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CHAPTER II: From colonial to national economy
Email or Customer ID. Forgot password? Old Password. New Password. Password Changed Successfully Your password has been changed. Returning user. Request Username Can't sign in? Forgot your username? If party competition in the domestic arena has rested on rival electoral blocs, combining significant fluidity of contours with increasing sharpness of conflicts, in the global arena such differences are far less. Commonality of outlook and continuity of objectives set the administration of empire apart from rule of the homeland.
In the American case it also follows from two further local particulars: the provincialism of an electorate with minimal knowledge of the outside world, and a political system that—in strident contradiction with the design of the Founders—has increasingly given virtually untrammelled power to the executive in the conduct of foreign affairs, freeing presidencies, often baulked of domestic goals by fractious legislatures, to act without comparable cross-cutting pressures abroad.
The us imperium that came into being after had a long pre-history. In North America, uniquely, the originating coordinates of empire were coeval with the nation. These lay in the combination of a settler economy free of any of the feudal residues or impediments of the Old World, and a continental territory protected by two oceans: producing the purest form of nascent capitalism, in the largest nation-state, anywhere on earth. To the objective privileges of an economy and geography without parallel were added two potent subjective legacies, of culture and politics: the idea—derived from initial Puritan settlement—of a nation enjoying divine favour, imbued with a sacred calling; and the belief—derived from the War of Independence—that a republic endowed with a constitution of liberty for all times had arisen in the New World.
Out of these four ingredients emerged, very early, the ideological repertoire of an American nationalism that afforded seamless passage to an American imperialism, characterized by a complexio oppositorum of exceptionalism and universalism. The United States was unique among nations, yet at the same time a lode-star for the world: an order at once historically unexampled and ultimately compelling example to all.
These were the convictions of the Founders. Adoption of a modern, simplified tax system. The Outcomes Rising per capita income. Decreasing rate of inflation. Increasing food supplies and the attainment of rice self- sufficiency. A rising share of manufacturing output in GDP. Decreasing Rate of Inflation The very high levels of inflation seen in the mid- to late- s were brought under control.
In th I the years immediately preceding th crisis, I d i di t l di the i i Indonesia i had managed to keep inflation in the single digit range. Increasing food supplies and the attainment of rice self-sufficiency self- Market interventions that helped reduce price instability and inflation, combined with strategic investments that increased agricultural p g productivity, resulted in rising rural y, g incomes and welfare, and reasonably stable rice prices.
This was driven by the rapid growth of manufactured exports. At the same time, this strategy resulted in real wages rising about as fast as per-capita GDP and, among others, others benefited women by providing them with rapidly growing paid employment in the formal sector, that allowed them to switch out of unpaid work in the rural sector.
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Reinventing Indonesia The Crisis The Unexpected Thunderstorm The depth and duration of the economic crisis in Indonesia were arguably unique. F to l From t , annual real GDP growth averaged 8 l th d percent, spurred by strong investment behavior. The overall fiscal balance was in surplus after As questions began to be raised about the structural soundness of the East Asian economies there was a sudden and dramatic reversal of capital flows as inflows turned into massive capital outflows and banks that were once eager to lend to nearly any Asian investor suddenly refused to renew short term credit lines short-term lines.
The Crisis Unfolds. During the three months b t D i th th th between J l and July d September , the Asian financial crisis gathered full force and began to affect Indonesia despite continued expressions of confidence that the soundness of its economic fundamentals and management would see it through with little damage. In the banking sector two important decisions were made: 1 To bail out healthy banks facing temporary liquidity difficulties, and 2 Unhealthy banks should be merged with other banks or be liquidated. The Initial Responses.
And even though the government had announced further economic reforms and deregulation measures in early September, including a commitment to renewed efforts toward strengthening and enforcing bank prudential regulations, the initial announcement were not followed by implementation measures, providing further evidence that the government was no longer unified on measures needed to stem the impact of the crisis.
The markets now realized that the deregulation program would not regain its dynamism any time soon soon. Analysts now questioned whether the government had the political will to carry through on the needed reforms. The currency continued to depreciate and by early depreciate, September had moved beyond per dollar October l the Indonesian government turned to the g IMF for assistance. The program focused on allowing for a heavy emphasis on tightening money supplies in order to raise interest rates and prevent capital from fleeing and attracting the already fl i capital b k i t th country.
Criticism Against the IMF. He maintained that in the highly inflationary environment of Latin America, what was needed was a decrease in demand; while in the case of East Asia, the problem was not excess demand but insufficient demand demand. Collapse of the banking system: Cost of restructuring the p g y g banking system: Rp.
The Economic Crisis. Children left school school.
Poverty increased. In May riots erupted against the Chinese , Chinese. This led to massive capital flight and the breakdown of the distribution system. A renewed mandate: wasted opportunity for change In July the sixth general elections under the New Order were held in which the government party Golkar returned with an overwhelming majority. Voting followed a fierce and violent election campaign which numerous casualties, a portent of the growing restlessness among the polity and reflecting mounting opposition against the Government and Golkar Golkar.
A renewed mandate … Reflected in the general election of , Suharto still held a strong grip on the political system system. He was ready to step down and spent the rest of his life in religious pursuit if the people really did not want him anymore.
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Past performances of development was no longer seen as a panacea, while a growing number, including many p , g g , g y who were in the government, were already looking for an alternative to the existing system. A renewed mandate: The time had come for political reforms, but changing the leadership at the time of crisis was not regarded as a good idea.
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An opportunity for a renewed start to rebuild the confidence of the people and engaged in concerted efforts to regain control of the economy was wasted. Efforts at economic recovery Disregarding the political controversies the new economic team set out to get the economy moving again.
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Major Policy Initiatives: repairing the relations with the international community, and restoring market confidence. Efforts at economic recovery. The first priorities were directed at both the restructuring of the fi f h financial and b ki system and resolving the i l d banking d l i h corporate debt problem. The government economic team immediately re re- established dialogue with the IMF to work on a renewed program. Structural reforms were embraced by the economic team as their own. The need to protect the poor from the worst of the crisis.
The Economic Decolonization of Indonesia
Closing insolvent banks to stop the bleeding of the g p g financial system. Strengthened the efforts to deal with corporate debt problem which had actually began in Note: It was not easy for the economic team to get the reform program through the various government agencies. Result: Although inflation was still high, the rupiah exchange rate was strengthened from 10, at the start of the new cabinet t 7, by mid April and remained f th bi t to 7 b id A il d i d below 8, until the May troubles occurred.
The flash point While the Whil th economy showed same i h d improvement, i th t in the political front, the situation deteriorated. Suharto had no intention to undertake reforms as the political and economic situation demanded. The hike in fuel prices changed everything.
The l i i Th culmination of political confrontation was reached f li i l f i h d when in early May under strong pressure from the IMF, the government announced a rise in fuel prices, with the accompanying consequences of a rise in public transportation fares. The flash point. During the confrontation between the security apparatus and the student on May 12, four students were shot to dead Trisakti Incident. The flash point was reached on May 14th , in what was then known as the May riots. The May riot had a particular significance aside from the intensity of the violence.
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The riots had devastating effects on the Suharto government. The final curtain May 17th the students had practically occupied the parliament building to pressure parliament to act. The call for reform and for the resignation of the g President grew louder and was joined by a wider circle. May 18th the leadership of the Parliament announced their collective opinion that Suharto had to resign. The final curtain. He also stated his intention to reshuffle the cabinet and form a Reform Cabinet.
Some ministers realized that the status quo could not be maintained any longer. May 20th the economic ministries met: To T review th economic situation and th political i the i it ti d the liti l complications, and decided that the President should be made aware of the grave g situation if a political solution could not be reached within a week the economy would collapse forming a new cabinet would not solve the problem they would unanimously decline to join in the new reform cabinet. Suharto also failed to get the support from parliament leaders on establishing the reform committee.
Losing the support of the military, the cabinet, the g pp y parliament, and the failure to establish the Reform Committee, on May 21st President Suharto resigned his presidency. Thus ended the era of the New Order. Reinventing Indonesia Explaining the Demise The Political System under the New Order The New Order regime relied heavily on a set of structures of ideas based on Indonesian cultures, especially Javanese culture culture.
The Suharto regime went to great lengths to establish democratic institutions such as political parties general parties, elections, and elected parliament. To what extent was Indonesia a democracy? The first election under the New Order was held in participated by nine political parties and Golkar. In every general election f from to was contested by these three parties. Golkar unfailingly winning every election, garnering at least two third of the votes. Democratic or Non-democratic? Non- The Th way the system worked d i th N th t k d during the New O d Order obviously did not meet the basic principles required in a democracy in terms of political p y p parties, elections and , representation as argued by most scholarly literature.
The existence of civic organizations and interest groups was hi hl regulated, and only th ones th t were highly l t d d l the that established or recognized by the government were a o ed o exist, ese c ud g e business, abo , allowed to e s , these including the bus ess, labor, journalist, youth, and women organizations.
What kept the regime in power so long?
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If Indonesia was not a true democratic system of I d i t t d ti t f government, what kept the system in power for so long and what was the source of its resilience?