Dilema buah delima

June 23rd, 2014 § 0

don't-steal

Sebenarnya saya juga sama sekali nggak suka Jokowi. Saya nggak setuju sama ide-idenya, semua policy-nya di Jakarta yang bikin pajak dan cost of doing business and owning capital melonjak, apalagi buat small business, dan dia tampak punya mentalitas crony businessman dan proteksionisme. I really think he’s going to do a lot of harm to the economy with his mercantilistic ideas and I regret having given him my vote for the governorship, though truth be told, my vote does not really matter.

Having said that, rivalnya kian lama kian banyak keluar dengan janji kampanye yang semakin mengerikan bodohnya. This pair is quite likely every single-issue activist’s dream. Seolah-olah apa pun suara terkencang dan paling populis di setiap isu, betapapun bodohnya, diamini oleh mereka. Ada kelompok aktivis yang ribut menuntut ‘penghapusan sistem outsourcing’ tanpa memikirkan dampaknya pada pekerja perusahaan outsourcing yang akan kehilangan kerja dan yang akan menghilangkan efisiensi ekonomi yang dihasilkan perusahaan outsourcing? Ayo kita dukung. Ada yang minta pasar tradisional dilindungi betapa pun tidak efisiennya sebagian besar pasar tradisional dan korupnya birokrasi pengelola pasar? Ayo kita rekrut pentolannya. I bet kalo tambah kenceng ada yang minta upah minimum naik 100%, dan membuat small business pada berguguran dia bakal iyakan juga. And the list goes on.

Dan jangan lupa pasangan ini digawangi bekas menantunya he who shall remain nameless gitu loh. Seriously masih belom kapok 3 dekade dikadalin oleh tim cendana? Siapapun yang bilang lebih enak jaman orba is seriously misinformed or just plain stupid,… well or mungkin dulu bagian dari kroni dan beneficiary cendana dan oligarkinya. Segimanapun jelek dan keparat kondisi sekarang kita jelas punya sebersit (sungguh pun cuma sebersit) satu hal yang dulu cuma bisa diimpi-impikan: Freedom. You think kita bisa ngomong kayak gini di sosmed atau blog di jaman orba? Pernah denger yang namanya kopkamtib? Menurutlo koran dan wartawan bisa ngasih komentar politik tolol mereka kayak sekarang di jaman orba? Sana coba cari artinya ‘persbreidel’. What, you don’t like the mess that goes with freedom? Go live in harmony in the darkness of North Korea.

Tau yang lebih parah lagi nggak? Pasangan ini bahkan mencoba mengambil personanya Sukarno. You’d think that anyone would be insane to want to channel out two of the worst villains of the 20th century. But nooo, a lot of lost souls actually ate it all up with gusto. Ada yang bilang Sukarno itu hebat, visioner. Lihat semanggi, gelora senayan, monas. Yes, lihat semanggi, gelora senayan, monas, etc. yang dibangun ketika many of the people were eating their own poop dan mengakibatkan hiperinflasi hebat. Elo kira dua hal itu nggak berhubungan? Do you think pemerintah/negara dapet duit buat bikin proyek-proyek supermubazir itu dari langit? Of course no! Pemerintah/negara cuma bisa dapet duit dari satu sumber: You, the private people. Kalo ada yang bilang mereka pingin punya negara yang kuat, itu artinya mereka pingin dirampok sampai miskin oleh negara, dan ide tolol itu yang dimanfaatkan Sukarno untuk memperkaya dirinya sendiri beserta kroninya at the expense of millions of gullible people.

Yes I am a libertarian voluntaryist. I believe in the free market and the creative destruction that it entails, which is necessary if you want to lift people out of poverty. I do not believe in coercion, and that’s what government is all about. Situ mau kaya dan sejahtera? Kemungkinannya lebih besar kalo Anda hidup di masyarakat yang bebas melakukan kegiatan ekonomi tanpa campur tangan pemerintah/negara. Lihat Argentina. Punya minyak dan gas alam banyak, tanahnya subur, punya uranium lagi! Kalo Anda pikir Indonesia kaya sumber daya alam, sepertinya nggak ada apa-apanya dibanding Argentina. Dulu negara ini beneran kaya gemah ripah loh jinawi, bahkan GDP-nya hampir sebanding dengan Amerika di awal abad 20. Tapi setelah terjerumus ke ideologi sesat nasionalisme, intervensionisme pemerintah dan militarisme seperti yang diusung Juan Peron dan para penerusnya hingga Cristina Kirchner sekarang, ekonominya selalu cuma berputar dari krisis satu ke yang lain. Situ tau Hong Kong? Keren kan? Maju, kaya dan sejahtera. Itu dulunya gak lebih dari sarang penyamun dan pemadat. Dia punya banyak sumber daya alam? Cuma ada batu karang dan lumut di situ. Asetnya cuma dua: Pelabuhan yang lokasinya pas banget dan filosofi pemerintah yang berkomitmen untuk tidak menghambat orang berkegiatan ekonomi yang diwariskan dari John James Cowperthwaite. Lebih kaya mana Argentina atau Hong Kong? Silakan cari sendiri jawabannya, dan silakan pilih mau jadi seperti yang mana.

Jokowi jelas jauh dari sosok Lee Kuan Yew yang ngerti bahwa institusi negara nggak akan survive kalo nggak didukung oleh ekonomi yang bebas, apalagi dari sosok penyokong free market sejati seperti Cowperthwaite. Tapi kalo ngelihat pasangan saingannya yang janji dan retorika kampanyenya semakin memburuk dan membodohi orang ini dan sepertinya kian naik profilnya, I’m starting to think that I may have to reconsider my position.

Sebodoh-bodohnya keledai…

October 9th, 2013 § 0

Berabad-abad sejarah sebagai bangsa yang tidak mandiri memang sulit dilepaskan dari psyche kolektif masyarakat. Dalam kesadaran mereka, nasib dan masa depan mereka ditentukan oleh pemimpinnya, bukan hasil kerja mereka sendiri.

Pesan dari video di atas ini menyiratkan perspektif tersebut. Saat ini, nama Jokowi sepertinya memang sudah jadi jaminan laku. Bila menyimak komentar sebagian orang, seolah-olah kalau Jokowi jadi presiden Indonesia pasti akan makmur, maju dan adil seperti di surga. Rasa-rasanya tidak mungkin PDIP akan menyia-nyiakan aset politik seperti itu di pemilu tahun depan.

Pengunggah video berpesan begini.

Sejarah Republik terulang kembali….Ir Soekarno hrs diculik dan dipaksa pr pemuda yang mewakili daerah2 di Indonesia agar beliau mau memproklamasikan kemerdekaan Republik Indonesia….

Padahal semua orang sudah tahu kelanjutan cerita itu. Si bung yang juga senang disebut Paduka Yang Mulia Pemimpin Besar Revolusi itu jatuh cinta kepada dirinya sendiri. Ia anggap jutaan rakyatnya sebagai harta kekayaan pribadinya belaka, bukan sebagai individu yang merdeka. Ia cetak uang sebanyak-banyaknya untuk membiayai kepuasan pribadi dan proyek-proyek mercu suarnya hingga uang itu tak lagi berharga. Semakin ia pandang pintar dirinya sendiri, semakin ia anggap bodoh jutaan rakyatnya, hingga tak ada jalan lain, harus ia atur semua hal sekecil-kecilnya dengan ‘demokrasi terpimpin’.

Satu hal yang mestinya diingat dari sejarah itu adalah kecintaan berlebihan pada figur seorang pemimpin adalah salah satu jalan menuju jurang kesahayaan, atau road to serfdom menurut Hayek. Cinta memang membutakan. Yang dicinta tak lagi terlihat celanya sejauh apa pun ia berubah.

This is how professionals do it

March 27th, 2013 § 0

Gubernur_DKI_Jokowi

Is there criticism to your decision or program? No need to provide an explanation, let alone finding a solution. That’s for amateurs.

Yes, professionals deflect criticisms simply by stating what should be obvious to everyone: Conspiracy. See how it’s done right here.

Congratulations, Pak Joko! You’ve now fully become a true politician. Enjoy this accomplishment!

Democracy is ugly, but is all we have

March 22nd, 2009 § 0

logo-pemiluElection day is nigh, and this would be utterly obvious at least to anyone living in Jakarta for they have had to endure the horrid experience of playing hide and seek with rowdy campaign crowds and the traffic debacle that would almost certainly transpire since the hunting season officially kicked off last week.

Isn’t democracy wonderful?  At least it should be to most of us who are too busy trying to make ends meet–or to pay off the loan on that glittering new SUV now perched peacefully in the garage–to be properly informed about our foremost civic duty.  If it hadn’t been for democracy, nothing would have forced our ignorant souls to pay any inkling of attention to whatever the legislators-to-be have to say about how a sprawling archipelago nation of 245 million is to be governed.  Nay, there is nowhere to escape the constant onslaught of political newspeak delivered right to our face; not the television as all the big networks are contemptuously coveting the title of “the election channel,” not any of the scandal sheets where all the most insidious perversions of our nation’s crème de la crème have been laid bare for all to see, and certainly not the internet where online political ads have turned up even on the most seemingly unassuming sites.

votingIf you think this is a prelude to a sarcastic rant about the failings of democracy in a  perennially developing nation such as our beloved Indonesia, you would be wrong.  I celebrate the fact that it took me 2 extra hours to get to a meeting with the most challenging client in the middle of an unforgiving tropical storm.  I’m grateful about seeing political talking heads rattling off the most unbelievably thoughtless analyses about the candidates’ chances of winning enough votes to secure a seat in the parliament, or their takes on what VP Jusuf Kalla’s run as a presidential candidate means to his cohabitation with President SBY.  And yes, I enjoy seeing haphazardly prepared candidates unbecomingly turning a TV debate show into an episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway, even though they were not supposed to be funny.

I believe in the oft-repeated wisdom of the general election as the time to celebrate our newly found democracy.  Indeed, campaign seasons were almost certainly a big quinquennial bash with music shows–and political sermons–served to political constituents eagerly blessing any candidate who was willing to pony up the highest amount of rupiah.  If political rallies seem to have become more subdued nowadays, that doesn’t mean no celebration is taking place.  Don’t take my word for it; just look at the polychromatic exhibition of candidates’ banners persistently adorning our streets.

Yes, democracy is brute, noisy, traffic jam-inducing, and most certainly ugly as Plato would readily attest to.  But it is also the only way to let the politicos know that they don’t mean a penny without us.  At least once in every five years, the honorable parliamentarians whose utterances are law and incomes are far beyond what us mortals can dream of will be focusing hard, devising illegitimate trickeries, hiring the most attractive campaigners they could find, manipulatively scheming solely to get our valuable votes.

model-kampanyeYou may be lamenting that when campaigning, the candidates should be offering the most sophisticated sounding economic arcana to get us through the global credit crisis or peddling the most convincing ideological platform with which voters can identify, but these are all beside the point.  In fact, the whole point of democracy is neither to ensure that our nation becomes a land flowing with milk and honey and streets lined with gold, nor to cater for our ideological inclinations.  Rather, democracy means that nobody can have exclusive claim over the fate of our land, and specifically for us Indonesians, it is quite possibly the only thing in which we can say we are far ahead of our neighboring nations.  Sure, other nations in our neighborhood can boast better living standards, higher incomes and faster internet connection.  Yet as democracy continues to take roots in our land but falter in theirs, none of them can claim to be a nation of free and desperately optimistic people.

So shut your eyes, close your ears while the politicos bombard you with their nonsense, their operatives stubbornly surround you with their likenesses for the next month or so.  On April 9, go to the voting booth or don’t, and be glad that whatever you do you have the freedom to choose.

Cool Cat for president!

November 16th, 2008 § 0

Mr. Endy Bayuni over at The Jak Post has an interesting piece that lays out the differences between US presidential election and that of Indonesia. He argues that the American election produces better presidents as the result of lengthy public vetting processes that bring all the questions–the good, the bad and the ugly–out in the open.

He says:

Voting for a president in Indonesia is an exercise of “buying a cat in the sack”, to borrow the popular Indonesian expression. We know they move and meow, but not much else about them. There remains the big risk of picking the wrong cat.

By contrast, the U.S. election is like a cat beauty contest, where the candidates are paraded before voters who scrutinize them right down to the smallest of details. The risk of picking the wrong cat is virtually eliminated.

Americans get the Cool Cat, while Indonesians will likely end up with the Smelly Cat.

I’m guessing that he’s referring to this cat (it’s the one making the cool finger while holding the dog–not the dog):

I’m kidding. He’s probably talking about this cool looking cat:

Mind you, the cooler cat would be the taller guy on the right, not the other one, who is too cool for Arab janitors, but not too cool for Arab former US congresswoman, and obviously not as cool as the guy on the right.

According to Mr. Bayuni, Americans are able to pick cool cats for president because of their unusually long campaign processes. He writes:

Obama underwent close public scrutiny for more than 18 months before he won the contest. He took part in grueling public debates, initially with competing Democratic presidential hopefuls including Hillary Clinton, and then with Republican candidate John McCain a number of times.

Sure. I can’t wait for the day when Indonesian political nominees dominate the airwaves with their glorious sound bites for almost two years, rousing voters with catchy rhetoric and ear-splitting dangdut rhythms from the latest booty-shaking act on the stage.

Boy, I sure hope the new porn law doesn’t ban this stuff. This is probably the only language of democracy understood by the Indonesian grassroots. And with long political campaigning, you will get months and months of ass-shaking treat by each political party, the non-Islamist ones anyway, from east to west.

Okay seriously, extensive public vetting of political nominees is a good idea, because we do need to know about our representatives at the executive and even at the legislative branches. But the problem is, the type of exposure you see in the American election requires a lot of money for any candidate. Here in Indonesia, requiring costly campaigning for political candidates is risky. Number one, it skews the playing field toward the incumbent candidates and major parties. Number two, it is not fair. With big parties continuing to tweak regulations in their favor–such as the 20% votes requirement for nominating a presidential candidate recently enacted–I, for one, am for more diversity as opposed to less.

In terms of allowing voters as much information as possible about a given candidate, the American campaign model could be a good idea. I actually wouldn’t mind being able to know more about what our presidential candidates stand for, their character, temper and likeliness to follow through on campaign promises. It is arguable, though, whether voters will actually use the available opportunity to examine their candidates and make an informed decision accordingly. Some people have also argued that the unusually long campaign in America is responsible for voter apathy as indicated by low turnout at the ballot boxes.

So what is our option? I think the best option to learn about candidates is to rely on the so-called fourth pillar of democracy, or journalists like Mr. Bayuni. As he reminds us, the presidential election is only eight months away. With people like Megawati, Gus Dur, the two Rizals (Ramli and Mallarangeng) etc. announcing their candidacy–even though most of them wouldn’t have enough party backing–I am looking forward to reading more about these people in the Jak Post, Kompas, Tempo and so forth. I mean, they do realize that the presidential election is eight months away, right?

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Politics category at The Gado-Gado Notes.