DOES INDONESIA BE THREATENED BY A FASCIST REGIME?
In the coming 2024, Indonesia, a country with a population of 270 million people, is facing another presidential election. Similar processes are being prepared almost simultaneously in a number of the world’s largest capitalist countries – the United States. Russia, etc. Like other capitalist states, Indonesia is today in the risk zone of the restoration of the fascist dictatorship, which in the twentieth century. it was one of the most monstrous. However, the struggle of the Indonesian people against the reaction is not ceasing at the present time and is even intensifying, although the large-scale resistance of the peoples of Indonesia meets on its way more and more sophisticated methods of the ruling class in their efforts to leave power in their hands at any cost. The leader of the Indonesian Revolutionary Youth movement made a most interesting dialectical analysis of the current and future processes in his country, and it is, perhaps, relevant for left-wing activists in most of today’s countries of the world who are engaged in consolidating and organizing the people to fight for their rights, against the backdrop of an increasingly obvious trend a new faschisization of society by the ruling classes, driven into a corner by one of the deepest crises of the capitalist system.
In Indonesia’s last presidential election, one could hear the buzz about the dangers of fascism and militarism. The two terms are often used interchangeably, used together or juxtaposed with other scary phrases (like fascist-religious) according to user needs – getting louder enough to be supported by many people. And this is not surprising. In the midst of the chaos, everyone had to scream as loud as possible to be heard. Following the theory becomes secondary because there is a danger of fascism and militarism, which are said to threaten the country. Other considerations became blurred by panic.
How militarism and fascism develop within the framework of a class society is no longer a problem. The words fascism and militarism are used haphazardly without any theoretical concern at all, and if there is any theoretical attention this is done in a haphazard manner. In this frenetic election, who needs theory?
However, is there really a danger of fascism or militarism in Indonesia today? The danger is so great that it justifies us to pursue a policy of class collaboration with the bourgeoisie, which, as the American left-liberal political scientist and historian Stephen Cohen wrote in 2014, means “supporting presidential candidate Jokowi-J.K., as a representative of a democratic  Apart from Stephen Cohen’s failure to give a class character to the “democratic status quo” he wants to defend, namely the “status quo of bourgeois democracy”, it is, in his words, “the inevitable choice for the Indonesian people” .
The danger of fascism is even so great that according to him “to act neutral in the name of anger, disappointment or based on any ideology and political beliefs ” is absolutely not allowed. This is a danger so great that it stands above all ideologies and political beliefs, and above all classes. S. Cohen did not say the latter, but perhaps he was too shy to say that in order to confront fascism today the workers and capitalists, the oppressed and the oppressed, must abandon their class interests, because ideology and political convictions come from class interests, not from someone’s mind.
Let us continue to drag the arguments of Cohen and the intellectuals around him to their final logical conclusion, something they are usually too shy to do. Today what exists is a conflict between the “status-quo of [bourgeois] democracy” and “religious fascism”, a contradiction that is non-class and even stands above classes. The forces of the working class and capitalists, not fascists, must unite today. If then fascism wins, then “you [read working people] must be responsible for the continuation of the persecution of religious minorities.”
Is there really a danger of fascism and militarism? We must begin by expounding in a scientific and Marxist way the concepts of fascism and militarism, not as dead and rigid concepts but as living and developing phenomena. Cohen asks us not to dwell on this, because the danger is so great that any “ideology and political beliefs,” including scientific theories and understandings, must be abandoned. In this article, we will first discuss fascism and leave militarism for the next article.
What is Fascism?
Liberals, and not a few of those who also claim to be Marxists or socialists, have been guilty of using the term fascism too exaggeratedly to label all reactionaries they dislike. This term does have great power to move the listener’s heart and make him lose all his reasoning, because it has been associated with the worst atrocities in the history of mankind. Police states, concentration camps, heaps of Jewish corpses, these are the images that quickly fill a listener’s head when he hears the word fascism. Moreover, the term fascism has been very successfully defined by bourgeois academics as a term and concept that is no longer class-laden. Fascism has been disconnected from capitalism itself.
Fascism is not something that appears when a group of maniacs and fanatics manage to seize power in one way or another. Fascism is a social phenomenon, therefore it was born and developed in the context of a class society and the class conflicts existing in it.
Cleansed of its class content, fascism can be defined quite freely according to the most recent prejudices. For example, as defined by Cohen, where the main characteristics of fascism (-religious) according to him are “anti-Semitic (racist), propagates nationalist hysteria, xenophobic, anti-tolerance, anti-liberal, does not hesitate to use means of violence to realizes its political ambitions, is anti-socialist, anti-rationalism, and glorifies past glories as a solution to the ongoing social crisis.” Everything he said, except for the class basis of fascism, namely that fascism is a dark reaction from capitalism, a mad dog released by the capitalist class when it has begun to lose control of the existing situation.
Fascism is not something that exists when a group of maniacs and fanatics manages to seize power in one way or another. Fascism is a social phenomenon, which is why it was born and developed in the context of class society and the class conflicts that exist within it.
In normal periods, the bourgeoisie generally rules by the normal methods of the parliamentary state. He is not in power with the muzzle of a gun open. The illusion of democracy is a tool more conducive to power. For the capitalists, there is nothing better than the workers who are oppressed but believe that they are free, or at least believe that they can continue to improve their position within the existing framework of capitalism. However, capitalism is a system full of contradictions and inevitably enters into crisis. Private ownership of the means of production and the boundaries of the nation-state are the two main contradictions within this system, which continue to push it into crisis from time to time. It is capitalism itself that prepares the revolutionary conditions.
When the class conflict between labor and capital has reached its peak, but there is no resolution because the two warring factions are unable to win decisively – the labor force is too weak to seize power while the capitalist class can no longer control the situation with democratic parliamentary levers like usually – it is at this critical moment that the danger of fascism becomes real. Here too we must give a stricter qualification, because at this moment of revolutionary stalemate we can also see the emergence of a military dictatorship, which does not always mean fascism.
When the bourgeoisie can no longer control the situation by normal methods, they will – although not without some reservations and hesitations – let go of their mad dogs. Fascism is the mad dog of capitalism, which occasionally bites the hand of its master but still knows who it must tear, namely the labor movement. This is how fascism was born and developed.
Fascism first appeared in Italy. Before Italian Fascism took hold in 1923, Italy was entering an acute revolutionary period, known as the Biennio Rosso or “Two Years of the Reds” in 1919-1920. In 1917, the Bolsheviks had just seized power and toppled capitalism not far from it. The First World War had created unbearable misery for the working people of Europe. There was insane inflation in Italy, 450% in the two years from 1918-1920. All these factors then pushed the workers and peasants onto the path of struggle against the employers and landlords. There were waves of strikes, factory occupations and land occupations that were getting more and more radical every day.
The Italian Socialist Party (PSI), which was Italy’s labor party at the time, won the election in 1919, with 32% of the vote and 156 seats. In the previous election he won only 52 seats in parliament. PSI also controls more than 2800 regional councils, or 24% of the total. Membership increased from 60,000 to 200,000 within two years. Meanwhile, more than 3.8 million workers and peasants are organized in various unions. This is a 5-fold increase compared to 1914. This is the revolutionary process that is taking place in Italy. This wave of revolution culminated in the spring of 1920 with the Factory Occupation movement. However, the PSI reformist leaders and the trade unions betrayed this factory occupation movement. Instead of providing revolutionary leadership, calling for the confiscation of the factories which would pave the way for a usurpation of power, these reformist leaders adopted a wavering attitude, not believing that the Italian working class was ready to win the revolution. They chose to take the path of negotiation and compromise. Without firm leadership, the Factory Occupation movement eventually reached a stalemate and this marked the decline of the labor movement.
The socialist revolution cannot succeed unless the proletariat enlists the support of other oppressed strata. For this, only one thing is needed: the petty bourgeoisie must believe in the ability of the proletariat to win the revolution, overthrow the entire existing system and lead this society onto a new path.
However, Italian society is still in a state of turmoil. Not a single contradiction in Italian society has been resolved. Despite the failure of the 1920 Factory Occupation movement, the traditional bourgeois parties in Italy were still unable to restore political, social and economic stability. As a result of the betrayal of the PSI reformist leaders and their inability to bring the revolutionary process to a conclusion, a crisis occurred within the party. The PSI split in 1921, whereupon its left wing then formed the Italian Communist Party (PCI). In the 1921 election, the new Communist Party won 5% of the vote, while PSI 25%. Unfortunately, PCI was born too late. History never waits for its participants to be ready.
Social and political instability continues to haunt Italian society. On the one hand was the large workers’ movement but too weak to take power, because their leadership was incapable of providing a revolutionary direction. On the other hand, the Italian bourgeoisie was also unable to restore stability. Under these conditions of seemingly no way out, the petty bourgeoisie (peasants, artisans, small traders or grocers, professional workers such as teachers, civil servants, etc.) began to enter a mood of despair. In a period when capitalism is in crisis, the petty bourgeoisie – which is also oppressed, especially by big capital – can link its fate with that of the proletariat. The socialist revolution cannot succeed unless the proletariat wins the support of the other oppressed layers. In order to do this, only one thing is needed: the petty bourgeoisie must believe in the ability of the proletariat to win the revolution, overthrow the entire existing system, and lead this society onto a new path. The proletariat can win this confidence only by showing that it has a clear and decisive program of revolution and has the courage to carry this program to the end.
What happens if the proletariat, especially its leaders, are unable to use the present moment of revolution to pave the way forward? Let’s leave Trotsky to answer:
“However, it is accursed if the revolutionary party does not have the ability to match the current situation! The daily class struggle of the proletariat exacerbates the instability of bourgeois society. Strikes and political disturbances aggravated the nation’s economic situation. The petty bourgeoisie can temporarily put up with worsening misery when, through their experience, the belief arises in their minds that the proletariat is in a position to lead them along a new path. But if the revolutionary party, despite the sharpening of the class struggle, proves again and again that it is unable to unite the working class around it, if it drifts about, becomes confused, is unable to carry out its program, then the petty bourgeoisie will lose patience and begin to see the revolutionary workers as responsible for their misery. … When the social crisis becomes so acute as to be unbearable, a certain party appears on the stage with the aim of provoking the fury of the petty bourgeoisie and directing their hatred and despair on the proletariat.” (Leon Trotsky. Fascism: What it is and how to fight it)
In normal times, class struggles occur daily but not openly. If the class struggle continues every day openly, the whole of society will burn up in the flames of this struggle. This is one of the principal functions of the bourgeois state, to water down and disguise the existing class struggle, as Engels describes it:
“And in order that these antagonisms, opposing classes of economic interests, do not annihilate one another and do not annihilate society in a futile struggle, there is a need for a force which appears to stand above society, a force which will soften this conflict and keep it within the boundaries of ‘order’; and this power, born of society but placing itself above it, and alienating itself more and more from it, is the State.” (Frederick Engels. The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State).
However, capitalism necessitates revolution, namely the moment when this class struggle explodes to the surface and is getting more and more sharp. The inability of the labor movement to seize the opportunity for this revolution is not something it does not have to pay dearly for. On the other hand, counter-revolution is born from failed revolutions.
The petty bourgeoisie, then a sizeable number in Italy, initially pinned its hopes on the PSI and the labor movement to show them the way forward. But the cowardice of the reformist PSI and trade union leaders disappointed them. In this disappointment, in their despair, they swung swiftly to the right. They begin to see that it is the class struggle that is the root cause of all their problems, that it is the workers with their strikes that destroy the stability they desire. Instinctively, the petty bourgeoisie has always hated the class struggle in capitalist society. This is because the petty bourgeoisie is a class sandwiched between the two main classes: workers and capitalists. They are classes without a future, which therefore have no class independence:
After the failure of the Occupation of Factory movement, the Italian petty bourgeoisie began to swing to the right and they founded the National Fascist Party under Mussolini. In 1921, through the right-wing National Bloc alliance, the fascists garnered 19% of the vote, and in 1922 their de facto rise to power when King Victor Emmanuel II made Mussolini prime minister. With the forces of the petty bourgeois masses behind him, Mussolini and his fascist party crushed the Italian Socialist Party, the Italian Communist Party, the trade unions and the Italian Left.
The petty bourgeoisie’s disillusionment and hatred of the class struggle finds its expression in the ideology of fascism. The word fascism itself comes from the Latin “ fasces ”, which means a bunch of sticks tied around an axe. The meaning is that unity will bring strength. One branch will be easy to break, while a bunch of sticks that are tightly bound together will be difficult to break. Fascism’s main doctrine was therefore against class struggle, which he saw as causing divisions in society and weakening nations. Of course the culprit of this class struggle, which they saw as a source of instability, was the working class, and it was they who were the first to be dealt with by the fascist forces. In “The Doctrine of Fascism”, Benito Mussolini explained what became the basis of fascism:
“Fascism is therefore opposed to Socialism … which sees in history only class struggle. Fascism also opposes trade unions as a class weapon.”
“… Such a conception of life makes Fascism the decisive negation of the underlying doctrine of scientific socialism and Marxism, the doctrine of historical materialism which explains human history in terms of class struggle …
“… In the Fascist regime the unity of classes, the political and social unity of the Italian people was realized in the state, and only in the Fascist state.”
This is why the mass base of Fascism is the petty bourgeoisie, which attracts no small number of carriages of the proletariat, especially its more backward layers. It is a mass movement of the disillusioned and hopeless petty bourgeoisie. Not infrequently we see despair turn into fanaticism that is so terrible.
Although the mass base of fascism is the petty bourgeoisie class, class basisfascism is still capitalist. It is the last method of the capitalist class to save capitalism, the last method which it does not like but which it still has to do. Capitalists love fascism the way a person with a sick tooth loves a dentist who has to pull a tooth out. They do not want to admit that the concepts of democracy and liberalism that they exalt are just old pieces of paper that are useless in maintaining the stability of capitalism, if the salvation of capitalism must be left to a bunch of mentally ill fanatics with the petty bourgeois masses suffering from neurosis. But this is what they did, not once but many times, in Poland with Pilsudski, in Germany with Hitler, in Spain with Franco. This is the level of decay of capitalism.
Everything follows the same line. In all the countries where fascism finally triumphed, we witnessed waves of mass radicalization: the workers, the poor peasants and the petty bourgeoisie. In Germany, the wave of radicalization and revolution and the social crisis that inevitably accompanied it ran even deeper and longer: 1918, then 1922-24, then again 1929-31. At every opportunity, the German Social Democratic Party and the German Communist Party proved unable to pave the way forward. Their bankrupt reformist and Stalinist leadership paved the way backwards, to the reaction of fascism. In the country where Karl Marx was born, where the labor movement is the strongest in Europe and there are great hopes not only in Germany but throughout Europe that the German proletariat will lead a world socialist revolution, this series of failures paid a heavy price not only for the German proletariat but for the world proletariat. Mussolini’s fascism seemed child’s play in comparison with Hitler’s fascism. The madness and absurdity of the Nazi regime is only matched by the length and depth of the social, political and economic crises that have ravaged this country for more than 15 years.
In 1965, military forces staged a coup and established a military dictatorship. Even though it has many similarities to the Nazi regime, with massacres no less cruel than the Nazi concentration camps, the New Order military dictatorship regime was not a fascist regime. There is a fundamental difference with regard to the involvement of the petty bourgeois fanatical masses which is a central feature of Italian and German fascism. However, there are also fundamental similarities related to the development process: the acute unresolved crisis in Indonesian society which has effectively been going on since 1945; the growing forces of the workers and peasants entering the revolutionary period, with a number of opportunities to seize power; the inability of the workers’ leadership, in this case the PKI, to provide a way out of the impasse of capitalism; the bankruptcy of the national bourgeoisie, which is too weak to build a stable bourgeois parliament and control the situation.
The policy of inter-class cooperation of the Communist Party of Indonesia with the national bourgeoisie, which was considered “progressive”, did not save from a military coup, but prepared the conditions for military intervention. History has shown that the politics of class cooperation never stopped fascism or military coups.
As we have explained, capitalists usually prefer to rule by bourgeois parliamentary methods. This method is cheaper and more effective. However, in Third World countries where the contradictions are very acute and the bourgeois parliamentary system is weak (which reflects the weakness of the bourgeoisie itself), they often do not have this privilege. In many situations, they are forced to use the coercive apparatus of the State, partially or openly through a military coup.
In the Indonesian context, the military under Suharto was pushed to carry out a coup after there was a long revolutionary period in Indonesia in which no single force was able to provide a way out. The PKI refused to seize power and follow suit to the national bourgeoisie on the pretext that the next stage of the Indonesian revolution would be a bourgeois revolution which would lead to independent capitalism, and only then socialism in the distant future. The national bourgeoisie itself is divided. On the one hand is the left wing whose personification is Soekarno, who can only gain mass support with anti-imperialist and populist rhetoric, but without being able to realize in real terms his anti-imperialist and populist programs because the logic of capitalism does not allow their full realization. They, because of his class position, was cursed to become impotent. Meanwhile, the right wing of the bourgeoisie has no support base at all from the people. Their pro-market and pro-capital arguments have found no echo. This hanging revolutionary situation could not last long. Bourgeois society cannot tolerate a situation in which millions of working people are organized into revolutionary organizations, in which the armed forces are also divided. These were the conditions that prepared for a military coup in Indonesia. Seeing that the national bourgeoisie could not resolve the existing situation, the state military apparatus moved to restore order and peace. Their pro-market and pro-capital arguments have found no echo. This hanging revolutionary situation could not last long. Bourgeois society cannot tolerate a situation in which millions of working people are organized into revolutionary organizations, in which the armed forces are also divided. These were the conditions that prepared for a military coup in Indonesia. Seeing that the national bourgeoisie could not resolve the existing situation, the state military apparatus moved to restore order and peace. Their pro-market and pro-capital arguments have found no echo. This hanging revolutionary situation could not last long. Bourgeois society cannot tolerate a situation in which millions of working people are organized into revolutionary organizations, in which the armed forces are also divided. These were the conditions that prepared for a military coup in Indonesia. Seeing that the national bourgeoisie could not resolve the existing situation, the state military apparatus moved to restore order and peace. These were the conditions that prepared for a military coup in Indonesia. Seeing that the national bourgeoisie could not resolve the existing situation, the state military apparatus moved to restore order and peace. These were the conditions that prepared for a military coup in Indonesia. Seeing that the national bourgeoisie could not resolve the existing situation, the state military apparatus moved to restore order and peace.
The PKI class collaboration policy with the national bourgeoisie which was said to be “progressive” did not save them from a military coup, but instead prepared the conditions for military intervention. History has shown that policies of class collaboration have never stopped fascism or military coups. The Popular Front policy in Spain carried out by the Stalinist Spanish Communist Party, where it was called for the workers to unite with the “progressive” national bourgeoisie against Franco, actually weakened the revolutionary resistance against Franco. This came at a cost with the dictatorship of Franco’s fascism for 36 years. In Chile, Allende believed in the path of reformism and parliamentarism to achieve socialism. He believes in methods of collaboration and compromise. In history’s most heartbreaking irony, Allende himself had appointed Pinochet head of the Army 3 weeks before the coup, and until the last minute, when the tanks were already on the streets of Santiago, Allende still asked to try to contact Pinochet by telephone. History is filled with examples of this, but sadly history is like a teacher without students.
Jokowi or Prabowo?
Can Jokowi be considered the social democratic or reformist wing of the labor movement? The answer is clearly negative. Almost all Left supporters of Jokowi – at least those who try to take a class approach, even if not entirely successful – have to admit that Jokowi is a bourgeois, but their argument is that Jokowi is a bourgeois progressive, a bourgeois populist, a bourgeois democrat, or whatever the last resort is . that would make a bourgeois sound better. He is a representative of the “status quo of [bourgeois] democracy”, as Cohen admits.
Let us assume that there really is a danger of fascism. Can fascism be fought by carrying out class collaboration with the democratic bourgeoisie through parliamentary means? Do fascists ever respect democratic voting decisions? What kind of fascist respects voting and parliamentary decisions? The assumption that fascism can be defeated or at least countered by the parliamentary victory of a bourgeois democracy is even more wrong.
If there is a danger of fascism, then our main task is first of all to explain to the working people that this fascism must be beaten by methods of mass action, that workers from various wings and from trade unions of various colors must unite and go on a national strike. as a show of force. Propaganda calls must begin to be spread to every trade union and other organs of struggle for the oppressed layer that if the fascist (in this context, this is the current Minister of Defense of Indonesia, Prabowo Subiyanto, leader of the right-wing militaristic Gerinda Party, son-in-law of the dictator Suharto – ed.) wins in the upcoming presidential election, then large demonstrations up to a strike action must be carried out.
But not a single “counter fascism” Left spoke of methods of mass action. Of course they will answer with the argument that this method of mass action is unrealistic because the working people are not ready, and now there is an opportunity to win through parliamentary means and we must use this first. What an argument that seems reasonable. But, wait a minute! We will find that this kind of argument has never been made by our “counter fascism” Lefts. They never stated in advance that fascism could only be defeated by the method of mass action of the working people, and only then gave the excuse that unfortunately this method of action is now impossible because the working people are too weak and unprepared. and because of these conditions there must be a cross-class alliance with all democratic elements. No argument of this kind has ever been made. Our leftist “obstacles of fascism”.a priori already put their trust in the “democratic status quo”.
What is revealed here is the distrust of our Lefts towards the working class, not only those who support Jokowi or Prabowo, even among those who reject Jokowi and Prabowo. The factor of workers’ strength has never been factored into their minds when talking about confronting fascism. They could talk about workers as a revolutionary class in this or that article, but unfortunately this working class was never readyfor them. They will only believe in the working class when the working class is ready. Maybe after reading this criticism the Left “opposed fascists” will try to plug this hole in their argument and start saying: “Well, we agree that only the working class by methods of mass action can confront fascism, but our working class is not ready. We must focus on the alliance of democratic elements now, and it will be leftist [!] if we hope to organize mass action of the working class to confront the urgent danger of fascism today.” But this will not cover the biggest hole in their way of thinking: namely their distrust of the working class. They have proven more comfortable – and more agile – placing their trust in bourgeois democracy.
The Danger of Fascism in Indonesia
Back to our main question: is there a danger of fascism in Indonesia today?
Our Left theorists and ideologues stuck to shallow impressionism, instead of analyzing the balance of social forces that developed at each stage. Seeing the burning church, they shouted: “The danger of fascism!” Seeing FPI violence on TV screens, they shouted: “The danger of fascism!” Their method of political analysis is empirical. They presented “concrete” data regarding sectarian violence that had taken place. The argument is simple, an increase in the amount of violence against minorities means that fascism is approaching. There is no class analysis in development.
There is another “likeness” approach to predicting the dangers of fascism. This is an approach that seems reasonable. If he looks like a fascist, smells like a fascist, feels like a fascist, then he must be a fascist. Iqra Anugrah, one of the intellectuals around Indoprogress, defines a number of categories to determine whether a person is a fascist or not. Prabowo, strictly speaking, had a number of similarities with Mussolini: 1) Both had been soldiers; 2) Slogans of the nation’s glory; 3) Racism; 4) Promotion of a police state; 5) individual cult. Meet these five conditions, or at least 3 of these 5 conditions, and you are a fascist. Again, no class analysis. What exists are static and rigid categories, not an analysis of the balance of classes in their development at each stage.
Of course, what is no less wrong is political analysis by purely textual analysis, which is abstracted out of the existing objective conditions. This is what SEMAR UI colleague Rio Apinino tried to do  who intended “to predict what will happen if Prabowo wins the 2019 election through a study of the Gerinda Party’s Manifesto of Struggle.” Again, no class analysis.
Based on the theoretical explanation above regarding how fascism emerged and developed, the Militants will firmly say that in this future period there is no danger of fascism in Indonesia or the danger of a return to the New Order (military dictatorship regime, period of dark reactions). This analysis is wrong, and it is precisely the policies that emerge from this mistake – namely supporting Jokowi and the “democratic status quo” – that will pave the way to fascism. On a small scale, we have seen how this support for Jokowi can pave the way for fascism. The FSPMI workers, who have been the vanguard of the labor movement for the last two years, gave their support to Prabowo because Jokowi betrayed their cause by signing the decree on low wages. Of course the decision to support Prabowo was not fully supported by all FSPMI workers, but Jokowi’s low wages policy provided very strong ammunition for pro-Prabowo FSPMI leaders. In addition, not a few workers are disappointed with Jokowi’s low wages policy. Ironically, the labor unions that opposed the 2013 Second National Strike and tried their best to curb labor radicalization (KSPSI and KSBSI) can now be found among Jokowi’s ranks. Let us remind you again that not a single Jokowi supporter from the left has seriously criticized Jokowi’s low wages policy, as well as Jokowi’s indifference towards labor actions over the last 2 years. in fact, the labor unions that opposed the 2013 II National Strike and tried their best to curb labor radicalization (KSPSI and KSBSI) can now be found in Jokowi’s ranks. Let us remind you again that not a single Jokowi supporter from the left has seriously criticized Jokowi’s low wages policy, as well as Jokowi’s indifference towards labor actions over the last 2 years. in fact, the labor unions that opposed the 2013 II National Strike and tried their best to curb labor radicalization (KSPSI and KSBSI) can now be found in Jokowi’s ranks. Let us remind you again that not a single Jokowi supporter from the left has seriously criticized Jokowi’s low wages policy, as well as Jokowi’s indifference towards labor actions over the last 2 years.
As long as capitalism is still entrenched and not revolutionary overthrown, then the danger of fascism or military dictatorship will always threaten. However, before the dangers of fascism or military dictatorship become real, the working class will first be given many opportunities to win, and many opportunities have been wasted during the 2 year period of the rise of the Indonesian working class. When the workers were starting to rise up with their mass actions, not a few of our Left and Left were even preoccupied with the Jokowi-Ahok euphoria. They are greedy for anything that looks new and shiny. Meanwhile, when it was the yellow unions that initiated the struggle by declaring the MPBI and then Getok Monas, activists of the “red” trade unions responded with suspicion and an ultra-left attitude. Instead of throwing themselves at the hundreds of thousands of workers who first entered the arena of struggle and trying to reach the ears of these workers, our “red” comrades hesitated to join. Incidentally, this meant handing over the leadership of the workers to the reformist and conservative leaders within the MPBI. Of course, this ultra-left attitude has been rooted since long ago, when many of our “red” comrades in principle refused to do work among the yellow unions and felt comfortable with their own “merRRRrah” unions. Meanwhile, from the workers’ reformist leaders, when the workers began to realize that they too had to engage in politics, the reformist leaders actually directed this towards the existing bourgeois parties, either with the tactics of “labor activist candidates” or supporting Jokowi or Prabowo.
Prabowo has a track record and personal character that would make him fit for a fascist leader. But the arrival of fascism is not determined by the character of a person, or the personal wishes of a person or certain groups (FPI, PKS and PPP sectarian religious cadres, Pancasila Youth, etc.). Fascism and the military dictatorship are the dark reactions of capitalism that is entering an acute crisis, when the capitalist class as a whole has no way out through normal methods and is forced to resort to fascism and military dictatorship to destroy the labor movement. Returning to dialectics, counter-revolution is a reaction to revolution. Are we entering a revolutionary period today in Indonesia? I don’t think anyone would dare to suggest that we are now entering a revolutionary, or pre-revolutionary, period. Not a single fascist regime or military dictatorship regime was born out of nowhere because there were a handful of people who wanted it. They exist as a force of reaction against the revolutionary action of the workers.
A Marxist must also be able to understand what the capitalist class in general is thinking. Is there a will from the Indonesian capitalist class to choose the path of fascism and today’s military dictatorship in Indonesia? Of course, they don’t hesitate to use the police and military to suppress people who resist, but they don’t necessarily use open military dictatorship methods at any time. The fact that Indonesian capitalists are divided into these two camps, even Golkar and the military are divided, is the strongest indication that our ruling class is not directing its regime towards fascism or military dictatorship. For capitalists in general, these two presidential candidates are not fundamentally different. Meanwhile, on the left and left, we are lulled by the dangers of fascism, by populist populism, by this Trisakti, that Trisakti, by independent this independent that, and others, domestic and international capitalists are calm because they understand the meaning of this election. The two candidates have promised to maintain market stability and the investment climate, not to touch private capitalist ownership as was done by Chavez and Evo Morales, and also to continue the policy of cutting fuel subsidies. They differ only on the question: who can be a better president to protect capitalist interests? Who can better carry out capitalist policies without destroying social stability? What about a president who is firm or whose smile captivates the people? Which of the two of them can gain more legitimacy from the people who have begun to fade towards the bourgeois political system? who can be a better president to protect capitalist interests? Who can better carry out capitalist policies without destroying social stability? What about a president who is firm or whose smile captivates the people? Which of the two of them can gain more legitimacy from the people who have begun to fade towards the bourgeois political system?
In the end, the “danger of fascism” perspective is a “take it easy” perspective, proven or disproved. If this doesn’t prove true, then the bearers can answer with relief: “It’s a good thing fascism didn’t come. It is better to be on guard in every condition!” If proven, they will proudly say: “Well, what did I say?” But what they don’t realize is that it is this perspective of “the dangers of fascism” that will actually prepare the way for fascism, because it will paralyze the revolutionary power of the working class by binding it to the “democratic status quo”, to the capitalist class. It is this depravity of the “status quo of [bourgeois] democracy” that our Lefts want to maintain that will lead Indonesian society to the dark reactions of fascism or military dictatorship. It’s not a matter of which choice is “better”, as Iqra said,
Why is there a layer of working people who miss Suharto and the New Order? Because our esteemed democrats have betrayed the 1998 Reformation, because our “status quo of [bourgeois] democracy” has over the past 16 years been more and more aggressive in robbing the working people, because under the “status quo of [bourgeois] democracy” there is actually more freedom. full for robbers to rob, for there is no way out for the working people to see from this bourgeois democracy . Is it then surprising that there is a layer of working people who feel disgusted with democracy and see that there is no difference for them to live in democracy or in the New Order world?
It should be noted that the hope of returning to the Soeharto era does not necessarily mean the danger of fascism. The hope of returning to the Suharto era was a reaction to the failure of reform, to the failure of bourgeois democracy itself. The choice is still the same for us, “Socialism or Barbarism”, not “Democracy or Barbarism”  , because it is precisely the “democratic status quo” and the inherent bankruptcy within it that will lead us to barbarism.
We have seen that in the end if the working class is unable to seize power when the moment for revolution comes – and this moment will inevitably come – then a counter-revolution, whether fascism or military dictatorship, will be a real prospect. History has shown time and time again that it is not the workers who do not want to fight and make sacrifices to win the revolution, but it is their leaders who at every step become stumbling blocks, consciously or unconsciously. These leaders became the chain that choked the workers’ struggle not because they were dishonest, immoral, and distrustful. If this is the case, then it’s enough for us to hold moral classes. They are traitors because they are filled with prejudices of reformism, opportunism, pragmatism, “realism”.
Capitalism has entered a process of decline, and this process is occurring in all countries, with varying speed and depth from country to country, but always in the same direction. He cannot guarantee bread and peace. It can no longer even guarantee its own democracy. It is into this dead end that capitalism will bring fascism and military dictatorship.
Various reasons are used by our Lefts to carry out a class collaboration policy, which actually only shows their disbelief in the victory of the revolution by the working class. We even know for ourselves that among our radical left there has never been any belief in the working class. They have always doubted the working class as the only revolutionary agent that can overthrow capitalism, even among those who are active in the trade unions. Labor is only seen as one of the sectors in the movement that must also be organised, not seen as the only class that can and will lead this entire nation.
Unexpectedly by them, it is precisely these policies that they think are “realistic” that will disarm the working class. When class independence, theoretical clarity, the reinvention of the ideology of Marxism, and the building of a Marxist cadre party are tasks that the workers still have to carry out, consistently, decisively, and even fanatically, they are actually looking for shortcuts. “Confronting fascism”, maintaining the “democratic status quo”, filling the “political space”, using “political articulation”, a thousand and one magic spells were created, all but the spell of working class self-sufficiency.
Capitalism has entered a process of decay, and this process is taking place in all countries, with varying tempo and depth from country to country, but always in the same direction. He cannot guarantee bread and peace. It can no longer even guarantee its own democracy. It is in this stalemate that capitalism will bring fascism and military dictatorship to Indonesia. But not now, and it is fortunate for us that we still have time to prepare our forces, that is, the Marxist forces within the labor movement, to seize the opportunities of the coming revolution. But this time is a valuable asset that is getting shorter day by day, which we waste if we are always trying to find shortcuts, jumping from one to another. To this day not a single shortcut has worked for the Indonesian revolutionary forces. Therefore, even if there is an urgency today, then the urgency is to buildMarxist power as the leadership of the working class. This task cannot be carried out haphazardly and by halves, as it has been for the last 16 years. It can’t just work on it for 1 or 2 years, and then leave it to look for the latest trends. It must be built comprehensively, consistently, with a long-term mentality, and even with a fanaticism no less than that of the Jesuits. This was our task yesterday, and it is still our task especially today.
PRI (Pemuda Revolusioner Indonesia/Indonesian Revolutionary Youth)
specially for Resistentiam.com