Source: Build the PKI along the Marxist-Leninist line to the the People's Democratic Revolution in Indonesia. Published by the Delegation of the CC PKI, 1971. PDF Scan.
The Indonesian people observe the 21st anniversary of the 1945 August Revolution in a situation when the counter-revolutionaries headed by the Right-wing army generals Suharto and Nasution rule over the country. The driving forces of the revolution are experiencing a grave setback, as a result of the most savage and unbridled white terror against the PKI (Communist Party of Indonesia) and the Communists. Modern Indonesian history has never witnessed such a rampant counter-revolutionary terror, which barbarism is comparable only to that of Hitlerite Naziism, as has been unleashed by the forces headed by the reactionary generals in the army during this period of almost one year. Nevertheless, no matter how vicious and barbarous the counter-revolutionaries have run amok, they will never succeed in stamping out the revolutionary elan of the working class, the peasantry and other motive forces of the revolution.
Developments in the last few months have demonstrated that the crisis, that is to say the most difficult situation undergone by the revolutionary movement in face of the attack by counter-revolution, which was marked by the indecisiveness of the leadership, the disarray of organization, passiveness in the face of rampaging terror, etc. has in the main been overcome. Step by step, the revolutionaries and the democrats are reorganizing themselves and waging resistance against the military dictatorship of the Right-wing forces army generals led by Suharto and Nasution. All of this has been accomplished under the most difficult and grave conditions, under the threat of incessant terror. How unbreakable is the revolutionary spirit of the Indonesia people!
The PKI, which by virtue of historical necessity occupies the position as vanguard of the working class and all revolutionary forces in Indonesia, not only is beginning to rebuild its organization from the serious damage it has suffered, but due to the practicing of criticism and self-criticism within the leadership and within the whole Party, it is beginning to return to the correct road, the road of revolution which is illuminated by Marxism-Leninism.
The revolutionaries observe the Seventeenth of August today under the most difficult situation, but with a clear mind about the road that has to be taken to realize the tasks which should have been accomplished by the August Revolution of 1945. The 1945 August Revolution itself, though it failed in achieving its objective goal, was nevertheless a very important historical event and experience. The August Revolution of 1945 has aroused the political consciousness of the Indonesian people to a degree which is unattainable in a situation when no revolution is taking place. It has given the lesson to the Indonesian proletariat and the PKI on the tasks they have to fulfil in order to carry out their historical mission as the leader in the struggle for liberation of the Indonesian people. No other way is more correct in observing the Seventeenth of August than to draw the lessons from the August Revolution, especially from the causes of its failure.
WHY HAS THE AUGUST REVOLUTION OF 1945 FAILED TO ACHIEVE ITS OBJECTIVE GOAL?
Based on objective conditions, since Indonesia at the time of the outbreak of the revolution was a colonial and semi-feudal country, the 1945 August Revolution had the character of a bourgeois democratic revolution having twin tasks, i.e. to drive away imperialism from Indonesia, in order to liberate the whole nation, and to realize democratic reforms, that is to say to liquidate entirely the remnants of feudalism, in order to liberate the peasants from the feudal oppression of foreign and native landlords.
By virtue of historical necessity, the August Revolution of 1945 was not an old-type bourgeois democratic revolution, whose task is to liquidate the remnants of feudalism to pave the way for the development of capitalism. The August Revolution of 1945 took place in the era of the downfall of capitalism, the era of world proletarian socialist revolution, the era of transition from capitalism to Socialism and Communism, which has been started since the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917. That is why the 1945 August Revolution was part of the world proletarian socialist revolution. It was a new-type bourgeois democratic revolution. The complete victory of a new-type bourgeois democratic revolution will provide the conditions for socialist revolution. Consequently, the perspective of the 1945 August Revolution was Socialism and Communism.
The motive forces of the 1945 August Revolution were the working class or the proletariat, the peasantry and the petty bourgeoisie other than the peasantry. The anti-imperialist aspect of the 1945 August Revolution, which manifested itself very clearly at the start of the revolution, had made it possible for the mobilization of the very broad strata of the Indonesian population. Not only the national bourgeoisie which, to a certain degree, adopted an anti-imperialist and anti-feudal stand, but other patriotic elements, including even patriotic elements, including even landlords, had taken part in or contributed to the war of independence against the Dutch imperialist.
However, not all classes and forces which had taken part in the struggle to resist the Dutch imperialist aggression at the early stage of the revolution had the same objective in giving content to the national independence achieves as a result of the revolution against imperialism. The exploiting classes, including the national bourgeoisie, did not aim farther than safeguarding and promoting the interests of their own classes. Therefore, these classes did not have the aim to liberate the Indonesian people from all form of exploitation.
The compradors like Hatta, Syahrir and other leaders of the Masyumi* and their like, did not have the slightest aspiration for a completely independent and democratic Indonesia. From the very beginning of The August Revolution, they had unceasingly tried to sabotage the revolution, by making reactionary compromises with the Dutch imperialists. They were traitors to the revolution.
The national bourgeoisie, owing to its vacillating character in the struggle against imperialism, joined the comprador-bourgeoisie in betraying the revolution, when it was faced by one defeat after another and the forces of the revolution became weaker.
The peasantry which constitutes the overwhelming majority of the Indonesian population and the most oppressed by the remnants of feudalism, is the main force of the revolution. According to its character, the August Revolution of 1945 should have been the revolution of the peasantry, a revolution which should have liberated them from the oppression by the remnants of feudalism. But the peasantry will attain their liberation themselves only when they are led by the proletariat. And only when the proletariat has succeeded in integrating itself in a firm alliance with the peasantry, then it will be able to lead the revolution to a victorious end.
The Indonesian working class or proletariat, despite its small number, represent new productive forces in Indonesia. It is the most advanced and the most revolutionary class, possessing organizational consciousness and strong discipline. As a class that has no property to guard in this era of capitalism, the working class is the most consistent in our country in the struggle against imperialism and the remnants of feudalism. The working class is the least ambitious, whose sole aim is the abolition of all forms of exploitation and oppression. This is the reason why the working class takes the position as leader of the struggle for the emancipation of the Indonesian people. The August Revolution of 1945 actually should be led by the Indonesian working class.
Characterizing the class nature of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat in a bourgeois democratic revolution, Lenin said that “the very position the bourgeoisie occupies as a class in capitalist society inevitably causes it to be inconsistent in a democratic revolution. The very position the proletariat occupies as a class compels it to be consistently democratic. The bourgeoisie looks backward, fearing democratic progress, which threatens to strengthen the proletariat. The proletariat has nothing to lose but its chains, but with the aid of democracy it has the whole world to gain”. (Lenin, Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution).
To realize the leadership of the proletariat in the bourgeois democratic revolution the working class should establish a revolutionary united front of all anti-imperialist and anti-feudal classes and groups. Among the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal classes and groups in Indonesia, the peasantry is the most reliable ally of the working class. Therefore, the alliance of the workers and the peasants under the leadership of the working class constitutes the basis of such a revolutionary united front. The petty bourgeoisie other than the peasantry is an ally of the working class that can be trusted. And the national bourgeoisie is an ally at a given period and to a certain extent.
In order to be able to unite and lead all the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal classes, the working class must have a correct programme and correct tactics acceptable to its allies, to be the guide of the revolution. It must have a strong organization and must set an example in the realization of the national tasks. As for the correct programme, it is very important to have a revolutionary agrarian programme to forge the alliance of the workers and peasants. As for the correct tactics, it is very important to master various forms of struggle, and in revolution, particularly the Indonesian revolution, to master the form of armed struggle which is integrated with and supported by the peasantry. All of this can be realized when the proletariat has its own political party, namely the Communist Party of Indonesia, which is entirely led by the revolutionary theory of Marxism-Leninism, and free from all kinds of opportunism.
The experience of the 1945 August Revolution has shown that the PKI as the vanguard of the Indonesian working class had not yet been able in taking up its position as the leader of the struggle for the emancipation of the Indonesian people. The PKI joined the 1945 August Revolution without adequate preparations. Its serious weakness in theory and its lack of understanding of the concrete conditions of Indonesian society had resulted in its inability to determine the character of the revolution, draw up its tasks, programme, tactics and slogans, and decide the correct principles and forms of its organization. The high reputation the PKI enjoyed in the eyes of the Indonesian people earned through its heroism in fighting imperial during the time of Dutch colonial domination and of the fascist Japanese occupation had failed to establish the leadership of the PKI in the August Revolution of 1945.
This theoretical weakness and inability to make a concrete analysis of the concrete situation of the world and of Indonesia, had resulted in the PKI being unable to make use of the highly favourable opportunity given by August Revolution of 1945 to overcome its shortcomings. The PKI did not consistently lead the armed struggle against Dutch imperialism, did not develop guerrilla warfare that was integrated with the democratic movement of the peasants, thus winning their full support, as the only way to defeat the war of aggression launched by the Dutch imperialist. On the contrary, the PKI even approved of and itself followed the policy of reactionary compromises of Syahrir’s Right-wing socialist. The PKI did not establish the alliance of the working class and the peasantry by leading the anti-feudal struggle in the countryside and did not establish, on the basis of such a worker-peasant alliance, a united front with all other democratic forces. The PKI did not consolidate its strength, on the contrary, it even relegated to the background its own role. These are the reasons why the August Revolution of 1945 did not proceed as it should, did not achieve the decisive victory, and finally failed in reaching its objective goal.
The awareness of its shortcomings and mistakes and the efforts to return the revolution to its correct path, set forth in the Resolution of the Political Bureau of the CC PKI “The New Road for the Republic of Indonesia” adopted in August 1948, could no longer prevent the failure of the revolution.
THE BASIC PROBLEM OF EVERY REVOLUTION IS THE PROBLEM OF STATE POWER
It is an absolute condition for every revolutionary, and even more so far every Communist, to grasp the truth the “the basic problem of every revolution is the problem of state power”. Unless this question is understood there can be no conscious participation in the revolution. Because, revolution in its most concrete sense is the overthrow of the power of the oppressor classes, or the seizure of state power by force from the hands of the oppressor classes by the oppressed classes. The oppressed, in order to liberate themselves from exploitation and oppression, have no other way but to make revolution, the is to say overthrowing by force the oppressor classes from state power, or seizing state power by force. Because, the state is an instrument created by the ruling classes to oppress the ruled classes.
But, for real people’s revolution in the present modern era, it is not enough just to wrest the power from the hands of the oppressor classes, and to make use of the power that has been wrested. Marx has taught us that the destruction of the old military-bureaucratic state machine is “the preliminary condition for every real people’s revolution” (Lenin, The State and Revolution). A genuine people’s revolution will achieve decisive victory only after it has accomplished this prerequisite, while at the same time sets up a completely new state apparatus whose task is to suppress by force and mercilessly the resistance put up by the overthrown oppressor classes.
What should the August Revolution of 1945 have done with regard to the state power?
As a prerequisite, the August Revolution of 1945 should have smashed the colonial state machine along with all of its apparatuses that had been established to maintain colonial domination of Indonesia, and not merely transferred the power to the Republic of Indonesia. The August Revolution of 1945 should have established a completely new state, a state jointly ruled by all the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal classes under the leadership of the working class.
This is what is called a People’s Democratic state. As an instrument of the national democratic revolution, this People’s Democratic state must exercise a dictatorship, to suppress by force of arms and mercilessly all the enemies of the revolution (imperialism and its compradors and feudal landlords), which after being overthrown would certainly put up multiple resistance. To the people, that is to say to the forces supporting the revolution, this state should give the broadest democratic liberties. Therefore, such a state is called the people’s democratic dictatorship. The 1945 August Revolution can only be considered as having achieved a decisive victory if it had succeeded in establishing such a people’s democratic dictatorship. Because, only such a state would be capable of ensuring the complete expulsion of imperialism and the total liquidation of the remnants of feudalism, and by so doing usher the people into a fully independent and democratic new Indonesia, heading towards Socialism.
But in situation when the leadership of revolution was not in the hands of the proletariat, the preliminary condition for the 1945 August Revolution, namely the destruction of the colonial state machine, was not realized as should have been done.
The state power the came into being was not the people’s democratic dictatorship. The participation of Communists in the government and even when the cabinet was led by Communist, did not give the Republic of Indonesia the nature of a people’s state, because the apparatuses of colonial bureaucracy were not entirely smashed and substituted by completely new apparatuses created by and in the service of the revolution. People whose minds were rusty from long servitude to the colonial regime were not cleared away from the apparatuses of the state power. In the countryside, political power was still in the hands of feudal rulers. The effort made to abolish the system of personal administration in the countryside by establishing Indonesian National Committees at village level met with failure. Frequently actions by the people to completely destroy the apparatuses of colonial bureaucracy, including the overthrow of bad official, the democratization of regional administration including the abolition of feudal self-governments in certain regions, were suppressed violently by the Republican state power on the pretext that this action were “anarchistic”, “striking at random”, “establishing a state within the state”, etc.
Due to the absence of the working class’ leadership, the Republic of Indonesia was inevitably a state ruled by the bourgeoisie, in which the proletariat participated. A state with such as class character could never become an instrument of the 1945 August Revolution. Without the people’s democratic dictatorship, August Revolution of 1945 dis not have an instrument to defeat its enemies, and consequently was unable to accomplish its tasks, namely the complete liquidation of imperialist domination and the remnants of feudalism.
The voluntary resignation of the cabinet led by the Communists in 1948 had opened up the broadest opportunity for the reactionary bourgeoisie led by Mohammad Hatta to make the state power fall into their hands. This reactionary bourgeoisie then betrayed the August Revolution by unleashing white terror in the Madiun Affair as a prelude to the restoration of the Dutch imperialist interests through the conclusion of the humiliating agreement of the Round Table Conference, which turned Indonesia into a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country. Since then, the Republic of Indonesia was no longer an instrument to complete the 1945 August Revolution, but rather an instrument in the hands of the Indonesia comprador-bourgeoisie and landlords to protect the interests of imperialism and to maintain the remnants of feudalism, as well as to suppress the people, especially the workers and the peasants, who struggle against imperialism and the remnants of feudalism. This anti-people nature of the state power had been glaringly proved by the suppression of democratic rights, among other thing by forbidding the workers to strike and by eviction by force of arms of the peasants, who occupied imperialist-owned plantations. The chief instrument of the state power, the armed forces, that was born in the August Revolution of 1945, and which had been purged of Communist and other revolutionary elements through the “rationalization” programme, particularly through the white terror of the Madiun Affair, was further conformed with the class nature of the state that had been transformed into a protector of the interests of imperialism and the reactionary classes within the country, by incorporating elements of the puppet troops formed by the Dutch imperialist, and by subjecting it to the influence of the Dutch Military Mission.
The resurgence of the revolutionary struggle of the Indonesian people in continuing the fight against the imperialist domination and the remnants of feudalism after the Round Table Conference had gained certain political victories which were partial and in the nature of the reform; these had been achieved by lessening the anti-democratic character of the bourgeois power. The highest level of the political reforms that had ever been achieved by the struggle of the Indonesian people was the establishment of a government which, to a certain degree, granted democratic liberties to the people, and to a certain extent suppressed counter-revolutionary rebellions and other counter-revolutionary action by the domestic Right-wing forces such as the RMS, DI/TII, PRRI/Permesta, etc. Acting on the demands of the people, this government took measures against the economic interests of imperialism, put restrictions on the penetration of imperialist cultural influence, pursued an anti-imperialist foreign policy, and gave the opportunity to the representatives of the proletariat to participate in the government, without, however holding real power.
However, it was great mistake to assume that the existence of such a government signified a fundamental change in the class character of the state power. It was equally incorrect to assume that the above-mentioned facts marked the birth and the development of an aspect representing the interests of the people, or of a pro-people aspect within the state power. Such an erroneous line as was formulated in the “theory of two aspects in state power”, assumed that within the state power of the Republic of Indonesia there existed two aspects, the anti-people aspect consisting of comprador, bureaucrat-capitalist and landlords classes on the one hand, and the “pro-people aspect” composed mainly of the national bourgeoisie and the proletariat on the other hand. According to this “two aspect theory”, a miracle could happen in Indonesia, namely that the state could cease to be an instrument of the ruling oppressor classes to subjugate other classes, but it could be made an instrument shared by both the oppressor classes and the oppressed classes. And that is to say the birth of the people’s power, could be peacefully accomplished by developing the “pro-people aspect” and gradually liquidating the “anti-people aspect”.
The “theory of two aspects in state power” was a mistake of one-sidedness or subjectivism in the application of the Marxist-Leninist philosophy, particularly its teaching on contradiction. It was also a deviation from the Marxist-Leninist teaching on state and revolution which among others said that “the state is an organ of the rule of a definite class which cannot be reconciled with its antipode”, that “the forms of bourgeois states are extremely varied, but their essence is the same: all these states, whatever their form, in the final analysis are inevitably the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie”, and that “the supersession of the bourgeois state”…. “is impossible without a violent revolution”. (Lenin, The State and Revolution).
It was true that in the state power at the time there existed a contradiction between the comprador-bourgeoisie and the pro-imperialist landlords on the one hand, and the national bourgeoisie which to a certain extent, was anti-imperialist and democratic, on the other. But the existence of this contradiction did not alter the nature of the state as an instrument of repression in the hands of the classes dominating the economic field. Due to the blows dealt by the revolutionary and the democratic forces against the Right-wing forces, particularly by the destruction of the counter-revolutionary armed forces such as DI/TII, PRRI/Permesta, etc., the national bourgeoisie which to a certain limit was anti-imperialist and democratic was able, with the support of the people, to undermine to a certain extent the position of the comprador-bourgeoisie and the landlords in the state power. Such a situation was reflected in establishment of a government which, to a certain extent, was anti-imperialist and democratic. To defend its position in facing the comprador-bourgeoisie and the landlords, it was in the interest of the national bourgeoisie to draw a greater support from the people. And for this purpose, to a degree that would not endanger its own class interests, the national bourgeoisie was willing to give political concessions to the proletariat, namely the Communists, positions which were not directly related to the real decisive power of the state.
It is not that principle the Communists are not allowed to take part in a bourgeoisie democratic government, but should they take part in such a government, their participation must not be intended to consolidate the bourgeois dictatorship, but rather to defend the independent interests of the working class and other working people, and to raise the consciousness of the people that the bourgeois power is incapable of ensuring the vital interest of the people.
According to the theory on contradiction, in view of the participation of the representatives of the proletariat in the government, it is correct analysis that there existed contradiction in the state power between the comprador-bourgeoisie, the bureaucrat-capitalist and the landlords which constitute the forces of pro-imperialism and the remnants of the feudalism (anti-people aspect), on the one hand, and the national bourgeoisie and the proletariat (the people aspect or the pro-people aspect) on the other hand. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that, also according to the theory on contradiction, within the people’s forces existed a contradiction, too. The national bourgeoisie was one aspect of this contradiction, and the proletariat was the other aspect; they constituted two aspects that were in contradiction with each other in the so called “people aspect” or pro-people aspect”.
The quality of the so called “people aspect” or “pro-people aspect” was decided by the aspect – the proletariat or the national bourgeoisie—which was dominant in the contradiction. The “people aspect” would have truly represented the interests of the people if it was the proletarian aspect which was dominant in this contradiction, a sheer impossibility within the frame-work of the bourgeois state power. The fact was that the dominant aspect within the so-called “people aspect” or “pro-people aspect” was the national bourgeoisie, which could not be considered representing the interests of the people who essentially were the workers and the peasants.
Thus, hoping for a fundamental change in state power, to usher the people into the position of power, through the victory of the “people aspect” over the “anti-people aspect” in line with the “theory of two aspects in state power”, was but a pure illusion. The people will be able to gain power only through an armed revolution under the leadership of the working class to overthrow the power of the comprador-bourgeoisie, the bureaucrat-capitalists and the landlords which represent the interests of imperialism and the remnants of feudalism.
The “theory of two aspects” in political power has in practice deprived the proletariat of its independence in the united front with the national bourgeoisie, and placed the proletariat in a position as a tail-end of the national bourgeoisie.
To return the proletariat to its position of leadership in the liberation struggle of the Indonesia people, it is absolutely necessary to rectify the mistake of the “theory of two aspects in political power”, and to correct the erroneous view with regard to Marxist-Leninist teaching on state and revolution.
THE ROAD TO A COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT AND DEMOCRATIC NEW INDONESIA
The August Revolution of 1945 in its concrete sense should have been the seizure of power from the hands of foreign imperialism, the total destruction of the colonial state machine and the establishment of a completely new state power, a people’s democratic dictatorship under the leadership of the working class. In its concrete sense, the 1945 August Revolution lasted for three years only, from 1945 to 1948. The 1945 August Revolution met its definite and total failure when the state power completely fell into the hands of the reactionary bourgeoisie and was used to suppress the motive forces of the revolution.
Thus, in the subsequent years after 1948 Indonesia has ceased to be in a state of revolution. This does not mean that the revolutionary struggle of the Indonesian people has also stopped. No! The revolutionary struggle went on, but this was not a revolution. The direct objectives that became the demands of the struggle were not revolutionary changes, nor the uprooting of the old social system, the system of imperialism and the remnants of feudalism, but reforms in the economic as well as in the political fields. It was a mistake which in fact should not be committed that not a few Indonesian revolutionaries in the past joined in the phrase-mongering that “the revolution has not been finished” and felt as if they continued to be in the atmosphere of actual revolution.
After the outbreak of the August Revolution of 1945, Indonesia ceased to be a colonial country. But this does not mean that Indonesia had become a fully independent country that was completely liberated from the domination of imperialism in the economic, political and cultural fields. The take-over of imperialist-owned enterprises by the government upon the demands of the people was by no means a liquidation of imperialist domination in the economic field. By various means and with the assistance of their compradors, the imperialist, in particular U.S. imperialism, were still able to continue their exploitation of the Indonesian people. Furthermore, since the power was not in the hands of the people, the take-over of the imperialist-owned enterprises did not transform them into enterprises owned by the people – through the state’s acquisition—and therefore could not improve the living conditions of the people, in particular the living conditions of the workers employed in the enterprises concerned. On the contrary, the take-over of the imperialist-owned enterprises had given birth to the bureaucrat-capitalist, both from among the civilians and, mainly, from among the military, who have finally become the compradors of the imperialist.
Besides, Indonesia was also not yet a truly democratic country free from the remnants of feudalism in the economic, political and cultural fields. The landlords system which had become the basis of feudal exploitation of the peasants was not yet abolished. Similarly, the autocratic system of government which was manifested in the feudal political power was still preserved in the countryside.
In short, after the August Revolution of 1945, Indonesia has not become an independent country, but is still a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country. In Indonesia the power is not in the hands of the people, but in the hands of the upper stratum of the bourgeois and landlord classes. Only a handful of Indonesians from among the ruling classes have enjoyed the fruits of independence. While the people, especially the workers and the peasants who paid the greatest sacrifices during the 1945 August Revolution still live under the exploitation and oppression by imperialism and the remnants of feudalism, and therefore are still far away from independence and liberation.
The rule of the military dictatorship of the Right-wing army generals led by Suharto-Nasution, and their accomplices, composed of the bureaucrat-capitalist, the comprador and the landlord classes, far from reducing the exploitation of the Indonesian people by imperialism and the remnants of feudalism, will only intensify this exploitation even further.
As facts have proven, in order to establish their dis over the Indonesian people, the Suharto-Nasution clique of Right-wing army generals is completely relying on the “aids” from the imperialist countries headed by the United States. At the urging of the U.S. imperialists, all the imperialist powers which have given “aids” to Indonesia have set up the so-called “Tokyo Club”. In the “Tokyo Club”, more effective ways and means are still being considered in giving economic “aids” to Indonesia, starting not from the interests of Indonesian people, but from the interests of the “aid” giving imperialist countries, in particular the United States, so that through economic “aids” Indonesia can be saved from “Communist threat” (meaning saved from the revolution that will liquidate the capital of imperialist countries in Indonesia). The founding of the “Tokyo Club” is but an effort of international imperialism headed by U.S. imperialism to jointly decide in the more effective method to practice neo-colonialism in Indonesia.
This fact cannot be hidden by high-sounding phraseology created by the domestic reactionaries and international imperialism, such as “aids from industrially developed countries”, economic aids based on mutual benefit”, “with foreign aids to accelerate the achievement of self-reliance”, etc. No, absolutely it cannot be! The facts will still speak for themselves that in Indonesia, under the rule of the military dictatorship of Right-wing army generals Suharto and Nasution and their accomplices, and with the help of international imperialism headed by the United States, neo-colonialism is now being built up!
That is why, under the rule of the military dictatorship of Right-wing army generals Suharto and Nasution and their accomplices, the Indonesian people will never be free from mental and physical sufferings, from all too deficient a life.
Thousands of workers have become the victims of arbitrary dismissals, while those who still remain on the job not only suffer from wages that are far below their needs, but also from the trampling down of democratic liberties. The same fate also befalls the government officials.
Under the rule of the military dictatorship of Right-wing army generals Suharto and Nasution and their accomplices not only are the Basic Agrarian Law and the Law on Crop Sharing which had given only a little benefit to the peasants no longer implemented, but many of the gains achieved through struggle by the peasants have been forcefully retaken from their hands by the landlords. More high-handedness towards the peasants will be committed by the landlords under the protection of arms.
Democratic intellectuals can no longer be free to promote their scientific activities. What has been clamoured as “academic freedom” is no more than a freedom to propagate science serving the interests of imperialism and the big exploiting classes within the country. Students and pupils cannot pursue their studies in peace. People’s writers and artists no longer have creative liberties, because all literary and art works the serve the interests of the people are suppressed, and inly such anti-revolutionary decadent literature and art, as that of the “Cultural Manifesto” and its like, are given free rein.
Under the military dictatorship of the Right-wing army generals, small businessman and national entrepreneurs, both in industrial and commercial fields too, face a very bleak future.
Since the Indonesian society is still semi-colonial and semi-feudal in nature, since the oppression by imperialism and the remnants of feudalism has not been abolished, and is even being intensified by the military dictatorship of Right-wing army generals and their accomplices together with international imperialism, it means that the causes leading to a revolution whose character in the same as the 1945 August Revolution, namely a new type bourgeoisie democratic revolution, still exist. This means that at the proper time another revolution will certainly take place in Indonesia, and that only through this revolution will the Indonesian people liberate themselves from the oppression and exploitation by imperialism and the remnants of feudalism, establish a completely independent and democratic new Indonesia, leading towards Socialism.
When we say that the Indonesian people will definitely make another revolution whose character is the same as the 1945 August Revolution, does this mean that the revolution which will certainly come will be entirely the same as the 1945 August Revolution?
The main contradiction in the present Indonesian society is still the same as the main contradiction the exited at the outbreak of the August Revolution of 1945, that is to say imperialism and the remnants feudalism are locked in a contradiction with the masses of the people who desire full independence and democracy. The system of imperialism and semi-feudalism maintained by the imperialist, their compradors and the landlords stands against the working class, the peasantry and the petty bourgeoisie and, to a certain degree, also the national bourgeoisie, all of whom want to liquidate the system of imperialism and the remnants of feudalism.
Thus the target of the revolution remains the same, i.e. imperialism and the remnants of feudalism. Classes which are the enemies of the revolution, in the main, are also the same, i.e. imperialism, the compradors, the bureaucrat-capitalist s and the landlords. While the motive forces of the revolution, too, are still the same, i.e. the working class, the peasantry and the petty bourgeoisie. However, the struggle between the target of the revolution and the motive forces of the revolution has undergone certain changes.
The most principal task of the 1945 August Revolution at that time was the seizure of power from the hands of foreign imperialism (Japanese imperialism), and since Dutch imperialism attempted through a war of aggression to restore its colonial domination over the Indonesian people, the latter fought against it by waging the war of independence. Under such a situation, the contradiction between the whole nation and the Dutch imperialism was the main contradiction, while the contradiction between the various classes within the country, including the contradiction between the landlord class and the peasantry, was subordinated to this main contradiction. At that time, it was correct to say that the task to overthrow imperialism was primary of the two urgent tasks, i.e. to overthrow imperialism and to liquidate the remnants of feudalism.
After the outbreak of the August Revolution 1945, there was no direct imperialist political rule in Indonesia (except in West Irian prior to its liberation). Since the 1945 August Revolution failed, the political power in our country has been in the hands of the domestic reactionary classes, i.e. the comprador-bourgeoisie and the landlords. And during the last decade a new reactionary class has come into being; i.e. the bureaucrat-capitalists. Among them many are coming from the ranks of army officers who acquired their position thanks to the prevalence of the Law of State of War and Siege that has practically been maintained up to this day. It is these bureaucrat-capitalists who, having become compradors of the imperialist, in particular the U.S. imperialist, now transform themselves into the military dictatorship of Right-wing army generals Suharto and Nasution and their accomplice. Under such a situation, it is incorrect to say that “overthrowing imperialism” is the primary of the two urgent tasks, i.e. to overthrow imperialism and to liquidate the remnants of feudalism.
After the imperialist no longer directly hold political power in Indonesia, their political interests are represented by the comprador-bourgeoisie, the bureaucrat-capitalists and the landlord who are holding the state power of the Republic of Indonesia in their hands. Therefore, only by overthrowing the power of the domestic reactionary classes can the overthrow of imperialism and the remnants of feudalism be concretely realized. This is the primary task of the Indonesian revolution at the present stage!
A failure to see the difference in the objective conditions at the time of the outbreak of the 1945 August Revolution and at the subsequent period, and clinging to the slogan of “overthrowing imperialism is primary”, at the time when imperialism did not directly hold political power in Indonesia, was a mistake. This mistake had led to a situation in which the development of the revolutionary mass actions by the workers and the peasants for the realization of their political and economic demands was curbed, because class contradiction within the country was compelled to be subordinated to the common struggle “to overthrow imperialism”, which in fact did not have any concrete target but the liberation of West Irian, the take-over of imperialist-owned enterprises, and the adherence to an anti-imperialist foreign policy. All of this had much strengthened the position of the bourgeoisie more than the position of the motive forces of the revolution, i.e. the workers, the peasants and the petty bourgeoisie.
Thus, the difference between the 1945 August Revolution and the revolution that will again break out in Indonesia lies in the question of from whose hands the state power is to be wrested by the people. The August Revolution of 1945 wrested the state power from the hands of foreign imperialism, while the coming revolution will wrest the state power from the hands of the reactionary classes within the country. Therefore, the contradiction between the domestic reactionary classes which hold state power on the one hand, and the people on the other hand will be very acute and irreconcilable. The coming revolution essentially will still be an agrarian revolution, namely the liberation of the peasantry from the exploitation by the remnants of feudalism and the abolition of the landlord system. At the same time, the revolution will also take anti-imperialist measures.
Today, the Indonesian people are faced by the military dictatorship of Right-wing army generals Suharto and Nasution and their accomplices, which is the manifestation of power of the most reactionary classes in our country. Under this fascist regime which has deprived the people of their democratic liberties and fundamental human rights, there is no possibility for the Indonesian people to conduct peaceful political and economic actions which are not suppressed by forces of arms.
The absence of democracy for the people, and the suppression by forces of arms of every revolutionary and democracy movement, inevitably compel the whole people to take up arms in order to defend their rights. The armed struggle of the people against the armed counter-revolution is unavoidable and constitutes the main form of struggle of the coming revolution. Only by taking this road of armed struggle will the Indonesian people succeed in overthrowing the power of the armed counter-revolutionaries, as a precondition to realize their aspiration for which they have fought for decades, namely independence and liberation.
The inevitability of the armed struggle to defeat the armed counter-revolution is understood not only by the Communists, but also by non-Communist revolutionaries. Nevertheless, it is necessary to bear in mind that the armed struggle to defeat armed counter-revolutionary rule, as a revolution, must not be waged in the form of military adventurism, in the form of a putsch, which is detached from the awakening of the popular masses. The revolutionaries must not, even for a second, abandon the principle that it is the people who will liberate themselves. Abandoning this principle will surely end in defeat.
Since the present stage of the Indonesian revolution is essentially an agrarian revolution by the peasantry, the armed struggle of the Indonesian people, too, essentially will be the armed struggle of the peasants to liberate themselves from the oppression by the remnants of feudalism. The armed struggle against the armed counter-revolution can never be lasting and in the end will surely be defeated, unless it is essentially an armed struggle of the peasants in realizing the agrarian revolution. And the armed struggle of the peasants to realize the agrarian revolution will succeed in achieving a complete victory, and in really liberating the peasantry from the oppression by the remnants of feudalism, only when it is waged under the leadership of the proletariat, and when it is not limited to just overthrowing the power of the internal counter-revolutionaries who are represented by the military dictatorship of Right-wing army generals Suharto and Nasution and their accomplices.
By studying once more the basic problems from the experience of the August Revolution of 1945, we can draw some conclusions which are of the greatest importance for the Indonesian proletariat and its vanguard, the PKI in facing their future task, to lead the people’s democratic revolution, as the only way to realize the aspiration of the whole Indonesian people which could not be accomplished by the 1945 August Revolution, namely the completely independent and democratic new Indonesia. The conclusions are as follows:
1. The August Revolution of 1945, as a new type bourgeois democratic revolution whose mission is to completely liquidate the domination of imperialism and the remnants of feudalism, would have achieves victory only if it was led by the proletariat. In order to establish its leadership in the new-type bourgeois democratic revolution the proletariat should, above all, form an alliance with the peasantry, and on the basis of this worker-peasant alliance led by the working class, establish a revolutionary united front with all other revolutionary classes and groups. The proletariat can fulfil its mission as the leader of the revolutionary united front, only when it has correct programme and tactics to be the guidance for the revolution and acceptable to its allies, only when it has a strong organization, and only when it gives an example in the realization of national tasks. As for the correct programme, a revolutionary agrarian programme to forge the alliance of the working class and the peasantry is of a great significance. As for the correct tactics, to master the chief form of struggle, namely the armed struggle which relies on the support of the peasantry, is of a great significance. All of this can be fulfilled, only when the proletariat has its own political party, i.e. the PKI, which is entirely guided by the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist theory, and free from all kinds of opportunism.
2. The precondition for the complete realization of the task of the 1945 August Revolution instead of merely seizing the state power from foreign imperialism and transferring it to the Republic of Indonesia, should have been the smashing of the entire colonial state machinery and the establishment of a completely new state, namely the people’s democratic dictatorship, constituting the joint power of all anti-imperialist and anti-feudal classes under the leadership of the working class. The people’s democratic dictatorship, as an instrument of the new-type bourgeois democratic revolution, should suppress by violence and mercilessly all the enemies of the revolution, and ensure for the people the broadest democratic rights. Since it was not led by the proletariat, the August Revolution of 1945 did not lay this precondition as it should have done. The colonial state machinery was not completely smashed. The republic of Indonesia which was set up, is not the people’s democratic dis, but a bourgeois republic.
The enormous application of the theory on contradiction and the deviation from Marxist-Leninist teaching on state and revolution has pushed the leadership of the PKI to the opportunist “theory of two aspects” in state power.
3. The emancipation of the Indonesian people’s from exploitation and oppression by imperialism and the remnants of feudalism can be attained only through the road of revolution which will surely take place once again, a revolution that has the same character as the 1945 August Revolution, that is to say a new-type bourgeois democratic revolution. The primary task of the coming revolution is the destruction of the power of the internal counter-revolutionaries who are now represented by the military dictatorship of Right-wing army generals Suharto and Nasution and their accomplices, through an armed struggle. The armed struggle to defeat the armed counter-revolution will be victorious, only when it is essentially an armed struggle of the peasantry to realize the agrarian revolution. And the armed struggle of the peasantry to realize the agrarian revolution will achieve complete victory only when it is waged under the leadership of the proletariat to smash to power of all internal counter-revolutionary forces.
4. The tasks faced by the Party for leading the people’s democratic revolution to victory are:
First: to continue rebuild the PKI along the Marxist-Leninist line, to be a Party which is free from all kinds of opportunism and is consistent in fighting against subjectivism and modern revisionism, while at the same time to continue the work to arouse, organize and mobilize the masses, mainly the workers and the peasants.
Second: to be ready to lead a protracted armed struggle which is integrated with the agrarian revolution of the peasants in the countryside.
Third: To form a united of all the forces that are against the military dictatorship of Right-wing army generals Suharto and Nasution, a united front that is based on the alliance of the working class and the peasantry under the leadership of the working class. These are the Three Banners of the Party in the people’s democratic revolution.
Thus we have drawn the lessons from the basic problems of the 1945 August Revolution, and by so doing we have understood the main tasks we are facing in the days come. We deeply realize that the enemy of the coming revolution is the entire counter-revolution within the country, headed by the Right-wing army generals Suharto and Nasution, who enjoy the support of the imperialist, in particular the U.S. imperialist. But we are also deeply aware that the coming Indonesian revolution longed for by the overwhelming majority of the Indonesian people, who have drawn the most invaluable lessons from the 1945 August Revolution. In the same way as the great Chinese Revolution, the glorious Vietnamese Revolution, the victorious Korean and Cuban Revolutions and all other revolutions in the semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries, the Indonesian revolution draws its main strength from the peasantry which, as Lenin Said, “is capable of becoming a wholehearted and most radical adherent of the democratic revolution”. Provided that the proletariat can give the correct leadership, “the peasantry will inevitably become a bulwark of the revolution and the republic, for only a completely victorious revolution can give the peasantry everything in the sphere of agrarian reforms – everything that the peasants desire, of which they dream, and of which they truly stand in need in order to emerge from the mire of semi-serfdom, from the gloom of oppression and servitude”. (Lenin, Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolutionary).
We, too, will never forget that the international proletariat, both who have succeeded in liberating themselves and their nation, as well as those who are still fighting for their liberation, and all the people who are fighting against imperialism, are the allies of the coming Indonesia revolution. And that U.S. imperialism, the ring –leader of the world counter-revolution, despite the help rendered by the Khrushchovite modern revisionist, is facing an ignominious and inevitable defeat in Vietnam.
We know that the task in front of us is arduous, full of difficulties and danger, but the birth of the new consciousness and the return to the road of revolution, has given us unbreakable vitality and fighting power!
We cannot say how long will be the road we still have to traverse, but by returning to the road of revolution, the hope for victory is no longer a dream!
We also know that the road we are taking is not one that is strewn with flowers, but we are convinced that only by taking this road, red roses will be blooming, adorning the free and democratic new life.
Let us wholeheartedly dedicate our entire ability, meet the call of the coming task, to overthrow the rule of the military dictatorship of Right-wing army generals Suharto and Nasution, the leaders of the internal counter-revolutionaries, in order to pave the way towards the New Indonesia which is free from the domination of imperialism and the remnants of feudalism.
Smash the military dictatorship of Right-wing army generals Suharto and Nasution and their accomplices!
Long live the people of Indonesia!
Glory to the Party and the Motherland!
POLITICAL BUREAU OF THE CC PKI
Central Java, August 17, 1966
 Masyumi (MajelisSyuraMuslimin Indonesia), an arch-reactionary political party of the Right-wing Moslem group. Supported the DI/TII covertly, while its leading figures led the rebellion of the PRRI/Permesta, in 1958.
 RMS: Republik Maluku Selatan (The Republic of South Moluccas), a separatist movement in the Moluccas. Instigated by the Dutch colonialists, it launched an armed rebellion in 1950.