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Leadership Styles of Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dinh Diem - Essay Example

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The Geneva Accord of 1954 finally resulted in the culmination of the I Indochina War, and led to the bifurcation of Vietnam, marked by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam with Communist affiliations and the Republic of Vietnam with discernible democratic leanings. The Communist…
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Leadership Styles of Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dinh Diem
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Leadership Styles of Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dinh Diem of the History and Political Science of the Concerned July 20, Leadership Styles of Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dinh Diem
The Geneva Accord of 1954 finally resulted in the culmination of the I Indochina War, and led to the bifurcation of Vietnam, marked by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam with Communist affiliations and the Republic of Vietnam with discernible democratic leanings. The Communist North fell under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, while the democratic South was governed by Ngo Dinh Diem. Though both these leaders differed in ideological leanings and leadership style, yet both aspired to bring freedom to their nation that is Vietnam.
Though Ho Chi Minh stood to be the most visible symbol of the American enervation, in a realistic context, this leader commanded a personality that was difficult to hate. Ho Chi Minh stood to be more powerful in a symbolic context, a standing symbol of the opposition to American efforts, a foe that was elusive and almost impossible to reach by the modern warfare machinery at the disposal of America, a foe that evolved into a mythical personification of the Communist resistance (Duiker, 1996, p. 360). In fact, Ho Chi Minh stood to be the real driving force, sans whom, it would have been impossible to think of a united Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh was a truly charismatic leader who appealed to the expectations and cultural affiliations of a nation that had remained subservient for a long time (Duiker, 1994, p. 212). There is no denying the fact that Ho Chi Minh’s strategy to project oneself as a humble and motivated, old man, with a sense of vision and a knack for down to earth wisdom commanded a great emotional appeal and sway amongst the Vietnamese masses (Duiker, 1994). He was decisively always in touch with the popular aspirations and sentiments.
In contrast, Diem happened to be a modern Nationalist, an authoritarian leader who intended to pursue his own agenda (Jacobs, 2005, p. 11). Yet, Diem was always perceptible of popular aspirations and well understood that his leanings towards an American agenda will project him as a puppet nationalist, subservient to the will of the Americans. So, to achieve his purpose, he devised the strategy of rousing the South Vietnamese peasantry for support, while steadily reducing the nation’s dependence on America (Jacobs, 2005). Though being a competent leader, eventually he ended up being a scapegoat of the American disappointment. Though Diem pursued an authoritarian approach towards leadership, this approach on his part was necessary in the sense that a Western style approach towards leadership would not have gone well in a society that was given to a totalitarian approach towards power (Jacobs, 2005). That is why his death spelled the scattering of all the South Vietnamese war efforts as well as a big jolt to the American policy in Vietnam.
There is no denying the fact that both these leaders that are Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Din Diem were conversant with the socio-political culture of their country and hence improvised their own specific leadership styles, to suit their objectives and vision.
Duiker, William J. (1994). The US Containment Policy and the Conflict in Indochina.
Stanford, CA: Stanford University.
Duiker, William J. (1996). The Communist Road to Power in Vietnam. Boulder, CO:
Westview Press.
Jacobs, Seth. (2005). America’s Miracle Man in Vietnam. New York: Duke University Press
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