To the comrades of Red-Ant, Liberation greetings!
We, the National Collective of the People’s Liberation Party, congratulate the planned holding of the inaugural national meeting of Red Ant in Australia on 27-28 August 2022.
We know that Red Ant is a propaganda collective that took the initiative of emphasising the importance of re-understanding imperialism amid the rampant view that the world is multi-polar, and that Lenin’s concept of imperialism is no longer relevant. And movementism is highlighted over the need to build the revolutionary party and the revolutionary movement as an absolute condition for destroying the dominance of imperialism and establishing a democratic socialist society.
We have known some of the individuals who helped start Red Ant for quite some time and are pleased that these comrades are still standing on their own feet, staying firm on the political lines of socialist, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist, anti-racist and anti-patriarchal revolutionaries. Moreover, there is the enthusiasm of young friends who have joined Red Ant and become the driving force for the development of this revolutionary initiative. That’s exactly what we need: more and more young people are joining revolutionary platforms. For young people are the future of socialism.
Since the struggle for independence, leftist relations in Indonesia and Australia have always had a common thread of solidarity. In times of the war of independence, the golden period of the leftist movement in Soekarno’s era as well as the reform movement which overthrew Suharto, the liberation of East Timor and solidarity for West Papua. We hope that this solidarity will be maintained now and in the future, and that the baton of solidarity will be continued by the next generations.
As an imperialist state, Australia plays an important role in the political and economic constellations of Indonesia. The Australian government’s national interest in Indonesia is on display not only today but long before the political genocide of 1965-1966, which resulted in the destruction of socialist ideas and movements as well as the colonisation of West Papua and East Timor. Australia’s government, capitalists and violent apparatuses have been comrades from before the Suharto regime came to power until the Jokowi regime today.
They became comrades and competitors in the dispossession of the workers’ labour, land grabbing, exploitation of natural resources, destruction of the environment and mobilisation of violence and weapons. They are getting richer and happier on the sweat, blood and tears of the people in Australia, Indonesia, West Papua and Timor Leste. Hence, we have the same enemy and the same interests. Australians, Indonesians, West Papuans and East Timorese, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, are part of the layers being smoked and deprived.
But our country, Indonesia, is not part of the Imperialist club. Long before the word ‘Indonesia’ was spoken, and the Indonesian nation was born, European mercantilists had for more than 100 years deprived people and natural wealth in this archipelago. This brought wealth to the merchants and feudal nobles in Europe who became increasingly rich and powerful. Mercantilism, which later transformed into colonial capitalism, left the people of our country far behind the people in the lands of Europe and of course, Australia. Not only the richness of nature, culture, history and knowledge they also the ability to master, manipulate and concentrate.
Although Dutch colonialism and Japanese fascism provided the conditions for hundreds of ethnicities in the country that is currently called Indonesia to become a nation, and a nation with statehood, in the end it was the people and revolutionary movements that realised the Indonesian nation-state.
After independence, the movement and ideas of the left grew rapidly, and we were about to jump further. However, political fallacy, imperialist shrewdness and local bourgeois opportunism led the Indonesian people to retreat far back. Suharto, his army and the bourgeoisie were fully supported by the American imperialists, the British and of course Australia, who destroyed the achievements of the leftist movement before and after independence. The words leftist, socialist, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, people, mass of the people, & mass action are forbidden and subversive vocabulary.
The left-socialist movement in Indonesia was rebuilt from scratch years after Suharto came to power, with a wide variety of terror, threats, fears, traumatism and confusion of direction. They gathered the rubble of knowledge, trained in courage, sacrifice as well as togetherness in the struggle. Although it has not yet taken the lead, the left-socialist movement was involved and became a stimulus for the overthrow of Suharto in the reform era.
24 years after the reform, left-socialist ideas are easily found in various virtual media, sector organisations (workers, peasants, students, women, youth, and students, urban poor, and indigenous peoples) that were born and grew. However, the left-socialist movement is still small and fragmented. The politics of mass action has succeeded in opening up the democratic space and in some ways maintaining the achievements of democracy.
But it has not been able to show the direction of left-socialist politics, let alone socialist political hegemony. There are various factors: the weak ideological consciousness of the socialist revolutionary, the incompetence of leadership and cadres, the high turnover, the loss of direction and prioritisation of constructing the revolutionary party, the dissolving into mass-ism (Lenin associated it with economism), the seriousness of building a revolutionary financial body and a long period of childishness.
Most of the parties and organisations of the left-socialist movement that are still struggling today are young people, the majority of whom are unrelated to the movement before and after May 1998. The majority of individuals and organisations that were part of the movement spectrum before and early post-1998 have moved “carriages.” They sought shortcuts by entering the bourgeois parties in order to change the government from within, which in the end, was not a government that changed to become increasingly democratic and socialist, but it was they themselves who were stripped of their socialist revolutionary ideas because they were considered no longer relevant.
The thoughts and tactics of shortcuts are expanding everywhere, becoming a lulling and immersive “political plague.” Whereas in the Indonesian context, to change the situation and make a political breakthrough requires high ideological-political awareness, pioneering, courage, determination, professional organisation, strong and with great mass support – especially for the purpose of national liberation and socialism. There are no shortcuts to this strategic work. This work demands a lifelong cornucopia of body-souls. May we both be able to live it.
Comrades, in this period of relative peace, both in Australia and Indonesia, we are shown with war, not only in Ukraine, but also Palestine, Syria, and others, which is due to the unfinished annexation and dispossession by imperialists over territories they have not yet controlled. They created an atmosphere of fear and hatred to stimulate war. War, in addition to the non-free free market, is a way to dominate, deprive them of business and businesses. Making the imperialists super-rich who are enthroned over the poor people and lands in various parts of the world. They always wash their hands of guilt, saying they are not the cause of wars and crises with jargon: for the sake of democracy and peace.
Our job is to dismantle the blankets of false peace and manipulate their democracy. For the ultimate peace is peace without oppression. And true liberation is humanity’s liberation from class oppression.
Comrades, the beautiful world is a world without oppression, a world without classes, a world without militarism, racism and other discrimination. A world without physical colonisation, a world where we can be fully human.
Finally, may we borrow a string of aphorisms from our revolutionary artist, Bertolt Brecht, as a reminder when the heart is in a state of disarray, the mind is boisterous, and the “fog” envelops our view:
“There are men that fight one day and are good,
Others fight one year and they’re better, and
There are those who fight many years and are very good, but
There are the ones who fight their whole lives and those are the indispensable ones.”
We hope this inaugural national meeting will be a solid foundation stone for rebuilding the revolutionary movement in Australia. Democratic socialist revolutionary parties and movements are not the answer to all the problems on the face of the earth, but without it we would not be able to answer many things that are fundamental to the historical movement of humankind.
Socialist revolutionary parties and movements are also not home to blameless saints, but home to those who are willing to continue learning, forging themselves and improving their humanity. We are changing the world as the struggle is to change us for the better.
Indonesia, 02 July 2022.
(National Collective of the People’s Liberation Party)