Capitalism, primitive accumulation and the 1960s massacres: revisiting the New Order and its violent genesis
Vedi R. HADIZ
Abstract This article offers a critique of Hilmar Farid’s (and to a lesser extent, Colm McNaughton’s) contribution in this journal about the 1960s anti-communist massacres, primitive accumulation and capitalist development in Indonesia. While agreeing that the massacres can be usefully tied to primitive accumulation it argues that Farid’s work displays some serious conceptual misunderstandings about the workings of capitalist development in Indonesia under the New Order as well as the social, political and economic underpinnings of that regime. As such, it finds that there are some major faults as well in his presentation of the logic of capitalist accumulation, the way it has been manifest historically in the Indonesian case and its role in the emergence of the New Order. Furthermore, the article suggests that a fundamental misreading may have been committed by Farid due to a fetish for New Order violence that hinders understanding of its political economy.
Keywords: Primitive Accumulation, Capitalist Development, Anti-communist Massacres, Indonesia, New Order
Vedi R. Hadiz is Professor of Asian Societies and Politics at the Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University and Director of the Indonesia Research Programme. He is the co-author of Reorganising Power in Indonesia: The Politics of Oligarchy in an Age of Markets (Routledge 2004) and author of Localising Power in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia: A Southeast Asia Perspective (Stanford University Press, 2010) and Islamic Populism in Indonesia and the Middle East (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2015). He was formerly Associate Professor of Sociology at the National University of Singapore.