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10-08-2015, 23:11


President Sukarno of Indonesia was a spellbinding speaker and a charismatic leader of his nation’s struggle for independence. These two excerpts are from speeches in which Sukarno promoted two of his favorite projects: Indonesian nationalism and “guided democracy.” The force that would guide Indonesia, of course, was to be Sukarno himself. SUKARNO ON INDONESIAN GREATNESS What was Indonesia in 1945? What was our nation then? It was only two things, only two things. A flag and a song. That is all. (Pause, finger held up as afterthought.) But no, I have omitted the main ingredient. I have missed the most important thing of all. I have left out the burning fire of freedom and independence in the breast and heart of every Indonesian. That is the most important thing—this is the vital chord—the spirit of our people, the spirit and determination to be free. This was our nation in 1945—the spirit of our people! And what are we today? We are a great nation. We are bigger than Poland. We are bigger than Turkey. We have more people than Australia, than Canada, we are bigger in area and have more people than Japan. In population now we are the fifth-largest country in the world. In area, we are even bigger than the United States of America. The American Ambassador, who is here with us, admits this. Of course, he points out that we have a lot of water in between our thousands of islands. But I say to him—America has a lot of mountains and deserts, too! SUKARNO ON GUIDED DEMOCRACY Indonesia’s democracy is not liberal democracy. Indonesian democracy is not the democracy of the world of Montaigne or Voltaire. Indonesia’s democracy is not à la America, Indonesia’s democracy is not the Soviet—NO! Indonesia’s democracy is the democracy which is implanted in the breasts of the Indonesian people, and it is that which I have tried to dig up again, and have put forward as an offering to you. . . . If you, especially the undergraduates, are still clinging to and being borne along the democracy made in England, or democracy made in France, or democracy made in America, or democracy made in Russia, you will become a nation of copyists! Source: From Howard Jones, Indonesia: The Possible Dream (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Hoover Institute, 1971), p. 223, 237.