Political Consequences of Rural Development Programs in Indonesia.

by Guy J. Pauker

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An analysis of Indonesian agrarian reforms since 1949 and the consequences of their failure. During the 1950s, Indonesia was not development-oriented, and onerous fiscal and monetary policies led to the 1958 rebellions in the Outer Islands. Increasing overpopulation and dwindling agricultural resources heightened pressures in Java and Bali; failure of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) reform promises spurred the spontaneous anti-Gestapu/PKI massacres in 1965 and 1966. Indonesia's only hope lies in better agricultural methods, since there is little land to redistribute, but no current or projected efforts seem likely to relieve the situation. The Indonesian Army, under General Suharto, has done little except to generate good will and rehabilitate damaged rural areas. If the coming years are wasted as the previous twenty have been, the political elites of Indonesia will be destroyed in a violent, nihilistic social explosion, with parallel ramifications for the rest of Southeast Asia. 29 pp.

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