Indonesia's Convalescence

by Guy J. Pauker


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An analysis of the Indonesian political and economic situation at this time leads to the conclusion that in the next few years the country's convalescence will depend almost completely on General Suharto's wisdom and strength of character. He is confronted with the conflict of interests between the immediately obvious needs of the agricultural masses and those of the manufacturing and merchant class. He will have to support one group or another, and there are real risks in sacrificing the short-term needs of the masses for the sake of long-term economic growth. Unless General Suharto manages to hold the loyalty of the officer corps, the political and economic forces may be able to secure support among the military against him, and Indonesia will find itself alternating between military juntas and civilian politicians equally incapable of giving the masses a better life.

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