November 1927

Inprekorr, vii, 119, p. 2711, 2 December 1927


Together with the revolutionary struggles in China, the rising in Indonesia at the end of 1926 and beginning of 1927 was one of the most important events proving that the oppressed masses of the East have already been drawn into the world-wide struggle between capital and labour. The ECCI has made a very thorough examination of the lessons of the Indonesian revolt.

The national-revolutionary movement in Indonesia differs from similar movements in other colonies because of the absence of any native bourgeoisie and the presence of concentrated proletarian masses in the large concerns owned by the imperialists; the working class began comparatively easily to take an active part in the movement.

The serious economic position of the masses, the impoverishment of the petty bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia, and the parallel growth of the communist party (which is the most important political organization among the Indonesian people) and the red trade unions are the characteristic features of Indonesian development in the last few years.

(. . .)

The revolt broke out in November 1926, at first in Java and then in Sumatra. Both were bloodily suppressed, but their importance is tremendous, marking a culmination point in the history of the Indonesian national-revolutionary movement.

They differed from the hunger revolts in which the history of this Indonesian colony is so rich in being a conscious and organized attempt to overthrow by armed force the rule of the Dutch occupiers.

The revolt took place under the leadership of the communist party. Hundreds of the best Indonesian communists were shot or thrown into jail. Even before the revolt the best leaders had been arrested. The party made great efforts to prepare itself for the revolt (...) but its entire course showed the lack of serious political and organizational preparation of the movement as a whole. It is highly characteristic that the revolt was conducted under the general slogan of fighting Dutch imperialism, without concrete political and economic slogans which might have mobilized the broad masses and brought the revolt to the final and decisive point of a general strike and a peasant uprising. (. . .)

During the revolt and in the period following its defeat the Dutch socialdemocrats, section of the Second International, consciously played the part of bodyguard to the Dutch slave-holders. They openly defended Dutch imperialism.

(. . .)

What now are the tasks of the Indonesian Communist Party? Its first task is to rebuild the party as a completely independent organization, even at the cost of the greatest sacrifices.

The party must make every effort to rebuild the trade unions and to fight for their legalization. Using the trade unions as a basis, it must build up a mass workers' party.

While maintaining its illegal organization, the party must use every legal opening (such as elections, etc.). It must work actively in the national organizations, above all in those for young people. Connexions must be established with the left-wing labour movement in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, and above all with the national-revolutionary and workers' movement in China.

While preparing the masses for a new onslaught on Indonesian imperialism, and for the fight for an independent Indonesian republic, the communist party must train and organize them at the same time for the struggle for day-to-day demands, such as an amnesty for political prisoners, withdrawal of the occupation army, the right of association, the eight-hour day, abolition of Dutch as the official language, etc.



III. International