Rocky Gerung: Capitalism and feudalism are Indonesia’s enemies

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Series of national discussions taking on the theme of “The Roots of Marhaenism” held in Syabas Energy Indofood Tower, Sudirman, South Jakarta. (photo: Yoga Agusta)

IO, Jakarta – The spirit of “Marhaenism”, prohibiting the oppression of humans by one another: a heritage of our Founding Father Bung Karno, has disappeared from the popular dialogue – without a trace. This is a big regret, as Marhaenism has the noble goal of securing social justice for all Indonesians.

University of Indonesia Lecturer of Philosophy Rocky Gerung stated that as an idea, “Marhaenism” has become a fossil, even though Bung Karno specifically described it as the spirit of eliminating economic oppression by foreign countries and strengthening a sense of equality in feelings and actions. “Indonesia’s true enemies are capitalism and feudalism. Bung Karno explained that Marhaenism champions freedom from economic exploitation by foreign powers. If we can be said to be free, it would be free from China’s traps,” he declared during a session of a series of discussions on nationalism, titled “The Roots of Marhaenism” at Syabas Energy Indofood Tower, Sudirman, South Jakarta.

Rocky is convinced that we need a pioneering party to bring back the idea of Marhaenism and return it down to Earth. Unfortunately, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan – “PDIP”), which is frequently cited as the party of the Soekarno Dynasty, is not this pioneering party. “In order to bring Marhaenism back down to Earth, we need to connect its three pillars of nationalism, Islam, and socialism together. Unfortunately, Indonesia’s social economy has died; it is a “religious economy” that flourishes. Nowadays, our Muslim citizens frequently see socialism as their enemy, while it is actually a path to their aspiration: Islamic socialism. Therefore, it is no wonder that only religious nationalist parties have grown, and there are no socialist nationalist parties. As its third pillar, socialism, has died, Marhaenism also expires,” he stated.

Similar to Rocky, Political Observer Yudi Latief stated that Marhaenisme has become more marginalized as ever, as the people continue to confuse it with communism. On the contrary, Marhaenism is similar to socialism, in that it aspires for social justice. Marhaenist socialism is actually the basis of Pancasila thinking, a creed fights to get the people free from injustice and inequality. “We are frequently unable to differentiate between socialism and communism, as if they are the same thing, while they are in fact very different ideologies,” he said.

Yudi believes that it takes great efforts to make it clear to people what Marhaenism is. There must be an effort to provide the people with a comprehensive literacy of economic systems and state ideologies. “And finally, I firmly believe that we need to combine not just religious faith with the tenets of Pancasila to create religious nationalism, but we must complement it with socialism as well,” he said. (Dan)