Question: In the context of the Vietnamese society as the course has presented it through the online textbook so far, what evaluation can be made about the leadership styles and personal examples of Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dinh Diem that would enable both of them to tap into the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people and mobilize support for their initiatives? Why, in Vietnam, was personal leadership so very important? Refer to specific examples Introduction
The Geneva Accords that took place in 1954 put an end to the First Indochina War and the beginning of two Vietnamese territories separated by a line of demarcation at 17th parallel: The Communist North or Democratic Republic of Vietnam with its capital in Hanoi and the Anti-Communist South or Republic of Vietnam with its capital in Saigon. Ho Chi Minh was in control of the North, while Ngo Dihn Diem commanded the South. Nevertheless, both differ in ideologies, and leadership, but with the common goal to bring freedom to Vietnam.
In this essay, the leadership of both commanders in chief, in the context of Vietnamese society will be evaluated. This paper will show the reasons which help them to mobilize support for their initiative by using examples and facts. Analysis Ho Chi Minh is a charismatic leader. He has an inordinate level of power and an emotional impact on his audience. He inspires the Vietnamese with the use of his political charisma. He uses this charismatic charm internationally and domestically.
He projects the image of a simple, humble, and passionate old man who puts a great touch of wisdom in what he does. This is what helps grow around him a charismatic cult. Ho Chi Minh was a fervent democrat who shares the belief that the will of the people must always be served and allowed to prevail. To mention a quotation from Ho: “If people in an independent country do not enjoy happiness and freedom then independence has no meaning. ” Ho Chi Minh is also a communist. Karl Marx and other leftist writers fascinate Ho Chi Minh who, at the end, joins communism.
Ho is one of the founders of the French Communist Party, who is inspired by the Russian Revolution and created in 1920. He visits the Soviet Union in 1924 where he writes to a friend and states that it is the duty of all communists to return to their own country to make contact with the masses to awaken, organize, unite and train them, and lead them to fight for freedom and independence. The quality of his leadership and the ability to apply communist ideologies to his country, desperate for change, ultimately strengthens Vietnamese nationalism and win him support from the entire nation.
Furthermore, Ho Chi Minh is a nationalist. During his entire life, Ho Chi Minh has been pursuing Vietnamese independence from France. He travels to France; there he goes to school, and incessantly writes letters to the French government, and tries to involucrate himself into the French governmental system. Ho also travels around the world trying to get help elsewhere in order to gain Vietnamese independence. Ho Chi Minh has developed nationalism among the Vietnamese people and mobilized them to fight for their independence.
Therefore, he has a large reputation as a nationalist hero. His perseverance and determination inspire the Vietnamese nation and win their faith and support. Ngo Dihn Diem is an autocratic leader who opposed the French Colonialism and Communism. Ngo Dihn Diem opposes the French colonial rule and the Viet Minh, during and after the Second World War, which was the communist-led national independence movement. As a strong anticommunist, he rejects an offer to serve in Ho Chi Minh’s brief postwar government in 1945.
While the First Indochina War is taking place, he spends several years in exile, trying to gain supports and ally politically with the Americans in hopes of leading a postwar government. He believes that his nation craves for a benevolent, authoritarian rule of enlightened elites. Ngo Dihn Diem shows favoritism for Roman Catholics. Ngo Dihn Diem is a devout catholic, member of Vietnamese catholic minority and the brother of their leading archbishop. He tends to appoint people who share his religious beliefs to positions of authority.
Catholics always hold a privileged position in Vietnam; they are exempt from land redistribution and given more aid and job promotions. At some point, the Catholic Church was the largest landowner in the country and most of the officials were Catholics. In his visit to Australia in 1957, Diem signals that he will discuss defense relations. Nevertheless, his extensive meeting with the catholic leaders prevents him from discussing defense relations. Therefore, his policies have always favored his co-religionists. Conclusion
In conclusion, we can say that the Vietnamese were craving for independence. To some extents that it would not really matter to them, if communism, democracy, or autocracy were the mechanisms used to help them reach that freedom they have hoped for so long. After the French Indochina War, two leaders such as Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dihn Diem who share the same goal to set Vietnam free, but they differ from their ideology and politics. Ho Chi Minh was more of a charismatic leader, a nationalist who use communism as an engine to save his nation from oppression.
Ngo Dihn Diem, other hand, was an autocratic leader, and uses his anti-communist propaganda, his religious beliefs and influences to reach the same goal. For that reason, it was not so difficult for them to gain the heart, the mind, and the supports of the Vietnamese who just wanted to be free.
References Moss, G. D. (2010). Vietnam: An American Ordeal. New Jersey, Saddle River: Pearson Education Willner, A. R. (1984). The Spellbinders–Charismatic Political Leadership. New Haven& London: Yale University Press. Henderson W. , & Fishel W. R. (1966). The Foreign Policy of Ngo Dinh Diem. VietnamPerspectives. 2(1)
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