[Marxism] Socialist Vietnam?

Tony Lawless lifesunquietdream at msn.com
Mon Apr 3 20:31:51 MDT 2006


I agree with Alan's assessment of the essential usefulessness of this 
article. I spent two weeks in Vietnam not so long ago, but would not dream 
of bothering people with a Counterpunch article detailing what little I 
learnt while there. I do know that if Landau makes it as far as Thailand, he 
will realize that the "development ... in daily life" (meaning mopeds 
everywhere), he notes as a supposed part of "socialist" development in 
Vietnam is also endemic elsewhere in Southeast Asia -- Thailand, for example 
and also much more prevalent in Hanoi than in Ho Chi Minh City, the latter 
of which is a much more developed place.

The comment about Vietnamese not knowing about the Vietnam War is also off 
the mark. When I was in Na Trang, the TV showed images from the victory of 
the NLF most nights of the week. Too short a vacation to say if this was a 
year round phenomenon, but I would imagine that the youth he spoke to were 
probably put off by Landau's superior attitude. "Look here, I am an 
American, and boy do I know your nation's history!"

Doesn't everyone know that initial impressions of a country are almost 
always wrong -- or at least terribly fuzzy and overgeneralized? Victor Serge 
would disagree, I think; but then not every political tourist is Victor 
Serge.

Tony

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