Indonesia has one of the most militant histories of workers' struggle. It was the birthplace of the largest Communist Party that ever existed outside Soviet Union and China in the 60s. With up to 3 million members and 10 millions sympathizers from the trade unions and the peasants unions, it commanded the third largest Communist Party at that time. However, in one single stroke, this party crumbled into dust along with it the workers and peasants movement. For the next 32 years, the Indonesian people were ruled by a vicious military dictatorship under General Suharto.
Many historians and left activists have been struggling to explain this enigma. How could a party so big be completely destroyed literally overnight, and without even putting up a fight? The answer lies not in the strength of the reactionary forces in Indonesia and their imperialist masters, or any conspiracies. While it is no doubt that the imperialists and the bourgeoisie were the active forces who perpetrated the massacre of up to one and a half millions communist workers and peasants (some estimate put it as high as three millions), the power-to-be would not have such an easy victory if it had not been for the disastrous policies of the leadership of PKI.
The Menshevik-Stalinist policy of two-stage and alliance with the "progressive" national bourgeoisie was the main cause of this bloody catastrophe that pushed the class struggle in Indonesia 50 years back. With 3 million members and a massive support from the workers and peasants, PKI could have easily taken power into its hand, completed the national democratic tasks which the so-called progressive national bourgeoisie couldn't complete, and grew over to the socialist tasks of nationalizing the economy and reorganize the production along socialist lines. However, their two-stage theory dictated that they completed first the national democratic revolution under the leadership of the "progressive" national bourgeoisie, completely subordinating class struggle for national struggle in the name of the "people's democratic state". Even at the 11th hour when their party was on the verge of complete annihilation by the reactionary forces and their members hunted and sent to "concentration camps", the PKI leadership still clung to the already impotent Sukarno government. Such was the treacherous nature of the two-stage theory.
With the collapse of Stalinism in 1991 (not communism or socialism as the bourgeoisie media would like us to believe), it is high time to crush this caricature of Marxism: the two-stage theory and socialism in one country theory. Unfortunately, such vulgarization of Marxism will not go away automatically, as a matter of fact, it is still being held and practiced by many young activists in Indonesia who received their theoretical trainings - directly or indirectly - from ex-members of PKI. A systematic and persistent ideological struggle still needs to be waged in Indonesia. The profound theory of Permanent Revolution, formulated by Trotsky, is the complete answer to the bankruptcy of the Stalinist-Menshevik theory.
With the help of a number of Indonesian activists, the International Marxist Tendency will be publishing for the first time the Indonesian version of Permanent Revolution (and Results & Prospects). This book will be a very important tool for the Indonesian activists to grasp the essence of Marxism, freed them from Stalinist perversion, and re-orientate their politics toward a revolutionary goal.
Help IMT Publish the Indonesian Version of Permanent Revolution!
This important book is in the final process of editing and it is scheduled to be published in March 2009. However, the publication of this book costs money (20 million Rupiah or US$ 2000 for 1000 copies). We therefore appeal to our comrades, supporters, and readers of marxist.com around the world to help us publish this important work of Trotsky in Indonesia by donating money. We appeal to every revolutionaries around the world to help our comrades in Indonesia so that they can access the most important theory of Marxism and rearm themselves with the correct revolutionary perspective.
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