Prosperous Justice Party

Mar 18th, 2009, in Opinion, by

Ross sees parallels between the Justice Party/PKS, and the PKI of old.

Disturbing Parallels

Reading reports of the attempts by Islamist parties to forge links with so-called nationalist parties for the upcoming elections, I had a look in my book-case and came across the following passage in a book. I submit it for your interest:

The PKS has also nurtured a myth of incorruptibility and cultivated the impression that the other parties have impoverished the people by corruption and that if the people wish to improve living conditions, they have no choice but to elect the PKS.

Actually, I’ve altered the text (in bold) slightly, for the original referred to the PKI (Communist Party of Indonesia) in the early 60s, (Brackman’s Indonesian Communism, Praeger, 1963)

I wonder whether others have noticed this disturbing parallel. As we have seen in news reports, the PKS is also emulating the PKI by its grass-roots deployment of clean-cut cadres and community involvement (see PKS Social Services).

Fortunately, Indonesia escaped the realities of Marxist rule, the eradication of freedom and the outrageous corruption which marks Red China and Vietnam, the 'wonderful' health care reserved for the Party elite (and dumb dupes like Michael Moore) in Cuba, and the breathtaking nepotism of North Korea, all despotisms run by ruling classes that exploit workers and peasants on a scale that makes the wicked west and its ‘running dogs’ seem cherubic.


PKS 2009 election jingle - the Party for all of us.

But one can be certain that if the Amrozi think-alikes came to power, things would be similar.

Paedophile clerics taking their pick of village girl-children (who would be banned from going to school anyhow), the haj rip-offs of recent years a drop in the bucket as the ustad in-crowd hogged the best seats and planes and over-charged the motley, and the local cadre slipping off to a nubile tukang pijat (masseuse) whenever he thought he might get way with it. Not to mention stoning of slappers and whippings galore a la Aceh today. And a super treat after Friday prayers, execution of apostates!

What bothers me is whether today’s Indonesia is smart enough to recognise the menace of a PKS/FPI/Hizbut Talibanisation programme every bit as nightmarish as was the PKI’s totalitarianism.

Given the current readiness of even respectable parties like the PDI-P (who for all their faults at least oppose the Islamonazi decree freezing Ahmadiyah) to wheel and deal with the sharia freaks, just as the parties of the Fifties played footsie with the Reds, I am inclined to view the future gloomily.


26 Comments on “Prosperous Justice Party”

  1. avatar Rob says:

    @ Ross…

    Interesting parallels indeed.

    However, religious fundamentalism in any guise is a menace to society, not just Islam.

    “stoning of slappers”…you talking prostitutes or plain old adulters? Just asking…

    What bothers me is whether today’s Indonesia is smart enough to recognise the menace of a PKS/FPI/Hizbut Talibanisation programme every bit as nightmarish as was the PKI’s totalitarianism.

    Well, if your gloom and doom scenario plays out as you seem to think it might, then perhaps Indonesians have not recognized the menace in the same way that you have or believe that they should.

  2. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Well-spotted, Ross, unusual for you, but might just be a case of observations driven by your favorite twin paranoia – of communism and rising Islamism. It’s true, though, the PKS learned alot from the PKI, with their cadre building. Both groups are also marketing the promise of human dignity amidst poverty.
    Back in the 1960s it was chronic, endemic, hopeless post-colonial poverty. Now it’s a fear that globalization can’t deliver on its promises. The mosque offers one steady fix of dignity for many who struggle, ‘specially in the harsh cities. As ground water dries up, skyscrapers darken the sky, and cities get even more materialistic, that fix could get more attractive.

  3. avatar ET says:

    Rob

    “stoning of slappers”…you talking prostitutes or plain old adulters? Just asking…

    It’s the plain old adulterers. One doesn’t destroy his favorite toy.

  4. avatar andrey says:

    so what is the main point of Ross’ argument?
    That all political parties should not try to impress their constituent that they are clean, not corrupt, and will be the best solution for governance? because that will make them as bad as PKI?

    or is this ban only applicable to muslim parties?

    talking about PKI with their populist, unrealistic political promises (like “free land for every farmer!!”) , I think PDI-P is more closer with their promises of “cheap this” “cheap that” . Simple promises that ring with the simple masses of the uneducated, very similar target constituent with the PKI.

    actually atributing pks’s success with poverty is not really correct. because their core constituent is in the middle class, educated people, most of whom have work.

  5. avatar Ross says:

    Actually, ET, I have a feeling one of the PKS godfathers came out and said they couldn’t resort to mediaeval torments until they’d got the economy right.

    And thank you, Achmad, for even that faint praise; your litany of the woes that afflict Indonesia is accurate enough, and that is why, Rob, I do get a gloomy feeling about the prospects here sometimes.

    The rich are such total sob’s . If they spent even a fraction of the sums they lavish on rubbishy luxuries, on helping folk get basic needs like medicine and doctors’ treatment, the future would not be at risk of falling into the hands of fanatics, who promise heaven, maybe not here but eventually.
    My point was, not just the parallels of style and tactics, but the ultimate dishonesty of these kinds of people, Islamist freakos or red gangsters. They would exploit Indonesia worse than the present mob, if that’s possible, and add deliberate sectarian savagery instead of just the random grubby variety.

  6. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Just doing what I do, Ross, “Telling It Like It Is,” to the White Man. I’m still up for that insult-a-thon sometime this year, if you like.

  7. avatar Burung Koel says:

    The rich are such total sob’s . If they spent even a fraction of the sums they lavish on rubbishy luxuries, on helping folk get basic needs like medicine and doctors’ treatment

    Er, Ross, that sounds suspiciously Marxist. 🙂

  8. avatar andrey says:

    Ross, if you don’t steal, you dont get your hand cut off.
    You are not planning on stealing are you?
    Why are you defending thieves?
    If poverty is their reason, then there is baitul maal (google this) which can provide for them.
    If the baitul maal don’t function properly, then it is not the time yet to implement this law on cutting hand, so no reason to be afraid.

    The thieves, who have no other reason but greed, know the risk, yet they steal.

    They deserve anything they get if only to help cleaning the genetic pool of such stupidity gene.

    If we can mention one good contribution of this site for humanity, is that it keeps certain people busy writing hate filled article they have less time to procreate.

  9. avatar David says:

    They’ve got some rather clever fellows working for them, their marketing (like that video above) leaves the other parties in the dust, they’re very smart on the internet as well….but therein lies a sort of weakness for them, as Andrey sort of pointed out, they are still an urban middle class outfit, university based, whereas the PKI was a genuine mass movement, in the cities yes but also in the backwoods. I don’t see any movement towards them going on right now, either, if they get more than 10% they’ll be lucky, they may be decades ahead of their time….

    Another parallel Ross would be they both had clandestine origins and Leninist organisational structure – PKS grew out of the Tarbiyah student movement, secretive small cells of Islamists, they had to be secretive of course,….but just about everyone copied Leninist organisational methods didn’t they? If it works….

  10. avatar Lairedion says:

    I like this video. Reminds me of the Indomie commercials… Very slick.

  11. avatar Berlian Biru says:

    Well, yes, of course but this is nothing new, it was ever thus in Indonesia.

    The Islamists and the Communists were always two sides of the same coin in this country, both deploying the same tactics to gain power; presenting themselves as down to earth, non-corrupt men of the people whose good book and utopian ideology (with a bit of financial assistance from sympathetic foreign states) would provide Indonesia with the solution to all its problems.

    By 1965 there was a state of nascent civil war in central and eastern Java between the kyai and the cadres. With the latter specifically targeting land owned by the former for collectivisation and the latter fighting back. After Gestapu at the funeral of little Irma Nasution, Admiral Eddy Mattadiata brushed past the leaders of the anti-Muslim student movement and muttered one word “Sikat!” (sweep), and sweep they did. It is one of the myths about Suharto that it was him and the army who crushed the Communists, it wasn’t; it was the Muslims in the towns and kampungs of Java, in many cases the army had simply to come in and restore order.

    Of course the ultimate beneficiaries of the purge were not the Islamists but the Army who thanked their erstwhile allies by keeping them out in the cold for the next quarter century. So now the Islamists think their time has come again (unlikely as they never get more than about six per cent of the vote), well there’s a lot of established political groups who might not agree and in the background there still lurk the men in British Disruptive Pattern green who will ultimately decide.

  12. avatar Berlian Biru says:

    My apologies the above should read of course “the leaders of the anti-communist Muslim student movement”, preview is your friend BB (if only we had preview).

  13. avatar Brother Mouzone says:

    It just goes to show, you can’t be too careful.

    I have to giggle every time I see the name “PKS” – looks far too much like “PSK” for a borderline dyslexic like me… The parallel between prostituting oneself as a politician and as a sex worker is splendid.

  14. avatar Brother Mouzone says:

    They deserve anything they get if only to help cleaning the genetic pool of such stupidity gene.

    But Andrey my dear. By removing their hands, you are surely only increasing the likelihood of them procreating and continuing their thieving lineage…

    Think about it…

  15. avatar ET says:

    andrey

    If we can mention one good contribution of this site for humanity, is that it keeps certain people busy writing hate filled article they have less time to procreate.

    So why do you keep reading them? To help you procreate and fill the world with more Submitters?

  16. avatar Ross says:

    Brother Mouzone, you are not the only one who jokes about PSK/PKS. I used to have fun with the Partai Bulan Bintang, whose name I interpreted as pledging a free bottle of Bintang every month.

    Andrey, I am no softy on law and order and have no time for thieves, but if you cut off their hands, you render them unfit for honest toil, so they will either become beggars or some other non-useful type of citizen. Lock ’em up, or even flog ’em! (I have no objection to corporal punishment if the criminal’s offence merits it – my antipathy to the Aceh version is based on the stupid ‘offences’ which incur it.)

    Burung Koel, I am as far from being a marxist as it’s possible to be, but I am not rich nor do I have any real interest in becoming so. I have met rich people I like and some I don’t, and if folks make lots of money, good luck to ’em.
    BUT..I think if you have a dozen chairs and somebody through no fault of their own turns up chairless on your doorstep, you oughta give ’em one of your chairs. Alas, I would not expect many rich Indonesians to do so. Quite the contrary; I’d expect most elected politicans to seek rent for the door-mat.

  17. avatar Brother Mouzone says:

    Burung Koel, I am as far from being a marxist as it’s possible to be…

    BUT..I think if you have a dozen chairs and somebody through no fault of their own turns up chairless on your doorstep, you oughta give ‘em one of your chairs.

    I hate to break this to you but the direct opposite of a Marxist would have to be a Laissez-Faire Capitalist. If you believe in wealth distribution (which any self-respecting LFC recognizes as providing perverse incentives to the less productive parts of society) then a capitalist you ain’t...

    The term socialist is probably more accurate…

  18. avatar Burung Koel says:

    I hate to break this to you but the direct opposite of a Marxist would have to be a Laissez-Faire Capitalist

    The term socialist is probably more accurate…

    Labels don’t mean much anymore. The more extreme the politics, the more the ‘sides’ resemble each other.

  19. avatar Burung Koel says:

    If the baitul maal don’t function properly, then it is not the time yet to implement this law on cutting hand, so no reason to be afraid.

    Lock ‘em up, or even flog ‘em! (I have no objection to corporal punishment if the criminal’s offence merits it

    ‘Cos sometimes ya just gotta go all medieval on a muthaf*cka.

    /Tarantino’ed

  20. avatar Ross says:

    Brother Mouzone, Marxism and Capitalism are both fundamentally materialist ideologies, whereas I am a conservative monarchist who tends to think in terms of the ‘organic society’ as a better way of life; but this tread is going off on some interesting tangents.

    Perhaps we can bring it back with a quote from an article ‘The threat of complacency, the hope of faith’ by Walter Lohman, about Dhume, the author of My Friend the Fanatic.
    ‘For anyone uncertain about the PKS agenda, Dhume’s interview with PKS Secretary General Annis Matta is revealing. When asked about sharia, Matta responds, “Indonesia is not ready. All laws should be applied only after society is ready to accept them. I can’t say ‘cut off a thief’s hand’ if people are poor and there is no food. We have to remove obstacles in society before implementing it. If you have laws without conditioning the people first, it will fail.” A similar thought is expressed to Dhume by Irfan S. Awwas, executive chairman of the extremist Indonesian Mujahidin Council (MMI): “In Indonesia there are too many prostitutes to stone and thieves with hands to be chopped off. We can’t implement it immediately.” He goes on to identify democracy itself as sharia’s biggest obstacle.’

    If paranoia is an irrational psychological condition, Achmad, then anybody who abhors and opposes the PKS or indeed Communism, whichever happens to be the gravest menace at any given time, can hardly be called paranoid.

    The latter is at its heart a murderous creed, and the former could easily turn out much the same, if it ever got power. After all, we know what Islamists like Laskar Jihad did in Maluku, and what the FPI think should be done here and now.

  21. avatar Oigal says:

    even flog ‘em! (I have no objection to corporal punishment if the criminal’s offence merits it

    mmm… Could be me but that statement seems to bordering on the exterme as well..’mirror mirror on the wall”

    Anyway, I will check on the availability of Norfork Island for you, last time I was there the flogging stocks were still well preserved, might be able to save some bucks and time.

    Whilst we are on about the dangers of Islamists, you are aware the Christian Hard Liners represent a simliar danger in some provinces aren’t you or is that off thread?

  22. avatar Oigal says:

    Conservative Monarchist hmmm..doesn’t sound very democratic? Can you have a liberal monarchist?

  23. avatar Ross says:

    Yes, Oigal, there are lots of liberal monarchists, and we are a democratic bunch, as a rule….check out Aussie, for starters.
    Monarchy can of course be absolute, but there are few absolutists around these days, outside of North Korea, perhaps!

    Can’t see anything extreme about corporal punishment, if it’s administred to those who deserve it, like thugs and vandals.

    Christian hard-liners? Let’s have a discussion on those too…

  24. avatar Ross says:

    Oya, I’ll be off the air next week, family visit.

  25. avatar Oigal says:

    anything extreme about corporal punishment

    That’s a quote from Mutiny on the Bounty isn’t it?

    Aside from the fact that “better the devil you know” theory of inaction, I find difficult to understand how any educated person could support any system of Monarchy and the whole born to rule thing (although for tourism sake perhaps selling of Winsor to a Disney World franchise perhaps)

  26. avatar muqthi ali says:

    I believe there is nothing parallel between PKS and PKI. PKI has nothing to do with PKS and otherwise. Their activities on community development, social services has its roots on their believe, Islam. Associating their social activities with PKI is unlogic, narrow and simply paranoid.I wonder what makes you think that PKS is a threat for Indonesia. If so, it is so unbelievable that their cadre are mostly well educated young and talented people. They even come from secular universities mostly reputable university in Indonesia like UI, UGM, ITB. While minor are found in Islamic University Like National Islamic University (Universitas Islam Negeri).

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