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The first concerns access: Ideally the following pages suggest the significance of these organizations in understanding broad patterns of Muslim knowledge practices, moral possibilities embraced by contemporary Indonesians and globally circulating discourses of efficacious selves. However I do not address, other than through narrative happenstance, why I have selected these organizations. It was not purely what a more scientific procedure would consider convenience sampling. During the course of my fieldwork I liaised with a variety of groups, including prominent Muslim campus student organizations such as Himpunan Mahasiswa Islam; Pergerakan Mahasiswa Islam Indonesia; and Ikatan Mahasiswa Muhammadiyah.
Although I was graciously received by these organizations, the preponderance of their activities often seemed directed at the intensely local politics of the State 6 16 Islamic University Jakarta campus. In addition to their political exploits, these large student groups comprised important social outlets for their membership. Unlike prior historical periods, however, they did not seem as invested in achieving outside social visions, at least, not in my cursory visits to their events.
Once potent sources of activist energy part of the birth of the New Order and part of its demise as welltheir consolidated university form seemed most interested in institutional re-production.
A similar criticism was relayed to me by other acquaintances, like my research assistant Abdul Fatah, who had transitioned his primary loyalty from Pergerakan Mahasiswa Islam Indonesia to Initiatives of Change Indonesia. He complained that campus politics dismissively characterized as bolstering ones resume by election to various and frequently redundant student government bodies distorted the possibilities of these movements.
Politics, for Abdul Fatah and many others, was a dirty word. Its mere invocation, politiklah, was meant as a dismissive characterization of base, personal interest. He viewed his participation at IofC, as detailed in chapter three, as part of a socially meaningful project of personal growth and familial improvement.
This was not possible in the more established student organizations. I also experimented with other organizations offering different sorts of moral possibilities. The solidarity event was co-sponsored by a vast list of prominent Islamist media outlets and political organizations. For two-days I cast myself in the profoundly uncomfortable in terms of audience, not idea position of advocating for the basic humanity of Jews, who were not otherwise charitably characterized in the course of a number of speeches and seminars.
I left frustrated, having generated the impression that I was at least a 7 17 Jewish stooge if not actually an American intelligence agent my name didn t help, for those literate in biblical history. For similar reasons, despite living immediately next door to Pesantren al-umm, an important site for the tarekat Tijaniyah a Sufi order most prevalent in Africa in Indonesia, I did not avail myself of the opportunity to further study the organization.
Pesantren al-umm is also the spiritual home of Front Pembela Islam, a Muslim vigilante movement implicated in many recent violent clashes as they seek to express their vision of moral order. I struggled to imagine how I would be received as other than an intelligence agent, despite several acquaintances who were graduates of the institution.
My interactions with Jamaah Tabligh the Indonesian affiliate of a global Muslim proselytization network were far more rewarding. However, folding in yet another organization felt like too ambitious a reach for this dissertation. Instead I leave open the possibility of revisiting my generous interlocutors at Jamaah Tabligh in the conduct of a subsequent project.
The giants of Indonesian Muslim organizations, Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah held less appeal for me, not just because of their ample representation in scholarship, but also because their sheer size posed logistical difficulties in terms of access and meaningful analysis.
Members of IofC and Kahfi are frequently also members of Nahdlatul Ulama or Muhammadiyah, although I seldom inquired directly about this fact. My understanding of Islam in Indonesia is beholden to many predecessors who have worked closely with either Nahdlatul Ulama or Muhammadiyah. Nevertheless, they are scarcely mentioned in the following chapters, except as proxies for traditionalist or modernist sympathies in terms of personal performance of Muslim religious obligations.
I characterize both as small-scale. The nature of that scale deserves fuller elaboration than it has received in the body of this dissertation. There are about fifty currently active members of IofC. To that number there are approximately two hundred peripherally involved individuals people who have moved on to another stage in their life or who are only occasional attendees at IofC events by dint of their location far from Jakarta.
Another five hundred or so have been involved at one point of another. Some of these alumni maintain personal friendships with current membership, if diminished participation. Others appear as anonymous names on lists perhaps they went to one workshop, but elected not to continue their involvement, or perhaps they were vital members who have simply drifted away and are largely unknown to current participants.
Kahfi has a larger reach than IofC, although it is sharply dwarfed by much more established Islamic pop-psychological or motivational outfits.
There are approximately three hundred and fifty current students at Kahfi. To that number there is a further five hundred alumni, along with hundreds of others who did not meet the graduation requirements but maintain some ties to the institution.
The obligatory first seminar on Public Speaking in the Conceptual Era, the first step to enrolling at Kahfi, is often attended by three-hundred to fourhundred people, although less than half of that number ultimately registers for classes. It has been operating for twelve years, and from a first cohort of fifteen students, current classes admit one hundred and fifty. By comparison, Manajemen Qolbu, the television program that was one prominent manifestation of AA Gym s media empire, was routinely watched by millions during its heydays AA Gym got his national start on RCTI s morning program Hikmah Fajar, Manajemen Qolbu was originally a spinoff from this program, although it became the 9 19 name for the entire branded enterprise.
Ary Ginanjar, the founder of ESQ an Islamic-businessleadership and spiritual enhancement seminar program, has reached an audience of millions since he founded the organization in tens of thousands of people attend ESQ workshops per month at the current rate.
Even larger still, of course, are the tens of millions of people on the membership rolls of either Muhammadiyah or Nahdlatul Ulama. Om Bagus, the central figure at Kahfi, has probably directly addressed thousands of people, if not tens of thousands, across his various for-hire presentations, which are often broadly similar to materials covered at Kahfi.
But Kahfi Motivator School is small, and it s easy to meet people in Jakarta who have never heard of it. The lure of Kahfi and IofC was only partly a matter of convenience although it was a fact that they were happy to have me, and welcomed me to participate in ways that student groups, understandably, did not I was not a university student. Having transitioned from a livelihood based on entertainment as a commercial and commercial voice actorOm Bagus is, as of this writing, acquiring the Islamic bona fides to bolster his authority in moral domains.
Kahfi, along with its no doubt earnest altruistic commitment to empowering youth, is a useful testing ground for the theories and practices Om Bagus employs with other audiences. Joining the school, I had the distinct sense that I was witnessing a phenomenon a little closer to its genesis. It s an open question how far that trajectory extends, but Om Bagus and many of his students aspire to the kind of media empire of more well-known public Muslim moralists.
Although I wish them every success, observing this moment was meaningful to me regardless of its outcome even if they don t take over the world, they convincingly represent a certain set of historical possibilities.
What is often a tacit quid-pro-quo of research was explicit at Kahfi: I was given access to teaching materials and classroom time in exchange for services rendered.
For this reason I translated a number of hypnosis scripts into Indonesian, lent my minor prestige as a foreigner to hired motivational performances and taught the occasional class on a subject with which I felt comfortable. My mere presence conferred greater rhetorical authority to the speakers to whom I listened. By contrast, at IofC, with its frequent hosting of foreign visitors, all that was expected was that I be a sincere participant a role I was happy to fulfill.
I nevertheless felt obligated to demonstrate greater gratitude for the access I was granted. Towards this end I also taught classes, but more usefully I made myself available to the many IofC members who aspired to travel abroad.
I have edited many applications both simple visa requirements and prestigious academic scholarships for acquaintances from IofC. Despite the small stature of these groups, the participants within IofC and Kahfi have the potential to wield a disproportionate influence in the Indonesia of the future. Very few members actually, none that I knew of of either organization were part of the cosmopolitan ultra-wealthy Jakarta set that stands first in line to inherit ownership of Indonesia s large businesses and the levers of its politics.
However, as part of the slim Indonesian middle-class, the highly-motivated memberships of these organizations evince a strong possibility for upward mobility. As many of them enter the ranks of the civil service, a mammoth bureaucracy in Indonesia, they stand poised to rapidly advance to positions of real authority.
One friend from Kahfi has been swiftly promoted within the Ministry of Fisheries. A former president of IofC is instrumental in the founding of a Tanri Abeng University, a new private university bankrolled by the eponymous industrialist.
Another long-time IofC member is pursuing a Master s degree in the United States 11 21 as he rises through the Ministry of Religion hierarchy. While both groups contain a disproportionate number of teachers the State Islamic University was once a teacher s collegethere are a lot of projects undertaken on the side, some of which will probably meet with splashy success.
Beyond the vastly improved material prospects of their membership, IofC in particular tries to cultivate a political ethic that links personal moral development to broad social responsibility. Among the Indonesian human rights lawyers of the future, I would be very surprised not to see IofC members. Already they have become important players in domestic efforts at interfaith peace and reconciliation often through partnership with the Wahid Institute, the think-tank and foundation established by former President Abdurrahman Wahid.
Moral renewal is a dominant feature of the discourses employed at both organizations, reflecting the appeal of this prospect for many Indonesian audiences.
Although they participate in broadly popular projects of moral argumentation, as I have just established, they are very minor players in a national scene.
Yet despite their recent vintage and slim membership rolls, both have something vital to say about Islam, state, and subjectivity in the present era.
The vast appetite for change, the absolutely ubiquitous presence of selfimprovement discourses, the marriage of spiritual and psychological literatures within the selfhelp canon: Changes done and changes had both exert enduring appeal.
Their tremendous salience has yet to receive a commensurate scholarly reckoning. Thus Nahdlatul Ulama become a connection between IofC members and organizations with allied social commitments.
Macro-historical changes in the Indonesian state helped generate the conditions for their emergence. Individual actors, too, played a part in founding the organizations, acting in accordance with their, no doubt, individual motivations. And although both organizations are committed to investing their activities with local meanings, they draw freely on globally circulating discourses of personal change. There are a lot of parts to this story. To tell it, then, requires some shared contexts. Thus I tell some of the other stories, in broad outlines, which have done so much to structure the very possibility of each of these organizations.
This is also a tale about Indonesia, Islam and the Dutch. The More Things Change Once upon a time Indonesia was said to have shuddered beneath the burden of three and a half centuries of Dutch colonial rule. This timeframe, tiga setengah abad, became a rote element of the standardized history taught in postcolonial Indonesia.
Three and a half centuries an erroneous but not an arbitrary claim. In the fresh dawn of Indonesian independence no less a figure of erudition than Pramoedya Ananta Toer framed the character of colonization in precisely these terms. Not half-hearted slaves loyal to the roots of their hair. And maybe not just since Coen. It is more likely the case already 3 Benedict Anderson highlights this collection in Language and Power, and translates the opening passages of this story A Very Long Family History.
I would argue that in addition to its literary merits, this repeated attention is occasioned by its historical probity. Thus I am unable to resist the temptation to translate this opening passage, once more, myself. Cornelis de Houtman led the first Dutch naval expedition to the Indies, By endorsing this particular historiography, Pramoedya locates the genesis of a colonial subjectivity from the very presence of de Houtman. The Dutch had merely to appear and servitude was instantiated.
This nationalist narrative of immediate rupture finds the seeds of Indonesian-ness at the dawn of the colonial encounter the writhing submission described in Pramoedya s short-story is the mirror image of heroic resistance valorized by the historians of the independent state. Pramoedya himself, a true believer in a certain trajectory of nationalism, imagines the Native elites as static corrupted elements in the historical tableau. Indeed, both sides of this proposition cast the inhabitants of the archipelago in the static role of acted upon.
Change, when it comes, flows from the dynamism of Europe into the supine bodies of the colonized. This argument suggests itself as the outcome of the processes it claims to describe. Three years before Pramoedya s Tjerita dari Djakarta was publishedPresident Soekarno addressed Indonesia s legislature on the ninth anniversary of the declaration of Independence. Repeating his frequent assertion that Indonesia suffered under three and a half centuries of colonial rule, Soekarno exclaims, For three and half centuries we have paid the pricy penalty of our collective failure to safeguard the unity of the nation.
For three 4 Sejak Jan Pietersz Coen turun-temurun keluarga itu memang berdarah hamba. Hamba yang tak tanggung-tanggung setia sampai bulu-bulunya. Mungkin juga bukan sejak Coen saja.
Besar kemungkinan sudah sejak Pieter Both atau di saat-saat Houtman mengelana di semua samudera 14 24 and a half centuries we have carried out the sentence. Now we are independent because we have re-forged [menggembleng-kembali] the unified nation [kesatuan bangsa] This is our famed nationalist teleology, which truly requires no further introduction.
And so for Soekarno the idea of Indonesia as a return to a pre-colonial national unity has considerably greater appeal than to imagine it a largely arbitrary space, delimited by Dutch peregrinations and host to diverse ethno-linguistic communities on separate national trajectories. And thus those organized under the sign of Independence are also all those peoples who the wanderings of de Houtman touched the territorial expanse of the Netherlands East Indies as the natural and right boundaries of Indonesian sovereignty.
From Soekarno s place at the podium, colonialism becomes an interregnum, albeit one extending across the better part of four centuries. Soekarno hoped to wrest the timeless essence of the nation from the grasp of a colonial story of Native stasis and enshrine it as a founding principle of the post-colonial state. As a result, the Indonesian revolution requires that nothing, really, change: If Soekarno s revolution required an unchanging nation, its static features were transcendentalized in the heavy hands of the New Order propagandists.
The New Order government, famously, stood at the levers of change and did everything possible to stymy their operation. The fantasy of simultaneous social stasis and economic mobility was brilliantly 5 Tiga setengah abad lamanya kita membayar denda yang mahal atas kelalaian kita memlihara kesatuan bangsa.
Tiga setengah abad lamanya kita menjalani hukuman. Sekarang kita telah merdeka karena dapat menggembleng-kembali kesatuan bangsa itu. Change guarantees continuity, in other words: As Razif Bahari formulated it in Remembering History, the New Order, used strategies both to suppress and to engender the past, that is, to arrest dissonance in the discourse of history as well as to assert continuity between the glories of Orde Baru prosperity and stability and the continued development of the modern nation-state that it purportedly ensured The New Order objective was not, strictly speaking, just the preservation of a static society.
Rather the elusive vision was a singular vector of progress fixed identities, fixed languages, and fixed allocations of power, all traveling along a smooth continuum of economic advancement. To the extent that the New Order succeeded in securing one or of the other of these elements rigidity of language, say, or formal maintenance of the nuclear-paternal family7 it never accomplished the sum of its ambition. Yet in its drive to inoculate the population against the very possibility of change, Suharto s government faithfully maintained its colonial legacy.
The fall of the Suharto government in allowed for the public expression of previously foreclosed historical curiosity. Elements of the long-standardized national history became subject to fresh review. Contemporary Indonesians evince a vast appetite for change. The public fetish of pembangunan development has been supplanted in the yearning for 6 Steedly castes a sharp gaze on both the New Order fantasy of development and stasis alike.
Fixing the past as a static object of commemoration is imagined as a constitutive element of the future delivery of economic advancement. The passage from which the above quotation is drawn is worth citing at some length: Pembangunan developmentthe New Order s special mantra and its symbolic alternative to the uncontrolled and therefore destructive forces of politik, links the stability of nothing happening with the desirable national goal of economic progress.
In the official rhetoric of the New Order, social stability is a prerequisite for orderly infrastructural transformation; the directed economic changes of pembangunan in turn promise to make national stability a future reality New Order history is thus not so much a matter of events as of memorial. Election, anniversaries, monuments, museums, tombs, the monthly tujuhbelasan seventeenth commemoration of Indonesia s August 17, declaration of independence these endless spectacles and simulations of the Age of Development are replicas of imaginary mileposts on the teleological Road to Order-Without End Sexual Politics and Nationalism.
At the same time, dense suspicions about the attainability of change, in either configuration, pervade public discourse, expressing an earned cynicism reflecting the dubious prospects of agentive political activism. Yet despite the yearning for change, the same stories continue to be told. Flipping open the pages of a middle school history textbook, published post-reformasi, I am struck by the claim that, the people s suffering under Japanese occupation for three and a half years was almost the same as the suffering under Dutch colonialism for three and a half centuries Prawoto, In the face of such relentless cultural and historiographical dogma, it is unsurprising that Indonesians cast wide nets, beyond the reaches of the archipelago, in their search for sources of meaningful change.
This, too, is not new: It has only ever been partially managed by those aspiring to govern. A Litany of Change This project is a story about change: Islam looms large in this telling. It was against the specter of Islam that the Dutch first mobilized the knowledge-making apparatuses of colonial rule Chapter 1. This took place in the aftermath of the Diponegoro Wara bitter conflict that pitted vast swathes of Javanese society against a sliver of the native hierarchy and their Dutch allies.
Mobilized, in part, 8 Penderitaan rakyat di bawah pendudukan Jepang selama tiga setengah tahun hampir sama dengan penderitaan di bawah penjajahan Belanda selama tiga setengah abad. This ninth grade history textbook opens the discussion of the Japanese occupation with the conventional narrative: Terrified of a similar eruption, Dutch colonial governance had at least two related motivations: Javanology and the Cultivation System cultuurstelsel comprise important elements of this twinned legacy.
Preserving this hard-won stability meant the neutralization of Islam, initially misinterpreted relative the imagined influence of the Ottoman Empire, itself understood in the shadow of the Dutch experience with the Catholic Church. For its enduring postcolonial salience especially as a totem of political quietismsee John Pemberton s On the Subject of Java. Setting the terms at the outset of the article, Florida observes, Colonial scholarship on the Javanese was thus often propelled by a desire to penetrate the private, inner recesses of native subjects in order to observe the presupposed falsity of these subjects Moslem claims and professions Hurgronje s influence is taken up explicitly here, in chapter 1.
If key Native elites could be enlisted in projects authorized by the wisdom of the Netherlands intelligentsia, perhaps the coming changes could be channeled in ways that presented a minimum of disruption. Coupled with a dawning sense of a moral responsibility for civilizational uplift, this theory gave birth to the Ethical Policy Ethische Politiekwhich theoretically obtained through the end of Dutch colonial rule Ricklefs, ; Vickers, Islam was the fulcrum on which the changing policies towards change shifted.
The great insight of Snouck Hurgronje was that Islam, of itself, might portend only individual and thus harmless, interior, personal transformation. Supporting a richer embrace of Islam, for Snouck, was the first step on setting the natives along a course of secular disenchantment. His argument, according to Harry Benda in Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, was that the state s tolerance could plant the seeds that would eventually blossom into Islam s political and cultural irrelevancy.
Instead of thwarting all things Muslim, the Netherlands East Indies government might cultivate ever greater Muslim devotional character amongst the Natives: Divorced from this-worldly affairs, the colony was to be closed to the social imaginings encouraged within the Islamic tradition.
The establishment of a government agency directed towards administering religion, and above all Islam, was a culmination of the theories and policies flowing through the Indies at the end of the nineteenth and the outset of the twentieth century.
See also Azyumardi Azra s Islam in the Indonesian World for an account that also features prominent indigenous experts.
Following his successful sojourn in Aceh, he became the Advisor in the Office for Arab and Native affairs Kantoor voor Inlandsche en Arabische Zakenan revision of the prior bureaucratic entity that became the Office of Native Affairs following Snouck Hurgronje s return to the Netherlands in This office, in another incarnation, persists to the present.
It is part of a vehicle for the maintenance of the categorizing impulse fully manifested in post-ethical Policy colonialism. The contemporary Ministry of Religion Kementerian Agama is ceaselessly forced to enunciate the proper boundaries of religion and culture. As the administrative unit tasked with ensuring the stable operation of religion as a category and culture as religion s otherthe Ministry of Religion continues to influence how Islam is expressed in the public sphere and inculcated in educational institutions.
The government is still in the business of channeling and directing religious aspiration, today bending the appetite for change along a nationalist arc. Massive shifts in the political orientation of successive administrations have meant little, in practice, for the ambit of the Ministry s ministrations. The outline I have traced for this story of religious management, in its gross contours, is of course open to the criticism of being overdrawn.
Here I recall Ann Stoler's insight late 14 See especially Chapters 3 and 4 of Michael Laffan s Islamic Nationhood and Colonial Indonesia for the full details of Snouck s work at the helm of this office, as well as the result of his time in Jeddah. See also Howard Federspiel in Sultans, Shamans and Saints, for a particularly innocuous read of this office the office undertook studies designed to reveal the needs of various Muslim populations under Dutch control and give advice on upgrading the general welfare of those populations According to Federspiel, the dark machinations attributed to the office are mostly nationalist fantasy, since it really proved to be a temporizing influence on the more starkly anti-islamic motivations of other colonial actors.
This despite it acknowledged role in the intellectual enterprise of more fully categorizing and controlling the native population. Colonial regimes were uneven, imperfect, and even indifferent knowledge-acquiring machines. Omniscience and omnipotence were not, as we so readily assume, their defining goals.
More important, they were part of what I have called taxonomic states, whose administrations were charged with defining and interpreting what constituted racial membership, citizenship, political subversion, and the scope of the state s jurisdiction over morality.
Stoler is interested in the manifold operations of this taxonomic impulse, but above all she understands the state s jurisdiction over morality insofar as it consists of regulating sex, sexualities and bodies. For present purposes, however, the categorizing enterprise extends into moral reaches beyond bodies and the mingling of their parts. Exigencies of rule demanded that the colonial regime come to know the moral stature of its subjects, and just as importantly, regulate the moral inputs that were understood to galvanize those subjects actions.
These efforts, in turn, have continued throughout the various configurations of postcolonial governance. The taxonomic operations of the state described by Stoler and the structures that will be traced in Chapter 1 of this work have served vital socio-political functions throughout history: The colonial regime had to teach itself to recognize religion or risk its irrational eruption.
Islamic rebellion in Java was a harsh educator. And this task was hardly consigned to the past with the advent of indigenous rule. From the outset, the independent Indonesian state enrolled itself in the diligent demarcation of religion and culture, morality and politics, private rectitude and public admonitions.
Receiving the categorizing baton from its colonial predecessors, the machinery of modern Indonesia maintained the legacy of definitional and divisional labor.
Yet, like its forebears, in these regards its efforts were always uneven, imperfect, and even indifferent. Just as quickly as social forms were stabilized, the subjects constituted within these forms set themselves to re-arranging their constituent elements. The story that follows is thus never really 21 31 a tale of equilibrium. Animating changes have continued to emerge from within the very categories so assiduously stabilized by Dutch and Indonesian discourse alike.
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The history I have darted through above forms the conceptual background for a project that is, at its heart, insistently local and particular.
This macro-history generates and constrains the possibilities for moral activism in contemporary Indonesia, in ways both hidden and exposed. My attentions will next turn from historical narratives to discrete manifestations of the profound desire for moral transformation found in an organization known as Initiatives of Change.
The roots of this organization in Indonesia date to at least the s. However changing political orders brought the formal exclusion of Initiatives of Change s prior incarnation: Early in the post-suharto years, President Abdurrahman Wahid lifted the ban on the Moral Re-Armament movement, allowing its successor organization Initiatives of Change Indonesia back into the country.
Examining how this foreign organization was taken up, localized, and Islamized Chapter 2 provides an initial introduction to shifting configurations of the concept of change.
The kinds of change attempted within Initiatives of Change Indonesia rely on careful linguistic maneuvers that protect Islam from the possibility of corruption, while enabling Muslims to avail themselves of non-islamic technologies. Their operation is best understood in the context of changing legal and administrative possibilities in post-new Order Indonesia.
At Initiatives of Change Indonesia, Christian practice is rendered morally neutral and rhetorically available for Muslim personal transformation despite the well-policed boundaries that should prevent this from happening. The further unfolding of this legacy regarding Initiatives of Change Indonesia is where Stoler s taxonomic states meet the purifying impulse of modernity so central to Webb Keane s Christian Moderns.
Keane elaborates how a notion of efficacy or agency becomes recognizable 22 32 and isolated, a process Keane refers to as, the sorting out of proper relations among, and boundaries between, words, things, and subjects 4. A semiotic ideology is what allows for this sorting, as well as the sorted form.
In this attention to proper relations, Keane has an unexpected ally in the Islamic notion of adab Chapter 3which can be understood as fulfilling a metapragmatic role. The right relations of adab, an insight linked to my observations of sociality at Initiatives of Change Indonesia, allow for different kinds of change from those that might be attributed to other models of agentive action.
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Adab allows for the hierarchal ordering of existence at the same time as it facilitates the negotiation of competing ethical injunctions. Notions of adab help explain plural models of Muslim sociality that are, I will argue, obscured in the recent scholarly emphasis of piety: Related politics of translation, adaptation and assimilation run through the practices and curriculum of the Kahfi Motivator School, an innovative institution that teaches public speaking, Islamic hypnotherapy and motivational practice, all free of charge.
Despite the very different models of change advocated within this institution, there is a related flexibility in re-assembling the ostensibly purified categories of discourse. A particular kind of dynamism is especially evident concerning the practice of Islamic Hypnotherapy Chapter 4.
Here the story the west used to tell about itself objective, scientific, morally neutral, secular becomes an instrumentally vital story for the successful appropriation of hypnotherapeutic practice. The foreign is domesticated precisely through the epistemic neutrality ascribed to western technologies of interand intrapersonal change.
In the course of assimilation, broadly salient patterns of guilt and redemption are used to anchor the featured technologies of change to their new audiences. This affective association furthers the degree to which knowledge and practice feel meaningfully 23 33 possessed by their new community.
The process at work at Kahfi highlights the extent to which the policing of boundaries in the dominant forms of the Islamic tradition in Indonesia are concerned, above all, with preventing the misattribution of agency and misrecognition of origins not in blocking the influence of the foreign. Islamic hypnotherapy represents a successful localization and Islamization of a technology of change. The theories of efficacy embedded in this practice resist the ready interpretation of globalized liberal subjectivity.
The complexity of this agentive landscape comes into sharper relief by shifting from the study of hypnotherapy, as taught at the Kahfi Motivator School, to the concept of motivasi organizing motivational practice at the same institution Chapter 5.
The variety of selves convened in self-help discourses demonstrate the enduring desire to be changed, as much as to change oneself. Motivasi, in its Indonesian particulars, also carries a threatening potential concerning how it imagines collectivity. As I shall argue, whether mobilized by motivasi or exclusivist religio-political claims, Indonesian ideas of collective efficacy rely on the post available model the military.
How we understand the widespread adoption of a militarized aesthetic, however, deserves the same caution with which we greet the seeming superficiality of self-help discourses: This final argument, an appeal to perplexity in the face of the too familiar, animates the ethnographic anecdote closing this project Afterward.
Accessing Change As I claimed at the outset, this undertaking began as a study of history and historiography. Eventually, in place of history, moral transformations, ethical interventions, and efficacious change coalesced as the new center of gravity for my research.
The exploration 24 34 of these phenomena was spurred by my partial assimilation into two communities located near my institutional perch at the State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta.
The Kahfi Motivator School and Initiatives of Change Indonesia proved to be vital arenas for my introduction to the complex matrices shaping moral and social reform in contemporary Indonesia. In both organizations, the generous welcome of the membership enabled the observations that became the heart of this project. Although the vogue for boilerplate disclaimers concerning positionality has largely elapsed, unmourned, I nevertheless feel compelled to partially revive this late twentieth-century scholarly convention.
The arguments I make in this project are inextricably bound up in the configurations of access and participation that were available to me and the me of this project was a moving target.
If this is always already the case, it was still poignantly so within the communities convened at Kahfi Motivator School and Initiatives of Change Indonesia. I am cognizant of my role within the processes I identify, not just during the term of my fieldwork, but as I have maintained many of the relationships formed during that time.
I didn t just study how people conceive of change to a considerable extent, I offered myself as the subject of change in concert with the transformations attempted by my interlocutors. As a married, white, male, foreigner, and especially as an American, I was imagined to bring certain innate qualities to each of these communities. In order to achieve this, funding for experienced lecturers was required. The Foundation was prepared to fund the education of teaching staff.
Being a Francophile, I was the only one interested in studying at the Sorbonne. I am an enthusiastic painter, and I appreciate Paris as an artistic center. I took this matter up with Representative Frank Miller. In the end, Miller agreed, on condition that the government approved. Syarif Thayeb was surprised to hear that Widjojo had refused to sign my letter, saying that the Sorbonne was even older than UC Berkeley. I studied at the Sorbonne for eight years.
When I returned, I found that my department had been dissolved. Widjojo and I held divergent views on the issue of economic development. I always felt that the economy was too important to be handled by economists alone. When I joined the Cabinet as minister of education and culture, I hoped that I would be able to promote my vision. However, Suharto told me that I should confine myself to issues directly related to education as he had other people who could handle the economy.
Until the late s, student life at Salemba resembled that of their peers in Holland. Even then, if they failed, they could repeat the test until they passed. Recalling his time at the university, he said that he practically never attended classes.
Hailing from a poor family in Yogyakarta, Silalahi made his living as a teacher. For him, attending lectures was a luxury. One day, when entering the classroom to take a test he did not even know who the professor was. And when students like Silalahi did find the time to come to Salemba, often they would wind up hanging out at a coffee stall across the street from CBZ while waiting for students from the Faculty of Letters, most of whom were women, to pass.
For college students at that time, life seemed untouched by the outside world. They attended classes when they felt like it. Two law students, Marihot and Paul Hutabarat, formed a band that became extremely popular. As their friends hit the dance floor, they played songs reminiscent of Bill Haley and the Comets and The Platters.
Regardless of these romantic memories, student life at UI was actually never far from day-to-day realities of an impoverished country that was not yet a decade old. Sometimes lectures were held in a classroom in the Faculty of Letters across from CBZ, other times in a room on nearby Jalan Tambak or in various other locations.
The school had no library of its own. Students and faculty were forced to go elsewhere to find books, including to the library of the Dutch cultural exchange organization Stichting Culturele Samenwerking — Sticusa. When FEUI was finally assigned its own space, its library was located in a room that sat between a food stall and a small building where the student film league screened movies.
It had few books or scientific journals and former students recall that they could borrow them for only one hour at a time. Some of the more clever students found a way out of the dilemma. They took extra careful notes during lectures, typed them up, then stenciled and sold them in large quantities. In the late s, this small business within the Faculty was run by a group of students calling itself Vivayuba. In its early years, FEUI had a more serious problem.
The school had been founded by legal experts; its first dean, Soenario Kolopaking, among them.
The school had only one qualified instructor and no economist at all. Soenario himself was forced to juggle his duties as dean with several different jobs and, when he fell ill and resigned, a crisis occurred. It was at this point that Suhadi, a quiet and serious young man who was chairman of the Student Senate, took matters into his own hands.
It was unclear what the government could do at the time, but the seriousness with which Suhadi conveyed his plea moved one of its teachers, Djokosutono — who later became dean of the Faculty of Law — to lend his own assistance. Together, they went out in search of instructors. In Indonesia at that time there were no more than ten qualified economists, and among these only a few were interested in teaching.
Celebrating Indonesia: Fifty Years with the Ford Foundation, 1953-2003
One of them, Mohammad Hatta, wanted 45 to help but was too busy with his duties as vice-president. Thirty-four year old Sumitro Djojohadikusumo, a graduate of the College of Economics in Rotterdam, had recently stepped down as minister of finance. Since he was one of only two Indonesians with a doctoral degree in economics, it was fortunate for the students that he did not turn down their appeal. Yet when they asked him to serve as dean he did hesitate.
Almost 20 years earlier, a student Early in his deanship Sumitro, who was delegation from UI had called upon then also minister of finance, built the Sumitro. The first economics PhD from the Netherlands result: In post-independence Indonesia, tertiary education, particularly in economic studies, was severely limited. The Foundation estimates that in Indonesia had only ten fully qualified economists in a population of over 70 million.
Nobody could have predicted then that this slender, quick-witted man, the son of a public servant in the Netherlands Indies administration, would do a great deal more than whip an academic faculty into shape.
Sumitro was a multidimensional character: He seemed to believe his destiny was to lead the country. His confidence was almost messianic: Sumitro was a consummate institution The then-dominant school of economic builder. Sumitro the brightest people you can find anywhere, meanwhile was aware of a new approach — 01e s 46 Developmental Economics — and he wanted this taught at FEUI.
By this time nearly all the Dutch professors had fled. Negotiations with Cornell through the Rockefeller Foundation, were similarly unsuccessful. He did manage to secure a project with MIT. Foundation sent an exploratory mission to Indonesia which served as the basis for its initial engagement in the country. LPEM became a testing ground allowing Sumitro, aided by his students and faculty colleagues, to fine-tune economic policies.
The Institute also became the principal link between faculty and government. Like everything Sumitro touched, LPEM developed from a collection of able, if inexperienced, young people into a respected institution. He gave them internships and practical exposure. By the early s FEUI boasted a selfsustaining local leadership, broad support in government and society, a capacity for growth without external assistance, and good staff development.
Sumitro wore many hats, some surprising. Ironically, Sumitro himself was civilian leader of that rebellion. This was a dubious label. Sumitro always maintained his faith in government intervention and believed above all in effective public policymaking institutions. That remark — vintage Sumitro — expresses the best side of an economist who was also a public intellectual, ever trying to offer an alternative vision.
Despite his reservations he accepted and, as was typical of him, he proceeded to work exhaustively on behalf of the school. Years later he would say that on the long and winding road that was his distinguished life, his work in establishing FEUI gave him the most pride. Typically, Sumitro devised a plan that in the end strongly influenced Indonesian history.
His plan was simple and limited in scope. Since FEUI would be starting from zero, he and his colleagues would have to build from the ground up.
There were five main tasks: To fill out his corps of instructors he was compelled to coax a number of Dutch scholars, who happened to be in Indonesia, to teach at the school. He was not entirely happy with this situation; most of these people were not in fact economists.
And even though he himself was a graduate of Rotterdam, he harbored mixed feelings about the Dutch, particularly those still living in their former colony. In the early s, the British theoretician John Maynard Keynes held sway in the world of economics.
The Marshall Plan, launched by the US to channel assistance to the destroyed countries of Europe, clearly indicated how important government intervention could be. At the same time it signaled the limited impact that liberal laissez-faire policies would have on the situation. The ideas of Keynes completely altered the classic economic view. Sumitro, who had received his doctorate from Rotterdam inwas familiar with recent developments in economic theory.
Though only 25 years old when he graduated, he had already rejected the classic economic views that found so much favor among Dutch economists. At UI he attempted to apply both a Keynesian and post-Keynesian approach to the situation in Indonesia.
He wanted to send his cadres to England. Unfortunately, the Indonesian government had no money for this, nor was the British Council able to help. Eventually, the Ford Foundation provided the necessary assistance, but the road there was not completely straight and it eventually led to Berkeley, not London. Sumitro saw this as a short-term way to compensate for the lack of qualified indigenous teachers and to replace the Dutch instructors who were leaving the country.
But he did not receive an immediate response to his request. Born in to a nationalist family, Widjojo grew up in Surabaya. In fact, Widjojo has served his country all his life. Unlike many other top officials in the New Order government, he was never tainted with corruption.
He was always suspicious of grandiose projects. Widjojo worried about petrodollargenerated hubris and was skeptical of hightech industry as an engine of growth. Instead, he had a passion for such villagelevel services as elementary schools and medical units. They talked fondly of his unassuming manner, his shunning of the trappings of power, and his penchant for Widjojo Nitisastro, Jakarta, Obviously no mere puppet of Western interests as his left wing detractors often suggestedneither was he sympathetic to Marxist ideas.
His formative years as an economist coincided with the heyday of Third World socialism and its disposition toward state regulation. Widjojo advocated an alternative strategy: Keynesian economics with an Indonesian face. He argued, for example, that cooperatives were unsuited to the needs of a modern state. He believed in good planning, conceived and supervised by trained economists. Sumitro Djojohadikusumo, from the moment he assumed the deanship of FEUI, saw in the young Widjojo a first-rate intelligence, leadership skills, tenacity, and something else: When Sumitro sent his students to the villages, Widjojo was in his natural element.
His report, co-written with Julius E. Ismael, drew the attention of the Ford Foundation Representative. He was not the only person impressed. Widjojo, then still a student assistant at BPN, accompanied him.
If everybody had been equally bright, there would have been no natural hierarchy. We thought at the time that he by himself would be a sufficient payoff for the whole Indonesia-Berkeley project — and were taking bets as to whether he would wind up in jail or as prime minister!
How this began is the stuff of legend. The technocrats first presented their vision to Suharto in Augustduring an army seminar in Bandung. In June the Foundation sent its first representative to Indonesia. Elmer Starch had been raised on a wheat farm in Montana and knew little about Indonesia. He was not provided a house, so for the duration of his two-year stay he lived in a single room at the Hotel Des Indes, as did his American secretary.