LIKE the son of Bima,1 who was born in an age of struggle, Young Indonesia2 now sees the light of day, at a time when the peoples of Asia are deeply dissatisfied with their lot—dissatisfied with their economic lot, dissatisfied with their political lot and dissatisfied with their lot in every other respect!
The age of being satisfied with conditions as they are has passed. A new age, a youthful age has arrived, like the dawn of a dear morning. The conservative theory that “the little man must be satisfied with his lot, content to sit in the background of historical events and offer himself and his possessions in the service of those who stand out in front,” is no longer accepted by the people of Asia. Their faith that the men who rule them today are true “guardians” who will one day relinquish their” guardianship” is also wearing thin. Less and less do they believe that those who rule them today are really “elder brothers” who will voluntarily let them go free when they are “mature” and have “come of age.”
This disbelief is based on the knowledge, is based on the conviction that the primary cause of colonization is not the desire for fame nor the wish to see the world; nor is it the longing for freedom, nor population pressures faced by the colonizers in their own countries, as Gustav Klenun would have it3 The prime cause of colonization is the search for gain.
“Colonization is primarily the result of shortages of goods in the home country,” according to Dietrich Schafer.4 It was these shortages which caused the Europeans to seek their fortunes abroad, and explains why they colonized those countries which would yield them a profitable livelihood. And this is the reason, of course, why it is very difficult to believe in the emancipation of these colonies by their colonizers. A man does not readily give up his source of livelihood, since in doing so he signs his own death warrant.
So it is that year after year, decade after decade, the peoples of Europe have held dominion over the countries of Asia. For decades, profits from Asia have found their way back to Europe, especially to Western Europe, which has thereby amassed untold wealth. ‘The popular hero of the wayang shadow-play, Raden Gatutkatja. 2 The magazine in which this article originally appeared was called Suluh Indonesia Muda (The Torch of Young Indonesia).
Gustav Klemm (1802-1867) was a German historian whose ten-volume Culturgescflichte der Menschheit (Cultural history of mankind) had a considerable reputation in its time. Dietrich Schafer (1845-1929) was a German historian noted for his Weltgeschichte der Neuzeit (Modem world history).
Such is the tragic history of the colonies! It is the realization of this tragedy which has awakened the colonized peoples. For, even though outwardly defeated and submissive, the Spirit of Asia is eternal. The Spirit of Asia is still alive, like an inextinguishable flame. It is the realization of this tragedy that has now become the inner spirit of the people’s movement in Indonesia, a movement with a single common goal, yet with three aspects—Nationalist, Islamic and Marxist-
It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to study these three aspects, to determine the relationship between them, to prove that in a colonial situation hostility between them is pointless, and to show that these three “waves” can work together to form a single, gigantic and irresistible tidal wave. Whether or not we will succeed in carrying out this heavy and glorious responsibility is not for us to determine. Nevertheless, we must never abandon our efforts, we must never stop trying to fulfill our obligation to help unite these forces into a single movement. I am convinced that it is only this unity which will bring us to the realization of our dreams: a Free Indonesia.
I do not know how this unity will be achieved or what form it will take- But of one thing I am certain: the ship that will take us to a Free Indonesia is the Ship of Unity! Perhaps we have as yet no Mahatma, a helmsman who can build and steer this Ship of Unity.5 Yet I am convinced that eventually the day will come when a Mahatma will appear in our midst. That is why I am proud to do my part in coaching for and smoothing the way toward this unity. That indeed is the purpose of this short article.
NATIONALISM, ISLAM AND MARXISM
These are the principles embraced by the peoples’ movements all over Asia. These are the concepts which have become the spirit of the movements in Asia as well as of the movements here in Indonesia.
The Budi Utomo, the “late” Nationaal Indische Partij—which is still “alive”—the Partai Sarekat Islam, the Perserikatan Minahasa, the Partai Komunis Indonesia, and many other parties each have their own spirit of Nationalism, Islam, or Marxism.6 Can these spirits work together in a colonial system to form one Great Spirit, the Spirit of Unity? A Spirit of Unity that will lead us to the arena of Greatness? In colonial territories can the Nationalist movement be joined with the Islamic movement, which essentially denies the nation? Can it be allied with Marxism, which proclaims an international struggle?
Sukarno is clearly alluding to Mohandas Karamchand Candhi (1869-1948), and the central role that he played in the Indian nationalist movement of the time. The honorific title of Mahatma (Great Soul) was
given to Gandhi by his fellow nationalists because of his extraordinary personal qualities and his unifying leadership.
6 Budi Utomo, founded on May 20, 1906, is usually regarded as the first modem nationalist organization in Indonesian history. Javanese in orientation, it was cautious and cooperative in its attitude towards the colonial authorities. The national lndische Partij (National Indies Party) was the new name given in July 1919 to the older Indische Partij. The objective of the party was the independence of the Netherlands Indies, on the basis of cooperation between all raciaL groups residing there. It drew its main strength from the Eurasian community. Sukarno here alludes to the fact that most of its top leaders were exiled or imprisoned by the Dutch colonial government. The Partai Sarekat Islam (Islamic Association Party) was established in February 1923 by anti-Communist leaders of the Sarekat Islam, which was in the process of disintegrating due to the conflict between its Marxist and Islamic wings. The Perserikatan Minahasa (Minahassan Association) was founded on Java in August 1912, to represent the interests of migrant Menadonese from North Sulawesi. The Partai Kornunis Indonesia (Indonesian Communist Party) was formed on May 23, 1920.
Under colonial systems can Islam, as a religion, cooperate with Nationalism, which stresses the nation, and with Marxism, which teaches materialism? Will we be successful in our efforts to bring together the Budi Utomo, which is so patient, gentle and moderate, with the PKI whose thrust is so forceful and whose struggle is so militant and radical? The Budi Utomo, which is so evolutionary by nature, and the PM, which, though very small, has been hounded and repressed by its enemies, who have apparently taken to heart Al. Carthill’s warning that “rebellions are usually the work of minorities, indeed of tiny minorities.”7
In 1882 Ernest Renan expressed his views on the concept of the nation.8 A nation, he said, has a soul, an intellectual foundation, which consists of two things: first of all, a people must have shared a common history; secondly, a people must possess the will and desire to live as one. Neither race, language, religion, common needs nor state boundaries make a nation. In recent years, aside from such writers as Karl Kautsky and Karl Radek, it has been Otto Bauer above all who has studied the concept of the nation9 “A nation is a unity of attitudes which derives from a unity of historical experience,” he says.
Nationalism is the conviction, the consciousness of a people, that they are united in one group, one nation. Whatever the explanations advanced by these master theorists, it is certain that nationalist feeling creates a sense of self-confidence, and this is something absolutely essential if we are to defend ourselves in the struggle to overcome conditions that would defeat us.
It was this self-confidence which made the Budi Utomo people steadfast and determined in their efforts to achieve a Greater Java; it is this self-confidence which endows the revolutionary nationalists with the will to seek a Greater Indies or a Free Indonesia. Can the feeling of nationalism—which, because of this very self-confidence so easily turns into national arrogance and no less easily takes the further step of becoming racial arrogance, even though the concept of race is utterly different from the concept of nation, since race is a biological, while nationalism is a sociological concept—in the struggle of the colonized peoples can Nationalism be coupled with Islam, which in its essence knows no nation and which in fact has been embraced by a variety of nations and races? Under colonial systems. can Nationalism ally itself with Marxism, which is international and inter-racial? With full conviction, I answer: “Yes!”
Although Nationalism by its very nature excludes all parties who do not share the “desire to live as one”; although Nationalism actually belittles all groups which do not feel that they are “one group, one nation” with the people; although Nationalism in principle rejects all attitudes which do not 3tem from a “unity of historical experience,” we should not forget that the men who built the Islamic and Marxist movements here in Indonesia, as well as those who guide the Nationalist movement, all share the “desire to live as one,” and that, along with the___________
7 Carthill was the pseudonym of Bennet Christian Huntington Calcraft Kennedy (d. 1935), a writer and critic of conditions in India under British Imperial rule.
8 Ernest Rerian (IS23-1s92)—~the celebrated French historian and philosopher.
9 Karl Radelc (1885-1939)—-the well-known Bolshevik journalist and Comintern luminary. Karl Kaulsky (1854-1938)—the prominent revisionist theoretician of the German Social Democratic Party, and editor of the influential Ow Neue Zeit (New times). Otto Bauer (l88l-l938)—-a leading theoretician of the Austrian Social Democratic Party, whose book, Die Nat ionalitatenf rage und die dterreichische Soiai&mokratje (The nationalities question and Austrian social democracy), first published in 1906, was very influential in the European socialist movement of the time.
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Nationalists, these people feel they are members of “one group, one nation.” We must also not forget that all elements in our movement, whcther they are Nationalist, Islamic, or Marxist, have shared for hundreds of years a “unity of historical experience.” For hundreds of years they have shared a common experience of bondage. We must also not overlook the fact that it is this “unity of historical experience,” this common lot, which creates the feeling of “belonging.” It is of course true that group feelings can give rise to quarrels and divisions; it is true that till now there have never been strong feelings of friendship between the different movements in
Indonesia. But it is not the purpose of this article to prove that quarrels cannot occur. If we want to quarrel, it is surely not difficult to find a pretext for doing so right away!
The purpose of this article is rather to prove that friendship can be attained. Let Nationalists who exclude and belittle all movements which are not confined to Nationalism be guided by the words of Karamchand Gandhi: “For me, my love of my country is part of my love for all mankind. I am a patriot because I am a human being, and act as a human being. I do not exclude anyone.” This was the secret which enabled Gandhi to unite Moslems with Hindus, Parsis, Jains, and Sikhs, all in all a population of more than three hundred millions, six times the population of Indonesia and almost one fifth of the human beings on this earth. There is nothing to prevent Nationalists from working together with Moslems and Marxists. Look at the abiding relationship between the Nationalist Gandhi and the Pan- Islamicists, Maulana Mohamed Au and Shaukat Au!10 When the non-cooperation movement in India was at its height, they were virtually inseparable. Look at the Chinese Nationalist (Kuomintang) Party’s readiness to accept the Marxist ideas of opposition to militarism, opposition to imperialism and opposition to capitalism!’1
I do not expect Nationalists to change their views and become Moslems or Marxists; nor is it my intention to order Marxists and Moslems to turn around and become Nationalists. Rather my dream is harmony, unity between these three groups Actually, provided we have the will, there is no lack of ways to achieve this unity. Determination, confidence in each other’s sincerity and consciousness of the truth of the saying “Harmony brings security” (this is the best possible bridge to unity) are strong enough to overcome all the differences and misgivings between the various groups within our movement. I repeat: There is nothing to prevent Nationalists from working together with Moslems and Marxists.
A true Nationalist whose love for his country is based on a knowledge of the world economic system and of history and does not arise from sheer national arrogance, a Nationalist who is not a chauvinist, necessarily rejects all forms of narrow-minded exclusivism. A true Nationalist whose nationalism is not merely a copy of Western Nationalism, but stems rather from a feeling of love for humanity and his fellow-men, a nationalist who receives his feeling of nationalism as an inspiration’2 and who puts it into practice as a matter of duty and service, is immune to petty and narrow views. Per him, this feeling of love for his country is something Maulana Mohamed Ali (1878-1931) and Maulana Shaukat Ali (1873-?) were the two brothers who led the ill-fated Khalifat (Caliphate) Pan-Islamic movement in India in the early 1920s. Gandhi supported their movement until it collapsed with Kemal Ataturk’s abolition of the Caliphate. They in turn backed his Swaraj movement. On his release from prison in 1923, Maulana Mohamect Ali was elected President of the Indian National Congress with Gandhi’s support. By 1928, however, growing antagonism between their respective Islamic and Hindu constituencies created a breach between them which was never to be healed.___________
Sukarno was writing just before this breath became apparent. “ Once again, Sukarno was fortunate in the timing of his article, since the bloody break between the Kuomintang and the Chinese Commupist Party took place early the following year (April 1927).
12 Sukarno uses the Javanese term wahyu, which carries the connotation of divine inspiration.
vast and all-encompassing—like the atmosphere, which has room for everything needed to sustain the life of each living thing. Alas, why is it that the love Indonesian nationalists bear theft country turns to hatred when they encounter Indonesians of Moslem persuasion? Why does their love turn into hostility when they meet Indonesian Marxists? Is there no place in their hearts for the nationalism of Copal Krishna Gokhale, Mahatma Gandhi or Chitta Ranjan Das?3 We must at all costs avoid embracing a jingoistic nationalism such as that of Arya-Sarnaj, which split and divided the Hindus and Moslems in India.” This type of jingoistic nationalism will “certainly end in its own destruction,” since “nationalism can only achieve its goals if it is based on higher principles.”
Indeed, it is only a true Eastern nationalism which should be embraced by true Eastern nationalists. European nationalism—which is an aggressive nationalism, a nationalism that only pursues its own selfish interests, a commercial nationalism obsessed with profit and loss —will surely end in defeat, will certainly end in its own destruction. Is there any valid objection to true Nationalists cooperating with Moslems on the grounds that Islam’s supra-national and supra-territorial character transcends particular nationalities and nations? Does the international nature of Islam constitute a hindrance to the development of nationalism?
Many of our nationalists forget that the Nationalist and Islamic movements in Indonesia—indeed in all of Asia—had the same origin, as I explained at the beginning of this Article. Both originated in a strong desire to resist the West, or, more precisely, Western capitalism and imperialism. So they are really not enemies, but allies. I-low much more noble is the nationalism of Prof. T. L. Vaswanñ, a non-Moslem,15 who writes: “If Islam is sick, the Spirit of Eastern Freedom will surely suffer too, since the more the Moslem countries lose theft freedom, the more European imperialism will stifle the Spirit of Asia. However, I have faith in the Asia of old; I believe that her Spirit will emerge victorious. Islam is international: and if Islam is free, then our nationalism will be strengthened by the entire force of this international faith.”
And that is not all. Many of our nationalists forget that a Moslem, wherever he may be in the Dar al-Islam,16 is obliged by his religion to work for the welfare of the people in whose country he resides. These nationalists also forget that a Moslem who truly practices Islam, hether he is an Arab, an Indian, an Egyptian or of any other nationality, is bound, so long as he lives in Indonesia, to work for Indonesia’s welfare! “Wherever a Moslem resides, however far from his country of birth, he remains in this new country a part of the Islamic people, a part of the union of Islam. Wherever a Moslem lives, he must love, and he must work for, the needs of that country and its people.”
This is Islamic Nationalism! The nationalist who is hostile to Islam of this kind is mean- spirited and narrow-minded. He is mean-spirited and narrow-minded because he is hostile to a principle which, although international and inter-racial, obliges all its adherents in Indonesia,
“Gopal Krishna Gokhale (1866-1915) was a well-known Congress politician arid moderate nationalist of the older, pre-Gandhi generation. Chitta Ranjan Das (18701925) was a more radically inclined nationalist politician and journalist, who worked with Gandhi in the non-cooperation movement of the 1920’s.“ Arya-Samaj (Society of Aryans) was a fundamentalist reform sect of Hinduism established in 1875 by Swami Dayanand Saraswati (1824-1883) in Bombay. It stressed the Vedic tradition, opposed the caste system and the segregation of the untouchables, and was strongly opposed to Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism.
“I. L. Vaswami (1879-?) was a highly respected Hindu philosopher and religious teacher.
~ Dar al-Islam, strictly speaking, means Abode of Islam, or House of Islam. More generally, it is used to refer to the international Moslem community.
regardless of their national origin, to love and to work for the needs of Indonesia and her people. ls there any valid objection to true Nationalists working together with Marxists on the grounds that Marxism is international?
A Nationalist who is reluctant to stand alongside of and to cooperate with Marxists reveals his acute lack of knowledge of the dynamics of world politics and history. He forgets that the origin of the Marxist movement in Indonesia or in Asia is the same as the origin of his own movement. He forgets that the direction of his own movement often coincides with the course of the Marxist movement. He forgets that hostility towards his Marxist compatriots is equivalent to rejecting a traveling-companion and to increasing the number of his enemies. He forgets and fails to understand the meaning of the attitude of his brothers in other parts of Asia. For example, the late Dr. Sun Yat-sen, a very great Nationalist leader, was delighted to cooperate with the Marxists, although he was convinced that a Marxist order could not at that time be instituted in China, because conditions there were not yet ripe. Do I need to give further
proof that Nationalism—whether as a principle which arises from “the desire to live as one,” or as the consciousness of a people that they belong to a single group, a single nationality, or as a unity of attitudes resulting from a common historical experience—do I need to give further proof that Nationalism can ally itself with Islam and Marxism, provided that its adherents are willing to do so? Do I need to cite further examples of the attitudes of champions of Nationalism in other countries, who walk hand in hand with Moslems and have close relationships with Marxists?
I think not! I believe that this article, although brief and far from perfect, is already clear enough for those of our Nationalists who really want unity. I believe that all young Nationalists stand beside me. I believe, too, that there are many old-fashioned Nationalists who also want unity; only their lack of faith in the durability of such unity discourages them from struggling to achieve it. It is particularly to them that this article is addressed; it is above all for them that it is intended.
I am not writing for Nationalists who do not want unity. I leave this type of Nationalist to the judgment of history.
Like the break of day after the darkness of night, like the close of the Dark Ages, two great figures lit up the Moslem world in the nineteenth century. These two figures, whose names will forever be inscribed in the history of Islam, were Sheikh Mohammed ‘Abduh, Rector of Al- Azhar University,’7 and al-Sayyid Jaman al-Din al-Afghani,’8 two champions of the Pan-Islamic ‘~ Sheikh Mohammed ‘Abduh (1849-1905), Rector of Al-Azhar University in Cairo and Grand Multi of Egypt, was the spiritual father of the movement to re-interpret Islam in the light of modern conditions. In his fatwa he consistently stressed the need to abandon blind obedience (faq/id) to mediaeval incrustations on Islamic doctrine and to apply individual rationality to the problems facing Islam in the modern world.
A1-Sayyid Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (1838-1897), philosopher, journalist and politician, was probably the most remarkable Moslem figure of the nineteenth century. His youth was spent in Afghanistan, but his involvement in the Afghan civil wars forced him to flee to Constantinople in 1870. After lecturing at the university there for a while, he was accused of being a free-thinker an.— was deported to Cairo. There he led the movement of nationalist revival until his strongly anti-European views led the British to exile him to India. In 1883 he appeared in Paris, where together with the exiled ‘Abduh he published the famous icurnal al-’Urwat a/Wuthqa (The unbreakable bond), in which he attacked British policy towards the Moslem countries. In 1886 he was invited to Persia, where he rapidly built up a large following. His attacks on the Persian government for granting concessions to a British tobacco trust made him many enemies. In 1892 he accepted the invitation of the Ottoman Sultan to return to Constantinople, where he died in 1897, a year after one of his disciples had assassinated the Shah of Persia He was a strong proponent of liberalism and Pan-Islam, urging the unity of all Moslem countries under one Caliph.
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movement, who awakened and regenerated the Moslem peoples all over Asia from their state of darkness and decline. Although the views of these two heroes differed slightly—al-Sayyid Jamal al-Din al-Afghani was more radical than Sheikh Mohammed ‘Abduh—it was they who revived the political aspects of Islam, especially al-Sayyid Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, who first inspired feelings of resistance to the danger of Western imperialism in the hearts of the Moslem peoples. It was these two men, again particularly al-Sayyid Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, who first preached a solid Moslem front against the peril of Western imperialism.
Right up to his death in 1396, al-Sayyid Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, the brave lion of Pan- Islam, worked unceasingly to sow the seeds of Islam everywhere, to sow the seeds of resistance to Western greed, and to implace the conviction that for successful resistance, Moslems would have to “acquire the technique of Western progress and learn the secrets of European power.”9
Those seeds have been sown! Like a wave growing larger and stronger, like a wave surging higher and higher, the armies of Pan-Islam have together risen up throughout the Islamic world, and are on the move from Turkey and Egypt to Morocco, the Congo, Persia and Afghanistan… flooding into India and on to Indonesia. . . the wave of Pan-Islam is surging forward everywhere!
So it is that some of our Indonesian people, conscious of their tragic lot, have taken shelter under the green flag, turning their faces towards Mecca and reciting: La haula wala kauwatci i/la Billah?°
At first this movement proceeded slowly, and the path it was to take was not clear; but with time the direction became clearer and more definite, and connections with Islamic movements in other countries increased. More and more the movement took on an international character; increasingly it based itself on religious law. Hence we should not be surprised that an American professor, Ralston Hayden, wrote that the Sarekat Islam movement “will greatly influence future political events not only in Indonesia, but throughout the Eastern world!”2’ By this statement, Ralston Hayden indicated his conviction as to the international character of Sarekat Islam; he also showed clear insight into events which had not yet occurred when he wrote. Has not the prospect that he pointed to already come to pass? The Islamic movement in Indonesia has already become a branch of the Mu’tamar-i ‘Alam-i Islanii (World Islamic Congress) in Mecca;~ the Indonesian Islamic movement has already plunged into the sea of the Asian Islamic struggle. It has been the increasing emphasis on religion within the Islamic movement that has caused Marxists to be reluctant to align themselves with it. At the same time, the growing prominence of the international aspect of the Islamic movement is regarded by old-fashioned Nationalists as a deviation. Almost all Nationalists, whether “old-fashioned” or “modern,”
evolutionary or revolutionary, share the conviction that religion should not be involved in politics. On the other hand, “fanatical” Moslems scorn the nationalist politique of the Nationalists and despise the economic politique of the Marxists. They regard a nationalist
~ The translation of this quotation is drawn directly from the original phrase in Stoddard, The New World of Islam (New York; Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1921), p. 6& Though Sukamo does not mention Stoddard’s name, large parts of this section on Islam are-based on his book. The incorrect date given by Sukarno for alAfghani’s death, for example, simply reproduces Stoddard’s original error (p. 64).
20These phrases mean; “There is no one greater than Allah”; arid “For no other, only for the sake of Allah.”
‘~ The reference is to Joseph Ralston Hayden, Vice CovemorGeneral of the Philippines from 1933-1935, and author of the classic The Philippines (New York: Macmillan, 1942). “ This decision was taken at the Extraordinary Islamic Conference sponsored by the Sarekat Islam, which Look place in Surabaja in December 1924.
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politique as narrow and an economic poiitique as crudely materialist in short, one finds an almost “perfect” conflict of viewpoints. Nationalists and Marxists both blame Islam for the downfall of the Moslem nations, their present backwardness and the fact that most of them are under Western domination. But they are confused! It is not Islam, but rather its adherents who have been at fault. Seen from a nationalist and socialist perspective, it would be hard to find a civilization comparable in greatness to that of the early Islamic world. The downfall of national greatness, the downfall of Islamic socialism was not brought about by Islam itself, but by the moral downfall of its leaders. Once Amir Mu’awiya insisted on a worldly, dynastic basis for the Caliphate, once the “Caliphs became Kings,” the true nature of Islam was suppressed.23 As Umar Said Tjokroaminoto once said, “It is Amir Muawiya who must bear the responsibility for the corruption of the true nature of Islam, which was clearly socialist in character.”~’ Furthermore, from the national point of view, is it not true that Islam offers examples of greatness which continue to astound the student of world history and culture?
The downfall of Islam was the result of the moral downfall of its leaders. The West seized the Moslem nations because of the Moslems’ own weakened faith in Cod, and also because the laws of evolution and the social system made Western depredation a historiscire otwendigkeit, a historical necessity. On the other hand, it was their deep faith in God that gave the Riffs the fortitude to resist the cannons of Spanish and French imperialism!’5
True Islam contains no anti-nationalist principles; true Islam is not anti-socialist in character. So long as Moslems remain hostile to the ideas of broad-minded Nationalism and genuine Marxism, they will never stand on the Sirothol Mustaqim’~ and they will never be able to lift Islam from its present state of humiliation and decay. I am certainly not saying that Islam accepts Materialism; nor do I forget that Islam transcends national boundaries and is supra- national in character. I am only stating that true Islam is socialist in nature and imposes obligations which are nationalist obligations as well.
Is it not the case, as I have already explained, that true Islam requires all its adherents to love and to work for the country in which they reside, to love and to work for the people among whom they live, so long as that country and its people are part of the Dar al-Islam? Everywhere he went al-Sayyid Jamal al-Din al-Afghani preached nationalism and patriotism —which were denounced as “fanaticism” by his enemies. Everywhere he went this champion of Pan-Islam preached self-respect, preached a sense of pride, preached national honor—which were all instantly labeled “chauvinism.” Everywhere, especially in Egypt, al- ‘~ Mu’awiya ibn Abi Sufyan (602?-ooO) was Governor of Syria under the Caliph Othman. After Othman’s murder, he refused to recognize the full authority of the Caliph Ali and, with the backing of well-trained Syrian troops, became Caliph himself in 660. Realizing that after years of internecine quarrels among the Prophet’s surviving comrades, the political unity of the Moslem community could only be assured by military means and hereditary rule, he exacted a general oath of allegiance to his son Yazid during his own lifetime to ensure a smooth succession after his death. Although the hereditary principle was an offense to many Moslems of the time, Mu’awiya was able to establish securely the foundations of what became the Omayad dynasty.
‘~ Raden Mn Hadji Umar Said Tjokroaminoto (1882-1934) was the dominant figure in the Sarekat islam from 1912 onwards, and was perhaps the first nationalist leader to develop a mass popular backing.
Sukarno boarded at Tjokroaminoto’s house from 1915 to 1921 while at secondary school in Surabaja, and the older man became both his political mentor, and, for a short while, his father-in-law. ~ Sukarno here refers to the great uprising of the Berbers in the Ru Mountains tinder the leadership of Mohammed Abd-al-Karim al-Khattabi (1881-1963), otherwise known as Abd-el-Krim. This uprising in Northeastern Morocco lasted from 1919 to 1926 and required the cooperation of large French and Spanish armies for its final suppression.
~ This is the bridge to Heaven in Islamic belief. This passage is drawn from Stoddard,New World of Islam p. 64.
Sayyid Jamal al-Din sowed the seeds of nationalism. It was he who became “the father of every shade of Egyptian nationalism. A1-Sayyid Jamal al-Din was not the only one to sow the seeds of nationalism and love of country. Arabi Pasha~ ,Mustafa Kamil, Muhammad Farid Bey,’~ All Pasha, Al-imed Bey Agayeff/° Mohanied Ali and Shaukat Ali were all great Moslem leaders who taught love of country: all were propagandists of nationalism in their respective countries! May these leaders serve as examples for those Moslems amongst us who are “fanatical,” and narrow-minded, and who refuse to recognize their obligation to align themselves with the nationalist movement. Let these Moslems remember that their anti-infidel movement will certainly give rise to a feeling of nationalism, since the groups they call infidel are mostly people from foreign countries, not people from Indonesia! An Islam which opposes a genuine national movement is no true Islam; this type of Islam is an “old-fashioned” Islam which does not understand the trend of the times. Thus I am convinced that we can bring Moslems and Marxists together, although basically the two groups differ widely in their principles.
My heart is sad when I remember the dark and gloomy atmosphere in Indonesia some years ago, when I was witness to a fratricidal struggle, when I was witness to the outbreak of bitter hostilities between Marxists and Moslems, when I was witness to the division of our movement’s forces into two warring factions. It is this struggle which fills the darkest pages of our history. It was this fratricidal struggle that dissipated all the force of our movement, which should otherwise have grown stronger and stronger. It was this struggle which set back our movement several decades.
Alas! How strong our movement would now be if this struggle had not occurred! Our ranks would surely not be in their present disarray. Our movement would surely have made progress in spite of all obstructions. I am convinced that there is no fundamental barrier to friendship between Moslems and Marxists. I have already explained that true Islam has a socialist quality. Even though this socialist quality is not necessarily Marxist in orientation, even though we know that Islamic socialism does not have the same foundation as Marxism, since Islamic socialism is based on spirituality whereas Marxist socialism is based on Materialism—nonetheless, for our purposes it is enough to show that true Islam is essentially socialistic.
27 translation is taken from the original in Stoddard, New World of Islam, p. 176.
25 Arabi Pasha—more exactly Ahmad Drabi Pasha (1839-1911)—–was the first notable leader of modern Egyptian nationalism. Strongly anti-Turkish and anti-European in orientation, he led a quasi-coup against the Tewfik in 1881, and as a result was appointed Minisler of War in 1882. Later that year he was overthrown by the British at the battle of Tall-al-Kabir, and exiled to Ceylon.
29 Mustafa Kamil l’asha (1874-1908) was a European-trained lawyer who founded the first Egyptian nationalist party (the National Party) in 1907. Starting out as a Panislamicist, he later veered towards Egyptian nationalism, to which lie gave a generally anti-British and pro-French cast. Muhammad Farid (1868-1919) was Mustafa Kamil’s successor as leader of the National Party, and generally look a more radical stance than his predecessor both on relations with the British and on social questions. The title ‘Bey,’ conferred on him by Sukamo, appears first in Stoddard, New World of Islam, p. 180.
3° All Pasha (1815-1871) was a prominent Turkish reformist statesman of the middle nineteenth century . He was largely responsible for the liberal rescript of 1856, guaranteeing equal rights for all persons within the Ottoman Empire. (Cf. Stoddard, New World of Islam, p. 65.) The otherwise obscure Abmed Bey Agayeff is descnbed by Stoddard as a Volga Tatar, whose organ Turk Yurdu (Turkish Home) was an important source of Panluranian propaganda in the last years before the First World War. The Pan-Turanian movement envisioned a Turanian (Turko-Tatar) world stretching from Finland to Manchuria, but its main targets were the Ottomans of Turkey, the Tatars of Russia and the Turkmans of Persia and Central Asia.
(Cf. Stoddard, New World f Islam, pp. 196-197.)
31 Sukamo refers to the deep hostility between the Communists and Moslems in the Sarekat Islam, which eventually broke tip that organization from within.
Moslems must not forget that the Marxist materialist view of history has often served to guide them in confronting the difficult and complicated economic and political problems of the world. They must also not forget that the Historical-Materialist method for explaining events which have already occurred here on this earth is also a method for predicting events that are to come—and thus may be very useful to their group.
Moslems must never forget that capitalism, the enemy of Marxism, is also the enemy of Islam, since what is called surplus value in Marxist doctrine is essentially the same as usury from the Islamic viewpoint. Theoretically, surplus value is the appropriation of the product of another’s labor and denying the workers theft proper share of the value they produce. This theory of surplus value was formulated by Karl Marx and Priedrich Engels to explain the origins of capitalism. Surplus value is the inner essence of every capitalist system; by combating surplus value, Marxists combat the very roots of capitalism. The true Moslem accordingly comprehends immediately that it is wrong for him to be hostile towards Marxism, which combats the system of surplus value, since he does not forget that true Islam combats this system too, that true Islam strictly prohibits usury and the collection of interest. He understands that usury is basically no different from what the Marxists view as surplus value.
“Devour not usury, doubled and redoubled, and fear you Cod; haply so you will prosper.” So it is written in the Koran, sunrh Al ‘Imran verse 129.32 A broad-minded Moslem, a Moslem who understands the requirements of our struggle, will certainly agree to an alliance with the Marxists, since he is aware that usury and the collection of interest are forbidden by his religion. He is aware that this is the Moslem way of attacking the very foundations of capitalism, for, as we have previously explained, usury is the same as surplus value, the inner essence of capitalism. He is aware that, like Marxism, Jslam, with its “belief in God,” with its “recognition of the Kingdom of Cod,” is a protest against the evils of capitalism.
The “fanatical” Moslem, who is hostile to the Marxist movement, is a Moslem who does riot
know what his own religion forbids. Such a Moslem does not understand that true Islam, like Marxism, forbids the capitalistic hoarding of money, forbids the accumulation of wealth for selfish ends. He forgets the verse in the Koran: “Those who treasure up gold and silver, and do not expend them in the way of Cod,—give them the good tidings of a painful chastisement!”~ 3 He Idoes not] understand that, like the Marxism he opposes, Islam hereby attacks the existence of capitalism in the clearest possible terms!
There are many other obligations and tenets of Islam which are identical with the aims and purposes of Marxism. Doesn’t the Islamic obligation to pay tithes, an obligation on the rich to share their wealth with the poor, essentially correspond to the sharing of wealth required by Marxism —of course, to be carried out in the Marxist fashion? Doesn’t Islam share the principle of “liberty, equality and fraternity” with the Marxism that many Moslems oppose? Hasn’t true Islam already led “all mankind to the fields of liberty, equality and fraternity”? Didn’t the Prophet of Islam himself teach equality with the words: “1 am only a mortal, the like of you; it is revealed to me that your God is One God “~ Isn’t it fraternity which is commanded by verse 13 of the surah Al-Hudjarat, which reads: “0 mankind, We have created you male and female, and appointed you races and tribes, that you may know one another.”~ Isn’t it true that fraternity________________
32 Arberry’s version, this is verse 125. His translations have been used throughout. See A. J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted (New York: Macmillan, 1955), pp. 89-90.
“Koran, surah on ‘Repentance,’ verse 34 (Arberry, The Koraii, p. 211).
34Koran surah on ~The Cave,’ verse 110 (Arberrv, The Koran, p. 328).
35Koran, surah on ‘Apartments,’ verse 13 (Arberry, The Koran, p. 232).
should not remain merely “fraternity in theory ? “ and that this is acknowledged by non- Moslems too? Isn’t it a pity that some Moslems are hostile to a movement whose principles are also “liberty, equality and fraternity”? I hope that those moslems who refuse to ally themself with the marxist will remember that their movement, like the Marxist movement, is an echo or a reverberation of the agony of the Indonesian people, whose lives are becoming harder and harder, whose existence is growing ever more bitter. They should remember that there is wide congruence in the ideals and great similarity in the demands of their movement and that of the Marxists. They should follow the example of the envoy of the Islamic Kingdom of Afghanistan, who, when asked his views by a Marxist newspaper1 replied that though he himself was not a Marxist, he admitted to being a “true friend” of the Marxists, since he was a bitter enemy of European capitalism.
What a pity it will be if the Islamic movement in Indonesia remains hostile towards the Marxist movement. We have never had movements in Indonesia which have been such genu-inely people’s movements as the Islamic and Marxist movements! We have never had movements which have shaken the people to their marrow as these two movements have done.
How tremendous it would be if these two movements, which have become an essential part of the people’s everyday existence, could flow together to form one mighty torrent! Happy are those Moslems who have seen the light and who are willing to unite! Happy are they, for they are truly carrying out the commandments of their religion!
As for those Moslems who refuse to unite and who believe that their attitude is right, alas, I only hope they can justify it before God!
At the sound of this word, I see in my mind’s eye throngs of suffering people from every nation and country, with wan faces and thin bodies, clothed in rags; I see before me the defender and champion of these suffering masses, a philosopher whose steadfast heart and consciousness of his inner strength “remind me of the invincible, superhuman heroes of ancient p. German legend,” a “colossal” figure who is rightly called the “Grand Master” of the labor movement: Heinrich Karl Marx. From his earliest youth until the day of his death, this extraordinary man never ceased to defend the poor, to show them the reasons for their misery, and to prove to them that victory would certainly be theirs in the end. Never downhearted, never tired, he labored in their defense: he was sitting in a chair in front of his desk, when he drew his last breath in 1883. It is as if I can hear his voice resounding like thunder around the world, as he made his appeal in 1847: “Workingmen of all countries, unite!” And indeed, history offers no example of a man whose ideas have so rapidly commanded the acceptance of a social group as have the views of this champion of the laboring masses. From tens to hundreds, from hundreds to thousands, from thousands to ten thousands, to hundreds of thousands, to millions: so his followers have increased! For although his theories are “difficult” for clever intellectuals, “he can easily be understood by the wretched and oppressed, by the poor whose thoughts are full of their misery.”
Cf. Stoddard, New World of Islam, p. 340: “For example, the head of the Afghan mission to Moscow thus frankly expressed his reasons for friendship with Soviet Russia, in an interview printed by the official Soviet organ, Izvestia: ‘I am neither Communist nor Socialist, but my political programme so far is the expulsion of the English from Asia. I am an irreconcilable enemy of European capitalism in Asia, the chief representatives of which are the English. On this point I coincide with the Communists and in thi5 respect we are your natural allies
Unlike the other socialists, who believed that their ideals could be realized through friendship between workers and employers, unlike, for example, Ferdinand Lassalle whose cry was a cry of peace,37 Karl Marx in his writings never once touched on the subject of love or friendship; rather he set forth a concept of struggle between groups, a concept of class struggle. He taught that the liberation of the workers would only come about through relentless struggle against the bourgeoisie, a struggle made inevitable by the very existence of the capitalist order.
Although my readers surely all know a little of Marx’s teachings, it may be useful to remind them here of some of his achievements as a philosopher: he undertook a study of the process of thought based on materialism (Dialectical Materialism); he put forward the theory that the value of commodities is determined by the quantity of work required to produce them, in other words that work is the werthildende Substanz, the value-creating substance of commodities (the labor theory of value); he developed the idea that the value created by the workers in the production of commodities is greater than what they receive in the form of wages (surplus value); he carried out a study of history based on materialism, teaching that “it is not consciousness which determines objective conditions; on the contrary, objective conditions with regard to social relations determine consciousness” (the materialist conception of history); he expounded the theory that because surplus value is transformed into capital, over time the concentration of capital becomes greater and greater (accumulation of capital) as small capital holdings are consolidated into larger units (centralization of capital). Because of competition, small enterprises are squeezed out by larger enterprises until ultimately only a few giant enterprises are left (concentration of capital); and he argued that under the capitalist order the lot of the workers becomes increasingly miserable, while their hatred for this order becomes increasingly violent (the theory of increasing misery). These are his main theoretical achievements; lack of space prevents me from giving any fuller explanation to readers not yet familiar with them.
Although his enemies, among them the anarchists, deny these achievements of Marx; although as early as 1825, Adolphe Blanqu38 used the historical materialist method in stating that history “determines events,” while economics “explains the causes of events”; although the theory of surplus value had originated earlier with such thinkers as Sismondi, Thompson and others;39 although his theory of capital concentration and the labor theory of value contain elements which cannot be defended against the criticisms of his opponents, who indefatigably search for weaknesses; despite all this, it is unquestionable that the system of Karl Marx has no little significance in its general outline, and is of vast importance in some of its specific features. It is also unquestionable that although these theories originated in part with earlier thinkers, it was Marx who, despite the fact that his language is difficult and obscure to the upper class, elucidated these theories with great clarity, so that they can easily be grasped by the ‘wretched and oppressed” and their champions. Such people immediately comprehend his theory of surplus value without any difficulty—indeed they see it as a self-evident truth. They know very well that their employers get rich quickly because they do not turn over to them the whole
product of their labor. They immediately understand that economic conditions and structures are the factors that determine a man’s character, his intelligence, his religious beliefs, etc. They
37 Ferdinand Lassalle (1825-1864) was the main architect of the Cerman labor movement after 1848 and one of the founders of the German Social Democratic Party. His tactical support of Bismarck against the German liberals aroused the hostility of many on the left. He was a major antagonist of Marx.
38 Jerome Adolphe Blanqui (1798-1854) was a French economist whose History of Political Economy in Europe was the first major study of the history of economic thought.
39 Jean Charles Leonard de Sismondi (1773-1842), the liberal Cenevan historian and economist, was one of the founders of modern economic thought It is not dear which Thompson Sukarno has in mind.
know that “er ist was er isst’° They see at once that capitalism will certainly be destroyed in the end, that it will inevitably disappear and be replaced by a juster social order, and that what “the bourgeoisie” “are producing, above all, are their own grave-diggers.”41
These deep and difficult theories have penetrated the workers to the core, both in Europe and America. “Is it not miraculous indeed that this belief has now established itself in the hearts of millions, and that there is no power on earth which can eradicate it?” Like seeds scattered in all directions by the wind, which sprout wherever they fall, the seeds of Marxism have taken root and are sending up shoots; everywhere the bourgeoisie are preparing themselves and trying to crush the “proletarian threat,” a plant that grows stronger day by day. Some of the seeds scattered through Europe have been carried by the cyclone of our times towards the equator. .. and on to the East where they are dropping down and sprouting up among the hills and mountains which extend throughout the “emerald belt,” the archipelago whose name is Indonesia. Every day the air in the West quivers with the sound of the ‘Internationale” and the reverberations are so great that they echo and resound as far as the East. The Marxist movement in Jndonesia has been characterized by hostility towards movements with a Nationalist orientation and hostility towards movements based on Islamic principles. Indeed some years ago this hostility broke out in a quarrel over conflicting beliefs, a quarrel over conflicting attitudes, a quarrel between brothers, a quarrel, which, as I have previously explained, discouraged and disheartened all those who gave first priority to harmony, all those who understood that in this kind of conflict lies defeat. Bury nationalism, bury the politics of love of country, abolish the politics of religion! Such, more or less, was the battle cry one heard. They would say: Didn’t Marx and Engels state that “the workers have no fatherland”? Isn’t it written in The Communist Manifesto that “communism abolishes religion”?
Didn’t Bebel declare that “It was not God who created man, but rather man who created God”?~
On the other hand, the Nationalist and Moslem groups never tired of abusing the Marxists, denouncing their movement as being “in league” with foreigners, and as “denying” the existence of Cod. They poured scorn on the movement as taking its lead from Russia, which, in their view, was totally bankrupt and had proved incapable of putting its utopian ideals into effect. They ridiculed these ideals as the cause of the anarchy, famine, and disease which claimed the lives of approximately fifteen million people, a figure greater than the total number of persons killed in the recent world war
So the quarrel stood some years ago—with growing mutual recriminations between the leaders of these movements, growing mutual misunderstanding and growing mutual avoidance. But the new Marxist tactics do not reject cooperation with Moslems and Nationalists in Asia. As a matter of fact, they call for the support of genuine Nationalist and Islamic movements. Those Marxists who are still hostile to militant Nationalist and Islamic movements in Asia have not adjusted to the new times and do not understand that Marxist tactics have changed accordingly.
Again, however, those Nationalists and Moslems who denounce the “bankruptcy” of Marxist concepts and point to anarchy and famine as the result of “applying” Marxist concepts,_______________
~ The Indonesian text has er 1st was er 1st (man is what he is); presumably this is a typographical error, since the sense of the previous sentence suggests that Sukamo is aware that Feuerbach’s famous axiom (Mann 1st was er isst) means ‘man is what he eats.’
41 The phrase is quoted from The Communist Manifesto.
42 August Behel (1840-1913), co-founder of the German Social Democratic Party and its most popuiar leader for forty years, was a close friend of Engels and Liebknecht and a strong opponent of Lassalle and Bismarck.
show that they do not understand these concepts and that they have failed to grasp the real reasons for the setbacks in their “application:. Does not Marxism itself teach that socialism can only be fully realized when all the major states have been ‘socialized”? Doesn’t the present situation differ radically from the pre-conditions required for the fulfillment of Marxist goals? To be fair in judging the “application” of Marxist concepts, we must remember that “bankruptcy” and “anarchy” in Russia have been accelerated by the blockade imposed by her
enemies; that they have been aggravated by the attacks launched against her in fourteen places by hostile powers such as England and France, as well as by Generals Kolchak, Denikin, Yudenitch and Wrangel;~ and that the situation was further worsened by the venomous propaganda directed against her by aLmost every newspaper in the world.
In my opinion, her enemies must be held equally responsible for the death of fifteen million sick and starving people, since they supported the attacks of Koichak, Denikin, Yudenitch and Wrangel with money and supplies. The same England which spent millions to support attacks on her former ally “defiled the name of England before the whole world by refusing to give any assistance to relief-work” among the sick and hungry. At the time this catastrophe occurred, America, Rumania, and Hungary had wheat surpluses so great that the grain was used for fuel, while in Russia, in the district of Samara, people were eating the flesh of their own children to stave off famine.
One can only respect the impartial verdict of H. G. Wells, a distinguished British author and by no means a Communist, who wrote that if the Bolsheviks “had not been incessantly harassed, perhaps they would have been able to complete an experiment of the greatest value to mankind. .. . But they were incessantly harassed!”.
I am not a Communist, I favor no side! I only favor Unity—Indonesian Unity—and friendship between all our different movements. I mentioned earlier that contemporary Marxist tactics are different from those of the past. The old tactical stance, which was violently anti-nationalist and anti-religious, especially in Asia, has changed radically: what was once bitter hostility has become friendship and support. We can today see friendship between Marxists and Nationalists in China, and between Marxists and Moslems in Afghanistan”1~
Marxist theory has also changed, and so it should. Marx and Engels were not prophets who could establish systems applicable for all time. Their theories have to be modified with changing conditions; their concepts must be adapted to a changing world if they are not to become bankrupt. Marx and Engels themselves understood this very well. In their writings they often noted changes in their views in accordance with the objective changes taking place at the time they lived. Compare their views of 1847, compare, for example, their interpretations of the term Verelendung (increasing misery) in The Communist Manifesto and in Das Kapital! The change in conception, or the change in emphasis is immediately obvious. The social democrat Emile Vandervelde was perfectly correct when he stated that “revisionism did not begin with Bernstein, but with Marx and Engels themselves.”~’
43These men were the top military leaders of the Whites in the Russian Civil War.
~ It should perhaps be pointed out that the friendship between Marxists and Moslems in Afghanistan to which Sukarno here refers, was not internal political cooperation between Afghan Marxist and Islamic groups, but an external alliance between Kabul and Moscow which resulted from the anti-British and pro- Russian policies of the Afghan ruler Amanullah Khan after 1919.
45 Emile Vandervelde (1866-1938), one of the best known socialists of his day, led the Belgian Workers’ Party from 1890 onwards. He was notable for his genuine internationalism, humanitarianism, and anti-militarism
These changes in theory and tactics account for the support given to genuine nationalist movements, especially in Asia, by the newer Marxists, whether of the “moderate” or “militant” variety. They understand that in the countries of Asia, where no proletariat as yet exists in the European or American sense, their movement must be adapted to the characteristic features of Asian society. They understand that the Marxist movement in Asia must employ different tactics from those used by the Marxist movement in Europe or America(46), and must “cooperate with the ‘petty-bourgeois’ parties, because here the main objective is not power, but the struggle against feudalism.”
For the workers in Asian countries to be able to have the freedom to build true socialist movements, these countries must be free, must possess national autonomy. “National autonomy is an objective for which the proletarian struggle must aim, because it is an essential precondition for pursuing its ultimate goals,” says Otto Bauer. This is why national autonomy constitutes one of the very first priorities for the workers’ movements in Asia. This is why the workers of Asia must cooperate with and support all movements which are fighting for national autonomy, irrespective of the principles which they embrace. This is also why the Marxist movement in Indonesia must support our Nationalist and Islamic movements, which have made this autonomy their goal.
Marxists must remember that their movement cannot help but arouse feelings of Nationalism in the hearts of Indonesian workers, since most capital in Indonesia is foreign capital. Furthermore, the very nature of their movement—opposition to capital—stirs up feelings of discontent in the hearts of the workers, who are “at the bottom,” against the people “at the top,” and stimulates support for a politics of national power of the people themselves. Marxists must bear in mind that the feeling of internationalism is certainly not as strong in Indonesia as it is in Europe. Indonesian workers have absorbed the concept of internationalism primarily as a matter of tactics. Moreover, the Indonesian people’s attachment to their native soil and their very limited financial resources have meant that only a few determined people have been willing to leave Indonesia in search of work in other countries, with the conviction that ubi bone, ubi patria (where conditions are good, there is my country)—unlike the worker in Europe who has become a man without a permanent home and without a permanent fatherland.
If they keep all this in mind, the Marxists will surely see the error of fighting the Nationalist
movements of thieir own people. They will surely recall the examples of Marxist leaders in other countries who have cooperated with the nationalists; they wilt surely think of the Marxist leaders in China who gladly support the efforts of the Nationalists because they are aware that China’s prime need is for national unity and national independence.
Along this same line, it is a mistake for Marxists to be at loggerheads with a genuine Islamic movement. It is quite inappropriate for them to attack a movement which, as I have already pointed out, takes an openly anti-capitalist position. It is incorrect for them to attack a movement which clearly condemns usury, interest, and surplus value. It is misguided of them to attack a movement which explicitly pursues the goals of liberty, equality and fraternity, which explicitly pursues national autonomy. And the reason why it is a mistake to take such position is that the new marxist tactics towards religion are quite different from the old. The new marxism is quite different from the marxism of 1847; which through the comunist manifesto declared that religion must be abolished.
We must distinguish historical materialism from philosophical materialism; and we must remind ourself that the purpose of the former is different from that of the latter. philosopical materialism addresses the question: what is the relationship between thought and the matter, how does thought arise? Historical Materialism answers the question of why thought in any given period has such and such characteristics. Philosophical Materialism poses questions about the existence of thought; Historical Materialism asks why thought changes. Philosophical Materialism seeks the origin of thought; Historical Materialism studies its development.
Philosophical Materialism is philosophical; Historical Materialism is historical. These two concepts are constantly being confused and confounded with each other by the enemies of Marxism in Europe, especially by the churches. In their anti-Marxist propaganda, they assiduously mix up these two perspectives and accuse Marxists of teaching that thought is simply the product of the brain, just as spittle is the product of the mouth, and bile is the product of the spleen. They never stop calling Marxists worshippers of things, or people whose God is Matter. c
This is the origin of the European Marxists’ hatred for the churches, the origin of their hostility to religious groups. Their hostility has become alithe more bitter, their hatred has become all the more violent as the religious groups have used their religion for the protection of capitalism, have exploited their religion to defend the interests of the ruling class, and have manipulated their religion to pursue ultra-reactionary policies.
This hatred for religious groups, which has its origins in the reactionary attitude of the churches, has been turned by the Marxists against the Moslems, who have a very different attitude and completely different characteristics from the religious groups in Europe! Here Islam is the religion of the enslaved, here Islam is the religion of the masses “at the bottom.” By contrast, there the Christians are the free, there the Christians are the people “on top.” inevitably a religion that is anti-capitalist, a religion of the enslaved, a religion of the masses “at the bottom,” a religion that demands the quest for freedom, a religion that forbids the existence of people “at the bottom”—a religion of this kind will unquestionably create attitudes which are not reactionary, and will undoubtedly generate a struggle which in several respects is identical with the struggle of the Marxists.
Therefore, if Marxists will remind themselves of the differences between the churches in Europe and Islam in Indonesia, they will surely stretch out their hands and say: “Brother, let us be one.” If they value the examples of their comrades who are cooperating with Moslems in other countries, they will surely follow these examples. And if they also cooperate with the Nationalists, they can declare in all serenity: “We have done our duty.” By fulfilling the duties imposed by the new Marxism, by taking into account all the necessary changes in basic theory, and by carrying out all the necessary changes in tactics, they can call themselves true and sincere defenders of the people—they can really call themselves the salt of the earth.
But as for the Marxists who oppose unity, the Marxists who are conservative in theft theory and out of date in their tactics, the Marxists who oppose genuine Nationalist and Islamic movements, such Marxists should not feel insulted if they are called the bane of the people.
This article is now almost at an end. I have tried to show, in however imperfect a manner, that, in the colonized countries, the concepts of Nationalism, Islam and Marxism coincide in several respects. However inadequately, I have tried to point to examples of leaders in other countries. But I am convinced that I have demonstrated very clearly my desire for unity. I am certain that all Indonesian leaders are aware that only Unity will lead us to Greatness and Independence. I am further persuaded that although my thoughts may not meet all the wishes of every group, they do show that Unity can be attained. It only remains now to create an organization which can realize this Unity; it only remains to look for an organizer who can make himself the Mahatma of this Unity. Does not Mother Indonesia, who has such sons as Umar Said Tjokroaminoto, Tjipto Mangunkusumo and Semaun(47)—-does not Mother Indonesia also have a son who can become the Champion of this Unity?
We must be prepared to receive, but we must also be ready to give. This is the secret of Unity. Unity cannot exist if each group does not give a little, If we keep in mind that the strength of life lies not in receiving, but in giving; if we keep in mind that in discord lies the seed of our enslavement; if we keep in mind that mutual hostility is the origin of our ‘via dolorosa’; if we keep in mind that the Spirit of Our People is still strong enough to lift itself up towards the One ray of Light shining in the midst of the darkness that surrounds us—then surely Unity will be achieved, surely the ray of Light will be reached. For the Light is near.
Suluh Indonesia Muda, 1926
~‘ Dr. Tjipto Mangunkusumo (1889-1943) was among the most eminent and respected nationalists of the pre-Sukarno generation. He had helped found the Indische Partij in 1912, together with Douwes Dekker and ki Hadjar Dewantoro. He was Sukarno’s chief political mentor during the latter’s student days in Bandung (1921-1926). Semaun (1899- ), an exact contemporary of Sukarno, was the most prominent member of the earliest group of Indonesian Marxists and was the first chairman of the Indonesian Communist Party, when it was formed in May 1920.
Sumber: Kolom Sejarah