Beyond the Binary Logic of Populist Articulations in 2019 Indonesian Election
Download article in PDF

Issue 13:4

Luthfi Hamzah Husin, Nuruddin Al Akbar

Beyond the Binary Logic of Populist Articulations in 2019 Indonesian Election

This study seeks to highlight the emergence of Sexy Killer documentary as an important tool in an effort to encourage the rearticulation of democracy in a more substantial direction. This study is important in the middle of the trend of re-Democratisation  that is taking place but is moving in a symbolic direction without meaning (the battle between the fantasy figures of ‘cebong’ and ‘kampret’). Furthermore, the rearticulation of democracy towards symbolic direction tends to be a binary opposition so that the society is preoccupied by discursive war in public space but in a non-substantial sense and more in negative labeling war (insults) without meaningful antagonism (eg. debates about welfare, direction of development and others). This shallow trend of democratic articulation is crucial to be changed because the trend of rearticulation itself has actually a positive spirit that has the potential to trigger a more meaningful political change after previously the meaning of democracy has been frozen into merely soulless electoralism (and ultimately logic of money politic). Even though the presence of ‘Sexy Killer’ itself appeared in several days before the election, it was able to provide an opportunity for the emergence of new non-binary subjects (which are then wrongly associated to non-voting behaviour). One important thing is that the new subject (although trying to be labeled negatively) is able to emerge into the public domain and no longer be reduced in the ‘cebong’ and ‘kampret’ binary dichotomy. Moreover, the new subject is arguably able to rearticulate a more substantive meaning in politics (for example highlighting development that is not environmentally friendly).

 

Keywords: binary opposition; Indonesian election; meaning construct; populism, post-structuralism.

2019 - Volume 13 Issue 4