The Japanese surrender and the proclamation of independence unleashed popular energies that alarmed not only the Allied forces and the returning Dutch, but also many nationalist leaders. Successive Republican governments tried to hold back the tide of revolution, but they did this by channelling energies into a new democratic party system rather than by attempting to preserve ‘feudalistic’ concepts of rule, which had been discredited by their association with the Japanese and the highly unpopular pangreh pradja elite. It was only in the years after 1956, when both the army and President Sukarno were expressing frustration with their lack of a formal role that organicist ideas began to be considered seriously again. This chapter explains how, despite the repudiation of conservative groups
and their ideologies, organicist ideas were kept alive in the 1945-56 period and how they came to inform the political debates and political structures after 1956. Indonesian legal experts are an important part of this story because it was they who furnished the corporatist formulas that Sukarno and the army leader General Nasution used to displace parliamentary democracy. Corporatism was nevertheless a contested concept, with radical and conservative forces attempting to frame and use it to their own advantage. The aim here is to show how organicist ideas based on Continental European constitutional theory informed the debate, especially on the conservative side, and how this helped to shape the political vision and strategies of military ﬁgures who went on to become key ideologues of the early New Order.