Reposting: Indonesia: 1965 and the Counter-Revolution against the Nation.

Indonesia:  1965 and the Counter-Revolution against the Nation.

By Max Lane

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“The impact of the counter-revolution was, however, even deeper than the sum of these combined policies – from mass murder and terror to totalitarian imposed ignorance and passivity. The 1965 counter-revolution was a pre-emptive purge aimed at the prevention of the final unfolding and completion of the revolutions that were brewing: a national revolution as well as a social revolution.”

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Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world, of immense geopolitical strategic importance straddling the sea and air lanes between the Indian and Pacific oceans, and with substantial mineral resources. Yet today, and for the last 50 years, its international political presence has been almost zero, including on the Left. The primary reason for this is the 1965 counter-revolution in Indonesia and the consequent radical remaking-cum-unmaking of the country, the nation. On the one hand this counter-revolution produced an Indonesian state and economy that posed no threat to either western or Japanese imperial economic or geo-political interests, and on the other a society whose new post-counter-revolutionary experience would emasculate any progressive class fightback for decades, even until now, and thus also its intellectual and cultural life.

Continue reading “Reposting: Indonesia: 1965 and the Counter-Revolution against the Nation.”

ARTICLE: THE ACT OF KILLING – A puncture in the hegemony by Max Lane

The Act of Killing did not win Hollywood’s favor. The activist-oriented systematic promotion of the documentary, however, has helped it to have a significant impact on public discussion of the mass killings of 1965, both in Indonesia and internationally. A single film could never overthrow the hegemony of half a century of indoctrination, but it has — especially given the guerrilla activism that has got it around the traps in Indonesia — punctured that hegemony. Activities and processes aimed at ending that hegemony embodied in the scores of Indonesian and foreign books, articles and independent video documentaries about what happened in 1965, exposing the mass killings and repression, have received an important boost through the film.

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