What happened in Indonesia

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at mailbox.swipnet.se
Thu Apr 4 02:54:11 MST 1996


Louis, I thought your posting on Indonesia in M1 was excellent.

When you write:

>The best way to understand the Indonesian tragedy is not in terms of
>flawed tactics on the part of the PKI, but rather as a mistake in
>fundamental political orientation.

I would only add that 'fundamental political orientation' is the same as
proletarian leadership.

And to your quotes, both from Mao and the following from the PKI leader:

>This statement of Aidit's in 1961 clearly describes his party's
>orientation:
>
>"...in carrying out our national struggle we must hold firmly to the
>basic principle: place the class interests and of the Party below the
>national interest, that is, place the national interest above the
>interests of class and of the Party."

I would only add that this is

a)      an expression of the counter-revolutionary foreign policy dictated
        by the Stalinist strategy of Socialism in One Country as applied by
        the Maoist regime in China and forced on non-Chinese Maoist CPs;

b)      a particularly crass example of class-collaborationism and pure
        anti-Marxism infecting the leadership of a mass workers' party.

For M2 fundamentalists who might need a bit of prompting to get the
relevance of this posting to M2-Marxism, the following might help.

Marx and Engels devoted the whole of their theoretical and practical lives
to the interests of the class and the Party.

They saw history as the working out of class contradictions through class
struggle. They never subordinated class interest to great power chauvinist
interests the way the Stalinist school of 'Marxism' and its Maoist offshoot
did.

This means that concrete examples and criticism of the misapplication of
Marxist principles regarding the interrelationship of national and class
questions are relevant to Marxism (unless of course you redefine Marxism to
exclude the interrelationship of national and class questions - anyone
game?).

An interesting debate here would be the relationship of national
emancipation from imperialism/Stalinism to the interests of the working
class. A classic example is provided by the polemic between Lenin and Rosa
Luxemburg. Current examples are legion: Bosnia, Ireland, the Basque
Country, Palestine, Afghanistan, South Africa, Peru, Kurdistan etc.

Engels himself participated in such a liberation struggle - The Campaign
for the German Imperial Constitution of 1848-49.

In M&E's day, the imperialists above all others were Tsarist Russia,
Austria and England, which makes their comments on the Crimean war, the
emancipation movements in Hungary and Italy, and the questions of Ireland
and India particularly relevant.


Cheers,

Hugh




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