The habit of working together or cooperation (gotong royong) among Indonesian people may become the foundation for nationalism that is built on the principle of togetherness; it even has a humanitarian dimension that can bind nations together. Because the meaning of working together in Soekarno’s view is to work together, help each other, cooperate, sit together, and respect each other. “Gotong royong as a value is permanent and objective, but the practices of gotong-royong manifested in common ethics have to always be fought for,” said Agustinus Wisnu Dewantara, S.S., M.Hum., lecturer from STKIP Widya Yuwana, Madiun, when submitting his research outcomes on the Meaning of "Gotong Royong" According to Soekarno in the Perspective of Max Scheler’s Axiology for his doctoral promotion at Faculty of Philosophy, Universitas Gadjah Mada, on Friday (22/7).
In front of the panel of examiners led by Dean of the Faculty, Dr. M. Mukhtasar Syamsuddin, Agustinus said that Soekarno proclaimed the gotong-royong nation in his speech on 1 June 1945. Soekarno at that time offered the principles of the nation to accommodate all nation elements in the frame of togetherness. At this era, Agustinus said the value of gotong royong met a big challenge in various phenomenon forms such as rioting and conflict that undermine the nationalism sense of Indonesians. In his opinion, gotong royong deserves to be Indonesia’s nationalism. So, Indonesia’s nationalism is built on the principle of togetherness, not chauvinism. “Gotong royong has the humanitarian dimension to it that can instead bind together solidarity and togetherness among nations,” he said.
He added the value of gotong royong in current paradigm can be interpreted as building together the politics in the frame of togetherness. The value of gotong royong particularly has direct relevance to the third paradigm of Trisakti, which is having the identity as a nation. “So, the value of gotong royong relates to the nation’s identity and is part of the Indonesian culture,” he said.
He touched upon the mental revolution programme launched by President Joko Widodo is an attempt to do a revolution on stance and character much like what has been done by South Korea. But character revolution requires value guidance. “The Indonesian people need not to import values from abroad as there are already many noble values existing in the country for a long time, namely the value of gotong royong,” he concluded.