Hold Aloft the Reputation and Honour of the Communist

(Message of the Political Bureau of the CC PKI. Yogyakarta, May 23, 1966)

Source: Build the PKI along the Marxist-Leninist line to the the People's Democratic Revolution in Indonesia. Published by the Delegation of the CC PKI, 1971. PDF Scan.


On May 23, 1966, the PKI marks the 46th anniversary of its founding. Unlike what it used to be in the last few years, the present anniversary of our Party is observed under the most difficult conditions for the Communists and non-Party revolutionaries, when the Right-wing forces headed by the Nasution-Suharto clique of generals have unleashed the most vicious white terror in the past seven months, and committed the most brutal and outrageous crimes, unprecedented in modern Indonesian history. The Party organization as well as other revolutionary organizations have suffered very serious damage. Not less than 200.000 Communists, including their principal leader as well as non-Communist progressives were brutally murdered. Not less than 300.000 others were thrown into prisons, where they are subjected to mental and physical torture. Tens of thousands of families have been deprived of their livelihood. Nevertheless, the Communists and their militant sympathizers do not let the birthday of their beloved and revered Party pass unobserved. In prisons and detention camps, in places where they have escaped arrest and terror, yes, on the freshly dug graves of our comrades where grass has hardly grown, Party members mark the birthday of the PKI as an event of great historical significance in the struggle of the Indonesian working people for complete national independence, democracy and socialism.

Today, we bow in tribute to our comrades and Party sympathizers of all generations who have selflessly laid down their lives in the great struggle of the Indonesian people for independence and liberation and for the cause of Communism. We solemnly pledge that we will wholeheartedly follow their path of struggle, and transform this sorrow into an unyielding determination to continue the struggle.

The spokesmen of the Indonesian Right-wing forces, after having reviewed the results of their barbarous terror such as the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Communists, including their principal leaders, the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands more, the purge of what they call elements of the “September 30th Movement” from civil and military posts, and the decree on the dissolution of the PKI, smugly said that now the PKI can go longer play any role in political life. They have even arrogantly declared that the PKI and Marxism-Leninism do not deserve the right existence in Indonesia. However, history has proved and will continue to prove that even the most brutal suppression in the present era can never succeed in destroying the Communist Party and the Communist teachings.

Since more than a century ago when the Communist movement began to spread in Europe, the world reactionaries have joined their forces to suppress it. But far from stamping it out, they have not even succeeded in blocking the development of this movement. The Communist movement has scored victory stage by stage, and just after a little more than a century it has succeeded in liberating hundreds of millions of people in various countries from capitalist exploitation and has built Socialism. It has given tremendous encouragement to the struggle for independence and national liberation of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The birth of the PKI 46 years ago was in conformity with the process of world history and with the needs and objective conditions of the development of the struggle of the Indonesia working class. The victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia in 1917 gave the Indonesian Marxists, who were then organized in the Indies (PSDH), the lesson that to really become a political force capable of leading the struggle of the Indonesian people for liberation and Socialism, the Indonesian working class must have a Party of e new type, the Communist Party of Indonesia. Such a political party as the PSDH could no longer meet the objective demand of the struggle of the Indonesian working class. Thus the integration of the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the revolutionary movement of the Indonesian working class had given birth to the PKI.

As is the case with the history of the Communist Parties in other countries of the world, the history of the PKI during the last 46 years has been a period full of upheavals, characterized by sharp and uninterrupted bitter struggle against the various domestic and foreign reactionary farces, and also against the enemies within the ranks of the Party. For the Dutch imperialist and the Japanese fascist militarist in the past, as well as for the U.S. imperialists and the domestic reactionaries today, the PKI is a force in Indonesia they fear most, because it represents the greatest menace to their very interest. This is the reason why the Dutch imperialists, the Japanese fascist militarist, the U.S. imperialist as well as the domestic reactionaries have never stopped concocting plots against the PKI and have always been seeking for a chance to destroy it. Repeatedly the PKI has been subjected to heavy blows in its unceasing struggle. Time and again, victims have fallen from its ranks, consisting of its best cadres, including its principal leaders. However, each time after it suffered a blow, the PKI would rise again in greater strength after correcting its mistakes.

When the armed struggle of the Indonesian people under the leadership of the PKI to overthrow the Dutch colonial regime in 1926 was defeated, the latter meted out the most brutal suppression of the Communists and their sympathizers and decreed the PKI as an outlawed party. But was the PKI destroyed after the first rampaging white terror? No! The PKI continued to exist and carried on the struggle against imperialism and its lackeys. In 1935, for the second time, the Dutch colonial regime struck at the PKI. But those Communists who escaped arrest continued the struggle together with the other patriots in the anti- fascist front. And during the Japanese fascist militarist occupation the PKI waged an unremitting fight against it. During this period of occupation the PKI suffered another serious below. A great number of victims fell, consisting of important cadres and principal leaders of the Party. But still the PKI was not destroyed. Those Communists who were still alive together with young cadres emerged in the struggle against Japanese fascist terror, continued the struggle against the fascist, and together with the other patriotic forces played an active role in pushing ahead the proclamation of independence of the Republic of Indonesia on August 17, 1945, and, later on, took an active part in the armed struggle to defend the Republic of Indonesia against the armed aggression by the Dutch imperialist. In 1948, the reactionary Hatta government, in collusion with the U.S. imperialists, launched a large-scale and barbarous white terror against the PKI. Again this time it lost its principal leaders. However, the PKI rose up again and grew after taking an active part in the second war of independence. In 1951, the reactionary Sukiman government tried to unleash another white terror against the PKI but ended in complete failure.

Apart from the blows suffered by the PKI on a national scale, its local organizations suffered severe blows by the domestic reactionaries such as during the white terror of the DI/TII, PRRI/Permesta,[1] etc. All these blows proved to be incapable of liquidating the PKI. During the last 14 years the PKI has even grown and expanded throughout the country reaching a membership of more than 3 million. During this period the PKI played an important role not only in the fight to crush the counter-revolutionary rebellions at home, but also in the struggle to foil the policy of the U.S. imperialist aimed at dominating Indonesia.

This historical experience proves that once the PKI comes into existence it can never be annihilated, no matter how severe is the storm which strikes at it. Once history has given birth to the PKI, it will exist forever until it has carried out, through to the finish, the historical mission which rest upon its shoulders, that is, to lead the Indonesian proletariat in the liberation of the nation, in the building of Socialism and Communism. The eternal source of life of the PKI is none other than the working class and the working people of Indonesia.

Now, once again, the PKI is undergoing a test. The defeat of the “September 30th Movement” has been exploited by the Right-wing forces, headed by the Nasution-Suharto clique of generals, to unleash a third white terror, after the PKI had been living through a period of relatively peaceful struggle long enough for a semi-independent and semi-feudal country. Once again the question arises: will the PKI this time rise again in greater strength?

On the basis of the objective laws of the development of the Indonesian society and of historical experience, it is entirely without doubt that the PKI not only will rise again in greater strength, but that it will certainly succeed in leading the Indonesia working class and working people in the fight to overthrow the power of the Indonesia Right-wing forces, which are backed by the imperialist headed by the U.S., and will succeed in leading the Indonesian people to a new era, free from oppression by imperialism and feudal vestiges.

The Indonesia Right-wing forces headed by the Nasution-Suharto clique of the Right-wing army generals are at the moment indeed in a superior position in comparison with the people’s forces. They have won victory and are consolidating this victory. But theirs is not an everlasting position, and nor even one which is in conformity with historical necessity. It is the contrary which is a historical necessity, that is, that the imperialist and all reactionaries shall be the losers and that the people shall be the victors. This historical necessity will become a reality through hard struggle. By way of hard, tenacious, daring and skillful struggle by the Communists to arouse and to organize anew the masses of the people, especially the workers and peasants, it is sure that the situation can be changed, that the people’s forces can take over the position which is now occupied by the forces of the Right-wing group.

The objective factors, both international and national, will prove that the Right-wing forces, now consolidating their victory, have with them fatal weaknesses, which will certainly lead to their final defeat. It is imperialism first and foremost U.S. imperialism, which has become the main prop of the rule of the Right-wing forces, as has been increasingly proven with each passing day. But today imperialism is no longer a force that can become a firm mainstay of the reactionaries in those countries who rely on imperialism. In India, for instance, U.S. imperialist “aid” cannot free that country from the grip of an ever deepening economic crisis, and thus cannot help improve the position of the country’s reactionary rulers. In South Vietnam, not only financial “aid”, but even the direct war of aggression against the people launched by two-thirds of the U.S. aggressor troops stationed in Southeast Asia, equipped with the most modern weapon, cannot save the reactionary clique of the Saigon regime from its doom, nor can it prevent the South Vietnamese people from liberating themselves and the domestic reactionaries. Such is also the case in Laos, Thailand and definitely in Indonesia.

With power completely in the hands of the Right-wing forces, who represent the interest of the imperialists, the bureaucrat-capitalist, the comprador-bourgeoisie and the landlords, there is no possibility to ensure the basic interest of the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal classes, that is, the workers, the peasants, the urban petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie. An increasingly sharp contradiction is bound to develop between the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal classes of the country on the one hand, and the Right-wing forces representing the interests of the imperialist and the domestic big exploiting classes on the other. Within the camp of the big exploiting classes a struggle for power will also develop fiercely. All these are the national and international objective factors, which constitute the fatal weakness of the Right-wing forces that would make it possible to defeat them.

As to how far could this possibility be translated into reality, it depends upon the capability of the subjective factor, that is, the capability of the PKI in continuing to lead the struggle of the workers and peasants. That’s why the urgent task being faced by the Indonesian Communists at the moment is to rebuild the greatly damaged PKI, and, at the same time, to arouse and organize anew the popular masses, in particular the workers and peasants and to build up, on the basis of a worker-peasant alliance led by the working class, a united front with other democratic forces in order to fight the rule of the Right-wing forces, the mainstay of the imperialists. The PKI must educate the Indonesian people that the only way to get rid of a deficient life, misery and humiliation, is to overthrow the power of the Right-wing forces, who represent the interests of imperialism and of the domestic big exploiting classes, and to establish a people’s regime, the regime of people’s democracy, that is, a democratic dictatorship of the workers, peasants and other democratic elements. It is only such a regime that will be able to completely eradicate imperialism and the vestiges of feudalism and to wipe out bureaucrat-capitalist, comprador-capitalist and other corrupt elements and in this way a real change of the people’s living conditions can be brought about.

These tasks are arduous, complicated and fraught with dangers. But this is the only way for the Communists to be able to fulfil their mission. It is our confidence that every Communist who is conscious of the historical mission he carries on history shoulders, has always the will to carry out his task to the best of his ability, thus holding aloft the reputation and honour of the Communist.

The history of the PKI’s development during the past 46 years is also one of an incessant struggle to grasp firmly the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism and to put it into practice correctly according to the concrete conditions of the Indonesian society and revolution. Experience has taught us that to firmly grasp the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism and to apply it to the concrete condition of the Indonesian society and revolution will be possible only if the PKI cadres, in particular those most responsible in the Party leadership, have the most correct, unfragmentary and systematic understanding – one which is practical and not abstract—of Marxism-Leninism and of applying it in analyzing the concrete problems arising from the life of Indonesian society. A subjective, one-sided and superficial interpretation and petty bourgeois arrogance will impede one’s effort to gain a systematic understanding of Marxism-Leninism, to obtain a practical and not an abstract theoretical knowledge, and therefore this will lead to political and organizational mistakes.

The fact that the counter-revolutionary forces could, in a brief space of time, strike at and inflict enormous damage on the PKI obliges us, who can still continue this revolutionary struggle, to carry out criticism and self-criticism, as the only correct way to find out our shortcomings and errors in the theoretical, political and organizational fields, so as to rectify them subsequently. We are convinced that by carrying out criticism and self-criticism in a correct manner, that is, doing it honestly, wholeheartedly and free from petty bourgeois ambitions and with the aim of improving our service – individual as well as collective – to our people and fatherland, our Party will gradually emerge from the current difficult situation.

In the struggle to defend Marxism-Leninism, the PKI is one of the parties actively opposing Khrushchovite modern revisionism, which for the time being has done great harm to the struggle of the international proletariat for Socialism and to the national liberation struggle of the peoples against old and new colonialism. In relation to the fight against modern revisionism, the PKI has warned that the gains which have been won in a relatively peaceful struggle during a fairly long period of time have facilitated the emergence of modern revisionism, which finds expression, among other things, in the allegation that the power of the imperialists and the reactionary classes of the country can be defeated by parliamentary peaceful ways or by the gradual undermining of their power. Such allegation may also arise from among those who cannot endure the extremely difficult situation faced by the Party and the people’s revolutionary movement in general. For this reason our Party must continue to raise high the banner of anti-revisionism.

Apart from this, the Party has to ceaselessly combat petty bourgeois impatience, which leads to adventurism. The Party must make intensive efforts to eradicate completely subjectivism, which, in the history of the Party, has given birth to Right-wing as well as “Left-wing” opportunist mistakes. The struggle against sus within our Party must not be belittled in view of the fact that inn society, which represents an ocean of the petty bourgeoisie, is the principal source of subjectivism and also in view of the generally low level of the theoretical knowledge of our Party’s members and cadres.

From those comrades who, because of their deep sense of responsibility, continue to lead the Party at various levels, we expect hard efforts to encourage the full play of the critical thinking of the members and of criticism from below, notwithstanding the difficult conditions.

On the occasion of the 46th anniversary of the Party, we express our deep gratitude to the fraternal Parties for all their sympathy and solidarity. Their manifestations of sympathy and solidarity have further strengthened our confidence in the invincibility of the Communist movement in the world as a whole as well as in Indonesia. The PKI is sure that in the days to come the solidarity of the fraternal Marxist-Leninist Parties will grow in extent and scale. The PKI will work hard in order to meet the best wishes of the fraternal Marxist-Leninist Parties for the defeat of the Indonesian reactionary forces, who enjoy the full support of the imperialists, the U.S. in particular.

Let us transform this sorrow into a steel-like determination to defeat, once and for all, the home reactionaries!

Long live Marxism-Leninism, the liberating ideology of the peoples of the world!

Long live the heroic people of Indonesia!

Glory to the PKI!


Yogyakarta, May 23, 1966


[1] DI/TII: Darul Islam/Tentara Islam Indonesia (Indonesian Islamic Army). A reactionaries armed movement and its political wing which perpetrated terrorism and lootings, arsons, etc. against the people in West and Central Java, and in South Sulawesi. PRRI/Permesta: Pemerintah Revolusioner Republik Indonesia (Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Indonesia) and the acronym of Perjuangan Semesta (Overall Struggle). Counter-revolutionary rebellious groups in 1958 backed by U.S. imperialism, in Sumatera (PRRI) and in North Sulawesi (Permesta).