DSP/East Timor

Philip L Ferguson PLF13 at SPAMstudent.canterbury.ac.nz
Sat Sep 11 19:51:48 MDT 1999

Gary writes:

>The oligarchy they put in power in 1965
>have now to make way so that the international business community can have
>a full and free run at the trough. Neo-liberalism is about to hit Indonesia
>in a very big way.  It will of course all be packaged as democracy.  But to
>repeat the point, the Americans are engineering a change in Indonesia.
>Independence for East Timor was somehow part of the democratization package.

Yes, this is absolutely crucial.  Cde Monteiro from Portugal has made this
point too.

This is what the US in particular has been doing around the globe for much
of the 1990s.  Very different, on the surface anyway, from the 70s when
they were organising right-wing military coups a la Pinochet.

But the goal is the same: securing political stability in a way that allows
economic exploitation to take place with as few obstacles as possible.  Two
decades ago the obstacles were radical political forces, militant working
classes and trade unions and so on; these could only be edefeated through
military coups.  These days, the old Western-backed regimes themselves have
become obstacles and been steadily removed - Marcos, Boukassa, Duvalier,
and a whole host of others.  Most recently Suharto.

The imperialists, with the aid of people like Aquino, have been able to
esnure that rising democracy movements had their teeth drawn and/or were
outmanoeuvred.  In Indonesia, the West wants a more 'liberal', 'democratic'
regime - the western powers don't want a military dictatorship, which is
what the DSP leaders seem to think is the West's preferred option.

And if Western troops go into East Timor, even in the guise of UN
'peacekeepers' (which is actually the imperialists' preferred modus
operandi these days), East Timor will be independent in name only.  It will
be an enclave of the imperialists who 'free' it.

The space opening up in Australia that Gary talks about sounds really
exciting, much more so than the current situation in New Zealand.  This
makes the DSP position, however, even worse.  They seem to have slipped
into the position formerly occupied by, say, the CPA, trying to build a
'respectable' left alternative to Labour.

The other problem, which Gary touches on, is that revolution is not

In any case, I would've thought there would be plenty of leeway for all
kinds of protests to bloom - from workers' bans, to the standard old
'peaceful, legal' stuff so beloved of the DSP, through to egg-throwing, and
paint splattering.  And wouldn't the role of Marxists be to be involved in
all of it.
People who freak out because an egg or two is thrown at Garuda, are not
going to seriously challenge the Australian state.


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