Reviving Communist Party in Indonesia? Why not?

“Communism is definitely the best political system, ever”, my PRC senior once told me, “you know, I’m like envisioning a world where all countries in the world would unite under a single leadership of communism”

“But that’s impossible”, I retorted.

“Not for now, lah. Perhaps year 2500, or year 3000…”

“But why do you PRC people endorse communism that much, huh?”

“Well Toshi, you see… The thing is, even democracy like Singapore doesn’t allow people to speak freely. So, what’s the point of having democracy, then? It would be better off to have communism out in the open rather than having democracy yet restricting their freedom of speech”

“Hmm… yeah, I suppose you’re right”, I said.

The conversation above happened three years ago in Singapore when my geographical knowledge was not so widely open as today.

But now that I’ve learned a lot more about communism and capitalism, I would like to say this to him (who now resides in Canada) if we had the chance to discuss communism again:

“But Singapore isn’t really the type of libertarian capitalism. It’s more of the authoritarian one. And you forgot to mention the fall of USSR, who was once the biggest communist country in the world.”

I would not go to any length to elaborate my ‘authoritarian capitalism’ point in this blog, because I could safely assume that ordinary Singaporeans and foreigners who have spent considerable time in that island entity know what I am trying to say here.

But as I’ve said a few days ago, that “Communism is good, but democracy is better” shows an open defiance on my part against the youth’s mainstream nowadays. Despite my higher liking towards democracy/capitalism, I’ve never thought communism as a bad influence on the society as a whole.

Let me tell you why.

We all know that there exist poor examples of communist governments, such as in North Korea and Cuba where the economy is very piteous. And there is always the restriction on freedom of speech in communism, which is very detrimental to the maturity of the society.

But there are good sides to communism too.

You know, Indonesians are very phobic when it comes to communism. Whenever they hear anything related to the PKI (Indonesian Communist Party), bloody riots would surely follow. The taints of the G30S-PKI still lingers thru this day that mentioning the word “PKI” in Indonesia these days is similar to mentioning the word “Satanism”.

Now that’s an asinine mob mentality to be honest. Why should we Indonesians oppose communist party when in capitalist countries they have shown great virtues?

Here are a few examples.

First, Japan. Yes, Japan is a capitalist country, but do you know that the third largest political party after LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) and DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan) is the JCP (Japan Communist Party)? In fact, JCP is the only currently effective opposition in the Japanese parliament, because LDP and DPJ basically agree on most of their agenda.

Second, USA. Despite being the most well known capitalist country in the world, the communist party there, Communist Party of USA, had played a defining role in the U.S. labor movement from the 1920s through the 1940s and was well-known to have pursued intense anti-racist activity.

Third, China. Of course, this largest economy in the world-to-be has its Communist Party ruling supremely. And China is the best example of where communism doesn’t always have to be equalised with a poor economy.

Most Indonesians may argue that Indonesia has the Pancasila state ideology wherein it was stated:

Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa (Belief in One and Only God)

And since communism promotes atheism, it is thus not suitable for the Indonesian political atmosphere.

Oh, really? In what way does being a communist makes one an atheist, honestly?

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan also has its own communist party. And so does other Middle Eastern countries such as Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.

As the former president of Indonesia Gus Dur once veritably stated, Indonesia's original 1945 constitution did not prohibit or even specifically mention communism

There are examples of communist parties in numerous other capitalist countries, such as in France, Canada, Portugal, and Sweden.

If a mega-capitalist country like United States of America has its own communist party, why can’t Indonesia have one? Doesn’t a democratic Indonesia should by now be able to allow a communist party to contest in its elections?

And don’t forget, PKI was once the largest non-ruling communist party in the world prior to being crushed in 1965.

Before you comment negatively on this blog post, let me get things straight. It’s not that I’m supporting communism here.

But I do wholeheartedly endorse liberalism, which advocates a chance for all kinds of political ideologies to contest in a fair election, including one that is on the extreme political left.

And I think the 43 years that have passed since year 1965 should be long enough for us to move on from our G30S pains.

yuki tobing  – (22 May 2008 at 17:24)  

Having all political ideas contested in fair election might be a good idea and I do agree with this.

Some Indonesians were already indoctrinated through bahaya laten komunis campaign about the need to ban the existence of communism.

However, I should ask you one fundamental question here, what kind of system you referred to when you said communism? One according to Marx? Or one implemented in Soviet Union?

I just researched the real nature of communism from various sources, including books written by and testimonial given by first-hand witness of communism in Eastern Europe and I could not find good things about communism.

toshi  – (23 May 2008 at 00:09)  

may as well have both communist systems :)

true, there might have been nothing good about communism, but that shouldn't become a reason to ban such parties. the freedom of political ideologies should be equal to the freedom of religion, because not everyone sides on the political right/moderate left, correct?

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