Tulisan Soekarno 1926: Nationalism, Islam and Marxism

Arsip sejarah, tulisan asli Bung Karno asli pada 1926 di Soeloeh Indonesia Muda : Nationalism, Islam dan Marxism setelah ditranslasikan Ruth McVey.



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).


p. 24

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.


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.


p.  25

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



Author: Mustaqim

Guru sejarah di SMA Muhammadiyah 2 Surabaya, besar dan tinggal di Surabaya. Selain mengajar, saya juga sangat antusias dalam hal-hal yang berbau teknologi, khususnya IT. Masih menjadi seseorang yang ingin terus belajar dan memberi manfaat kepada orang lain

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