THE FASCIST COUP IN INDONESIA AND THE LESSONS COMMUNISTS DRAW FROM IT
Article published in the newspaper
«Zëri i popullit»
May 11, 1966
The tragedy which the Indonesian people and communists are experiencing should shock the conscience of all progressive people. The Indonesian fascists, assisted openly and indirectly by the US imperialists and the Khrushchevite revisionists, are repeating, on an ever larger scale, what the nazis did in the past after they took power. Their hand must be stayed. Every honest man, every revolutionary, every anti-fascist should raise his voice in powerful protest against the massacre of communists and progressives in Indonesia. Today this is the most elementary duty of all, because it is a real crime that the most rabid reactionaries should murder hundreds of thousands of innocent people (probably in no war, except the world wars, have there been so many victims)
and go unpunished.
The Albanian people and communists express their internationalist solidarity with the Indonesian communists, victims of the fascist terror. We are convinced that regardless of the great damage it has suffered, the Indonesian Communist Party will reply to the fascists with a determined revolutionary struggle for the total defeat of reaction. Now it is clear that there is but one way open to Indonesian communists and patriots to oppose fascism and the terror: they must respond to the counterrevolutionary violence with revolutionary violence, with the armed struggle of workers and peasants in defence of freedom and democracy.
The developments in Indonesia are a bitter fact for the communists and for all revolutionaries. However, what has happened in Indonesia constitutes a major experience which must be carefully studied and valuable lessons must be drawn from it. The revolution never goes straight ahead. It advances through triumphs and setbacks. It is the duty of revolutionaries and Marxist-Leninists to consolidate the victories, while they must learn from the temporary setbacks and draw the necessary conclusions so that the revolution is raised to a higher level and waged with even greater force. The experience of a revolution is useful, not just to the revolutionaries and communists of one country alone, but to all revolutionaries, to all the Marxist-Leninists of the world. Therefore, not only the Indonesian communists, but all the revolutionaries and communists of the various countries should draw the appropriate lessons from the Indonesian events. This is of first-rate importance.
The Indonesian Communist Party grew up and developed as a Marxist-Leninist party in stern class struggle against internal and external enemies. After the heavy blows it received from reaction in 1927 and 1948, when thousands of communists and the whole leadership of the party were massacred, the Indonesian Communist Party was rebuilt through struggle and effort until it became, such a force that, from the number of its members, it represented the biggest communist party of the capitalist countries. There is no doubt that, despite the major losses it is suffering now, little by little, through courageous and consistent revolutionary Marxist-Leninist struggle it will recover once again. We Albanian communists are firmly convinced that the Indonesian communists will carefully analyse their work up to date, that they will discover the shortcomings, mistakes and weaknesses which have been manifested in the work of the Party, and will draw the necessary conclusions, so that in the future, the Indonesian Communist Party will lead the Indonesian people to success in their revolution. No one can do this better than the Indonesian communists themselves.
The events in Indonesia are not an isolated phenomenon.
They are links of a single chain, a component part of the assault of international reaction against the communist movement and the peoples' liberation struggle.
They are linked with the aggressive activity of US imperialism in Vietnam and elsewhere, with the bloody imperialist intervention in San Domingo and throughout Latin America, with the organization of counter-revolutionary coups against several new states in Africa, with the subversive, disruptive activities which the Khrushchevite revisionists have long been engaged in within the ranks of the international communist movement, with their sabotage of the peoples' national liberation struggle, with the active support they are giving US imperialism and all the various reactionaries, and so on.
For this reason the revolutionaries and communists of various countries must give these phenomena serious consideration, must analyse them carefully and draw the necessary conclusions so that the revolutionary struggle will advance steadily from victory to victory.
HOW MUCH ARE «DEMOCRATIC FREEDOMS» WORTH IN A BOURGEOIS STATE AND HOW SHOULD THEY BE UTILIZED
The bourgeoisie and, together with them, the modern revisionists have a lot to say about and count heavily on the so-called democratic freedoms. In fact, for the sake of appearances, in every bourgeois state considered democratic there are certain relatively democratic «freedoms». We say relatively, because they never go beyond the bounds of the bourgeois concept of «freedom» and «democracy», because they extend just so far as will not jeopardize the vital interests of the bourgeoisie in power.
Naturally, the working class and progressive people utilize these conditions to organize themselves, to propagate their views and ideology, and to prepare for the overthrow of the exploiting classes and the seizure of power.
Following the Second World War, as a result of the victory over fascism and the role played by the communist parties in the anti-fascist war, communist parties in many capitalist countries of Europe succeeded in taking part in the government (as in France, Italy, Finland and so on), in having a large number of deputies in the parliament,
important posts in the state apparatus and even in the army, and so on.
Likewise, at various periods during the past 15 years favourable conditions for the party of the working class and progressive forces were created in certain countries of the Middle East, such as Iran and Iraq; in Latin America, such as Guatemala, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, etc.
A very favourable situation was created in Indonesia. The Indonesian Communist Party grew rapidly, it took part in the government, exerted a major influence in the internal and foreign policy of the country, and so on.
But even in the conditions of «democratic freedoms», a bitter class struggle, a struggle for life or death, goes on between the revolution and reaction, between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. If the proletariat and their party strive to consolidate their positions, reaction and the bourgeoisie, on their part, are not asleep. On the contrary, by using the bourgeois state apparatus, the police and armed forces, corruption and subversion, by nurturing opportunism and reformist and pacifist illusions within the ranks of the working class, and so on, they make serious preparations to strengthen their positions and to smash the revolutionary forces.
The development of events after the Second World War shows that, within the framework of «democratic freedoms», the bourgeoisie has acted energetically in various ways to liquidate the revolutionary movement of the working class.
When the bourgeoisie and reaction had consolidated their positions, they ousted the communists from the government, from important state posts and from the army, as in Italy, France and Finland. In Britain , Austria and elsewhere the communists were left with not even one seat in parliament, whereas in Greece they were thrown into prison or shot.
When the bourgeoisie and reaction see that their power is in jeopardy as a consequence of the mounting prestige and strength of the communist party and the revolutionary movement of the masses, they play their last card: they set the armed forces in motion, organize pogroms in order to smash and liquidate the revolutionary movement and the communist parties, as they did in Iran and Iraq, and now recently, in Indonesia, where these tragic events took place. In such cases the bourgeoisie and reaction of one country have directly employed the aid of world reaction and even of its armed forces, as in San Domingo and elsewhere.
What conclusions can be drawn from this historical experience?
First, the so-called «bourgeois freedoms» and «democratic freedoms» in the capitalist countries are not such as to allow communist parties and revolutionary groups to attain their objectives. No. The bourgeoisie and reaction allow the activity of revolutionaries just so long as it does not endanger the class rule of the bourgeoisie. When this rule is endangered, or when reaction finds the opportune moment, it suppresses these democratic freedoms and employs every means to crush the revolutionary forces, with no moral or political scruples. In all countries where the communist parties are allowed to work openly, the bourgeoisie and reaction utilize this situation to get to know all the activities, the persons and the methods of work and struggle of the Marxist-Leninist parties and the revolutionaries. Therefore, the communists and their genuine Marxist-Leninist parties would be making a fatal mistake if they were to put any trust in the «freedoms» which it suits the bourgeoisie to allow them temporarily, and advertize everything openly, if they fail to keep their organization and plans secret. The communists should take advantage of conditions of legal work and use them to carry out extensive organizational and propaganda work, but at the same time, they must be prepared for illegal work.
Second, the opportunist illusions about the «peaceful road» to the taking of power are a fraud and a great danger to the revolutionary movement. From the outside, the Indonesian Communist Party seemed to have the most favourable terrain for achieving its aim on this road. Nevertheless, the Indonesian communists had declared more than once that they had no illusions about the «peaceful road.» In the greeting of the delegation of the CC of the Indonesian Communist Party to the congress of the Communist Party of New Zealand they confirmed that «the events in Indonesia proved once again that there is no ruling class. . . and reactionary force which will permit the revolutionary forces to achieve victory through the 'peaceful road.'» From the tragic events in Indonesia the communists draw the lesson that it is not enough simply to reject the opportunist illusions about the «peaceful road», or to recognize that the only way to seize power is the revolutionary way of armed struggle. The party of the proletariat, the Marxist-Leninists and every revolutionary must take effective measures to prepare for the revolution, from the education of the communists and the masses in a militant revolutionary spirit down to concrete preparations to cope with the counter-revolutionary violence of reaction through the revolutionary armed struggle of the popular masses.
Third, regardless of the favourable conditions and positions which it might enjoy for a certain time, the party of the working class must never for a moment diminish its revolutionary vigilance, over-estimate its own strength and that of its allies and underestimate the strength of its opponents, the bourgeoisie and reaction. The Indonesian Communist Party had great influence in the country, but it seems it over-estimated and had unwarranted faith in the political strength of Soekarno in particular and that of the bourgeoisie that supported him. At the same time, apparently it had underestimated the strength of reaction, especially the strength of reaction in the army. It seems that the Indonesian comrades had the idea that whoever had Soekarno on his side had the key of Indonesia in his hand, and this without having thoroughly analysed where the strength of Soekarno lay and how real it was, especially among the people. The recent events in Indonesia have shown clearly that there was no sound social, economic or political base for Soekarno's prestige and authority. The reactionary generals managed to neutralize Soekarno, and even to utilize him to the extent they needed him for their counter-revolutionary purposes.
Fourth, the Marxist-Leninist party and every genuine revolutionary must consistently and resolutely pursue a revolutionary line and fight courageously against opportunism and its most hideous manifestations — Khrushchevite and Titoite modern revisionism. The opportunists and modern revisionists have taken up as their banner the struggle for bourgeois «freedoms» and have renounced the revolution. They advocate the «peaceful road» as the only way to take power. It is precisely the opportunist and revisionist line, the influence of Khrushchevite and other revisionists, that have turned many communist parties, which once represented a major revolutionary force, into parties of social reform, into appendages and assistants of the reactionary bourgeoisie. This has occurred in the Italian, French, Finnish, British, Austrian and other communist parties. Following the opportunist line of the 20th Congress of the Khrushchevites led the Communist Party of Iraq, the Brazilian Communist Party, the Communist Party of Algeria and others to catastrophe and liquidation. The Indonesian Communist Party opposes modern revisionism. The recent events in Indonesia and the undermining role which the Khrushchevite revisionists played there show that a genuine revolutionary party, loyal to Marxism-Leninism and determined to carry the revolution forward courageously, must have a clear-cut stand towards opportunism, towards Khrushchevite and Titoite revisionism. It is not enough just to be in solidarity with the struggle of the Marxist-Leninists against revisionism, but the party must fight uncompromisingly and openly against the revisionist betrayal, because only in this way are the communists educated in a revolutionary spirit and the party protected f r om any danger of revisionism.
Without fighting courageously and consistently against opportunism and Khrushchevite revisionism, imperialism cannot be fought, reaction cannot be fought, and the cause of the revolution and socialism cannot be carried forward.
COMMUNISTS AND ALLIANCES WITH THE PROGRESSIVE FORCES
Historical experience shows that in their revolutionary struggle the communists always enter into alliances with various progressive forces, because, especially in the case of democratic revolutions or struggles for national liberation from imperialist and colonialist oppression, other broad strata of the population, ranging from workers and peasants to the national bourgeoisie and other progressive people apart from the communists and genuine revolutionaries, are also interested. It would be wrong, sectarian and harmful to the revolution if all those that can be united are not united to carry it through. The communists and genuine revolutionaries, as the most courageous fighters and most faithful representatives of the broad masses of people, are always interested in the unity of all those who want to carry the revolution forward.
The events in Indonesia are a significant lesson also in regard to the question of alliances. NASACOM , which represented the alliance of nationalist, religious and communist forces, had been in existence for a long time in Indonesia. The Indonesian Communist Party did well to take part in NASACOM. By this means it strengthened its position and that of the working class in the whole life of the country. But as the events show, sound organizational and revolutionary work was not done there.
Harmful euphoria was permitted and NASACOM itself, the alliance of its three constituent forces and «freedom» of action were boosted excessively. The fact is that one storm was sufficient to bring the whole NASACOM structure tumbling down. NASACOM was not a dyke strong enough to withstand the tide of counter-revolution.
In their struggle, therefore, the communists and revolutionaries should never content themselves with the formal conclusion of alliances. They should not be overenthused by declarations about the «vitality» of such alliances, but should work to ensure that these alliances are of maximum benefit to the revolution.
For this, it is essential that in the various popular, democratic, national and national liberation fronts, the genuine Marxist-Leninist parties should win the trust of their allies through their work and struggle, should emerge at the head of these fronts and exert effective leadership over them. The leadership of the Marxist-Leninist party, its correct revolutionary line in the interests of the broad masses united in the front, is the guarantee of the strength and vitality of fronts and their major role in achieving the objectives of the revolution. It has been proven more than once that when these fronts are led by other social forces and political parties they do not last, do not follow a consistent revolutionary line, are often used for counterrevolutionary purposes, and burst like a soap bubble at their first encounter with reaction.
In following the line of unity with all those that can be united in the front, Marxist-Leninist parties, contrary to the views of modern revisionists, must not only preserve their independence and their role of leadership but must, at the same time, struggle against the vacillations of various allies, against their reactionary tendencies, against their attempts to split the front and start making deals with the forces of reaction. The line of unity and struggle helps strengthen the fronts, purges them of reactionary counter-revolutionary elements, increases their solidarity and revolutionary spirit, and assists to attain a higher level of unity on sounder foundations. Following the line of unity alone and neglecting struggle creates a false, formal unity and enables reactionary elements and forces to undermine and eliminate it easily, dealing a heavy blow to the cause of the revolution itself.
In their alliances with various social strata and forces to achieve one objective or another in the various stages of the revolution, the communists must never lose sight of their ultimate goal — the triumph of socialism.
«One must know how to unite the struggle for democracy with the straggle for the socialist revolution, subjecting the former to the latter,» says Lenin. «Herein lies the whole difficulty; herein lies the whole essence... Don't forget the main thing (the socialist revolution); put it in the forefront...; subject to it and co-ordinate it with all your demands for democratic rights...»*
The communists are sincere in their alliances with other social forces. They are resolute fighters for putting into practice the programs of united fronts, but at the same time, they make no secret of their ideals, and once they have accomplished their democratic and national tasks, they are determined not to stop half-way, but to carry the revolution forward to the triumph of socialism and communism.
The struggle of our Party during the National Liberation War, its agreements, talks with progressive elements, and even with the factions of the reactionary bourgeoisie,
* V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 35, pp. 260-261 (Alb. ed.).
taught us how to find our bearings successfully in this labyrinth. This experience gained in the war has been and is of immense assistance to our Party in its correct policy with the broad masses of workers, helps the Party in its internal policy and in the orientation of its foreign policy, in studying and resolving antagonistic and nonantagonistic contradictions both inside and outside the country and in the international communist movement.
THE INTERNATIONAL UNITY OF MARXIST-LENINISTS MUST BE STRENGTHENED
The world proletariat, the Marxist-Leninist parties and all genuine revolutionaries are engaged in a stern struggle against imperialism, against the reactionary bourgeoisie, against the modern revisionists and against their ideology.
This is a life-and-death struggle, a struggle of great international importance. The struggle between us and our enemies is a bitter, merciless class struggle, with no quarter sought or given. This class struggle is not waged in the same way everywhere, not only as to its intensity but also as to its forms, the vigour of its development, the world outlook of its participants, the changing circumstances, the ups and downs, the progress of the revolution, the temporary retreats, its offensive spirit, and many other objective and subjective factors.
It is the important and essential duty for all Marxist - Leninist communist and workers' parties to bear all these things in mind, to analyze them scientifically in the light of creative Marxism-Leninism, applied not as a dogma but as a living revolutionary theory in action, always keeping pure the basic principles and the universal laws of development and of the revolution and not allowing rightwing opportunism or harmful sectarianism to be hidden under the slogan of alleged «real conditions of the country» or «the special circumstances of the time or of the moment.»
The recent events, the savage attack of the imperialists, of the Khrushchevite revisionists and different reactionaries against socialism, against the peoples' liberation struggle, against the communist and revolutionary parties of various countries, show that internationalist Marxist- Leninist unity which is always necessary, is now more essential than ever. He who does not understand this great truth, does not understand Marx's great slogan, «Workers of all countries, unite!». Marxism-Leninism teaches us that all the revolutionaries must unite against the enemies of the proletariat and the peoples, against the capitalists, imperialists and their allies, against the reactionary bourgeoisie, against variants of its ideology, one of which at the present time is modern revisionism, headed by Soviet revisionism.
The enemies of the proletariat and Marxism-Leninism have fought international Marxist-Leninist unity with all their might. To this end they have brought into use all the means at their disposal and co-ordinate all their actions.
This is what world imperialism, headed by that of the USA, is doing today; this is what modern revisionism, headed by Khrushchevite revisionism, is doing; this is what all the various reactionaries of the world are doing, because the unity of the Marxist-Leninists of the world is fatal to them, while for us Marxist-Leninists it is our salvation.
The traitors to Marxism-Leninism, the Khrushchevite and Titoite revisionists and their lackeys, have worked to a well-defined plan to hinder the unity of the Marxist-Leninists, and in general, to discredit the objective necessity for this unity. In the first place, with a view to achieving their treacherous goals, they attacked the idea of any international organization of communists. The revisionists had to do this in order to rehabilitate the traitors and the Trotskyite betrayal, and particularly to discredit the idea of internationalist Marxist - Leninist unity, which constitutes the greatest danger to them at any time.
The Soviet revisionists set about discrediting every sound Marxist-Leninist thing so that they could build a new kind of unity on the basis of revisionism and under the Khrushchevite dictate. Of course, this was a castle built on sand, for no genuine unity can exist outside Marxism-Leninism.
The preaching of the Khrushchevite revisionists about «unity» is aimed entirely against the idea of Marxist - Leninist unity and this is done for the purpose of hindering achievement of this unity. The Khrushchevite revisionists preach this kind of «unity» in order to oppose the true Marxist - Leninist unity for which we Marxist-Leninists are fighting and will fight to the end, and we shall certainly achieve our objective. The revisionists talk about their «unity», but developing day by day within this «unity» are many forms and ideas of disintegration, centrifugal ideas, which will lead to the open degeneration of pseudo-Marxists, under whatever guise they may be hidden. The heroic and consistent fight of the Marxist-Leninists will tear off many a mask. Sooner or later there will also be an unmasking of the game of those who want to play the role of centrists (1) , who defend principles in words, but who, in reality, distort them under the guise of «independence», of «specific conditions» which they are still using to conceal their gradual departure from Marxism-Leninism, their deviation from the internationalist unity of Marxist-Leninists in the world. Marxist-Leninists must consolidate their unity without heeding the slanders and opinions
1 Allusion to the Communist Party of Rumania, the Communist Party of Japan and the Workers' Party of Korea.
of revisionists. As to the organizational forms this unity should take, they must be considered and worked out in concrete form.
The Khrushchevite revisionists are making a lot of noise about the thesis of the independence of the communist and workers' parties and their acting in conformity with the concrete conditions of each country. In fact, this is a Leninist thesis to which only we Marxist-Leninists really adhere consistently. But the modern revisionists are trying to misrepresent the so-called independence of parties.
They accept it only in words, because in reality, the Khrushchevite revisionists want the whole movement to be dependent on them and under their leadership. They conceive independence apart from internationalism so that Marxist-Leninists should not have a common line on the most fundamental issues, like the attitude towards imperialism and the renegades from Marxism-Leninism, observance of the universal laws of the revolution and socialist construction and so on. While strictly respecting the independence of every party in determining its own line and policy, the Marxist-Leninists must, at the same time, submit to the principles of proletarian internationalism, to the universal laws of the revolution and socialist construction, must work out a common line and a common stand on the most fundamental issues, especially in regard to the struggle against imperialism and the struggle to defend the purity of Marxism - Leninism from modern revisionism.
The events in Indonesia and the joint attack of the imperialists and the Khrushchevite revisionists against the peoples, against Marxism-Leninism and socialism, show that we must strengthen the international unity of the Marxist-Leninists. All revolutionary communists, all the genuine Marxist-Leninist parties must boldly and unhesitatingly surmount and crush once and for all all the obstacles that the modern revisionists have raised to our course of Marxist-Leninist unity. They will accuse us of setting up new international organs; they will be-doing us an honour.
The Marxist-Leninists of the world constitute a steel bloc. This bloc terrifies the imperialists and revisionists, and that is why they are striving at all costs to fight us, striving to confuse the Marxist-Leninists with their slogans about which we have been speaking.
Their efforts are in vain : the Leninist slogan, «Workers of all countries and oppressed peoples, unite!» will triumph.
«Against Modern Revisionism 1965-1967»