Indonesia: In the Midst of Musharawah

The preferred Indonesian method for solving complex problems is through musharawah—a long, lung-wearying dialectic that arrives, however belatedly, at consensus. Musharawah was everywhere in Djakarta last week. Hardly a day went by without endless powwows in army headquarters, at Merdeka Palace, and in the steaming streets and squares of the capital.

The results were as confused and kaleidoscopic as the process itself. Across from the lavish Hotel Indonesia, a sign showing a jowly Uncle Sam with a dagger at his throat had quietly disappeared. "It was the wind," explained grinning Indonesians. Near...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!