government programs, state enterprises and co-operatives, or via family, community or customary economies. Market logics influence the supply of housing, land, food, healthcare and education, and most government services attract formal or informal user fees. The pursuit of market efficiencies is linked to precarious livelihoods, indebtedness, and widening social disparities. How are such processes experienced and debated within Vietnamese society? Are there attempts to push back against or mitigate the commoditisation of life?
  4. Technology, industry, science and new production and exchange systems have unleashed material plenty and improved life for tens of millions of people. However, doubts about the benefits of headlong modernisation appear in concerns about the harm done by chemical effluents, carcinogens, pesticides and unsafe food, along with urban expansion, traffic chaos and unsafe workplaces. Agrarian intensification, agricultural commoditisation and land concentration have increased productivity but also engender livelihood insecurities and pose existential threats to rural communities and customary ways of life. In what ways are citizens suturing gaps and controlling such risks through mutual assistance, security from below, or deliberative modes of living and being?
  5. For a number of Vietnamese, the material, spiritual and psychological strains of modern life are such that a retreat into simpler modes of living, equated with the past, offers an appealing alternative. At the same time, tradition is blamed for ills as diverse as corruption, excessive drinking, age, gender and ethnic hierarchies, and doctrinaire thinking. As youths study abroad and gain exposure to the cultures of the world, many are led to wonder: what values and institutions work? Do Vietnamese need a state religion, a prescribed traditional or ‘Western’ culture, civics lessons, or democracy to have the means to obtain security and hold each-other to account?
  6. One of the most intriguing developments in the politics of life come from networks of activists who use media, community affiliations and ties to government insiders and resources to vocally and persistently oppose official development projects, land confiscations and foreign investments considered harmful to human wellbeing. Recent actions range from social media campaigns to sit-ins, flash demonstrations, and the capture of public officials by frustrated villagers. In this workshop we are interested to explore whether the politics of material security represents a singular domain in which citizens may significantly oppose or influence government decisions and development directions through engaging in overt political action perhaps in ways not seen previously in Vietnam.

The organisers are seeking proposals for papers on these themes to be presented at a conference to be held at the ANU, Canberra on 20-21 November 2017.

Proposal Submission:
Interested contributors should send their proposals and a one page CV to Philip Taylor by 20 June 2017. Email: Philip.taylor@anu.edu.au

Each proposal should be no longer than 600 words. The proposal should outline how the paper relates to the issues highlighted in the above sets of questions and the kind of research the paper will be based on. Preference will be given to papers that promise a rich analysis and have an interdisciplinary dimension. The conference organisers will then decide which proposals to accept. We will then extend invitations to the authors of the selected proposals to prepare and present their papers to the conference. The organisers also reserve the right to solicit papers, if necessary, from individuals who did not submit proposals.

Funding for travel and accommodation is available and details will be discussed later with each paper presenter.

Paper Specifications:
The paper itself should be submitted 30 days before the date of the conference.

The paper should not exceed 10,000 words and it should include appropriate bibliography and citations. Each paper should include an abstract of 250 words.

Presentation and Publication:
We envisage about twelve paper presentations during a two day workshop in Canberra on 20-21 November 2017. At the Update each author will have approximately 40 minutes to summarise what her/his paper argues and the evidence used.

The conference will also include presentations about recent political and economic developments in Vietnam.

Organisers request the right of first refusal with regards to publishing the accepted papers, which may be included, subject to any necessary revisions to meet publication requirements, in a refereed book or journal collection that we hope will be published within a year of the conference.

For more information on this Vietnam Update theme or questions about paper proposals please contact Philip Taylor (philip.taylor@anu.edu.au).

Vietnam Update Committee: Huong Le Thu; Phuc To; Ashley Carruthers; Kim Huynh; David Marr; Tana Li; Benedict Kerkvliet; Sango Mahanty.

Changing Lives in Laos: Society, Politics, and Culture in a Post-Socialist State [parution]

[ndlr] Parution d’une nouvelle publication sur le Laos contemporain sous la direction de Vatthana Pholsena et Vanina Bouté. Présentation de l’éditeur.

Changing Lives in Laos:

Society, Politics, and Culture in a Post-Socialist State

Edited by Vanina Bouté and Vatthana Pholsena

Changes in the character of the political regime in Laos after 2000, a massive influx of foreign investment, and disruptions to rural life arising from improved communications and new forms of mobility within and across the borders have produced a major transformation across the country. Witnessing these changes, a group of scholars carried out studies that document the rise of a new social, cultural and economic order. The contributions to this volume draw on original fieldwork materials and unpublished sources, and provide fresh analyses of topics ranging from the structures of power to the politics of territoriality and new forms of sociability in emerging urban spaces.

« In Changing Lives in Laos, Vanina Bouté and Vatthana Pholsena have assembled an invaluable collection of papers on Laos by key established and emerging scholars of the country. While Laos remains under-studied compared to most of the region, these chapters show an increasingly thorough engagement with people and places and a better understanding of the texture of transition and transformation. »
Jonathan Rigg, Department of Geography, National University of Singapore

« This new book on Laos, edited by two leading specialists on this country, features articles by a new generation of historians, anthropologists, geographers and political scientists. Studying state formation, new economic trends, and issues such as the cultural integration of ethnic minorities and rural migration, this interesting book brilliantly demonstrates how in less than fifty years Lao society has been deeply transformed. »
Yves Goudineau, Director of the French School of Asian Studies (EFEO), Chair in Comparative Anthropology of Southeast Asia (Paris)

________________________________________________________ 

CONTENTS
List of Illustrations
1. Introduction
Vanina Bouté and Vatthana Pholsena

PART I: STATE FORMATION AND POLITICAL LEGITIMATION
2. The History and Evolution of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party
Martin Rathie
3. Shaping the National Topography: The Party-State, National Imageries, and Questions of Political Authority in Lao PDR
Oliver Tappe
4. ‘Special Operation Pagoda’: Buddhism, Covert Operations, and the Politics of Religious Subversion in Cold-War Laos (1957-60)
Patrice Ladwig
5. War Generation: Youth Mobilization and Socialization in Revolutionary Laos
Vatthana Pholsena
6. Socialist Pathways of Education: The Lao in East Germany
Nicole Reichert

PART II: NATURAL RESOURCE GOVERNANCE AND AGRARIAN CHANGE
7. The Poltical Ecology of Upland/Lowland Relationships in Laos since 1975
Olivier Évrard and Ian G. Baird
8. The New ‘New Battlefield’: Capitalizing Security in Laos’ Agribusiness Landscape
Michael B. Dwyer
9. Reaching the Cities: New Forms of Network and Social Differentiation in Northern Laos
Vanina Bouté

PART III: ETHNIC MINORITIES ENGAGING WITH MODERNITY
10. Ethnic Belonging in Laos: A Politico-Historical Perspective
Grégoire Schlemmer
11. Piglets Are Buffaloes: Buddhification and the Reduction of Sacrifices on the Boloven Plateau
Guido Sprenger
12. Rubber’s Affective Economies: Seeding a Social Landscape in Northwest Laos
Chris Lyttleton and Yunxia Li

PART IV: IN SEARCH OF OPPORTUNITIES: MOVING ACROSS AND OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY
13. Migration and Mobility in Laos
Sverre Molland
14. Patterns and Consequences of Undocumented Migration from Lao PDR to Thailand
Kabmanivanh Phouxay
15. Textiles Economy in Laos: From the Household to the World
Annabel Vallard

Bibliography
Contributors
Index

Source : NUS Press

Lien-Hang Nguyen : Who Called the Shots in Hanoi?

[ndlr] Le Viêt-Nam en guerre pendant l’année 1967 : une vue de Hanoi. Signalons cet excellent article de l’historienne Lien-Hang Nguyen.

As any account of combat in the Vietnam War will tell you, America fought an “elusive enemy”: guerrillas who would strike and then disappear; battalion commanders who refused to engage in open battles. But there’s more to the cliché than most people realize. Even by 1967, America’s military, intelligence and civilian leaders had no real idea who was actually calling the shots in Hanoi.

To some extent, this is what the North wanted — the impression that decisions were made collectively, albeit under the gentle guiding hand of President Ho Chi Minh. But the American confusion also, inadvertently, reflected the messy, factionalized reality of North Vietnamese politics, one that historians are only now coming to grasp. Thanks to the slow if capricious process of historical declassification, the publications of renegade memoirs and histories, the dissemination of “open letters” by disgruntled former leaders, and the careful and painstaking research and analysis by Vietnam specialists, we now have a better understanding of who was on top in Hanoi and what battles he waged to get there.

Lire la suite / Read more : The New York Times, The Opinion Pages, 14/02/2017.

Lien-Hang Nguyen is a professor of history at Columbia and the author of the forthcoming “Tet 1968: The Battles That Changed the Vietnam War and the Global Cold War.”

Image « à la une » ; Ho Chi Minh, le président de la RDVN et Le Duan, le secrétaire général du Parti des Travailleurs du Viêt-Nam [futur PCV] à Hanoi.

Tzvetan Todorov, essayiste et historien des idées, est mort

[ndlr] Triste disparition d’un grand chercheur dont les travaux ont accompagné le séminaire Mémoires d’Indochine.

Tzvetan Todorov, essayiste et historien des idées, est mort

Français d’origine bulgare, né à Sofia en 1939, il était un théoricien de la littérature et a notamment travaillé sur le rapport des Occidentaux à l’altérité et sur l’expérience totalitaire.

L’essayiste et historien des idées Tzvetan Todorov est mort à 77 ans, a-t-on appris mardi 7 février. « Infinie tristesse d’apprendre la mort de Tzvetan Todorov, penseur de la liberté », a réagi Sandrine Tolotti, ex-rédactrice en chef du bimestriel littéraire Books, dont M. Todorov était membre du comité éditorial.

Lire la suite : Le Monde, 07/02/2017.

Pour en savoir plus :

  • Le philosophe et historien Tzvetan Todorov est mort, L’Express, 07/02/2017. L’essayiste franco-bulgare est décédé à 77 ans. Tzvetan Todorov avait quitté la Bulgarie dans les années 60 afin d’échapper au communisme. Il a notamment travaillé sur la pensée humaniste et sur le totalitarisme.
  • Disparition d’un humaniste : Tzvetan Todorov, Les Inrocks, 07/02/2017. Le philosophe et historien des idées Tzvetan Todorov est mort à l’âge de 77 ans. De la théorie poétique à la critique politique de son temps et à l’éloge des insoumis, il ne cessa de déployer une pensée profondément humaniste.
  • L’essayiste Tzvetan Todorov est mort, Télérama, 07/02/2017. […] Auteur de plus d’une quarantaine d’essais, il avait notamment publié Face à l’extrême, la vie morale dans les camps de concentration (1994),  La Vie commune, réflexion sur la nature sociale de l’homme (1995), Mémoire du mal, tentation du bien (2001), Les Ennemis intimes de la démocratie (2012). Son dernier ouvrage, Insoumis, était paru à l’automne 2016.
  • Agnès Bozon-Verduraz, Tzvetan Todorov, ou la lucidité de l’exilé, Télérama, 07/02/2017. L’intellectuel est mort le mardi 7 février à Paris à l’âge de 77 ans. Touche-à-tout des sciences humaines, cet enfant de Bulgarie était aussi dur avec la dictature qu’il était exigeant de la démocratie. Nous republions un entretien datant de 1996, paru à l’occasion de la sortie de son livre “L’Homme dépaysé”. Et plus de vingt ans après, ses paroles sonnent toujours aussi juste.
  • David Caviglioli et Grégoire Leménager, Mort de Tzvetan Todorov, le fantastique humaniste, BibliObs, 07/02/2017. Dans la vie intellectuelle française, Tzvetan Todorov, mort dans la nuit du 6 au 7 février à l’âge de 77 ans, a occupé une place singulière. On n’a jamais pu le rattacher à un camp. Il ne figure pas dans le panthéon de la French Theory. Très anti-communiste, notamment à cause de son parcours personnel, il a fait partie du moment antitotalitaire, sans devenir un «nouveau philosophe».

Image « à la une » : © 1996 ULF ANDERSEN / Aurimages / AFP

Nguyen, Hai Hong : Political Dynamics of Grassroots Democracy in Vietnam [parution]

[ndlr] Avis de parution. Présentation de l’éditeur.

haihongnguyen_political-dynamicsofgrassroots-democracyinvietnamIn Political Dynamics of Grassroots Democracy in Vietnam, Hai Hong Nguyen investigates the correlation between independent variables and grassroots democracy to demonstrate that grassroots democracy has created a mutually empowering mechanism for both the party-state and the peasantry.

Hai Hong Nguyen is a Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia. He holds a Masters in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from Lund University, Sweden, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Queensland, Australia. He has been teaching international human rights law, international relations, and politics in Vietnam and Australia.

Review :

‘Hai Hong Nguyen’s Political Dynamics of Grassroots Democracy in Vietnam is a path-breaking study of Vietnam’s attempt to apply its concept of grassroots democracy to local government in response to rural unrest in the late 1990s. Based on field work in Vietnam, it represents a major milestone in the study of politics in Vietnam and will be the foundation for all future studies on political change in Vietnam.’ – Carlyle A. Thayer, Emeritus Professor, University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, Australia

Source : Palgrave

★ ★ ★

[Nguyen, Hai Hong est aussi le coauteur avec Pham Quang Minh d’un article récent sur le processus de démocratisation du Viêt-Nam :]

Hai Hong Nguyen and Minh Quang Pham. “Democratization in Vietnam’s Post-Doi Moi One-Party Rule: Change from Within, Change from the Bottom to the Top, and Possibilities”. In Chantana Banpasirichote Wungaeo, Boike Rehbien, and Surichai Wungaeo (Ed.), Globalization and Democracy in Southeast Asia: Challenges, Responses and Alternative Futures, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

The analysis in this chapter shows that Vietnam is undergoing a process of democratization that is driven by Đổi Mới. While the authors concur with many others that political reforms are taking place more slowly than economic liberalization, the authors contend that these reforms will eventually materialize. The question of regime change in Vietnam, from one-party rule to a multiparty system, lies beyond the scope of this chapter, as regime change is influenced by myriad factors, including citizens’ emotions.

The chapter focuses on 3 questions: (1) What are the reforms and actual changes that have taken place in Vietnam in the last three decades since the CPV officially introduced the Đổi Mới policy in the late 1980s? (2) How are these reforms and changes significant to the life of the people? (3) What are the latest developments that could have an impact on Vietnamese politics at present and in the future? The analysis, which focuses on three areas, namely economic liberalization, political reforms, and the emergence of civil society, shows that even under the rule of one single party, democratic institutions do exist and are continuously being reformed in order to respond to pressures from within society.

The authors argue that democratization is occurring in Vietnam’s one-party authoritarian regime, but it is strictly controlled and limited to cautious political experiments and reforms under pressure from within the party and society. Based on the analysis, the authors characterize this process as change from within, change from the bottom to the top, and slow but steady change, in contrast to democratization processes in other places that occur quickly but are unsustainable, perhaps even resulting in chaos. The authors label this process as democratization with Vietnamese characteristics.

Source : Palgrave

RSF : Nguyen Phu Trong, prédateur de la liberté de la presse (175/180)

[ndlr] La République socialiste du Viêt-Nam (RSVN) se retrouve encore mal classée cette année dans la palmarès annuel de RSF sur la question de la liberté de la presse (175e sur 180 pays). Au moins 15 journalistes et blogueurs sont emprisonnés dans ce pays. Malgré une presse florissante de plusieurs centaines de titres, le pouvoir politique exerce un contrôle drastique sur l’information. Les journalistes ont été, le 25 octobre 2016, accusés de « dérives pro-démocratiques » par M. Trương Minh Tuấn, le Ministre de l’information et des médias du gouvernement de la RSVN. La crainte d’une « auto-évolution » (“tự diễn biến”) et d’une « auto-transformation » (“tự chuyển hóa”) en cours justifie pour le pouvoir cette menace directe et explicite à l’encontre des médias.

Voir en ligne sur l’organe officiel du PCV :

vietnam_nguyenphutrong_predateur2016_rsfSource : RSF

Séminaire “Mémoires d’Indochine” 2016 : Séance 5

Année universitaire 2016-2017 / Master Asie Orientale Contemporaine (ASIOC) / Semestre 1

ENS de Lyon / Sciences Po Lyon

Mémoires d’Indochine :

Imaginaires nationaux :

de l’empire colonial aux états-nations d’aujourd’hui

phetsarath
Portrait du Prince Phetsarath Ratanavongsa (1890-1959), chef du mouvement indépendantiste Lao Issara (Laos Libre), premier ministre du Laos de 1942 à 1945 et vice-roi du Royaume du Laos

★ ★ ★

Le Laos, des principautés royales à l’État-nation

Séance 5 : mardi 8 novembre 2016

Cette séance sera consacrée à la construction du Laos, de la situation précoloniale à la République Démocratique Populaire d’aujourd’hui. A travers la figure du Prince Phetsarath, leader du mouvement Lao Issara (Laos libre) nous verrons sur quoi se fonde le nationalisme laotien et nous soulèverons la question du neutralisme pendant la période de la guerre civile entre le Gouvernement royal et le Pathet Lao.

Comme pour ses voisins indochinois, la construction du Laos se décline à travers l’avènement de plusieurs périodes clés (période coloniale, occupation japonaise, révolution, guerre civile) et l’avènement d’une succession de régimes politiques (protectorat français, Royaume du Laos, République Démocratique Populaire du Laos depuis le 2 décembre 1975…).

Source mobilisée :

  • Søren Ivarsson and Christopher E. Goscha, « Prince Phetsarath (1890–1959): Nationalism and Royalty in the Making of Modern Laos », Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 38 (1), Feb. 2007, pp. 55–81. Résumé : https://indomemoires.hypotheses.org/843

★ ★ ★

Exposés oraux


  • stuartfox_ahistoryoflaosStuart-Fox, Martin, A history of Laos, Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Exposé de Nelly Didelot

Présentation de l’éditeur : Cambridge


  • Goscha_IndochineOuVietnamGoscha, Christopher E., Indochine ou Vietnam, Paris, Vendémiaire, 2015.

Exposé d’Oscar Truong

Présentation de l’éditeur : Vendémiaire


Pour aller plus loin, voir les travaux de Grant Evans (1948-2014) et de Søren Ivarsson notamment :

Christopher E. Goscha & Søren Ivarsson (eds), Contesting Visions of the Lao Past. Lao Historiography at the Crossroads, Copenhagen, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, NIAS Studies in Asian Topics # 32, 2003, 355 p. // Résumé sur Mémoires d’Indochine.

★ ★ ★

CR de lecture sur le Laos contemporain publiés sur Mémoires d’Indochine : construction nationale, mémoires, rééducation politique et rôle des Hmongs pendant la guerre.

      • Grant Evans : The Politics of Ritual and Remembrance – CR de lecture par Annabelle Auger

https://indomemoires.hypotheses.org/21607

      • Nakhonkham Bouphanouvong : Sixteen Years in the Land of Death Revolution and Reeducation in Laos – CR de lecture par Ken Messud

https://indomemoires.hypotheses.org/17680

      • Mangkra Souvannaphouma : Laos, Autopsie d’une monarchie assassinée – CR de lecture par Théo Clément

https://indomemoires.hypotheses.org/13724

      • Søren Ivarsson : Creating Laos – CR de lecture de Constance Voisin

https://indomemoires.hypotheses.org/13403

      • Bounsang Khamkeo : I, Little Slave – CR de lecture par Maureen Éon

https://indomemoires.hypotheses.org/13778

      • Les Hmong du Laos 1945-1975 – mémoire IEP de Tiphanie Grall

https://indomemoires.hypotheses.org/598

Vietnam: Reform Criminal Law to Respect Rights [HRW]

[ndlr] Article de l’association Human Rights Watch concernant les lois liberticides de la République socialiste du Viêt-Nam.

(New York) – Vietnam’s National Assembly should reform the criminal law to respect basic rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly, and religion, Human Rights Watch said today. The National Assembly is considering revisions to the penal code during its session scheduled from October 20 to November 22, 2016. The laws were used in October’s arrest of prominent blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, known as “Mother Mushroom.”

“Many articles related to national security in Vietnam’s laws are vaguely defined and often used arbitrarily to punish critics, activists, and bloggers,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The National Assembly should take this opportunity to strip provisions that have created so many political prisoners and bring Vietnam’s laws in line with international standards.”

Vietnam’s penal code includes crimes related to “activities aiming to overthrow the people’s administration” (penal code article 79, penalty up to death sentence); “undermining national unity policy” (article 87, penalty up to 15 years in prison); “conducting propaganda against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam” (article 88, penalty up to 20 years); “disrupting security” (article 89, penalty up to 15 years); and “abusing the rights to freedom and democracy to infringe upon the interests of the state, the rights and interests of individuals” (article 258, penalty up to 7 years).

Lire la suite : Human Rights Watch

Image « à la une » : affiche de propagande sur la « Journée de la loi » (le 9 novembre) en RSVN.

Ngo Dinh Diem : Nationalisme et démocratie [Appel au peuple, 9 mai 1955]

[ndlr] Six mois avant la fondation de la République du Viêt-Nam (Sud) le 26 octobre 1955, discours de Ngo Dinh Diem sur sa conception du nationalisme.

« Le nationalisme qui se livrerait à la réaction est condamné à la mort, comme le nationalisme qui s’allie avec le Communisme est voué à la trahison ».

ngodinhdiem_quoctruongvietnamtudo_1956

Chers Compatriotes,

J’ai adressé le 8 mai un message à nos amis du Monde Libre. Il m’a paru en effet nécessaire que par ma voix, vos aspirations soient une fois de plus exprimées, votre détermination comprise, et votre cause entendue.

Pendant longtemps, on a vidé un mot qui vous était cher de tout son sens, c’est celui d’indépendance.

A présent, on abuse d’un autre mot : c’est celui de nationalisme.

Il ne suffit pas d’avoir peur du communisme, de vivre au dessous du 17e parallèle, de posséder des intérêts importants, pour se dire nationaliste.

Le Viêt-Nam ne sera jamais une Nation, il n’y aura jamais au Viêt-Nam de véritable nationalisme si certains de ses fils tentent de consolider à leur seul profit, les vestiges d’un régime périmé, et si d’autres servent une idéologie absolument étrangère à nos traditions spirituelles.

Le nationalisme que vous honorez de servir, le nationalisme irréductible de nos pères est un nationalisme essentiellement fondé sur la volonté de rejeter toute domination, et de préserver notre union dans ce que nous avons de commun et de plus sacré : notre terre, nos héros, notre sang.

Le nationalisme qui se livrerait à la réaction est condamné à la mort, comme le nationalisme qui s’allie avec le communisme est voué à la trahison.

Le nationalisme n’aurait aucun sens s’il n’apportait pas à nos compatriotes une libération définitive, s’il ne consacrait pas une fois pour toutes, leur liberté, s’il ne leur conférait pas une vie au-dessus de toute indignité.

C’est pourquoi, je pense que le nationalisme ne serait qu’un mensonge s’il ne conduit pas à la démocratie.

En vérité, ceux qui redoutent la démocratie sont ceux-là seuls qui ont mauvaise conscience. Ceux-là qui ont retardé notre accès à l’indépendance, ceux-là qui nous empêchent de réaliser des progrès sociaux, ceux-là qui intriguent mais n’osent pas présenter publiquement un programme, ici, à Saigon, devant le peuple.

Car en fait, il n’y a pas plusieurs programmes. Il n’y en a qu’un : celui qui préserve notre indépendance, qui fit de notre nationalisme un nationalisme vivant, conforme à nos traditions spirituelles, et par lequel nous accèderons tous, ensemble, à la démocratie.

—  —  —

Extrait de : « Nationalisme et démocratie (Appel au peuple, 9 Mai 1955) », in La voie de la juste cause (Traduction des principaux discours et déclarations du Président Ngo-Dinh-Diem), Saigon, Service de Presse, Présidence de la République du Viêt-Nam, 1956, pp. 86-87.