Indonesia: The Crisis of the Millstones

Indonesia: The Crisis of the Millstones

Indonesia: The Crisis of the Millstones

Indonesia: The Crisis of the Millstones

Excerpt

This book is the story of my experience as a member of a United Nations technical assistance mission to Indonesia: the examination of the country's resources, culture, history, and politics as they relate to the preparation of a plan for economic development. It is also the story of the vicissitudes of a plan whose implementation was inevitably affected by stormy political events. It tells what happens in a colonial country after independence is gained -- the struggle for peace and plenty that is harder than the struggle for independence itself.

Indeed, the Indonesian venture is part of a much broader phenomenon of the twentieth century. This phenomenon has manifested itself in diverse forms: the voluntary liberation of colonies by some of the imperial powers, the sinking of centuries-old enmities in the European Common Market, the United Nations ideal of settling all international disputes by international law, the concrete fact of technical and capital assistance through the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies, the aid given directly from rich lands to poor. In different ways, with different objectives -- some idealistic, some primarily materialistic, and many of them unrelated to each other -- these independent eruptions around the world indicate a deep-seated, widespread impulse towards international justice and cooperation.

Indonesia's destiny has been strongly affected by this phenomenon. On August 17, 1945, after 350 years as a Dutch colony, the Indonesians made their Declaration of Independence. The Dutch refused to accept it, and four years of bloodshed ensued. Finally the United Nations intervened and, with help from the United States, persuaded the Netherlands to give Indonesia her freedom. Ever since the transfer of sovereignty in December 1949, men and money have flowed to the Indonesians to help them in the construction of their new nation -- from the United Nations, the United States, the Soviet Union, France, Germany, Australia, Canada, and other countries.

The record is by no means perfect. The short history of the UnitedNations . . .

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