There are several types of Socialism in the world. Unlike other countries, Indonesian socialistic ideas are not based on mere humanity but more on a theological basis which is called Pancasila.
Indonesia is the worlds’ fourth most populous country which has an estimate of 258 million people. It consists of a diversified ethnic, linguistic and religious groups throughout 34 provinces situated in its more than thirteen thousands islands spread from east to west, which is almost as wide as North America. Indonesia also has the largest economy in Southeast Asia and is one of the emerging market economies of the world today.
PANCASILA is the official philosophical foundation of the Indonesian Republic; Panca meaning Five and Sila meaning Principles. Pancasila comprises of five principles held to be inseparable and interrelated which are as follows:
- Belief in the One and only GOD.
- Just and civilized Humanity
- The Unity of Indonesia
- Democracy guided by the inner wisdom in the unanimity among representatives.
- Social Justice for all the people of Indonesia.
Within the five, they all have to be inseparable and interrelated to each other. The Social Justice principle would have been always related to the principles of Democracy and especially the first principle referencing God. That’s in a stark contrast with Marxism whereby Karl Marx the founder was known with his belief that, “Religion is the opiate of masses.” Therefore, it would be difficult, if not impossible for this nation to slip to Totalitarianism or Communism.
Based on Pancasila, Socialism would be inherent in the foundation of Indonesian politics and governance. The system did not really work in the past because Pancasila was not applied properly. From a nationalistic nation, it was leaning toward communism in the first 20 years of the Republic and then to semi – totalitarianism, full with cronyism, nepotism and corruption under President Suharto for 30 years. However, let’s look ahead and note what has recently happened to Indonesia. To represent a view, let us take Jakarta as an example.
Jakarta is the capital city of the Republic of Indonesia that has a size of approximately 665 kilometer square. It represents the melting pot of the nation with 300 ethnic groups. It is relevant to be noted that although Socialism is one of the basic foundations of the country, Indonesia began a process of rapid government decentralization in 1999 from a formerly strong centralized government to a regional autonomy structure. Jakarta is not merely a capital city but an Autonomous Special Region governed by a Governor. Jakarta is the countrys’ economic, cultural and political center with a population of 10,075,310 as of 2014. It is almost as twice as the population of Denmark and it is also the 12th largest city in world; It’s metropolitan area called Jabodetabek (Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tanggerang and Bekasi), is the 6th largest in the world. In 2009 Jakarta had an income per ca-pita in excess of US $ 10,000.00.
After decentralization, economic growth began to increase; In Jakarta it was 5.88 percent in 2015. According to the Indonesian Central bank (BIs) it showed a 6.48 percent increase in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to 6.12 percent recorded in the same period of 2014. This was confirmed by the States Statistical Agency (BPS) data on the regional gross domestic product (GDP) of February 5, 2016. The Gross Regional Product Nominal (GRP) per ca-pita is projected to increase close to 7.3% toward the beginning of 2017. GRP is one of the measures for economic growth in Indonesia.
In the year of 2012 under Governor Joko Widodo, now the President of Indonesia, and his Vice Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, Jakarta created massive social programs in the areas of Housing, Health, Education and Transportation.
Combined with decentralization of governance, Indonesian Socialism appears to be similar with the Nordic or Scandinavian Democratic Socialism. However, from the growth aspect, it indicates that the Indonesian model fares better than the Nordics’. In the next series we’re going to show how is it different, how does it create a better growth, and whether it’s going to be a successful social system in the world.