The Communist Party in Indonesia

Fifth Party Congress
The Communists have always claimed to be the heirs of Marxism; the real “revolutionaries.” Socialists have denied their claims. We have always said that the Stalinists are neither Socialists nor Internationalists; that they do not stand for the abolition of Capitalist society.

A recent Congress (the fifth) of the Indonesian Communist Party supports our viewpoint.

In the Cominform paper For a Lasting Peace, for a People’s Democracy (October 15, 1954), D. N. Aidit, General Secretary of the C.P.I., reports on some of the more important aspects of the Congress.

Private Property and the Peasants
After admitting that the basic reason for the failure of the “People’s Revolution” of 194548, was due to the fact that the peasants had not supported it, Aidit claimed that the peasants now were rising against the landlords in South and Central Sumatra; and that elsewhere the agrarian programme of the Communist Party, adopted at the Congress, had aroused the peasants throughout Indonesia.

What, then, is this “revolutionary” programme? The common ownership of the land? No. The policy of the Indonesian Communists is to “ isolate the peasant masses from the feudal landlords,” to end feudal land ownership, and “to give the landlords’ land free of charge to the peasants as their own private property.”

The Congress decided to replace the slogans “Nationalization of the Land ” and “All Land to become State property” with “Distribution of the Land to the Peasants,” and “ Individual Ownership for the Peasants.” The reason for the change of slogans is explained away by the admission that; “The principle of private ownership of the land in our country is so deeply rooted in the lives of the peasants that they cannot understand an agrarian revolution in any other form other than the land of the landlords should be distributed as their own private property.’’ (D. N. Aidit). In other words instead of advocating the common ownership of the means of living—Socialism—the Communists advocate the continuation of private property relationship in a different form—just because the peasants want it!

United Front with the Capitalists
Although the Indonesian Communist Party has now set itself the task of strengthening the “alliance ” between the workers and peasants, this does not mean that they intend to ignore “intelligentsia,” small and large capitalists.

The Congress agreed that the key to the victory (of the Communist Party) lay in the creation of a “National United Front” of workers, peasants, intelligentsia, small capitalists against the feudal landowners and the “Imperialists.” “Their land,” said Mr. Aidit, “must be confiscated and nationalized.”

In attempting to unite workers, peasants and local capitalists against the landowners and foreign capitalists, the Communists have as their object the creation and building-up of a national capitalist state, sympathetic to Soviet Russia, and under the leadership of the Communist Party. Their aim is the exploitation of the Indonesian masses by local capitalists instead of foreign ones.

As in Ceylon, Indo-China and other Asiatic countries, the Indonesian Communists represent not the interests of the workers but those of both the Russian and the local native ruling class.

Peter E. Newell