The philosophy of human rights and the ‘political man’: Engaging the intellectual legacy of Ho Chi Minh in a technological era
Do Thi Kim Hoa – Michal Valco
Vietnam is a fast-developing economy, undergoing major changes in education, sciences, the use of technologies, and the building up of infrastructure, to mention some of the most important ones. Besides the advancements of sciences, technology and the overall influences of the process of globalization on the Vietnamese society, however, there are serious challenges to be coped with. The liberalization of Vietnam’s economy has brought abrupt shifts in management and institutional oversight. Major social changes followed suit resulting in considerable detrimental effects in terms of new or resurfacing social phenomena. Rampant cases of corruption, human trafficking, abductions of women, the kidnappings of children, a strong surge in domestic violence and sexual abuses, growing cases of child labor exploitations are all too common occurrences in a society that had not long ago prided itself with order and social justice. Thus, the question of the place of traditional values and human rights in the Vietnamese society re-emerges with a new acuteness. The paper will introduce in a general manner the development of the philosophy of human rights and their place in human society. Following an analysis of the formation of Ho Chi Minh's notion of human rights, the article explores Minh’s notion of human rights against the background of a Western conception of human rights. Most importantly, critical questions will be asked about how to competently engage Minh’s ideas on this topic in the new era of contemporary Vietnamese socio-economical transformations.
Key words: human rights, Ho Chi Minh, freedom, happiness, value of life, justice