[Marxism] Re: Tan Malaka

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Thu Mar 23 15:35:17 MST 2006

On Tan Malaka's role in the Indonesian independence struggle I can
recommend Ben Anderson's "Java in a Time of Revolution". Helen Jarvis tells
me that her translation of Tan's autobiography "From Jail to Jail" contains
a long intro about him. I would expect that's also very useful, but I
regret I've never chased it up (I have the Indonesian language version of
the autobiography, which alas I found somewhat tedious.)

Regarding the debates in the Comintern, his contribution was certainly
noteworthy. Tan is far and away the most admired historical figure in the
eyes of today's Indonesian leftists. It was not unusual for people to ask
me "Why didn't Lenin listen to Tan Malaka?" Unfortunately this tended to
come from people whose politics were vague and populist and who were
themselves influenced by Islam (most Indonesian leftists are religious).

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