March 6, 2019 | by Rofi Uddarojat Print

Indonesian millennials have negative perceptions about free trade and globalization. In 2017, a survey found that amongst millennials in Indonesia, the section of the population between 17 and 29 years of age show a strong xenophobic tendency.

The survey stated that 77.7 percent of millennials negatively viewed the impact of foreign workers on the economy, believing that foreigners take jobs from the local population. Based on these facts, The freedom-oriented website SuaraKebebasan.org (“Voice of Freedom”), an Atlas Network partner based in Indonesia, has established an educational workshop to introduce students to sound economic principles.

Mises Boot Camp Indonesia (MBCI) was established in 2016 and aims to introduce the ideas of the Austrian school of economics to young people who are interested in learning more. The idea evolved into a plan to gather like-minded youth who can use their economic knowledge and commitment to individual liberty to influence the future of Indonesia. Mises Boot Camp Indonesia included 15 young people who were selected from various universities and organizations through competitive forms and selections.

“MBCI is one of Suara Kebebasan routine programs. This MBCI is the third one and we are expecting to continue to have this program in the future. Through this kind of activity, we expect to be able to increase awareness of Indonesian youth on libertarian values. This event would share the  Austrian School perspective on the current trend of protectionism. It would also serve as an annual anchor event to prepare the regeneration of the Indonesian libertarian movement. Furthermore, this program is strategic to recruit additional contributors for Suara Kebebasan,” explained Adinda Tenriangke Muchtar, Chief Editor Suara Kebebasan.

The workshop focused specifically on the theme “Protectionism Policy in Indonesia” and featured prominent pro-free market economist, Dr. Yose Rizal from Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) – a prominent think tank in Jakarta. Yose was a graduate from the Graduate Institute of International Studies (HEI), a university where Ludwig Von Mises had an academic position before fleeing to the United States.

Yose presented a detailed explanation of how protectionism policy in Indonesia generates economic inefficiencies and higher prices. “Indonesian people could enjoy more affordable prices if we eliminate protectionist policy on our food,” Yose said.

Mises Boot Camp Indonesia was organized for a third consecutive year in 2018 and was generously supported by Atlas Network and New Zealand entrepreneur Alan Gibbs.

Adinda added, “The next step is to engage the alumni of MBCI to our regular activities, whether as contributors to Suara Kebebasan or as participants in our events. At the moment, we also have a Whatsapp group that connects our network and previous MBCI alumni. We also encourage the alumni to share their ideas and to join us in promoting individual liberty and a free market in Indonesia through their various affiliations. Last but not least, we are looking forward to having another MBCI in 2019 to spread our outreach and strengthen our connection for liberty in Indonesia!”