After the Reform Era (1998), aside from the widespread participation in political decision-making, there were several setbacks in political developments in Indonesia. One of the setbacks was the exploitation of Pancasila as the State Ideology to retain the power of New Order regime.
As the result, there was a growing skepticism among the society toward Pancasila that should have assured the value of unity, justice, freedom and equality of law. The implementation of Pancasila was considered ineffective.
“Such stagnation provides opportunities for the emergence of intolerant ideologies among the society. It is characterized by rejection of different groups of people, intimidation, persecution and violence against other groups that continue to increase,” said Dr. J. Haryatmoko, SJ at the Graduate School of UGM, Tuesday (5/16) in the Great Thinker Seminar ‘Reflecting Hannah Arendt’s Theory, Symptoms of Tribal Nationalism During Political Year in Indonesia’.
Responding to the concerning situation, Haryatmoko said, it is important to explore nationalism, especially its pathological mechanism. Meanwhile, the theory of Hannah Arendt offers an accurate analysis on nationalism , considering the experience and vast archival studies.
“A new perspective helps uncover the phenomenon of propaganda, defamation, intimidation, mass mobilization, persecution, violence and formation of paramilitary as instruments of totalitarian movement. There is a similarity between the pathology of “tribal” nationalism and religious populism as a worldwide phenomenon,” said the lecturer of Faculty of Philosophy, Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, and Universitas Sanata Dharma, Yogyakarta.
Haryatmoko called populism as a reaction toward the dysfunction of democracy. This accusation is addressed to the ruling political parties who are considered “not implementing their power for the benefit of the nation”.
Religious populism, he described, is similar to the pre-totalitarian movements that becomes a scheme to defend the people under the pretense of sovereignty being seized by the corrupt elites.
“In fact, the critics are usually power-hungry demagogues with the same dictatorship when in power. However, in order to gain sympathy, he needs to show he is in the people’s side,” Haryatmoko said.
Dr. Kuskridho Ambardi, MA., lecturer of Communication Studies, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences UGM, revealed that the concept of tribal nationalism might not be the appropriate concept for Indonesia, unless there is a conceptual stretching by including the trends from the last two decades growing in Indonesia. By considering the basis of tribal nationalism with exclusionary and hierarchical nature, it can be implemented to the trend of religious tribalism in Indonesia.