The Rise of Democracy Awareness

October 18, 2019 by : BHP UMY

Democracy is one of the most common political systems in the world. As such, many developing countries have adopted the western system. However, the nation where democracy began, namely the United States, democracy itself is being challenged. If this trend continues, there will be a massive political shift in the world.

Lecturer of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY), Prof. Dr. Bambang Cipto, M.A. stated that currently, democracy is suffering from a credibility crisis. This is caused by the rise of populist parties in Europe, as well as an authoritarian wave and democracy crisis in the US. This movement began with the end of the right-centrist and left-centrist parties’ domination since 1998. The public is resisting political and economic elites who they deem exploitative to the general public. Meanwhile, 80% of Millenials in the United States support a takeover by the military.

“The Liberal Democracy system of the US failed to prevent a severe wage gap. For 40 years, labor wages have stagnated, while 20% of the population is getting richer and richer. in 2019, only 17% of the US population believes in their government,” He stated during a seminar hosted by the International Relations Graduate Studies (MIHI) UMY on Friday (18/10) in the UMY Graduate Building.

Bambang Cipto explained that this phenomenon can have a strong effect on the world of international politics. The fall of democracy in the US is a threat to democracy in developing countries. In addition, a part of the public desires an authoritarian leader. This can lead to developing countries adopting an authoritarian system and oppressing their people.

“If the democracy in large countries is questioned, this can lead to other countries with that system to change and turn into authoritarian countries,” He added.

Meanwhile, a Lecturer of the Faculty of Law from Universitas Gadjah Mada (FH UGM), Dr. Zaenal Arifin Muchtar stated that democracy in Indonesia is heavily affected by the oligarchy. If this continues, the national democracy will fade into obscurity, which will give way to party ideologies that may disrupt the already established system.

“We are currently in the middle of a crisis of democracy, which may regress us to the New Order era. For that, we must not be afraid to criticize the government, which is one of the values of democracy,” He stated.

At the end of the seminar, Zaenal Arifin reminded the attendees that a good democracy process is not easy or quick. To that end, everybody must be responsible for it. Do not let Indonesia regress into an authoritarian country. (ak)