ABSTRACT

From November 1926 to January 1927, a series of revolts broke out in multiple places across the Dutch colony of Indonesia. This chapter shows that the Comintern played an unimportant role in affecting the course of the events in Indonesia. The uprisings were primarily a home-grown movement without the direct involvement of foreign forces. Consequently, while the Comintern made considerable efforts to make sense of the Indonesian crisis, neither the Indonesian nor non-Indonesian participants had sufficient knowledge about the rapidly changing political situation. In Moscow, the Comintern had limited access to up-to-date information about Indonesia and had to rely on two Indonesian communists – Semaoen and Darsono – to make sense of the situation on the ground. The Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI) representatives were overly confident about the omnipotence of the Comintern; in fact, the Comintern only learned about Indonesia’s revolutionary situation half a year after the PKI Central Committee had decided to revolt.