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Against Identity Politics: The New Tribalism and the Crisis of Democracy

By Francis Fukuyama

Against Identity Politics -- Francis Fukuyana Pic 1

Against Identity Politics — Francis Fukuyama

Beginning a few decades ago, world politics started to experience a dramatic transformation. From the early 1970s to the first decade of this century, the number of electoral democracies increased from about 35 to more than 110. Over the same period, the world’s output of goods and services quadrupled, and growth extended to virtually every region of the world. The proportion of people living in extreme poverty plummeted, dropping from 42 percent of the global population in 1993 to 18 percent in 2008.

But not everyone benefited from these changes. In many countries, and particularly in developed democracies, economic inequality increased dramatically, as the benefits of growth flowed primarily to the wealthy and well-educated. The increasing volume of goods, money, and people moving from one place to another brought disruptive changes. In developing countries, villagers who previously had no electricity suddenly found themselves living in large cities, watching TV, and connecting to the Internet on their mobile phones. Huge new middle classes arose in China and India—but the work they did replaced the work that had been done by older middle classes in the developed world. Manufacturing moved steadily from the United States and Europe to East Asia and other regions with low labor costs. At the same time, men were being displaced by women in a labor market increasingly dominated by service industries, and low-skilled workers found themselves replaced by smart machines.

Ultimately, these changes slowed the movement toward an increasingly open and liberal world order, which began to falter and soon reversed. The final blows were the global financial crisis of 2007–8 and the euro crisis that began in 2009. In both cases, policies crafted by elites produced huge recessions, high unemployment, and falling incomes for millions of ordinary workers. Since the United States and the EU were the leading exemplars of liberal democracy, these crises damaged the reputation of that system as a whole.

Indeed, in recent years, the number of democracies has fallen, and democracy has retreated in virtually all regions of the world. At the same time, many authoritarian countries, led by China and Russia, have become much more assertive. Some countries that had seemed to be successful liberal democracies during the 1990s—including Hungary, Poland, Thailand, and Turkey—have slid backward toward authoritarianism. The Arab revolts of 2010–11 disrupted dictatorships throughout the Middle East but yielded little in terms of democratization: in their wake, despotic regimes held on to power, and civil wars racked Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. More surprising and perhaps even more significant was the success of populist nationalism in elections held in 2016 by two of the world’s most durable liberal democracies: the United Kingdom, where voters chose to leave the EU, and the United States, where Donald Trump scored a shocking electoral upset in the race for president.

All these developments relate in some way to the economic and technological shifts of globalization. But they are also rooted in a different phenomenon: the rise of identity politics. For the most part, twentieth-century politics was defined by economic issues. On the left, politics centered on workers, trade unions, social welfare programs, and redistributive policies. The right, by contrast, was primarily interested in reducing the size of government and promoting the private sector. Politics today, however, is defined less by economic or ideological concerns than by questions of identity. Now, in many democracies, the left focuses less on creating broad economic equality and more on promoting the interests of a wide variety of marginalized groups, such as ethnic minorities, immigrants and refugees, women, and LGBT people. The right, meanwhile, has redefined its core mission as the patriotic protection of traditional national identity, which is often explicitly connected to race, ethnicity, or religion.

Identity politics has become a master concept that explains much of what is going on in global affairs.

This shift overturns a long tradition, dating back at least as far as Karl Marx, of viewing political struggles as a reflection of economic conflicts. But important as material self-interest is, human beings are motivated by other things as well, forces that better explain the present day. All over the world, political leaders have mobilized followers around the idea that their dignity has been affronted and must be restored.

Of course, in authoritarian countries, such appeals are old hat. Russian President Vladimir Putin has talked about the “tragedy” of the Soviet Union’s collapse and has excoriated the United States and Europe for taking advantage of Russia’s weakness during the 1990s to expand NATO. Chinese President Xi Jinping alludes to his country’s “century of humiliation,” a period of foreign domination that began in 1839.

But resentment over indignities has become a powerful force in democratic countries, too. The Black Lives Matter movement sprang from a series of well-publicized police killings of African Americans and forced the rest of the world to pay attention to the victims of police brutality. On college campuses and in offices around the United States, women seethed over a seeming epidemic of sexual harassment and assault and concluded that their male peers simply did not see them as equals. The rights of transgender people, who had previously not been widely recognized as distinct targets of discrimination, became a cause célèbre. And many of those who voted for Trump yearned for a better time in the past, when they believed their place in their own society had been more secure.

Again and again, groups have come to believe that their identities—whether national, religious, ethnic, sexual, gender, or otherwise—are not receiving adequate recognition. Identity politics is no longer a minor phenomenon, playing out only in the rarified confines of university campuses or providing a backdrop to low-stakes skirmishes in “culture wars” promoted by the mass media. Instead, identity politics has become a master concept that explains much of what is going on in global affairs.

That leaves modern liberal democracies facing an important challenge. Globalization has brought rapid economic and social change and made these societies far more diverse, creating demands for recognition on the part of groups that were once invisible to mainstream society. These demands have led to a backlash among other groups, which are feeling a loss of status and a sense of displacement. Democratic societies are fracturing into segments based on ever-narrower identities, threatening the possibility of deliberation and collective action by society as a whole. This is a road that leads only to state breakdown and, ultimately, failure. Unless such liberal democracies can work their way back to more universal understandings of human dignity, they will doom themselves—and the world—to continuing conflict.


Most economists assume that human beings are motivated by the desire for material resources or goods. This conception of human behavior has deep roots in Western political thought and forms the basis of most contemporary social science. But it leaves out a factor that classical philosophers realized was crucially important: the craving for dignity. Socrates believed that such a need formed an integral “third part” of the human soul, one that coexisted with a “desiring part” and a “calculating part.” In Plato’s Republic, he termed this the thymos, which English translations render poorly as “spirit.”

In politics, thymos is expressed in two forms. The first is what I call “megalothymia”: a desire to be recognized as superior. Pre-democratic societies rested on hierarchies, and their belief in the inherent superiority of a certain class of people—nobles, aristocrats, royals—was fundamental to social order. The problem with megalothymia is that for every person recognized as superior, far more people are seen as inferior and receive no public recognition of their human worth. A powerful feeling of resentment arises when one is disrespected. And an equally powerful feeling—what I call “isothymia”—makes people want to be seen as just as good as everyone else.

The rise of modern democracy is the story of isothymia’s triumph over megalothymia: societies that recognized the rights of only a small number of elites were replaced by ones that recognized everyone as inherently equal. During the twentieth century, societies stratified by class began to acknowledge the rights of ordinary people, and nations that had been colonized sought independence. The great struggles in U.S. political history over slavery and segregation, workers’ rights, and women’s equality were driven by demands that the political system expand the circle of individuals it recognized as full human beings.

But in liberal democracies, equality under the law does not result in economic or social equality. Discrimination continues to exist against a wide variety of groups, and market economies produce large inequalities of outcome. Despite their overall wealth, the United States and other developed countries have seen income inequality increase dramatically over the past 30 years. Significant parts of their populations have suffered from stagnant incomes, and certain segments of society have experienced downward social mobility.

Perceived threats to one’s economic status may help explain the rise of populist nationalism in the United States and elsewhere. The American working class, defined as people with a high school education or less, has not been doing well in recent decades. This is reflected not just in stagnant or declining incomes and job losses but in social breakdown, as well. For African Americans, this process began in the 1970s, decades after the Great Migration, when blacks moved to such cities as Chicago, Detroit, and New York, where many of them found employment in the meatpacking, steel, or auto industry. As these sectors declined and men began to lose jobs through deindustrialization, a series of social ills followed, including rising crime rates, a crack cocaine epidemic, and a deterioration of family life, which helped transmit poverty from one generation to the next.

Over the past decade, a similar kind of social decline has spread to the white working class. An opioid epidemic has hollowed out white, rural working-class communities all over the United States; in 2016, heavy drug use led to more than 60,000 overdose deaths, about twice the number of deaths from traffic accidents each year in the country. Life expectancy for white American men fell between 2013 and 2014, a highly unusual occurrence in a developed country. And the proportion of white working-class children growing up in single-parent families rose from 22 percent in 2000 to 36 percent in 2017.

REUTERS/Whitney Curtis A protester stands on a “blue lives matter” flag in St. Louis, Missouri, September 2017.

But perhaps one of the great drivers of the new nationalism that sent Trump to the White House (and drove the United Kingdom to vote to leave the EU) has been the perception of invisibility. The resentful citizens fearing the loss of their middle-class status point an accusatory finger upward to the elites, who they believe do not see them, but also downward toward the poor, who they feel are unfairly favored. Economic distress is often perceived by individuals more as a loss of identity than as a loss of resources. Hard work should confer dignity on an individual. But many white working-class Americans feel that their dignity is not recognized and that the government gives undue advantages to people who are not willing to play by the rules.

This link between income and status helps explain why nationalist or religiously conservative appeals have proved more effective than traditional left-wing ones based on economic class. Nationalists tell the disaffected that they have always been core members of a great nation and that foreigners, immigrants, and elites have been conspiring to hold them down. “Your country is no longer your own,” they say, “and you are not respected in your own land.” The religious right tells a similar story: “You are a member of a great community of believers that has been betrayed by nonbelievers; this betrayal has led to your impoverishment and is a crime against God.”

The prevalence of such narratives is why immigration has become such a contentious issue in so many countries. Like trade, immigration boosts overall GDP, but it does not benefit all groups within a society. Almost always, ethnic majorities view it as a threat to their cultural identity, especially when cross-border flows of people are as massive as they have been in recent decades.

Yet anger over immigration alone cannot explain why the nationalist right has in recent years captured voters who used to support parties of the left, in both the United States and Europe. The rightward drift also reflects the failure of contemporary left-leaning parties to speak to people whose relative status has fallen as a result of globalization and technological change. In past eras, progressives appealed to a shared experience of exploitation and resentment of rich capitalists: “Workers of the world, unite!” In the United States, working-class voters overwhelmingly supported the Democratic Party from the New Deal, in the 1930s, up until the rise of Ronald Reagan, in the 1980s. And European social democracy was built on a foundation of trade unionism and working-class solidarity.

But during the era of globalization, most left-wing parties shifted their strategy. Rather than build solidarity around large collectivities such as the working class or the economically exploited, they began to focus on ever-smaller groups that found themselves marginalized in specific and unique ways. The principle of universal and equal recognition mutated into calls for special recognition. Over time, this phenomenon migrated from the left to the right.


In the 1960s, powerful new social movements emerged across the world’s developed liberal democracies. Civil rights activists in the United States demanded that the country fulfill the promise of equality made in the Declaration of Independence and written into the U.S. Constitution after the Civil War. This was soon followed by the feminist movement, which similarly sought equal treatment for women, a cause that both stimulated and was shaped by a massive influx of women into the labor market. A parallel social revolution shattered traditional norms regarding sexuality and the family, and the environmental movement reshaped attitudes toward nature. Subsequent years would see new movements promoting the rights of the disabled, Native Americans, immigrants, gay men and women, and, eventually, transgender people. But even when laws changed to provide more opportunities and stronger legal protections to the marginalized, groups continued to differ from one another in their behavior, performance, wealth, traditions, and customs; bias and bigotry remained commonplace among individuals; and minorities continued to cope with the burdens of discrimination, prejudice, disrespect, and invisibility.

This presented each marginalized group with a choice: it could demand that society treat its members the same way it treated the members of dominant groups, or it could assert a separate identity for its members and demand respect for them as different from the mainstream society. Over time, the latter strategy tended to win out: the early civil rights movement of Martin Luther King, Jr., demanded that American society treat black people the way it treated white people. By the end of the 1960s, however, groups such as the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam emerged and argued that black people had their own traditions and consciousness; in their view, black people needed to take pride in themselves for who they were and not heed what the broader society wanted them to be. The authentic inner selves of black Americans were not the same as those of white people, they argued; they were shaped by the unique experience of growing up black in a hostile society dominated by whites. That experience was defined by violence, racism, and denigration and could not be appreciated by people who grew up in different circumstances.

Multiculturalism has become a vision of a society fragmented into many small groups with distinct experiences.

These themes have been taken up in today’s Black Lives Matter movement, which began with demands for justice for individual victims of police violence but soon broadened into an effort to make people more aware of the nature of day-to-day existence for black Americans. Writers such as Ta-Nehisi Coates have connected contemporary police violence against African Americans to the long history of slavery and lynching. In the view of Coates and others, this history constitutes part of an unbridgeable gulf of understanding between blacks and whites.

A similar evolution occurred within the feminist movement. The demands of the mainstream movement were focused on equal treatment for women in employment, education, the courts, and so on. But from the beginning, an important strand of feminist thought proposed that the consciousness and life experiences of women were fundamentally different from those of men and that the movement’s aim should not be to simply facilitate women’s behaving and thinking like men.

Other movements soon seized on the importance of lived experience to their struggles. Marginalized groups increasingly demanded not only that laws and institutions treat them as equal to dominant groups but also that the broader society recognize and even celebrate the intrinsic differences that set them apart. The term “multiculturalism”—originally merely referring to a quality of diverse societies—became a label for a political program that valued each separate culture and each lived experience equally, at times by drawing special attention to those that had been invisible or undervalued in the past. This kind of multiculturalism at first was about large cultural groups, such as French-speaking Canadians, or Muslim immigrants, or African Americans. But soon it became a vision of a society fragmented into many small groups with distinct experiences, as well as groups defined by the intersection of different forms of discrimination, such as women of color, whose lives could not be understood through the lens of either race or gender alone.

REUTERS/Stephen Lam
A man protesting the cancelation of Ann Coulter’s speech at the University of California in Berkeley, California, April 2017.

The left began to embrace multiculturalism just as it was becoming harder to craft policies that would bring about large-scale socio-economic change. By the 1980s, progressive groups throughout the developed world were facing an existential crisis. The far left had been defined for the first half of the century by the ideals of revolutionary Marxism and its vision of radical egalitarianism. The social democratic left had a different agenda: it accepted liberal democracy but sought to expand the welfare state to cover more people with more social protections. But both Marxists and social democrats hoped to increase socioeconomic equality through the use of state power, by expanding access to social services to all citizens and by redistributing wealth.

As the twentieth century drew to a close, the limits of this strategy became clear. Marxists had to confront the fact that communist societies in China and the Soviet Union had turned into grotesque and oppressive dictatorships. At the same time, the working class in most industrialized democracies had grown richer and had begun to merge with the middle class. Communist revolution and the abolition of private property fell off the agenda. The social democratic left also reached a dead end when its goal of an ever-expanding welfare state bumped into the reality of fiscal constraints during the turbulent 1970s. Governments responded by printing money, leading to inflation and financial crises. Redistributive programs were creating perverse incentives that discouraged work, savings, and entrepreneurship, which in turn shrank the overall economic pie. Inequality remained deeply entrenched, despite ambitious efforts to eradicate it, such as U.S. President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society initiatives. With China’s shift toward a market economy after 1978 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Marxist left largely fell apart, and the social democrats were left to make their peace with capitalism.

The left’s diminished ambitions for large-scale socioeconomic reform converged with its embrace of identity politics and multiculturalism in the final decades of the twentieth century. The left continued to be defined by its passion for equality—by isothymia—but its agenda shifted from the earlier emphasis on the working class to the demands of an ever-widening circle of marginalized minorities. Many activists came to see the old working class and their trade unions as a privileged stratum that demonstrated little sympathy for the plight of immigrants and racial minorities. They sought to expand the rights of a growing list of groups rather than improve the economic conditions of individuals. In the process, the old working class was left behind.


The left’s embrace of identity politics was both understandable and necessary. The lived experiences of distinct identity groups differ, and they often need to be addressed in ways specific to those groups. Outsiders often fail to perceive the harm they are doing by their actions, as many men realized in the wake of the #MeToo movement’s revelations regarding sexual harassment and sexual assault. Identity politics aims to change culture and behavior in ways that have real material benefits for many people.

By turning a spotlight on narrower experiences of injustice, identity politics has brought about welcome changes in cultural norms and has produced concrete public policies that have helped many people. The Black Lives Matter movement has made police departments across the United States much more conscious of the way they treat minorities, even though police abuse still persists. The #MeToo movement has broadened popular understanding of sexual assault and has opened an important discussion of the inadequacies of existing criminal law in dealing with it. Its most important consequence is probably the change it has already wrought in the way that women and men interact in workplaces.

So there is nothing wrong with identity politics as such; it is a natural and inevitable response to injustice. But the tendency of identity politics to focus on cultural issues has diverted energy and attention away from serious thinking on the part of progressives about how to reverse the 30-year trend in most liberal democracies toward greater socioeconomic inequality. It is easier to argue over cultural issues than it is to change policies, easier to include female and minority authors in college curricula than to increase the incomes and expand the opportunities of women and minorities outside the ivory tower. What is more, many of the constituencies that have been the focus of recent campaigns driven by identity politics, such as female executives in Silicon Valley and female Hollywood stars, are near the top of the income distribution. Helping them achieve greater equality is a good thing, but it will do little to address the glaring disparities between the top one percent of earners and everyone else.

Today’s left-wing identity politics also diverts attention from larger groups whose serious problems have been ignored. Until recently, activists on the left had little to say about the burgeoning opioid crisis or the fate of children growing up in impoverished single-parent families in the rural United States. And the Democrats have put forward no ambitious strategies to deal with the potentially immense job losses that will accompany advancing automation or the income disparities that technology may bring to all Americans.

Moreover, the left’s identity politics poses a threat to free speech and to the kind of rational discourse needed to sustain a democracy. Liberal democracies are committed to protecting the right to say virtually anything in a marketplace of ideas, particularly in the political sphere. But the preoccupation with identity has clashed with the need for civic discourse. The focus on lived experience by identity groups prioritizes the emotional world of the inner self over the rational examination of issues in the outside world and privileges sincerely held opinions over a process of reasoned deliberation that may force one to abandon prior opinions. The fact that an assertion is offensive to someone’s sense of self-worth is often seen as grounds for silencing or disparaging the individual who made it.

A reliance on identity politics also has weaknesses as a political strategy. The current dysfunction and decay of the U.S. political system are related to extreme and ever-growing polarization, which has made routine governing an exercise in brinkmanship. Most of the blame for this belongs to the right. As the political scientists Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein have argued, the Republican Party has moved much more rapidly toward its far-right wing than the Democratic Party has moved in the opposite direction. But both parties have moved away from the center. Left-wing activists focused on identity issues are seldom representative of the electorate as a whole; indeed, their concerns often alienate mainstream voters.

But perhaps the worst thing about identity politics as currently practiced by the left is that it has stimulated the rise of identity politics on the right. This is due in no small part to the left’s embrace of political correctness, a social norm that prohibits people from publicly expressing their beliefs or opinions without fearing moral opprobrium. Every society has certain views that run counter to its foundational ideas of legitimacy and therefore are off-limits in public discourse. But the constant discovery of new identities and the shifting grounds for acceptable speech are hard to follow. In a society highly attuned to group dignity, new boundaries lines keep appearing, and previously acceptable ways of talking or expressing oneself become offensive. Today, for example, merely using the words “he” or “she” in certain contexts might be interpreted as a sign of insensitivity to intersex or transgender people. But such utterances threaten no fundamental democratic principles; rather, they challenge the dignity of a particular group and denote a lack of awareness of or sympathy for that group’s struggles.

In reality, only a relatively small number of writers, artists, students, and intellectuals on the left espouse the most extreme forms of political correctness. But those instances are picked up by the conservative media, which use them to tar the left as a whole. This may explain one of the extraordinary aspects of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which was Trump’s popularity among a core group of supporters despite behavior that, in an earlier era, would have doomed a presidential bid. During the campaign, Trump mocked a journalist’s physical disabilities, characterized Mexicans as rapists and criminals, and was heard on a recording bragging that he had groped women. Those statements were less transgressions against political correctness than transgressions against basic decency, and many of Trump’s supporters did not necessarily approve of them or of other outrageous comments that Trump made. But at a time when many Americans believe that public speech is excessively policed, Trump’s supporters like that he is not intimidated by the pressure to avoid giving offense. In an era shaped by political correctness, Trump represents a kind of authenticity that many Americans admire: he may be malicious, bigoted, and unpresidential, but at least he says what he thinks.

And yet Trump’s rise did not reflect a conservative rejection of identity politics; in fact, it reflected the right’s embrace of identity politics. Many of Trump’s white working-class supporters feel that they have been disregarded by elites. People living in rural areas, who are the backbone of populist movements not just in the United States but also in many European countries, often believe that their values are threatened by cosmopolitan, urban elites. And although they are members of a dominant ethnic group, many members of the white working class see themselves as victimized and marginalized. Such sentiments have paved the way for the emergence of a right-wing identity politics that, at its most extreme, takes the form of explicitly racist white nationalism.

Trump has directly contributed to this process. His transformation from real estate mogul and reality-television star to political contender took off after he became the most famous promoter of the racist “birther” conspiracy theory, which cast doubt on Barack Obama’s eligibility to serve as president. As a candidate, he was evasive when asked about the fact that the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke had endorsed him, and he complained that a U.S. federal judge overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University was treating him “unfairly” because of the judge’s Mexican heritage. After a violent gathering of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017—where a white nationalist killed a counterprotester—Trump averred that there were “very fine people on both sides.” And he has spent a lot of time singling out black athletes and celebrities for criticism and has been happy to exploit anger over the removal of statues honoring Confederate leaders.

Thanks to Trump, white nationalism has moved from the fringes to something resembling the mainstream. Its proponents complain that although it is politically acceptable to talk about black rights, or women’s rights, or gay rights, it is not possible to advocate the rights of white Americans without being branded a racist. The practitioners of identity politics on the left would argue that the right’s assertions of identity are illegitimate and cannot be placed on the same moral plane as those of minorities, women, and other marginalized groups, since they reflect the perspective of a historically privileged community. That is clearly true. Conservatives greatly exaggerate the extent to which minority groups receive advantages, just as they exaggerate the extent to which political correctness muzzles free speech. The reality for many marginalized groups remains unchanged: African Americans continue to be subjected to police violence; women are still assaulted and harassed.

What is notable, however, is how the right has adopted language and framing from the left: the idea that whites are being victimized, that their situation and suffering are invisible to the rest of society, and that the social and political structures responsible for this situation—especially the media and the political establishment—need to be smashed. Across the ideological spectrum, identity politics is the lens through which most social issues are now seen.

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts An immigration activist during a rally to protest the Trump Administration’s immigration policy outside the Department of Justice in Washington, June 2018.


Societies need to protect marginalized and excluded groups, but they also need to achieve common goals through deliberation and consensus. The shift in the agendas of both the left and the right toward the protection of narrow group identities ultimately threatens that process. The remedy is not to abandon the idea of identity, which is central to the way that modern people think about themselves and their surrounding societies; it is to define larger and more integrative national identities that take into account the de facto diversity of liberal democratic societies.

Human societies cannot get away from identity or identity politics. Identity is a “powerful moral idea,” in the philosopher Charles Taylor’s phrase, built on the universal human characteristic of thymos. This moral idea tells people that they have authentic inner selves that are not being recognized and suggests that external society may be false and repressive. It focuses people’s natural demand for recognition of their dignity and provides language for expressing the resentments that arise when such recognition is not forthcoming.

It would be neither possible nor desirable for such demands for dignity to disappear. Liberal democracy is built on the rights of individuals to enjoy an equal degree of choice and agency in determining their collective political lives. But many people are not satisfied with equal recognition as generic human beings. In some sense, this is a condition of modern life. Modernization means constant change and disruption and the opening up of choices that did not exist before. This is by and large a good thing: over generations, millions of people have fled traditional communities that did not offer them choices in favor of communities that did. But the freedom and degree of choice that exist in a modern liberal society can also leave people unhappy and disconnected from their fellow human beings. They find themselves nostalgic for the community and structured life they think they have lost, or that their ancestors supposedly possessed. The authentic identities they are seeking are ones that bind them to other people. People who feel this way can be seduced by leaders who tell them that they have been betrayed and disrespected by existing power structures and that they are members of important communities whose greatness will again be recognized.

The nature of modern identity, however, is to be changeable. Some individuals may persuade themselves that their identity is based on their biology and is outside their control. But citizens of modern societies have multiple identities, ones that are shaped by social interactions. People have identities defined by their race, gender, workplace, education, affinities, and nation. And although the logic of identity politics is to divide societies into small, self-regarding groups, it is also possible to create identities that are broader and more integrative. One does not have to deny the lived experiences of individuals to recognize that they can also share values and aspirations with much broader circles of citizens. Lived experience, in other words, can become just plain experience—something that connects individuals to people unlike themselves, rather than setting them apart. So although no democracy is immune from identity politics in the modern world, all of them can steer it back to broader forms of mutual respect.

The first and most obvious place to start is by countering the specific abuses that lead to group victimhood and marginalization, such as police violence against minorities and sexual harassment. No critique of identity politics should imply that these are not real and urgent problems that require concrete solutions. But the United States and other liberal democracies have to go further than that. Governments and civil society groups must focus on integrating smaller groups into larger wholes. Democracies need to promote what political scientists call “creedal national identities,” which are built not around shared personal characteristics, lived experiences, historical ties, or religious convictions but rather around core values and beliefs. The idea is to encourage citizens to identify with their countries’ foundational ideals and use public policies to deliberately assimilate newcomers.

Combating the pernicious influence of identity politics will prove quite difficult in Europe. In recent decades, the European left has supported a form of multiculturalism that minimizes the importance of integrating newcomers into creedal national cultures. Under the banner of antiracism, left-wing European parties have downplayed evidence that multiculturalism has acted as an obstacle to assimilation. The new populist right in Europe, for its part, looks back nostalgically at fading national cultures that were based on ethnicity or religion and flourished in societies that were largely free of immigrants.

The fight against identity politics in Europe must start with changes to citizenship laws. Such an agenda is beyond the capability of the EU, whose 28 member states zealously defend their national prerogatives and stand ready to veto any significant reforms or changes. Any action that takes place will therefore have to happen, for better or worse, on the level of individual countries. To stop privileging some ethnic groups over others, EU member states with citizenship laws based on jus sanguinis—“the right of blood,” which confers citizenship according to the ethnicity of parents—should adopt new laws based on jus soli, “the right of the soil,” which confers citizenship on anyone born in the territory of the country. But European states should also impose stringent requirements on the naturalization of new citizens, something the United States has done for many years. In the United States, in addition to having to prove continuous residency in the country for five years, new citizens are expected to be able to read, write, and speak basic English; have an understanding of U.S. history and government; be of good moral character (that is, have no criminal record); and demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution by swearing an oath of allegiance to the United States. European countries should expect the same from their new citizens.

In addition to changing the formal requirements for citizenship, European countries need to shift away from conceptions of national identity based on ethnicity. Nearly 20 years ago, a German academic of Syrian origin named Bassam Tibi proposed making Leitkultur (leading culture) the basis for a new German national identity. He defined Leitkultur as a belief in equality and democratic values firmly grounded in the liberal ideals of the Enlightenment. Yet leftist academics and politicians attacked his proposal for suggesting that such values were superior to other cultural values; in doing so, the German left gave unwitting comfort to Islamists and far-right nationalists, who have little use for Enlightenment ideals. But Germany and other major European countries desperately need something like Tibi’s Leitkultur: a normative change that would permit Germans of Turkish heritage to speak of themselves as German, Swedes of African heritage to speak of themselves as Swedish, and so on. This is beginning to happen, but too slowly. Europeans have created a remarkable civilization of which they should be proud, one that can encompass people from other cultures even as it remains aware of its own distinctiveness.

Compared with Europe, the United States has been far more welcoming of immigrants, in part because it developed a creedal national identity early in its history. As the political scientist Seymour Martin Lipset pointed out, a U.S. citizen can be accused of being “un-American” in a way that a Danish citizen could not be described as being “un-Danish” or a Japanese citizen could not be charged with being “un-Japanese.” Americanism constitutes a set of beliefs and a way of life, not an ethnicity.

Today, the American creedal national identity, which emerged in the wake of the Civil War, must be revived and defended against attacks from both the left and the right. On the right, white nationalists would like to replace the creedal national identity with one based on race, ethnicity, and religion. On the left, the champions of identity politics have sought to undermine the legitimacy of the American national story by emphasizing victimization, insinuating in some cases that racism, gender discrimination, and other forms of systematic exclusion are in the country’s DNA. Such flaws have been and continue to be features of American society, and they must be confronted. But progressives should also tell a different version of U.S. history, one focused on how an ever-broadening circle of people have overcome barriers to achieve recognition of their dignity.

Although the United States has benefited from diversity, it cannot build its national identity on diversity. A workable creedal national identity has to offer substantive ideas, such as constitutionalism, the rule of law, and human equality. Americans respect those ideas; the country is justified in withholding citizenship from those who reject them.


Once a country has defined a proper creedal national identity that is open to the de facto diversity of modern societies, the nature of controversies over immigration will inevitably change. In both the United States and Europe, that debate is currently polarized. The right seeks to cut off immigration altogether and would like to send immigrants back to their countries of origin; the left asserts a virtually unlimited obligation on the part of liberal democracies to accept all immigrants. These are both untenable positions. The real debate should instead be about the best strategies for assimilating immigrants into a country’s creedal national identity. Well-assimilated immigrants bring a healthy diversity to any society; poorly assimilated immigrants are a drag on the state and in some cases constitute security threats.

European governments pay lip service to the need for better assimilation but fail to follow through. Many European countries have put in place policies that actively impede integration. Under the Dutch system of “pillarization,” for example, children are educated in separate Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, and secular systems. Receiving an education in a state-supported school without ever having to deal with people outside one’s own religion is not likely to foster rapid assimilation.

In France, the situation is somewhat different. The French concept of republican citizenship, like its U.S. counterpart, is creedal, built around the revolutionary ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. France’s 1905 law on laïcité, or secularism, formally separates church and state and makes impossible the kinds of publicly funded religious schools that operate in the Netherlands. But France has other big problems. First, regardless of what French law says, widespread discrimination holds back the country’s immigrants. Second, the French economy has been underperforming for years, with unemployment rates that are twice those of neighboring Germany. For young immigrants in France, the unemployment rate is close to 35 percent, compared with 25 percent for French youth as a whole. France should help integrate its immigrants by making it easier for them to find jobs, primarily by liberalizing the labor market. Finally, the idea of French national identity and French culture has come under attack as Islamophobic; in contemporary France, the very concept of assimilation is not politically acceptable to many on the left. This is a shame, since it allows the nativists and extremists of the far-right National Front to position themselves as the true defenders of the republican ideal of universal citizenship.

In the United States, an assimilation agenda would begin with public education. The teaching of basic civics has been in decline for decades, not just for immigrants but also for native-born Americans. Public schools should also move away from the bilingual and multilingual programs that have become popular in recent decades. (New York City’s public school system offers instruction in more than a dozen different languages.) Such programs have been marketed as ways to speed the acquisition of English by nonnative speakers, but the empirical evidence on whether they work is mixed; indeed, they may in fact delay the process of learning English.

The American creedal national identity would also be strengthened by a universal requirement for national service, which would underline the idea that U.S. citizenship demands commitment and sacrifice. A citizen could perform such service either by enlisting in the military or by working in a civilian role, such as teaching in schools or working on publicly funded environmental conservation projects similar to those created by the New Deal. If such national service were correctly structured, it would force young people to work together with others from very different social classes, regions, races, and ethnicities, just as military service does. And like all forms of shared sacrifice, it would integrate newcomers into the national culture. National service would serve as a contemporary form of classical republicanism, a form of democracy that encouraged virtue and public-spiritedness rather than simply leaving citizens alone to pursue their private lives.


In both the United States and Europe, a policy agenda focused on assimilation would have to tackle the issue of immigration levels. Assimilation into a dominant culture becomes much harder as the numbers of immigrants rise relative to the native population. As immigrant communities reach a certain scale, they tend to become self-sufficient and no longer need connections to groups outside themselves. They can overwhelm public services and strain the capacity of schools and other public institutions to care for them. Immigrants will likely have a positive net effect on public finances in the long run—but only if they get jobs and become tax-paying citizens or lawful residents. Large numbers of newcomers can also weaken support among native-born citizens for generous welfare benefits, a factor in both the U.S. and the European immigration debates.

Liberal democracies benefit greatly from immigration, both economically and culturally. But they also unquestionably have the right to control their own borders. All people have a basic human right to citizenship. But that does not mean they have the right to citizenship in any particular country beyond the one in which they or their parents were born. International law does not, moreover, challenge the right of states to control their borders or to set criteria for citizenship.

The EU needs to be able to control its external borders better than it does, which in practice means giving countries such as Greece and Italy more funding and stronger legal authority to regulate the flow of immigrants. The EU agency charged with doing this, Frontex, is understaffed and underfunded and lacks strong political support from the very member states most concerned with keeping immigrants out. The system of free internal movement within the EU will not be politically sustainable unless the problem of Europe’s external borders is solved.

In the United States, the chief problem is the inconsistent enforcement of immigration laws. Doing little to prevent millions of people from entering and staying in the country unlawfully and then engaging in sporadic and seemingly arbitrary bouts of deportation—which were a feature of Obama’s time in office—is hardly a sustainable long-term policy. But Trump’s pledge to “build a wall” on the Mexican border is little more than nativistic posturing: a huge proportion of illegal immigrants enter the United States legally and simply remain in the country after their visas expire. What is needed is a better system of sanctioning companies and people who hire illegal immigrants, which would require a national identification system that could help employers figure out who can legally work for them. Such a system has not been established because too many employers benefit from the cheap labor that illegal immigrants provide. Moreover, many on the left and the right oppose a national identification system owing to their suspicion of government overreach.

Compared with Europe, the United States has been far more welcoming of immigrants, in part because it developed a creedal national identity early in its history.

As a result, the United States now hosts a population of around 11 million illegal immigrants. The vast majority of them have been in the country for years and are doing useful work, raising families, and otherwise behaving as law-abiding citizens. A small number of them commit criminal acts, just as a small number of native-born Americans commit crimes. But the idea that all illegal immigrants are criminals because they violated U.S. law to enter or stay in the country is ridiculous, just as it is ridiculous to think that the United States could ever force all of them to leave the country and return to their countries of origin.

The outlines of a basic bargain on immigration reform have existed for some time. The federal government would undertake serious enforcement measures to control the country’s borders and would also create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants without criminal records. Such a bargain might receive the support of a majority of U.S. voters, but hard-core immigration opponents are dead set against any form of “amnesty,” and pro-immigrant groups are opposed to stricter enforcement.

Public policies that focus on the successful assimilation of foreigners might help break this logjam by taking the wind out of the sails of the current populist upsurge in both the United States and Europe. The groups vociferously opposing immigration are coalitions of people with different concerns. Hard-core nativists are driven by racism and bigotry; little can be done to change their minds. But others have more legitimate concerns about the speed of social change driven by mass immigration and worry about the capacity of existing institutions to accommodate this change. A policy focus on assimilation might ease their concerns and peel them away from the bigots.

Identity politics thrives whenever the poor and the marginalized are invisible to their compatriots. Resentment over lost status starts with real economic distress, and one way of muting the resentment is to mitigate concerns over jobs, incomes, and security. In the United States, much of the left stopped thinking several decades ago about ambitious social policies that might help remedy the underlying conditions of the poor. It was easier to talk about respect and dignity than to come up with potentially costly plans that would concretely reduce inequality. A major exception to this trend was Obama, whose Affordable Care Act was a milestone in U.S. social policy. The ACA’s opponents tried to frame it as an identity issue, insinuating that the policy was designed by a black president to help his black constituents. But the ACA was in fact a national policy designed to help less well-off Americans regardless of their race or identity. Many of the law’s beneficiaries include rural whites in the South who have nonetheless been persuaded to vote for Republican politicians vowing to repeal the ACA.

Identity politics has made the crafting of such ambitious policies more difficult. Although fights over economic policy produced sharp divisions early in the twentieth century, many democracies found that those with opposing economic visions could often split the difference and compromise. Identity issues, by contrast, are harder to reconcile: either you recognize me or you don’t. Resentment over lost dignity or invisibility often has economic roots, but fights over identity frequently distract from policy ideas that could help. As a result, it has been harder to create broad coalitions to fight for redistribution: members of the working class who also belong to higher-status identity groups (such as whites in the United States) tend to resist making common cause with those below them, and vice versa.

The Democratic Party, in particular, has a major choice to make. It can continue to try to win elections by doubling down on the mobilization of the identity groups that today supply its most fervent activists: African Americans, Hispanics, professional women, the LGBT community, and so on. Or the party could try to win back some of the white working-class voters who constituted a critical part of Democratic coalitions from the New Deal through the Great Society but who have defected to the Republican Party in recent elections. The former strategy might allow it to win elections, but it is a poor formula for governing the country. The Republican Party is becoming the party of white people, and the Democratic Party is becoming the party of minorities. Should that process continue much further, identity will have fully displaced economic ideology as the central cleavage of U.S. politics, which would be an unhealthy outcome for American democracy.


Fears about the future are often best expressed through fiction, particularly science fiction that tries to imagine future worlds based on new kinds of technology. In the first half of the twentieth century, many of those forward-looking fears centered on big, centralized, bureaucratic tyrannies that snuffed out individuality and privacy: think of George Orwell’s 1984. But the nature of imagined dystopias began to change in the later decades of the century, and one particular strand spoke to the anxieties raised by identity politics. So-called cyberpunk authors such as William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, and Bruce Sterling saw a future dominated not by centralized dictatorships but by uncontrolled social fragmentation facilitated by the Internet.

Stephenson’s 1992 novel, Snow Crash, posited a ubiquitous virtual “Metaverse” in which individuals could adopt avatars and change their identities at will. In the novel, the United States has broken down into “Burbclaves,” suburban subdivisions catering to narrow identities, such as New South Africa (for the racists, with their Confederate flags) and Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong (for Chinese immigrants). Passports and visas are required to travel from one neighborhood to another. The CIA has been privatized, and the aircraft carrier the USS Enterprise has become a floating home for refugees. The authority of the federal government has shrunk to encompass only the land on which federal buildings are located.

Our present world is simultaneously moving toward the opposing dystopias of hypercentralization and endless fragmentation. China, for instance, is building a massive dictatorship in which the government collects highly specific personal data on the daily transactions of every citizen. On the other hand, other parts of the world are seeing the breakdown of centralized institutions, the emergence of failed states, increasing polarization, and a growing lack of consensus over common ends. Social media and the Internet have facilitated the emergence of self-contained communities, walled off not by physical barriers but by shared identities.

The good thing about dystopian fiction is that it almost never comes true. Imagining how current trends will play out in an ever more exaggerated fashion serves as a useful warning: 1984 became a potent symbol of a totalitarian future that people wanted to avoid; the book helped inoculate societies against authoritarianism. Likewise, people today can imagine their countries as better places that support increasing diversity yet that also embrace a vision for how diversity can serve common ends and support liberal democracy rather than undermine it.

People will never stop thinking about themselves and their societies in identity terms. But people’s identities are neither fixed nor necessarily given by birth. Identity can be used to divide, but it can also be used to unify. That, in the end, will be the remedy for the populist politics of the present.

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Oleh Hafis Azhari

Penulis novel “Perasaan Orang Banten” dan “Pikiran Orang Indonesia”

Hp. 081218595887

Setelah beberapa bulan lalu nobel kesusastraan menganugerahi kemenangan atas jurnalis Svetlana Alexievich (Belarusia), panitia Oscar tak ketinggalan memenangkan film terbaik tentang perjuangan para jurnalis yang tergabung dalam “Spotlight”, suatu tim investigasi para wartawan yang dibentuk harian lokal “The Boston Globe” dan berhasil mengungkap skandal menghebohkan setelah peristiwa runtuhnya gedung World Trade Center (WTC) di Amerika Serikat.
Film Spotlight diangkat dari kisah nyata dalam bentuk historical memories, tentang perjuangan para wartawan membela anak-anak korban penganiayaan dan pelecehan seksual oleh para pastor dan biarawan yang selalu ditutup-tutupi dan dirahasiakan selama puluhan tahun oleh pihak Gereja Katolik. Dengan tidak bermaksud menjelek-jelekkan Gereja sebagai suatu institusi, The Boston Globe membentuk tim investigasi yang dipimpin editor harian Marty Baron, kemudian memulai penyelidikannya terhadap Pastor John Geoghan sebagai tertuduh atas kasus pelecehan terhadap 80 anak laki-laki.
Jalan cerita terus berkembang kepada kasus-kasus lainnya, hingga terpaksa harus bergerilya membuka dokumen sensitif yang selama puluhan tahun dianggap tabu dan didiamkan oleh pejabat negara yang mengatasnamakan demokrasi itu. Dalam satu tahun penyelidikan, tim Spotlight berhasil menyingkap fakta-fakta yang dengan sengaja ditutup oleh Vatikan sebagai institusi tertua, simbol organisasi keagamaan dengan hirarki yang sangat ketat.
Harian The Boston Globe tak ubahnya seperti harian-harian lokal di negeri ini, yang berani melakukan terobosan atas kreativitas para jurnalisnya, melampaui dalil-dalil hukum menuju rasa keadilan, bahkan melampaui agama formal menuju kualitas keimanan yang mendewasakan. Nilai-nilai humanitas yang menantang para jurnalis agar tidak mudah terjebak kepada sikap reaktif dalam menghadapi masalah. Bahkan mengajak kita semua untuk mengakui kredibilitas dan kejujuran wartawan, suatu profesi yang mulia ketimbang pastor-pastor Gereja (tokoh agama) apabila mereka tak konsisten menjaga kualitas ketakwaannya. Saya nyatakan “takwa” di sini, karena ia mengandung terminologi yang lintas religi. Dan Tuhan memandang semua manusia sama, serta memandang nilai-nilai kemanusiaan bukan berdasarkan ras, suku, agama, serta apa pekerjaan dan profesinya, tetapi justru dari kualitas ketakwaannya (al-Hujurat: 13).
Para wartawan The Boston Globe paham betul akan kapasitas dirinya. Mereka tak mau terkecoh memasuki hal-hal yang bukan keahliannya. Mereka tak mau terjebak ke dunia politik praktis, tetapi mampu berpikir melampaui kapasitas kaum politisi. Mereka tak mau berebut kursi dalam jabatan yudikatif maupun legislatif tetapi mengerti arti pelayanan publik, rasa keadilan maupun hidup bermaslahat. Jangan coba-coba pihak penguasa maupun tokoh agama (Gereja) menjegal reputasi mereka, karena mereka memiliki validitas data yang disimpan sesuai etika jurnalistik. Kalaupun Vatikan berambisi menyerang institusi kewartawanan, konsekuensinya mereka harus siap menerima kenyataan terburuk dalam sejarah, yakni terbongkarnya kasus-kasus besar tentang kecenderungan libidinal sebagai kebutuhan biologis manusia, yang dilampiaskan tidak semestinya (sesuai hukum sunatullah).
Di sisi lain, film Spotlight juga menampilkan sosok wartawan liberal (Amerika) yang terobsesi untuk membuka kedok kejahatan semua tokoh agama di Boston, bukan menunjuk pada oknum dan pelakunya. Namun kemudian segera diperingatkan atasannya agar berhati-hati dalam melakukan peliputan. Karena pada hakikatnya setiap individu menyimpan dokumen rahasia pribadi yang berkaitan dengan hal-hal negatif di masalalunya. “Kalau saya mau buka, saya pun bisa membongkar rahasia hidup Anda!” demikian tegas seorang jurnalis senior.

Perjuangan Kaum Jurnalis

Setiap agama sangat menjunjung tinggi perjuangan para pencari kebenaran, yang tentunya berseberangan dengan prilaku seorang agamawan yang rajin membawa-bawa Al-Kitab, berkhotbah dan berceramah ke sana kemari, namun tidak konsisten antara apa yang diucapkan dengan apa yang diperbuatnya. Mereka tak ubahnya keledai yang memanggul Al-Kitab di punggungnya, sibuk dengan eksistensi tapi tak pernah mengenai sasaran untuk mencapai esensi iman yang mendewasakan.
Mereka tak ubahnya dengan para politisi yang sibuk “menunggangi” kalangan agamawan, merogoh milyaran untuk berkampanye, namun apakah layak amanat Tuhan (tugas kepemimpinan) dikejar-kejar, sampai mereka berseteru memfitnah lawan-lawan politiknya? Silakan dijawab oleh hatinurani masing-masing, bukan dengan rasio maupun logika kekuasaan, melainkan dengan “hati”.
Sekarang kita coba kembali kepada kerja-kerja kreatif dari para wartawan “Spotlight” yang telah diakui dunia sebagai film drama terbaik dalam penganugerahan Oscar tahun 2016 ini. Mereka adalah wartawan-wartawan independen yang fokus pada pekerjaan dan keahlian di bidangnya. Mereka menyadari bahwa tugas jurnalistik adalah bagian dari amanat Tuhan, yang apabila dijaga dengan penuh rasa tanggungjawab niscaya akan meningkatkan kualitas kemanusiaan, serta derajat kemuliaan yang dijanjikan Tuhan.

Kebenaran Mengibas Fitnah

“Kita akan fokus pada perintah Tuhan untuk menolong anak terlantar dan kaum miskin, kita tak mau terlibat dalam ghibah dan fitnah!” ujar Kardinal Bernard Law, seorang uskup agung Boston yang sehaluan dengan organisasi MUI dalam agama Islam di Indonesia.
Pernyataan tersebut nyaris membuat kalangan jurnalis putus harapan. Tetapi perkara mencari kebenaran dengan mengumbar fitnah adalah dua hal yang berbeda. Mereka meyakini, setelah menyaksikan puluhan korban yang menuntut hak-haknya, termasuk keluarga-keluarga korban yang terguncang secara psikologis. Bila hal ini didiamkan lantas bisikan-bisikan Gereja dituruti, justru akan menimbulkan inersia di kalangan wartawan dunia, serta penegakan keadilan menjadi terkalahkan. Boleh-boleh saja Kardinal berdalih dengan mengatasnamakan Tuhan Allah maupun Tuhan Bapa di Surga, tapi di mana letak konsistensi antara apa yang dianjurkan Tuhan dengan praksisnya dalam amal kehidupan.
Etika jurnalistik kemudian berpadu dengan nilai-nilai humanisme yang membuat Marty Baron dan kawan-kawan menjadi lebih arif dan bijak. Namun “panggilan” untuk menegakkan keadilan sudah melampaui formalitas agama yang seringkali bicara di wilayah teks-teks harfiyah. Mereka telah berpijak pada fatwa-fatwa jurnalisme bahwa kebenaran dan keadilan harus tetap ditegakkan jika kita mau konsisten menolong manusia sebagai hamba-hamba Tuhan.
Fatwa inilah yang membuat tim Spotlight terus bergerak untuk menyatakan yang benar sebagai kebenaran. Kini mereka punya penafsiran yang independen untuk menerjemahkan ayat-ayat makrokosmos: “Tak ada bisikan-bisikan yang lebih mulia ketimbang menjadikan kebenaran sebagai pegangannya, serta keadilan sebagai tujuannya!” ***



Oleh: KH. Abdurrahman Wahid

Tulisan-­tulisan yang menyatakan Islam melindungi Hak Asasi Manusia (HAM), seringkali menyebut Islam sebagai agama yang paling demokratis. Pernyataan itu, seringkali tidak sesuai dengan kenyataan yang terjadi. Justru di negeri­negeri muslim­lah terjadi banyak pelanggaran yang berat atas HAM, termasuk di Indonesia. Kalau kita tidak mau mengakui hal ini, berarti kita melihat Islam sebagai acuan ideal namun sama sekali tidak tersangkut dengan HAM. Dalam keadaan demikian, klaim Islam sebagai agama pelindung HAM hanya akan terasa kosong saja, tidak memiliki pelaksanaan dalam praktik kehidupan.

Di sisi lain, kita melihat para penulis seperti Al­Maududi, seorang pemimpin muslim yang lahir di India dan kemudian pindah ke Pakistan di abad yang lalu, justru tidak mempedulikan hubungan antara Islam dan HAM. Bahkan, baginya hubungan antara Islam dan Nasionalisme justru tidak ada. Nasionalisme adalah ideologi buatan manusia, sedangkan Islam adalah buatan Allah Swt. Bagaimana mungkin mempersamakan sesuatu buatan Allah Swt dengan sesuatu buatan manusia? Lantas, bagaimanakah harus diterangkan adanya hubungan antara perkembangan Islam dalam kehidupan yang dipenuhi oleh tindakan­tindakan manusia? Al­Maududi tidak mau menjawab pertanyaan ini, sebuah sikap yang pada akhirnya menghilangkan arti acuan yang digunakannya.

Bukankah Liga Muslim (Muslim League) yang didukungnya adalah buatan Ali Jinnah dan Liaquat Ali Khan, yang kemudian melahirkan Pakistan, tiga kali berganti nama antara Republik Pakistan dan Republik Islam Pakistan? Bukankah ini berarti campur tangan manusia yang sangat besar dalam pertumbuhan negeri muslim itu? Dan, bagaimanakah harus dibaca tindakan Jenderal Pervez Musharraf yang pada bulan lalu telah me­menangkan kepresidenan Pakistan melalui plebisit, bukannya melalui pemilu? Dan bagaimana dengan tuduhan­tuduhannya, bahwa para pemuka partai politik, termasuk Liga Muslim, sebagai orang­orang yang korup dan hanya mementingkan diri sendiri?


Banyak negeri-negeri muslim yang telah melakukan ratifikasi atas Deklarasi Universal HAM, yang dikumandangkan oleh Perserikatan Bangsa­Bangsa (PBB) dalam tahun 1948. Dalam deklarasi itu, tercantum dengan jelas bahwa berpindah agama adalah Hak Asasi Manusia. Padahal fiqh/hukum Islam sampai hari ini masih berpegang pada ketentuan, bahwa berpindah dari agama Islam ke agama lain adalah tindak kemurtadan (apostasy), yang patut dihukum mati. Kalau ini diberlakukan di negeri kita, maka lebih dari 20 juta jiwa manusia Indonesia yang berpindah agama dari Islam ke Kristen sejak tahun 1965, haruslah dihukum mati. Dapatkah hal itu dilakukan? Sebuah pertanyaan yang tidak akan ada jawabnya, karena jika hal itu terjadi merupakan kenyataan yang demikian besar mengguncang perasaan kita.

Dengan demikian menjadi jelas, bahwa di hadapan kita hanya ada satu dari dua kemungkinan: menolak Deklarasi Universal HAM itu sebagai sesuatu yang asing bagi Islam, seperti yang dilakukan al­Maududi terhadap Nasionalisme atau justru merubah diktum fiqh/hukum Islam itu sendiri. Sikap menolak, hanya akan berakibat seperti sikap burung onta yang menolak kenyataan dan menghindarinya, dengan bersandar kepada lamunan indah tentang keselamatan diri sendiri. Sikap seperti ini, hanya akan berarti menyakiti diri sendiri dalam jangka panjang.

Dengan demikian, mau tak mau kita harus menemukan mekanisme untuk merubah ketentuan fiqh/hukum Islam, yang secara formal sudah berabad­abad diikuti. Tetapi disinilah terletak kebesaran Islam, yang secara sederhana menetapkan keimanan kita hanya kepada Allah dan utusan­Nya sebagai sesuatu yang tidak bisa ditawar lagi. Beserta beberapa hukum muhkamat lainnya, kita harus memiliki keyakinan akan kebenaran hal itu. Apabila yang demikian itu juga dapat diubah­ubah maka hilanglah ke­Islaman kita.

Sebuah contoh menarik dalam hal ini adalah tentang budak sahaya (slaves), yang justru banyak menghiasi al-Qurân dan alHadits (tradisi kenabian). Sekarang, perbudakan dan sejenisnya tidak lagi diakui oleh bangsa muslim manapun, hingga secara tidak terasa ia hilang dari perbendaharaan pemikiran kaum muslimin. Praktik­praktik perbudakan, kalaupun masih ada, tidak diakui lagi oleh negeri muslim manapun dan paling hanya dilakukan oleh kelompok­kelompok muslimin yang kecil tanpa perlindungan negara. Dalam jangka tidak lama lagi, praktik semacam itu akan hilang dengan sendirinya.

Nah, kita harus mampu melihat ufuk kejauhan, dalam hal ini kepada mereka yang mengalami konversi ke agama lain. Ini merupakan keharusan, kalau kita ingin Islam dapat menjawab tantangan masa kini dan masa depan. Firman Allah Swt dalam kitab suci al-Qurân, “Semuanya akan binasa dan yang tetap hanya Dzat Tuhanmu (Kullu man ‘alayha fânin. Wa yabqâ wajhu rabbika)” (QS al­Rahman [55]: 26­27) menunjukkan hal itu dengan jelas. Ketentuan ushûl fiqh (Islamic legal theory) “Hukum agama sepenuhnya tergantung kepada sebab­sebabnya, baik ada ataupun tidak adanya hukum itu sendiri (al-hukmu yadûru ma’a ‘illatihi wujûdan wa ‘adaman)” jelas menunjuk kepada kemungkinan perubahan diktum seperti ini.

Muktamar Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) telah melakukan antisipasi terhadap hal ini. Dalam salah sebuah muktamarnya, NU telah mengambil keputusan “perumusan hukum haruslah sesuai dengan prinsip­prinsip yang digunakan”. Ambil contoh masalah Keluarga Berencana (KB), yang dahulu dilarang karena pembatasan kelahiran, yang menjadi hak reproduksi di tangan Allah semata. Sekarang, karena pertimbangan biaya pendidikan yang semakin tinggi membolehkan perencanaan keluarga, dengan tetap membiarkan hak reproduksi di tangan Allah. Kalau diinginkan memperoleh anak lagi, tinggal membuang kondom atau menjauhi obat­obat yang dapat mengatur kelahiran. Jelaslah dengan demikian, bahwa Islam memang menjadi agama di setiap masa dan tempat (shalihun li kulli zamân wa makân). Indah bukan, untuk mengetahui hal ini semasa kita masih hidup? []

*) Diambil dari Abdurrahman Wahid, Islamku Islam Anda Islam Kita: Agama Masyarakat Negara Demokrasi, 2006 (Jakarta: The Wahid Institute).





Berita Teratas, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015.


Oleh: Asaaro Lahagu – Sikap tak kenal kompromi Presiden Jokowi yang tidak mau memperpanjang kontrak karya Freeport lebih awal, telah memakan korban. Karena korbannya adalah para pejabat kelas kakap, maka tindakan Jokowi itu dimaknai sebagai ‘tindakan yang amat berani’. Jokowi terlalu berani menyikat para mafia yang selama ini nyaman ‘bermain’ di Freeport.

Kue amat lezat Freeport yang pernah dicicipi oleh Aburizal Bakri, kini hilang tiba-tiba di zaman Jokowi. Penghilangan rezeki, sarang tawon dan sumber kue lezat para grup pejabat elit di negeri ini yang salah satunya diperoleh dari Freeport adalah sebuah ‘aksi lawan arus ’ bagi Jokowi. Akibatnya terjadi kegaduhan luar biasa di DPR, istana menjadi panas dan masyarakat Indonesia menjadi heboh. Perseteruan sengit grup elit antara Jusuf Kalla, Sudirman Said Plus Rini Soemarno vs grup elit lainnya Setya Novanto, Reza Chalid, plus Aburizal pun tak terhindarkan.

Seandainya Jokowi mengikuti kebiasaan Soeharto yang membiarkan pembagian kue lezat Freeport kepada grup pejabat elit di negeri ini, maka kegaduhan dan catut nama Presiden itu tidak pernah ada. Jokowi telah membuat Sudirman Said, Kalla, Novanto frustrasi. Pun pihak Freeport yang dipimpin oleh Maroeff Sjamsuddin double frustrasi karena terus ditekan

Jokowi untuk melaksanakan kewajibannya di Indonesia. Mereka gagal meyakinkan Jokowi untuk memperpanjang kontrak Freeport itu lebih awal. Jokowi tanpa kompromi mengatakan ‘no’. Jokowi sama sekali tidak memberi celah kepada para calo, makelar dan para pemburu rente untuk kembali bermain di Freeport. Semua negoisasi perpanjangan kontrak, harus melalui Presiden. Akibatnya, skenario Kalla dan Sudirman Said dan penyusup baru Setya Novanto gagal total dan malah terkuak di hadapan Jokowi. Kedua kubu yang berseteru ini gagal besar mendikte dan mengatur Presiden Jokowi. Pertanyaannya adalah bagaimana bisa dimengerti bahwa kasus catut Novanto itu terjadi akibat dari kegagalan skenario Kalla-Sudirman Said di Freeport? Kita mungkin sebagian setuju bahwa Freeport adalah sarang tawon luar biasa bagi para pejabat elit Indonesia sekian puluh tahun. Berkat Freeport, para anggota DPR, pejabat pemerintah yang tadinya bukan siapa-siapa, tiba-tiba muncul sebagai pengusaha hebat di jagat bisnis di tanah air setelah kongkalingkong dengan Freeport. Cerita sukses pejabat elit di negeri ini dari kue lezat Freeport bukan isapan jempol. Sejarah telah membuktikannya. Di zaman Soeharto, kue lezat Freeport dicicipi oleh sebagian kecil orang di negeri ini. Pada pembaharuan kontrak karya Freport tahun 1991, di masa Menteri Pertambangan dan Energi, Ginandjar Kartasasmita, Aburizal Bakrie yang pada saat itu sudah dekat dengan Soeharto lewat Ginanjar, mendapat kesempatan emas untuk mencicipi kue lezat Freeport. Dalam kontrak baru itu, Freeport wajib mengalihkan sebagian sahamnya kepada pihak pemerintah dan swasta. Nah, pihak swasta yang beruntung saat itu adalah Aburizal Bakrie. Ketika itu, sebanyak 10 persen saham dipindahtangankan melalui transaksi jual-beli dari Freeport Indonesia kepada PT Indocopper Investama Corporation, milik Aburizal.

Pada saat itu PT Indocopper sebetulnya tak punya cukup duit untuk membeli saham Freeport. Namun dengan restu Soeharto, Aburizal kemudian melakukan pinjaman dari pihak ketiga yang dijamin oleh Freeport sendiri. Setahun kemudian, Aburizal menjual 4,9 persen saham itu kepada Freeport senilai harga pembelian seluruh saham, US$ 212,5 juta. Aburizal pun mendapat dana gratis senilai 200 jutaan dollar AS dari Freeport. Kisah kue lezat yang pernah dicicipi Aburizal itu kemudian menjadi daya tarik bagi Novanto (anak emas Aburizal di Golkar) untuk mencari celah mengulangi kisah kue lezat Freeport. Karena kontrak Freeport akan habis pada tahun 2021 mendatang, maka pada tahun 2014, pihak Freeport ingin lebih awal memperpanjang kembali kontrak karyanya.

Melihat keinginan Freeport itu, maka mulailah para calo, makelar, para pemburu rente dan para pejabat elit di lingkungan pemerintahan SBY kembali bergentayangan dan bermanufer. Tujuannya adalah ingin mendapat bagian dari kue lezat Freeport yang kembali diperbaharui kontraknya. Orang-orang di sekitar SBY pun mendesak SBY agar memperpanjang kontrak Freeport di masa pemerintahannya. Orang-orang ini amat khawatir jika terjadi di masa pemerintahan yang baru, kontrak Freeport itu akan ditunda hingga tahun 2019. Presiden SBY pun luluh. Maka pada saat kunjungan terakhir Presiden Yudhoyono ke New York untuk menghadiri sidang PBB, September 2014, dirancanglah satu acara penandatanganan nota kesepahaman (MoU) antara Pemerintah RI dengan PT Freeport Indonesia yang isinya memuat kesepakatan terkait dengan rencana amandemen Kontrak Karya sebagaimana disahkan oleh Undang-Undang Nomor 4 Tahun 2009 dan kejelasan nasib operasi Freeport setelah tahun 2021.

Melihat gelagat SBY tersebut, Kalla langsung bermanufer. Kalla kemudian membentuk tim lobi yang diketuai oleh Sofyan Wanandi. Misi dari Sofyan adalah memastikan agar Mou antara pemerintah RI dan PT Freeport itu dibatalkan dan ditunda sampai pemerintahan baru terbentuk Oktober 2014. Caranya, Sofyan menyampaikan janji Kalla bahwa kontrak karya Freeport di Indonesia akan dipastikan aman. Pada saat itu Jokowi-Kalla sudah dipastikan sebagai pemenang Pilpres Pilpres Juli 2014. Misi Sofyan Wanandi itu pun berhasil. Freeport setuju untuk membatalkan MoU itu dan menunggu hingga Jokowi-Kalla dilantik sebagai Presiden dan Wakil Presiden Republik Indonesia. Ketika misi Sofyan Wanandi melobi Freeport berhasil, Kalla pun mulai merancang skenarionya. Kalla ingin agar orang nomor satu di ESDM adalah orangnya. Demikian juga di jajaran Freeport Indonesia haruslah orang yang mendukung rancangan bisnisnya.

Untuk memuluskan skenarionya, Kalla kemudian meminta kepada Presiden Jokowi untuk menunjuk Sudirman Said (orangnya Kalla) sebagai Menteri ESDM. Bujukan Kalla itupun, tanpa curiga disetujui Jokowi. Jadilah orang nomor satu di Kementerian ESDM dipegang oleh Sudirman Said. Dengan masuknya Sudirman Said, maka skenario perancangan bisnis Kalla pun mendapat kemudahan. Nantinya segala kebijakan di Freeport, dirancang sedemikian rupa agar sesuai dengan kemauan Kalla. Selanjutnya agar Freeport Indonesia lebih mudah didekati, maka Kalla meminta petinggi Freeport pusat, James Moffett, untuk mengganti jajaran Direksi Freeport Indonesia. Pihak Freeport pusat menuruti kemauan Kalla dan menunjuk Maroef Sjamsoeddin, adik kandung Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin, yang waktu itu menjabat sebagai Wakil Kepala BIN, menjadi Dirut PT Freeport Indonesia.
Dengan penunjukkan Maroef, maka kini Kalla memegang kendali kebijakan lewat Sudirman Said dan kendali operasional lewat Maroef Sjamsoeddin. Tinggal satu langkah lagi bagi Kalla yang belum terlaksana yakni meyakinkan Jokowi bahwa perpanjangan kontrak karya Freeport itu penting bagi investasi di Indonesia. Oleh karena itu harus dibantu percepatan perpanjangan kontraknya. Namun apa yang terjadi kemudian? Ternyata Jokowi bukanlah Presiden kemarin sore yang dengan mudah menuruti keinginan Kalla dan Sudirman Said. Jokowi dengan cerdasnya mencium gelagat tidak enak terkait nafsu besar Kalla plus Sudirman Said untuk memperpanjang kontrak Freeport itu. Dalam hal ini, maka benarlah apa yang dikatakan oleh Menko Maritim dan Sumber Daya, Rizal Ramli, bahwa Sudirman Said keblinger memperpanjang kontrak Freeport itu. Sebagai bukti atas keblinger Sudirman Said itu terlihat pada suratnya atas nama Menteri ESDM bernomor 7522/13/MEM/2015 kepada Freeport, yang isinya memberi angin segar terhadap perpanjangan kontrak karya dengan PT Freepot Indonesia sebelum 2019. Usaha Kalla dan Sudirman Said meyakinkan Jokowi kemudian ternyata gagal total. Akibatnya perpanjangan kontrak Freeport itu menjadi molor dan tidak jelas seperti yang pernah dijanjikan Kalla.
Bisnis yang sudah di depan mata, tidak pernah menjadi kenyataan. Padahal jika Kalla dan Sudirman Said bisa meyakinkan Jokowi, maka peluang bisnis di Freeport sangat lezat. Perusahaan Kalla seperti Bukaka Group, Bosowa Group, Indika Group akan berbagi untuk memasok semen untuk pembangunan; penerangan tambang bawah tanah, bahan peledak, pembangkit listrik tenaga air dan sebagainya. ****
Melihat Kalla dan Sudirman Said gagal meyakinkan Jokowi, maka Setya Novanto mencoba masuk dan menawarkan bantuan kepada pihak Freeport. Novanto tergoda untuk memperjualbelikan jabatannya dengan harga fantastis. Novanto juga ingi ikut mencicipi kue lezat Freeport. Caranya, Novanto yang sudah mempunyai hubungan baik dengan Luhut berasumsi bahwa Luhut dapat meyakinkan Jokowi untuk memperpanjang kontrak Freeport itu. Tentu saja uluran tangan sang ketua DPR itu disambut baik oleh pihak Freeport yang sudah frustrasi melihat cara kerja Sudirman Said. Hal ini kemudian terbukti atas pertemuan pertama Freeport dengan Setya Novanto di gedung DPR. Novanto yang sebelumnya telah mendapat cerita menarik dari Aburizal bahwa kue Freeport itu begitu lezat, tanpa malu mencoba bernegosaisi langsung dengan pihak Freeport. Bersama Reza Chalid, Novanto pun diketahui beberapa kali bertemu dengan pihak Freeport. Agar lebih meyakinkan Freeport, Novanto yang sudah dekat dengan Luhut, tanpa ragu mencatut nama Presiden dan Wakil Presiden dan juga nama Luhut sendiri (orang kepercayaan Jokowi).

Sial bagi Novanto, Presdir Freeport, Maroef Sjamsuddin yang juga mantan wakil BIN, dan sudah frustrasi meyakinkan Jokowi, merekam pembicaraan Novanto yang meminta bagian saham itu. Sudirman Said yang pernah dimarahi Jokowi karena keblinger memperpanjang kontrak Freeport itu terancam direshuffle oleh Jokowi. Maka untuk menyelamatkan mukanya di depan Jokowi, rekaman pembicaraan Novanto itu dilaporkan kepada Jokowi. Hasilnya, Jokowi marah besar dan mendorong Sudirman Said melaporkan pencatutan itu ke MKD DPR. Gegerlah DPR, publik pun heboh luar biasa. Sudirman Said pun muncul bak pahlawan kesiangan di atas penderitaan Setya Novanto. Novanto pun menjadi bulan-bulanan publik. ***
Dari masalah kasus catut Novanto yang sebetulnya akar masalahnya di Freeport, publik pantas berterima kasih kepada Jokowi yang berpikir lurus, jujur dan tetap berintegritas. Jokowi selalu mementingkan kepentingan rakyatnya dan tidak akan menjual negerinya demi kepentingan pribadinya. Terkait dengan Kalla-Sudirman Said, publik tentu sudah lama curiga atas permainan keduanya. Apes juga bagi Novanto, yang terperosok masuk dalam pusaran kue lezat Freeport dan berani mencatut nama Presiden Jokowi. Maka tepatlah jika nantinya Setya Novanto dilengserkan dari kursi DPR lewat MKD. Juga sangat layak jika Sudirman Said ikut direshuffle dari kabinet karena ikut bermain di Freeport. Sedangkan untuk Kalla, biarkan dia menjadi wakil Jokowi sampai habis masa jabatannya, namun Jokowi harus berhati-hati dan tidak lagi mudah mempercayainya. Untuk Luhut, kasus catut itu menjadi pembelajaran bagi dirinya ke depan. Jadi ketika Jokowi gagal diyakinkan, maka skenario Kalla-Sudirman Said terkuak, pun Setya Novanto kena batunya. Salam Kompasiana.[]


Kolom Ibrahim Isa, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015.



Reacting on the “IPT-1965” International People’s Tribunal, – 10 Nov till 14 in The Hague, — Vice-Presiden J, Kalla questioned – ” . why the IPT 1965 was held in the Netherlands — even though the Dutch in the past were responsible for the deaths of so many Indonesians. “.

Soe Tjen Marching, Indonesian Human Rights activist and writer, gave JK the right answer, writing in in The Jakarta Globe, a. o :

“. . our vice president must know that the people’s tribunal in The Hague is independent from the Dutch government. In fact, if you want to take the Dutch government to court, you can also do so in The Hague. This is something that has been done — successfully — on behalf of relatives of people killed by Dutch troops in the Indonesian War of Independence.

“Also, the Dutch themselves were not immune from criticism at the tribunal on 1965, with expert witness Saskia Wieringa pointing out that two universities in the Netherlands through their collaboration with institutions in Indonesia, played a role in the mental abuse of victims and supporting New Order propaganda.

* * *

Another hgh-ranking Indonesian official — “. . . the country’s coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, Luhut Panjaitan, stated that

” . . . all parties claimed to have been victims of ‘1965’ and that the actual victims may therefore never be known.”

Soe Tjen Marching, gave the following reply: . . . ” Of course this was what the tribunal in The Hague was about: verifying whether the victims’ claims were truthful. The people of the IPT did not intend to prosecute anyone, we were just trying to establish what happened in those dark days of the mid-1960s. It was that simple.”

* * *

Soe Tjen Marching’s article is illuminating. My advice – everybody should read as republish below:
Commentary: Jakarta Globe, 28 Nov 2015

Traitors at IPT 1965 — Is Indonesia Serious?

At the International People’s Tribunal 1965, held from Nov. 10 till Nov. 14 in The Hague, Indonesian government representatives were conspicuous by their absence — even though an invitation had been sent to the Indonesian Embassy in the Netherlands a month ahead of time.

Their absence, however, has not prevented some of the country’s most senior government officials from making rather bold statements about the proceedings and those taking part in them. Indonesian officials have thus been criticizing the tribunal without really knowing what they criticized.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla, for instance, questioned why the IPT 1965 was held in the Netherlands — even though the Dutch in the past were responsible for the deaths of so many Indonesians.

But surely our vice president must know that the people’s tribunal in The Hague is independent from the Dutch government. In fact, if you want to take the Dutch government to court, you can also do so in The Hague. This is something that has been done – successfully — on behalf of relatives of people killed by Dutch troops in the Indonesian War of Independence.

Also, the Dutch themselves were not immune from criticism at the tribunal on 1965, with expert witness Saskia Wieringa pointing out that two universities in the Netherlands through their collaboration with institutions in Indonesia, played a role in the mental abuse of victims and supporting New Order propaganda.

Kalla’s effort to try and undermine the IPT 1965 by pointing to the location were it was held simply does not stand to reason. It may temporarily serve its goal of distracting people, but only those who cannot be bothered to investigate the matter further.

Similarly, the country’s coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, Luhut Panjaitan, has tried to distract the attention away from the core issue by suggesting that Indonesians taking part in IPT 1965 no longer are real Indonesians — traitors, in effect.

The minister also stated that all parties claimed to have been victims of ‘1965’ and that the actual victims may therefore never be known.

Of course this was what the tribunal in The Hague was about: verifying whether the victims’ claims were truthful. The people of the IPT did not intend to prosecute anyone, we were just trying to establish what happened in those dark days of the mid-1960s. It was that simple.

Therefore it is a pity that no representatives of the Indonesian government attended the proceedings.


Sure, there was also the livestreaming online, but sadly the Indonesian military prevented a group of young people in Yogyakarta from watching.

It seems the Indonesian government wanted nobody to hear or see what was going on at the IPT. Could that have something to do with the fabrications contained in the official account of ‘1965’?

At the IPT, each of the victims present was questioned several times to get accurate and consistent statements. At a later stage, the victims’ statements were cross-checked with the accounts of expert witnesses and activists from different countries. The expert witnesses were academics who had done research on this period. Then, all of their statements were compared with the available documentary evidence.

At the end of the tribunal, the judges concluded that there was strong consistency between the various statements from victims, expert witnesses, activists and the documents. Nevertheless, the judges still have to verify the authenticity of the documents, so the final verdict can only be delivered next year.

So Vice President Kalla, Minister Luhut and other Indonesian officials have spoken too soon.

We haven’t broken the law in The Hague, we tried to uphold it. We were doing this by gathering witnesses, data, documents and other evidence, as well as professional and independent judges.

What have Indonesian officials done to investigate this tragedy– except for labeling as traitors those who were trying hard to reveal the truth about the country’s history? Isn’t sustaining a manipulative view of the country’s history a form of betrayal as well? And if so, who is really betraying the best interests of the Indonesian people?

*  Soe Tjen Marching, the British coordinator of IPT 1965, is currently working on am book chronicling the lives of victims from the 1965 anti-communist purge.


Kompas, Jakarta,  28 November 2015

Setelah hampir setengah abad meng-eksploitasi Papua, PT Freeport Indonesia/Rio Tinto tak hanya berhasil mengeruk kekayaan alam Indonesia. Lebih jauh, ia juga membuat pengurus negara kehilangan akal sehat.

Setidaknya hal itu terlihat dari drama tak bermutu petinggi DPR dengan para menteri Kabinet Kerja Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla yang memperkarakan skandal renegosiasi kontrak karya (KK) PT FI. Mereka lupa, substansi utama KK tak hanya saham dan royalti, tetapi juga keselamatan rakyat dan alam Papua.

Di luar kontribusi pada devisa negara yang angkanya harus dipertanyakan-karena tak memasukkan biaya kerusakan lingkungan dan sosial dalam jangka panjang-operasi tambang PT FI lebih banyak merepotkan.

Ibarat pisau bedah

KK pertambangan dengan cadangan emas terbesar dunia ini menjadi kiblat kebijakan pertambangan Orde Baru. Kebijakan itu ditandai dengan keluarnya Undang-Undang (UU) Nomor 1 Tahun 1967 tentang Penanaman Modal Asing, KK PT FI, dan UU No 11/1967 tentang Pertambangan Umum. Soeharto menandatangani KK PT FI sebelum UU Pertambangan disahkan, bahkan sebelum Penentuan Pendapat Rakyat Papua berlangsung. KK PT FI ditandatangani April 1967, delapan bulan kemudian keluar UU Pertambangan Umum.

Model KK PT FI lantas diadopsi UU Pertambangan. Sejak itu, bumi pertiwi makin banyak melayani korporasi asing, seperti Vale/Inco, Rio Tinto, dan Newmont. Pelanggaran HAM, perusakan lingkungan, dan pemiskinan kerap menyertai operasi pertambangan di Indonesia. Sayangnya, peraturan baru, UU No 4/2009 tentang Mineral dan Batubara, juga tak mengkaji ulang izin-izin itu.

Bagi orang Papua, operasi tambang PT FI bagai pisau bedah yang memutus ikatan manusia dengan alamnya. Ikatan antara suku-suku pegunungan tengah Papua yang memandang alam sebagai ibu. Puncak gunung adalah Ninggok, tempat meletakkan kepala ibu, wilayah spiritual tertinggi, tempat berhubungan dengan Sang Pencipta. Sementara dada hingga perut ibu adalah lahan lebih landai, tempat sungai, kebun, dan hutan untuk memenuhi kebutuhan hidup rakyat.

Ninggok telah dihancurkan PT Freeport. Itulah puncak Gunung Etzberg, kini menjadi lubang raksasa sedalam 360 meter. Sementara dada dan perut sang ibu juga berubah. Dataran rendah Sungai Ajkwa kini menjadi tempat buangan limbah tailing PT FI yang mencapai 300.000 ton per hari.

Papua tak lagi damai

Kekerasan, penyiksaan, dan pembunuhan di sekitar pertambangan terus terjadi sejak Freeport di sana. Di awal-awal operasinya, pada 1972 dan 1977, lebih dari 1.000 orang Amungme meninggal karena kekerasan (Elsham Papua, 2003).

Australian Council for Overseas Aid (1995) juga mengeluarkan laporan kasus-kasus pembunuhan dan penghilangan paksa oleh militer terhadap puluhan warga asli Papua di sekitar tambang PT FI sepanjang 1994-1995. Kucuran dana PT FI membuat kawasan itu menjadi ajang kekerasan, melibatkan bisnis militer dan tak tersentuh hukum.

Pemulihan luka spiritual dan fisik semestinya menjadi bagian tak terpisahkan dalam memutuskan nasib tambang emas terbesar di Indonesia ini. Konsultasi dengan rakyat Papua seharusnya menjadi prasyarat sebelum Presiden dan para menteri mengeluarkan keputusan terus atau putus.

Sudah waktunya para pengurus negeri mengubah cara memperlakukan tanah Papua sebatas penghasil devisa. Tambang PT FI mengubah lanskap fisik dan sosial warga Papua. Sungguh menghina akal sehat memaknai ruang hidup tersebut sekadar pembesaran royalti atau divestasi saham. Syarat renegosiasi kontrak-royalti, konten lokal, pembangunan smelter, dan divestasi  saham-tak banyak gunanya untuk keselamatan orang Papua.

Februari 2015, Menteri LHK menyatakan, audit lingkungan terakhir pemerintah terhadap PT FI adalah 25 tahun lalu, sementara pengawasan tahunan dihentikan pada 2011. Padahal, selama menambang, PT FI telah membuang lebih dari 7 miliar ton limbah ke lingkungan, 2,4 miliar ton di antaranya berbentuk lumpur tailing ke Sungai Ajkwa.

Skandal renegosiasi kontrak Freeport yang melibatkan wakil rakyat dan kabinet penting diungkap. Namun, jangan lupakan rakyat Papua dan lingkungannya sebagai substansi pokok.

Saatnya Presiden Jokowi melakukan “penyelamatan terpimpin” demi kemaslahatan orang Papua dan kedaulatan negara.


Peneliti Sajogyo Institute; Ketua Tim Kerja Perempuan dan Tambang


Serambi Indonesia
Senin, 23 November 2015 14:02

Oleh Teuku Kemal Fasya

KEBERADAAN Institut Seni dan Budaya Indonesia (ISBI) Aceh yang sudah mulai memasuki tahun kedua tidak otomatis membuat proyek kesenian berjalan mulus. Hadirnya lembaga pendidikan tinggi seni memang diharapkan menjadi blok historis baru, tapi ia berada di dunia yang kompleks dengan dinamika sosial-budaya dan sistem politik yang berlaku.

Namun hadirnya ISBI ini tetap harus dianggap sebagai terobosan di dunia pendidikan dan pembangunan. Orientasi pembangunan nasional selama ini cenderung sentralistis dan ekonomika-teknokratis belum menjawab model pembangunan seutuhnya. Manusia sesungguhnya bukan makhluk satu dimensi yang hanya sadar pada ekonomi (homo economicus), tapi juga makhluk estetis dan etis. Karena berkah itu pula ruang nalar dan imajinasi berkembang dalam peradaban manusia.

Demikian pula, pembangunan nasional harus melibatkan keunggulan lokal, sehingga Indonesia tidak terjebak pada Russification –memakai istilah Partha Chaterjee, pemikir poskolonial dan subaltern– yang hanya memandang proyek pembangunan dari sudut Merdeka Utara (Istana Presiden), Lapangan Banteng Timur (Kantor Kemenko Perekonomian), dan Senayan (DPR RI).

Demikian sikap terbaca ketika pemerintahan Susilo Bambang Yudhono-Boediono berencana menghadirkan perguruan tinggi seni baru di luar pulau Jawa pada 2011. Saat itu proyek prestisius itu ingin membangun empat perguruan tinggi sekaligus di Aceh, Kalimantan Timur, Sulawesi Selatan, dan Papua.

Namun proses persiapan dokumen pendirian dan daya dukung daerah hanya menyisakan dua daerah, yaitu Aceh dan Papua. Imperatif pendirian ISBI didasarkan SK Kemendikbud No.42/P/2012 Tanggal 8 Maret 2012. ISBI Aceh dirancang di bawah supervisi ISI Padang Panjang dan kemudian berkolaborasi dengan Dewan Kesenian Aceh (DKA), kaum akademisi, dan aktivis Aceh.

Otonomi kampus
Seperti tesis tulisan ini, hadirnya perguruan tinggi seni tidak langsung menghadirkan keajaiban. Infrastruktur kesenian dan kebudayaan, dukungan politik, dan apresiasi masyarakat ikut menentukan apakah sebuah pendidikan seni dapat memberikan nuansa estetika dan artistika dalam kehidupan yang lebih menyemesta.

Namun kita tidak bisa ngeles. Kehadiran perguruan tinggi jelas sebuah peluang untuk menstimulasi infrastuktur dan lintas pelaku lainnya (stakeholders) untuk berkolaborasi membangun visi, misi, dan program pembangunan yang bernuansa seni dan kebudayaan. Kemandirian pengelolaan perguruan tinggi dituntut prima sebagai lokomotif. Dengan Tri Darma perguruan tinggi (pendidikan-pengajaran, penelitian, dan pengabdian masyarakat) ada banyak ruang bagi perguruan tinggi untuk merancang proyek pendidikan secara mandiri dan tidak “menyusu” dengan blok-blok kekuasaan di luarnya.

Tantangan yang terbesar bagi pengelola ISBI sendiri adalah bagaimana menerjemahkan visi yang telah dirumuskan oleh tim pendiri ISBI (yang saat itu digawangi Prof Mahdi Bahar dan Teuku Kamal Sulaiman sebagai ketua DKA): “Mewujudkan lembaga pendidikan tinggi seni dan budaya yang menghasilkan insan akademis, kreatif, mandiri, berkepribadian, dan berkebudayaan Melayu.” Diksi Melayu yang digunakan dalam kalimat visi itu dimaknai dengan “peradaban utama Asia Tenggara yang memiliki ciri khas linguistik, kultur islami, dan sosiobiologis yang independen dari peradaban besar lainnya”.

Frasa ini menunjukkan ISBI Aceh jelas memiliki visi kosmopolit yaitu dunia Melayu (yang dalam definisi Tan Sri Ismail Husein terentang dari sejak Madagaskar Afrika Timur hingga Okinawa Asia Timur). Aspek pengembangan kreativitas seni dan pendidikan tidak untuk didikte mengikuti langgam doktrinal keagamaan tertentu. Demikian pula Islam yang diabsorsi dunia Melayu pun tidak harus berwajah Arab atau Sudanik Afrika dengan fenomena anti-modernisme kebudayaan dan bidah. Kesenian dan keislaman dalam dunia Melayu dapat berkembang sebagai proyek yang saling berkelindan dan menjadi percontohan bagi tujuh dunia peradaban Islam lainnya.

Ekspresi seni
Tantangan semakin besar demi melihat bagaimana program studi kesenian itu dijalankan secara ideal. Di ISBI Aceh saat ini terdapat lima prodi: Seni Murni, Tari, Musik Nusantara, Kriya, dan Teater. Dunia pendidikan seni, sebagai rumpun ilmu humaniora memiliki langgam dan metode yang berbeda dengan rumpun ilmu lainnya seperti ilmu alam (natur wissenschaften), teologia, dan sosial. Bahkan dimensi ilmu sosial yang dekat dengan ilmu humaniora saja masih memiliki distingsi, meskipun kini dikenal konsep lintas disiplin (interdisciplinary) di mana antarrumpun saling bertemu dan memperkaya khazanah, metode, dan praktik; apatah lagi dengan ilmu teologia.

Ruang belajar seni seperti teater dan tari misalnya, memiliki dimensi epistemologis dan strategi-aksiologis yang mungkin tidak dikenal oleh rumpun ilmu teologia atau agama. Pada aspek epistemologis dan etis, ilmu tari dan teater jelas memiliki jalan pengajaran sendiri agar sesuai dengan standar etika dan estetika universal. Dalam pengajaran tersebut, eksplorasi atas tubuh pasti terjadi. Makna gerak tubuh dan gestur wajah memberikan nilai artistik, dan itu tidak bisa terbaca jika memakai baju kurung serba panjang.

Belum lagi kita bicarakan aspek artistik, fashion, dan dramaturgi yang mengikutinya sebagai seni pertunjukan. Jika pengetahuan ini dikomunikasi secara sewenang-wenang dengan pengetahuan agama Islam apalagi dengan ortodoksi tafsir, maka yang terlihat adalah kontradiksi. Maka pernyataan “seni harus sesuai dengan syariat Islam” adalah penyataan yang bukan saja memberikan makna pejoratif pada kesenian, tapi sekaligus kepada pengetahuan Islam sendiri.

Islam kemudian didomestifikasi kepada satu mazhab tafsir, yaitu ortodoksi seperti yang berkembang di Afganistan pada rejim Taliban atau Wahabisme di Saudi Arabia. Di sisi lain, syariat yang digunakan dalam konteks ini juga reduksionis, hanya politik regulasi berupa qanun. Seharusnya frasa yang dikembangkan adalah pemerintah dan masyarakat Aceh selayaknya mendukung perkembangan pengetahuan seni sehingga Aceh bisa kembali berperadaban gemilang seperti era lalu. Aspek historisitas Islam dan normativitas seni harus dipertemukan secara benar dan tidak sewenang-wenang.

Trauma konflik
Inilah tantangan yang harus diupayakan dengan kerja keras. Memang kompleksitas politik akibat trauma konflik masa lalu membuat Aceh tertinggal, tapi harus secepatnya pulih. Salah satunya melalui gerakan kesenian dan kebudayaan. Jika seni masih dipertentangkan secara absurd dengan agama Islam, maka sesungguhnya kita masih sakit sebagai masyarakat. Nanti akhirnya kesenian yang diluluskan sensor adalah –seperti satirisme pelukis Sudjojono: “mooi indie” (Hindia molek)– dengan cerapan pengetahuan seni banal atas apa yang dirasa serba bagus, patriarkal, romantis bagai di surga, tenang, dan serba teratur (Stanislaus Yangni, 2012: 15). Jika itu terjadi maka seni tidak pernah sampai pada tujuan kreatif dan penciptaan karena ekspresi yang terbelenggu di luar nalar estetika.

Mungkin yang berkembang di sini malah “mooi Aceh” yang sesungguhnya replikasi estetika teror yang serba klise dan Arabisme, seperti kini sedang digencarkan oleh mantan artis pop dan politikus yang senang menggunakan abaya, khimar, celak, berjubah, dan jenggot. Sesekali mengutip satu-dua ayat Quran dengan tafsiran nir adekuat untuk mencitrakan kesalehan. Dengan pengetahuan tanggung, sebagai representasi artis dan politikus mudah pula melakukan takfirisme (penyalah-nyalahan aktivitas di luar ibadah) yang membuat ruang berkesenian menjadi serba salah dan canggung.

Jika itu terjadi maka gerakan pengetahuan seni di Aceh masih buntu. Jalan menuju perkembangan kesenian yang sehat masih cukup jauh, terjal, dan berbatu-batu.


* Teuku Kemal Fasya, pendiri dan dosen Institut Seni dan Budaya Indonesia (ISBI) Aceh. Email:



Oleh : Arif Novianto, MAP Corner-klub MKP UGM. Reportase ini disadur dari MAP Corner-Klub MKP UGM.

Nov 27th, 2015

MAP Corner UGM Genocida Intelektual

Gerakan kontra-revolusi (Tragedi 1965) yang telah memukul mundur kesadaran dan kapasitas rakyat untuk memperjuangkan kehidupan mereka turut menghantam kehidupan Kampus-kampus di Indonesia. Kampus sebagai ruang kebebasan akademik, tak luput dari pusaran kejahatan kemanusiaan. Civitas akademik di Kampus, mulai dari dosen, staf dan mahasiswa, banyak yang dipecat, ditangkap dan tidak diketahui nasibnya. Mereka dianggap sebagai kaum kiri yang oleh militer pro-Soeharto dituduh terlibat pada peristiwa 30 September 1965.
Peristiwa kejahatan kemanusiaan 1965 turut membentuk bangunan dan wajah kampus di Indonesia sekarang ini. Bagaimana tragedi 1965 mengubah wajah kampus di Indonesia (kurikulum, dosen, kebebasan akademik)? Apa dampak dari perubahan di masa itu yang hingga kini tetap kokoh bertahan? Apa implikasinya bagi masa depan kampus di Indonesia? Melalui pertanyaan-pertanyaan ini, MAP Corner-klub MKP UGM pada hari selasa 24 November 2015, mencoba mendiskusikannya bersama Abdul Wahid, seorang dosen di jurusan Sejarah UGM.
Menurut Abdul Wahid, peristiwa pembunuhan massal 1965 dapat disebut sebagai “politisida atau genosida“, sedangkan pemberangusan yang juga terjadi di dunia akademik ia menyebut dengan istilah “Intellectualcide“(Genosida Intelektual). Sebelum melangkah lebih jauh tentang keterlibatan kampus, peran militer dan proses terjadinya genosida intelektual ini, Abdul Wahid memulai memantik diskusi dengan menjelaskan iklim politik Indonesia sebelum tahun 1965.
Dari tahun 1959-1963 terjadi peningkatan pesat jumlah Universitas di Indonesia. Universitas negeri meningkat dari 8 (1959) menjadi 39 (1963), Universitas swasta tumbuh dari 112 (1961) menjadi 228 (1965), Akademi negeri bertambah dari 55 (1961) menjadi 88 (1965) dan total pada 1965 ada 335 universitas/institute dengan 278.000 mahasiswa. Jumlah masyarakat yang terdidik secara formal pada tahun-tahun tersebut jelas mengalami peningkatan beratus kali lipat jika dibanding pada tahun 1940. Saat itu, hanya ada 79 mahasiswa yang lulus di Hindia ketika diperkirakan total populasi koloni mencapai 70 juta orang. Sedangkan jumlah lulusan pendidikan tinggi antara 1924 dan 1940 adalah 532, hanya 230 di antaranya merupakan penduduk pribumi (Wal 1963, dalam Aspinall, 2012: 157).
Jumlah mahasiswa yang begitu besar, membuat para mahasiswa mulai dilirik oleh partai-partai politik sebagai calon potensial untuk membangun massa konstituen. Pada periode ini, politik aliran menguat dan letupan-letupan ketegangan antar aliran terus terjadi. Politik aliran juga merangsek ke gerakan mahasiswa, ada Himpunan Mahasiswa Islam (HMI) yang terbentuk pada 5 Februari 1947, berafiliasi dengan partai islam modernis yaitu Masyumi. Gerakan Mahasiswa Nasional Indonesia (GMNI) yang berdiri tanggal 23 Maret 1954 berafiliasi dengan Partai Nasional Indonesia (PNI). Consentrasi Gerakan Mahasiswa Indonesia (CGMI) dibentuk pada 1956 yang memiliki kedekatan dengan PKI dan juga ada Gerakan Mahasiswa Sosialis (Gemsos) yang terbentuk pada 1955 yang berafiliasi dengan Partai Sosialis Indonesia (PSI).
Situasi politik nasional hingga tahun 1960an mencuatkan tiga kekuatan/idiologi besar yang saling bersaing yaitu PNI (nasionalis), NU (agamis) & PKI (komunis) yang oleh Soekarno hendak disatukan menjadi NASAKOM. Soekarno pada masa itu menjadi revolusioner dengan mengeluarkan kebijakan dan jargon politik radikal menentang neo-kolonialisme dan neo-imperialisme seperti “Manipol-Usdek”, “Ganyang Malaysia”, “Nefos” dan juga isu Papua Barat.
Bagi Soekarno, Universitas harus mampu menjadi “alat revolusi nasional”. Universitas diarahkan untuk mendukung “Manipol-USDEK” (Political Manifesto – UUD 45, Sosialisme ala Indonesia, Demokrasi-Ekonomi Terpimpin dan Kepribadian Indonesia) dan untuk mendukung propaganda anti-imperialisme dan the ‘new emerging forces’ (NEFOS). Kebijakan yang diambil oleh Soekarno bukan tanpa alasan, sisa-sisa ekonomi-politik kolonial, sisa-sisa feodalisme dan sisa-sisa kebudayaan kolonial mencoba untuk terus dihanguskan dalam revolusi nasional Indonesia.
Itu karena bagi masyarakat kecil atau kaum Marheins, kemerdekaan secara politik juga harus ditunjang kemerdekaan secara ekonomi yaitu untuk mencapai kesejahteraan. Sementara perjuangan untuk mencapai hal itu membutuhkan organisasi massa, kampanye politik dan advokasi. Sementara kaum kelas atas dan masyarakat yang masih dalam enclave kolonial, mereka juga turut membangun organisasi massa untuk mempertahankan keistimewaan dan ideologi mereka. Itulah yang membuat politik aliran sangat menguat.
Pandangan politik Soekarno telah membuatnya dekat dengan ideologi kiri dan PKI. Pada masa itu PKI menurut Ruth T. McVey merupakan partai yang paling modern dengan kaderisasi kuat yang mengakar ke bawah yaitu dilakukan secara institusional. PKI memiliki lembaga kebudayaan, gerakan perempuan dan juga lembaga pendidikan progresif seperti Universitas Rakyat, Universitas Res Publica, Akademi Ali Archam, Akademi Bachtarrudin, Akademi Ronggowarsito dan juga yang lain. Lembaga pendidikan PKI menjadi institusi pendidikan formal yang sangat menarik bagi rakyat.
Konteks iklim politik di Indonesia juga dipengaruhi oleh terjadinya perang dingin antar dua kekuatan besar yaitu Blok Barat (AS & Sekutunya) dengan Blok Timur (US & sekutunya). Hingga 1965, universitas menjadi ‘arena perang dingin’ karena menerima bantuan dari donor “Barat & Timur”. “Donor Barat” banyak membantu capacity building di bidang teknik, pertanian, peternakan, kedokteran dan pedagogik. Sedangkan “Donor Timur” membantu pembangunan “infrastructure”, di bidang sains, teknik dan humaniora. Pertarungan kedua blok juga merambah ke pemberian beasiswa-beasiswa pendidikan kepada para mahasiswa Indonesia.
Pada tahun 1960an, organisasi mahasiswa yang menjadi dominan adalah GMNI dan CGMI. Ini tidak terlepas dari afiliasi mereka kepada partai politik yang berkuasa saat itu, yaitu PNI dan PKI. Pada awal 1960an GMNI memili jumlah anggota 77.000 orang sedangkan CGMI sekitar 35.000 orang pada 1964an (Maxwell, 1997: 118). Organisasi mahasiswa intra-kampus Dewan Mahasiswa (Dema) dan Komisariat Dewan Mahasiswa (Kodema) menjadi arena persaingan politik antar gerakan mahasiswa. Ada dua kluster yang sering beradu mendapatkan posisi strategis di Dema dan Kodema ini, yaitu kluster berbasis agama: HMI, PMII, PMKRI, GMKI, IMM dan kluster berbasis sekuler: GMNI, CGMI, Germindo, Perhimi dan IPPI. Pengaruh pertarungan gerakan mahasiswa sebagaimana yang diungkapkan oleh Abdul Wahid juga sampai ke para dosen dan staff. Banyak intrik politik dari karir penunjukan pimpinan di kampus yang didasarkan pada kedekatan dosen dan staf pada organisasi kemahasiswaan tertentu.
Terjadinya operasi militer pada 30 September 1965 yang telah membunuh 6 Jenderal dan 1 Perwira Tinggi TNI AD, disikapi oleh militer pro-Soeharto dengan bergerak cepat dan memonopoli arus informasi publik dengan menuduh PKI sebagai pelaku operasi militer. Pemburuan dan kejahatan kemanusian kemudian terjadi diberbagai daerah dengan menyasar para komunis dan Soekarnois. Kampanye counter-revolutionary/anti-komunis di kampus dimulai serentak di minggu pertama Oktober yang dilakukan dengan proses seperti berikut:
1. Menteri PTIP menerbitkan SK No.1/dar 1965 untuk membekukan 14 lembaga yang (diduga) berafiliasi ke PKI;
2. SK No.4/dar 1965 untuk menutup 2 institut PKI lain;
3. SK No. 16/dar 1965 membubarkan CGMI, Perhimi, IPPI;
4. Ini ditindak lanjut dengan Instruksi TNI no. 22/KOTI/1965 tanggal 10 Oktober men-skrining semua kampus.
Proses skrining dimulai serentak sesudah Menteri PTIP mengeluarkan SK tanggal 24/10/1965: Hasil awal diumumkan pada 2/1/1966; beberapa universitas melaporkan hasil skrining. Hanya beberapa universitas yang mengumumkan hasilnya secara terbuka, kebanyakan menyembunyikannya (sebagai dokumen rahasia). Proses skrining ini dilakukan dengan mendata siapa saja kaum kiri di kampus. Skrining berjalan dengan dramatis dan tricky :
1. Rektor universitas “ditunjuk”sebagai ketua tim penyelidikan khusus mahasiswa/pegawai (TPCM/TPCP) di bawah TNI untuk screen universitasnya, tetapi juga “binaannya”;
2. “Pendataan” melibatkan mahasiwa dan dosen, untuk menyusun daftar nama “tersangka” (beberapa kemudian terlibat dalam proses “interogasi”, misalnya: Lukman Soetrisno di UGM);
3. Proses berjalan hirarkhis, atasan memaksa bawahan untuk menyerahkan nama, seringkali secara serampangan tanpa verifikasi.
Dalam proses skrining karena kampus sebagai institusi tidak mempunyai data siapa saja mahasiswa, dosen atau staff yang memiliki afiliasi politik dengan PKI, maka para mahasiswa anti-komunis (dari organisasi yang bertentangan dengan CGMI seprti HMI) dimanfaatkan untuk menunjuk para mahasiswa yang masuk CGMI, Perhimi, IPPI atau yang berafiliasi dengan PKI.
Hasil dari proses skrining tersebut, UGM (Universitas Gadjah Mada) mencatat 115 Dosen atau Karyawan dan 3.006 Mahasiswa yang diduga terlibat dalam gerakan pemberontakan padahal jumlah mahasiswa di UGM saat itu sekitar 12.000 mahasiswa (UGM menjadi yang tertinggi). Mereka yang di data dalam proses skrining sebagian menjadi tahanan politik selama beberapa tahun; sebagian di-Buru-kan; dan lainnya tidak diketahui nasibnya.
Dalam penjelasannya Abdul Wahid memaparkan bahwa para mahasiswa yang terdata diwajibkan melapor ke kampus pada 3 kali 24 jam setelah hasil skrining dipublis di media massa, dan banyak sekali yang tidak melapor. Itu artinya mereka sudah dihantam dengan mekanisme yang lain di luar kampus. Karena proses skrining tersebut juga bersamaan dengan proses pemburuan dan pembunuhan massal kaum kiri di berbagai pelosok Indonesia.


Lampiran Genocida Intelektual

Selain proses skrining atau pembersihan kaum kiri di kampus, dunia akademik kampus juga melakukan pembersihan terhadap buku-buku bertendensi kiri di perpustakaan dan merubah kurikulum mereka menjadi kapitalisme sentris. Proses tersebut dilakukan dibawah tekanan militer. Hal tersebut mendapat legitimasi dengan disahkannya TAP MPR RI No.XXV/MPRS/1966 yang berisi pelarangan terhadap idiologi komunisme/Marxisme-Leninisme.
Peristiwa 1965 menimbulkan pengaruh mendalam bagi universitas di Indonesia. Beberapa diantaranya sebagaimana yang dilihat oleh Abdul Wahid adalah sebagai berikut :
1. Hilangnya satu generasi intelektual, produk dari periode tahun 1950an yang kosmopolitan dan liberal (termasuk mereka yang menjadi eksil)
2. Penghapusan sistematis jejak dan pemikiran, gagasan memori dan unsur-unsur ‘kiri’ dari kampus Indonesia
3. Reorientasi “komitmen dan ideologi” intelektual di beberapa kalangan akademisi Indonesia
4. Kerjasama internasional menjadi sangat berorientasi Barat, khususnya USA dan Eropa Barat
5. Dalam kurikulum, terutama ilmu sosial, teori Marxist/conflict “ditinggalkan” dan buku/literatur kiri “menghilang” dari perpustakaan kampus (TAP MPRS 25/1966)
6. Budaya intelektual dan tradisi kritis menurun, sedangkan aktivisme politik mahasiswa dibatasi dengan ketat
7. Minat riset seputar Peristiwa 1965, isu agraria, dan gerakan buruh menjadi lemah, atau dihindari karena self-censorship tapi juga karena kebijakan (kampus)
8. Universitas menjadi semakin birokratis, kapitalistik dan market-oriented (Nugroho 2009)[]






Roy Murtadho

in: Harian Indoprogress, 27 November 2015

Ilustrasi oleh Alit Ambara

PENYELENGGARAAN IPT 65 di Den Haag pada tanggal 10-13 November 2015, mendapat tanggapan yang hampir seragam dari pemerintah. Menko Polhukam Luhut Panjaitan, yang belakangan namanya menjadi bagian dari simbol kebangkitan Orde Baru (Orba), secara salah kaprah menganggap Belanda terlibat atas pengadilan rakyat tersebut.[1]Menteri Pertahanan Ryamizard Ryacudu, menuduh aktivis pengusung IPT 65 sebagai musuh negara. Sementara Wakil Presiden Jusuf Kalla menganggapnya sebagai peradilan dagelan. Kita tidak kaget apalagi meratapi pernyataan aparatus negara tersebut karena, setidaknya, melalui pernyataan itu rakyat semakin diteguhkan keyakinnya akan gejala naiknya Orba yang hendak membungkam hak rakyat untuk berbicara dan memperjuangkan keadilan bagi dirinya. Yang dengan itu rakyat bisa belajar untuk tetap kritis dan waspada.
Berbagai argumen dimunculkan sebagai penolakan terhadap IPT 65. Meski demikian, jika dilihat satu persatu akan dengan mudah kita temukan kekeroposan argumen tersebut, karena sepertinya argumen penolakan terhadap IPT 65 lebih dibimbing oleh prasangka dan kebencian ketimbang cara berpikir yang jernih melihat peristiwa 65. Setidaknya, ada dua argumen yang paling mengemuka dalam penolakan terhadap IPT 65. Pertama, “Indonesia punya mekanisme sendiri, punya cara sendiri dalam menyelesaikan persoalan bangsa Indonesia dan tak perlu melalui IPT 65 yang diselenggarakan di Belanda”. Pernyataan tersebut, selintas terdengar luhur dan bijak yang mengensankan bahwa selama ini pemerintah Indonesia punya komitmen terhadap keadilan korban 65. Namun, karena pernyataan tersebut tidak ditopang oleh kenyataan, maka alih-alih hendak menunjukkan adanya komitmen politik untuk menyelesaikan semua pelanggaran HAM Berat masa lalu di Indonesia, justru menunjukkan kegagalannya sendiri. Bukankah segala jalan yang ditempuh sejak dibentuknya Komisi Kebenaran dan Rekonsiliasi (KKR) dan temuan Komnas HAM atas terjadinya pelanggaran HAM Berat di masa lalu telah diabaikan semua oleh pemerintah Indonesia? Alhasil, melalui pernyataan di muka, pemerintah dengan sengaja hendak menutupi borok kejahatan Suharto dan Orba yang coba disucikan dari segala dosanya.
Kedua, “Tak ada gunanya mengungkit-ungkit masa lalu. Lebih baik saat ini kita menatap masa depan bangsa Indonesia”. Pernyataan ini juga seringkali diulang-ulang tanpa penjelasan yang jelas tentang apa maksud dari pernyataan tersebut. Kita patut bertanya, masa depan yang bagaimanakah yang bisa disebut sebagai masa depan jika melupakan masa lalunya? Tak ada satupun kebudayaan besar di dunia ini yang besar karena melupakan masa lalunya. Mereka menemukan dirinya secara baru justru ketika mereka berani menilai dengan adil sejarahnya sendiri. Orang-orang Barat mengingat kembali Yunani dan Romawi untuk menemukan jati dirinya yang baru, sembari belajar dari kebenaran dan kesalahan masa lalunya. Semua tahu, seseorang akan menjadi akil balig jika ia berani menilai dirinya secara adil atas kebenaran dan kedurajanaannya sendiri di masa lalu. Toh, jika melupakan masa lalu itu dianggap sebagai kebenaran, kenapa Al-Qur’an justru dipenuhi dengan carita-cerita masa lalu jatuh bangunnya perjuangan kebenaran melawan kebatilan? Kenapa justru berkisah tentang Abu Jahal, Abu Lahab, Firaun, Musa, Isa, Lukman Hakim, Ibrahim dll?. Tak lain agar umat Islam, –khususnya umat Islam Indonesia– bisa mengambil pelajaran masa lalu untuk masa depannya.
Terlepas dari itu semua, entah setuju atau menolak IPT 65, tak ada satu pun manusia di negeri ini yang bisa menampik kenyataan sejarah bahwa Peristiwa 65 merupakan kejahatan kemanusiaan dan genosida yang terjadi secara terencana, yang merenggut jutaan nyawa manusia dan memenjarakan ribuan orang tanpa pernah dibuktikan kesalahannya. Bahkan, seandainya semua kesaksian dan cerita di seputar Peristiwa 65 dituliskan, merekam tiap penggal luka dan deritanya, niscaya ribuan halaman tak akan cukup untuk menuliskannya. Hampir semua wilayah di Indonesia memiliki beragam cerita tentang kejahatan kemanusiaan terbesar dalam sejarah Indonesia modern tersebut. Khususnya di Jawa Tengah, Jawa Timur, dan Bali yang menjadi ladang utama pembantaian jutaan manusia tak berdosa itu.
Pembantaian yang terjadi pasca Gestok (Gerakan 1 Oktober) tersebut tak bisa dilihat sebagai pertikaian akar rumput yang terjadi secara spontan, sebagaimana selama ini dipersepsi oleh sejarawan semacam Aminuddin Kasdi.[2]Peristiwa itu adalah sebuah pembantaian yang terencana dan terkomando. Di dalam buku ‘Banser Berjihad Menumpas PKI’[3] dinarasikan dengan jelas bahwa pembantaian 65 berlangsung di bawah komando langsung militer.





Bergelora.Com, Kamis, 26 November 2015


Ketua DPR-Ri, Setya Novanto (Ist)

Ketua DPR-Ri, Setya Novanto (Ist)


JAKARTA- Kunjungan Ketua DPR-RI Setya Novanto beserta istri bertemu dengan Kaisar Jepang adalah salah satu contoh tentang upaya berbagai poros kapitalisme global membangun pengaruh memanfaatkan bandit-bandit politik yang rusak secara moral dan mental, rakus harta, haus jabatan, doyan disogok dan bangga jadi kacung kepentingan asing. Hal ini ditegaskan oleh Ketua Presidium Petisi 28, Haris Rusly kepada di Jakarta, Kamis (26/11).
“Kunjungan di luar kebiasaan yang disertai janji Setya Novanto selaku pimpinan legislatif untuk membeli alustista dari Jepang tersebut pasti atas inisiatif pemerintah Jepang sebagai upaya membangun dan mempertahankan pengaruhnya setelah Jepang kalah dari China dalam perebutan projek kereta cepat jarak pendek Jakarta-Bandung,” ujarnya.
Ia menjelaskan bahwa Jepang adalah salah satu negara industri maju yang bergabung dalam poros kapitalisme global Trans Pacific Patnership (TPP) bersama Amerika yang telah puluhan tahun menancapkan dominasinya di Indonesia dalam pasar manufaktur dan pasar infrastruktur serta eksploitasi SDA.
“Setelah gagal dalam perebutan pengaruh di lingkaran teras istana negara, Jepang berusaha membangun pengaruh melalui sejumlah bandit politik yang bergabung di dalam Koalisi Merah Putih (KMP) yang menguasai parlemen, terutama melalui Setya Novanto,” jelasnya.
Sementara itu menurutnya, China yang bergabung di dalam poros BRICS bersama Rusia adalah poros baru dari kapitalisme global yang telah berhasil menancapkan pengaruhnya melalui sejumlah bandit politik di lingkaran teras pemerintahan Joko-Kalla dan Koalisi Indonesia Hebat (KIH), khususnya melalui Presiden Joko, Rini Soemarno, Surya Paloh, serta melalui sejumlah taipan dan saudagar pendukung pemerintahan Joko-Kalla.
Ia mengatakan rusaknya sistem negara pasca amandemen UUD yang disertai oleh lemahnya kepemimpinan Presiden Joko Widodo telah menempatkan bangsa Indonesia bagaikan layangan di tengah badai perebutan pengaruh dari berbagai kepentingan asing untuk menguasai Indonesia.
Ia menegaskan bahwa negara yang tak berdiri di atas landasan sistem yang kuat (UUD 1945) dan tidak dibangun di atas konsepsi (GBHN) menyebabkan setiap kebijakan yang dibuat tidak berdasarkan landasan dan panduan yang baku, dan tragisnya kebijakan tersebut dibuat berdasarkan keinginan subjektif dari Presiden dan para Menterinya.
Kacung Asing
Akibatnya katanya, para bandit politik leluasa beroperasi untuk berebut menjadi kacung kepentingan asing untuk mengubah kebijakan pemerintah agar menguntungkan kepentingan majikannya, seperti terungkap dalam rekaman percakapan Ketua DPR Setya Novanto meminta saham dan projek Freeport.
“Situasi bangsa kita hari ini mengingatkan kita pada sejarah perebutan pengaruh antara berbagai bangsa penjajah untuk menyuap, memecah belah dan menguasai kerajaan-kerajaan di nusantara yang kaya sumber daya alam,” ujarnya.
Ia mencontohkan, ketika bangsa Portugis datang dan bersekutu dengan Kerajaan Ternate (1512). Di saat yang sama bangsa Spanyol juga datang dan bersekutu dengan Kerajaan Tidore (1512).
Dengan berkuasanya kedua bangsa Eropa tersebut di Tidore dan Ternate, maka mulai terjadi pertikaian terus-menerus antar kedua kerajaan yang sebelumnya hidup berdampingan secara damai. Hal itu terjadi karena kedua bangsa Eropa itu sama-sama berambisi memonopoli hasil bumi dari kedua kerajaan tersebut.
“Politik suap dan devide et impera adalah cara efektif yang selalu digunakan dalam melemhkan sebuah bangsa agar mudah dikuasai dan diperintah,” jelasnya.
Ia mengingatkan, kata “devide et impera” tersebut adalah sebuah kata kerja, yang berarti, “pecah dan kuasai”. Kata se-sinonim juga ada di dalam kebiasaan orang-orang Inggris yang biasa mengatakan “devine and rule”, atau bisa diartikan, “pecah dan perintahlah”. Maksudnya, setelah terpecah menjadi kekuatan-kekuatan kecil, maka harus segera di kuasai dan diperintah karena telah lemah.
“Menghadapi keadaan bangsa Indonesia yang bagaikan layangan di tengah badai tersebut, kita harus bekerja keras melahirkan Generasi Baru dengan Kekuatan Baru yang menjadikan Pancasila sebagai landasan untuk menyatukan dan menyelamatkan bangsa Indonesia dari ancaman nyata dominasi berbagai poros kepentingan kapitalisme global memanfaatkan rusaknya moral elite politik tua yang saling sandera satu dengan yang lain,” tegasnya. (Aan Rus)