Nationalism, socialism, and capitalism are three central concepts that Indonesian political and social life revolves around. As for the former, the country experienced significant growth in nationalistic sentiments since the end of Suharto’s rule and reached its peak in the middle of the previous decade. As such, new Indonesian nationalists’ ideas can be roughly divided into three broad categories, namely territorial integrity, economic independence, and cultural dominance. The first category implies the support of a strong military and the growth of the country’s political influence in the region that will ensure the sovereignty and unity of the Indonesian lands. Secondly, economic independence claims usually include such points as a struggle against the exploitation of Indonesian resources by foreign nations and supporting the idea of at least partial protectionism. Finally, cultural nationalism means the people’s desire to show the uniqueness of the country’s traditions. Yet, although some of these discourses are quite harmless and are good to unite people under certain ideas, others, such as the constant mentioning of foreign threats and disrespect towards Indonesia, result in growing xenophobia.
The latter two concepts of socialism and capitalism, play a crucial role in determining the nation’s economic well-being. In this regard, the Indonesian government and people intend to find the balance between the two by avoiding the shortcomings and maximizing the benefits of each approach – the philosophy known as Pancasila economics. For example, on the one hand, Pancasila seeks to prevent the occurrence of a free-market-based crisis; on the other hand, it attempts not to fall into state socialism. Such a combination of socialism and capitalism is known as new socialism or state capitalism and implies that the government is actively involved in the economy that operates as a free market. The most heavily regulated spheres include banking, construction, and railway transporting, to name a few. As a result, the government can gain leverage to control the economy to make it more stable.