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The author argues in this text, that victory in 1975 caught the Communists wholly unprepared to cope with the reconstruction of the war-torn nation. The text looks at the economic programme the Communist Party has embarked upon since 1986 and describes the decline of its socialist ideology and transition to nascent capitalism. Based on research and first-hand experience, the text offers a portrait of the profound dilemmas the nation confronts today. Market reforms are producing serious social and economic difficulties in Vietnam; inequality is creating a class society and industrial workers are amongst the most exploited in the world. In the light of these problems, the author outlines how Communists are failing to cope with the contradictions between daily realities and their original idealistic aims. He argues that neither a socialist nor a market strategy has determined recent Vietnamese history and that in fact, the confused Communist Party has had little control over economic developments since their victory.