I think most of the current content also fits on a Suharto page? That way we can also mention little details such as killing about a million alleged communists and the US being okay with that because alleged communists. — Carpetsmoker (talk) 13:14, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
- Yeah I could have done it that way. But I thought the unique (?) family angle was more interesting. It was also a well-voted wanted article. The 1967 slaughter you mention is already in there by the way.--TheroadtoWiganPier (talk) 13:23, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
So why was Suharto pretty popular (at least until fairly close to the crash)
I think the answer is probably something like the one offered by Chalmers Johnson in Blowback, namely that while developing into an extreme cleptocracy, the Suharto regime did preside over a fairly stable, not to mention economically growing, Indonesia in which some of the benefits did indeed "trickle down" to a wider section of Indonesians. Johnson also pointed to Indonesia's successful implementation of the "green revolution" leading to it becoming self-sufficient in rice production in 1984 as another Suharto highlight. Contrast with another extreme cleptocracy, Sani Abacha's Nigeria, where little or none of the wealth was spread around and the looting was mainly centred on siphoning off as much of the proceeds of the Nigerian oil industry as possible. The grief displayed when the old, corrupt pater familias died was probably also motivated by a good deal of nostalgia, considering that when he popped his clogs in 2008, the mourners could contrast the decades of stability, predictability and growth with the far more chaotic circumstances during and after his ouster, e.g. the 1998 Asian financial crisis, the IMF strong-arming, the independence of East Timor, the anti-Chinese attacks (that Suharto probably had a hand in) and so on and so forth. Compare with the "Ostalgie" in the former East Germany which contrasted the condescending West German attitude and economic crash after Die Wende with the previously predictable, if dictatorial, economic order with its zero unemployment (though more than counterbalanced by the bizarre dual track scarcity economy with the planned state-run sector on the one hand and the private barter/hoarding/smuggling sector on the other). ScepticWombat (talk) 00:14, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
- Nostalgia was certainly a large factor (and it still is). Despite Indonesia being one of the oddest and most unlikely nations in terms of geography and ethnography, for 30 years Suharto somehow managed to stiffle political opposition and the media. His almost corporatist approach ensured a level of control which almost seems impossible given the nature of the country. Contrast that to the rather chaotic (albeit much more charming) approach of Sukarno, and it is easy to see why the generation that spanned both leaders fell for Suharto. History was rewritten by means of omission and otherwise. It is only recently for example that many Indonesians have felt able to address the mass slaughters of 1967, events in East Timor and the (ongoing) abuses in Papua. Much of that has gone hand in hand with a rehabilitation of Sukarno.
- As you rightly say, even with rampant corruption the scale of which beggars belief, there was some trickle down effect for the overall betterment of the nation. I think he realised that without this, his grand plan would not survive. Despite all the theft and mismanagement, Indonesia grew fairly dramatically over the 30 years of his reign. That is testament both to the potential of the nation and its people as well as a pragmatic streak in the man himself.
- As an aside, this article is far from finished but I hope it provides the bones of a unique story and the base for further analysis. --TheroadtoWiganPier (talk) 01:08, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
- I realise that it's a work in progress, and my post was meant as comment, not criticism. Keep up the good work. ScepticWombat (talk) 02:13, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
- Well even Arnoldo Aleman was fairly popular back in the day... And there are still apologists of his, despite his record speed embezzling... I think part of this nostalgia is that people are unhappy with the alternative. And as for "Ostalgie", I personally hate it, but you do have to admit that some things in the 1989/90 era did not go the way revolutions usually go... You could say there was an "enemy takeover" of sorts... And East German industrial production still hasn't recovered. That being said, the fall of the GDR came at pretty much exactly the right time. A little earlier and East Germany would have pushed Germany even further to the right; a little later and the East German government would have nuked so many inner cities and opened so many lignite pits that no amount of hard work could have turned back the damage... Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 02:26, 11 November 2015 (UTC)