Strive for the Victory of the Indonesian Revolution With the Weapon of Dialectical and Historical Materialism

Njoto (1964)

Publisher: Peking, Foreign Language Press, 1965

Transcribed to HTML by Ted Sprague. (1 April 2012)

A Speech at the Aliarcham Academy of Social Science on June 3, 1964



This speech by Comrade Njoto, Second Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of the Indonesian Communist Party, was first published in extracts in the Indonesian People’s Daily of June 9 and 10, 1964. The present English version is based on the Chinese translation, which appeared in China’s fortnightly Hongqi.



Following the upsurge of the national and class struggles in Indonesia, the ideological struggle, especially in the field of philosophy, is now growing in intensity.

As the deep interest of the Indonesian masses was aroused in socialism through the triumph of democracy over fascism in the Second World War – war, in which the Soviet Union, the only socialist country at the thime, played a vital role, so have the liberation of China, the growth of world socialism and of the Indonesian Communist Party, particularly their development over the past few year, more aroused the interest of the Indonesian masses in the theory needed for the victory of socialism – dialectical and historical materialism.

Finding it hard to attack the Indonesian Communist Party in political, tactical and organizational spheres, the imperialists and other reactionaries are concentrating their attack ideologically on the Indonesian revolutionary movement, especially on the Indonesian Communist Party, with the aim of confusing their ideas and shaking their faith.

Since the emergence of differences in the international communist movement, the imperialists and reactionaries have been trying hard to exploit these differences, hoping to benefit from them by damaging the revolutionary movement of the people.

This demands that we start a new self-education in the sphere of philosophy, review the fundamentals of dialectical and historical materialism, study the 20th century history of the struggle of dialectical and historical materialism against idealism, especially against reactionary philosophy, and in particular, study the origin and development of dialectical and historical materialism and the revisionist philosophy – pragmatism.

If we Indonesian revolutionaries fail to grasp or fail to fully grasp dialectical and historical materialism, the future of our revolution will be uncertain and may even become dark and hopeless. Conversely, if we can grasp dialectical and historical materialism and use it to correctly tackle the problems of our revolution, our future will be bright and promising. In particular, the historical task set by the August Revolution of 1945 which must be fully carried out – that is, the task of completing the national democratic revolution, and turning it into a socialist revolution – will be and can surely be realized.



Dialectical and historical materialism is now no longer banned in Indonesia. In fact it has become the most influential philosophy in the present political life of the Indonesian people. At the beginning of the 20th century Indonesia knew nothing about dialectical and historical materialism, not even when the first workers’ organization in Indonesia was set up. It was only in 1941, when the first Marxist organization “The East Indies Social Democratic Association” was established in Indonesia, the some revolutionary intellectuals at home began to study dialectical and historical materialism.

In the ancien philosophies of Indonesia, there were already some elements of materialism and dialectics, but, ousted by Indian and Moslem philosophies, they failed to develop. As a result, the Indonesian working-class movement, instead of first going through the process of integration with the elements of materialism and dialectics contained in the ancient Indonesian philosophy, was directly linked with the dialectical and historical materialism developed by Marx, Engels, Plekhanov and Lenin.

At first, during the period of the East Indies Social Democratic Association or at the time when the Indonesian Communist Party was yourng, only the leaders of the Party studied dialectical and historical materialism. They began to teach Party members dialectical and historical materialism from 1920 to 1926, but the method of study was one-sided as it involved the study of historical materialism without a study, or a thorough study beforehand of the theory and method of dialectical materialism.

In a word, Indonesia was then far behind Europe in the study of dialectical and historical materialism. This was not only because the European working-class movement had close links with the origin and development of dialectical and historical materialism, but also because Indonesia, reduced to a colony, was isolated from other parts of the world and could hardly obtain the books needed.

Such a state of affairs continued until the collapse of Japanese fascism.

It is worth mentioning that because of the language and communications restrictions the socialist theoretical books the available in Indonesia were mostly published in Dutch. In Holland, however, there had been few translations of Marxist-Leninist classics. As well as the work of Marx, Engels, Plekhanov, Lenin, Stalin, Liebknecht, Luxemburg and Dimitrov, the books of social-democratic parties and those dealing with the trends in “thinking of other opportunists were also imported into Indonesia. The included the works of Bakunin, Kautsky, Bukharin and Trotsky and the works of Dutch social-democrats lihe Henriette Roland Holst. That is why with the emergence of revolutionary socialism in Indonesia, there also appeared socialism of various shade raging from “critical-utopian socialism” to “conservative socialism” as Marx and Engels described them. Ever since then, dialectical and historical materialism in Indonesia has had to fight not only idealism but also various other philosophies distorting socialism.

Many famous and influential people in Indonesia are now representatives of Indonesian opportunism. They “accept Marxism, but not thoroughly” or “accept Marxism in a revisionist or in a modified way”. They include Tan Malaka and Sutan Sjahrir, the former combining dialectical and historical materialism with religion and the latter combining dialectical and historical materialism with various kinds of idealism and modernism.

Not until the outbreak of the August Revolution in 1945 did Marxism and the Indonesian people gain freedom. Marxist literature then began to be introduced into Indonesia from Holland and Australia, and the Indonesian Marxists, especially the young ones, greedily read the theoretical works. It was at this time when the flames of the revolution were burning high that the translation of The Manifesto of the Communist Party war republished, as well as The Tasks of the Youth Leagues by Lenin, The Foundation of Leninism by Stalin, Report at the Seventh Congress of the Communist International by Dimitrov and On New Democrary by Mao Tse-tung. Nevertheless, the Indonesian Marxists did not yet undersatn the situation in Indonesia.

Through the actual practice in the revolution the Indonesian Marxists realized that they had to change the backward state in which their theoretical studies still remained. Later, their studies still remained. Later, their studies of revolutionary theories were so closely combined with the actual revolutionary struggle which was then rising. This is seldom met with in the history of Marxism. It was a difficult task for Marsixts at the time, but it helped them to mature and grow at a greater speed.

Waht is more important is that in the course of the August Revolution, the Party had, on the one hand, to protect Marxism from outside attacks, for instance, Comrade Aidit defended The Manifesto of the Communist Party against outside attacks (The Debate Between Aidit and Suroto appeared in Buruh, Yogyakarta). And on the other hand, contradictions involving the application of Marxism to actual political life existed between the leaders of the Indonesian Communist Party and those of the Socialist Party, the Workers’ Party and the Socialist Youth League of Indonesia which claimed to have based themselves on Marxism-Leninism. It was only when the resolution concerning “The New Road of the Indonesian Republic” was adopted in 1948 at its National Congress that the Indonesian Communist Party corrected its political, tactical and organizational mistakes.

The struggle between Marxists and the reactionaries, and between Marxism and opportunism, was still going on after the Madiun-Provocation Incident and the war of aggression waged by the Ductch colonialists. Ignorant of the concrete conditions, the Marxists’ understanding of Marxist theories was dogmatic, however, and this was relfected in the programme of “Land Nationalization” put forward at that time. It can be said that the rebuilding of the Indonesian Communist Party in January 1951 brought about a revolution in the history of Marxism in Indonesia. A programme with correct strategy and tactics was for the first time combined with correct principles of organization. The Indonesian Marxists were beginning oto understand Indonesia!

The experiences – successful experiences – gained in awakening, mobilizing and organizing the masses in the fight for the abolition of the traitorous Round Table Conference Agreement and against the governments of Hatta, Natsir and Sukiman provided the best conditions for summing up the experiences of the revolution. And it was these experiences that made it possible in 1954 for the Fifth Congress of the Indonesian Communist Party to successfully formulate the Party Prgramme. This Programme, readopted at the Sixth Congress (Special), is still basically applicable. It is, indeed, a programme of historical significance, for it answers correctly for the first time all the important and fundamental questions of the Indonesian revolution. The Indonesian marxists have understood Indonesia!

This Party Programme creatively integrates dialectical and historical materialism with the actual condition in Indonesia; it also teaches us how to apply it to political struggles. This is waht we mean when we say that a policy should be the result of concret analysis of the concrete situation. The Party Programme points out that the Indonesian Communist Party bases its policies on a Marxist analysis of the concret situation and the balance of forces.

The Indonesian Communist Party can now work out more exact theories for the Indonesian revolution while doing all it can to make its programme easy to understand, i.e., striving to have it grasped by the masses. Subsequently, in The Indonesian Society and the Indonesian Revolution approved by the plenary session of the Central Committee in July 1957, Comrade Aidit, Chairman of the Indonesian Communist Party, made an excellent explanation of the fundamental questions of the Indonesia revolution. What is more important is that this book has solved and clarified all the problems concerning the basic strategy and tactics for the Indonesia revolution.

At that time more and more attention was paid to dialectical and historical materialism and how to creatively apply it at home and abroad. The famous Moscow Declaration was also published in 1957. This historic document pointed out the necessity for Marxist political Parties to apply dialectical and historical materialism to their actual work.

Later the Indonesian Communist Party took effective measures to remove the obstacles separating dialectical and historical materialism from the masses. The Indonesian Communist Party knows full well that dialectical and historical materialism is the ideological weapon of the masses of the people, which, once grasped by them, will become a mighty force. The Indonesian Communist Party maintains that not only Communists, but workers and the oppressed people as well, can study and grasp dialectical and historical materialism. The question is how to find the best way to help millions of people to grasp it. In order to do this, theoretical workers and leaders of the Indonesian Communist Party are making great efforts. In his general report to the Party’s Sixth Congress, Comrade Aidit pointed out that more regular lectures should be given to introduce dialectical and historical materialism, and that it should be closely linked up with living reality.

At the Constitutional Conferences held in 1957, 1958 and 1959, while debating the foundation of the state of the Indonesian Republic, many people launched attacks on the principles of Marxism, especially those of dialectical and historical materialism. At the conferences, the members of Parliament from the Indonesian Communist Party fought resolutely and with principle in safeguarding Marxism, dialectical and histrorical materialism, while defending the Five Principles for building the country and struggling for them.

The call to study and fight made at the Sixth Party Congress is: “Know Marxism-Leninism and be acquainted with the situation”. This slogan is a simple and clear appeal to the Indonesian revolutionaries to apply theory to practice.

This marks an important development of the proposition made by Comrade Aidit in 1954. This directive demanded that we investigate and study “the social and economic situation so as to decide our tactics for struggle and our methods for work”, otherwise, “a mistake in the investigation of actual facts will lead to wisful thinking and adventurism”.

Works by Comrade Aidit such as The Birth and Growth of the Communist Party of Indonesia  (1955), Lessons from the History of the CPI (1960), Lenin and Indonesia (1960), Indonesian Socialism (1962) and others, have further summed up, on the basis of dialectical and historical materialism, the experience of the Indonesian working-class movement over the past fifty years; and, proceeding from concrete experience, these works provide more complete, concrete theses for the tactics of the present working-class movement.

To draw lessons from every experience, big or small, heartening or disheartening, in other words, to benefit from every lesson, whether that of progress or retrogression, success or failure – this is what the Indonesian Marxist-Leninists have been doing since 1951. And they will continue to do so.

The Indonesian Marxist-Leninists believe that the problems in the international communist movement can provide useful lessons to serve as a text for an international Marxist-Leninist university, though some people are anxious and worried about these problems.  The Indonesia Marxist-Leninists carefully study all the materials, avoid subjectivism, take an active part in developing Marxism-Leninism and carry on a resolute principled struggle against modern revisionism and modern dogmatism.

The process of the integration of the universal truth of communism with the Indonesian working-class movement is “the great process of the Indonesianization of Marsism-Leninism”, and it is still going on. The Indonesian Marxist-Leninists may, and even will inevitably, make not only small but also big mistakes if they do not take a cautious attitude. But they will certainly win victory if they continue to take a sincere, earnest, modest and responsible attitude, continue to combine theory with practice, closely link themselves with the masses and practise self-criticism. The most important thing in this connection is to take the stand, viewpoint and method of the proletariat.



The first condition for consolidating and expanding the victory or dialectical and historical materialism is to resolutely oppose various schools of reactionary philosophy as well as those in the working-class movement which are disloyal to or have betrayed dialectical and historical materialism. Such philosophies are the basis of reformism and other forms of opportunism.

The 1960 Moscow Statement says that ideological issued are of special significance today. Communists regard it as their task to launch a determined offensive on the ideological front, and make every effort to emancipate the masses from the spiritual bondage of all types and forms of bourgeois ideology, including the pernicious influence of reformism.

If people don’t know what dialectical and historical materialism is, they will not be able to defend it. In turn, if people don’t know what pragmatism is, they will not be able to defeat it. When the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Indonesian Communist Party issued the famous “July the Eight Statement”, government officials were mobilized to confiscate copies of this statement though they were not told what they looked like. We shouldn’t do such a thing. ... No matter what action we take or what we defend, we must first of all be clear about the target of our action and what we are defending.

Since the emergence of modern revisionism, and in particular, since modern revisionism became the main danger to the international workers’ movement, the struggle between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism has also been unfolded in the sphere of philosophy. The modern revisionists have step by step betrayed dialectical and historical materialism. This is because dialectical and historical materialism is no longer useful to them; it has, in fact, even become a danger to them. Under such circumstances, the modern revisionist naturally need another philosophy to take the place of dialectical and historical materialism. When pragmatism offered a hand of assistance, the modern revisionists readily  welcomed it. Thus, modern revisionism has formed an alliance with pramatism. The American philosopher Harry K. Wells said that pragmatism is “the philosophy of imperialism”. Concreted criticism was made of pragmatism in The Ideology of the Imperialist-Bourgeoisie – Agitator of Aggresion and War, a collection published by the Institute of Philosophical Research of the Soviet Academy of Science in 1952. But strangely enough, the development of history shows how pragmatism has become the principal philosophy of modern revisionists from being that of the imperialists. Pragmatism develops also in a “dialectical” way!

What is dialectical and historical materialism?

In his lectures to the military training class of the civil officials of the Foreign Ministry of the Indonesian Republic, Comrade Aidit gave a concise, all-round, correct, popular and clear explanation of dialectical and historical materialism (some of the lectures have been published in pamhlet form, such as On Marxism, Marxism-Leninism and Its Indonesianization, and so on).

Lenin always wished and ecouraged Communist Party members, especially young ones, to become healthy and true Communists. I believe people cannot become healthy and true Communists if they do not strudy Comrade Aidit’s articles on dialectical and historical materialism. Here I don’t want to give any further explanation of dialectical and historical materialism which has already been dealt with, but I hope people will pay attention to one or two questions, and I think it is necessary to emphasize them.

Comrade Aidit points out that “Dialectical and historical materialism is not only part of Marxist theory, but also the foundation of the whole Marxist theory”. He said on another occasion that “philosophy is the theoretical basis of every tactic, line principle and policy of the Party”.

What is pragmatism?

Pragmatism was very popular for a time in America, its chief exponent being William James. Pragmatism is a school of philocophy, which judges truth according ot wether it is usefu. “It is useful because it is true, and it is true because it is useful”.

Abel Rey points out in his Modern Philosophy that “The following views accout for the features of pragmatism: anything, whatever it is, that is successfull and proves suitable for certain occasions, such as science, religion, morality, tradition, habit and convention, is a truth”.

When illustrating the practical actions of “the philosophy of the value of money” or “the philosophy of the merchant”, Comrade Aidit pointed out that “In reality, pragmatists only acknowledge the existence of subjective truths, but not the existence of objective actions. ... According to their theory, to carry on oppression, exploitation and aggressive wars against other people or other countries, such as the Ductch imperialists’ forcible occupation of our territory, Western Irian, is a truth, because it is beneficial to them!”

William James once said: “Pragmatism is a new name for some old ways of thinking”.

Lenin always taught us that recent philosophy is as partisan as was philosophy two thousand years ago. Thus, we can only see the essence of pragmatism if we look at it “from the principled stand of the Party”.

Today pragmatism reveals two prominent features: 1. It accepts what it rejected in the past, though objective conditions remain essentially the same. 2. Its policy is to make everything non-political, divorced from politics.

Owing to their pragmatic viewpoint and stand, ht modern revisionists usually put forward ridiculous pragmatic ideas. When in Yugoslav in the spring of 1958, I asked some revisionists the reason for the rise of prices and tram fares. “Stalin did not understand economy; his mistake was to reduce prices every year”,  was the reply. When I asked why they had broken up agricultural cooperatives and collective farms and why they imitated the West and liked abstract art and fantastic dances, they said: “Building socialism is the day’s business and dancing is what we do at night...”

The following examples show that the revisionists have accepted what they once rejected.

When they were still Marxists and not yet revisionists, they criticized the neglect of ideological education and the overemphasis on “material incentive” as being purely bourgeois in nature. However, it is just this “material incentive” that has become the pivot of the economic theories of modern revisionists.

When they were still Marxists and not yet revisionists, in foreign policy, they opposed settling every problem through the United Nations because its voting machine was controlled by the United States, and because it contained no representative of the People’s Republic of China. But what they advocate today is the settlement of every issue through the United Nations and this has led to the tragedy of the Congo (L).

When they were still Marxists and not yet revisionists, they sharply criticized the manifestations of bourgeois culture from abstract art to crazy dances. But today it is just these manifestations – they are even opposed in every corner of Indonesia, a not yet fully independent and still semi-feudal state – that have become the pleasures of life of the modern revisionists.

We can give more examples, but the ones cited above suffice to help people see through the real nature of pragmatism.

Following are some examples of non-political policies:

In economics, the modern revisionists say that “what is important today is economics, not politics”, and under the pretext that “the time devoted to production is more precious”, they cancel the political meetings of trade unions, youth organizations and so on. They even laugh at us when we say “production and economics are determined by politics”.

In literature and art, they put more emphasis on beauty that on politics and maintain that beauty can be separated from politics. They say that artists and writers are “first of all artists and writers and then political workers”, and they even mock our view that “politics is the marshal or the general”.

On the question of war and peace, they say that the important thing is not politics, but “the reduction of fall-out in the atmosphere”. They seperate fall-out from politics and even make fun of our statement: “There is a difference between the imperialist atomic wepons and the socialist atomic weapons”.

The modern revisionists have gone so far astray as to repudiate the revolutionaty spirit of Marxism and even Marxism itself. They substitute humanism for the class viewpoint, and class harmony and collaboration for class strugle.

In line with their pragmatic philosophy, they have no regard for pinciples. They swing now to the north, now to the south, depending on which direction will bring them more benefits. Thus, we can easily see through the hypocrisy of these renegades to Marxism. The best method is to expose their present stand by the stand they took in the past, that is, to oppose the position they take when they have become revisionists with that which they took when they were still Marxists.

The question about non-politics is not at all a new one. In his article Once Again on the Trade Unions, the Present Situation and the Mistakes of Trotsky and Bukharin, Lenin fully exposed Trotsky and Bukharin and reaffirmed the proposition of Marx: “Politics are the concentrated expression of economics”. Lenin pointed out clearly: “Politics cannot but have precedence over economics. To argue differently means forgetting the ABS of Marxism”.

Later Lenin criticised “combining the political approach with the economic approach” put forward by Trotsky and Bukharin on the pretext of “overcoming the one-sidedness of the political approach”, and he pointed out that such a vies was not dialectics but “eclecticism””. Since Trotsky and Bukharin always had “logical grounds” on their lips, Lenin pointed out that their logic was nothing but “the point of view of formal, or scholastic, logic and not of dialectical, or Marxian, logic”. Indeed, in the two sections “Politics and Economics. Dialectics and Eclecticism” and “Dialectics and Eclecticism. ‘School’ and ‘Apparatus’” in Once Again on the Trade Unions, the Present Situation and the Mistakes of Trotsky and Bukharin, Lenin teaches us in concrete and clear terms how to distinguish “dialectical logic” from “formal logic”, and “dialectics” from “eclecticism”.

What is worth our attention is that the revisionists are usually pedantic and arrogant. They style themselves as great theoreticians. They are self-opnionated, contemptuous of others’ views and afraid of criticsms. They are apt to lose their temper. They look at the world from an ivory tower though this ivory tower stands within the working-class movement!

They are particularly fond of teaching others, but detest learning from others. They like other people to understand and respect them, but never want to understand and respect others. They like other people to be grateful to them, but never think of being grateful to others. In their eyes, Asia, Africa and Latin America is a backward region which has contributed nothing to world civilization. When compiling textbooks on philosophy, economics and history of this or that kind, they ignore or basically ignore the development of Asia, Africa and Latin America. They are haughty like the one-eyed hero in the land of the blind. They do not understand that the people of the world are not blind men, but great people. They don’t understand what Lenin said half a century ago: “Backward Europe and Advanced Asia”. What they have done is just what Lenin denounced in that article. The difference is that those whom Lenin denounced as supporters of “everything that is backward, moribund and medieval” were at that time “the commanding bourgeoisie” in Europe, and now, in addition to the imperialist capitalists whom Lenin denounced, the modern revisionists have also become such “supporters”.

Instead of helping the masses to be self-confident, the modern revisionists teach them to depend on others. Instead of bolstering the courage of the people, they spread terror among them.

They bluster before the weak like the wolf before the sheep. They submit to the imperialists as the sheep does to the wolf!

Proceeding from pragmatic philosophy, they judge what is right and what is wrong according to whether it is useful to them or not. The moment pragmatism emerged, its weaknesses were fully exposed. Are things correct because they are useful or are things useful because they are correct?

We believe that correct things are not necessarily those which will attain instant success. Take, for example, some events in the international political situation. The struggles of the people of Laos, south Vietnam, north Kalimantan, Malaya, the Philippines and Venezuela are just but they have not yet succeeded. Take the Cuban revolution for example, it is just and has succeeded. In turn, the policies of the Dutch imperialists towards Western Irian have completely failed and the U.S. imperialists have also suffered a total defeat ini Cuba. They did not succeed because they were unjust. The imperialist, however, di succeed in some way in Iraq and Brazil. Does this mean that they are right? The Marxist-Leninists, guided by dialectical and historical materialism, adopt an entirely different attitude to political problems from the revisionists who base themselves on pragmatism. Take the Congo question, for example. At its Seventh Congres the Indonesian Communist Party condemned Adoula while the revisionists were happily chatting with him.

There is no other way to defend dialectical and historical materialism, the philosophy of Marxist-Leninists, except to carry on a resolute struggle against pragmatism – the philosophy of the world’s reactionaries and revisionists.



Dialectical and historical materialism is the foundation of the law of logic of social sciences. It is the only philosophy which gives a correct explanation of the relationship between being and consciousness and which correctly expounds the relationship between theory and practice.

Agnosticism, the direct opposite of dialectical and historical materialism, holds that the objective world is unknowable. “Neo-Positivism” does not acknowledge the existence of objective laws and the fact that things are conditioned by each other. Modernism also has various manifestations in philosophy, such as “Existentialism” which holds that man, unaffected by his environment, can achieve his “self-existence”, and Santayan’s philosophy of aesthetics and morality which believes that the “realm of essence” is the only form of reality.

Dialectical and historical materialism believes that nothing is unrecognizable, unknowable and incomprehensible. There does exist absolute truth. But because of man’s limited environment and family background, his understanding at each stage is confined to relative truth. In other words, complete uniformity has not yet been reached between understanding and reality. Lenin puts this as the objective reflection of the relative correctness in subjectivity.

According to dialectical and historical materialism, all knowledge is acquired from practice. There are, however, two kinds of knowledge: one is natural science which is acquired from the practise of production; the other is social science which is acquired from the practice of class struggle.

No knowlege can be correct or of any use unless it has gone through the test of practice. Marx said: “In practice man must prove the truth, that is, the reality and power”. And an English proverb says, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating”, a proverb much appreciated by Engels.

Indeed, it will be entirely fruitless for two foreigners to argue about “the tashte of durians” if neither has eaten them!

If a Marxist pays no attention to practice and facts, he is by no means a trus Marxist. During his visit to Indonesia, Comrade V. G. Wilcos, General Secretary of the Communist Party of New Zealand, said that every Marxist should consider and study all the facts that he knows.

Not long ago, Comrade Aidit said: “A Marxist Party which does not lay emphasis on investigation and study is not a serious Marxist Party”. In 1951 the Indonesian Communist Party began to combine its political, organizational and ideological work with investigation and study. And that is the reason why it has made such a rapid development. Comrade Aidit himself has set an example in this respect. He investigated the situation of the peasants and their movement first in Western Java, then in Eastern and Central Java. The result of his first investigation has been published and that of the second and third investigations will come out successively.

The reason for the call on all cadres of the Indonesian Communist Party including theoreticians, artists, writers and journalists to go down to the grassroots, is to give them a chance to understand the situation from personal experience. Without understanding the situation a revolutionary cannot identify himself with the oppressed people. Without personal experience one cannot acquire a thorough understanding of the situation. People can get some indirect knowledge of the situation from books and from what other people say. For there is so much for us to know and it is impossible to experience everything personally. But knowledge gained from personal practice is more reliable than that gained in an indirect way.

Suppose a man from the city has noticed for several days that some poor peasants and farm labourers have only one meal a day and what they eat is not even rice. He will “sympathize” with them and probably be so moced as to shed tears. But this man can never understand and feel deeply if he has not experienced having only one meal a day, without rice, for a week on end.

In a word, one connot be a good soldier without plunging oneself into battles, and one cannot be a true revolutionary without plunging oneself into the revolutionary struggle.

It is no easy matter to apply the theories of materialism to the Party’s political work and to formulate correct political lines with scientific methods. A Party cannot accomplish this unless it bases itself on democratic centralism, carries out collective leadership, dares to admit mistakes, even serious ones, and correct them, constantly learns from the masses and draws upon experiences of other countries’ revolutionary movement.

Comrade Aidit said:

The Party now has a clear and definite strategy and basic tactics, and therefore will not easily be taken in by “Left” or capitulationist ideas. It will not be easy for the Party to be incited and still harder to become dizzy with success. But it is not enough to know only the strategy and basic tactics. It has always been necessary for our Party to know the developing situation in a detailed, or at least in a comparatively detailed way, so as to decide our stand according to the situation, take measures and actions that are favourable to the people and push the revolutionary movement forward. ... The decision of the Central Committee to strengthen the investigation and study of the situation and the life of the masses is completely correct. ...

In formulating the Party’s tactics, the principle of dialectical materialism – “Subjectivity mus be in conformity with objectivity” – should always be observed. As Comrade Aidit said that in a given period of time “the developing situation” or the balance of strength exists “objectively”, but our thinking is something “subjective”. If tactics we have formulated do not conform with “the developing situation”, or if we do not adopt progressive methods to change the situation, then our tactics are subjective. The tactics are objective only when they are formulated according to “the developing situation” and when progressive measures are taken to change the situation. In other words, the situation should be changed through “the Marxist analysis of the concrete conditions and the balance of strength” as is expounded in the Programme of the Indonesian Communist Party.

Apart from formulating the correct tactics for each period, the Marxist-Leninist Parties are also faced with the question of helping the masses tograsp Marxism-Leninism. The only feasible way is to give the masses a concise and clear explanation of Marxism-Leninism. It is difficult, at present, to give an over-all estimate of the significance of the formula “do do re mi fa”[1] put forward by Comrade Aidit. It helps the masses to see the role of Marxism-Leninism in solving the question of the Indonesian revolution, and thus make Marxism-Leninism something they should hold dear. A Marxist who keeps Marxism to himself and make no effort to offer it to the people is by no means a true Marxist.

The development of Marxism in Indonesia has entered upon a new phase in which it has become the main trend in the struggle to transform Indonesia. In Indonesia there is not a single statesman who does not know Marxism or who has not been affected by Marxism. Even the Indonesian counter-revolutionaries, finding it extremely difficult to be open reactionaries, dress themselves in the garb of revolutionaries and, together with the middle-or-the-roaders who oppose imperialism but at the samt time fear the far-reaching consequences ensuing from such an action, call themselves “Marxists”. The term “dialectics” has now become a model in Indonesia. Some interpret the meaning of dialectics as Presiden Sukarno did, who, when presenting his presidential Programme, said that “truth comes from the friction of different opinions”. Others just parrot workds such as “dialectics, dialectics” without knowing “the head or tail of it”.

Dialectical and historical materialism can and will surely contribute to the thorough realization of the ideals of the August Revolution of 1945. The contributions will be significant, if not decisive. Therefore, we should study and learn to apply dialectical and historical materialism still better, and make full use of the Indonesian versions of the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung and Aidit. Some self-styled “Marxists” who are in fact revisionists criticize these works, saying some parts are “oversimplified”. Look! Am I not right in saying that the revisionists are just like those people who make boastful and obscure statements? Anna Louise Strong, the well-known Amereican writer, of whom Brother Sukarno speaks so highly, said to me last winter that she thought there are three revolutionary leaders in the contemporary world “who speak the people’s languange”, They are Mao Tse-tung, Castro and Aidit. Undoubtedly, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il Sung and Sanzo Nosaka also speak the people’s language. But have the critics written anything better than those works they criticize as being “oversimplified”? True, some people have written textbook of Marxism-Leninism of this or that kind, but after reading them people really cannot make out what is the essence of Marxism-Leninism. But in Stalin’s The Foundation of Leninism the explanations are so explicit, the main points of the problems are so clearly dealt with and the language is so lucid that after reading it one will get it forever imprinted on one’s mind. Of course, people should study other works and learn how to apply them creatively. It is, however, most important to tead Stalin’s book if one wants to understand the fundamental questions of the peasants, the dictatorship or the proletariat, the Party, and theory and methods. In the sphere of philosophu – apart from the classics of Marx, Engels, Plekhanov and Lenin – there are also Dialectical and Historical Materialism and Anarchism or Socialism? By Stalin, and On Practice, On Contradiction, On the Correct Handling of Contradiction Among the People by Mao Tse-tung. The articles by Comrade Aidit, as mentioned befor, in which he expounds dialectical and historical materialism, have been collected in his works On Marxism and Marxism-Leninism and Its Indonesianization. If we want to be what Maxim Gorky called a “true revolutionary” and not an “amateur revolutionary”, we must study these works, and study them again and again.

Let us strive for the victory of our revolution with the weapon of dialectical and historical materialism!

[1] The formula “do do re mi fa”, namely, “11234”, means in a revolution there is one vanguard – the workers; one main force – the peasants; two foundations for the national front – the workers and peasants; three motivating forces- the workers, peasants and the petty-bourgeoisie, in other words, the entire labouring masses; four forces of the national front -  the workers, peasants, the petty-bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie (see the Resolution on Aidit’s Political Report at the Secon Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committec of the Indonesian Communist Party) – Editor’s note.