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.
In the Statement of the Political Bureau of the CC PKI (Communist Party of Indonesia) issued in commemoration of the 46th anniversary of the founding of the Party, it was stated among other things that “The fact that the counter-revolutionary forces could, in a brief space of time, strike at and inflict enormous damage on the PKI obliges us, who can still continue this revolutionary struggle, to carry out criticism and self-criticism, as the only correct way to find out our shortcomings and organizational fields, so as to rectify them subsequently”.
The disaster which has caused such serious losses to the PKI and the revolutionary movement of the Indonesian people after the outbreak and the failure of the “September 30th Movement” the Party leadership carried out a Right opportunist line, by entrusting the fate of the Party and the revolutionary movement to the policy of President Sukarno. These were the climax of the serious weaknesses and mistakes of the PKI in the ideological, political and organizational fields.
The Political Bureau is aware that it has the greatest responsibility with regard to the grave weaknesses and mistakes of the Party all this time. Therefore, the Political Bureau is giving serious attention to and highly appreciates all criticisms from cadres and members of the Party in accordance with a Marxist-Leninist method, as well as honest criticisms from Party sympathizers that have been expressed in different ways. The Political Bureau is resolved to make self-criticism in a Marxist-Leninist way, putting into practice the teaching of Lenin and the example of Comrade Musso in unfolding Marxist-Leninist criticism and self-criticism. Lenin has taught us that “The attitude of a political party towards its own mistakes is one of the most important and surest ways of judging how earnest the party is and how it in practice fulfils its obligation towards its class and the toiling masses. Frankly admitting a mistake, ascertaining the reasons for it, analysing the conditions which led to it, and thoroughly discussing the means of correcting it – that is the earmark of a serious party; that is the way it should perform its duties, that is the way it should educate and train the class, and then the masses”. (Italics by Lenin)1
In August 1948, Comrade Musso set an example in the Political Bureau of the CC PKI on how to conduct criticism and self-criticism freely and in a Marxist-Leninist way, against the serious mistakes and weaknesses of the PKI in the years of the August Revolution of 1945. Thanks to the merciless criticism and self-criticism against the weaknesses and mistakes, a way out was found so as to re-establish the PKI as the vanguard of the Indonesian working class, restore the good tradition of the PKI in the period before and during World War II, and to enable the PKI to obtain the hegemony in the leadership of the revolution.2
The internal Party struggle which took place during the rebuilding of the PKI which suffered a heavy blow in the “Madiun Affair” and during the realization of “The New Road” (Resolution of the Political Bureau of the CC PKI, August 1948), brought into being the new Political Bureau in 1951. The experience of the Party until the outbreak of the “September 30th Movement” in 1965 has shown, that the Political Bureau which was elected in 1951 and re-elected by the Central Committee of the 5th and the 6th National Congresses not only had failed in implementing the Great Correction of Comrade Musso, but had committed serious deviations from Marxism-Leninism. As a result, the PKI was unable to fulfil its historical mission as the vanguard of the working class and leader of the liberation struggle of the Indonesia people.
In view of the seriousness of the weaknesses and mistakes involving the whole Party, the Political Bureau considers it necessary to make a complete analysis to enable every Party member to make the most thorough study of them, in order to avoid the recurrence of the same weaknesses and mistakes in the future. However, under the situation where the most vicious and cruel white terror is being unleashed by the military dictatorship of Right-wing army generals Suharto and Nasution, it is not easy to make criticism and self-criticism as complete as possible. To meet the urgent necessity it is necessary to put forward the main problems in the ideological, political and organizational fields, to guide the study of the weaknesses and mistakes of the Party during the current rectification movement.
With all modesty and sincerity the Political Bureau presents this self-criticism. The Political Bureau expects all Party embers to take an active part in the discussions of the weaknesses and mistakes of the Party leadership critically, and do their utmost to improve this self-criticism of the Political Bureau of the CC PKI by drawing lessons from their respective experiences, collectively or individually. The Political Bureau expect all members to take firm of the principle: “unity, criticism, unity” and “learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones’ and ‘curing the sickness to save the patient’, in order to achieve the two-fold objective of clarity in ideology and unity among comrades”3. The Political Bureau is convinced that, by holding firmly to this correct principle, every Party member will take part in the movement to study and overcome these weaknesses and mistakes with the determination to rebuild the PKI along the Marxist-Leninist line to, strengthen communist unity and solidarity, to raise their ideological, political and organizational vigilance and to heighten the fighting spirit in order to win victory.
THE MAIN WEAKNESSES IN THE IDEOLOGICAL FIELD
“The New Road” Resolution, in pointing out the main cause of the mistakes of principle made by the PKI in the organizational and political fields during the period of the August Revolution states: “The Political Bureau considers that the errors of principle are mainly caused by the ideological weaknesses of the Party”.
The serious weaknesses and mistakes of the Party in the period after 1951 certainly had as their source the weaknesses in the ideological field, too, especially within the Party leadership. These ideological weaknesses had as their source the petty-bourgeois class origin and the inadequate mastering of Marxism-Leninism. Lenin has taught us that “Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement”, and that “the role of vanguard fighter can be fulfilled only by a party that is guided by the most advanced theory”4. The experience of the Indonesian Communists fully confirms the truth of Lenin’s teaching. The serious weaknesses and mistakes which had made the PKI unable to fulfil its task as the vanguard of the Indonesian working class had been caused not only by the failure of the Party leadership to integrate revolutionary theories with the concrete practice of the Indonesian revolution, but even by the adoption of the road which was divorced from the guidance of the most advances theories. This experience shows that the PKI had not succeeded as yet in establishing a core of leadership that was composed of proletarian elements, which really has the most correct understanding of Marxism-Leninism, systematic and not fragmentary, practical and not abstract understanding.
Our Party has ideological weaknesses with a long historical root, namely subjectivism. The social basis for subjective ideology is the petty-bourgeois class. Indonesia is a country of the petty bourgeois, where small-owners’ enterprises, in particular individual farms, are found in great number. Our Party is surrounded by a large petty-bourgeois class, and many Party members have come from this class. Inevitably, petty-bourgeois ideas and habits are brought into the Party. The petty-bourgeois method of thinking is subjective and one-sided in analysing problems. It proceeds neither from objective reality, nor from objective balance of forces among classes, but from subjective wishes, subjective feelings and subjective imagination. It is that subjectivism which is the ideological source of dogmatist or empiricist errors in the theoretical field, of Right or “Left” opportunism in the political field, and of liberalism or sectarianism in the organizational field that have occurred in our Party.
During the period of implementing “The New Road” Resolution, an internal struggle took place within our Party against subjectivism. But as it turned out, the struggle did not succeed in completely eradicating this ideology of subjectivism. This was shown by the experience of the 5th National Congress of the Party. During the Congress, sharp criticism was launched against subjectivism which constituted an obstacle in the implementation of “The New Road” Resolution. But at the same time, the Congress committed the same mistake by adopting Manifesto for General Election of the PKI which put forward the programme for the establishment of people’s democracy through the general election. This was a simultaneous manifestation of “Left” and Right opportunism. Viewed as a programme that went too far and could not be achieved on the basis of the existing objective conditions, it was a “Leftist” error. But viewed from its way of thinking that a people’s democracy could be achieved through the general election, thus by peaceful means, it was a Rightist error.
During the period after 1951, subjectivism continued to grow, gradually became greater and greater and gave rise to Right opportunism that merged with the influence of modern revisionism in the international communist movement. This was the black line of Right opportunism which became the main feature if the mistake committed by the PKI in this period. The rise and the development of these weaknesses and errors were caused by the following factors:
First, the tradition of criticism and self-criticism in Marxist-Leninist way was not developed in the Party, especially within the Party leadership. One example was the replacement of the Manifesto for General Election of the PKI. After it was discovered that the Manifesto was erroneous, it was then withdrawn and replaced by another programme, the Programme for a Government of National Coalition. But this measure was not accompanied by an extensive and profound criticism and self-criticism concerning the ideological source of the mistake, in order to protect “the prestige of the leadership”. Consequently, the substitution of the Manifesto for General Election by the Programme for a Government of National Coalition had failed in thoroughly eradicating the opportunist stand towards the general election in the framework of bourgeois democracy. We will deal more with this problem later.
The rectification and study movements which from time to time were organized in the Party were not carried out seriously and persistently enough, their results were not summed up in a sufficiently good manner, and they were not followed by the appropriate measures in the organization field. Such movements were organized more for the rank-and-file, and never aimed at unfolding criticism and self-criticism among the leadership. Criticism from below, far from being carefully listened to, was even suppressed.
The failure to promote the tradition of criticism and self-criticism in a Marxist-Leninist way in the Party, especially within the Party leadership on the one hand, and the weaknesses in the theoretical field of Party cadres in general on the other hand, had blunted the critical sense and the ideological vigilance of Party cadres in general, and of leading cadres in particular.
Second, the penetration of the bourgeois ideology along two channels, namely through contacts with the national bourgeoisie when the Party established a united front with them, and through the bourgeoisification of Party cadres, especially the leadership, after obtaining certain positions in governmental and semi-governmental institutions. The increasing number of Party cadres who occupied certain positions in governmental and semi-governmental institutions, in the centre and in the regions, created “this stratum of bourgeoisified workers” and this constituted “real channels of reformism”.5 Such a situation did not exist before the August Revolution of 1945.
Third, modern revisionism began to penetrate into our Party when the 4th Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the 5th Congress uncritically approved a Report which confirmed the lines of the 20th Congress of the CPSU and adopted the line of “achieving socialism peacefully through parliamentary means” as the line of the PKI. The “peaceful road”, one of the characteristics of modern revisionism, was further reaffirmed in the 6th National Congress of the PKI by stipulating the following passage in the Party Constitution: “It is a possibility that a people’s democratic system as a transitional stage to socialism in Indonesia can be achieved by peaceful means, in a parliamentary way. The PKI persistently strives to transform this possibility into a reality”. This revisionist line was even further emphasized in the 7th National Congress of the PKI and was never corrected, although at that time our Party was already aware that since the 20th Congress of the CPSU, the leadership of the CPSU had been following the road of modern revisionism.
In facing the modern revisionism of the CPSU leadership, the PKI leadership who had been tightly bound by the alliance with the national bourgeoisie did not take a firm stand. Such an attitude was taken mainly starting from the need to protect the interests of its alliance with the national bourgeoisie and not from the independent interests of the proletariat. Though in later years the PKI leadership criticized the various modern revisionist lines of the CPSU leadership and, thanks to this stand, the PKI earned a respectable position in the ranks of the world Marxist-Leninist, they nevertheless continued to maintain good relations with the leadership of the CPSU and the influence of modern revisionism in our Party was not completely eradicated.
The experience of the PKI provides us with the lesson that by taking the stand of criticizing the modern revisionism of the CPSU leadership, it does not mean that the PKI itself has been automatically freed from errors of Right opportunism, the same as what the modern revisionist are doing. The experience of the PKI provides us with the lesson that modern revisionism, the greatest danger in the international communist movement, is also the greatest danger for the PKI. Modern revisionism is not “a latent but not an acute danger”6, but a concrete danger that has brought great damage to the PKI and serious losses for the revolutionary movement of the Indonesian people. Therefore, the danger of modern revisionism must not in any way be underestimated and a ruthless struggle must be waged against it. The firm stand against modern revisionism in all fields can be effectively maintained only when our Party abandons the line of “preserving the friendship with the modern revisionist”.
It is fact that the PKI, while on the one hand criticizing the modern revisionism of the CPSU leadership, on the other hand made revisionist mistakes itself, because it had revised Marxist-Leninist teaching on class struggle, state and revolution. Furthermore, the PKI leadership not only did not wage a struggle in the theoretical field against other trends of revolutionary thought which could mislead the proletariat, as Lenin has taught us to do,7 but had even voluntarily given concessions in the theoretical field. The PKI leadership equated the three components of Marxism: materialist, philosophy, political economy and scientific socialism, and the “three components of Bung Karno’s teaching”, and wanted to make Marxism, which is the ideology of the working class the property of the whole nation which includes the exploiting classes hostile to the working class.
THE MAIN ERRORS IN THE POLITICAL FIELD
The mistakes of Right opportunism in a political field which are now under review include three problems: (1) the road to People’s Democracy in Indonesia. (2) the question of state power, and (3) the implementation of the policy of the national united front.
Right opportunism in the political field reveals itself first and foremost in the question of the road to be taken, the “peaceful road” or the road of revolution, to achieve People’s Democracy in Indonesia as a transitional stage to the socialist system. One of the fundamental differences and disputes between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism, both classic and modern, lies precisely in the question of the road to socialism. Marxism-Leninism teaches the socialism should be achieved through the road of proletarian revolution and that in the case of colonial or semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries like Indonesia, socialism should be achieved by first completing the stage of the people’s democratic revolution. While revisionism dreams of achieving socialism through the “peaceful road”.
Along which process had these mistakes emerged and developed?
For fifteen years since 1951, the PKI had conducted a legal and parliamentary struggle. Legal and parliamentary form of struggle is a method that must be used by a revolutionary proletarian party in a definite situation and under certain conditions, as Lenin explained in his work “Left-Wing” Communism, An Infantile Disorder. Refusing parliamentary struggle when the conditions are not yet ripe, is a mistake.
The parliamentary struggle as a form of legal struggle carried out by the Party in 1951 was in the main correct, and in accordance with the objective conditions existing at the time. The objective conditions at that time were as follows: the revolutionary tide was at low ebb, the motive forces of the revolution were not re-awakened as yet, and the great majority of the people who had never enjoyed political independence before the August Revolution of 1945 still cherished hopes in the bourgeois democracy.
During the initial years of the period, our Party had achieved certain results in the political struggle as well as in the building of the Party. One important achievement of this period was the formulation of the main problems of the Indonesian revolution. It was formulated that the present stage of the Indonesian revolution was a new-type bourgeois democratic revolution, whose tasks were to liquidate imperialism and the vestiges of feudalism and to establish a people’s democratic system as a transitional stage to socialism. The motive forces of the revolution were the working class, the peasantry and the petty bourgeois; the leading forces of the revolution was the working class and the main mass strength of the revolution was the peasantry. It was also formulated that the national bourgeoisie was a wavering forces of the revolution who might side with the revolution to certain limits and at certain periods, but who, at other times, might betray the revolution. The Party furthermore formulated that the working class, in order to fulfil its obligation as the leader of the Indonesian revolution, must forces a revolutionary united front with other revolutionary classes and groups based on worker-peasant alliance under the leadership of the working class.
However, a very important shortcoming which in later days developed into Right opportunism or revisionism, was that the Party had not yet come to the clearest unity of minds on the principal means and the main form of struggle of the Indonesian revolution. The Central Committee of the Party had one discussed this problem in broad lines, but in the subsequent period had never discussed this problem intensively so as to reach the most correct uniform understanding, as a prerequisite to reach the most correct uniform understanding in the whole Party.
It is a great mistakes for a party with a historical mission to lead a revolution like the PKI, not to make the question of the principal means and the main form of struggle of the Indonesian revolution a problem which concerned the whole Party, but rather a problem which concerned a few persons among the leadership and certain cadres in the Party. Consequently, the minds of the majority in the Party were made passive with regard to this most important problem of the revolution.
Though the leadership of the Indonesian revolution is the working class, its principal mass strength is the peasantry. In view of the small number of the working class in Indonesia, the method of struggle of the working class such as general strikes which lead the awakening of other motive forces of the revolution and which will later develop into an armed insurrection, as in the case of the Russian bourgeois democratic revolution of 1905,8 cannot become the main form of struggle or the method of the Indonesian revolution.
The Chinese revolution has provided the lesson concerning the main form of struggle of the revolution in colonial or semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries namely, people’s armed struggle against the armed counter-revolution. In line with the essence of the revolution as an agrarian revolution, then the essence of the people’s armed struggle is the armed struggle of the peasants in an agrarian revolution under the leadership of the working class. The practice of the Chinese revolution is first and foremost the application of Marxism-Leninism to the concrete conditions of China. At the same time, it has laid down the general law for the revolution of the peoples in colonial or semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries. To achieve its complete victory, the Indonesia, revolution must also follow the road of the Chinese revolution. This means that the Indonesian revolution must inevitably adopt thismain form of struggle, namely, the people’s armed struggle against the armed counter-revolution which, in essence, is the armed agrarian revolution of the peasants under the leadership of the proletariat.
The agrarian revolution which is the essence of the Indonesian revolution at the present stage is not an agrarian reform of the bourgeois fashion that will only pave the way for the development of capitalism in the countryside. This revolution will liberate farm labourers, poor peasants and middle peasants from the feudal oppression by foreign and native landlords, by confiscating the lands of the landlords and distributing them without payment to farm labourers and poor peasants individually to be their private property. Such a revolution will be victorious only when it is carried out by force of arms under the leadership of the working class. This revolution cannot be imposed from without. It will break out on the basis of the high consciousness and conviction of the peasants themselves obtained through their own experience in the struggle and through the education by the working class.
It is clear that in a situation where the conditions for a revolution have not existed as yet, the tasks of the PKI should be directed at educating Party members, the working class and the peasantry concerning the main forms of struggle of the Indonesian revolution, through political, agitation and propaganda work, as well as through organizational work. All forms of legal and parliamentary work should serve the principal means and the main form of struggle, and must not in any way impede the process of the ripening of armed struggle.
The experience during the last fifteen years has taught us that starting from not firmly refuting the “peaceful road” and not firmly holding to the general law of revolution in colonial or semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries, the PKI gradually got bogged down in parliamentary and other forms of legal struggle. The Party leadership even considered these forms of struggle to achieve the strategic aim of the Indonesian revolution. The legality of the Party was not considered as one method of struggle at a given time and under certain conditions, but was rather regarded as a principle, while other forms of struggle should serve this principle. Even when counter-revolution not only has trampled underfoot the legality of the Party, but has violated the basic human rights of the Communists as well, this “legality” was still to be defended with might and main.
As has been stated before, the “peaceful road” began to be firmly established in the Party when the 4th Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the PKI (1956) adopted a document which approved the modern revisionist line of the 20th Congress of the CPSU. In a situation when the revisionist line was already firmly established in the Party, it was impossible to have a correct Marxist-Leninist line of strategy and tactics. The formulation of the main lines of strategy and tactics of the Party started from an ambiguity between the "peaceful road" and the “road of armed revolution”, in which process of development the "peaceful road" finally became dominant.
It was under such conditions that the General Line of the PKI was formulated by the 6th National Congress (1959), which read “To continue the forging of the national united front, and to continue the building of the Party, so as to accomplish the demands of the August Revolution of 1945”. Based on the General Line of the Party, the slogan “Raise the Three Banners of the Party” was adopted. These were: (1) the banner of the national front, (2) the banner of the building of the Party, and (3) the banner of the 1945 August Revolution.9 The General Line was meant as the road to people’s democracy in Indonesia.
The Party leadership tried to explain that the Three Banners of the Party were the three main weapons to win the people’s democratic revolution which, as Comrade Mao Tsetung has said, were “a well-disciplined Party armed with the theory of Marxism-Leninism, using the method of self-criticism and linked with the masses of the people; an army under the leadership of such a Party; a united front of all revolutionary classes and all revolutionary groups under the leadership of such a Party”.10
Thus, the second main weapon means a people’s armed struggle against armed counter-revolution under the leadership of the Party. The Party leadership tried to replace this with slogan “Raise the Banner of the 1945 August Revolution”. It was indeed explained that “The Banner of August Revolution firmly establishes the importance of using the experiences of the struggle during the August Revolution of 1945”, and that “In defending the sovereignty of Indonesia, the role of the guerrilla warfare is of the utmost importance”,11 yet in practice no effort was made in this direction.
In order to prove that the road followed was not the opportunist "peaceful road", the Party leadership always spoke of the two possibilities, namely, the possibility of a "peaceful road" and the possibility of a non-peaceful road, and that the better the Party prepared itself to face the possibility of a non-peaceful road, the greater would be the possibility of a "peaceful road". In fact, such statements show precisely the existence of dualism concerning the road followed by the Party leadership. By doing so, the hope for a "peaceful road" which in reality did not exist was always implanted in the minds of Party members, the working class and the masses of the working people.
In practice, the Party leadership did not prepare the whole ranks of the Party, the working class and the masses of the people to face the possibility of a non-peaceful road. The most striking proof was the gravest tragedy which happened after the outbreak and the failure of the “September 30th Movement”. Within a short space of time, the counter-revolution succeeded in massacring and arresting hundreds of thousands of Communists and non-Communist revolutionaries who found themselves in a passive position, paralysing the organization of the PKI and the revolutionary mass organizations. Such a situation surely would never happen if the Party leadership did not deviate from the revolutionary road.
The Party leadership declared that “our Party must not copy the theory of armed struggle from abroad, but must carry out the Method of Combining the Three Forms of Struggle,12 namely guerrilla warfare in the countryside (especially by farm labourers and poor peasants); revolutionary actions by the workers (especially transport workers) in the cities; and intensive work among the enemies’ armed forces”. The party leadership criticized some comrades who, in studying the experience of the armed struggle of the Chinese people, were considered as seeing only its similarities with the conditions in Indonesia. On the contrary, the Party leadership put forward different conditions that must be taken into account, until they arrived at the conclusion that the method typical to the Indonesian revolution was the “Method of Combining the Three Forms of Struggle”.
Adopting dogmatically the experience of other countries is a mistake. But refusing to use another country’s experience whose truth as the theory of people’s revolution has already been tested is equally a mistake. Lenin has taught us that “a movement that is starting in a young country can be successful only if it treats the experience of other countries critically and tests it independently.13
Facts have shown that the “theory of the Method of Combining the Three Forms of Struggle” was not the result of treating the experience of another country critically and linking it with the concrete practice of Indonesia, to become one of the revolutionary theories typical to Indonesia. In any case, it is not a method typical of Indonesia. The Russian revolution of 1905 as Lenin explained in his “Lecture on the 1905 Revolution”, was a combination of strikes by the peasantry in the countryside and mutinies by the army, with the strikes by the workers as the vanguard. The Chinese revolution also combined the revolutionary agrarian war, the work in the countryside and the cities under enemy occupation and the work among the enemy’s armed forces, with the revolutionary agrarian was as the main form.
Of the “three forms of struggle” that should be combined, instead of being led along the "peaceful road". The struggle of the peasants against the exploitation and suppression by the vestiges of feudalism, if given correct leadership, would inevitably develop into its highest form, namely, the agrarian revolution to liberate the peasants from the oppression by the landlords. This struggle would only gain its complete victory if it had been waged by arms under the leadership of the p. but the Party leadership did not concentrate its leading work on the development of the ever-growing peasant struggle, and did not prepare the Party to face any eventuality.
When the peasant began to rise in direct unilateral actions against the native landlords, these actions were not development into their higher form, but were diverted along different lines by launching various actions that were not directed against the landlords, such as the New Culture Movement, the One Thousand and One Campaign to raise production, and the Rat Extermination Campaign. Naturally, it is not wrong for a revolutionary peasant movement to launch campaigns to increase production, to exterminate pest and to raise the cultural level of the peasants. But all of this should serve the main objective of the revolutionary peasant movement, namely, the anti-feudal agrarian revolution. Therefore, such campaigns should not be evaluated far too highly, so as to divert the orientation of the revolutionary peasant movement to become a reformist movement.
In the cities, despite the increasingly heavy burden in the life of the workers, actions by the workers that had political significance gradually diminished, because they lacked proper leadership. It is true that there were apparently big actions by the workers that had great political significance, such as the take-over of the enterprises belonging to the Dutch, British and Belgian imperialist. But the actual results of these actions were beneficial only for a handful of bureaucrat-capitalists and had by no means improved the living conditions of the workers concerned the former imperialist-owned enterprises which were controlled by the government of the Republic of Indonesia as national property, further actions by the workers were restrained. On the contrary, a lot of activities were organized directly by the trade unions or through the Enterprise Councils aimed at increasing production, raising the efficiency of the enterprises, improving the economy, etc. which did not improve the living conditions nor heighten the revolutionary spirit of the workers.
Proceeding from the erroneous standpoint that “the Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia are not reactionary armed forces”,14 the problem of “working within the enemy’s armed forces” was interpreted as “integrating the important organ of the State with the people”, or “strengthening the dwitunggal relationship between the people and the Armed Forces”. It means integrating the instrument of violence of the oppressing classes with the oppressed classes. Such an error could occur because the Party leadership had deviated from the Marxist-Leninist teaching on the state, and considered the Indonesian Republic not as a bourgeois state and the Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia not as an instrument of the bourgeois state. The Party leadership forgot the reality that since the August Revolution had failed and the state power had fallen entirely into the hands of reactionary bourgeoisie, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia, though brought into being by the August Revolution, had as a whole automatically become the organ of rule in the hands of the classes which ruled the state. In view of their class origin as son of workers and peasants, the NCO’s and soldiers of the Armed Forces might indeed constitute elements who would take the side of the people. But this could not alter the position of the Armed Forces as a whole as an organ of the state which served the interest of the ruling class.
To fulfil their heavy but great and noble historical mission, to lead the people’s revolution against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism, the Indonesian Marxist-Leninist must firmly abandon the revisionist "peaceful road", abandon the “theory of the Method of Combining the Three Forms of Struggle”, and hold aloft the banner of armed people’s revolution. Following the example of the glorious Chinese people’s revolution, the Indonesian Marxist-Leninist must establish revolutionary base areas; they must “turn the backward villages into advanced, consolidated base areas, into great military, political, economic and cultural bastions of the revolution”.15
While tackling this most principal question we must also carry out other forms of struggle; armed struggle will never advance without being coordinated with other forms of struggle.
The line of Right opportunism followed by the Party leadership was also reflected in their attitude with regard to the state, in particular to the state of the Republic of Indonesia. Marxism-Leninism has taught us that “the state is an organ of class rule, an organ for the oppression of one class by another”; that “the forms of bourgeois states are extremely varied, but their essence is the same … the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie”: and that “the supersession of the bourgeois state by the proletarian state” (in Indonesia through the people’s democratic state – Political Bureau), “is impossible without a violent revolution”.16
Based on this Marxism-Leninism teaching on the state, the task of the PKI after the August Revolution of 1945 failed, should have been the education of the Indonesian working class and the rest of the working people, so as to make them understand clearly the class nature of the state of the Republic of Indonesia as a bourgeois dictatorship. The PKI should have aroused the consciousness of the working class and the other working people that their struggle for liberation would inevitably lead to the necessity of “superseding the bourgeois state” by the people’s state under the leadership of the working class, through a “violent revolution”. But the PKI leadership took the opportunist line that gave rise to the illusion among the people about bourgeois democracy. The development of this opportunist line with regard to the state is as follows:
In implementing the tactics of drawing the national bourgeoisie back to the national united front, the PKI supported the Wilopo Administration (beginning of 1952) and other administrations of the Republic of Indonesia that followed – with the exception of the Burhanuddin Harahap Administration that was led by the Mayumi Party—which had relatively progressive programmes. By this policy, the PKI was able to draw the national bourgeoisie in a united front and to prevent the formation of reactionary administrations. But subsequently, the PKI followed practices which abandoned its position as a proletarian party which takes an independent attitude towards a bourgeois government. The PKI failed in totally discharging its task to expose the bankruptcy of bourgeois democracy. Worse still, the PKI, instead of using the general election and parliamentary struggle to accelerate the obsolescence of parliamentarism politically, had even strengthened the system of parliamentarism.
The PKI took part in the first parliamentary general election with a programme for the establishment of a Government of National Coalition, namely, a united front government of democratic elements, including the Communists. With its programme for the general election, the PKI had committed the same error as the petty bourgeois democrats and opportunists who, according to Lenin, “instill into the minds of the people the false notion that universal suffrage in the modern state’ (read: in the bourgeois state – Political Bureau) is really capable of ascertaining the will of the majority of the toilers and of securing its realization”. 17
The demands for the establishment of a Government of National Coalition became the tactical programme of the PKI, which subsequently assumed the form of the demands for the establishment of a Cooperation Cabinet with the Nasakom as the core. By making the establishment of a Government of National Coalition the principal political demand, the illusion was spread that under the rule of bourgeois dictatorship, where the armed forces under the leadership of the Party did not exist, it would be possible to set up a united front government of democratic elements, including the Communists, in accordance with the people’s sense of justice, that would facilitate the accomplishment of the strategic aims. The campaign to demand the establishment of a Cooperation Cabinet with the Nasakom as the core had relegated to the background the propaganda for a people’s democratic state, and in that way hampered the development of the revolutionary consciousness of the working class and the rest of the working people.
The climax of the deviation from Marxist-Leninist teaching on the state committed by the Party leadership was the formulation of the “theory of two aspects in the state power of the Republic of Indonesia”. Since the birth of the “two aspects theory” only when discussing the state in general terms were Marxist-Leninist doctrines loosely maintained. But in the discussions about the state in a concrete sense, that is to say about the state of the Republic of Indonesia, Marxist-Leninist doctrines were completely abandoned.
The “two aspect theory” viewed the state and the state power in the following way:
“The economic structure (basis) of the present Indonesian society is still colonial and semi feudal. However, at the same time there is the struggle of the people against this economic system, the struggle for a national and democratic economy; …
“The realities of the basis are also reflected in the superstructure, including in the state power, and especially in the cabinet. In the state power are reflected both the forces that are against the colonial and feudal economic system, and the forces that defend imperialism, the vestiges of feudalism, bureaucrat-capitalism and the compradors…
“The state power of the Republic of Indonesia, viewed as a contradiction is a contradiction between two mutually opposing aspects. The first aspect is the aspect which represents the interests of the people (manifested by the progressive stand and policies of President Sukarno that are supported by the PKI and other groups of the people). The second aspect is the aspect that represents the enemies of the people (manifested by the stand and policies of the Right-wing forces or the diehards). The people aspect has become the main aspect and takes the leading role in the state power of the Republic of Indonesia”.18
The “two aspects theory” obviously is an opportunist or revisionist deviation, because it denies the Marxist-Leninist teaching that “the state is an organ of the rule of a definite class which cannot be reconciled with its antipode (the class opposite to it)”.19 It is unthinkable that the Republic of Indonesia can be jointly ruled by the people and the enemies of the people.
It is true that in Indonesian society there are forces fighting against the colonial and semi-feudal economic system. These forces are the working class, the peasantry, the petty bourgeoisie and, to a certain extent, also the national bourgeoisie. But to consider that these forces have a common concept for a “national and democratic economy” is erroneous. There are two different concepts, the concept of the national bourgeoisie and the concept of the proletariat. Whether it is wrapped in whatever names like “national and democratic economy”, “guided economy”, etc. this concept of the national bourgeoisie has no other demand but the full development of capitalism in the country.
The concept of the proletariat is to create a people’s democratic economy, which means: the nationalization of all capital and enterprises belonging to the imperialist, compradors and other reactionaries, and the free distribution of lands belonging to the landlords to the peasants. This will be the transitional economic system to socialism that can be realized only after the establishment of the people’s democratic dictatorship, namely, the joint power of all anti-imperialist and anti-feudal classes under the leadership of the proletariat. In the people’s democratic economy, the socialist sector, namely the vital enterprises owned by the people’s state, takes a leading position in all the economic life of the country.
Prior to the establishment of a people’s democratic power, the struggle of the people in the economic field will never possibly give birth to a people’s democratic economic structure. The take-over of imperialist-owned enterprises and the existence of old-type state-owned enterprises under the control of the Republic of Indonesia did not give birth to the socialism sector in economy, because these state-owned enterprises did not belong to the people and were not managed by the people’s state, but had fallen in the hands of the bureaucrat-capitalists. Similarly, the Basic Agrarian Law could by no means liberate the peasantry from the oppression and exploitation by the vestiges of feudalism.
Denying the differences between the concept of the national bourgeoisie and the concept of the proletariat, and lumping them together in the formulation of “national and democratic economy, without raising the problem of the necessity to establish the people’s democratic power first, were tantamount to abandoning the proletarian class stand and capitulating to the bourgeoisie. Obviously, the birth of economic concepts like the Economic Declaration” did not mean that the forces of the working class and the rest of the working people who fought against the colonial and semi-colonial economy were already reflected in the state power. People’s democratic factors will never grow in a state power which represents the interests of imperialism and the vestiges of feudalism.
Contradiction did exist in the state power of the Republic of Indonesia, namely, the contradiction between the comprador and landlord elements who represented the interests of imperialism and the vestiges of feudalism on the one hand, and the national bourgeoisie who, to a certain extent, took an anti-imperialist and anti-feudal stand, on the other. But the position of the national bourgeoisie in the state power could not be interpreted as representing the interest of the people, and that is why it could not be called the “people aspect” in the state power. Such contradiction would never lead to the fundamental transformation of the class nature of the state.
The participations of the Party leaders in the government, both in the central and in the regional administrations, could not be interpreted that the quality of the aspect of the national bourgeoisie in the state power had changed into a people aspect. Because the joint forces of the national bourgeoisie and the proletariat was led not by the proletariat but by the national bourgeoisie. The position of the Party leaders in the government that give them no real power was a political concession from the national bourgeoisie who needed the support of the people in their contradiction with the comprador bourgeoisie and, to a certain extent, also with the imperialist.
With the support of the masses of the people who were led by the PKI, the national bourgeoisie could, to a certain extent, undermine the position of the comprador bourgeoisie in the state power. The situation was shown by a series of policies adopted by the government of the Republic of Indonesia such as the abrogation of the Round Table Conference Agreement, the liberation of West Irian, the enactment of the Basic Agrarian Law and the Law of Crop-Sharing, the liquidation of the armed forces of the counter-revolutionaries including the DI/TII and the PRRI/Permesta, the acceptance of the Political Manifesto, the Economic Declaration, the anti-imperialist foreign policy, etc.
The Party leadership who had got bogged down into the mire of opportunism overestimated too highly these developments and claimed that the “people aspect” had become the main aspect and taken the leading role in the state power of the Republic of Indonesia. It was as if the Indonesian people were nearing the birth of a people’s power. And since they considered that the forces of the national bourgeoisie in the state power were really the “people aspect”, the Party leadership had done everything to defend and develop this “people aspect”. The Party leadership had altogether merged themselves in the interests of the national bourgeoisie.
It is clear that the Party leadership applied in a subjective way the theory of contradiction to the state power. Furthermore, to consider that the forces of the national bourgeoisie were the “people aspect” in the state power of the Republic of Indonesia with President Sukarno as the leader of this aspect, means to regard that the national bourgeois were able to lead the new type bourgeois democratic revolution. This is contrary to historical necessity and historical facts.
The PKI leadership declared that the “two aspect theory” was completely different from the “theory of structural reform”20 of the revisionist leadership of the Italian Communist Party. However, both theoretically and on the basis of practical realities, there is no difference between the two “theories”. Both have, for their starting point, the peaceful road to socialism. Both dream of a gradual change in the internal balance of forces and in the state structure. Both reject the road of revolution and both are revisionist.
The anti-revolutionary “two-aspect theory” glaringly manifested itself in the statement that “the struggle of the PKI with regard to the state power is to promote the pro-people aspect so as to make it bigger and dominant, and the anti-people force can be driven out from the state power”.21
The Party leadership even called this anti-revolutionary road the road of “revolution from above and below”. “From above” means that the PKI must encourage the state power to take revolutionary steps aimed at making changes in the personnel and in the state apparatus. While “from below” means that the PKI must arouse, organize and mobilize the people to achieve the same changes.22 it is indeed an extraordinary phantasy! The Party leadership did not learn from the fact that the concept of President Sukarno on the formation of a Cooperation Cabinet (the old-type Government of National Coalition), eight years after its announcement, had not been realized as yet, and there was even no sign that it would ever be realized, despite the insistent demands. Let alone a change in the state power!
It is true that Lenin once showed that there was the possibility of “action from above”, that is to take part in the provisional revolutionary government on the eve of the Russian Revolution of 1905. It was then a period of political upheavals in which a revolution had begun.23 If there was no possibility to act from above, according to Lenin, a pressure must be exercised from below, and for this purpose the proletariat must be armed. It is clear, how great was the difference between the situation and the conditions put forward by Lenin on the possibility of “action from above” as well as the conditions of “action from below”, and the situation as well as the conditions in Indonesia for a “revolution from above and below”. The first was put forward in a revolutionary situation, while the latter in a relatively peaceful condition. Furthermore, the latter was also put forward in an opportunist way.
The “two-aspect theory” is similar to Kautsky’s distortion of Marxist doctrines on the state. Kautsky theoretically did not deny that the state is an organ of class rule. What he lost sight of and glossed over was that “that liberation of the oppressed class is impossible not only without a violent revolution, but also without the destruction of the apparatus of state power which was created by the ruling class…”24
To clean itself for the mire of opportunism, or Party must discard this “theory of two aspects in the state power” and re-establish the Marxist-Leninist teaching on the state and revolution.
One of the serious mistakes corrected in “The New Road” was the neglect of the PKI in fostering the national united front during the August Revolution of 1945. The Communists neglected the establishment of the national united front as a weapon in the national revolution against imperialism.25
In the period after 1951, the question of establishing the national united front was decided as one of the most urgent task of the Party. The 5th National Congress of the PKI even decided that the building of a national united front constituted the second urgent task of the Party. This line was consistently maintained in the 6th National Congress of the Party and thereafter. The national united front was put in the primary pace in the “General Line” of the Party or as the first banner of the Three Banner of the Party. This shows how the Party leadership evaluated the national united front. From “neglecting” it in the second half of the forties, the Party leadership switched into regarding the national united front as the number one question.
The 5th National Congress of the Party in the main had solved theoretically the problem of the national united front. It was formulated that the worker-peasant alliance was the basis of the united front. With regard to the national bourgeoisie a lesson had been drawn on the basis of the experience during the August Revolution that this class had a wavering character. In a certain situation, the national bourgeoisie took part in and sided with the revolution, while in another situation they joined the comprador bourgeoisie to attack the motive forces of the revolution and betrayed the revolution (as shown by their stand toward the Madiun Provocation and the Round Table Conference Agreement). Based on this wavering character of the national bourgeoisie, the stand that must be taken by the PKI was formulated, namely, to make continuous efforts to win the national bourgeoisie over to the side of the revolution, while guarding against the possibility of its betraying the revolution. The PKI must follow the policy of unity and struggle towards the national bourgeoisie.
Nevertheless, since the ideological weakness of subjectivism in the Party, particularly among the Party leadership, had not yet been eradicated, our Party was dragged into more and more serious mistakes, so that ultimately the Party lost its independence in the united front with the national bourgeoisie. This mistake had resulted in the Party and the proletariat being placed as the appendage of the national bourgeoisie.
The process along which the mistakes in carrying out the national united front had developed can be briefly traced as follows:
Simultaneously with the work to rebuild the Party in 1951, efforts were made to win back the national bourgeoisie over to the side of the people. By utilizing the contradiction between the national bourgeoisie and the comprador bourgeoisie, the Party succeeded in winning the national bourgeoisie over to the side of the people. This was started during the struggle against the August Razzia launched by the Sukiman Administration and for the overthrow of this administration, which was successful with the formation of the Wilopo Cabinet. At that time and in the following years the Party was still weak and the alliance of the workers and peasants was not established as yet. So the united front with the national bourgeoisie was formed and developed not upon strong foundations, namely, the alliance of the working class and the peasantry under the leas of the working class.
The party leadership appraised the establishment of the united front with the national bourgeoisie as opening up possibilities for the development and the building of the Party and for the realization of the immediate task of the Party, namely, the formation of the alliance of the working class and the peasantry against feudalism.26 It was from this appraisal that the conclusion was made that the fostering of the national united front was the first urgent task of the PKI. It was implied in this conclusion that by the national united front the Party leadership meant; first and foremost, the united front with the national bourgeoisie.
In a situation in which a strong alliance of the working class and the peasantry was not yet formed, the united front with the national bourgeoisie could be maintained for two reasons: Firstly, because the national bourgeoisie in their contradiction with the comprador bourgeoisie, needed the support of the working class, Secondly , because the Party gave the needed support without arousing the apprehension of the national bourgeoisie that their position was threatened.
The formation of the united front with the national bourgeoisie resulted in the formation of those administrations which, to a certain extent, pursued an anti-imperialist policy and gave a little freedom of action to the PKI and the revolutionary mass organizations. This situation was indeed rather favourable to the work of expanding the Party, especially in the countryside, in order to establish the worker-peasant alliance. Furthermore, the political precondition for the forging of the alliance between the working class and the peasantry already existed in the form of the revolutionary agrarian programme.
However, in the course of the cooperation with the national bourgeoisie, the ideological weaknesses in the Party, in particular among the Party leadership, had grown and were influenced by the bourgeois ideology through that cooperation. The growth of the ideological weaknesses in the Party had made the Party gradually lose its independence in the united front with the national bourgeoisie. The Party gave too many concessions to the national bourgeoisie, so that it lost its independent role of leadership.
One of the manifestations of this loss of independence in the united front with national bourgeoisie was the evaluation and the stand of the Party leadership towards Bung Karno. The Party leadership did not adopt an independent attitude towards Bung Karno, and had always avoided conflict with Bung Karno; on the contrary, it had greatly overemphasized the similarities or the unity between the Party and Bung Karno. The public saw that there was no policy of Bung Karno that was not supported by PKI. The Party leadership went so far as to accept without any struggle the recognition of Bung Karno as the Great Leader of the Revolution and the leader of the “people aspect” in the state power of the Republic of Indonesia. In the articles and speeches of the Party leaders, it was frequently said that the struggle of the PKI was based not only on Marxism-Leninism, but also on “the teaching of Bung Karno”, that the PKI made rapid progress because it realized Bung Karno’s idea of Nasakom unity, Even the people’s democratic system in Indonesia was said to be in conformity with Bung Karno’s main ideas as expressed in his speech The Birth of Pancasila (June 1st, 1945).27 Thus the Party leadership did not educate the working people on the necessity to place the leadership of the revolution in the hands of the proletariat and their Party, namely, the PKI. The Party leadership boasted that the birth of the Political Manifesto meant that the persistent struggle of the Indonesian people led by the PKI had successfully brought the broad masses to recognize the correctness of the PKI’s programme. And therefore, to implement the Political Manifesto in a consistent manner is the same as implementing the programme of the PKI.28
The achieving of a common programme for the united front is indeed a good thing, and in the sense, the birth of the Political Manifesto, too, was a good thing, because to a certain extent it united the minds of the various anti-imperialist classes and groups, with regard to certain parts of the problem of the Indonesian revolution. However, it is not true that the birth of the Political Manifesto and its further elaboration meant the recognition by the broad masses of the correctness of the PKI’s programme. Because, only certain parts of the Party programme were in common with the Political Manifesto.
The Communists must not be naïve and consider that other classes who do not belong to the motive forces of the revolution can easily accept the programme of the PKI. They accepted those parts of the Party’s tactical programme which indeed might conform to their own interests. While those parts which were contrary to their interests, such as on the leading role of the working class, on the revolutionary agrarian programme, etc. were rejected by them. Even for those parts which they accepted, there was no guarantee that they would be implemented. Meanwhile, the reactionaries who still assumed a dominating position in the state power accepted hypocritically the Political Manifesto, to adjust themselves to the prevailing mainstream. Therefore, no matter how consistently the Political Manifesto would be implemented, it could never be the same as the programme of the PKI. Consequently, saying that consistently implementing the Political Manifesto was the same as implementing the programme of the PKI meant that it was not the programme of the PKI which was accepted by the bourgeoisie, but rather, it was the programme of the national bourgeoisie which was accepted by the PKI, and was made to replace the programme of the PKI.
The abandonment of principle in the united front with the national bourgeoisie had developed even further with the inclusion the Party document of the so-called “General Line of the Indonesian Revolution” that was formulated as follows: “With the national united front having the workers and the peasants as its pillars, the Nasakom as the core and the Pancasila as its ideological basis, to complete the national democratic revolution leading towards Indonesian socialism”.29. This so-called “General Line of the Indonesian Revolution” did not have even the faintest smell of revolution. Because, from the three preconditions to win the revolution, namely, a strong Marxist-Leninist party, a people’s armed struggle under the leadership of the Party, and a national united front, only the national united front was retained. Even then, it was not a revolutionary united front, because it was not led by the working class, nor was it based on the alliance of the working class and the peasantry under the leadership of the working class, but it was based on the Nasakom. It was said that without the Nasakom as the core, the national united front would be like a wheel without an axis which certainly would not be able to revolve.30
The Party leadership said that “the slogan for the national cooperation with the Nasakom as the core will by no means obscure the class content of the national united front”.31 This statement in incorrect, because apart from the working class party, other political parties mainly represented the national bourgeoisie, the compradors the bureaucrat-capitalists and the landlords. Since the comprador parties like the Mayumi and PSI had been banned the compradors landlords were worming their way into other political parties and organizations of the nationalist or religious trends. Thus, the class content of the Nasakom was the working class, the national bourgeoisie, and even elements of the compradors, the bureaucrat-capitalists and the landlords. Obviously, making the Nasakom as the core not only had obscured the class content of the national united front, but radically changed the meaning of the revolutionary united front into an alliance of the working class with all other classes, including the reactionary classes, or into class collaboration.
This error must be corrected. The Party must discard the erroneous “General Line of the Indonesian Revolution” and return to the correct conception of a revolutionary united front based on the alliance of the workers and peasants under the leadership of the working class. The abandonment of principle in the united front with the national bourgeoisie was also because the Party did not make a correct and concrete analysis of the concrete situation. In the article “The Indonesian Society and the Indonesian Revolution” (adopted by the 5th Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the PKI in July 1957, as a text book used in Party schools), it was said that overthrowing imperialism was the primary of the two urgent tasks, namely, the overthrow of imperialism and the liquidation of the vestiges of feudalism. This line was also found in difficulties variations in other documents of the Party, such as that “the spearhead today must be directed at the principal enemy, namely, imperialism”32 and that, “the main contradiction in Indonesia todays is the contradiction between the Indonesian people on the one hand, and the imperialist on the other hand.”33
From such erroneous views on the concrete situation came the slogan of “placing class interests”,34 which was dogmatically copied from the correct slogan of the Chinese Communist Party during the mobilization of resistance against the aggression by the Japanese imperialists.
This error rendered it impossible for the Party to build a strong and consolidated alliance of the workers and peasants, despite the widespread influence of the Party in the primary task”, all contradictions among the classes within the country, including the contradictions between the landlords and the peasants, must be subordinated to the “main contradiction between the Indonesian people and the imperialist”.
Ever since the failure of the August Revolution of 1945, except in West Irian, the imperialist did not hold direct political power in Indonesia. In Indonesia, political power was in the hands of compradors and landlords who represented the interest of imperialism and the vestiges of feudalism. Besides, there was no imperialist aggression in Indonesia taking place. Under such a situation, provided that the PKI did not make political mistakes, the contradictions between the ruling reactionary classes and the people would develop and sharpen, constituting the main contradiction in Indonesia. The primary task of the Indonesia revolution is the overthrow of the rule of the reactionary classes within the country who also represent the interests of the imperialist, in particular the United State imperialist. Only by fulfilling this task can the real liquidation of imperialism and the vestiges of feudalism be realized.
By correcting the mistakes made by the Party in the united front with the national bourgeoisie is not meant that now it is not necessary for the Party to unite with this class. So long as the economic structure of Indonesia is still colonial and semi-colonial in nature there will always be a stratum of the bourgeois class who suffers from the oppression by imperialism and the bonds of the vestiges of feudalism. This stratum of the bourgeois class is the national bourgeoisie who are, to a certain extent, against imperialism and the vestiges of feudalism. On the basis of the worker-peasant alliance under the leadership of the working class, the Party must work to win the national bourgeois class over to the side of the revolution.
Those were the main mistakes of Right opportunist in the political sphere committed by the PKI which had developed into revisionism and reached their climax on the eve of the “September 30th Affair”. When the deviation to the Right had become overall and complete, another tendency that was the opposite emerged, namely a “Leftist” tendency. This “Leftist” tendency manifested itself in the over-estimation of the strength of the Party, the working class and the rest of the working people, the exaggeration of the results of the people’s struggle and the underestimation of the strength of the reactionaries.
The political situation in the country at the time indeed began to reveal the existence of tensions. Political victories crowned the actions launched by the people, including the boycott of American films, the expulsion of the U.S. “Peace Corps”, the actions against the American Motion Picture Association in Indonesia and against its director, Bill Palmer, the banning of the reactionary Cultural Manifesto, the take-over of the British-owned enterprises, the dissolution of the so-called “Body for the Promotion of Sukarnoism” and the Murba Party; whereas the actions against U.S. aggression in Vietnam enjoyed ever broader support. In the various districts the peasants started unilateral actions to win their demands for the reduction of rents. Reacting to the victories of the people’s struggle, the domestic reactionaries in collusion with the U.S. imperialist were also intensifying their activities, creating provocations against the worker and peasants, spreading forged documents, etc.
The Thesis of the 45th Anniversary of the PKI stated on the one hand that “the bureaucrat-capitalists not only are worsening the present economic condition in Indonesia, but are also trying to seize political power through a coup d’etat”. On the other hand it stressed that “the growing resistance of the Indonesian people against imperialism, feudalism and the forces of counter-revolution in the country shows that today an increasingly mounting and ripening revolutionary situation exists in our country”.
According the Lenin, a revolutionary situation or a revolutionary period is a period “when the old ‘superstructure’ has cracked from top to bottom, when open political action on the part of the classes and masses who are creating a new superstructure for themselves has become a fact….”35 In comparison to what Lenin said, the political situation in Indonesia at that frame, even with the take-over of the British-owned enterprises and the anti-imperialist and anti-bureaucrat-capitalist demonstrations which took place in succession in the capital and other big cities, could not yet be said to have reached the stage of a revolutionary situation, let alone “an increasingly mounting and ripening revolutionary situation”. The demands raised in the actions that reached their climax in the demonstrations were essentially still in the framework of partial demands or reforms. Meanwhile, among the peasants, the main forces of the Indonesian revolution, their actions had not yet reached the highest stage nor were widely spread. What were alleged as thousands of actions a day in the rural areas were delusive, because such activities as submitting written petitions, repairing irrigation ditches, etc. were counted in registering peasants’ actions. Actions that were directly aimed against the native landlords were not many nor widespread.
The conclusion on the “ever ripening revolutionary situation” was nothing but the result of a method of thinking which regarded subjective wishes, feelings and imagination as reality. The Party leadership were afraid to see realities that differed from their subjective wishes. The Party leadership were displeased when the regional committees or other Party organization reported the fact that the degree of the development of the mass actions still fell short from the conclusion drawn.
As a result, to please the subjective wishes of the leadership, exaggerated assessments were made on the mass actions, in particular the peasants’ actions.
The Party leadership attempted to develop further the “ever ripening revolutionary situation” to become a “revolution”. This was put forward in the Statement of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the PKI on August 17, 1965.The Statement called on the Communists to work harder “in order to develop the present revolutionary situation further to its climax”, so that the people victories, but also fundamental victories”. This was the climax of the other mistake, the “Leftist” mistake, which dragged the Party leadership into adventurism that has brought a great disaster to the Party and the revolutionary movement in general.
THE MAIN MISTAKES IN THE ORGANIZATIONAL FIELD
The erroneous political line which dominated the Party was inevitably followed by an equally erroneous organizational line. The longer and the more intensively the wrong political line dominated in the Party, the greater were the mistakes in the organizational field, and the greater the losses caused by them. Right opportunism which constituted the wrong political line of the Party in the period after 1951 had been followed by an equally Right deviation in the organizational field, namely liberalism and legalism.
The line of liberalism in the organizational field manifested itself in the tendency to make the PKI a party with as large a membership as possible, a loose organization, which was called a mass party. The question of whether a Communist Party needs to have the largest possible membership (a mass party), or not too large a membership so long as their quality is high (a cadre party) is a question for the Communist Parties in the various countries. In the beginning, through the plan to expand the membership and organization, the PKI followed the line of becoming a mass party. But in the last few years, it was stated that the PKI was simultaneously a mass party and a cadre party. By a mass party it was meant a party with a large membership and a broad influence among the masses. By a cadre party it was meant a party whose members were armed with Marxism-Leninism and constituted the most active and leading elements among the masses.
How a Marxist-Leninist party should be organized and what should be the features of such a Marxist-Leninist party have been clearly explained by both Lenin and Stalin. The PKI has taken the essence of the features of a Marxist-Leninist party by stipulating in its Constitution that “the PKI is the advanced detachment and the highest form of class organization of the Indonesian proletariat”.
In fact, it should not be a question of dispute whether a Communist (Marxist-Leninist) party should become a mass party or a cadre party. Both are included in the features of the party whose essence is also laid down in the Constitution of the PKI. The Party’s role as the vanguard of the working class can be fulfilled only when, on the one hand, it constitutes the advanced detachment of the whole ranks of the working class, while on the other hand, it is not separated from the whole ranks of the working class.
Stalin has explained the meaning of the Party’s role as the vanguard in the following words: “The Party must absorb all the best elements of the working class, their experience, their revolutionary spirit, their selfless devotion to the cause of the proletariat. But in order that it may really be the advanced detachment, the Party must be armed with revolutionary theory, with a knowledge of the laws of the movement, with a knowledge of the laws of revolution. Without this it will be incapable of directing the struggle of the proletariat, of leading the proletariat…… The Party must stand at the head of the working class; it must see farther than the working class; it must lead the proletariat, and not drag at the tail of the spontaneous movement”.36
These words of Stalin clearly point out the conditions that must be fulfilled by a Marxist-Leninist party in order to realize its role as the vanguard party of the working class. Furthermore, these conditions clearly show that a Party member is not just anybody from among the working class, not an ordinary revolutionary, but he is one of the best elements of the working class who armed with the theory of Marxism-Leninism. Not everybody from among the working class meets the requirement of a Party member. In this sense, a Marxist-Leninist party is a cadre party.
Stalin has also explained that “the Party cannot be only an advanced detachment. It must at the same time be a detachment of the class, part of the class, closely bound up with it by all the fibres of its being. The distinction between the advanced detachment and the rest of the working class, between Party members and non-Party people cannot disappear until classes disappear;…. But the Party would cease to be a Party if this distinction developed into a gap, if the Party turned in on itself and became divorced from the non-Party masses. The Party cannot lead the class if it is not connected with the non-Party masses, if there is no bond between the Party and the non-Party masses, if these masses do not accept its leadership”.37 (Italics according to the original – Politbureau).
Stalin’s explanation shows the necessity for a Marxist-Leninist party to have a mass character. Because the role of the Party as an advanced detachment can only be realized when the Party is able to closely unite with and is supported by the non-Party masses. And the support of the masses can be obtained by the Party when it is capable of taking the correct attitude towards the people and of leading the people in the correct manner, and when it is capable of defending the interests of the people in all fields, first and foremost in the political field.
It is clear that the mass character of the Party or the feature as a mass party is not determined above all by the large membership, but primarily by the close ties linking the Party and the masses by the Party’s political line which defends the interests of the masses, or in other words by the implementation of the Party’s mass line. And the mass line of the Party can only be maintained when the prerequisites of the Party’s role as the advanced detachment are firmly upheld, when the Party members are made up of the best elements of the proletariat who are armed with Marxism-Leninism. Consequently, to build a Marxist-Leninist party which has a mass character is impossible without giving primary importance to Marxist-Leninist education.
During the last few years, the PKI had carried out a line of Party building which deviated from the principles of Marxism-Leninism in the organizational field. After the success in expanding the membership and the organization through short-term plans, the Party had successively carried out the First 3-Year Plan (Organization and Education), and the Second 3-Year Plan (Education and Organization), and was embarking on the 4-Year Plan (Culture, Ideology and Organization). Through the fulfilment of the short-term plans and the First and the Second 3-Year Plans, the PKI had spread to all parts of the country, to all islands and nationalities throughout Indonesia, with a membership of more than three million. This was a great achievement.
But at the same time, liberalism was increasingly growing in the Party. Though it was stated that the Second 3-Year Plan placed the stress on ideological education, in practice, however, the expansion of the membership and the organization had always been emphasized. The plan for expanding the membership was carried out in disregard to the organization’s capacity to take care of and educate the new members. Since the efforts were concentrated on reaching the figures fixed in the plan, the expansion of membership was thus carried out in violation of the stipulations of the Party Constitution. The organization of the PKI had been made so loose that everyone who had expressed his agreement with the programme of the PKI was accepted as a member. One could no longer clearly distinguish a Party member from a member of a mass organization led by the Party. The requirements for membership in the advanced detachment of the working class were altogether abandoned.
This liberal expansion of Party membership could not be separated from the political line of the "peaceful road". The large membership was intended to increase the influence of the Party in the united front with national bourgeoisie. And with a Party that was growing bigger and bigger and by continuing to unite with the national bourgeoisie, the balance of forces that would make it possible to completely defeat the diehard forces would be achieved. The interests of the "peaceful road" were even more graphically reflected in the organizational field by the implementation of the 4-Year Plan of the Party.
In this Plan, the stress was no longer laid on the education and the training of Marxist-Leninist cadres to prepare them for the revolution, for working among the peasants in order to establish revolutionary bases, but on intellectual education to serve the need of the work in the united front with the national bourgeoisie, and to fill in the various positions in the state institutions that were obtained thanks to the cooperation with the national bourgeoisie. The slogan of “total integration with the peasants” had merely become empty talk. Instead of sending the best cadres to work in the rural areas, what was being done in practice was to draw cadres from the countryside to the cities, from the regions to the centre.
To raise the prestige of the PKI in the eyes of the bourgeoisie, and to make it respected as a party of the intellectuals, the 4-YearPlan stipulated that all cadres of the higher ranks were required to complete academic education, cadres of the middle ranks high-school education, and cadres of the lower ranks lower middle-school education. For this purpose, a great number of academies, schools and courses were set up. So deep-rooted was the intellectualism gripping the Party leadership that all prominent figures of the Party and the popular movements were required to write four theses in order to obtain the degree of “Marxist Scientist”.
The deeper the Party was plunged into the mire of Right opportunism and revisionism, the greater it lost organizational vigilance, and the further legalism developed in the organization. The Party leadership had lost their class vigilance towards the falsity of bourgeois democracy. All the activities of the Party indicated as if the "peaceful road" was so certain. The Party leadership did not arouse the vigilance of the masses of Party members to the danger of attacks by the reactionaries who were constantly seeking for the chance to strike. It was due to this legalism in the organizational field, that within a short span of time counter-revolutionary had succeeded in paralysing the PKI organizationally.
Liberalism in organization had destroyed the principle of internal democracy of the Party, destroyed collective leadership and had given rise to personal leadership and personal rule, to autonomism which promoted the growth of personality cult. What was then practiced was no longer democratic centralism, democracy that is centralized, which should be carried out on the basis of the mass line and should link the leadership with the masses, but commandism based on the subjectivism wishes and the subjectivism interests of the leadership. Formally, the principles of internal democracy of the Party and the principles of collective leadership were not completely discarded. And formally, all the decisions of the leading bodies were taken unanimously. But at the same time, it was not seldom that decisions were made outside the supposedly competent leading bodies of the Party. This wrong method which ran counter to the Marxist-Leninist principles, had prevailed because among others of the following factors:
First, the mistakes in the organizational field, in particular those concerning the style of work which gave the Party leadership the conditions to build separate channels beyond the control of the Political Bureau and the Central Committee. The results was that the competent leading bodies of the Party such as the Political Bureau, were not placed in their proper position, nor considered the proper place to solve all affairs of the Party and of the revolution. Through these separate channels, the leadership were able to take political and organizational measures, including the disposition of cadres; and it was not seldom that the Political Bureau was merely to endorse those steps taken by the leadership, or to consider certain problems with only an incomplete and superficial knowledge of them.
Second, the lack of critical attitude towards the leadership in the Political Bureau, the Central Committee and other Party organizations. It had become a tradition that everything the leadership said was regarded as right and was carried out without being first discussed and thoroughly thought over. And this lack of critical attitude was due among other things to the theoretical weaknesses, which resulted in the lack of a strong foundation upon which to refute the views of the leadership, when these views were felt to be erroneous. In the last few years, after the Party set up the group of theoretical workers, Party leaders in general had been more and more detached from theoretical problems. When there were discussions which involved theoretical questions, practically only these theoretical workers took an active part. Besides, there was also the lack of courage to express a stand that was not in agreement with the line followed by the leadership.
Third, the belief was instilled in a Party which exaggerated the aspect of monolithic unity in the Party. It was as if no differences of opinion existed any more on matters of principles. As a result, it was regarded as an abnormality when there was any difference of opinion on matters of principle with the leadership. Such an atmosphere made Party cadres feel reluctant to air their views and feelings freely and openly with regard to the line pursued by the leadership which they considered incorrect. As a matter of fact, there were a number of cadres who did not agree with the opportunist or revisionist political and organizational lines followed by the Party leadership, though they did not raise their views, openly and freely in the collectives of the Party. However, the views and feelings of these cadres did not receive good response on the part of the leadership. The lack of freedom to express the views and feelings of the cadres was also influenced by the policy of the disposition of cadres that was marked by “favouritism” and, to a certain extent, by the existence of the isolation of certain cadres.
In a situation when liberalism dominated the organizational line of the Party, it was impossible to realize the Party’s style of work, namely, “integrating theory with practice, forging close links with the masses and practising self-criticism”. It was equally impossible to realize the method of leadership whose essence is the combination of the leadership with the masses; which must be realized by the leadership giving an example to the rank-and-file.
What actually took place was not the integration of the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the Indonesian revolution, but adjusting Marxist-Leninist teachings with the views of the bourgeoisie, systemizing and developing the views and the theories of the bourgeoisie and, under the slogan of “Indonesianization of Marxism-Leninism”, “developing Marxism-Leninism creatively”, etc. revising Marxism-Leninism.
The line of close relations with the masses and of integrating the leadership with the masses can be truly realized only when the Party integrates itself in the most consistent manner with the workers, farm labourers and poor peasants. And in the implementation of this line, the leadership must give an example to the rank-and-file. But this was not the case. Many Party cadres, especially higher-ranking cadres of the Party, and still more particularly those with certain skills to meet the demands of work in the various fields of governmental and semi-governmental institutions, had attained a standard of living which was by far different from the standard of living of the workers and the rest of the working people. They enjoyed the same facilities as the high-ranking official of the government.
In the Party even prevailed the tradition according to which the leaders of central and regional Party and revolutionary mass organizations should also have an official function in the government, in order to have additional authority, to become not only prominent in the Party but public figures as well, national or regionally. By the prevalence of this tradition, many leaders of the Party and the mass organizations devoted the greater part of their activities to the work in the governmental and semi-governmental institutions. This led to the lack of attention to Party life, both in the ideological and organizational fields.
In the regions, and particularly in the centre, the way of life led by a part of Party leaders was no longer adjusted to the way of life of the masses who were still suffering, but to that pursued by the bourgeoisie. All of this was carried out under the signboard of “acting in accordance with the grandeur of the Party”, “raising the prestige of the Party”, “leaving behind the old-fashioned way”, etc. among the leaders of the Party, there were even those who slid down in the decadent bourgeois morals, and besmeared Communist morality.
In such an atmosphere, the integration with the most suffering masses of the people could not possibly be realized. The appeals to “combat complacency”, to “be a good and still better Communist”, to “bring up a Communist family”, etc. were no more than a smoke-screen to hide the hypocrisy and the moral degradation among the Party leadership. These appeals were indeed not directed at the leadership. It was as if only cadres outside the leadership had committed misdeeds which did not conform to Communist morality. Simultaneously with the issuing of those appeals, the “bourgeois way of life” continued among the Party leadership.
When cadres from the regions looked up to the centre, instead of finding examples of Communist simplicity, both in Party life and in private life, they found examples of “luxury”, “modernity” and Communist “grandeur” in Party life as well as in private life. The Party leadership turned a deaf ear to the honest criticisms made by certain comrades and branded such criticisms as “backwardness”, “unwillingness to use the available facilities to the maximum in the interest of the Party and the people”, “failure to raise the prestige of the Party”, etc.
Thus in general the wrong political line which ruled in the Party was followed by the wrong line in the organizational field which violated the principles of a Marxist-Leninist party, destroyed the organizational foundations of the Party, namely, democratic centralism, and damaged the Party’s style of work and method of leadership.
To build the PKI as a Marxist-Leninist party, liberalism in the organizational field and the ideological source which had given birth to it must be thoroughly uprooted. The PKI must be rebuilt as a Lenin-type party, a party that will be capable if fulfilling its role as the advanced detachment and the highest form of class organization of the Indonesian proletariat, a party with a historical mission of leading the masses of the Indonesian people to win victory in the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal and anti-bureaucrat-capitalist revolution, to advanced towards socialism. Such a party must fulfil the following conditions: ideologically, it is armed with the theory of Marxism-Leninism, and free from subjectivism, opportunism and modern revisionism; politically, it has a correct programme which includes a revolutionary agrarian programme, has a thorough understanding of the problems of the strategy and tactics of the Indonesian revolution, masters the main form of struggle, namely, the armed struggle of the peasants under the leadership of the proletariat, as well as other forms of struggle, is capable of establishing a revolutionary united front of all anti-imperialist and anti-feudal classes and groups based on the worker-peasant alliance under the leadership of the working class; organizationally, it is strong and has a deep root among the masses of the people, consists of the most trusted, experienced and the most steeled Party members who set an example in the implementation of the national tasks.
Today, we are rebuilding our Party under the reign of unbridled counter-revolutionary white terror which is most cruel and ferocious. The legality of the Party and the basic human rights of the Communists had been completely violated. The Party, therefore, has to be organized and has to work in complete illegality. While working in the complete illegality, the Party must be adept at utilizing to the full all possible opportunities to carry out legal activities according to circumstances, and to choose ways and means that are acceptable to the masses with the aim of mobilizing the masses for struggle and leading this struggle step by step to a higher stage.
Naturally, in a situation when the Party must work in complete illegality, democratic centralism, in particular internal democracy, cannot be applied to the full in the Party. Under such a situation, every leading body of the Party must exert its energy to gain knowledge of and to handle correctly all the views and feelings of Party members. For this purpose, the Party’s Marxist-Leninist style of work, method of leadership and the principle of collective leadership must be consistently carried out.
In rebuilding the PKI along the Marxist-Leninist line, the greatest attention should be devoted to the building of Party organizations in the rural areas, to the establishment of revolutionary bases.
The task to rebuild a Marxist-Leninist as has been stated above is an arduous and protracted work, and full of danger, and consequently it must be carried out courageously, perseveringly, carefully, patiently and persistently.
THE WAY OUT
Once we know the weaknesses and mistakes of the Party during the period after1951 as has been explained above, weaknesses and mistakes that have brought about serious damage to the PKI and the revolutionary movement of the Indonesian people, it is clear to us that the most urgent task faced by the Indonesian Marxist-Leninist at the president time is, primarily, the rebuilding of the PKI as a Marxist-Leninist party which is free from subjectivism, opportunism and modern revisionism.
To rebuild the PKI as such a Marxist-Leninist party, Party cadres of all levels and then all Party members must reach a unanimity of mind with regard to the mistakes made by the Party in the past, as well as concerning the new road that must be taken.
As a result of the attacks of the third white terror, the Party has lost many cadres who had long years of experience in Party work and the work in revolutionary mass movement. However, when unanimity of mind has been reached regarding the principal mistakes made by the Party in the past and concerning the new road that must be taken, then stable leadership at all level can be established step by step from among the surviving cadres. These will be capable of fulfilling their tasks in leading the Party and the Indonesian people to overcome the difficulties one by one during this period in which counter-revolution reigns and the tide of revolution is at a low ebb, bringing the people’s struggle forward step by step and finally leading the new revolutionary high tide which will certainly come.
In order to reach such a unanimity of mind, a rectification movement must be carried out in the whole Party. Through this rectification movement we mean to remould the erroneous ideas of the past into correct ideas. To be able to advance along the new road, it is absolutely necessary to abandon the wrong road. It will not be possible to advance along the correct road without first completely abandoning the wrong one.
Under the present situation, it will not be easy to come to a unanimity of mind concerning all past mistakes down to the minutes details. But, what is absolutely necessary is a unanimity of mind regarding the fundamental problems dealt with in this self-criticism. Without understanding this fundamental problem, one will never be able to join in the realization of this heavy but great and noble task to build a Marxist-Leninist party in Indonesia, as a sure guarantee for the existence of a trusted leadership of the people’s democratic revolution in Indonesia. As has been analysed above, the opportunist and revisionist mistakes in the political and organizational fields made by our Party which have been subjected to this criticism were not merely the outcome of the social and historical conditions during the last decade, but their roots could be traced farther back in the social and historical conditions since the founding of our Party. Therefore, it is completely wrong to consider that everything will be alright, once we have made the present criticism and self-criticism. So long as the ideology of subjectivism is not completely eradicated from the Party, or worse still, if it is still to be found among the Party leadership, then our Party will not be able to avoid mistakes of Right or “Left” opportunism, because our Party will not be able to analyse the political situation correctly, and consequently will not be able to give the correct directives. It is above all the task of the leadership and the central cadres, and then of the regional leadership and cadres at all levels to combat subjectivism persistently and wholeheartedly.
Subjectivism can be effectively combated and liquidated only when the ability of the whole Party to distinguish proletarian ideology from the ideology of the petty bourgeoisie is raised, and when criticism and self-criticism is encouraged. The ability of the whole Party to distinguish proletarian ideology from the ideology of the petty bourgeoisie can only be raised by intensifying the education of Marxism-Leninism. The Party must educate its members to apply the Marxist-Leninist method in analysing the political situation and in evaluating the forces of existing classes, so that subjective analysis and evaluation can be avoided. The Party must direct the attention of the members to the investigation and study of social and economic conditions, in order to be able to define the tactics of struggle and the corresponding method of work. The Party must help the members to understand that without investigating the actual conditions they will get bogged down in phantasy.
The awareness of the mistakes made by Party in the past is a very favourable condition to master the revolutionary soul of Marxism-Leninism. Therefore, the Indonesian Marxist-Leninist must spare neither efforts nor energy to overcome the difficulties brought about by the current white terror for the endeavour to study Marxism-Leninism.
The experience of the struggle waged by the Party in the past has shown how indispensable it is for the Indonesian Marxist-Leninist, who are resolved to defend Marxism-Leninism and to combat modern revisionism, to study not only the teaching of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, but also in particular, to study the thoughts of Mao Tsetung, who has succeeded in inheriting, defending and developing Marxism-Leninism to its peak in the present era.
The PKI will be able to hold aloft the banner of Marxism-Leninism, only when it takes a resolute stand in opposing modern revisionism which today is centred around the leading group of the CPSU. Opposing modern revisionism cannot be carried out while, at the same time, preserving the friendship with the modern revisionist. The PKI must abandon the wrong attitude it held in the past with regard to the question of the relations with the modern revisionists. Loyalty to proletarian internationalism can only be manifested by a merciless stand in the struggle against modern revisionism, because modern revisionism has destroyed proletarian internationalism, and betrayed the struggle of the proletariat and the oppressed peoples all over the world.
In rebuilding the Party, the Indonesian Marxist-Leninist must devote their attention to the creation of the conditions to lead the armed agrarian revolution of the peasants, that will become the main form of struggle to win victory for the people’s democratic revolution in Indonesia. This means that the greatest attention should be paid to the rebuilding of Party organizations in the rural areas. The greatest attention must be paid to the solution of the problem of arousing, organizing and mobilizing the peasants in an anti-feudal agrarian revolution. The integration of the Party with the peasants, in particular with farm labourers and poor peasants, must be conscientiously carried out. Because, only through such an integration, will the Party be able to lead the peasantry, and the peasantry, for their part, will be capable of becoming the invincible bulwark of the people’s democratic revolution.
As a result of the attacks of the third white terror, Party organizations in the rural areas in general have suffered greater damage, rendering it more difficult and arduous to work in the countryside. But this does not in any way change the inexorable law that the main force of the people’s democratic revolution in Indonesia is the peasantry, and its base area is the countryside. With the most resolute determination that everything is for the masses of the people, the Indonesian Marxist-Leninists will certainly be able to overcome the grave difficulties. By having wholehearted faith in the masses and by relying on the masses, the Indonesian Marxist-Leninist will certainly be able to transform the backward Indonesian villages into great and consolidated military, political, and cultural bastions of revolution.
The Indonesian peasants are the most interested in the people’s democratic revolution. Because, only this revolution will liberate them from the life of backwardness and inequality as a result of feudal suppression. It is only this revolution that will give them what they dreamt of all their lives, and which will give them life: land. That is why the peasants will surely take this road of revolution for land and liberation, no matter how arduous and full of twists and turns this road will be.
Obviously, the second task of the Indonesian Marxist-Leninist at present is the creation of the necessary conditions for the armed agrarian revolution of the peasants under the leadership of the proletariat. Provided that the Indonesian Marxist-Leninist succeed in arousing, organizing and mobilizing the peasants to carry through an anti-feudal agrarian revolution, the leadership of the working class in people’s democratic revolution, and the victory of this revolution, are assured.
However, the Party must continue the efforts to establish a revolutionary united front with other anti-imperialist and anti-feudal classes and groups. Based on the alliance of the working class and the peasantry under the leadership of the proletariat, the Party must work to win over the urban petty bourgeoisie and other democratic forces, and must also work to win over the national bourgeoisie as an additional ally in the people’s democratic revolution. The present objective conditions offer the possibility for the establishment of a broad revolutionary united front.
The military dictatorship of the Right-wing army generals Nasution and Suharto is but the manifestation of the rule by the most reactionary classes in the country, namely, the comprador bourgeoisie, the bureaucrat-capitalists and landlords. The domestic reactionary classes under the leadership of the clique of Right-wing army generals exercise the dictatorship over the Indonesian people, and act as the watchdogs guarding the interests of imperialism, in particular United States imperialism, in Indonesia. Consequently, the coming-into-power of the military dictatorship of the Right-wing army generals will certainly serve to intensify the suppression and exploitation of the Indonesian people by imperialism and feudalism.
The military dictatorship of the Right-wing army generals represents the interests of only a very small minority who suppresses the overwhelming majority of the Indonesian people. That is why the military dictatorship of the Right-wing army generals will certainly meet with the resistance from the broad masses of the people. The military dictatorship of the Right-wing army generals does not represent the masses of soldier in the Armed Forces of the Indonesian Republic, either. Therefore, resistance to the military dictatorship of the Right-wing army generals also arises from among the soldier. It is clear then that in the struggle to smash the military dictatorship of the Right-wing army generals, there is the possibility to establish the broadest possible front.
The present situation is different from the situation during the second white terror (Madiun Provocation). At present, not all of the middle forces join the counter-revolution in attacking the motive forces of the revolution. The Left-wing of the middle forces, having also been made the targets of attacks by counter-revolution, are putting up resistance. The number of these middle forces resisting the military dictatorship of the Right-wing army generals is increasing. The Party must continue to forge a united front with these forces.
Thus, the third urgent task faced by the Indonesian Marxist-Leninists is to establish a revolutionary united front with all anti-imperialist and anti-feudal classes and groups based on the worker-peasant alliance under the leadership of the working class.
Thus, it has become clear that to win victory for the people’s democratic revolution, the Indonesian Marxist-Leninists must hold aloft the Three Banners of the Party, namely:
The firs banner, the building of a Marxist-Leninist party which is free from subjectivism, opportunist and modern revisionism.
The second banner, the armed people’s struggle which, in essence, is the armed struggle of the peasants in an anti-feudal agrarian revolution under the leadership of the working class.
The third banner, the revolutionary united front based on the worker-peasant alliance under the leadership of the working class.
The political Bureau has hereby made self-criticism on the serious weaknesses and grave mistakes of the Party during the period since 1951 that have brought about grave damage to the Party and the entire revolutionary movement.
The tasks faced by the Indonesian Marxist-Leninists are very arduous. They have to work under the most savage and barbarous terror and persecution which have no parallel in history. However, the Indonesian Marxist-Leninists do not have the slightest doubt that, by correcting the mistakes made by the Party in the past, they are now marching along the correct road, the road of people’s democratic revolution. No matter how protracted, tortuous and full of difficulties, this is the only road leading to a free and democratic New Indonesia, an Indonesia that will really belong to the Indonesian people, for which we must have the courage to traverse the long road.
The Indonesian Marxist-Leninists and revolutionaries, on the basis of their own experience in struggle, do not have the slightest doubt about the correctness of Comrade Mao Tsetung’s thesis that the imperialist and all reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance they are terrifying, but in reality they are not so powerful. From a long term point of view, it is the people who are really powerful. The military dictatorship of the Right-wing army generals which is now in power is also a paper tiger. In appearance they are powerful and terrifying. But in reality they are not so powerful, because they are not supported but, on the contrary, are opposed by the people, because their ranks are beset by contradiction, and because they are quarrelling among themselves for a bigger share of the plunder, and for greater power. The imperialist, in particular the United States imperialist, who are mainstay of the military dictatorship of the Right-wing army generals are also paper tigers. In appearance they are powerful and terrifying, but in reality they are weak and heading towards their downfall. The weakness of imperialism, is demonstrated by their inability to conquer the heroic Vietnamese people and to check the tide of the anti-imperialist struggle waged by the people all over the world, including the American people themselves, who are furiously dealing blows at U.S. imperialism.
From the strategic point of view, the imperialism and all reactionaries are weak and consequently we must despise them. By despising the enemies strategically, we can build up the courage to fight them and the confidence to defeat them. At the same time, we must take them all seriously, take full account of their strength tactically, and refrain from taking adventurist steps against them.
Today we are in an era when imperialism is undergoing its total collapse and socialism is marching forward triumphantly all over the world. No force on earth can prevent the total downfall of imperialism and all over reactionaries, and no force can block the victory of socialism throughout of the world. The military dictatorship of the Right-wing army generals as a watch-dog guarding the interests of imperialism in Indonesia will also not be able to avert its destruction. The vicious and savage massacre and tortures against the hundreds of thousands of Communists and democrats which they are still continuing today, will not be able to prevent the people and the Communists from rising up in resistance. On the contrary, all the brutalities and cruelties will certainly arouse the tit-for-tat resistance struggle of the people. The Communists will avenge the death of their hundreds of thousands of comrades with the resolve to serve still better the people, the revolution and the Party.
The Indonesian Marxist-Leninists who are suffering from the attack of the third white terror express their most heartfelt gratitude for the solidarity of the Marxist-Leninists all over the world. The solidarity has strengthened the convictions of the Indonesian revolutionaries in the inseparable bonds linking their struggle for national liberation and the struggle of the international proletariat for socialism. The Indonesian Marxist-Leninists will spare neither efforts nor energy to fulfil the best wishes of the world Marxist-Leninists by resolutely defending Marxism-Leninism in struggle against modern revisionism by working still better for the liberation of their people and country, and for the world proletarian revolution.
The Indonesian Marxist-Leninists who are united in mind and determined to take the road of revolution, by putting their wholehearted faith in the people, by relying on the people, by working courageously, perseveringly, conscientiously, patiently, persistently and vigilantly, will surely be able to accomplish their historical mission, to lead the people’s democratic revolution, to smash the military dictatorship of the Right-wing army generals and to set up a completely new power, the people’s democratic dictatorship. With the people’s democratic dictatorship, the joint poser of anti-imperialist and anti-feudal classes and groups under the leadership of the working class, the Indonesian people will completely liquidate imperialism and the vestiges of feudalism, build a free and democratic few society, and advance towards socialism where the suppression and exploitation of man by man no longer exist.
Let us closely to take the road of revolution which is illuminated by the teaching of Marxism-Leninism, the road leading to the liberation of the Indonesian people and proletariat, the road leading to socialism.
POLITICAL BUREAU OF THE CC PKI
Central Java, September 1966
1 Lenin, “Left Wing” Communism, An Infantile Disorder.
2 The New Road for the Republic of Indonesia (Resolution of the Political Bureau of the CC PKI, August 1948).
3 Mao Tsetung, Our Study and the Current Situation (Speech made by Comrade Mao Tsetung at a meeting of senior cadres in Yenan on April 12, 1944).
4 Lenin, What Is To Be Done?
5 Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism.
6 D.N. Aidit, Be a Good and Still Better Communist.
7 Lenin, What Is To Be Done?
8 Lenin, Lecture on 1905 Revolution.
9 D.N. Aidit Report to the Second Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the 6th Congress of the PKI.
10 Mao Tsetung, Selected Works, Vol. IV, English edition.
11 D.N.Aidit, Raise High the Banner of Revolution.
13 Lenin, What Is To Be Done? (The complete text of the quotation reads as follows: “… a movement that is starting in a young country can be successful only if it implements the experience of other countries. And in order to implement this experience, it is not enough merely to be acquainted with it, or simply to transcribe the latest revolutions. What it requires is the ability to treat this experience critically and to test it independently”. –Tr)
14 D.N.Aidit, Raise High the Banner of Revolution.
15 Mao Tsetung, The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party, English Edition.
16 Lenin, The State and Revolution.
18 D.N.Aidit, Raise High the Banner of Revolution.
19 Lenin, The State and Revolution.
20 The leadership of the Italian Communist Party holds that the dictatorship of the proletariat in Italy can be established, not through a proletarian revolution by smashing the bourgeois state machine, but through the gradual reforms in the state structure by making use of the Italian Constitution and by parliamentary means.
21 D.N.Aidit, Raise High the Banner of Revolution.
23 Lenin, Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution.
24 Lenin, The State and Revolution.
25 The New Road for the Republic of Indonesia (Resolution of the Political Bureau of the CC PKI, August 1948).
26 D.N.Aidit, Lessons from the History of the PKI (Speech of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the PKI).
27 D.N. Aidit Report to the Fourth Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the 5th Congress of the PKI.
28 21 D.N.Aidit, Raise High the Banner of Revolution.
29 D.N. Aidit Report to the Fourth Plenary Session of the CC PKI, May 1965.
30D.N.Aidit, General Report to the 7th Congress of the PKI (1962)
31 D.N.Aidit, Raise High the Banner of Revolution.
32 D.N.Aidit, Speech at the First Party Conference on the Work Among the Peasants.
33 D.N.Aidit, Raise High the Banner of Revolution.
34 D.N. Aidit, Report to the Second Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the 6th Congress of the PKI.
35 Lenin, Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution.
36 Stalin, Problems of Leninism.
 *Bung Karno, is the name by which President Sukarno was popularly called, meaning Brother Karno.
 *Dwitunggal, literally means oneness of the two.
 *Non-commissioned officers.
 *Nasakom: the acronym of Nasionalis, Agama, Komunis. President Sukarno’s idea of the unity of the three major groupings in Indonesia: the nationalists, the religious believers and the Communists.
 Pancasila, five Principles enunciated by Sukarno in 1945: Belief in God, Nationalism, Humanism, Social Justice, People’s Sovereignty, Proclaimed as the ideological basis of the bourgeois state of the Republic of Indonesia.
 PSI (Party Sosialis Indonesia): an intensely anti-communist party of the Right-wing socialists. Its leaders are compradors of both British and U.S. imperialism. Took an active part in the rebellion of the PRRI/Permesta in 1958.
 Murba Party: a minuscule reactionary party with Trotskyite tendencies.