· Subject: [Marxism] Indonesian split
· From: Philip Ferguson
· Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2008 18:53:35 +1300
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· Thread-topic: Indonesian split
Nick, were you at the Asia-pacific-Latin America solidarity conference
in Melbourne in October?
One of the workshops I went to was about working with, or in the context
of, substantial Islamist organisations and the speakers were Dita Sari
on Indonesia and Farooq Tariq on Pakistan.
There was quite a strong disagreement between the two speakers. Farooq
seemed quite appalled at the idea of the PRD merging with an Islamic
party for electoral purposes in Indonesia and generally more critical of
the idea of working with Islamists although he certainly wasn't against
it in principle.
I was quite shocked by what Dita Sari was saying because it seemed that
the PRD would basically merge with a bourgeois party - it was the fact
that it was a capitalist party that I found disturbing, the Islamism was
just an extra layer of disturbing. It was rather redolent of the
Chinese CP getting hooked in behind the KMT, but even more so.
I certainly realise that in those Third World countries where religion
is especially strong, as in the Islamic case, a lot of sensitivity to
such feelings of the masses is important.
But I also know a lot about another oppressed country where religion
was/is very strong, namely Ireland, and kowtowing to Catholicism has
never done revolutionaries there any good. In order not to antagonise
the Catholic Church too much, Irish republicans made far too many
concessions - especially in the south where they should have led the
fight for a secular society.
The fact that republicans far too often abstained from that fight meant
the (partial) secularisation of southern society was carried out to a
large extent by pro-imperialist middle class liberals. It strengthened
their hand in associating Irish republicanism with social conservatism
while at the same time limiting the degree of social progress on very
basic issues like divorce, contraception, separation of church and state
not to mention women's right to abortion.