In a world that remembers the fall of the Soviet Union, one of the last holdouts of Marxist Communism continues to be the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Corruption is rife in this nation, and a recent report by Transparency International finds that it may even be on the rise. Indeed, 55% of Vietnamese people polled responded that they felt corruption in their country was increasing, with only 18% being of the opinion that it has gone down, and 27% saying that it is holding steady. Faith in the government is eroding, too, as according to the Global Corruption Barometer in 2013, Vietnamese people have lost confidence in their government’s ability to stop corruption.
The corruption that plagues this country is pandemic, applying across the board in areas as diverse as law enforcement, health care, and ownership of land. It can be felt in emigration, as well, where scandals have erupted in which local fraudsters in league with foreign officials sell visas to Vietnamese citizens for tens of thousands of United States dollars each, usually to allow passage to the US. As for the nation’s government, corruption is so widespread there that people who witness the phenomenon often face official reprisals for speaking out, rather than having their reports heeded and acted upon. When polled, Vietnamese people stated their desire that the government handle corruption objectively and work to improve the sadly lacking integrity of their agents – including law enforcement officers.
All of this makes clear the fact that, in a modern 21st century world, Vietnam’s government is a relic of a bygone era. The great Communist experiment was the Soviet Union, an empire that briefly flourished but ultimately collapsed under the weight of its own inefficiencies in less than a century. Every other nation that has attempted to thrive under Communism has proven the system’s ineptitude.
The time has come for a change. After a long period of failure of the Communist philosophy, Vietnam languishes as a lingering reminder that it doesn’t work. The responsibility falls to the Vietnamese people to grow weary of corruption and mismanagement in their government, and cast off their ineffective system. It is the youth who can and must accomplish this goal, acting where the older generation remains set in the ways with which it was raised. Only when the young people of Vietnam have finally had enough, can actual change be realized and improvements seen.