Mystification of the highest power: A case of Indonesia

Kh. Rosyadi
2020 RUDN journal of Sociology  
In 1998, after the fall of the New Order regime, Indonesia passed through a social, political and economic transition, including a change of power. The first power transition happened in 1999, when Abdurrahman Wahid became the President of Indonesia through the Parliament. The election of Abdurrahman Wahid as the President of Indonesia is inseparable from mystification of power (politics) which he started. The article aims at understanding why Abdurrahman Wahid as the President of Indonesia
more » ... nt of Indonesia chose the strategy of power mystification. The study is based on the case study approach. The results of the study show that the strategy of mystification of power was chosen by Abdurrahman Wahid for he could use his social status as the grandson of the founder of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) - the largest Islamic organization in Indonesia, which was determined by the NU tradition that children or grandchildren of the kiai had privileges. The Javanese understanding of power is different from the European discourse of power due to the fact that the Javanese explanation of power or leadership cannot be separated from social, political and cultural factors of society or community. Different types of leadership and power are results of differences in social and cultural factors and organization of societies. For the Javanese, power is homogeneous by nature and has the same features wherever it appears. The forms of power are expressions of the same reality, derive from the same source and have the same quality: all forms of power are based on the participation in one force pervading the entire universe. Thus, the Javanese considers individuals and groups that gain power as containers that contain a portion of these cosmic forces.
doi:10.22363/2313-2272-2020-20-3-498-508 fatcat:az2juhvipnd27cc3nosfmxiyxq