Kiki Syahnakri

Kiki Syahnakri

A number of retired Army generals this week organized a symposium claiming to protect the country’s national ideology, Pancasila, from the feared revival of communism and other ideologies. However, even the symposium coordinator seems unsure as to the exact nature of the perceived threat.

On the first day of the event on Wednesday, retired Army general and symposium coordinator Kiki Syahnakri tried to explain the difference between communism, Marxism and Leninism to journalists during a press conference.

He explained that a Marxist must be an atheist because dialectical materialism, the philosophy behind Marxism, was inspired by the ideas of philosophers Aristotle and Plato on the universe’s creation.

“Marxism is Aristotelian. So a Marxist doesn’t believe that the universe was created. That is to say, they believe the universe is present in itself,” Kiki said. “So it’s clear that they are atheists as they don’t believe in God.”

“On the other hand, Lenin thought that Marxists were too soft. Hence, to implement the ideas, he needed to seize power, he needed to make the revolution.”

However, Kiki was contradicted by philosopher and Catholic priest Franz Magnis-Suseno.

“Karl Marx’s ideas aren’t related to Aristotle’s, and Aristotle’s ideas aren’t related to atheism,” Franz told The Jakarta Post over the phone.

Franz explained that Marxism was Marx’s critique of capitalism that analyzes the mechanisms of change within a society. He also said the main behind Marxism was to see the proletariat overthrow capitalism.

The late Soviet leader Lenin added the ideas of the democratic organization of a revolutionary vanguard party and the achievement of a dictatorship of the proletariat, Franz added.

“Marx didn’t talk about the revolutionary party. But Lenin focused on the party, not only the theory. Lenin had the idea to manage the revolution, so he created the revolutionaries, called communists,” he said. “So, communism is a combination of Marx and Lenin’s theories.”

Kiki’s explanation of Marxism suddenly went viral on social media on Wednesday night after Rappler journalist Febriana Firdaus posted it on her Facebook account. As of Thursday evening, the post had been shared by netizens more than 800 times.

Some questioned Kiki’s references in making such misleading explanations.

“Wow, he has invented a new theory, which is tremendous and super,” Poedjiati Tan commented on Febriana’s post.

“Sir, if you are too lazy to read [books], you could have just checked Wikipedia,” said Bonaventura Aditya Perdana.

Febriana faced the consequences on Thursday, the second day of the symposium, as she was reportedly barred from covering the event by some participants who claimed to be members of the Islamic Defenders Front ( FPI ).

“Considering her inconsistent news coverage, foreign media journalist @febrofirdaus was kicked out of the national symposium,” tweeted the official FPI Twitter account @DPP_FPI.

Meanwhile, Kiki responded to the development by saying that journalists should report fairly on the symposium.

“I advise all journalists to avoid pitting us against each other,” he said. “I regret there have been reports of attempts to bully and bring disunity.” ( vps/dmr )

Source : Jakarta Post,Fri, June 3 2016