From 30-31 January 1968, 70,000 North Vietnamese soldiers, together with guerrilla fighters of the NLF, launched one of the most daring military campaigns in history. The Tet Offensive was the real turning point in the Vietnam War. On its 40th anniversary, Alan Woods analysed the events that led to the Vietnam War and the significance of the Tet Offensive in bringing about the defeat of US imperialism, and drew some parallels with Iraq.

The politics of the ruling class time and time again affirms the famous saying of Marx: “First as tragedy, then as farce.” Here, the ex-Stalinist, now state-capitalist government of Vietnam has asserted its place in both the old tragedy and the new farce with respect to American imperialism.

We received this interesting letter which gives an insight into the situation that has emerged in Vietnam since it adopted so-called “market reforms”, with extremes of poverty side by side with immense wealth.

This article has been specially translated by one of our Vietnamese subscribers for "In Defence of Marxism" from the Vietnamese newspaper Lao Dong("Labour"), 11 August, 2000. It describes the conditions in which this section of toilers has to work in order to keep up with the demands put on this industry by world capitalism.

After 14 years of "reform", with the introduction of the so-called "market economy under state control in a socialist direction", an economic boom is indeed taking place in Vietnam. However, its economy is obviously not immune from the financial crisis of its neighbours. Very few strikes have been reported, and most of them have attracted very few workers. However the strike of over 4,000 workers at the Hue Phong company (a joint-venture producing shoes) on 12-13th September may represent an important turning point in the workers' struggle in Vietnam.

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