The opposite of a flame war by mattsteinglass
May 20, 2009, 12:55 am
Filed under: Afghanistan, Development, Vietnam

BruceR writes that he agrees with me on the teachers vs. buildings thing, and I agree with him too! But I just remembered this great and apposite quote from Ho Chi Minh, so I’m posting one more time just to have a chance to use it. William Duiker’s “Ho Chi Minh: A Life” (P.242) recounts that in late June, 1940, Ho, then living in southern China under the umbrella of the Chinese Communists, traveled to the town of Guilin (hey! I was in Guilin 2 weeks ago!) to meet with other members of the Vietnamese Communist Party and discuss how to use Germany’s conquest of France to advance the Vietnamese independence struggle.

“…We must seek every means to take advantage of it. To delay would be harmful to the revolution.” When one of his colleagues pointed out the necessity of obtaining weapons, Quoc [Ho’s nom de guerre at the time – ed.] replied,

We’ll have the weapons when we launch our general uprising. That is one of the most important problems for the revolution. But if we had weapons now, who would bear them? So we must first find a way to return home and mobilize the masses. When the masses are aroused, they will have weapons.

In other words: don’t worry about the equipment. Worry about organization and mobilization, and the equipment will take care of itself.


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