Siapa yang apa?

October 27th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

 fascism

Berita ini baru saja muncul:

Pertemuan Eks Tapol 65 Dibubarkan Paksa

Acara temu keluarga eks tahanan politik (tapol) G 30 S/PKI 1965 di Padepokan Santi Dharma Sleman, Minggu (27/10) berakhir ricuh. Kelompok ormas mengatasnamakan Front Anti Komunis Indonesia (FAKI) membubarkan paksa kegiatan.

Tiga orang peserta menjadi korban penganiayaan yakni Sukrisdiono (45) warga Purwokerto, Ardi Nugroho (23) warga Cilacap, dan Bayu Cahyadi warga Banyumas. Ketiganya mengalami luka lebam di bagian wajah.

Dari keterangan yang dihimpun di lokasi, kejadian berlangsung sekitar pukul 11.00. Saat itu, terlihat dua mobil dan belasan sepeda motor masuk ke halaman padepokan yang beralamat di Dusun Bendungan, Desa Sidoagung, Kecamatan Godean, Sleman.

"Puluhan orang tiba-tiba datang. Mereka pakai baju hitam bertuliskan FAKI," ungkap Koster Kapel Santi Dharma, Madya Saputra.

Sebagian dari anggota kelompok itu masuk ke dalam padepokan, sedang lainnya berada diluar. Setiba di dalam, mereka memaksa agar acara dibubarkan.

"Saya tidak berani mendekat, cuma melihat dari jauh. Tapi saya lihat satu orang dianiaya di halaman," katanya.

Sewaktu kejadian, di sekitar padepokan terlihat beberapa anggota polisi. Satu unit mobil ambulans juga sudah disiapkan di lokasi. Romo Paroki Klepu, Florentinus Hartanto Pr membenarkan, acara tersebut adalah ramah tamah keluarga dan anak-anak eks tapol 1965.

"Beberapa hari lalu ada orang yang telpon saya bilang ingin menyewa padepokan. Keperluannya untuk arisan dan ramah tamah dengan peserta sekitar 30 orang," katanya.

Panitia acara berniat menyewa padepokan selama dua hari, Minggu dan Senin (27-28/10). Namun belum sampai selesai, acara sudah dibubarkan.

Take a wild guess, siapa ya yang ciri-cirinya begini?

  • Agresif dan militan
  • Biasanya sangat nasionalis
  • Sangat membenci komunisme dan komunis
  • Tapi tidak keberatan, bahkan sangat menganjurkan salah satu ajaran komunis yang sangat penting, yaitu penguasaan faktor produksi dan pembatasan ekonomi oleh negara

Coba dibandingkan dengan kutipan ini.

The keystone of the Fascist doctrine is its conception of the State, of its essence, its functions, and its aims. For Fascism the State is absolute, individuals and groups relative.

Fascism should be more appropriately called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.

~Benito Mussolini

People really do not learn from history.

Di mana lagi kalau bukan di negeri dongeng?

October 21st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

samad

Indonesia memang negeri dongeng. Jutaan orang yang mengecap bangku sekolah di sini disuapi dongeng tentang kekayaan bumi, tanah dan airnya. Mereka jadi percaya bahwa semua kekayaan itu sudah ada; tinggal menunggu seorang pemimpin adil yang bisa membagi-bagi kekayaan itu dan membuat semua orang makmur sejahtera.

Mereka lupa mengajarkan bahwa kekayaan alam atau nonalam seperti apa pun berharganya harus dicari, diolah dan dimanfaatkan dalam kegiatan ekonomi agar ada nilainya. Mereka lupa mengajarkan bahwa tidak mungkin kekayaan bisa dimiliki secara kolektif oleh ‘seluruh’ rakyat, karena siapa pun yang berjasa mencari, mengolah dan memanfaatkan kekayaan tersebut pasti lebih berhak untuk menikmati hasil kerja mereka, dan mereka harus bisa menikmati hasil kerja mereka tanpa khawatir kehilangan hak itu.

Dongeng seperti itu juga yang mendorong serikat buruh seperti tak pernah puas memaksakan tuntutannya. Di pikiran mereka pengusaha punya kekayaan tak terbatas dan selalu bisa membayar upah lebih besar lagi kalau saja dipaksa oleh regulasi. Di pikiran mereka kalau mereka mendapat upah layak, semua orang akan makmur dan sejahtera.

Mereka lupa mengajarkan para pengurus serikat buruh di sekolah bahwa upah sama dengan harga, dan harga selalu tunduk pada hukum permintaan dan penawaran. Mereka lupa mengajarkan (atau sengaja melupakan) bahwa upah minimum sama dengan price floor, dan konsekuensi dari price floor yang lebih tinggi daripada harga ekuilibrium adalah adanya surplus pasokan pekerja. Dengan kata lain, memaksa upah minimum naik sama saja dengan melarang orang yang produktivitas marjinalnya di bawah tingkat upah minimum itu bekerja. Dengan kata lain lagi, memaksa upah minimum naik sama dengan memaksa orang menganggur.

Makin parah lagi, dunia dongeng yang diinginkan serikat buruh itu seolah dapat justifikasi dari pemimpin lembaga yang sedang naik pamornya. Di acara serikat buruh hari ini, ketua KPK bilang seperti ini.

Ketua KPK Abraham Samad mengatakan salah satu penyebab kemiskinan adalah korupsi. Menurut perhitungannya, jika tidak ada korupsi, pendapatan per kapita masyarakat Indonesia mencapai puluhan juta rupiah per bulan.

Dari sektor migas saja, menurutnya hampir 50% perusahan tambang di Indonesia itu tidak membayar royalti ke pemerintah. Angka tersebut jika dirupiahkan mencapai Rp 20 ribu triliun.

“Coba dibagi dengan 241 juta jiwa. Maka kita akan menemukan angka pendapatan terendah adalah Rp 30 juta per bulan,” kata Abraham Samad dalam dialog kebangsaan di depan puluhan ribu buruh di Istora, Senayan, Jakarta, Senin (21/10/2013).

Pertama, yang dimaksud “pendapatan per kapita masyarakat Indonesia” oleh beliau itu sepertinya “produk domestik bruto per kapita ekonomi Indonesia”.

Menurut BPS, PDB total Indonesia secara nominal harga tahun 2012 adalah sekitar Rp8 ribu triliun, atau per kapitanya Rp33.3 juta per tahun. Itu sekitar Rp2,7 juta per bulan. Menurut beliau, seharusnya PDB per kapita Indonesia itu Rp30 juta per bulan, atau Rp360 juta per tahun. Sedikit koreksi pak, kalau dikalikan 241 juta populasi Indonesia, itu PDB totalnya bukan Rp20 ribu triliun, tapi sekitar 87 ribu triliun! Wah ke mana hilangnya yang Rp79 ribu triliun?

Nah, itu. Menurut beliau itu karena hampir 50% perusahaan tambang di Indonesia tidak membayar royalti ke pemerintah. Waduh, kenapa bisa begitu? Beliau lanjut begini.

Ironisnya menurut Samad, para pengusaha itu bukan tanpa alasan tidak membayar royalti ke pemerintah. Mereka justru menghabiskan uangnya lebih banyak untuk menyuap oknum aparat.

Pusing saya. Jadi menurut beliau nilai ekonomi yang jauh lebih besar daripada nilai produksi seluruh ekonomi Indonesia itu bisa hilang begitu saja karena dipakai untuk membayar aparat dan pejabat korup.

Hore! Logika hebat!

Begini. Royalti itu, kalau pun tidak dibayarkan ke pemerintah, tidak lenyap begitu saja, apalagi nilainya sedahsyat itu. Kalau pun uang itu dibayarkan ke aparat dan pejabat korup, pertama, kegiatan ekonomi yang menyebabkan ada royalti yang harus dibayar itu tetap akan menghasilkan nilai ekonomi. Kedua, aparat atau pejabat korup itu pun akan melakukan kegiatan ekonomi dengan uang haram yang didapat. Apa iya mereka semua kompak menyimpan berbundel-bundel uang kertas di rumah masing-masing sehingga sama sekali tidak ada jejak ekonominya? Menyimpan uangnya di bank pun akan tercatat sebagai kegiatan ekonomi, pak, apa lagi ‘mencuci uang’ dengan membeli aset. Uang yang masuk ke bank juga akan menghasilkan laba bagi bank atau dipinjamkan ke pihak lain sehingga menghasilkan laba juga bagi pihak lain. Uang yang dipakai membeli aset menghasilkan laba bagi penjual aset, menciptakan lapangan kerja juga.

Jadi nggak mungkin hilang tanpa jejak ekonominya sama sekali.

Yang paling parah menurut saya adalah pandangan bahwa pendapatan, dus kesejahteraan masyarakat, yang terdiri dari individu-individu dengan pribadi, minat, keahlian berbeda-beda, semuanya ditentukan oleh negara atau pemerintah belaka.

Kalau begini, kata serikat buruh, untuk apa mereka menuntut upah minimum naik jadi Rp4 atau 5 juta saja? Batasnya langit!

Sebodoh-bodohnya keledai…

October 9th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

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.

What makes the chicken go?

September 27th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Ayam

Here’s a typical economic news in the media. This one talks about the price for whole chicken that’s been inching up for some time. A chicken seller in Bandung, West Java, offers his opinion.

"Price had actually started to come down last week to Rp30,000, but now as we’re approaching the Idul Adha (day of sacrifice) holiday it’s going up again."…

He said that increases like this are the result of manipulation by wholesalers.

In a socialistic culture, big business is always the suspect of every crime. Prices go up? It’s the wholesalers. Prices collapse? The speculators are to blame. Prices aren’t moving? Why, its because the wicked big players are fixing them.

Now prices for everything have been generally on the rise for quite a while in Rupiah terms. That’s largely due to the inflation ‘imported’ from the US with the Federal Reserve undertaking their unprecedented monetary stimulus called QE. Recently, foreign money has been flowing out due to rising interest rates in developed countries. On top of that, the government also reduced fuel subsidy this year, which exacerbated domestic inflation.

Another reason is the government’s misguided move last year to cut beef imports as part of their goal of self-sufficiency in beef. The drastic cut led to acute shortage, sending beef price to the sky and causing households to cut down on beef and opt for the next best thing, chicken. Even more amazingly, the government’s solution is not to admit that they were wrong and stop meddling with the beef trade, but to try to buy up land in Australia and tell one of the state-owned companies to operate a big-ass cattle ranch down there.

Now as the Idul Adha approaches, cattle and goat raisers are setting aside a significant portion of their animals for fattening to make them available for the day of sacrifice. This is causing even more shortage in animal protein options for consumers during these days, and the price of chicken surely has to go up to reflect that scarcity.

All these reasons should be enough to explain the rising price of chicken. But of course, it’s a more difficult story to tell than just blaming everything on some nefarious fat men controlling everything from behind the curtain.

Stories like these are always more compelling emotionally when you also describe the plight of the consumers, like the next person quoted, who buys whole chicken for her restaurant.

…That’s why Lia is hoping that the government take action to control the price of chicken.

"Last I knew the price was Rp30,000 per kilogram, but it’s gone up now."

Of course most consumers probably aren’t aware that it’s the government’s action that caused the whole thing in the first place, but they should be. Whenever there’s some imbalance in an economic situation, the first thing is to ask what the government has been up to in that sector.

But of course, that rarely happens.

People just don’t know what they need

September 25th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

briosatya

We talked earlier about how the Jakarta Governor thought that cheap cars weren’t what the people need. Here’s a news report about how Honda is overwhelmed by record orders for their low-cost models, the Brio Satya, Brio 1.2 liter and the Mobilio, within less than a month after they were launch at the 2013 Indonesia International Motor Show.

Does this mean that the people who buy the cars don’t know that they don’t need those cars? There’s something about demonstrated preference that makes it a more reliable indicator of people’s preference than what a bureaucrat says.

Truth will always set you free

September 23rd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Our so-called money is a perpetual non-interest bearing liability of an insolvent central bank, whose balance sheet looks like a bad hedge fund. I don’t know why we couldn’t do without them.

You want me to eat fish for life?

September 23rd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

 fish

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day and before you know it he’ll come right back at your door.

Teach him to fish and you feed him for a longer time after which he’ll be bored eating fish and come right back at your door.

Leave him alone and you give him a valuable lesson: Nothing in life is free and only he is the master of his own destiny.

Let the tax go

September 23rd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

LCGC

"Jakarta gets ready for cheap car assault" says a news headline. The article talks about the ongoing spat between some central government officials and the Jakarta administration over the central govt’s tax incentive for so-called ‘low-cost green cars’.

Low cost car sounds good, right? Except Jakarta administration doesn’t think so. Governor Jokowi was quoted to say that it’s not what the people need, as if one person can determine what millions of others need. He believes that letting manufacturers offer cheap cars to consumers will make traffic congestions in Jakarta even worse.

One of Jokowi’s campaign promises was to fix the city’s aptly described traffic nightmares by setting up extensive public transport networks. People have yet to see this promise made good by the governor, which is reasonable given the complex problems relating to land acquisitions, financing schemes and overlapping government transportation policies.

However, the low cost car scheme is part of the central government’s tax incentive program that was put in place in the middle of this year with the intent of encouraging investment by car manufacturers here to produce high-volume products for the local and ASEAN markets. They do this by lowering the ‘luxury goods sales tax’ from 25 to 100 percent, depending on the fuel economy of the car.

Anything that results in less tax going to the government is always and everywhere a good thing, whatever the reason or intent. It leaves more money at the hands of private people who will make the best choice on how to use the money they have themselves made, instead of giving it to a bureaucrat to spend at his arbitrary discretion.

It’s wrong to support Jokowi’s cause by calling for the tax cut to be scrapped. What people should be calling for is for the government to get rid of tax for all kinds of cars, not just the ones they arbitrarily call ‘green’, remove all the complicated bureaucracy like price controls and licensing requirements for public transport that make it hard for private investors to invest in transportation profitably and let the market do what it does best: allocate resources effectively.

This is how professionals do it

March 27th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

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!

On homeland and history

December 23rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

East Indies

What is a homeland? How does one define the place where one belongs? Why does one feel to belong there in relation to others who share this homeland?

Existential questions are inevitable when you try to understand a country as geographically, culturally, linguistically and historically diverse as Indonesia. The diversity of the archipelago now commonly known as Indonesia is immense, even beyond belief. In fact, many of those who proudly claim to be Indonesian may not quite understand this diversity.

Right in the heartland of Java, there’s animosity between the Sultan of Yogyakarta, and his supporters, and the central government, stemming from a government-initiated bill that the Sultan’s side accuses would take away the ‘specialness’ of the Special Province of Yogyakarta that has been recognized since Indonesian independence.

The major media seem to have been firmly behind the Sultan in this case as headline stories appear daily to offer the comments of experts who accuse the government of forgetting history, by which they mean how Yogyakarta came to be special in the country’s formation.

Selective memory is nothing rare, really, and those who accuse others of this error may not even realize that they are guilty of the same.

When the experts tell the government to learn their history, for example, are they telling them to learn about how Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX declared his domain part of the Republic of Indonesia when the nationalists proclaimed independence, or how his predecessor Hamengkubuwono I sided with Dutch colonialist powers to double cross his rebellious fellow Mataram royalty Mangkunegara, more commonly known as Prince Sambernyawa, to claim the region today known as Yogyakarta as his own?

People have been conducting mass rallies recently in Yogyakarta to show their support for the infallibility of the Sultan the recognition of the special status of the region. Some have even suggested the idea of an independent Yogyakarta state.

There is irony in this, as in other regions of the country different groups of people have been struggling for the same idea of independence for a long time and have been forced to endure war and oppression because of this. In fact, in these regions simply uttering the idea of independence or exhibiting any separatist symbol has got people in jail and torture chambers.

So they are telling people to learn their history. How about the history of South Maluku, where Dutch-trained Moluccan soldiers consistently defied the ragtag Indonesian troops who tried to force the entire archipelago to conform to the idea of a unitary state, and in fact managed to proclaim an independent South Moluccas Republic in 1951?

Also, let’s learn about the history of the western part of Papua or Irian island in which preparations for an independent state had to give way to annexation/incorporation into another state because of Cold War politics?

To many people from core Indonesian regions such as Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan, the idea of Indonesia as an expansionist project may sound silly if not outrageous. They really can’t be blamed, though, since history is taught in schools strictly in keeping with the state-sanctioned narrative. The history of Indonesia, in the state’s narrative, is of separate peoples on separate islands in the archipelago that are bound and united by the shared history of rising up from being under the oppression of Dutch colonialism.

Prince Diponegoro, for example, is always an Indonesian nationalist hero against Dutch colonialism, despite the legitimate question on whether or not he would rise up to lead the mass revolt against the Dutch if he, instead of his younger brother who was favored by the Dutch, was allowed to succeed his father’s throne, or on whether or not the Javanese nobility would support his cause if the Dutch had allowed them to extract rent on their land. Another question worth reflecting is whether Diponegoro’s defeat was caused by Dutch military supremacy, or simply by the fact that the Javanese nobility and peasants that had supported Diponegoro were given a better offer by the Dutch?

“History is a pack of lies we play on the dead,” according to Voltaire. Little wonder then that historical events are omitted from history books if they do not conform with the official narrative.