Suharto Did Nothing Wrong

The destruction of the Communist Party of Indonesia in 1965-8 is often brought up by leftists (never so-called “liberals”, for obvious reasons) as an example of some great unjustified cruelty Vincent Bevins

In January, Indonesia pulled out of the United Nations in order to found a “conference of the new emerging forces” which was joined by only North Vietnam, China, and North Korea.

Inflation was running

China famously fell to the Communists after a long struggle in 1949. Cuba, on America’s own doorstep, had fallen in 1960. The Communist insurgencies in Laos and South Vietnam had already become prominent. Given the sheer membership size and organizational scale of the Indonesian Communist Party, the Indonesian army could take nothing for granted. The specific countries Sukarno most strongly identified with -Mao’s China, Ho’s Vietnam, and Kim’s Korea -were truly scary places. Hundreds of thousands had fled all these regimes for their famed brutality, with almost none going the other way. These were places where one could easily suffer the death penalty for so much as breathing the wrong way, where elites lived opulence while the populace worked in the direst poverty, where mass mobilization for the purpose of massive, blood-drenching battles was firmly institutionalized, where, despite all claims of national independence and self-sufficiency, the vast majority of technology came from European assistance. The Great Leap Forward had already become a byword for national catastrophe. The North Korean economy, though highly developed by Asian standards due to Japanese-led industrialization and Soviet aid, had even then clearly begun to stagnate, and the stagnation of the Soviet economy in the early 1960s offered a grim note for a Communist-led future. Even before their full flourishing in the 1970s and 1980s, Thailand, Korea, and Taiwan had already become inspirational examples The example of postwar Europe was a powerful one for the Americans’ arguments. Italy and Finland, both bywords for poverty during the 1930s, were rapidly catching up to Britain. Portugal, though still on the economic level of the Soviet Union, was slowing down to a far lesser degree. In the Pacific, Japan, the country that led Indonesia to its independence, was already well on the heels of following in Italy’s and Finland’s example by 1965.

The U.S. had supported the Indonesian army for quite some time. Eisenhower, by far the most aggressive of the Cold War presidents, had attempted to orchestrate a coup

Recently, a where the winds were shifting. The army understood the lessons of the Communist insurgencies of mainland Asia. At no point did they believe Eisenhower’s “domino theory” that conquests in mainland Asia would increase the risk of Communist revolution in Indonesia. Rather, they understood Communism to be an ideological and political epidemic, each country’s success against it being dependent solely on their own institutions, not on what happens in any other country. Their goal, should they choose to do a coup, was not to prevent the Communists’ external conquests in mainland Asia, but to block their internal organization within Indonesia. In order to disrupt the Communists’ organizing capabilities, it was necessary to destroy their civilian power structures. That required a full-scale weeding out of Communist cells so that the rest of the body would run around like a headless chicken.

On September 30 Suharto knew he would not be targeted from a country that looked up to Maoist China and North Korea to one that fully desired integration into the Western order, even before neoliberalism

Indonesia, a country of easily over a hundred million, became the greatest “flip” to the American side between 1949 and 1985.

and the foundations of the world were shaken.

was hardly unique to Indonesia. Largely the same tactics were previously used in Korea, Taiwan, South Vietnam, and Congo. Suharto’s reading of the evidence was correct. Throughout the second half of the 1960s, Communist insurgencies dramatically expanded in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Just one year following Suharto’s counter-coup, Mao began his famous Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. No doubt, had the Communist Party of Indonesia continued into 1966, it would have been in full support of it. Despite being democratic, Colombia and Nicaragua had already seen their Communist insurgencies flourish starting from 1964. Thailand began experiencing an intensification of its own Communist insurgency late in 1965, and Brazil in 1966. South Yemen fell to the Communists in 1967, and India’s Communist insurgency dates its beginning to the same year. A second Communist insurgency began in Malaysia in 1968. The one in the Philippines, which continues unto this day, began in 1969. The events in Africa need no introduction. To think Indonesia would have been exempt from these Communist insurrections given its possession of the largest number of Communists in the world of any country without an incumbent Communist party is to be naive to the extreme, even if one assumes the Sukarno government possessed the greatest political skill in the world. Stepping on the snake’s neck before it could begin to bite was the logical move. The world wasn’t dying; the world was being killed. And the people killing it had names and addresses.

only the uppermost echelons of the Communist Party leadership. Such an approach would have kept the overwhelming majority of the Party’s organization intact and would have accomplished little to prevent a future Communist insurgency. Thus, any attempt to destroy the third largest Communist Party in the world had to be holistic in scope.

Western capital The Americans did not think much of the development prospects of Indonesia. They considered it a territory on a map to be prevented from falling to the Communists, as well as an easy way to make money out of.

None of this was ideological. If some of the reforms supported by the “Berkley mafia” resemble those of the later “neoliberal revolution”, it was only because they were practically useful to the new regime. The New Order wished to ingratiate itself to the U.S.’s good graces, and did not do anything that might have displeased it. By this, they were very much rewarded by the U.S. establishment. “Indonesia”, Hubert Humphrey spoke, “today stands proud and free and independent“. But democracy made no sense in a country with no experience with it and where petty squabbling could easily derail a successful political transition and, in any case, had a low chance of survival.

Ultimately Suharto falls in the same tradition as Hrooschov or Deng -taming and moderating a much more dangerous movement by coopting most of its moderate elements. The difference is that Suharto changed policy course on the basis of present events, not those of past events. For that, he deserves fully the lavish burial he was

For a fitting comparison to the capitalist triumph in Indonesia, it’s best to look toward the Derg coup in Ethiopia. In Indonesia, the capitalist triumph resulted in thirty years of prosperity. In Ethiopia, it resulted in more famine deaths, in a much less populous country, than victims of the anti-Communist campaign in Indonesia. Like Indonesia, Ethiopia experienced regime change in the 1990s. But unlike in Indonesia, it is only after the regime change large-scale economic development began in that country. Today, the former dictator, Mengistu, lives in Zimbabwe, a country run on similar principles as those which inspired Sukarno.

its repression in West Papua and East Timor would surely have been done likewise were Sukarno in power.

The Smug Style in American Politics (Repeating Something Doesn’t Make It True)

“For the last 7 years, Republicans have painted President Obama, an intelligent, thoughtful, decent man, as a raging socialist tyrant/weakling who hates America. The party and its pundits turned this soil, threw in manure, and watered carefully.”

“Who would have thought that a political base reared on Bush-Cheney’s smarmy gloating about torturing people, on “death panels,” forged birth certificates, ”socialism,” on tax cuts to shrink the deficit and a thousand other bizarre fantasies–who would have thought that they would be susceptible to a demagogue?”

Cruz, Sanders, Clinton, Trump, and the Essence of the Parties

Young White men tend to be ideological. Thus, they tend to go for the more extreme Democratic candidate (Sanders) as well as the more extreme Republican candidate (Ted Cruz, Ron Paul). However, as a rule, a closed Republican primary benefits individuals describing themselves as Very Conservative. These tended to favor Cruz in the 2016 Republican primaries, but also tended to favor Santorum in 2012, not Paul. Paul and Cruz, despite both strongly winning the vote of those picking being a “true conservative” as their first priority, had very different levels of success at winning the constituency describing themselves as “very conservative”, with Paul’s being much lower.

Five Types of Democrats

1. Black Democrats -these are candidates who solidly command the Black and Hispanic vote.

2. Principled Democrats -these are most likely to win young voters, as well as descendants of Eisenhower Republicans. Generally do stronger in caucus states than other Democrats.

3. Establishment Democrats -these are the most likely to win the rich suburbs Kasich won in the 2016 Republican primary

4. Southern White Democrats -these are the candidates most likely to win the southern White Democrat vote

5. Hispanic Democrats -these are the candidates most likely to win the Hispanic vote

Obama was a combination of a Minority and Principled Democrat candidate. Clinton was definitely not a Black Democrat in 2008, but was a Hispanic one. Bernie is a Principled Democrat.

Economic History: Four Countries to Focus on

Someday, I would wish to see an economic history book, 1600 to today, focusing on (and comparing and contrasting) four countries, one section given to each. The countries, in order, are Great Britain, Japan, China, and India. The history of the first gives us the roots of the industrial revolution and modern economic growth. An economic history of the United States of America would do just fine for the latter, but wouldn’t give us anything about deep roots. Of any such a volume focusing on four countries, Japan probably is the only one that has to be included in every one, due to its uniqueness in an Asian context, its commonalities with Southern and Eastern Europe, its great economic size, and it having developed the largest city in the world in 1800, as well as showing other signs of progress prior to the beginning of modern economic growth in the North Atlantic. China and India, given their enormous populations and future vast economic importance, are tremendously important in their own right.

Britain:

*Importance of agricultural productivity

*Importance of diverse intellectual base and science

*Importance of manufacturing exports

*Imperial decline

*First and second globalizations

Japan:

China:

*Failure to catch up for a long while

*Socialist modernization

*Problem of literacy with no alphabet

India:

*Historically negative consequences of civil war

*Development and underdevelopment under imperialism (from the recipient’s perspective)

*Economic development with low human capital

*Third-world import-substitution policies

*Importance of trade reform and other neoliberal reforms

Announcement of my return to the forum, and specification of grievances

After having left the forum for three days in protest of Virginia’s appointment as a Mod, I wish to specify and explain my grievances in regards to two of the recent mod picks by the mysterious “Dave Leip”.

Virginia is nothing more than a complete partisan hack, an utter shit-tier poster (just look at her posting history!) on the level of Runeghost, whose #analysis was proven wrong almost in its entirety by the manner and form of Trump’s victory. Hardly any of her conclusions, the majority derived due to sheer partisan hackery for the Democrats, have had even a grain of truth to them for the duration of her posting here. She has produced no evidence of the capability of being truly objective –a necessity for any good moderator pick. Indeed, her support for Hillary Clinton while posting utterly partisan-motivated defense of mindless xenophobia and Deep State abuses ( http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=260088.msg5554762#msg5554762 http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=260188.msg5555290#msg5555290 ) suggests exactly the opposite for her ability to ever be truly objective. I am, thus, shocked she was appointed as mod, even as she did not even go so far as to apply for a mod position in the POST HERE IF YOU WANT TO BE CONSIDERED AS A MOD thread (perhaps the most shocking part of this appointment to me!). Her appointment as a Mod was nothing less than a blow against men, correct prognosticators, and objective observers on all parts of this forum, including sensible left-wingers. Nothing she has ever done on this forum has shown her even remotely fit to be mod, and, though none of what she has done on this forum is bannable, everything she has done on this forum since having become a mod has done nothing but to buttress my claims that she is vastly unfit for the task. Her saccharine writing style is no substitute for that.

Secondly, her appointment represents a complete lack of regard for the nature of the demographics of this forum. Cis-female overrepresentation among mods on this forum is already totally unjustified. Since there are only like six active cis female posters on this board, the presence of two cis-female Democratic moderators risks nothing less than, whether purposefully or accidentally, the establishment of female supremacy over the overwhelming male majority of this forum’s community. If all the cis women of this forum are to become mods, how can one call this forum fairly governed, and not a gender-based caste society? I cannot countenance such overt discrimination without remark. Are there no good men (or even trans-females) here to take on Mr. Leip’s favor?

Kalwejt is not a good man, BTW. He was also an extremely inadvisable choice by Mr. Leip. A former sockmaster (LarryT, anyone?), general shit-tier poster, and someone who called for me to be banned for no reason whatsoever but sheer ideological malice ( http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=259261.msg5534015#msg5534015 ) should never have been made a mod due precisely to these reasons. For once, BRTD is right. The fact he has been appointed so shows severe lack of judgment and foresight on Mr. Leip’s part, which, again, I cannot let go without remark. Can a sockmaster hunt socks? Can a leopard change his spots? Can someone who showed his desire to ban me for no good reason be fair to me as a mod? The answers to all these questions are “no”, ladies and gentlemen, and all sensible men must admit this. Kalwejt is a very poor pick for a mod.

Who’s going to be appointed Mod next? Runeghost? Mondale Won 1 State? Pbrower2a? Lief? ApatheticAustrian? Jacobin American? I desire for this forum to be great. I cannot let such poor decisions stand without comment.
To prove my objections to the above two mod picks are not motivated solely by partisan bias, and to demonstrate my desire for this forum to thrive, I here list a slate of quality Democratic posters which would make very respectable and solid mods:
L.D. Smith (not a hack; calls it as he sees it, though a tad stubborn)
Tender Branson (former mod; should be allowed back)
NOVA Green (great guy; friend of the people)
Siren (female)
CrabCake (female)
Peebs (trans female)
ssuperflash (has focus)
Aevorres Nix (has focus and is generally objective)
Heck, even BRTD or Non Swing Voter would be obviously superior as mods to either Virginia or Kalwejt, despite my great disagreements with both of them, due to their deep history with the forum.
To avert further such terrible picks, being a true friend of the people of this forum, I call for the direct election of moderators by the members of this forum of the tier “YaBB God”, or, if such cannot be countenanced, a spoils system based on the results of the results of the previous Federal-level elections, with only members of parties currently in power in either the White House or either chamber of Congress be allowed to be appointed Mod. However, due to the obvious unsuitability of the Virginia and Kalwejt mod picks even in good times for the Democrats, I consider the spoils system to be somewhat inferior to my proposal for the direct election of moderators. Moderators should be term-limited to two years.

BTW, if unflattering and entirely untrue descriptions of me can be left to stand (http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=259939.msg5552290#msg5552290 ), so can my unflattering and entirely true descriptions of recent shockingly bad moderator appointments.

I shall thus not post in any thread manned by either Virginia or Kalwejt without some sign of disapproval of them having been appointed mods.

On the Fall of the Roman Empire

The Eastern and Western Roman armies were about an even match, with their fair share of victories (Alaric in 402, the 397 Huns, Uldin, Catalaunian Plains,

If one looks at a map of the Roman Empire, one sees its most vulnerable points are the Balkans, Syria, Gaul (especially, given high population density, closeness to more populous barbarians, and weaker military presence, Southern Gaul). Its least vulnerable points are Tunisia (conquered by the Vandals in the 430s, reconquered by the Eastern Romans in 533, conquered by the Arabs in the late seventh century), Britain and Armorica (abandoned by the Romans under Constantine III), South Italy, including Sicily and Sardinia (lost to the Romans over the course of the sixth through tenth centuries), Portugal (lost to the Sueves and Visigoths over the fifth century), and Southern Greece.

It’s worth pointing out all the peoples who had a hand in destroying the Roman Empire (Turks, Goths, Arabs, etc.) were some variety of seminomadic barbarian.

Why did Trump lose New Hampshire?

Two things are true:

1. This election had an unusually high level of straight-ticket voting.

2. Unlike the 2000 election, in which voting in a party’s primary best predicted general election choice (in new Hampshire, at least), or the 2008 election, in which an average of voting in a party’s primary and voting for the party’s nominee best predicted general election choice (in New Hampshire, at least), in the 2016 election, voting for the party nominee best predicted general election choice (in New Hampshire, at least) and voting in a party’s primary was a much less important indicator of general election preference.

In short, the candidates greatly shaped party constituencies this election cycle. An example:

A Closer Look at the Wisconsin Presidential Election and Primary

Kasich share in the GOP primary was most negatively correlated with GOP candidates’ share of the primary vote:

Trump share in the GOP primary was uncorrelated with GOP candidates’ share of the primary vote:

Cruz share in the GOP primary was positively correlated with GOP candidates’ share of the primary vote:

Unsurprisingly, HRC performed better in the Democratic primary in more Republican counties. The surprise was that HRC did better in the primary in counties that were more pro-Trump (i.e., anti-HRC) in the general election, though the correlation was weaker than the previous one mentioned. This is the opposite of the case in Massachusetts, where Bernie Sanders performed better in the Democratic primary in more pro-Trump precincts in the general election. Thus, the Trump v. Sanders two-candidate primary vote share was better correlated with the election outcome than the Trump v. Clinton two-candidate primary vote share in Wisconsin.

Cruz and Kasich vote shares in the GOP primary were both negatively correlated with the swing towards Trump. Kasich supporters were obviously the most likely to defect to Hillary in the general election, followed by Cruz supporters.

Meanwhile, the swing towards Trump was not substantially correlated with Bernie Sanders Dem primary vote share, but was quite strongly correlated with Trump vote share in the GOP primary. This correlation was not improved by looking at the Democratic primary in any way**.

There was no notable correlation between increases in Republican and Democratic turnout in the general election relative to the primary among the various counties; if anything, the correlation was slightly positive.

There was no notable correlation between the swing to Trump and a county’s Republicanness; if anything, the correlation was slightly positive.

The strongest correlation of the county swing was with the swing to this map:

An average of the swing to (Trump primary vote v. Clinton primary vote) and (Trump share of the GOP primary vote subtracted from Clinton’s share of the Dem primary vote) does not seem to be useful.

The most swingy states relative to the national popular vote are:

The least swingy states relative to the national popular vote are:

#1. Florida
#2. Kansas
#3. North Carolina
#4. South Carolina
#5. Georgia

-Isn’t it interesting that the least swingy state relative to the national popular vote is the perennial swing state!