The Dilemma of Millenials Generation Political Empowerment

There is a question for us together when looking at the millennial dilemma between empowerment and deprivation, where can millennial generation be found in the structure of social power relations? Although Foucalt once stated that power can be understood as suffusing all interpersonal interactions and discourses, millennial empowerment is analyzed in the context of power dynamics that enable and accelerate effective social action towards public good and justice. Understanding the power structures in which millennials operate is crucial to expressing their leadership potential and bringing transformational power to the global scene.

Empowerment construction is widely used in various fields, including organization and management, community psychology, and political behavior. Among its many manifestations, two in particular provide a conceptual framework that is useful for generation analysis. Referring to the Rappaport concept of empowerment with tiered application at three levels, namely individuals, organizations, and society. Empowerment here is considered as a deliberate action through people, organizations and communities in order to gain control over the problems they are worried about. Through a participatory and active empowerment process, millennial can maximize control over themselves and the environment, while simultaneously strengthening the efficacy of individuals and communities.

In this case, psychological empowerment at the individual level plays a central role and connects the processes through which individuals are empowered with the results of their empowerment experiences in the wider social arena. Empowerment shows that participation with others to achieve goals, efforts to gain access to resources, and some critical understanding of the socio-political environment is a basic component of the construct. Likewise, applying this general framework at the level of organizational analysis will show that empowerment includes organizational processes and structures that increase member participation and increase the achievement of organizational goals.

However, separation is naturally embedded in hierarchical power structures and various forms of organization of types of upper power, while democratic ideals promote the model of power coactively rather than coercive power. In modernity, democracy is often interpreted as a concern, with the voice rule to determine the will of the majority. As such, people’s power is the main authority. Therefore, the separation between political leaders and citizens has long been seen as a barrier in pursuing the ideals of democratic political leadership.

In the ideal version of democratic rhetoric, the system of representation must directly reflect the preferences of the masses. But the intersection between elite and representation in a democracy is actually very complicated by the limits of social consensus. The majority of citizens in Indonesian society only show superficial commitment to democratic norms and ideas, thus the political elite has long been seen as the main storehouse of democratic virtues. This view is firmly rooted in the early conceptualization of the republican order. The Greek concept of aristocracy refers to the best man rule. Plato justifies the influence of the ruling class which is not proportional to the assumption of superior guardian wisdom or virtue.

Political leadership too often is treated as an isolated factor depending on one individual, but practices in Indonesian government show it as part of a complex system and must be persuaded and manipulated to respond to the imperatives of political leaders. Separation as a prerequisite for leadership has become an area of ​​traditional authority-based relations between political leaders and followers. Many historical examples of separation present dependency relations, as in the case of the king in the Middle Ages and his people or commanders and soldiers, while the democratic model reverses this dependency relationship.

In the logic of political continuity, the authors suggest that voters as political power depend on satisfying the winning coalition of relevant voters. Leaders, as representatives of certain groups, depend on their votes and compete for the attention of voters. Symbolic or material distance, ritual characteristics and habits, are still associated with certain political positions, but the strategy that is seen as the most effective in mobilizing popular support is based on proximity. Political figures expose an unprecedented level of personal life in their willingness to show shared identity with citizens, shape their behavior and opinions to the tastes of ordinary people.

As a result of these changing conditions, the imaginary social millennial generation on the phenomenon of political leadership seems to be contested, while the leadership practices are considered valuable and necessary (for example community leadership, and engagement oriented towards social justice, human rights, development issues, etc.). Although some of us try to conceptualize the relationship between engagement and political violence, many aspects of this relationship are still unknown. A clear understanding of the difference between citizen engagement and willingness to consider politics as the best professional choice, eliminating some of the inconsistencies of the millennial generation profile.

Al Mukhollis Siagian
Al Mukhollis Siagian
President of Political Solution Enforcement Fighters