Communism in Asia: A Threat to Australia?

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Communism in Asia: A Threat to Australia?

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Communism In Threat To Australia P ,g

Australian Institute

(Proceedings

of

of

Political

Science

33rd Summer School)

ANGUS AND ROBERTSON PUBLISHERS

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First jlub[ishedin /967 by Atreus AND ROBERTSON (1=Uar,isH£Rs) PTY. LTU.

102 Glover Street, Cremorne, Sydncv i

2 Fisher Street, London 159 Boon Kong Road, Singapore

P.O. Box 1072, Makati MCC, Rival, Philippines

115 Rosslyn Street, West Melbourne 222 East Terrace, Adelaide 1 Little Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

Reprinted I968: I969, /973

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National Library of Australia

Registry Number AUS 69-2660

SBN 207 94919 0

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© A.I.P.S.

1967

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Registered in Australia for transmission by post as a book 1:IRZNTED IN

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AU$'l'RAI.iA B Y N E W CENTURY PRESS 1"1'y. LTD., SYDNFY

This book consists of Papers 'read at the 33rd Summer

of

the Australian Institute

of

School

Political Science, held at

Canberra, A.C.T., 28 to 30 January I967, by

ROBERT A. SCALAPINO GOH KENG SWEE J. D. B. MILLER OWEN HARRIES GREGORY CLARK ZELMAN COWEN

Edited by JOHN WILKES

The Australian Institute of Political Science, a non-party organization, was founded in /932 to provide educational and research facilities for people interested in the study of the political, economic and social problems of Australia. The opinions expressed in papers and discussions in

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N T E N T S

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INTRODUCTION

I

THE NATURE OF COMMUNIST

REGIMES IN AS1A

Robert A. Sealapino

II

THE NATURE AND A P r A L S oF COMMUNISM IN NON-COMMUN1ST

AS1AN COU NTRIES

Goh Kong Swee

III

COMMUNIST

Is

78

AS1AN COMMUNISM A THREAT "no AUS'rRALIA?

Owen Han-ies and Gregory Clark V

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CH1NA'S FOREIGN POLICY

I. D. B. Miller IV

3

118

AUSTRAUA'S POLICY TOWARNS A51A

Zelman Cowen

158

Languages and the Department of External Affairs

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Appendix 2 The Geneva Conference and Vietnam

199

Appendix 1

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INTRODUCTION THE CHOICE of a subject for an Institute Summer School is never an easy task. On some occasions the Directors choose a topic because they believe that people are insufficiently aware of its importance and that public attention needs to be focussed Upon it. For this School, on the other hand, they selected a subject which was a burning issue but on which they believed that public dis-

cussion was shallow, uninformed, over-simpliiied, and stultified by uncritical adherence to habitual attitudes.

The dragging on of the undeclared wwlu.. in Vietnam _ , M Australia's increasing involvement had raised agonising questions of morality, external relations and deface strategy in 'lie minds all thinking Australians. However, it seemed that Vietnam was only . . . . . .. .. .

one aspect of a wider situation, and that the crucial question was the extent to which Conimunism in Asia constitutes a threat to Australia. ~It was realized that the terms "Communism" and "threat" required objective analysis and clarification, especially in view of the passions which they so often arouse. All considerations pointed to this question as being exactly the type of subject which it is the Institute's aim to bring up for public discussion. Moreover it was convinced that the tradition of objectivity established over the years by the Institute qualified it uniquely for the task. In the event the timeliness of the topic was confirmed by the public interest and

enthusiasm aroused by the School and the wide publicity it achieved. In this particular field analysis and judgment are made extraordinarily diliicult not only by the Huidity of so many of the factors involved, but also by the uncertainty in the interpretations of events

that are taking place. This makes it all the more necessary that we intensity our efforts to study and 'understand the situation if we are to play a wise and positive role in Asia. I believe that the School contributed something towards such study and understanding.

o. E. PHILLIPS Chairman Australian Institute of Political Science

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I THE NATURE O F COMMUNIST REGIMES I N ASIA ROBERT A. SCALAPINO*

COMMUNISM in Asia has come to power in a variety of ways, but in all cases war and violence rather than parliamentarism have been centrally involved. This is not surprising, of course, given the nature of modem Asian politics. There are four Communist states in Eastern Asia today

of China, North Korea, North Vietnam

and Mongolia. The last of these, Mongolia, has been in existence for more than forty years, having been born in conjunction with the Bolshevik Revolution. The first three are essentially products

of World War II, just as Mongolia's political status is intimately related to the events triggered by World War I. Two of these Communist regimes-Mongolia and Korea-owe their existence directly to Soviet military power, moreover. In no sense did the initial triumph of Communism in these two states stem from indigenous revolutionary efforts. Subsequently, to be sure, victory was consolidated by internal political forces and in the case of Korea, as we shall later note, Communist leadership increasingly sought to develop an indigenous, nationalist image.

The role of the Soviet Army in implanting Communism in Mon~ golia and Korea, however, was indispensable. With respect to China and North Vietnam, the balance of internal versus external factors abetting Communist victory will long be debated, partly because it is extremely difficult to separate and give relative weight to the key causative factors. In both cases,

however, internal factors seem to have been in granting in turn that these were strongly influenced if by external developments. In China a decade of**'U the morale, efficiency and organizational structure of

*

critical ones, not governed undermined the Kuomin-

Robert A. Scalapino is Professor of Political Science in the University of California at Berkeley.

3

COMMUNISM IN ASIA; A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

tang regime. 'Large numbers of Chinese, moreover, came under rival and hostile governments-both those of Wang Ching-wei and Mao Tse-tung for a prolonged period of time, thereby challenging the legitimacy of the Kuomintang autllority.

In this setting the Maoist formula for successful revolution evolved as a Flve~stage progression. First, the Communist Party had to be established and maintained as the fountainhead of power, leadership and policy. By 1935 the struggle for control of the Chinese Communist Party had been conclusively detemiined in favor of Mao Tse-tung, a struggle that was not reopened until 1965, thirty years later. From the Tsunami Conference of 1935 onward a unified Communist Party evolved its tactics and strategy in accord-

ance with Maoist concepts. Of supreme importance was the fact that these concepts, now virtually unchallengeable at the top, could

be widely disseminated and enforced as the result of skilled organizational techniques. In the final analysis, it may well be determined that the principles of organization perfected by the Communist Parties of Asia are the most important single factor involved in their strength. The myth of the mass line together with the concept of "democratic centralism" lie at the heart'of Chinese Communist organizational principles. According to the myth, "the people" determined Party policies, set the line. Party programs are merely reflections of

mass desires and proposals. Thus Party policies derive their legitimacy, indeed their sacred character, from "the people", and those who seek to contravene such policies are "enemies of the people", eligible for .destruction : The facts do not accord with the myth- The Chinese Communists, like other Qomrnnnists, bractise "democratic centralislIi". Critical

decisions are made by a small group of men from within the circle of leaders constituting the Political Bureau. Once these decisions are reached the"minority" are bound to respect the "majority", using these; terms loosely. Orders are passed to regional and local levels, with Party cadres serving as the critical grassroots agents of

the Party. Like village priests the cadres represent local symbols of authority, transmitters of the faith, and guardians of the public weal. ; Whatever the gap between concept and practice-and d i r e is increasing reason to believe that it has always been substantialthis organizational system has been far superior to most competitive systems available in Asia. Even a reasonably sophisticated form of modern authoritarian organization, moreover, can represent a

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THE NATURE OF COMMUNIST 'REGIMES IN ASIA

formidable challenge when it operates in a society following loose, traditional forms of organization. The second step in the revolutionary progression lies in the creation of a united front, utilizing a wide range of social-economic and political issues. Such a front, if successful, is to comprise workers, peasants, intellectuals and "national bourgeoisie", with "the proletariat" naturally constituting the vanguard. Mao's dictum has consistently been "unite 90 per cent of the people against 10 per cent-their enemies". In some measure Asian Communism has thus tended to acquire an intellectual head and a peasant body, although certain parties, such as the Japanese Communist Party, constitute exceptions.

What have been the primary appeals of Communism to those Asian intellectuals attracted to the Marxist-Leninist creed? Three main avenues of appeal can be discerned. The first may be defined as the "intellectual appeal"--the attraction of a doctrine that claims to provide a scientific, rational explanation for basic social phenomena, at once cosmic in its scope and easily comprehended in its fundamental tenets. The second appeal is political: Communism as the science of successful revolution and an effective method of rapid moderniza-

tion. Is Communism the most promising method of producing a powerful, integrated state and a one-generation industrial revolution? Finally, the emotional attractions of the Communist creed cannot be overlooked. In its universal "truths" Marxism provides relief from the powerful sense of isolation which intellectuals in emerging societies tend to experience. Suddenly, they are connected with the world Stream. 1-encompassing community. The Magician vision, moreover, iS one of buoyant optimism-inevitable . pro gr . These appeals, I should be emphasized, affect only a small minority of die Asian intelligentsia. They are most effective, moveover, when discouragement with prevailing conditions is high, especially in the aftermath of parliamentary failures. Even so, the Asian intellectuals' attraction to Communism has generally proven to be extremely unstable, a fact of which professional Communist leaders are acutely aware. From this flows their deep suspicion of those whom they label "petty bourgeois intellectuals", and their

a

,

___

ceaseless efforts to develop a new, dependable proletarianized intellectual class. How is the peasant wooed If the appeals to the intellectuals are

5

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

based upon such issues as "new democracy", modernization and nationalism, those directed toward the peasant involve pledges of immediate socio-economic rcfonn and a "new politics" at the grassroots level They that under Gonmiunisin Me corruption, privilege and officiousness traditionally associated with local author-

ities will be ended. To these pledges the Communists have added another: playing upon the traditional xenophobia of the peasant, they promise the removal of the foreigner-in this fashion advancing

a "common man" type of nationalism to accompany the more sophisticated forms being simultaneously advanced to the urban intellectual. The techniques involved in the united front stage have helped to underwrite what can be considered the orthodox explanation for Communist victory in China. That explanation emphasizes three factors as crucial: first, the mobilization of the multi-class alliance around the banners of democracy and nationalism in the context of

a patriotiq war against the Japanese ; second, a successful appeal to the peasants on the basis of socio-economic reforms, especially

land reform; third, the combination of an internal collapse of the old order and the external victory of Western allies. Such an explanation has considerable merit, but two factors deserve more emphasis than previously accorded them. As has already been suggested, Communist organizational techniquesquite apart from specific programs-were of crucial importance. Revolution, like war, is in considerable measure determined by organization and it is easy, particularly from a Western liberal perspective, to overemphasize rational economic or political issues

as determinants. Too often we have been given a Westernized version of Communist success that places its primary stress upon

the thesis that the Communists actually won over a majority of the Chinese people through their programs and promises. In addition to omittiNg the important element of coercion that was always present in Communist strategy--the vital instrument of terrorislnsuch an analysis encourages the myth that Chinese Communist victory a majoritarian phenomena, albeit one achieved without parliamentarism. It is not necessary at this point to answer the question as to whether Communism has benefited the majority in order to assert firmly that the rational, majoritarian explanation

was

for Communist victory is untenable and, in this respect, a number of Western accounts of the modern Chinese revolution demand substantial revision.

If organization was an internal factor of major significance, 6

THE NATURE OF COMMUNIST REGIMES IN ASIA

Japanese policy was an external factor of equal importance. From 1928 onwards the policy of .Japan toward China developed in such a manner as to progressively undermine the cohesion, capacity and morale of

the

non-Communist forces in Chinese politics. Centrism teasingly difficult and the issues posed for the Chinese Government became increasingly divisive ones. With a united front fashioned, the third stage of Communist tactics requires guerilla warfare. The dominant theme in Asian

_

`

§;a-.=ine insistence that "the ruling classes" do

not give up power voluntarily and hence violence will be necessary

to effect a successful revolution. And the Chinese model has provided many of the concepts associated with this stage, particularly the key concept of using the countryside to surround the cities, until like ripe plums they fall under the weight of economic ills, disorgan~ ization and defeatism. When guerilla warfare has proceeded to a certain point, with the initial supremacy of the enemy eliminated, a fourth stage, that of positional warfare, ensues. Finally, with military victory comes the fifth stage, namely, the creation of a People's Democracy, in which the fiction of united front politics is continued under the reality of a Communist Party dictatorship. The live-stage progression outlined above is currently accepted as basic strategy by most Coimnunist Parties in Asia, although homage is paid to the need for adjusting tactics to the situation of each society. North Vietnam is an example of Communist victory under circumstances similar although not identical to those which pre vailed in China. Vietnam, of course, represented a "pure" colonial

setting. The Viet Minh, from the beginning under Communist leadership, constituted a united front which had as its primary emphasis "national liberation". At certain stages it managed to attract a wide range of non-Communists. Communist control, however, was maintained, with terrorism and assassination among the weapons used. At the same time the full range of appeals, including that of land reform, was proffered to the people. Guerilla warfare was mounted against the French-and also against various non-Communist Vietnamese units. Dienbienphu represented the climax of the war, symbolizing the capacity of the Communists to engage in positional warfare at this stage of the conflict. There followed the establishment of the "Democratic Republic of Vietnam", a government under the tight control of the 7

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

Vietnamese Communist

Party, and, more particularly,

the small

number of men sitting in the Political Bureau. Clearly, the Communists' strategy for victory involves an elaborate combination of political, military, socio-economic and psychological factors. While indigenous elements are of major importance, the Communists can be deterred or abetted by external developments and, indeed, such developments have been crucial to the

establishment of every Asian Communist state thus far. Those who lead the Communist Party to victory are likely to be hyphenated intellectual-military types emerging from either a rural or petitbourgeois background. Mao, Ho Chi-Minh and Kim It-song all lit that categorization. Given the nature of Asian societies, the "prole-

tarian" leader in the classical Marxist image is indeed a rarity. And at the grassroots the successful Party has had a peasant base, for the peasant currently represents the only Asian common man in significant numbers. After victory, what? At this stage, it is impossible to advance precise data on the results of Communist policies with confidence. Reliable iNformation on many critical issues is unavailable. or woefully incomplete. Sometimes, such evidence as is available varies greatly. Thus my analysis must be considered a series of hypotheses which appear, on the basis of current information, to be correct. Let us first examine the political results of Communist victory. Three basic trends may be observed. First, the absolute authority

of the Communist Party has been established. The fiction of the united front has been maintained in the three new Communist states (Mongolia having followed the Soviet pattern), with minor parties assigned the role of representing non-proletarian classes. All true opposition, however, has been progressively eliminated. Bona

fide nationalist leaders non-Communist in their political position, like Cho Man-shik, were First to go. "Bourgeois" intellectuals, essentially committed to parlialnentarism, have withered away under successive attacks. "Capitalists" have been re-educated to be managers, Or discarded. The attempt to level the urban elite, however, has generally proceeded without bloodshed, except for a significant 'number of "assassinations" at an earlier stage. The attack upon the rural gentry has been much more savage, with substantial numbers of individuals having been physically liquidated. Generally, head-chopping has given way to head-shaping after an initial period. Terrorism, at least in its more massive forms, represented the first phase of "people's democracy", and was followed by elaborate efforts at persuasion through re-education and 8

THE NATURE OF COMMUNIST REGIMES IN ASIA

a variety of other techniques. In each Communist state, however, the possibility of a rival political group from civilian areas challenging the Communist Party was eliminated at an early stage. The authority of the Party, correspondingly, was extended to the outermost regions of the state. I n considerable measure the Communists succeeded in bringing all inhabitants under their control and discipline and, in this sense, the nation-building process was significantly advanced. The primary exceptions appear to be the minority peoples-the Mongols, the Sinkiang peoples and the Tibetans now under Chinese Communist rule, and the hills people in North Vietnam. I n China, however, where the task of national unification was certain to be particularly difficult, the recent period of troubles, to which we shall refer later, has brought to the surface the continuing force of regionalism, and should cause any scholar to be extremely cautious in assessing the measure of unity attained. Undoubtedly, in the case of China-and in other cases as wellthe degree to which the regime can solve basic socio-economic and political problems will determine the permancy of unification, and its further advances. Meanwhile, a second basic trend has been much in evidence, namely, the emergence of a cult of personality, with the Party and the nation being unified around a single leader in whose hands reposes enormous power. Without exception, the Communist states of Asia have raised the Party leader to a pinnacle of adulation and omnipotence scarcely equaled in modern history. All emerging societies, to be sure, Find the personalization of the nation through its leader conducive to mass allegience. Indeed, in some measure, the nation only exists in the initial stages through the citizen's

identification with a Father figure. Nevertheless, the Asian Communists-and particularly the Chinese and North Korean stateshave carried u cult of personality to unprecedented lengths. At the moment, for example, Maoism has been carried to the absurd, partly b e a u s dmuanmngml weapon in the fierce struggle for power within the Chinese Communist Party. Mao must now be referred to as "our great teacher, great leader, great supreme commander and great helmsman". No emperor could have asked for more. Nor is the North Korean situation greatly different despite

the absence of grave internal crisis. Kim It-song has been elevated to the ranks of the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, with

modern Korean history being rewritten for this purpose. Even in North Vietnam, on a more human level, Uncle Ho has been made

9

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

into the person] symbol of the state-and all of the virtues which should be cultivated by the citizen.

What Will follow this era of extraordinary emphasis upon a Godlike leader' In the broadest sense new societies, especially those born out of struggle, tend to produce a First generation revolutionary leadership that is strongly ideological, deeply politicized and possessed of certain charismatic qualities. Such a leadership almost invariably hinges upon a single personality, one who commands an unchallenged priority of status and position. Ultimately, this first generation gives way to a leadership more pragmatic than ideological, more administrative than political, and technical rather than charismatic in terms of skills. And it is at this stage that some form of group or collective leadership becomes a reality. Within the Communist Parties themselves one can also note an evolutionary pattern of a different type. Initially, a relatively high level of democracy prevails, with the decisionmaking base being broad in relation to membership. This base progressively narrows as the Party moves toward power, and the hierarchical nature of authority makes itself manifest. Leadership devolves upon a small

group of men and, among these, a struggle for power and rank ensues, with numerous purges. Finally, a single leader emerges and, with his authority firmly implanted, a period of political stability at elitist levels ensues. As the leader ages, however, political instability rises and the struggle for succession is extremely likely to produce a major crisis-with the Party again moving in cyclical fashion toward a broader decision-making base and a series of purges. To what extent do these generalizations apply to the Communist states under consideration? Let us start with the supremely impor-

tant crisis in China, the gravest crisis faced by the Chinese Communist Party since the turmoil surrounding it in the period 1927-1935. Two substantive issues would appear to be deeply involved iN the struggle: first, the character of economic policy, and, secondly, relations with the Communist bloc and, more particularly, with the Soviet Union. These are not new issues. Indeed, they were posed in their present

form in the 1958-59 period, and future historians will probably mark the purge of Marshal P'eng Teh-huai as the beginning of this present struggle. From that point onward, debate continued in high Party :circles and elsewhere over these and related issues, a debate taking many forms. In its broadest dimensions, one might describe the battle as one between the primitivism and the pro-

10

THE NATURE OF COMMUNIST REGIMES IN ASIA

fessionals. The primitivism--currently represented by the Mao-Lin forces-insist upon doctrinal purity and seek to reapply "the lessons of Yenan". In many respects they still see the problems of China as susceptible to solution via traditional Maoist tactics. Their most revealing symbol is the simple phrase: "Man is more important than weapons". Thus, in the economic field, one can minimize material incentives and rely upon loyalty to the Party-and to truth, thereby inducing limitless sacrifices. The commune system, far from being a tragic error, must be advanced and further removed from the revisionist capitalist tendencies now rampant in the agrarian sectors of the Soviet and East European economies. On the political front unity of the Communists is important--but it must be unity with true Communists, not false ones. The Soviet Union has now left the true faith and must be treated as anti-Marx, fought with every possible weapon and by every possible means. A united front --even on behalf of Vietnam-with false Maridst-Leninists would

betray the Communist cause. And how should the position of the "professio nlIiili" be characterized? Essentially, these are the harbingers of a second generation elite, men pointing the way towards p r a g m a t i c administrative effectiveness and technical skills. They are not prone to elevate "red" above "expert". Technical training, material rewards, rational economics--upon these they place a considerable premium. Thus in the debate over the third 5-#Year Plan they must have urged a more moderate approach, one protecting and possibly advancing the present pattern of material incentives. Similarly, whatever their

nationalist-and racial-resentrnents

of the Russians, this group

has tended to view the Sino-Soviet cleavage as disastrous from the

standpoint of Chinese national interest. They have seen that split as delaying Chinese military preparedness and economic development, and seriously undermining Chinese foreign policy, They have witnessed the major failures of foreign policy both within the Communist bloc and throughout the Afro-Asian-Latin American world. Not unnaturally, therefore, they have been sympathetic to efforts seeking some modus Vivendi, with the crisis being forced over Vietnam. As noted earlier, these issues have been prominent for more than

seven years, and they were centrally involved in the purge of P'eng. The timing of the current crisis, however, would appear to have been connected with a stnlggle for succession, the belief in-or the reality of-Mao's weakening. After thirty years of unity, following the ascendancy of Mao, the old Bolsheviks governing China are

11

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

deeply divided in Mao's waning years. And of major importance is the new role of the Chinese Red Army as a result of Party division. There is considerable evidence that at the l l t h Plenum sessions of the Central Committee in August= 1966 Mao and Lin Piao, "his closest comrade in arms", found themselves in a minority position, and were forced to create a para-military organization, the Red Guards, to battle for control of the Party. It is abundantly clear now that the Red Guards were initially underwritten by Mao, Lin and the P.L.A. (People's Liberation Army). Massive rallies to intimidate opponents, combined with successive waves of purging

and assaults upon various Party headquarters, must have shaken the Chinese Communist political structure to its very roots. The current drama in China has not yet been played out, and it would be a rash man who would Predict with any assurance the

future of Chinese Communism. In= the most immediate sense, the issue would appear to be whether Lin Piao can exercise firm control over the Army and, by this means, effectively silence Party critics like Liu Shao-ch'i and Tend Hsiao-p'ing, critics who may well have had an actual majority of the Central Committee members on their side. This, in turn, raises issues Of major significance: can we anticipate a period of de facto military control in China, albeit under the label of Party supremacy' Will Communist China Find the preservation of centralized authority possible only through the Army or a militarized, reconstructed Party? On the other hand, will we witness a significant rise of regional autonomy, a situation not totally dissimilar to early periods of warlOrdism, as a central regime fails to hold firmly together? Whatever may be the case, the Chinese Communist Party today is a Party in the deepest trouble. The significant degree of unity

attained over the past fifteen years is consequently in jeopardy. And if the political turmoil is not ended soon it will undoubtedly affect economic productivity as well. And, while it would be very unwise to ignore the importance of the substantive issues involved-the possibility, indeed, that Mao's old comrades have lost confidence in

his abilities, this crisis also signals the fact that Communist regimes are vulnerable to political troubles when the succession issue be~ comes acute.

It is possible to deal more briefly with the other Communist states in studying patterns of leadership and power. In North Korea Kim It-song--still relatively young-appears to have achieved an invulnerable position at dis point. That position was not attained easily, however. Beginning with the bloody purge of Pak I-Ion-yang

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THE NATURE OF COMMUNIST REGIMES IN ASIA

and his supporters (from the so-called indigenous faction) during the Korean War, Kim successively removed from power both the "Soviet" and the "Chinese" factions and, surrounding himself with his old comrades from the guerilla days in Manchuria, proclaimed his a truly nationalist, independent regime. If Kim rules with an iron hand in Pyongyang, Mongolia's Tsendenbal appears to occupy a somewhat less secure position in Ulan Baton. Once again, however, troublesome rivals have been rigorously purged in recent years. In the case of the Mongolian leader, moreover, Soviet power appears to be crucial and purges were conducted against nationalists, rather

than in the name of nationalism. Does a political crisis lie ahead in North Vietnam as Ho ChiMinh moves into his advanced seventies and long~bitter rivals for power view the future? No doubt developments here will be determined by the outcome of the war and by accompanying economic and political trends. It would be extraordinary, however, if the Vietnamese Communist Party were to avoid major problems in the . coming decade. An analysis of Communist politics should not ignore the other side of the ledger. Unquestionably the Communists. have provided their citizens with a heightened amount of law and order, and this fact alone has had a pronounced effect upon productivity. They have stressed the acquisition of literacy and basic skills, moreover, and to the urban factory workers important opportunities have been granted. Indeed, those classes benefiting most from Communismapart from the Communist Party elite itself--are probably the skilled laborers and .certain categories of professionals, notably engineers, scientists and technicians. Already we have ventured into ;economic realm, a realm extremely difficult to analyze effectively because of the absence Of critical data. Our best estimate would suggest that, in the industrial sector, all of the Communist states (except North Vietnam) are currently making significant gains. The Chinese industrial economy, however, was certainly damaged by the ill-advised Great Leap Forward, and only within the past year have the losses been made up. One prominent American student of the Chinese economy, Professor Alexander Eckstein, has recently asserted: "One of the most striking characteristics of China's economic performance in these past 17 years is its apparent success during the first decade of its eidstence, as marked by consistent and sustained economic

growth, in sharp contrast with prolonged stagnation in the second decade. This is illustrated by the fact that the average rate of 13

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

economic growth between 1952 and 1957 may be estimated as roughly 6 to 7 per cent per year, with perhaps a doubling of this rate between 15 and 1958. However, this was followed by a decline and then §§adual recovery so that all indications seem to point toa situation where, as of 1965, China's national product

may have just recovered to the peak 1958 level." Professor Eckstein goes on to say that if this is correct, China's rate of growth for this period would be no greater than that of

India after economic planning commenced. At present substantial gains are being registered again in capital construction and basic industries, according to most accounts, but, as noted earlier, the future is clouded by political uncertainties and deep policy rifts. The record of North Korea in the industrial sector has been impressive since the end of the Korean War. This area, it should "'-"D

be remembered, was the site of major Japanese industrialization. North Vietnam and Mongolia have had a slower rate of industrial growth. For all of the Communist states agriculture represents a Much more troublesome problem. Accounts favorable to the Communists, including their own reports, depict rising harvests, abundant food supplies, and happy peasants. Most impartial experts tend to reach

different conclusions. Recent estimates of Chinese grain and cereal production, for example, suggest that, up to date, productive increases have not kept pace with population growth, although distribution -has unquestionably improved greatly. One survey indicates that the production of main crops averaged 172 million metric tons in the 1953-1957 period, dipped to a low of 150 million

tons in 1960, and rose to 185 million tons in 1964, subsequently declining slightly to 180 million tons in 1965.2 Undoubtedly the limited mechanization characterizing Chinese agriculture and the scarce supplies of fertilizer--quite apart from the question of incentives-operate to keep productivity low. Some of these deficiencies, notably the fertilizer problem, can be alleviated. The grim race between population and food in China, however, is not likely to end quickly or easily. Meanwhile, China will have to continue to import grain and her agrarian margin for industrial development will be, at best, slim. . The agrarian situation in North Korea is probably better, Once again the Japanese legacy is important and the population-land 1. Alexander Eckstein: "Economic Planning, Organization and Control in Communist China", Current Scene, 25 November 1966. p.1. 2. "And Now There Are. Four", Current Scene, 10 November 1966. p.12.

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THE NATUR1"4 OF COMMUNIST REGIMES IN ASIA

ratio is substantially better. Even in North Korea, however, life for the average farm family is harsh, and living standards are rising only very slowly. North Vietnam; i major food problem, exacerbated by the war, but always' Senousl Before summarizing these factors us look lorieiiy at the international relations of the Asian Communist states, focusing upon the most basic trends. Today we witness the emergence of a =.|=

new phenomenon, national Communism, and in no area is it more pronounced than in Asia. National Communism can have certain disturbing parallels with National Socialism on the Nazi model, as recent events in China so clearly indicate. The spectacle of millions of armed, mobilized youth parading before def Fuhrer is being

repeated and, while one ought to be extremely careful not to push the parallel too far, there are other happenings that should cause concern: the deep irrationality characteristic of national Communist propaganda; the messianic visions of men like Mao and Lin, and the complete and total intolerance of any opposition, the adamant refusal to consider compromise, at least at the level of theory. All of this, to be sure, is accompanied by a certain pragmatism in policy -a caution toward involvement in war with the United States, for example, and a willingness to deal with "old feudalists" like King Mahendra of Nepal or Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia when it suits the Chinese national interests. Nevertheless, the current nationalist trends in China-and in other Communist states-may well force the scholar to revise completely past analyses of Marxism-Leninism in action during the late twentieth century. With the rise of nationalism, the emergence of what is now called polycentrism in the Communist W and the growing bitterness between Russia and China, a new system of international relations

has developed among Communist states and parties in Asia. When the Sino-Soviet conflict first broke out, small Communist states such as North Korea and North Vietnam sought to establish a strictly

neutral position from whence they could serve as mediators (Mongolia remained at all points squarely in the Soviet camp). Mediation failed, however, and as the conflict deepened it became impossible to retain the neutralist stance. Positions on the critical issues had to be taken. In the final period of the Khrushchev era, therefore, the Korean and Vietnamese Parties, along with most of those from the rest of East Asia, took policy positions that identified them strongly with the Peking line and in opposition to Moscow. On such litmus-paper issues as Albania, Yugoslavia, Cuba, the Sino-Indian border dispute, "modem revisionism", the proper policies toward

15

GOMMUNISM IN ASIA; A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

the United States, and the test-ban treaty these Parties stood in opposition to Khrushehevian foreign policy. Within the past two years, however, a new trend has been in evidence, climaxed by the events of the first six months of 1966. With the Cornmurlist Party in North Korea serving as vanguard, a movement away from Peking is under way, with the issue of a united front on behalf of Vietnam serving as the catalytic agent. By posing their flexibility against Peking's rigidity, the new Soviet leaders have scored significant political gains. The current stance of the North Koreans and the Japanese Communists is one of "independence and autonomy", a position critical of both Moscow's "modern revisionism" and Peking's "dogmatism and sectisln". At least for the moment, an alliance of the "small Communists" against the "large Communists" has been

fashioned, an alliance which may subsequently be joined by others. North Vietnam, Whose party is deeply factionalized, clings to a as the result of the war. Mongolia, always conscious of the Chinese colossus to the South and East, retains its tributary relation to the Soviet Union in an effort to protect its precarious neutralism,

national identity- In this fashion, the Communist world today is subject to the same network of alliances, the same efforts at a balance of power, the same attempts at "neutrality" as attended the emergence of the liberal-states of the West. In summary, the following basic points deserve emphasis: Asian Communism has sought to make its appeal as a national liberation

movement: liberation from foreign control, from backwardness, and from class exploitation. Perhaps its greatest accomplishment in fact has been. in the nation-building Held, in forwarding the nationalist

movement. The intense nationalism characteristic of Asian Communism today-while paralleled in some measure by non-Comtnunist regimes-is indeed a curious phenomenon for an ideology that once scorned the nationalist image and found its fullilment in universalist .doctrines Nationalism has not only survived Communism in Asia-it has triumphed over it, with consequences yet unclear. .One result has been the development of classic international

politics within the Communist bloc, and between individual states of that bloc and the non-Colnmunistworld. Another result has been the increasing use of words like "sovereignty", "independence", "equality", and "autonomy", strange words indeed for Communism. Not all that emanates from nationalism is "good". We have also

noted the ominous parallels between national Communism as it is 16

THE NATURE OF COMMUNIST REGIMES IN ASIA

currently manifesting itself and more extreme forms of Western nationalism-past and present. Despite this development; however, it is unlikely that the main threat posed by Asian Communism

aggression",

is that of "old-fashioned

namely, the movement of national

armies across

boundaries. Some instances .of that have occurred, and undoubtedly others will emerge, but nemaggression in the form of the sponsored national liberation movement is a much more likely method of projecting Communist influence and power. And such movements

constitute a major challenge, one not yet effectively countered, as . is well known. Is Communism a more effective method of economic develop-

ment, and can it remove backwardness in a shorter period of time than the processes followed by open societies operating under mixed economies? No final answer to this question is possible at this point

-and it is conceivable that no general rule will prove to be valid. Some Communist states may succeed economically; others may fail, or remain relatively stagnant, and so it may be with non-Communist societies from the emerging world. At the moment, however, those who either joyfully or in sad resignation pronounced Communism

as the most effective method of economic development should be asked to consider the evidence closely. At the very least, it is totally unclear as to whether Communist growth rates over a substantial period of time are going to exceed non-Communist rates in states roughly comparable. In this connection it should be noted that technical breakthroughs in such fields as population control, food production and industrial modernization have been spectacular iN the last decade. Problems previously considered insoluble are now capable of technical solution, depending upon the commitments and the capacities of the polity, and more especially the political elite in power. This represents a new hope for societies that want to seek development and freedom together, If one primary challenge of Asian Com-

munism remains in the socio-economic Held, the opportunities for an effective competition have signally improved. The Communist mode of political organization, however, still constitutes a formidable challenge. Indeed, I am inclined to believe that it is in the field of political organization and in the related field of rural mobilization and guerilla warfare--that the Asian Communists have demonstrated their greatest originality and their most impressive strength. If organization and warfare in turn relate

closely to the complex of social and economic problems that remain 17

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT 'FO AUSTRALIA?

unsolved, they also have a certain rationale as own. It is not surprising, therefore, that to § often desirable to borrow techniques from it, especially in the areas of organization. Finally, in assessing the future, one would be warranted in a belief" that, barring some great catastrophe, Communism is not likely to expand further if a general balance of power can be v

established in East Asia. The very rise of national Communism has weakened Communist appeal. The Chinese, for example, are not currently effective symbols of brotherhood, peace, and gentleness to most other Asians, whatever their ideological or political bent. But

a general balance of power is essential-because there can be little doubt that when China acquires the means she intends to expand her power and influence in a variety of ways, and the support of "national liberation movements" will unquestionably be the primary The lorre of Asian Connttnnism therefore hinges partly upon the type of international order that is developed in the Far

East during the next decade.

13

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COMMENTARY GRAEME D U N C A N *

WHEN I was invited to open the discussion on Professor Scaiapinds paper, it was on the assumption that I represented "the other side". "Better Red than

e"

may well have been

chairman's

motto. Yet, if reaction to Professor Scalapino's argument is a "litmus-paper" test of political allegiances, I clearly lack redNess as . be well as expertise. The bulk of the at "H

wwaswn

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unexceptionable, with many factors thrown it, new regarding the strength of Communism, without their relati W significance being closely examined. What I propose to do is to develop a few points raised by Professor Scalapino, to take issue with some, and to ask for further detail in relation to others. One of Professor Scalapino's central beliefs Is the importance of organization to Communist strength. The point is made in several places, though it is not argued or much elaborated, beyond the suggestion that authoritarian organization can give great power in loose traditional societies and a little detail on the rise of Cornmunism in China. Common explanations which stress "rational economic or political issues as determinants" and "the rational majoritarian explanation for Wifxiunisi strength" are dismissed, apparently because of the crucial of organizational techniques and because they analysis omits the vital element of coercion. This offers the beginnings of an interesting argument, challenging the common view, that techniques are less significant for revolution than is the capacity of a social order to satisfy popular demands and aspirations. Yet the ease, with its promise of a hard-headed realist assault on illusions about revolutions, is unfortunately left at this point. Lenin provided the most sustained Communist discussion of the role of organization and leadership in social change. He stressed the dangers of an undifferentiated and amorphous revolutionary mass, which would probably develop spontaneously only to the point of "econolnisrn". He assumed the development of mass enthusiasm but emphasized the need to direct and organize it. The political leader becomes a creative figure, forging the revolutionary will. The belief that tme class-consciousness will emerge spontaneously from the economic struggle is dismissed as sheer romanticism. A strong

.

Graeme Duncan is a Senior Lecturer in Politics in the Department of

Polztmcs at Monash Umverslty.

19

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

organization of revolutionaries, practised in the art of revolutlon~ timing and. a systematic plan of activity, is thus central in the Leninist theory. Organization, claimed Lenin, brings the elite "into closer prordmity to and merges the elemental destructive force of the crowd with the conscious destructive force of the organization of revolutionaries".* Organization, then, is to raise the revolutionary level of the workers. The revolutionary party must be organized bureaucratically, i.e., built from the top downwards, and this elitism persists during the building of the new society after the successful seizure of power.

This theory has a close bearing. on the nature of communist movements in underdeveloped societies, and points to some of their characteristic problems. They have profited from the absence of social cohesion but have suffered from the lack of revolutionary perspectives on the part of many of their erstwhile supporters. They have offered the peasantry immediate concrete gains rather than an ideology, though cruder and more down-to-earth versions of the

ideology often become influential. Their message has generally been adapted to particular circumstances. As David Halberstam has written of the Viet Cong: "They made every grievance theirs: long~ standing historical antagonislns, whether against Asians or Cauc-

asians, became their grievances, as were economic inequities, the division of land, the arbitrary system of tax collection--even the ravages of disease . . . If land was the grievance in one community, their pitch .was based on land reform, if bad government was the source of unhappiness, the Viet Cong would execute the offending village officials while the peasant watched." Frequently, however, the revolutionary leaders and. the mass have come into conflict, both within the "liberated" areas and in the new Communist nations.

General Gian has written that in political war one "relies mostly on man, on his patriotism and revolutionary spirit, to defeat an enemy with very modern weapons and equipment". Yet frequently the

"man" upon whom Gian, like Mao, has relied, has had precise and concrete objectives, which have led to opposition with the .more radical goals of the revolutionary leaders. Concentration upon organization, and upon the conflicts between leaders and followers, is apt to prove misleading. In the first place, if often leads to the stereotype of the communist as a manipulator,

adapting his message to the conditions like a skilled salesman. He is treated, perhaps, as an agent of an international movement, but

at least as a being who is separated from the world in which he lives, a creature without context or roots. Yet many communists 20

THE NATURE OF COMMUNIST REGIMES IN ASIA

are genuinely opposed to the evils which they might. And here we must shift our attention from the organization which capitalizes on grievances to the grievances themselves, which are not simply created by the rebellious forces, who frequently react rather than instigate. Professor Scalapino does not pay sufficient attention to the negative aspect of easting governments, their inability or unwillingness to bring about necessary or desired social changes, kg., in the key area of land reform. Land reform has been the most concrete and significant general factor in Communist appeal to the peasantry. The Viet Minh and the Viet Cong, like the Communist Chinese, did gain considerable support because of their expropriation of the landlords and redistribution of their land, though later, under Communist governments, land collectivization has been strongly opposed by those who had been given a vested interest in small-scale private property. Land reform, of course, was not the only factor, and there are interesting (apparent) exceptions to that simple thesis, et., the Viet Minh was weakest in Cochin China, where at one stage 2 per cent of the landlords owned 30 per cent of the land, and strongest in Tonkin, with its 1,000,000 Catholics and independent farmers, 98 per cent of whom cultivated their own plot of land. However, while land reform has not been the sole source of Communist strength, the failure to institute serious and lasting programs of land reform has been a source of the unpopularity or instability of many of the South-East Asian governments. I t was not pushed with anything like sufficient energy by Diem, and attempts to resettle refugees, both in the mid-fifties and currently, have on the whole failed because of inability to confront the land problem. Communism has often Hourished in the refugee settlements. Ea;urrent resurgence of the Huk movement in the

Philippines is in large part traceable to the failure of the government, in recent years, to break the power of the landlords and improve the conditions of the peasantry. There are obviously many oiler sources of Communist appeal.

One which should be mentioned is the possibility of satisfactions and achievements within the Communist ap vtiicli firm offers responsibility, or feeling; of responsiliiibty, those denied access to governmental positions. To take one example, the educational system in South Vietnam is such that training for the best positions is, on the whole, available only to the children of the already privileged. On the matter of organization and its significance a number of further questions arise. Why, for example, were the Communists 21

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ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

successful in China when the Kuomintang, had a similar structure and organization and employed similar methods? How unique is Communist organization and what are its specific features? More generally, it does seem that many of the tendencies of Communist states, as described by Professor Scalapino, et., radical nationalism, a charismatic leader and purges,are characteristic of many underdeveloped societies, and it would be interesting (and useful for our political choices to know what it is that is distinctively Communist. The relations? between the compact core of revolutionaries and its less disciplined body of supporters need also to be further explored. Concentration on organization may suggest that the masses are manipulated or controlled much more than they in fact are, for the organization is frequently incapable of holding together diverse s1'0ups3' which often develop individualist tendencies. Guerilla warfare in particular, encourages initiative and autonomy,

as Mao recognized. He complained of the difficulty of drawing the guerilla units together for the more advanced and disciplined phases of the war-the Gommunist high command "had to combat the right-wing tendency of localism and guerillaisrn, which consists in cherishing guerilla ways and refusing to turn towards regularization". 2 Why the concern with the popularity or unpopularity of Communists? Is the Purpose simply to expose empty Marxist rhetoric? How would it affect our political position if we knew Communist movements to be popular, or, at least, more popular than the forces to which they were opposed? Would this legitimize Communist claims, or constitute a ground for altering the conditions so that their sources of support were removed, by violence or social change? It may prove exhausting and destructive to prepare the environment

so that "our friends" eventually gain popular support; and it may in particular mean a preference for the army, as the organized enemy of Communism, over the civilian groups which emerge, given the chance. We seem to be doing something like this in Vietnam, prefer°ng .the generals-safe, with their belligerent noises and their power--to the :rather unpredictable civilian politicians who are beginning to assert themselves in the Constituent Assembly. It is, then, rather uninformative to speak generally about the

importance of -organization (as if this were an alternative to "popularity" explanations). Much More detailed argument is required to bring out the relations between the organization and the environment which it seeks to change, and which often succeeds in changing it. Similarly, in relation to the role= of terror a detailed 22

THE NATURE OF COMMUNIST REGIMES IN ASIA

critique is required. Although it is useful, from a propagandist viewpoint, to stress the fiendishness of the Viet Cong, or other insurgent movements, terror must be consideredin its overall context. Thus, in the case of South Vietnam, one could need to consider the methods employed and the policies pursued by Diem in 1956 and 1957, leading to the upsurge of terrorism in the latter year. It would be necessary to indicate the points at which terror is applied, e.g., against treason within the r a n k § § . `. ltheinselves and *Ax

)J

4

against specific social groups. It is employed against both good and bad government servants but, here again, simply cite numbers killed, out of context, is to tell only a small part of the story. It is not strange that, in a civil war, the insurgents should seek to disrupt the whole administrative system, to destroy authority, trust and security. The Viet Cong did not make an unprovoked assault on harmonious political order. I do not wish to suggest that criticism of terror, on moral or utilitarian grounds, is out of place, and it is unfortunately true that terror is increasing in scope and indiscriminacy with the intensification of the war. Finally, Professor Scalapino makes a few statements which appear rather curious. His claim that the very rise of national Communism

has weakened Communist appeal is followed by the apparent non sequitur that the Chinese are no longer effective symbols of peace and brotherhood. If Professor Scalapino means that some particular national Communism no longer has the appeal to older nations that international Communism once had, the point is reasonable, et., China has, through crude chauvinistic behavior, antagonized the leaders and the Communist parties of many nations. But within particular nations national Communism appears to have been a source of strength or stabilization, e.8., in Eastern Europe or in

North Korea, as it has enabled the leaders to take more account of the particular requirements and interests of their own societies, to behave more pragmatically and more independently (though they

may not, as a matter of fact, act more realistically). A related point concerns the vague concluding sentence, where

it is suggested that the future of Asian Communism hinges partly on the type of international order emerging in the Far East (the sentence is also true the other way round). What type of international order does Professor Scalapino envisage, and how far would it be likely to be influenced by the rise of national Cemmunjsm, and in what ways? It seems possible that die breakdown

of the monolith will lead to alternative means of stabilizing the area, through using the separatist tendencies of, for example, North 23

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COMI UNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

Vietnam and llOrth Korea, with their increasing opposition to Chinese domino ion. The growing diversity of 'the Communist world does seem to many political opportunities to the West. While the Communist states may not have been particularly successful in the economic field, Professor Scalapinds guarded

all

optimism in relation to the prospects of the non-Communist nations

in the area does not seem quite guarded enough. The existence of the various techniques is of great value, but they must be used and their benefits must be spread. Any hopefulness must not simply examine the availability of techniques but the likelihood that conservative socials groups, often including the ruling groups, will undertake the necessary programs.

.

My last point concerns the question of aggression, which will doubtless arise many times at this conference. Professor Scalapino

refers to some instances of "old-fashioned aggression" on the part of Asian Communists. Which are the some" Disagreement may follow his identification of the culprits. In suggesting the probability of "neo-aggression" in the form of sponsored national liberation movements, Professor Scalapino raises once more the difficult question of the relationship between "external" Communist forces and indigenous revolutionary situations and movements. The Chinese envisage indigenous national liberation movements living o1'i` their own resources, and there certainly have been cases of such movements, et., iii Cuba and Algeria and, I would argue, in Viet-

nam. This question obviously requires detailed analysis, which is not possible at this point. All I can say is that, in my view, Professor Scalapino's organizational bias and his tacit reliance on an "international conspiracy" theory prevent him from adequately appreciating the significétnice of the various stresses and strains and imper-

fections within the new nations. It iS these, in my view, which are the main sources Of impetus for radical political movements, whose claims we are aptito underrate1 I

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DISCUSSION

Mr L. Aazrons, Secretary, Communist Party Of Austtaiia: I agree with some of the analyses of Professor Scalapino. I hope that this will not incomrliode him and I hope that no one will think from this that I am one of the "false communists" that he spoke about. I disagree with most of what he had to say, however, and par24

THE NATURE OF COMMUNIST REGIMES IN ASIA

ticularly with the underlying theory that it seemed to me he put forward. In a short time it is not possible to do more than indicate some views for further discussion and consideration. Communism in Asia is only part of a world-wide social process which is sweeping through the whole of what we call the under-developed world. It operates in Latin America and Africa as well as in Asia--but I shall confine myself to a few brief comments on this one great continent. There are two factors in what is happening in Asiaboth have long histories and are deeply rooted in economics, politics and class relations. The first is the factor of nationalism: the struggle against colonialism and the struggle for national developmentnotional liberation, to use the Professor's term. The second factor is the agrarian revolution. Both are intimately connected-I do not have the time to show how or why although I think most people realize that in fact it is so. To understand the real problem of an Asia with a long history of exploitation of the peasant, who not infrequently paid fifty per cent of his crop to the landlord, an Asia in which many countries were opened up only to be exploited and repressed by the Western powers, requires us to look more deeply than the Professor has. Thus, for example, if one wanted to seek the causes of Communism, one perhaps should look at the British Opium War of 1840 in China, or the occupation of India, or the Dutch colonization of Indonesia. It seems to me that the Professor errs to the extent that

he says, though in highly-refined form, the same as .John Foster Dulles and others who have spoken of an international conspiracy in which the communists are alleged to exploit grievances. I agree with what Mr Duncan said in onq respect. The Asian communists, and perhaps Ho Chi-Minh is a good illustration, turned to Communism because they saw no future for national independence and the solution of the pressing social problems of their countries except along the lines proposed in the application of communist theory and practice. If we really seek understanding it is important to recognize such considerations rather than to adopt the crude postures of so many Liberal politicians with their slogans "Communism is threatening Asia", "the southward thrust of China", "might them over there before we have to right them here", a n d so on. It is also important for us to realize when we speak of a majoritarian solution to problems that the person who held back a majoritarian decision in China was Chiang Kai-shek. Proof of whether there was a majority in favour must be taken in the context of the option of the Chinese people not merely to cast a ballot but 25

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colonUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

to fight. The same thing, of course, might be said of Vietnam. There are several questions one could raise about China but I

think that Pro essor Scalapino, in the interests of his own elucidation of pro ems, should look not to 1958 but perhaps to the Kao Kang pi ode of 1954 and still further to the history of the Chinese revel son, and in particular the independent line the Chinese comm Nists took in 1945. As for more recent events, Professor Scala Mo says that the Chinese communists under Mao Tse-tung's lea ership had initial successes and this created unity but then, wheel they met reverses, ushered in a period of disunity. I think the red! approach to this problem, in which I am deeply interested as cOmmunist, is to Find out why a line that led to success was changed and why a profoundly wrong line was undertaken. The answer to the question: Is Communism a threat to Australia? seems to me to depend on our understanding that there is an irreversible social revolution sweeping through Asia, Africa and Latin Ameirica and that we must co-operate with it to achieve the just aims that the peoples have been fighting for, are fighting for and will continue to light for.

1 J

Professor Max] BelowI, Gladstone Professor of Government and Public Admire tration at Oxford: Through the need to cover a great deal of gt'ound in a very short time Professor Scalapino had to omit, and I think it no more than an omission, certain facts about these four coniznunist governments which are worth keeping in mind when w ' look at the international consequences of their existence and policies. Three of them are incomplete countries. l*lorth Vietnam and North Korea are in a sense sovereign states, but they are so by the accident of a line of division created by the

coming togethe of forces in which the Koreans and Vietnamese were relatively nor quantities- Mongolia-which, as he said, has the longest hist .my of these communist states--covers only a part of the Mongolian People and owes its existence to the Russian attitude towards the pr" elem of the Mongols in both the Chinese and Russian spheres which, to judge from some recent news items out of China, may becoming of some interest again.

is

This leaves u with China, and our view of communist dominance in Asia must axriost entirely depend upon what we think about China. It seemed to me that the analysis was necessarily foreshortened in t at, as Mr Aaron said, Communism is a world movement-not only an Asian movement-and the decisive factors in the establish ent and the changing positions of Communist China

1+

.

in relation to the rest of that world arise primarily from its relations 26

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THE NATURE OF GOMMUNIST REGIMES IN ASIA

with the Soviet Union. What has been happening in Asia-this consolidation of national communist regimes--is after all paralleled to some limited extent by what has been happening in Europe. Communism, a movement (I agree with Mr Aaron that it would be rather absurd to call anything so public a conspiracy) which was conceived as having a single head and a multiple body, rather like an Indian diety, is beginning to sprout other heads-and one of them is Chinese. The interesting question is why the Chinese sacrificed the possibility of rapid economic development which would have made them a truly competitive magnet in Asian power politics. This could only have been achieved with Soviet assistance but it was sacrificed for what appears to be an increasingly blind alley of do-it-yourself. The history of these years seems to me much more obscure than Professor Scalapino would have us think. If it is true that in the nature of things every Asian communist country can only survive and flourish by an enormous reliance upon its own national characteristics then, clearly, Australians and others are faced by one kind of problem. Be if they are capable of combination for the purpose of promoting the ideal of a world communist system then, clearly, we are facing something quite different. But that world communist system can still only be a system based on the Soviet Union just as resistance to it of an armed kind can still only be based on the United States of America. In other words, despite the multi-polarity one hears about, we still live in a two-power world. The ferment in Asia which looks so proximate and so demanding of attention is, in fact, only understandable in the light of the policies of the great world powers. I hope that in his reply Professor Sealapino will be able to comment on these remarks.

Mr George Thomson, Director, Political Studies Centre, Singapore: Reaction to Professor Scalapino's paper may well be that some of the things he describes are wrong in themselves and I want to comment briefly on three of them, in the light of my many years in Singapore. First, political obsessiveness in the new nations is essential. Party organization is an outward and visible symbol of political obsession. Mr Aaron has just illustrated this and I say of him what I have said of many communist speakers: they often ask the right questions and give the wrong answers--but because they come from a communist mouth people will not even agree that they ask the right questions! Politics is essential in these new countries because they are inheriting centuries of political apathy, absentee rule and a colonial background which is complete antipathy to 27

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politics. You c achieve nothing in nation-building without politics. In this politically unobsessed country, in spite of your recent election, I do not think that you understand the degree of dedication to nationalism that exists in these countries. There can be good

politics and bad politics but in a New country no politics is not the . answer. Secondly, Professor Scalapino talked of the building-up of the charismatic figure in China. But this is not new: it is in the old imperial tradition. Nobody had more sycophantic treatment than Chiang Kai-shek until he was replaced by Mao Tse-tung. Indeed, ;

all nations have =their father-Figures except, of course, Professor true that Americans did not adulate Washington

Scalapinds! It

is

when he was alive but they have made up for it ever since. incidentally, if George Washington had refused to take off his uniform in 1783, the U.S.A. might have had a gentleman of Sukarnoist pretensions instead of the civilian figure they worship today! Figure-ltteads are symbols which can be thrown up in any country. New Nations mean new parties, new leaders. It is an inevitable procehsand to criticize the communists as being obsessed with charisma is unfair and unrealistic. My third point is in relation to nationalism. Does communism create nationalism? Is Mao Tse-tung overturning the precious artistic monuments of China and throwing out Confucianism in order to put in place that well-known Asian figure called Karl Marx? Is this what is called building up a nationalist consciousness' And even if it aloes build nationalism, is it the only way to build

nationalism? Tlie Thais are nationalists-the Burmese are nationalists--we, in Singapore, are nationalists Ayub Khan in Pakistan is nationalist. Theggreat communist claim that theirs in the only way to national salvation is not a sustained claim. The problem we face is the process of l nation-building in an age of turbulence with a minimum psiirital inheritance, a minimum of economic background

and a minimum of democratic cultural background. Communism, as our Prime Minister in Singapore once described it, is an alternative to despair. Even if it is grasped as the only alternative, can Communism provide the answer to the legitimate national aspira-

tions which and bubbling across Asia now as they have bubbled across Europe the past? We have to see Communism not as a n entity, a thinglin itself. We have to think of the Indians, the Chinese, the Vietnamese as motivated by the same national aspirations we have our own historical background and `a.sk if Communism is the Only alternative. Maybe then we will think back to

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our own political past, distil its experience and its wisdom and put it at the service of these others who. seek the same goals we once sought. Finally, I put to Professor Scalapino the point that Communism in Asia today means Russia. The hangover problems of the British Commonwealth in Asia needed Russian solution at Tashkent. The Russians are the main armament suppliers to Indonesia and if you

as Australians are thinking of the threat of Communism in Asia your nearest threat would come from Indonesia (and if Indonesia goes communist it is likely to be aided by a Moscow Embassy rather than a Peking Embassy). Russian Communism has come into Asia to balance Chinese Communism and therefore in :much of Asia we may have to deal with a communist system, more revisionist, more construe five, more capitalist in its outlook. You may have to work with it so do not take predetermined ideological attitudes which

may well preclude a closer deal with Russia in getting a balance of power in Asia, which will mean the balance of power in the world. I always remember what a Russian once said to me: "Russian bears make good company but do not hold their hands too closely. Their claws are sharp." Mr Brooks Wilson: Professor Scalapino emphasized that the communists have achieved power through their ability to organize and we are beginning to see in Vietnam that we, too, are learning this lesson and that at last we are winning the war. If we look at the whole Far East area, disregarding Communism or any other ideology, we see China with 800 million people ruled now by a dictatorship, whether communist or something else. From Australia's viewpoint any threat in the Far East must come from this huge power source which is China. Therefore one of the key elements to

analyze now in the current communist struggle in China is its possible effect on China's policy with the rest of the Far East, depending on which group wins. If the primitives win, to use the professor's term, is this going to lead to a more militant China, more aggressive, more southward-pushing" If the professionals win is this going to lead to a policy of rapprochement with Russia-a

Russia which has become closer to the West? Perhaps, in his final remarks, Professor Scalapino would comment. Mr Peter Waterway: I want to disagree with the fundamental organization of the school. As a former member of the Board, this may seem unkind of me and I apologise to those personal friends whom I have in the Institute. This is supposed to be an Institute of

Political Science and, as one who knows a little about Communism 29

communism IN

ASIA: ATHREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

but not enough to give a paper, I came along hoping to be informed and I feel very strongly indeed that we should have had a communist giving a paper. I cannot see how you can discuss Communism in South-East Asia and expect to keep communists out of the discussion. I was impressed when Mr Aaron addressed the school by the complete renee in which he was heard and by the fact that all the reporters at t-he press table took up their pencils immediately. They did this for one very good reason-they did it for the reason that we are working in a society where we have the visit of L.:B..1. and the visit of Marshal Ky and we should probably allow ourselves sometimes to be exposed to the intemperate wind of communist philosophy if we expect to understand anything about it. I do not see how we can understand anything about it if we never hear it. It is to me a negation of the title of the Institute of Political Science-or the last word in that thzle--to have in Australia people

like Laurie AarOn or Ted Hill who have been to China,

'Rio have

studied there, lwho are themse conununists, who know sornc~ thing about the feel, style and texture of politics in lina today and yet are not included in such a school. I ask Professor Scalapino : does he feel that he personally or the school in general would benefit from the contribution of a convinced d o visited China? E

_

Mr Gregory Clark, Australian National University: A very important point made by Professor Scalapino analyzed the present situation in China as being a split between the prim tivists and the professionals. The primitivism could be identified as those who f a v o r e d the extreme form of communal organization and the extreme conduct of the Sino-Soviet dispute. I feel Professor Scalabino has made the mistake of taking too seriously statements

made by communist leaders engaged In a power struggle. We have seen this sort if thing happen before, in the Soviet Union, par~ ticularly in 1 9 3 - 4 when Khrushchev was supposed to be the advocate of h e ' -y industry, the hard tough communist line against his opponents leadership. It turned out, of course, that Mr Khrushchev, from a Western standpoint, was perhaps the best leader we could have had in the Soviet Union. I do not want to criticize the Professor's accep lance of the stated positions in the

igor

present strugglelin China-for one thing, I and practically every Sinologist have Made mistakes in predicting the outcome. But, if he identities the, primitivism as the people Bfho support the mm mines and the .*in-Soviet dispute, how is it that a man who is at

present in disgrace, T'ao Chu, was only two years ago identified by 30

I

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THE NATURE OF COMMUNIST REGIMES IN ASIA

several articles that he wrote as the man who was most anxious in the Chinese leadership to see the reintroduction of the communes? How is is that Tend Hsiao-p'ing and Fend Chen who have been

purged were quite clearly identified as the official Chinese repro» sentatives in the dispute with the Russians, the people who were sent to Moscow to develop the dispute to the point that it has reached? How is it that Liu Shao~ch'i is identified with the proletarian Yenan line? In fact I would say that if a year ago Professor Scalapino or any other Sinologist had been told that in twelve months time T'ao Chu, Tend Hsiao~p'ing, Liu Shao-ch'i, P'eng Chen would be in disgrace, that the winning faction would include men like Chou En-lai and that Li Fu-Ch'un, a well-known moderate, would he promoted to the Politburo---he would have said, I think, three hearty cheers for the professionals, the moderates, the goodies have won out! Professor Scalapino, replying: In my analysis of the communist movement in Asia and I agree that this is inter-related with a broader world scene-I have not desired or attempted to minimize the importance of socio-economic appeals and the point was made here, I think by Mr Duncan, that communist propaganda in Vietnam has, in making such appeals, developed refined techniques, addressed sometimes to individual villages, pinpointing certain people as corrupt or iniquitous in one way or another. As a matter of fact over a year ago I spent nearly a week going through 'Vietcong propaganda and it refined a wide range of issues and was very particularized; so that at no point do I want to underestimate the techniques of the appeal at the grassroots. I emphasize the

importance of an organizational network, however, because it is apparent what the communists have been able tO do through the

cadre system in particular, and it was to this l referred when I said that there were aspects of communist organization which noncommunists could copy- The cadre system, with its training of groups, its organizational cell structure, its assignments of specific operational tasks, has in my opinion revolutionized the concept of organization in societies where traditional organization is much more flabby, much more loose, much less involved with elements . at the grassroots level. I do not agree that terrorism is insignificant-though that may be putting unfaifli Ee poihf raiseHITa_y 'Mr Duncan. In the first six

months of 1966 over 3,000 local heath workers, teachers, village headmen and related Functionaries, technicians, were.

'51 the

including so-called agrarian

Tetcon5 in South Vietnam---over

31

I

|

I I

I

I

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

3,000 agrarian reformers killed because they could not be given the requisite protection. I am not saying that all these people were good. From the vantage point of our perspective some of them may have been bad, some of them may have been corrupt, but that is not the point. The real point is that the issue is: agrarian reform under whom? Could we assert, for example, that the communists would be interested in agrarian reform under anybody but themselves? Even if we could carry out in Vietnam the land of agrarian reform programme which we did in Japan-one of the most radical that has been attempted in Asia--it is quite clear that it would not be satisfactory to the communists because it does not help to build up communist power. Reformism has to have an applicability in political terms and so far as sincere and dedicated communists are concerned it understandably has to have an applicability in their terms. There are many reform-minded individuals in Asia who are outside the communist orbit-men like Lee Kwan Yew in Singapore, Souvanna Phouma in Laos, and a range of new possibilities in Indonesia--who are interested in the problems of socio-economic reform. They do= not want to achieve it under the authoritarian mould and are not prepared to collectivize and common alize the agrarian structure i n order to get reform. Many of the peasants who start by fighting for communism on the assumption that they will own their own land and that landlordism will be eradicated end up with the kinds of problems that communalization brings-and this is one of the great current issues in Communist China. Communalization lacks incentives of a material sort and leads all the way from slogans of getting rid of 50 per cent landlords, taxes and

to the point where you are working for the state. In totalistic terms that seems to me even usurious interest rates right down

more extreme, and here, perhaps at my risk, I agree with Mr Aaron that some communists have found they do need material incentives in agriculture--sornething other than the extremist, collectivist system .that some elements of the Chinese communists have moved toward developing.

I do not want =to dwell too long on the question of Vietnam although I think it will come up again and again. I happen to believe that the communists have not captured the support of the majority of the Vietnamese, that they have not been able to break into the rnainstrearn of the non-communist nationalist movement, that their leadership is an essentially nameless, faceless leadership in the south. Their* primary allegiance is to Ho Chi-Minh and the 32

THE NATURE OF COMMUNIST REGIMES IN ASIA

very structure of North Vietnamese Communism must in some senses limit, shape and form the degree to which indigenous southern communist leaders can make themselves felt, known and powerful. It is my own belief that in the south new-name leaders, whether they be Cao Dai, or devout Catholic, or from within the whole range of the spectrum of Buddhist leadership, are not interested in joining the N.L.F. because they know what it is and they know whence its basic authority patterns come. Thus if I emphasize the fact that I do not regard communist victories as majoritarian phenomena, I simply want to make the point that we face situations in Asia and elsewhere where there may be legitimate major grievances but we cannot take for granted that they can be solved by this particular form of authoritarianism, nor that it has the majority on its side. I fundamentally attack the classical, liberal w`ew in its rnajoritarian interpretation of communist victory. Let me summarize very quickly my answers to the four final questions which Mr Duncan raised. Why did I say the rise of national Communism weakens communist appeal in some respects E' Because it makes Communism in part a national, state, ethnic question-and there are many in South-East Asia who do not want to be dominated by a powerful Chinese state from the north. It also highlights certain non-international, non-humanist, power-oriented facets in the communist movement and I do not think anyone can read the things that are published in the Peking Review without being struck with the extraordinary thro-centric and narrow character of their appeal. You cannot have a broadly-gauged appeal if you push nationalist propaganda in this way, and this is what I meant when I said that the rise in national Communism in some respects weakens the international

appeal.

What type of international order do we need in Asia? I am strongly of the opinion that we need an order which increasingly has its indigenous Asian components and over time I think these are going to be built into the Asian.Development Bank and other forms of regionalism that can be inter-active in both economic and political terms to meet whatever pressures may emerge. Today it is quite clear that if a balance of power is to emerge in Asia the role of the United States on the one hand and the Soviet Union on the other has to be quite substantial. The American position is simply that, if we had not made our presence felt in South-East Asia, the events of the last two years in broadest terms would not have occurred in the same way. On balance I think those events, economic, social and political, have been hopeful with respect to a 33

I

i

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

balance of power-from

the

economic developments in Korea,

Taiwan and Thailand, through the surcease of the Indian- Pakistan

struggle, the remarkable change of events in Indonesia and the increasing political stability in countries like Malaysia. All of these states are not without their problems but these problems can only be .worked outs through a gradualist and moderate solution if we have some political equilibrium--and our decision to make a commitment was crucial to that equilibrium. Moreover I would not rule out that the Russians are similarly interested in this, . judging from their role at Tashkent, the increasing numbers of troops that they are putting on the Sino-Soviet frontier, and their deep interest

in the development of some indigenous regimes that are not closely connected with Peking. Without for a moment suggesting our interests and theirs are totally parallel, one can see that there has been some inter-action here on the broad international front, and

in this sense I agree with what Professor Beloff said, I would certainly agree with him that one has to see Asia in broader terms. It is not correct in my opinion to say* that China is so weak that we are not to be concerned and that the present internal crisis in any case removes China from the scene of the threat. Nor is it correct, on the other hand, to think of China as some sort of classic great power in terms of next year thrusting

south or north. .China has its weaknesses and its strength. No Asian state that has exploded its fifth nuclear device is without power and especially when it is harnessed to an uncertain quantity in terms of leadership. On; the other hand, it it quite clear that China has major areas of weakness and I suggested therefore that the sponsored national liberation movement is likely to be the projection of the future. I was asked what movements already have been so

sponsored. Here there is a good deal of information that should give us some cause for thought. For example, the Thai national liberation movement was announced quite publicly from Peking, one of the

Thai leaders of.this movement being present at the time. When the Burmese Government elected to negotiate with the white Hag communists over a possible united front government it was Peking who view some twenty-odd of their leaders back from China for the negotiations, which incidentally failed because the communists made demands which the Ne Win Government could not accept. I cite these as but twp evidences of many that China is deeply involved in the internal politics of the Asian left in every country and on every level. I could give you detailed information of the deep involvement of Peking in the Japanese left movement and of the 34 i I

THE NATURE OF COMMUNIST REGIMES IN ASIA

degree to which other national parties have been splintered by this involvement. I think this is one reason why it is important to talk about Communism as a diversified phenomenon in terms of its political allegiances and alignments. Even Mr Aaron, for example, has his opponents in the communist movement and I do not know whether lVlr Waterway was suggesting that we should have had Mr Hill here rather that Mr Aaron I Why did the Chinese sacrifice their alliance with the Soviet Union? This is a most intriguing question-a question one cannot answer in a minute of two-but I will just spell out very briefly my theories. Three great issues emerged between the Soviet Union and China in the course of the fifties and particularly the late fifties. One was the question of the nature and leadership of the organization of the communist world in a period when it was becoming increasingly polycentric and when it ceased to have the sort of structure that was possible in the Cornintern-Cominform era. The communist world for a time tried to use the Polish system whereby every party was independent, sovereign and autonomous and could not be bound to any international decision without some positive vote. It is a very complicated technique f international organization, particularly if you give the communist party of Tanzania the same vote as the Soviet Union's pa rl . I t raised all sorts; all questions that perhaps are more complicated et in U.N.-type structure, particularly since there as no Secunt Council equivalent in the new organization for the to the increasing tension about the post-polycentric form of organization there is a trend in Niancisrn-Leninism that creates certain complications that we in the West do not have. We may have most basic policy differences with de Gaulle but we have not yet found it necessary to declare him a heretic and read him out of the orthodox democratic movement. But there is in Marxism-Leninism a continuing monolithism of ideology, a continuing monolithism of truth versus a pluralism in organizational structure, and this paradox, it seems to me, is quite basic in this stage of communist development. The second issue is the whole question of how to handle the United States. The Soviet Union, with good reason, believes in nation-to-nation competition with us. I t does m a H ski: nuclear war if this can possibly he avoided and it has great optimism as to the future and its capacity ultimate l g ! out-produce . United States. It sees competition primarily in power-oriented terms that relate to the indigenous environment of the two societies. The Chinese communists, with equally good reason, cannot envisage

no

35

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

nation»to-nation competition with the United States, and they think therefore in ten's of unfolding the world revolution, of a dissipation of American power, of utilizing the so-called emergent world as a revolutionary base from which to undermine American "imperialisIn", as they use the term. This is a fundamental difference in

tactics and strategy and I think it was the exacerbating difference as new issues arose-Cuba, the Indian border issue, a whole range of issues where there was collision with respect to basic tactics towards the Westand, most particularly, towards the United States.

The Chinese accused the Soviets of capitulation, of compromise and weakness; the Russians accused the Chinese of warmongering, of left-adventurism. But fundamentally the issue was the strategy

of competing with the United StatesFinally, there was a basic difference on the whole question of how you treat comrades and allies. The Soviet Union, as a world power with enormous responsibilities, had to think in very c o l e d international policy terms. It had to think of how to' adjust Q ._._,_.

so-called n€1ltIlal,' non-aligned world, how to relate to the West as well as how to deal with the communist world. China, as a have-not period Could think primarily and a powerless state, in that earlier : J

ill

more pure Marxist Leninist terms

111

terms of an international

camaraderie. I would argue that the essential differences here were the differences between two states who claimed to hold and share a common ideology but who diHléred fundamentally in their cultural backgrounds and'traditions and the timing of their revolutions, in the nature of the generation of ; their leadership, in the degree of their economic development, iii the scope of their world power. Therefore any real agreement in tactics and strategy, irrespective

of ideology, was impossible. Ideological differences, for instance, started to be defined in national interest terms and by 1960-61 this process had gone»so far that it via extremely difficult to reverse it,

irrespective of whatever rational, internal Chinese factors became involved.

h.

:

.

When I used teens like the "quit of personality" or "the importance of charismatic leadership" ;I think I made it clear that I do not exclude it from the non-corrimunist world. Sukarno and Nehru in some degree represented it although societies with some elements of openness allow leaders, even Sacrosanct leaders, to be challenged in a variety of tfvays.. This is

the

diicrference between India and

Indonesia in their periods of the cult of personality and the recent situation in China and North Vietnam. But it is a common

phenomenon and always to be et-ipected in the movement from the 36

THE NATURE

or

COMMUNIST REGIMES IN ASIA

first generation leadership to the second with the sorts of tension this is likely to set up in any evolving, emerging new society. I

thought it had reached the most absurd levels in China particularly, with Maoism having reached an all-time height in sycophancy. The point I want to make is that the fundamental issue which one confronts is between the Yenan-spirit, when one did things with

people close-up, leadership and people together involved, and the mass was the great resource because maybe it was only 70 thousand or 100 thousand, and the authority of power, when one has responsibility for 600 millions or 700 millions. Now one has to develop a bureaucratic organizational structure of formidable size and scope and the Chinese colllinunists have not really rationalized in the whole period of the recent past the degree of decentralization that they can support and that they need. Ultimately there comes the point when this background of man-over-weapons, this interaction with human beings, this manipulation of political symbols, finds itself in stark contrast with the functional specialization that goes with a developing society wherein people now must be measured in terms of their capacities rather than their ideological purity. This process is inevitable and it does not relate to communist

societies alone. We are facing in advanced Western societies this problem of experts who can no longer speak to each other. They do not, if you like, have a common political base, because they are so intensely specialized. This is a real problem in the intellectual world in an advanced society, where specialization makes more and more difficult the role of generalized criticism and so we substitute moral outrage for things we know little about. Specialization provides us with certain kinds of insights but not with the philosopher-king

imagery which always goes out when a prirnitivist society sets out to develop. The distance between Yenan in 1936 and Peking, Shanghai, Canton today has to be measured partially in these terms. Mr Clark had a very good point when he said that any of us a year ago would have erred and erred very greatly in dividing the primitives and the progressives. But I do not think this vitiates my point, which is concerned only with the reality that these fundamental issues eidst. When people get involved in a struggle which relates to issues, power factors, pure opportunist decisions, jealousies and other personal motives enter into this and in increasing degree they become important. So one cannot say just because Mao Tse-tung is purging Teng Hsiao-p'ing today that this means that we did not understand where Tong stood a year ago. Maybe in this level of the 37

COMMUNISM

IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

power stnzggle Tang simply took the wrong position vis-8~vis Mao about five months ago when the chips were down, So we have to interweave personal power factors with impersonal broad issue factors and I aM convinced that both are important in an under-

standing of the present crisis. This makes extraordinarily complex any analysis from a western perspective of where most benefit would lie. Those who Want a balanced Asia would hope for a closing of the breach because the so-called professionals in China would lean toward a modus Vivendi with the Soviet Union. Whether the breach can be closed fundamentally is open to doubt but I think the attempt could be made. On the other band, I think that the prirnitivists are .committed to a cleavage which may be of more

assistance to the West in the short run-but in the long run progress through moderation in China is absolutely crucial for all of us, and we have to hope that evolution develops in this way. Turning to Mir Brook Wilson's question-from the standpoint of my country at least, the best policy towards China is a complicated policy which on the one hand offers a structure of opportunities for moderation but Which, on the other, maintains a firm and explicit set of deterrents against what we regard as extremism. It is a policy that keeps both channels open: trying to encourage exchanges, cultural, economic and other contacts but making it quite clear that there are certain very critical lines of position and policy which we hold that we are not going to abdicate. Isolation feeds fanatacism

and in the long run some kind of universality of discussion of issues and problems is critical. I have always believed that the mark of sophisticated American foreign policy is to complicate the decisionmaking processes of a totalitarian state, and that means involvement. But I do not think that this means a simplistic capitulationist policy

on the one hander a very hard monolithic resistance policy on the other. I was asked, if Nationalism has taken over Communism in China, may this also be true of Vietnam and is the West therefore attempt-

ing to counter not monolithic Communism but a nationalistic movement, and, if this is so, can the intervention be justified? I have already tried to point out that there are hundreds of bona lide non-commuNist nationalist .leaders in South Vietnam, and I know a great many of them. You do not have to be a communist to be a nationalist and I think that the overwhelming number of South Vietnamese natioNalists have had their till of collaboration with the communists following their experiences of the Viet Minh era and subsequently. I do not sec any evidence that militant Buddhists like 38

THE NATURE OF COMMUNIST REGIMES IN ASIA

Thick Tre Quang believe that you must have Communism in order to have nationalism and while some developments in Asia indicate the rise of nationalist Communism there is also evidence of successful experimentation with nationalism in other ideological and political forms. This is why I fundamentally disagree with Mr Aaron. I do not think for a moment that Coimnunism represents the only or the best path toward creation of a nation state and, more than this, towards opportunities for the creativity of the individual. "' aSiieci whether China will seek to extend her power geographically and the likely extent of such expansion. I mainly covered this in my paper but it is my belief that she will not. I do

see an emerging crisis with Russia, however, and I see it quite frankly because I believe that the Soviet Union is deeply involved in the internal politics of China and probably vice versa to the extent possible. I see the Soviet Union evidencing real concern and relations steadily worsening but I still find it difficult to believe that from the perspective of either party an overt mass struggle would ensue. Nevertheless, both the Chinese and the Russians have accused

each other of some 5,000 border incidents since 1960 and it is entirely possible that people have been killed when there have been border frictions on th.is scale. They probably do not involve the threat of a major war although I want to make it clear that I end

here without making flat predictions of any sort on this subject.

39

II

THE NATURE AND APPEALS O F COMMUNISM I N NON-COMMUNIST ASIAN COUNTRIES GOH KENG SWEE* Those H710 in private life behave well towards their parents and elder brothers, in Public life seldom show a disposition to resist the authority of their superiors. And as for .such men starting a revolution, no instance of it has ever occurred.

(Confucius)1

;

THERE IS a widely held misconception about the nature and appeals of Communism 'in backward countries. Communist appeal and Communist strength are sometimes believed to be the result of poverty, oppressive domestic government or frustrated nationalism. I think this pays the Communist movement an undeserved compliment, placing it in the role of a Galahad in shining armour, defending the exploited peasant against the landlord or fighting imperialists on behalf of oppressed subject peoples. It is easy to cite examples from contemporary history in refutation of this view.

For instance, when it went Communist, Cuba was one of the most literate Latin~Arnerican countries with a standard of living much higher than the average. The State of Kerala in India, where the Communist appeal is strongest, enjoys the highest rate of literacy in India. Singapore is considerably richer than the State of Trengganu on the east coast of Malaya. There is a well-developed Comrnunist underground in Singapore but nothing of significance in Trengganu. The Indian nationalists had been frustrated for decades prior to the achievement of independence, but Communist influence during the struggle for independence was not of consequence. On

* Dr Goh Kong $wee is Minister of Defence and of the Interior in Singapore.

1. From The Analects of Confucius, Waley edition, Book 1, verse 2.

40

THE NATURE AND APPEALS OF COMMUNISM

the other hand, Ceylon gained her independence the easy way and Communism there exerts more influence than in India. In the new African states no Communist party worthy of the name emerged, despite a long tradition of frustration. Even in the Republic of Haiti, where there is degrading poverty, extensive ignorance and an atrociously oppressive regime, these Condi*ions have not produced a Communist movement. All these examples do not prove or disprove that there is some relation between poverty, nationalism and misgovernment and the rise of Communism. I believe that a relation exists but it is not a direct one and operates in a subtle and complex manner. A valuable starting point in the process of understanding this relation is to study the nature of the Communist Party, the way it operates, the type of people who worii for and Fine different kinds of appeals it holds out to different people. It is important to realize that the Communist Party is a special type of organization and that the Communist is not an ordinary person. The Communist

Party in any country

_

one purpose-the revolutionary

e"§§

_ .

- H

'T

- m

.

capture of state power. . achieve this objectwc the Communist Party has at its disposal standard doctrines and ideologies which have grown out of the thinking and experience §§ommunists in many countries for more than a century. 3 ._

(i) The Elite Combat Party

-But

To understand the appeals of Communism in Asian countries--=~= or elsewhe re---we must take into account the Communist ideology. The ideology itself has no appeal to the general public and is probably incomprehensible to the ordinary citizen. The Communists never attempt to direct their ideology for public consumption i n the ideOlo countries in which they have not assumed power. sets out very clearly the nature and objectives 0i"ill1€ movement operational techniques, the types of persons it recruits,_ how it trains them, and how they should be deployed over a Tiroad- front Q create a situation favorable to a Communist revolution. The ideology itself can be classified under two categories. The first consists of that part of their belief which relates to the interpretation of historical development of human society. This part of the ideology I shall call the Communist theology. The second part consists of principles underlying their organizational and operational methods. I shall call this the doctrine and, in fact, its meaning is very similar to the term as used by the military. First, the theology. This was expounded by Marx and Engels in the great classics of the nineteenth century, and can be labelled as

41

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

dialectical materialism. The theology envisages the development of human society in a series of quantum changes, as society is transformed from one system to another rather like a chick emerging from the egg-shell. The propelling force behind these changes is antagonism between social classes. At any stage of the development

of human society, a new social class emerges, grows in strength and reaches a point where it overwhelms the easting social order and transforms it into a new one. In the new society the emergent class forms the dominant power. Thus capitalism has within it its own seeds of destruction through the growth of large numbers of factory and industrial? workers. In isles course of -the development of capitalism, two processes take place-the concentration of capital in fewer and fewer hands, and the increasing impoverishment of the general population. The workers finally overthrow the system and establish classless society in which, presumably, the dialectics of history cease to operate. All this is old-fashioned stuff familiar to most people. This theology--Marxism as it is commonly known--might well have

died a natural death and been relegated to the limbo of history, just like other nineteenth century philosophical protests against the Industrial Revolution, such as Utopian socialism, Guild socialism, syndicalism, anarchism and the others. But Lenin and the fortuitous circumstances of World War I produced conditions favorable to the capture of 'power by Communists in Russia by the methods advocated and developed by Lenin. Lenin's contribution to Communist doctrine was the result of the activities of the Czarist secret police, the Okhrana, in arresting and detaining Communists, activists and sympathizers, and banishing them to the frozen wastes of Siberia. While the rapidly-expanding

working class in Imperial Russia provided great opportunities br

-.revolutionaries

the Communist? movement to exploit, their activities were continually disrupted by the Czar's secret police. Lenin saw the solution to this problem in the creation of a party working as a secret organization. of professional "Give us a party of professional revolutionaries", said Lenin, "and we will overturN the whole of Russia. Without this no movement could endure as there would be no stable leadership to maintain continuity. hen we have detachments of specially trained working-class revolutionaries who have gone through long years of preparation, no political police in the world will be able to contend 2. V.I. Lenin: What £5 to be Done?, first published in' 1902 in Stuttgart,

reprinted in Moscow by Foreign Language Press, 1947, p.142.

42

1

THE NATURE AND APPEALS OF COMMUNISM

against them, for these detachments of men, absolutely devoted and loyal to the revolution, will themselves enjoy the absolute confidence and devotion of the broad masses of the workers." The control over these revolutionaries was vested in a centralized leadership, which would secretly deploy them to the great mass organizations, whose key leaders should be either Communists or those amenable

to Communist influence. These mass organizations should be ruthlessly utilized for the revolution. Lenin said this of trade union penetration: "It is necessary to be able to withstand all this, an agree I i ! and every sacrifice and even, if needs be, to resort to all sorts of stratagems, or manoeuvres and illegal methods, to evasions and subterfuge in order to Qenetrate--trade unions, to remain in them and to carry on at all costs.374* Lenin developed both the general idea of the revolutionary

vanguard party as well as the tactical and strategic principles underlying the quest of power. The ultimate object is to undermine through civil disturbances and political crises the will of the ruling class to govern and, at the critical point, to take over state power through a well-planned and ably-directed insurrection. The cutting edge of the insurrection was to be the industrial working class led and directed by the Communist Party. From the victory of Lenin's Bolsheviks in Russia in 1917 till the

rise of Mao Tse-tung in China in 1935 the Leninist type of party became the model for all Communist parties to emulate. But the Chinese Communists battling the Kuomintang in China found that

the Leninist type of party and tactics did not work. The urban insurrections which they mounted from 1928 to 1930 failed and only resulted in weakening the Communist movement.

Mao's contribution to Communist doctrine lay in the recognition that in backward countries, where some 80 per cent of the population live in the countryside, the industrial working class was too small a base on which to mount a revolution. Seeing that China's industrial proletariat proper amounted to no more than 5 per cent of the population, one would have thought the point to be selfevident. Nevertheless, it constituted a basic departure from the Leninist doctrine of proletarian revolution and it was Mao who formalized the new doctrine. The security of the leadership and the movement could not be achieved merely through resort to underLenin, op. cit., p.I49. 3.4,. V.I. Lenin: "Should revolutionaries work in reactionary trade unions*" in Selected Works, Vol. 10, (Lawrence & Wis fart, London, 1938), p.95.

43

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

ground professional revolutionaries working in an urban industrial environment in the thick of the enemy. Instead, Mao advocated the establishment of a rural sanctuary which was physically separate from the enemy and which was defended by an armed force. From this rural base, the Party seeks to extend its power and influence outwards. Instead of working~class support, the revolution had to depend on the Peasants. Instead of the swift insurrection, there was to be the protracted war. But, though it was recognized that political power grew out of the barrel of a gun, the supremacy of the Party

over the armed forces was upheld as an absolute principle. Let us see how theology and the doctrine operate in practice. The Communists have constantly laid stress on the importance of what

they tenn "ideological consciousness" and "doctrinal purity

And

they are quite right. Theology and doctrine, however, are not studied as academic. pursuits but for their value in practical work, which is considerable in the hands of a skilled operator.

For instance, in the recruitment of new members, the theology has a great appeal value in that it provides to the puzzled initiate an understanding of the modern world. In the new Asian states it is strange but true that nobody bothers to advance an intellectually satisfying account of the modern world m: it came into being, on the type of rational thinking demanded of a society complex technology, citizenship duties and responsibilities. So in the absence of a competing weltanschauung, the Communists very often win by the default of others. To the young man trying to make sense of the profoundly disturbing state of affairs in his society, the theology can well provide what appears to him a tremendous -based

-H

insight into the perplexities confronting him. A second function of the theology is that it acts .

B

a filter to

discriminate between suitable and unsuitable material Tor the revolution. For instance, those who are unconcerned- w i h public affairs will not be attracted by it, whereas those who are concerned will constitute more promising recruit mate The theology also selects the types who are disaffected by society and who have In desire to want to improve it- These types are naturally prevalent in societies which'are in the process of rapid transition, as in most Asian states today. As regards the value of the doctrine and ideology in revolutionary 1n1115!-in eonttibution is enormous. The theology guarantees the ixmevitaglllfy in vlctorx. ¥ whelping to maintain high morale, especially in adversity. Both theology and doctrine act as intellectual

m.

nm

can assess the situation confronting 44

THE NATURE AND APPEALS OF COMMUNISM

him, on the basis of which he can formulate his plan of action. They enable him clearly to distinguish between friend, foe and neutral. The united front doctrine teaches the Party operator how to manipulate neutrals and sympathizers against the main enemy,

in fact how to identify the main enemy. Where the party exists as an underground organization, its members must be able to operate

independently, and correctly implement the occasional general directive from superior party authority. 'Without proper training in the doctrine he can hardly do this. Organizational principles and

practices serve to isolate the Party worker in a hot_house environment where a high tempo of activity goes on all the time, absorbing all his interest, giving meaning to his existence, and maintaining a high state of morale. In this manner, the Communists establish and maintain a band of disciplined and dedicated persons who have

surrendered their loyalties to a larger and impersonal cause. Com~ monists generally observe a higher standard of personal conduct than their rivals, mmhiahen this happens it can plainly be seen by those for whose loyalties they are competing. In the process of his conversion from a raw recruit to a hardened revolutionary, the good Communist learns a number of valuable

lessons. For instance, as a trade union leader he knows that what he should strive alter is not the best possible terms for the workers but just enough to increase the prestige of their pro-Communist leaders, yet not enough to make them complacent or to weaken their militancy. Too good a settlement will not only do this but may give the lie to Communist dogma that the worker's livelihood can find no fundamental solution in the capitalist system. The good Communist has a keen nose to scent out various kinds of social dissatisfaction. His training in doctrine and his experience

enable him to judge which of these present the most promising issues on which to mount agitation, given the resources and personnel at his disposal. When an issue has been selected-or even created, as can be done given adequate organizational support--the real purpose is not the declared one, Le., to get a solution to these problems and difficulties, be they high food prices, oppressive landrents etc. The first aim is to bring discredit upon the powers that we-ken people's confidence iiierein, and add to the general climate of discontent. Next, the operation serves as an organizational exercise and helps to identify capable leadership which may emerge in the campaign and to provide experience to everyone engaged in it. Finally, if successful, it demonstrates the strength of the Corn-

lnunists or, where the Party is illegal, that of the open front

45

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

organizations. In this manner, they hope to convince the people that ultimate victory is on their side, a consideration which no politician will .dismiss as unimportant. The good Communist at a higher level of leadership will know how to direct combined operations with other political and social groups without losing the identity of his movement. At the same time he must be adept at deception, for it is often necessary that certain campaigns must appear to be untainted by Communist involvement SO as to attract a larger following. The mature Com~ monist will also learn how to evade police surveillance, avoid arrest, how to establish secure communications on delicate subjects, how to arrange "safe houses" and do other matters of

Mu

relevance to clandestine activity. In the Maoist type of revolution when guerilla war hastaken place, tlle party Cadre has to be even more versatile. He must be able to command military formations in accordance with his party rank. More iMportant, he must be secure the political allegiance of the villagers on whom armed forces depend for supplies and recruits. In the process OT iii revolution,'lie wi $1 ave to do a number of unpleasant things, such as the identification and

execution of government officials and agents. What emerges from this account of how Communists operate is that the appeals of Communism fall into two distinct categories. First, the appeal to potential party recruits, future members of the elite combat party. This mainly takes the form of the theology and doctrine earlier discussed. In the new Asian states this appeal is addressed mainly to the intelligentsia, not only in domestic institutions of learning but also in foreign universities attended by them. The foreign Communist net can be relied upon to make attempts

to cultivate these students. The response to this appeal varies with the circumstances of the intelligentsia of the Asian country as well as with the character of the individual. In general, response is likely to be good when prospects for a meaningful career are poor,when the person is able and ambitious, when traditional cultural restraints have broken down and when the intelligentsia is confronted with manifest injustice towards which no other methods of redress seem feasible. . . The other type of appeal is addressed to what is called the "masses", i.e., the general publid or specific segment of it. This consists of the exploitation of specific grievances or of general discontent. It is the party apparatus seeas defines the issues, plans the campaign of agitation and directs the open front

g

46

THE NATURE AND APPEALS OF COMMUNISM

organizations which carry it out. It is important to realize that the

expression of social discontent in this form is not a spontaneous social process but a planned and organized political effort. That is why a good Communist Party establishes a wide variety of front organizations to cater for every conceivable interest and exploit any promising situation. Trade Unions are a natural target of penetration and control- So are organizations of youth, women, farmers, students. Cultural organizations can lend c o l o r and interest to the united front effort and professional groups can lend weight and respectability.

In a thriving T ' interaction between the leadership

...___.j is constant and growing and the mass organizations,

strengthening eaeli other in a cumulative way, both in terms

E!"

political influence and organizational strength. It is in the mass organization that non-intelligentsia leaders are detected, cultivated and recruited into the Party, providing proletarian stiffening to the intellectual elite, This stiffening remains a minority group, for

instance, among Ho Chi-Minh's Communists in 1953 less than 28 per cent were of peasant or working~class origin.5 In a well-ordered society, the ordinary citizen does not contemplate engaging in the horrendous activities which the Communist Party member will have to do in the line of duty at one time or

other in his revolutionary career. And yet in the countries we are studying, over the last two or three decades, large numbers of young men and women with fine intellect, admirable character and often of impeccable family background have been drawn into doing this. How and why has this happened? We may find some tentative answers to these questions if we examine the experience of Communist Parties in these countries, particularly during World War II

and after. (ii) The South-east Asian Experience The Communists in Indonesia did not emerge in the immediate postwar period as a clearly identifiable group. There was a little uncertainty as to who were the Nationalists and who were the Communists, and many of the emerging leaders subscribed to both Marxism and Indonesian Nationalism. In the military and political

campaigns against the Dutch, until the return in 1948 of nus so, a legendary Comintern leader, the Communists fonded part of the 5.

Donnell

lth Vietnam, a qualified pro~Chinese position"

in Robert A. Scalaprno, d: The Communist revolution in Asia; tactics, goats and achievements, (Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N..]., 1965), usnlm_

E

47

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

left-wing (Sajap Kiri) of the Indonesian Nationalist movement. When the chips came down in 1948, many members of Sajap Kiri who were thought to be Socialists or Nationalists announced them~ selves as Communists. These were members of a returned student group from Holland. nus so sought to give the Communists in Indonesia a distinct identity and to capture the leadership of the revolution through the Communist Party of Indonesia (P.K.I.). His efforts were brief and

stillborn. A revolt by some Communist irregular detachments broke out in Madison in September 1948 and nus so immediately threw in the support of P-K.l. leaders around him to the rebellion. This

_

was easily crushed by Nationalist troops. Not only did the revolt

fail but it incurred for the P.K.I. the odium of national betrayal, as it occurred at the time when the Dutch were expected to launch

o n : of their pacification drives against the Indonesiahs. The Madison rebellion had profound effects on the subsequent policies of the Indonesian Communist Party. Because large sections :" , n of . E opposed the Madison rebellion, it was _ _ _ i to return to legitimate activity fairly ..

___

f

.'

,

-...

soon, and by 1951 they appeared to be in full swing and had engineered an extensive series of strI.kes. As a result of this, large numbers of Communists were arrested and detained by the Suleiman Government and the Party was crippled. I t was after these experiences that the leadership changed hands and Aidit and his colleagues obtained ascendancy in the Party. Aidit reversed the previous policies of the P.K.I. which led them into such disrepute. Instead of unqualified hostility towards the Government and the general Nationalist movement, Aidit adopted 2

Flemhle pohcv of conditional support for the Government,

in

brier

attempting to win over the more radical Nationalist Party of Indonesia from an alliance with the more traditionalist Muslim Party, the Masjumi. At the same Aidit advocated enthusiastic support for Sukarno in particular, encouraged the President towards extremist Nationalist postures i solving a strident antidmperialist and anti-Western advocacy. .in_ regards Party organization, Aidit decided to enlarge the membership of the P.K.I, It was apparently

IN

thought that the elite nature of the P.K.I. (which numbered only 7910 in March 1952) was responsible for its vulnerability to mass arrests. By converting the P.K.I. into a mass Party, Aidit had abandoned the basic Leninist principle of a conspiratorial vanguard party of professional revolutionaries. 48

THE NATURE AND APPEALS OF COMMUNISM

It was possible that the P.K.I. leaders had decided that the Leninist type of revolutionary work merely served to isolate them from the main stream of Indonesian Nationalism. As such, they probably decided that it would be better to work towards a re-entry into the main stream of the Nationalist movement than to oppose it. The quest of legitimacy rather than the pursuit of revolution became the principle object of the P.K.I. The fleidble strategy of Aidit's leadership appeared to pay oft as the Party membership rapidly expanded to some 2% millions. The scope of its united front organizations increased in width and in depth, covering virtually all strata of Indonesian society from workers in SOBSI trade unions, peasants in the Barisan Tani

Indonesia (Indonesian Peasant Front), women in the GERWANI, students, professionals, etc. The membership of united front organ~

izations was believed to run to between 15 and 20 millions. This kind of Communist strategy is unique, and if the P.K.I. had succeeded in winning power, they would have made an original contribution to C u n i t tHeol_yThis strategy made sense only if the p.I~;-II sought to gain power -by presenting itself as the only salvation available to Indonesia in the midst of growing chaos, mounting frustration and widespread [email protected] And from external

appearances, events in the decade preceding the Setpernber 1965 coup appeared to support the soundness of the P.K.I. political line. Competing Parties were either banned and dissolved following the Outer Island rebellions of 1958, as happened to the la{asjumi and

the Socialist Party, or if they assumed power or participated in the government, their mass popularity declined as a result of mismanagement, corruption and mounting economic troubles. Yet all the apparent success of the P.K.I. concealed a deep and

disturbing vulnerability. Security against their arch-enemy, the Indonesian Army, depended not on a Leninist secret organization of cadres nor on a Maoist corral sanctuary but on the goodwill of President Sukarno. One way in which the P.K.I. could assume power was through the liberal institutions of parliamentary demo~ cracy. Yet these were the institutions which had been condemned

as un-Indonesian under President Sukarno's concept of guided democracy. So, despite the P.K.I.'s burgeoning membership and 6. See Guy J. Parker: "Communist Prospects in Indonesia" RAND Corporation Memorandum RM-4135-PR, November 1964, and also published in Robert A- Scalapino, e d : The Communist revolution in Asia, tactics, goals and achievements, (Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs,

N..]., I965), pp: 256-289. 49

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

political influence, its position resembled that of the squirrel on a treadmill, running very hard but staying in the same spot.7 It might have been the realization of the P.K.I.'s intrinsically weak position that induced Aidit and his colleagues in 1965 to mount the September 30 coup when r u m o r s of Sukarno's irnpend~ ing death were rife in Djakarta. The coup has always been condemned in Communist doctrine as a manifestation of petit bourgeois weakness and lumpen proletariat recklessness and as contrary to Lcninisrn. The failure of this desperate resort to violence, the third

in P.K.I. history, has shattered, for the time being, the P.K.I.'s chances of winning power. If the P.K-I. had converted itself into a mass Party along good social democratic lines, the Communist Party of Malaya (C.P.M.) maintained its Leninist purity. At the end of World War II the prestige and power of the C.P.M. reached unprecedented heightsIt bad a significant armed force which grew during the Pacific War as a resistance movement against the Japanese. It enjoyed high prestige among the Chinese population in Malaya and Singapore. It operated as a legal Party from the end of the war in 1945 till its rebellion in 1948. The Communists worked hard at building a Malay mass base and succeeded in obtaining the support of some

Malay leaders who eventually attained national stature. Whether the C.P.M. could have obtained Malay support without the active intervention on its behalf by the P.K.I. is doubtful. After the fateful Calcutta Conference in early 1948, the C.P.M. decided on a x e d revolution before they had made much progress among the Malays. The revolt itself, though it lasted a long time and demanded the deployment of troops, static guards and armed police in a ratio of nearly 100 to 1, never had any real chances of success. There were

three main reasons. First, Malay opposition to what was identifiable as a Chinese Party. The Malays provided the large bulk of police and security guards, numbering at the campaign's height, more than a quarter of a million. It was beyond the power of the C.P.M. to subvert these forces. Second, the Chinese peasants, on whom the Communist guerillas had to depend for supplies, were not rice farmers but cultivated vegetables, fruit or rubber. Food supply became an acute problem 7. For a remarkably perceptive assessment of P.K.I.'s inherent weakness beneath its apparent strength, see Ruth T. reVel: "Indonesian Communism and Guided Democracy" in A. Doak Barnett, ed: "Communist Strategies in Asia, a comparative analysis of governments and Parties, (Praecer, New York, 1963), Pp.14-8-149.

50

THE NATURE AND APPEALS OF COMMUNISM

to the Communists in the jungle. They could not obtain their supply from Malay rice-growers. They virtually had to depend on the village grocer for their food supplies and, in the face of strict control measures, the amount forthcoming, even with the most strenuous exertions of their village political net, could not maintain more than a small detachment in the adjacent jungle. The result was the fragmentation of their guerilla army into small scattered units and their failure to establish a compact guerilla base which a rice-

growing area might have supported. The third reason was intelligent British anti~gucrilla strategy which concentrated on the interdiction of their food supply linesthe Achilles' heel of. the Communist guerilla revolt.

The C.P.M.'s method of recruitment, as practised today in Singapore (and doubtless also in Malaysia), may be worthy of notice. They believe in getting their recruits young and, in fact, commence their talent-spotting among secondary school students in Chinese language schools. In some of these schools, they have established a self-perpetuating net of student cells. Promising students are approached to join these study cells. At first, their activities are innocent enough and consist mainly Of coaching to improve academic standards. At some stage, the student is introduced to literature the nature of which is phased in stages. The first stage consists of stirring tales of Chinese heroes of past imperial dynasties. Next, the student is introduced to tales of heroism in China's war of resistance against Japan. Then accounts of the feats of reconstruction in Communist China are introduced to the novitiate and his or her attention is drawn to the achievements of Communist society as against the defects of the actual society of

Singapore. Needless to say, Singapore suffers badly by comparison with an idealized Chinese Communist society even though the facts are that her per capita income is about five times larger than

China's. Indoctrination material, of course, comes from adults outside the school, but all activities are carried out by students themselves under

the guidance of a student leader in a deliberately fostered conspiratorial atmosphere. At some stage in this process of indoctrination, the student is committed more and more to activities of the united front. This begins with fairly innocuous actions, such as attending political rallies, but eventually progressing to more dangerous activities such as participation in street demonstrations, pasting of big~character posters, supporting strikes of workers, beating up teachers, etc. S1

COMMUNISM 1`N ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

This accent on China in their indoctrination effort is at once a source of strength and weakness to the C.P.M. While it draws on the strong motivational force of Chinese pride in their history and their culture, it also serves to isolate the movement from the nonChinese. After nearly forty years of revolutionary effort, non-Chinese involvement in C.P.M. and front activities remains peripheral, notwithstanding the occasional Malay or Indian show-piece leader they sometimes put up. I do not intend to deal at length with the position in Vietnam. There are, however, a number of unique features in Vietn ames experience which have accounted for the success of the Communist revolution there. First, unlike the plural societies of Indonesia and Malaya, the Vietnamese people, apart from hill tribes, form a culturally homogeneous society with a strong awareness of their past history as an independent nation. Second, contiguity with China introduces some elements which are missing in Malayan and Indonesian experience. For instance, during World War II, the Kuomintang armies were training and equipping Ho Chi-Minh's Communists in exchange for military intelligence about the japanese. Ho Chi-Minh's cadres moved into Vietnam during the war to create a political network in the countryside. In contrast, Vietnamese proteges of the Kuomintang stayed in China to await V]-Day. When the day came, it was obvious who were in the stronger position. s The common border with China was important not only during 5

the Pacific War but also in the war against the French. When Chinese Communist troops reached this border in 1949, Ho Chi~ Minh's troops could depend on friendly support for war supplies as well as for military and political training on a massive scale. The use of field artillery supplied by the Chinese proved decisive in the battle of Dienbienphu. This pattern, the availability of outside supplies and support, has repeated itself in the present war in South Vietnam.

While Mao and his guerilla armies had to fight both the Kuomintang and the Japanese unaided, for the most part, by outside supplies, the Viet Minh were able to enjoy this important advantage. But, on the other hand, whereas Mao Tse-tung's armies had the whole vast area of China in which to mar oeuvre, the area in Vietnam is more constricted. Further. whereas China's remote rural areas were innocent of administration, the French had established an administrative presence in every village. The Viet Minh contra button to the theory of guerilla war consisted of the destruction of 52

THE NATURE AND APPEALS OF COMMUNISM

the government administrative network by the simple expediency of assassinating village officials. In this way they achieved the security which distance and remoteness provided to Mads guerillas. Only then could they carry out Mao Tse~tung's precept to "make the enemy blind and deaf and drive his commanders to distraction by creating confusion in their winds".8 I think it is this consideration

rather than, as some scholars allege, an innate or war-induced brutality of the Viet Minh and the Viet Cong that accounts for these killings*

(iii) Counter-measures I now come to the counter~measures which it is necessary to take to prevent the growth of Communist power. I propose to leave out of consideration counter-memures against a Communist guerilla . ~8H war. I have never fought an a n t i - e r i l l a war . _. -. . : .. `. not to over gratuitous advice to those who are engaged in one. £ will deal with matters in which I have some experience, and those are the methods of combating Communist political subversion before it has developed into armed revolt. This is the position in Singapore and Malaysia today, and it will doubtless be the position, before very long, in Indonesia when the P.K.I. revives as a clandestine movement along sound Leninist lines. The First and most important of the prerequisites to success is, I regret to say, an efficient secret police, or "Special Branch" to use the delicate British colonial tern; for it., The object is not so much to capture the secret Communist underground for, without very severe total tartan controls, this cannot be easily achieved. The main function of the secret police is the penetration of all Communist open-front mass organizations. Since the membership and overt leadership of these organizations are by their nature open and not secret, penetration should hot present difficulty to technically competent police personnel. The object is to identify the principal leaders, assess their character and capability, and out the current intentions and plans of these organizations. §'ithout such knowledge available to government, counter-measures against the Communists may .well prove counter-productive. With such know§

8. Mao Tse-tung: "On protracted war", a series of lectures delivered in Yenan, May-June 1938, and included in Selected Military writings of Mao The-rung (Foreign Language Press, Peking, 1966), 11240. 9. See, for instance, George Modelskiz "The Viet Minh Complex" in Cyril E. Black and Thomas P. Thornton, eds' Communism and Revolution; the strategic uses of Political violence, (Princeton University

Press, Princeton, N..]., 1964), pp.209-210.

53

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA'

ledge we can, to quote Mao, "await the enemy's assaults with ease

and poise". The second function of the secret police is to arrest and detain key united front leaders at suitable times. When this occurs, it is important to make explanation in terms understood and acceptable to the public. It is, of course, regrettable that the due process of law

cannot be applied here. There are three reasons for this. First, the evidence to satisfy the requirements of legal procedure will blow the cover of police agents who have penetrated Communist open-front organizations. Further, the possibility of prosecution assurnes that

participation in Communist conspiratorial activities is a legal offence, which it is not in most countries. Third, to wait for the Communist activists to engage in overtly illegal action, for example, riots and other sorts of violence before prosecution, will give them a political advantage which few governments of the new states of Asia can afford. For by then the political situation would have deteriorated to a state of acute instability, which in turn would probably have caused economic decline due to loss of confidence. Should political instability become endemic, serious doubts will creep into men's minds as to who would emerge the winner, This can make the problem of control of subversion, for which public

confidence and co~operation are important, a very acute one. The power of arrest and detention without trial is, therefore, a necessary weapon in the Fight against the Communists in the newly established Asian states. It is, however, of the utmost importance that the highest standards of conduct on the part of the secret police are maintained. There should be checks, in the form of review committees consisting of lawyers and professional

men, on the

actions of the police. These checks should be real and not perfunctory measures. Nothing would be more favorable to the growth

of Communist influence than extensive and indiscriminate use of the powers of detention. For this will generate widespread resentment against the authorities, which the Communist underground can use to stoke the Fires of revolution. Further, it is important that police action is limited to really worthwhile targets the thinkers and the planners, the able propagandists and the organization men. Ninety-nine per cent of those who engage in Corninttnist open-front activities are not worth detaining, not even the second echelon activists and the muscle~nien on whom the Communists depend to discipline their followers. They are the expendables and can be replaced without much difficulty, unlike the thinker and the plotter, 54

_

THE NATURE AND APPEALS OF GOMMUNISM

and their detention serves no purpose beyond creating unnecessary disaffection among their families. The second prerequisite l effective counter-measures inst Communism Isa an proper treatment of social discontent Asian societies are, as I said earlier, in a stage of rapid transition from 4

traditional forms to those more consistent with the twentieth century. It is unavoidable in the process of change that uncertainty and discontent arise as a result of social and economic friction and

dislocation. The comforting security afforded by the traditional order, where every one knows his proper place, gets eroded in the modernization process. Discontent may be trivial--eg., grumbling over T.V. programs, traffic jams--or serious, such as bad housing or unemployment. It is no use sweeping discontent under the rug as, for instance, a military dictatorship can well do. This does not dispose of resentment and may indeed aggravate it. Social discontent can hardly be avoided and its expression is good and healthy, for it identifies the faults in the social system and the points of maladjustment in the transitional process. The Communists, of course, can be expected to capitalize on social discontent, and with the apparatus at~their disposal they can be expected to make a good showing. Where the grievances are

legitimate, such as a strike which has Industrial and not political origins, or unjust terns of resettlement of farmers, it will be a grave error to use special police powers against the Communists. To do so would only confirm in men's minds the role of the Communists as champions of the dispossessed. .Just as the Communists are discriminating in the selection of issues on which to mount agitation, must the Government be discerning in choosing issues on which to arrest and detain them. It is also important that non-Communist

SO

expressions of discontent and all forms of legitimate political dissent should be clearly distinguished from Communist-manipulated

political campaigns and allowed the fullest freedom within the law. The irony of the situation is that only with an efficient secret police can this distinction be made with confidence, thereby enabling the scope of civil liberties to be extended. I t is necessary that social discontent should be dealt with through adequately-institutionalized channels. In this resp al J the democratic system is superior to an authoritarian one. Elected Members an Parliament can always be counted upon to be at the receiving end of social discontent! It goes without saying that the government should take effective remedial measures, particularly in sensitive

areas open to Communist exploitation. These measures may not be

55

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

completely successful, but if at least it cam be demonstrated to those concerned that the government does care for the people's welfare

the battle against Communist exploitation of social discontent can be won. The third prerequisite is the absorption of the country's intelligentsia in meaningful occupations. In at least three of the countries we have studied, namely, Vietnam, Malaya and Singapore, failure to absorb the intelligentsia, or an important section of it, was one reason for successful Communist appeals in these countries. Under

French colonial rule, large numbers of Vietnamese had access to modern education to the highest level. Yet, the absorption of these educated products in the Indochinese civil service was inadequate ; top posts and even middle-ranking posts were occupied largely by Frenchinen. The pay of a Vietnamese professor was less than that of a French janitor in the same university.1*' really looking trouble. Et pa and Singapore the students who went through the Chinese language schools were faced with an occupational blind alley on completion of their studies and their gravitation

was not unnatural. In Singapore one of the first steps taken by my Government on election to office in 1959 was to de-fuse this dangerous position by throwing open to them career opportunities in the Civil SewiceOn this question one cannot but view with concern the enormously rapid expansion of secondary and university education in so many new countries of Asia, usually aided and abetted by wellmeaning friends in Western countries. Unless this expansion is related to available economic opportunities the large sums of money spent will only create immense problems for the future from which the Cozmnunists can probably profit.

It

is important

if there are more 'highly-educated people

than opportunities available for their useful employment, the best

of them be absorbed in available posts in government and in industry. In other words, some TOrn £ 3 meritocracy should. be established and political and other forms of patronage cannot but be harmful. If due best brains and character are absorbed in the system while the mediocrities become dissident, the position can probably be held; but if the mediocrities are absorbed in the system

while the ablest join the Communists, postponed.

calamity cannot be long

,

10. Bernard B. Fall: The Two Vietnam's, a Political and m£Z£Mry analysis, (Praeger, New York, rev. ed. 1964) pp.32-33.

,

56

THE NATURE AND APPEALS OF COMMUNISM

There are other matters of relevance. To mention only two : there is need for government contact and confidence at grassroot levels, and for exemplary conduct by government leaders. But these really belong to the general attributes of good government which are desirable in themselves and not for the sake of their utility as counter-measures against Communism. If I leave these out of discussion, it is for this reason and not because they are unimportant in combating Communism subversion. Indeed, in the final analysis, the only secure and enduring safeguard against Communist revolu-

tion is good government.

57

COMMENTARY DENIS WARNER*

As a longtime resident of Singapore ( and as the father of a couple of children who keep reminding me that they are Singaporeans and not Australians because they were born in Singapore) I regret it is my melancholy duty to take immediately the very gravest exception to one aspect of Dr Goh's speech-and I am not referring to the Special Branch, with which I had some difficulties in the past. I refer to the excessive modesty which prevented Dr Goh dealing at greater length with the all-important subject of good government in Singapore and his association with it.

The story of Singapore under the leadership of the People's Action Party is unique in the contemporary history of South-East Asia and immensely important in any consideration of how to cope with the appeal of Communism there. Over-populated, under~ employed, lacking in almost all natural resources, including fresh water, surrounded by often less than friendly neighbors, and aFt"licted by a degree of Communist penetration which only a decade ago seemed certain to ensure that it would become an outpost of Peking, Singapore under the highly able, extremely intelligent and honest leadership of the People's Action Party has denied the Communists the social discontent that they need to further their cause. It has been a magnificent effort. Lacking a legal outlet of their own, the Communists believed they saw in the P.A.P. a vehicle in which they could travel to power. It was a disastrous error. One by one the People's Action Party, within the limits of its own power, eliminated the exploitable grievances of the people. In addition to possessing a very efficient

Special Branch, it

became a people's government in fact as well as name and, granted the opportunities that this island state deserves and needs, the continuation of exemplary government that the People's Action Party has provided, and the preservation of the Special Branch, the dangers of a communist takeover are likely to remain remote. If the population continues to increase at its present rate and Singapore's neighbors not take due account of her legitimate needs, howtherel will he ry reason to fear that even the best of

*

l

Denis Warner is an A1-stralian correspondent specializing in Uouih-East Asian offh u m author of Out the (1956), ddusrralia Northern Neighbours Hurricane from China (19611 , and The

o;

Last Confucian ( 1 9 6 3 ) .

I

58

am.

THE NATURE AND APPEALS OF COMMUNISM

governments may not be able to cope with the exploitable possibilities of legitimate unrest. With so much of what Dr Goh has said I agree so completely that mostly I can do no more than add footnotes. At the risk of being waited on tomorrow with suggestions that I might take out a party ticket that one true faith Australian Communist Party or the Australian Communist Party la/Iarxist-Leninist--I feel that Dr Go . haps understated the nature of some aspects of the Communist appeal or, at least, the way in which Communism may be used to generate appeal in under-developed societies in South-

he

East Asia_ The appeal is not spontaneous but is most definitely the result of careful and expedient planning as a means to an end that is far from appealing. Because the Republic of Haiti, with its degrading poverty, extensive ignorance and an atrociously oppressive regime, has not yet produced a communist revolution does not mean that it possesses any sort of immunity. Indeed, there is evidence already that communist Haitians are now active outside the Republic, especially in Venezuela, umere the gap between impudent wealth and pitiable indigence is constantly growing and may be bridged in the not too distant future by a Communist revolt. Communism won support in the State of Kerala in India because of a combination of circumstances, including the leadership of Narnboodiripad, immense overpopulation, and far too few opportunities for the masses of educated youngsters. The combination was fatal. The Communists saw their opportunities and had the means and the leadership to exploit them. Coming closer to home, the same sort of thing is true also in the rice-growing areas of the Philippines. The Government of the Philippines under the charismatic leadership of President Ramon

Magsaysay broke the back of the Hukbalahap revolt more than a decade ago, largely by offering the landless peasants some hope for the future. Unfortunately peasant hopes died with Magsaysay. The Macapagal

Administration,

with considerable opposition

from

Congress, voted for a not very radical land reform program which Congress thereafter electively destroyed by refusing the necessary appropriations to put it into effect. Late last year I toured Pampanga province, which is and always has been the principal area of unrest. I found the Hooks very much on the upsurge. Their harmed forces are still small but they have multiplied in the past year. Their city of Angeles, which provides the bars and bordellos for the Clark Field Air Force Base, is under virtual control """""' are half~a-dozen towns and more than a 59

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

hundred barrios. I found military oi3licers, government of21ficials and private citizens convinced that the resurgence was factual and real, and convinced also that if it remained unchecked it would lead to an even more serious situation than that which prevailed in the early Fifties. There are three main reasons for the resurgence : ineffective government in the area, appalling rural poverty, and intelligent Communist leadership. If you examine the list of Huk atrocities you will find the same sort of pattern that was established by the Viet Cong in South Vietnam late in the Fifties. From January 1966 to about the middle of August about sixty-nine of their opponents had been liquidated in Panlpanga~this included four mayors, a number of soldiers and policemen, and a political leader. But the killings also numbered twelve cattle rustlers and thieves who have long been the scourge of these desperately-poor peasants. The Huks conduct their own courts and even responsible officials will admit that their justice is much quicker, and sometimes better, that the Government's. I n a region where the average peasant tenant-holding is only about two and a half acres and where the peasant is in debt to his landlord within weeks of the sale of his harvest, the Hooks have earned for

themselves a reputation of being local Robin Hoods. Basically this comes back to Dr Goh's point that the only secure and enduring safeguard against communist revolution is good government. But good government is not always easy to achieve, especially in under-developed societies in South-East Asia. I n a sense Singapore was fortunate in that the transition from colonial to independent status was achieved while the machinery of government was, in general, functioning well and when the economic damage caused by the Second 'World War had been repaired.

Things were not nearly so easy for the Philippines, which became independent after the end of the war at a time when the social structure and economic life of the country were in ruins. Here, too,

in the urban areas the mass of well-educated students face an occupational blind alley on completion of their studies. Their gravitation t a . ' though delayed by a number of factors including the in uence the Catholic Church, is also not I

unnatural.

H*ere

in

elsewhere

there is i

revoiiidon of rising

expectations. It is a reality of the times and I agree completely with Dr Goh that simply to provide students with rapidly-expanding opportunities secondary university education is we. . answer, indeed it is extremely dangerous, unless economic opportunities are also to be made available.

___

1

60

THE NATURE AND APPEALS OF COMMUNISM

In essence, except for humanitarian purposes or to meet passing emergencies, aid that is not self-generating is also likely to be selfdefeating. It is not only likely to be subject to waste but is also open to exploitation. We would do well to remember, however, that neglect too is no less capable of exploitation. I t cost the West half a billion dollars of economic aid and ten years of military interest in Laos before it was noticed that no Lao child in primary school had ever had a textbook of any kind. We financed all sorts of magnificent rackets, including the import of television sets into a country which had no television, but for ten years we did nothing about teaching Lao children how to read and write. It is to exploit just this sort of situation that the Maoist tactics, so brilliantly described by Dr Goh in his section dealing with the "elite combat party", are being applied in this northern tier of South-East Asia. Among an underprivileged, neglected and often exploited peasant population genuine grievances are common enough. If insufficient e>dst they can always be invented and developed. Twenty-six years ago the Indochina Communist Party met in Southern China under the chairmanship of Ho Chi-minh and decided to create the Vietnamese Independence League, better known as the Viet Minh. I t also decided that national liberation was to be the central and immediate task and that preparations for an armed uprising ought to be made. Ho and his men chose an area known as Bac Bo due north of Hanoi on the very border of China, wild, mountainous, sparsely-populated, and long neglected by the

French. Even a f t e r making due allowance for propaganda, in his contribution to the book Days with Ho Chi-Minh General Vo Nguyen Giap gives an excellent and revealing insight into how an idea was translated into the act of revolution. "Associations for national salvation sprang up in every village," he wrote, "Party cells were organized

where the movement

developed. There existed

whole villages, whole cantons and whole districts in the mountain region where every person was a member of an organization of national salvation. A duality of power came into being in nearly all the localities where the party had its branch. Village authorities sided with the revolution, became members of organizations for

national salvation, and in whatever they did Viet Minh committees were consulted beforehand. I n reality our administration dealt with nearly all the people's affairs. The inhabitants came to us for marriage registrations and for settling la nd disputes." Then carne the French reprisals. Again to cite Giap: "Cadres were arrested, whole families whose members had secretly joined

61

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

the movement were arrested, their houses burnt, their property confiscated. Many villages and hamlets were razed. Those arrested with revolutionary papers on them were immediately shot, beheaded or had their arms cut off and exhibited at market places." Here again, I think, one must make some allowance for propaganda. Ho Chi-Minh during this long and bitter period refused to strike back. But when, on 22 December 1944, he decided that the time had come for action the peasant population of northern Indochina (North Tonkin) had been driven into his arms by French excesses

which he, in turn, had provoked. l An important account of how a non-communist village in South Vietnam was won to the Viet Cong side by similar methods is given in a captured Viet Cong document, Report on X B Village, which came into American hands in 1962 (XB being a code name). The village has a population of 6,000 and, quite typically of many villages in the Plain of Rushes in the western Mekong delta, is usually surrounded by water. Though the rice land under the water was originally owned by one big landlord and fifty smaller ones, the report states, they left the region during the lighting against the French, returning after the war to reclaim their land and to collect

back rent. Thus, even though the village seems to have been well administered under the Diem regime, the landlords and their demands provided the Communists with exploitable grievances. On Viet Cong advice the peasants refused to pay their back rent or to vacate the land, the landlords were forced out and the peasants claimed the land as their own. Inevitably this brought in the troops and precipitated conflict. Soon XB village was a good Viet Cong village that identified the Government in Saigon only with repression.

Multiply this a thousand times and the early success of the Viet Cong in winning the support of the rural areas becomes more readily comprehensible. The Vietnamese land reform campaign which was so widely advertised in the late fifties was a mockery. A landlord was still able to keep more than a hundred acres of rice land compared with the two or three in Japan or Taiwan. If one visits a village in Vietnam and enquires who owns the land, it will often be found that the villagers themselves do not own any land whatsoever. The Viet Cong was a terrorist organization but mostly it used terror discriminately, killing the good village official along with the bad but leaving the mediocrity. Now a Maoist revolution is not a cup of tea. It is rough tough and bloody but to regard it simply as 62

THE NATURE AND APPEALS OF COMMUNISM

a form of terrorism is to misunderstand completely what it is all about. Nor does its success depend simply on the existence of an elite vanguard or the availability of peasant raw material. Geographical' factors also play a part. Mao Tse-tung, as Dr Goh has told us, had room for manoeuvre in China. Both in the Indochina war and now in the Vietnam war the privileged sanctuary has been all-important. Hanoi, Haiphong and, behind them, the secure base area of China are undoubtedly of significant military importance to the effective prosecution of the war by the Viet Cong. Remove them

miraculously (without precipitating a third world war) and the war in Vietnam will present many fewer difficulties-althoiigh I do not suggest that winning the peace would be particularly easy. Alternatively, if the South Vietnamese and the Americans can close the 17th parallel to the crossing by Viet Cong traffic, successfully interdict the Ho Chi-Minh trail through Laos, and seal off the

other sources of Viet Cong aid, the war in Vietnam will quickly assume an altogether different aspect. Guerillas can operate almost indefinitely on captured or even home-made supplies, but a revolutionary war as big as the Vietnam war has become produces military appetites which only outside sources can satisfy. This lack of any privileged sanctuary was a formidable barrier to Communist revolutionary aspirations in Malaya and_indoneSia. he fact it cannot be stressed too often how much Malayan experience differs from that in Vietnam. Fewer than four hundred civilians and security forces were killed in Malaya in 1949 when the Malayan Emergency was at its peak, this is probably less than the weekly average in Vietnam. At its peak the Malayan Communist Party had 10,000 men with guns; the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces now in South Vietnam total around 300,000 Sir Robert Thompson, who served as Secretary of Defence under Temp nu in Malaya was greatly impressed with the role the "new villages" had played in isolating the Communist insurgents from their essential contact with the local population, believed that

iii

the creation of strategic hamlets in Vietnam would have a similar effect- The hamlets did not and I think that he would agree on

reflection that they could not, given the nature of the country and the density of the population. The confined space of Singapore Island, as I am sure Dr Goh would agree, would prove suicidal if the Communists attempted to apply straight Maoist revolutionary tactics there. Similarly, in Indonesia Aidit faced geographical difficulties which

I believe contributed quite heavily to his policy of qualified and 63

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

conditional support for the government in power. Aidit's dilemma was horrendous. After the Madison experience he apparently became convinced that heavily-populated ]eve provided none of the conditions necessary for a successful Maoist type operation. He lacked the room for manoeuvre that Mao had enjoyed in China. There no contiguous border, no privileged sanctuary in which to establish a firm base and Java itself, without the forests of Malaya Indochina, as thorouhgly unsuitable for the pursuit of revolutionary war. Dependent as he was on the protection of Sukarno and aware that after the death of Sukarno the Army had no intention of

maintaining the Fiction of NASAKOM, he had no option in view of Sukarno's apparently failing health but to lend his support to the un~Leninist coup d'état of 30 September 1965. We know now

that the P.K.I. was Habby, that it had grown too fast, that it lacked the really tough vanguard spirit provided by the Communist Party of China, the Lao-Dong Party in North Vietnam, and the People's Revolutionary Party in South Vietnam. Nevertheless Aidit came within a hair's breadth of success. To touch now on the final part of Dr Goh's paper, it is obvious that all the things he suggests are desirable and even essential. With still-forming problems of our own in New Guinea, let us take heed. But in areas where the situation is more threatening, what does one do? The need for an effective police intelligence system in northeastern Thailand and southern Thailand, where for years coming events have been casting their shadows before, is obvious enough. On the basis of information which I am sure is correct I can assure you that such a system does me exist in sufficient form. What is happening in north~eastem Ed land is very little known tO responsible authorities in Bangkok. Ten million people live in northeastem Thailand and to provide them with their needs in honest regional government and economic opportunities, not to mention an adequate Special Branch, is an awesome task. One cannot talk about govemanent confidence and confidence at grassroots levels when there is really nothing by way of effective regional govemrnent at all. Because of various circumstances-because of its isolation from the rest of Thailand, because the people in the north-east are largely ethnic Lao, not ethnic Thai-I think that the insurgency that now exists in north-east Thailand will never develop into the same grave situation that we have in Vietnam. But that in itself is no answer to the problem of the insurgency.

Again, the responsible people in Parnpanga province in the 64

THE NATURE AND APPEALS OF COMMUNISM

Philippines also well understand the problems but providing the means to find the answers is another matter. It will be another

matter also, I suspect, in Sarawak where a clear Communist revolutionary threat is becoming more and more entangled with the political complexities of a situation which is lending itself very much to exploitation. I t is, alas, much easier to know what to do than how to do it. I have sometimes in this country been accused of being unduly pessimistic. May I say that I am much more optimistic about the situation in South-East Asia and the security of this country than I have been for a very long time. A whole variety of reasons lie behind this thinking. The Sino-Soviet split has destroyed the great threat of

a huge Communist monolith dominating all the heartland of Asia. The collapse of the Peking-Djakarta ands and the destruction of the Indonesian Communist party, much as one may regret the manner of its passing, in e all contributed very largely to the growing security in the South-East Asian area, The American presence in

Vietnam, unsuccessful though it may yet have been in winning the war, has again contributed heavily to the security of the whole area and to the security of this country. I am sorry that Dr Goh felt that he could not give us advice about what we should or should not do in Vietnam since there are many things I would like to say on this. The next few months will

be enormously important in Vietnam: not in a military sense-I do not care who wins a battle 200 miles north or west of Saigon or down in the Mekong Delta. The important developments~az*e taking place politically. If the constituent assembly can produce a workable constitution which can be accepted, if a national assembly is elected, and if there is a presidential election which covers a fair part of the

country and which is genuinely honest--then we may see some development of the motivation which is so necessary among the people who are quite genuinely anti-communist but who are so

lacking for leadership in South Vietnam today. In the great verbal tug-of-war between Mr Holt and Mr Calv ell over the visit of Air Vice-Marshal Ky I felt that both completely missed the point, though both claimed great victories. I think that the visit was a great disaster for everyone concerned. The members of the CoNstituent Assembly-good nationalists-are not only struggling to produce a constitution but also struggling with the military directory which still retains a power veto. The real misfortune of the visit lay in building up the image of Marshal Ky (even though he has given South Vietnam as good a government as

65

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

_

it leas T8a8'" since 1963 and the erect that this will have in South Vietnam, where it is enormously important to see a transition from Imlitary to civil government if there is to be any real chance of

winning the war and the peace that follows it.

DISCUSSION Mr Edward St. john, QC., M.P. (Wawingah): I want to take up Mr Waterway's comment on the first paper that a grave mistake had been made in not inviting a communist to deliver one of the papers. I entirely disagree. A speaker is inv *W a platform because one wants or hopes to learn from him, and we are invited to join in discussion with him because we hoIiin influence his views. 'With due respect to Mr Aaron, you would learn nothing from him that you do not know already about the nature of communist doctrine, you would certainly persuade him of nothing, and the whole object of the exercise is defeated. I would go even further. Suppose the subject of discussion is a doctrine which you regard as held by people who are at best misguided, at worst criminal--and in its impact on people's lives and liberties (as in the Ukraine and North Korea), and upon the democratic way of life, Communism is something which can, in a very criminal sense, affect the lives of the peoples of South-East Asia. In the United Kingdom of the 1930s if a summer school had met to discuss, for example, the problems of Nazism, would Mr Westerway have found it desirable that Oswald Mosley be given the platform to deliver one of the papers? And this, of course, is the true comparison. I turn to what Dr Goh had to say as to .the peens olcombating Communism when he spoke of secret police preventive detention. Dr Goh could have attacked the problem from the other end and first spoken of the need for good government and then of how impossible it probably was in Singapore to deal with the problem of subversion by due process of law. his audience would then have accepted more readily what it perhaps thought was mere cynicism and bravado when he said that a first essential was a secret police and the capacity in appropriate circumstances (just as in time of war) to enforce by preventive detention a situation where communists could not at will subvert the state and plan for the day when it would be overthrown. I am not suggesting for one moment that preventive detention should be introduced in Australia-I hope wnnmnmv.

66

THE NATURE AND APPEALS OF COMMUNISM

it never will-but I do suggest that it is a very foolish democracy which allows itself, through some sort of hypnotic effect, some incantation of the ages on the subject of the rule of law, to be subverted without taking the necessary steps, which I am sure needed to be taken in Singapore, to counter what is in effect a revolutionary activity, however calmly and rationally it has been discussed in this meeting. .Mr Noel Turnbull: I have been disturbed about several seemingly implicit assumptions that have arisen in the discussion so far. The first is the equating of Marxism-Leninism with Communism. To any student of Marxism-Leninisrn it is quite obvious that this assumption is not at all justified although Mr St. john and many

other speakers seem to think that it is. Maridst-Leninist doctrine has a quite legitimate place in the humanitarian stream of though but it was stamped out in 1927 by Stalin and later on by Mao Tse-tung. Communist thought today is not necessarily Marxist-Leninist. I have also been disturbed that to most people here it seems impossible for anybody in a South-East Asian country to accept Communism because he sincerely believes in it: apparently he must be manipulated in some way. Apparently, too, it is impossible for anybody in a South-East Asian country to believe that the Marxist economic system is probably the most efficient way of developing an under-developed country. The assumption is that Marxism is a pernicious and evil doctrine-and that any communist or Marxist in an under-developed country is in reality only a man waiting for Peking to push a button to manipulate him to try and subvert society from within.

The problem of under-development was best summarized by Professor Hugo \Volfsohn of La Trove University when, talking about India, he contrasted two possibilities. There is the possibility of a rigidly-authoritarian regime with direct control over people in

outlying areas which can consequently achieve rapid industrial growth, even if at the possible cost of considerable suffering for people in those outer areas. But there is also the possibility of a weak central authority with little direct contact with outlying areas and here progress will come only very slowly. Professor Wolfsohn tends to prefer the way of slow progress but there seems a n inherent

contradiction in this because the continued preservation of an inadequate, unstable and unfair social and economic system is the very thing that will lead to Communism. W'e need to find a third possibility-and a concrete alternative to me and to many others seems to lie in rapid industrialization and 67

COMMUNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

rapid increase in food production. The obvious solution to this is in Marist economics where the concept of primitive socialist accumulation can be tied in with collectivization of agriculture. Most people automatically associate this with the Stalinist outbursts of the 19305 and with the immoral and evil things that then took place. But the theory, originally developed by a Marxist economist about 1904 and later adapted by Leon Trotsky, pointed out that primitive socialist accumulation is the best way of generating rapid industrial development. Trotsky summed it up by saying that the worker one day might have to lend half of his wages to the state and perhaps next day give it the other half. It is an unfortunate burden and perhaps we can ease it by economic aid, so long as this does not go to lining the pockets and increasing the profits of a minority elite in these underdeveloped countries. It is basically an idea very similar to Keynes's fine old capitalist idea of building up savings within an economy in order to generate funds for investment. In primitive socialist accumulation the minimal resources of a country can be built very rapidly under an authoritarian regime. That it is authoritarian is unfortunate but other present-day solutions do not seem to be working effectively. As for collectivization, we will have to consider very carefully whether collectivization can be repeated without the suliering that resulted from Stalin's application of it. But if an industrial society is to develop very rapidly, it seems obvious that the strain on the rural areas will become increasingly heavy. And we cannot expect the Americans and the Australians to provide continuous gifts of wheat-mainly because Australia sells too much of it to Red China anyway! What is needed is a system of maximizing productivity. Perhaps one could adopt the Bukharinist attitude or more of the

"New Economic Policy" attitude and try to encourage the peasants and the landlords to produce more, rather than opt for collectivization. At least we should think through the Marist possibilities

more closely without being clouded by our view of Communism as an evil doctrine. Communism as practised up to now by "communists" may have been an evil experience but we must very sincerely consider other possibilities of Marxism as conceivable alternative forms of development for backward countries. M r Owen Harriet: I want to make a brief comment relating to the performance of the Indonesian Communist Party in the period immediately following the attempted insurrection of 30 September 1965, and this is really a footnote to what was said by Dr Goh and

by Mr Water. The performance of the P.K.I. during this period 68

THE NATURE AND APPEALS OF COMMUNISM

has been subject to much comment, speculation and discussion. That discussion can be profitably linked with the controversy among Western experts on Indonesia which existed about five years where th e re was quite Hat disagreement between two groups experts. On the one hand were people like Donald Hindley and Herbert Feith maintaining that the P.K.I. was a trapped party-~' trapped between the Army, which was bent on its destruction, and Sukarno, who would look after it but only at a price. The picture was of a party which had no option but to throw itself on Sukarno's mercy so that he consequently could manipulate it as he liked. They used terms like "domestication" and "the emasculation of the P.K.I." On the other hand, equally eminent people like Richard Lowenthal and Van der Kroef talked of the P.K.I. as a model Communist Party for an undeveloped country--a model pioneer party whjeh other communist parties were expected to follow. As

they saw it, the P.K.I., far from being a trapped party, was following in copybook style the strategy laid down by the Eighty-one Parties Conference in Moscow in 1960. Based on the concept of national democracy, this essentially was a strategy which set out not to overthrow and destroy national governments but to establish the credentials of communist parties as legitimate nationalist parties. The aim was to change existing national governments from within and ultimately to take them over. Two years ago, about January 1965, I think that there would have been overwhelming agreement that Lowenthal and Van der Kroef were right. At this time the P.K.I. appeared to be going ahead by leaps and bounds, its power seemed to be increasing domestically, it was capable of launching a great deal of spontaneous activity in the countryside

in relation to land reform,

and its

influence on Indonesian foreign policy seemed paramount. Yet before the end of the year there was a violent reaction. As a result of the very poor showing of the P.K.I. in September-October 1965, it seemed after all that Hindley and Feith were right-that this was a n "emasculated" party, I now suggest that one does not have to support either of the two positions completely but on the contrary that there was an important element of truth in body. Lowenthal and Van der Kroef and their supporters were quite right in saying that the P,K.I. was not being manoeuvred, was not a trapped party, but was deliberately choosing this p o l i c y a policy accepted by the international communist movement. On the other hand, I think that Hindley and Feith saw something important, i.e., that this policy carried a severe 69

COMMLTNISM IN ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

price in that its pursuit made the party an ineiticient instrument for violent insurrection. One of the side effects of this deliberatelychosen policy was that the P.K.I. was no longer able to act efficiently as a revolutionary party. This was not the result of Sukarno's manoeuvring-it was rather an incidental elect: the party was not domesticated but, in the process of trying to take over the house, it lost the skills of the street and of the jungle. When it needed those skills in the time of crisis, it failed accordingly.

Dr Pang Lay Kim (University of Indonesia): I want to add a few things to Dr Goh's speech. The previous speaker elaborated very clearly the views held by Western pundits on Indonesia and we have seen that all these people were wrong. The trouble with many Western pundits is that they come to Indonesia, spend three day. getting to know our problems and then write a whole book on the subject. If they stayed for two weeks they would probably be content to write an article, and after a stay of two or three years they would find it very difficult to make any real assessment ! I would like to elaborate on the conlliet between Aidit and Sudisman in the P.K.I. When Aidit decided to embrace Sukarno, Sudisrnan who was in fact the man in the party did not agree with that policy. He wanted to pursue a firmer policy than Aidit and this basic disagreement inside the party was a source of weakness so that in the end the strong organization of the P.K.I. failed. I think that when Aidit went to China before the coup he was instructed be Father Mao that so-operation was not the way to handle Indonesia but that Aidit had to force Sukarno to face the Army and to take over. So, when Aidit returned, he had to strike but he struck with 8.

party seriously weakened by the internal disagreement between

him and Sudisman. In making an assessment of Communism and Australia a basic and important point is not the danger of the coming of Communism to the area right now but the problem of the rising generation, n generation which will have different values than today's generation. It is a problem of modernization in a developing country--it is the problem of how to find the leaders. How can we make the younger generation become more rational? If people become more rational they will not act as the Red Guards are acting right now in Peking but will act more like the new generation in Russia. This is why countries like Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand are looking for leadership and for assistance to modernize our countries, to train a new generation. This is a more important point than talking about 70

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THEl NATURE AND APPEALS OF COMMUNISM

the threat of Communism because Communism will disappear after we modernize, artier we become rational.

Mr Malcolm Sal on, Victorian Editor of "Tribune": With respect to Dr Goh, I he presented us once again with an exposition of the problem of Oominunism in Asia which is essentially the conspiracy theory of Communism. I believe it is of vital importance to

thidl

Australians to recognize the problem of Communism in Asia for

what it is. It is not, I believe, as Dr Goh presented it-~-the shady doings of a few individuals, disaffected or ambitious if not worse, carried out in coriditions of illegality and persecution. In fact, the problem of Communism in Asia is basically one of the major political forms in hich the contemporary rebirth of Asia is taking place. The very fact that the title of Dr Goh's paper included the temp_ f'non-communist Asian nations" is indication enough of the i of thelchange effected through the vehicle of Comrnunisrn in contenliporary Asia. I would like to l comment briefly on the Vietnamese experience touched on by Dr; sGoh. The fact is that the modern Vietnamese nation state was born under communist leadership in 1945. Its continued life wash contested by the French in an eight years' war. The elections provided for by the Geneva Agreement which ended that war were prevented by American intervention, thus frustrating the majoritarian decision desired by Professor Scalapino which would certainly haste been a majoritarian decision in favour of the

left. This is the o r i g i n of the Vietnamese war which imposes such a dread reality on Vietnamese people today and a dread prospect for the world tomorrow.

the

e

§

The Vietnamese are fighting for real national demands, the fruit of. the years of struggle and sacrifice in the war aga French which they see themselves as cheated £53 the American intervention of-today.lwe have heard talk of terror as practised by the *

Vietnamese liberation forces in the present war. But we have heard little talk from this =rostrum of the presence of 410,000 American troops in the southern part of Vietnam; we have heard little talk of the napalm bombing, the phosphorus bombing, the use of B52 bombers again the Mekong delta and so on. The terror that is used by the National Liberation Front fighters is minimal compared to the terror which is wlfisited upon them by their much more powerful enemy- The N.L.F. terror, as Mr Warner has pointed out very often in his intelligent and info Ion Asian affairs, is used discriminately iin the characteristic manner of a lesser-armed a people lighting a powerfully-armed adversary. I think that what

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COMMUNISM I N ASIA: A THREAT TO AUSTRALIA?

Australians should face, and I say this on the basis of three years experience of living in North Vietnam, is that a socialist North ¢

Vietnam will exist, will continue to exist, into the future and a neutral South Vietnam will be the South Vietnam of the future.

This future poses no threat to Australia. The modern Vietnames nation has been born under communist leadership as surely as the Australian nation came into being under the preponderant inherence of the A.L.P. nothing can change that fact, in Vietnam or in Australia. The threat to Australia comes not from the war, which still rages and which every day jeopardizes not only the survival of

the Vietnamese people but the fabric of our own national life as well.

Mar Ab jerath: I refer to Dr Goh's last prerequisite for countering Communism in Asia, namely, good government. I think by good government he means an effective government a government in control and efficient, with the means and know-how to provide the economic necessities for the masses. This seems a reasonable proposition for countering Communism provided, of course, that this government does not happen to be communist! But fundamentally I think there are two alternatives : {i} the appeal of Communism, of which China is the current exponent and which Dr Goh has shown us is completely detached from and foreign to Asia, (ii) the Western form of parliamentary democratic system, perhaps best represented by India, which some people may easily resfard as equally foreign. Thus a reasonable comparison of the two most populous countries of Asia is a measure of the success of these two svstems-a comparlson on which so much will depend. China and India are not

only the two most populous countries. They have through the years exerted a great deal of influence over Asia and their future influence will not only be economic but also political. This was perhaps evidenced to some extent in the India-China border conflict which has implication greater than was evident on the surface. It was perhaps China's way of diverting Indian resources to the more materialistic needs of deface in order to hamper her economic development.

But we must pursue the choices a little further. If Asia is to prefer a democ ratic system and not dictatorship of one totalitarian colour or another, is Asia going to accept the reasonably democratic system which most people here understand or will it have a system democratic in name but not in reality' India has a very good example in 72

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Kerala, a state which Dr Goh mentioned Ami' on which Mr Warner elaborated a littleimore. Kerala is a state ifith a literacy rate of eighty per cent in country where generally literacy is probably less than twenty per cent. It is a state where Christianity had perhaps its greatest influence. Yet it is the only statI where airmmunist government has been elected, I think, by the democratic process. Is one to accept such a situation' This is a very serious question which I put to Dr Goh. For, at the same time, in the Indian parliamentary system the largest opposition party also happens to be communist. Is tune to accept that or does one say 'He is a party, an organization which we must completely ban or which we must infiltrate with our secret service"? Would this not be the negation of the democratic System' Would it not be rather an acceptance of a totalitarian systein? Good government means government which is not corrupt. A good government, however, may not be prepared to face the realities of the situation to which I have referred, and if they are not prepared to accept these realities in terms of the

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democratic system they are merely trying to substitute one totalitarian regime for another.

Dr Got, replying: II thank Mr Warner for his q remarks about the, activities of my Government Mr Warner is. I course, extremely well-informed about affairs in South-East Asia and I am inclined Qto agree with him in his rather sombre appraisal of the dangers that exist in the whole region and of the great difficulties facing g'ovemrnents in trying successfully to meet social discontent. He haslgiven many examples and one cannot but listen to diese examples With some dismay. I really do not know what the answer is where there is corrupt government which supports landlord oppression. Mlaybe in the long run countries in which such a

government exists jill probably go communist. Military force can put down an immediate attempt by the communists to take over but I do not think that this is a permanent solution. This is a very acute dilemma in Which the new Asian states Find themselves but I do not think the Problem should be discussed in terms of good or evil. I think it is quite beside the point to say, as one speaker said,

that Maridsm is a good doctrine but as practised by the communists it is an evil doctrine. One should try to view this whole movement of Asian societies in .an objective way, and in no place in my paper did I put forward the proposition that Communism is an immoral or evil doctrine. I think it is quite irrelevant to pass moral judgment on a political movement that commands the allegiance of large numbers of people and threatens to command the allegiance of even

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more people because of misgovernment on such a massive scale.

How the whole thing will work out is a matter for history but I am not as sanguine as Mr Jerath of India that the outcome will be determined by competition between the two alternatives-Corn monism as practised in China and Western parliamentary democracy as practised in India. History is a continuing process and you cannot say that this is Act I and at a certain time, maybe in the 19705 or 19805, this is Act V and curtains come down. The struggle between these two systems of government goes on continuously and

my own guess is that we shall see this competition possibly still unresolved by the end of the century. I will say that on the showing of the last decade or so the communists have certainly taken the honors-in studying the history and experiences of communist parties in this part of the world what struck me was not that they met with disaster in Indonesia or elsewhere but that, as a whole, they have achieved little for the immense el'Tort they have put in. I would be the last to look down on the men and women who are members of the communist movement, but at the same time I think it would be quite wrong to dismiss the allegation that communists work in a conspiratorial way. This is what Lenin taught them and, in the circumstances in which they find themselves, that method of . political operation is possibly the only one that is open to them-certainly the only effective one. As for communists being wrong because is always a minority that determines policy, let us be quite honest: in any pbiitical system it is always the minority that determines policy and forms public Ste

opinion. The majority, whether in a democratic, western parliamentary~type of political system or any other, the majority of people are not interested in political events as they find politics dull, boring and incomprehensible. In fact, even in your own country only a small group of intelligent people is seriously concerned.

One hopes that a liberal form of political system will survive and triumph because that is the system under which I was educated and

that is the system which I like. But the experience in Asia with liberal forms of government has been most unhappy. In one country after another the manner in which political leadership was chosen by general elections has been abused for various reasons--inadequacy of leadership, indifference of the electorate, and so on. In one country after another in Asia we have seen democratic forms of government lanted by military dictatorship or else by communist takeover. So the present situation is one which nobody can look at with much approval. 74

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As for the overthrow of Communism in Indonesia, the eclipse of the P.K.I. must Ebe regarded as quite temporary in my opinion. Communism is not something that can be obliterated by killing people. Where there is an ideal and it sows seeds in a society, it will continue. The communist movement was halted in the Malayan Peninsula by the lfailure of its armed revolt, for reasons which I have discussed, it was driven underground and it has remained underground every since. The Malayan Communist Party of course, maintains a rummier of armed groups on the Tiiai-Malayan border

and communists are still in a position to resurrect revolution-armed revolution-at any time they think expedient. Whether the revolution would succeed or not depends on a number of circumstances, for instance, whether there is tension or disorder, whethe!! there is trouble between the racial groups composing the Malayan people, whether the Government enjoys Wanna confidence majority of the people. Nevertheless, communist armed groups 1 there-the underground exists both in Malaya and Singapore 24 has to be watched quite closely. I was asked to]enlarge on my comment mum-»H e t that too much education a present was embarrassing. Should education be severely limited iintil the econo maven safely sorb enough graduates? Let me discuss this as a practical problem and not as a g should 80 theoretical or philosophical issue. things. The first is to bring about as fast a rate of economic expansion as possible so that out" educated students can End useful employment. The second is so Eto plan the type of higher education that o u t young students will have the best chances of useful employment. lm. ,_,,.__, instance, mosts Asian countries, I think, make the mistake of turning out too ilnany lawyers and too many students in the humanities and n'ot enough engineers, not efmixgh doctors, uuuuuu

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enough architects and technicians. I do not thinly I said that too much education was embarrassing. What I did say was that ii an educated elite canlriot End useful employment Mill create situation which they communists can exploit, Minus communists should exploit and the communists will exploit. l go very sad state of As for the powers of the secret police, affairs, as I said in any paper, that we -have to detain people without trial and we do nod do this sort of thing for fun. I tried to describe

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Communist Party Proper, and the mass organizations each one strengthening the others cumulatively. If one allows this plotting' of Sui>ve:r§on to go oN unchecked, there will be violence and people

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will get killed. They have been killed in Singapore in riots and clashes over issues which have been organized and manipulated-~ and I use the term "manipulated" in its real sense-by the communists in a quite cynical way. For instance, in one riot one of the participants happened to be a student who was shot and wounded. His life would have been saved if -he had been sent to hospital but the communists paraded him through the streets for hours on end until he died. Good communist tactics, one might say, to inflame immense hatred against the Government. Obviously, when you are faced with a situation where people's lives can be endangered if

you allow events to take their natural course, it would be criminal folly on the part of the Government not to use the special powers

which are necessary for the maintenance of peace and good order. I t is very important that the Special Branch lay down certain objective standards whereby its members can distinguish the sheep from the goats, the dangerous agitator from the others. I n Singapore, for instance, before any person is detained he must have a long history of association with communist or colnmnnist»front organizations extending over years. As a normal procedure the Special Branch must be able to cite something like fifteen or twenty

concrete instances where this person has taken active part in campaigns mounted and directed by the communist front. I t is the duty of the Review Board to go through this evidence, to ask the detainee whether he agrees-accepts the accusation as factually eorrcct--or whether he disagrees. On the basis of the detainee's reply to this concrete allegation the Review Board may then say the man is in rocent-he has been arrested in error-or, in most cases,

the Review Board would say that this young man may be persuaded to change his views and should be rehabilitated. In that event the Special Branch makes an attempt to talk with him and point out the error of his ways. This is not done by any sinister means, because our objectives are to change the man's philosophy, his way of life, and to tell him that there is a better system for resolving social grievances, a better system for achieving social progress. And we Find that the most effective way is by long arguments to convince the man not that

communism is evil but that communism has no future in Singapore. He cannot win-he is a loser. Once our communist is convinced by argument, which may extend for days or even weeks, that the communist cause is lost-then he comes clean. This is the odd thing about the Chinese communist-that he comes clean and tells us the hierarchy of the underground, who his immediate superiors are,

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how he communicates with them, what happened in a certain issue, what directive he lg e from the underground, and his whole history from the time that he was persuaded to join the communist movement until the time of his arrest. These people b e not fools: they are leaders-they are leaders of big trade unions,E they are leaders of associations of farmers, of' students; and the way to bring them round is by sheer sustained argument. I n this§respect the best work of rehabilitating detainees is done by former; members of the local communist party. We Find these are the peO Ie who understand the minds of communists-~ they have a background of the history of the communist movement in Singapore-Malaysia; they understand the thinking of different types of communists. It is a long, slow and painful process but I think that the right way to do it is to argue with them until you convince them. In about three-quarters of the cases that the Review Board has recommended to the Government for rehabilitation Special Branch officers have succeeded in convincing the communists of the error of their ways.

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C O M M U N I S T C H I N A ' S F O R E I G N POLICY J. D. B, M I L L E R *

THERE IS always difficulty in assessing any country's foreign policy. Elements of uncertainty and contingency divert what might otherwise have been a smooth course of action, there are gaps between what the country's spokesmen say and what it actually does, and there is constant interaction between events at home and events abroad, causing an apparently clear vision of the country's foreign interests to be obscured because of pressure within. All of these inns: case of China, which is an difficulties are accentuated in I-______ authoritarian st m ruled in conditions of secrecy, and isolated to a great extent from contacts with other countries. Knowledgeable visitors to Chin; are ew, the Chinese press is rigidly controlled, and hardly any reliable statistics are published. Since China is at odds with a number of countries, including the two super-powers, its public operations are carried on with a constant eye to propaganda and deception. In a ver.; real sense, there are no experts on Chinese foreign policy, only students trying to get a clear picture from defective materials. We do not have the materials for a reliable analysis, at best we can manage informed guesses. This is different, of course, from saying we can learn nothing at all about Chinese policy. Without much difficulty, we can construct a battery of prominent attitudes and concerns, showing where

China's leaders seem to think their interests lie. We can also suggest

some of the reasons why they see things in this way. But it is much harder to say which attitudes and concerns would be uppermost in any given situation, and harder still to prophesy which will prove to have most influence in the future.

The Chinese leaders' statements and actions suggest that their -31-

Professor J. D. B. Miller, Research School of Pacific Studies in the Australian National University, acknowledges the assistance of Mrs Elizabeth Wilson in gathering material and of Mr E. A. Huck, Professor C. P.

Fitzgerald, Mr J. L. S. Gilling and Mr D. M. Bensusan-Butt in providing helpful comments.

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preoccupations can be grouped under the following six headings : hostility to the United States; hostility" to the Soviet Union; the wish for influence in Asia, Africa and Latin America; a strong belief in violent Struggle; national pride; and a determination to bend events to ("china's will. Hostility to the United States is basic to the Chinese stance. '"U.S. imperialism'', wrote Lin Piao in September 1965, "is the most rabid aggressor in= human history and the most ferocious common enemy of the people of the world. Every people: or country in the world that wants revolution, independence and peace cannot but is The t of its struggle against U.S. im_peria11sm. J direct the- spearhe¢d United States, in the view of the Chinese Government, is attempting to destroy all progressive influences. It is an aggressor in Vietnam : it was an aggressor in Korea. It upholds the puppet regime of' (.`h.iang Kai-shek Taiwan. It is hand in glove with the Soviet 'L"nion, and promotes the sham-radical gestures of the Indians and Yugoslavs. It foments counter-revolution in Indonesia and Ghana. I t is invariably racist and imperialist in policy. But there are limits to its power, it is being beaten in Vietnam, and the more it intciw fores in other people's affairs, the more it will su{7er this fate again. Vietnam is the principal example of U.S. wickedness, but others are used as circumstances direct. Hostility to the Soviet Union is now pursued with almost the same virulence. The Soviet Union is to be desised -because it has abandoned revolution. "The Khrushchev rev:slonTsts"] wrote Lin Piao, "have come to the rescue of U.S. imperialism just when it is most panic-stricken? and helpless in its efforts to cope with pcoplf-:'s

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war. Working hand in glove with the U.S. imperiaiillle-L. they Asians; have no faith in the masses and are afraid of U.S. imperialism, i__.

war and of revolution."2 The Chinese view is that the Russian leaders, wrongly afraid that revolution will tire the train of nuclear war, have gone oven completely to the American side, and Hmattheir gestures on behalf Of other Communist movements-especially in Vietnam--are simply hypocritical. The revisionism which they show towards the prospect of violent struggle has disqualified them as

leaders of the world forces against imperialism. It is in Asia, Africa and Latin America that the Chinese leaders see the possibilities of world revolution, and they wish to be influential there, to the point of ensuring that the revolutions which 1. Lin Piao: Long Live the Victory Press, Peking, 1965), p.53. f

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take place will follow the correct pattern, Elat of China. "Taking the entire go-be," to quote Lin Piao again, Iii North America and Western Europe can be called the cities of the world, then Asia, Africa and Latin America constitute the rural areas of the world.aa3 This is not a reference Io comparative I""~r-development but to the claim that, in the people's war against Chiang Kai-shek and the Japanese, the Chinese Communists won because they used Mao Tse-tung's strategy of by-passing the cities-which were held by their opponents-until they had consolidated their strength in the countryside and were able to cut off the cities' community ations and eventually to overcome them. "In a sense," wrote Lin Piao, "the contemporary world revolution also presents a picture of the encirclement of cities by the rural areas.534 This view helps to explain why the Chinese leaders have shown such interest in Afro-Asian institutions since the Bandung cone fence of 1955, why they have been so active amongst the newly independent states of Africa, and why they have so bitterly contested with the Russians the leadership of the various "front" organizations which include representatives of militant movements in Asia, Africa and Latin America, from the World Federation of Trade Unions to the Tricontinental Conference at Havana a year ago. The strong belief in violent struggle which animates the Chinese leaders is evident from many of their stater we. Again Lin Piao is a reliable guide. I shall refer several times to his long statement of September 1965 because it is the most complete presentation of the line of the current leadership. I t does not seem to me as complete a blueprint for action as some people have suggested, but it certainly helps one to see the frame of reference within which the u=

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Chinese leaders view the world. Quoting with approv'al__Mao's

statement that "the seizure of power by armed force, the settlement of the issue Br war, is the central task and the highest form of revolution. This Marxist-Leninist principle of revolution holds good universally, for China and for all other countries", Lin Piao called the determination to fight a people's war' "the most effective touchstone for distinguishing genuine from fake revolutionaries and Marist-Leninists.955 It seems clear that the Chinese leaders regard their own experience as universal in its application. Power has grown out of the barrel of a gun for them, and so it should for everyone else. This does not mean, of course, that force is to be 3. Ibid., p.48. 4. Ibid., p.49. 5. Ibid., pp.44-5.

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used in all circumstances, but it does mean that force is the ultimate arbiter in any contest with imperialists. Moreover, the tradition of

militancy which Mc Chinese have cultivated has been based for . many years on military syinbols and military achievements. The results to be achieved by force are glorified, and this gives a special lustre to the means by which force ca exercised, even clear weapons. : The enhancement of Chinese national pride seems to be a clear objective of the Chinese leaders. They seem to have discarded at an early stage those internationalist assumptions with which Lenin and his associates began their rule in the Soviet Union, and which became instruments of Russian policy under Stalin. Their internationalism is the internationalism of leadership: Mao Tse-tung does not consult with other Communist leaders, they come to Peking to h o n o r him and to team from him. It is nearly ten years since he made his first visit to Moscow. Whenever questions of specifically Chinese interests arise, as in boundary matters, the Chinese leaders assert tradi tional 'Chinese rights. The same is true when overseas Chinese are ill~treated in other countries, such as Indonesia. The symbols of ChineSe nationalism are used extensively: not only has Sun Yat Sen's widow been a useful symbol for the Communists but Chou En-lai said'in October: "We 8.II€ now realising Dr Sun Yat Sen's ideal. The recent success of the guided missile nuclear weapon test by our country demonstrates once again that the Chinese proletariat is note only able to do what the Chinese bourgeois revolutionaries could not do, but will surely be able to build our country into a modem socialist power in not too long an historical period and catch 'up with and surpass the West." 6 "Our people is a great people. Our country is a great countI'y. Our army is a great army", said a party communique last August,7 and this simple sense of national pride is evident over and over again. It is linked with the quite clear determination of the Chinese leaders to bend events to their will if they can. They are not prepared to take an institution or a situation as it stands, and work with its grain to achieve their ends. This has been made clear in their dealings with the Soviet Union, and in their dictatorial attitude towards the proposed Afro-Asian conference at Algiers in 1965. It is also clear in their uncompromising approach to the United Nations. "The United Nations must rectify its mistakes and undergo . .. . .

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of the C.P.C. (Peking Review, 19 August 1966).

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a thorough reorganization and reform," said Chen Yi at a press conference in September 1965, "It must admit and correct all its past mistakes. Among other things, it should cancel its resolution condemning China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as aggressors and adopt a resolution 'condemning the United States as time iggressorg the U.N. Charter must be reviewed and revised jointly by all countries, big and small; all independent states should me included in vlhe United Nations; and all imperialist puppets should be expelled. I n their dealings with certain other Communist states, such as the Soviet Union, Cuba and Yugoslavia, insult J* Chinese leaders have shown a conviction that matters must be dealt with in their way or not at all; this inflexibility has done much to alienate other Communist parties. . These are the main preoccupations which seem to concern the leaders of China. When we put them together, they suggest a state dedicated to hostility towards the United .States and the Soviet Union, and to a revolutionary posture elsewhere. It puts its faith in a general upsurge of "the people" all over the world, and is confident that history is on its side. It asserts that its own apparent weaknesses are sources of strength, but it goes on increasing its strength in ways that we expect any major power to adopt-through secondary industry, through missiles and nuclear weapons, through wides read Tracie, and through association with such obviously unrevolutionar"regimes as that of Pakistan when their interests coincide with its own. The various elements I have distinguished in its posture are not independent of one another; they tit closely together. The belief in violent struggle is not only a stick to beat the Russians h, but also a means of steeling national resolve against the Americans. So is the cultivation of national pride. The wish to influence the course of events in the third world, involving the attempt to humiliate such an obvious rival as India, is closely connected with the conviction that events must move in accordance with China's revolutionary will. How can we account for such attitudes' To list the sources of explanation is easy, is harder to put them in order of . . importance. We can however, mention some wh disregarded in any Qmm situations in which we study Chinese policy in operation. The First is historical experience, which needs to be viewed as a series of separate influences from different periods in Chinese

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