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Marhaenism (Indonesian: Marhaenisme) is a socialistic political ideology originating in Indonesia. Marhaenism was formally defined as "Marxism adapted to Indonesian conditions".[1] An adherent of Marhaenism is known as a Marhaenist.

It was developed by the first President of Indonesia Sukarno.[2]

Some scholars argue that Marhaenism is a variant of Marxism.[3] It emphasizes national unity, culture, and collectivist economics. It was established as an anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist ideology. It promotes democratic rights in opposition to authoritarianism, while condemning liberalism and individualism. It combines both western and eastern principles.[4] Marhaenism is the guiding ideology of the Indonesian National Party Marhaenism and the now defunct Parti Marhaen Malaysia.


The name of the ideology is said to be taken that of a land-poor farmer named Marhaen, whom Sukarno met in Priangan. Sukarno attributed the farmer's poverty to a lack of access to production tools. Sukarno thenceforth took to referring to members of the agrarian class as "Marhaens".[5]


  1. ^ Rocamora, J. Eliseo (October 1970). "The Partai Nasional Indonesia, 1963 - 1965" (PDF). Indonesia. Cornell Modern Indonesia Project. 10 (10). doi:10.2307/3350638. hdl:1813/53493. JSTOR 3350638.
  2. ^ Leifer, Michael (2001). Dictionary of the modern politics of South-East Asia (3rd ed.). London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415238755.
  3. ^ Lev, Daniel S. (2009). The transition to guided democracy : Indonesian politics, 1957-1959 ([New ed.]. ed.). Jakarta: Equinox Publishing. ISBN 978-6028397407.
  4. ^ Holt, [edited by] Claire (2007). Culture and politics in Indonesia (1st Equinox ed.). Jakarta: Equinox Pub. ISBN 978-9793780573.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Soekarno (2004). Pokok-pokok ajaran marhaenisme menurut Bung Karno (Cet. 3. ed.). Yogyakarta: Media Pressindo. ISBN 978-9799222923.