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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!” ***




Gatra, 19-26 November 2015
Asvi Warman Adam
Bertepatan dengan peringatan hari Pahlawan di Indonesia, di Den Haag dibuka pengadilan rakyat internasional mengenai kasus 1965 (IPT 65). Pengadilan ini memang bersifat internasional dengan tujuh orang hakim berkewarganegaraan asing. Seorang jaksa berkebangsaan Jerman dan enam lainnya dari Indonesia dipimpin pengacara senior Todung Mulya Lubis.
Majelis Hakim sudah berpengalaman luas dalam mahkamah internasional, diketuai Zak Yacoob mantan hakim mahkamah konstitusi Afrika Selatan, terdiri dari Sir Geoffrey Nice (Inggris), Helen Jarvis (Australia dan Kamboja), Mireille Fanon Mendes France (Perancis), John Gittings (Inggris), Shadi Sadr (eksil Iran), Cees Flinterman (Belanda). Nice pernah menjadi penuntut umum dalam kasus Slobodan Milosevic. Helen Jarvis terlibat dalam mahkamah international untuk Khmer Merah di Kamboja. Fasih berbahasa Indonesia ia menerjemahkan karya Tan Malaka “Dari Penjara ke Penjara” dalam bahasa Inggris.
International People’s Tribunal adalah bentuk pengadilan yang digelar oleh kelompok masyarakat dan bersifat internasional untuk membahas kasus pelanggaran HAM berat. Mekanisme ini berada di luar negara dan lembaga formal seperti PBB. Kekuatannya berasal dari suara para korban serta masyarakat sipil nasional dan internasional. Reputasinya akan teruji dalam kapasitasnya memeriksa bukti-bukti, melakukan pencatatan sejarah yang akurat mengenai kejahatan kemanusiaan yang terjadi, dan menerapkan prinsip-prinsip hukum kebiasaan internasional (the international customary law) pada fakta-fakta yang ditemukan. Tribunal ini tidak dimaksud untuk menggantikan peran negara dalam proses hukum.

IPT memiliki format pengadilan HAM secara formal dengan membentuk Tim Peneliti profesional dan menyusun Panel Hakim internasional. Tim Peneliti bertugas menghimpun dan mengkaji data serta kesaksian, lalu merumuskannya secara hukum dan menyerahkannya kepada Tim Jaksa Penuntut. Tim Jaksa ini akan menyusun dakwaan berdasarkan bukti-bukti yang diajukan tentang pihak-pihak yang bertanggung jawab atas kejahatan kemanusiaan yang meluas dan sistematis yang dilakukan negara. Bukti-bukti tersebut berupa dokumen tertulis, audio visual dan keterangan para saksi.
Peristiwa 1965 diajukan karena pembantaian massal tersebut dan seluruh rangkaian prosesnya merupakan bencana kemanusiaan terbesar dalam sejarah Indonesia yang selama ini diabaikan oleh pengadilan negara hingga membawa dampak besar bagi bangsa Indonesia sekarang dan mendatang. Meskipun sudah banyak bukti yang terungkap, pemerintah Indonesia belum berhasil mengadili para pelaku kejahatan tersebut.
Apa manfaat IPT 65 ini ? Kegiatan ini tidak dibiayai dengan APBN sehingga negara tidak usah mengeluarkan ongkos. Meski keputusannya tidak otomatis mengikat negara Indonesia secara legal-formal, namun karena sifatnya sebagai mekanisme Pengadilan Rakyat di tingkat internasional, ini dapat menjadi landasan hukum bagi masyarakat untuk mendesak negara agar mampu menegakkan keadilan atas tragedi 1965 sekaligus menghentikan impunitas bagi para pelakunya. Hasil pengadilan ini dapat menjadi sumber legitimasi bagi negara Indonesia untuk membuktikan diri sebagai negara yang mampu memenuhi pertanggungjawaban atas pelanggaran HAM berat masa lalu; dan menjadi bagian dari masyarakat internasional yang dihormati karena tanggap dalam menyelesaikan pelanggaran HAM berat tersebut. Sementara itu pada masyarakat akan tumbuh kesadaran bahwa politik kekerasan maupun kejahatan kemanusiaan tidak dapat ditolerir. .
Untuk para penyintas dan keluarganya hasil pengadilan ini dapat berkontribusi pada proses pemulihan mereka sebagai korban kejahatan kemanusiaan. Dampak lain yang diharapkan adalah penghapusan stigma terhadap para korban dan keluarganya sebagai pihak yang secara langsung atau tak langsung pernah terkait pada Gerakan 30 September 1965. Penghapusan stigmatisasi tersebut diharapkan disertai pemulihan kedudukan hukum para korban, penyintas dan keluarganya.
Pengadilan rakyat di Den Haag tidak bertujuan menjelek-jelekkan pemerintah Indonesia apalagi berkhianat kepada bangsa. Temuan selama persidangan menurut komisioner Komnas HAM Dianto Bachriadi sejalan dengan kesimpulan dari Penyelidikan Komnas HAM mengenai kasus 1965 tahun 2012 yang sudah diserahkan kepada Kejaksaan Agung. Dianto mengutip kesimpulan executive summary laporan tersebut yang sudah diterbitkan Komnas HAM. Yang baru menurut sang komisioner Komnas HAM adalah gugatan kekerasan seksual melalui kesaksian di balik layar oleh seorang perempuan korban yang dianiaya seorang guru besar UGM Yogyakarta. Mariana Amiruddin komisioner Komnas Perempuan yang berangkat ke Den Haag menghadiri pengadilan ini dengan surat ijin dari Presiden Republik Indonesia mengatakan kasus kekerasan seksual termasuk laporan penelitian lembaga tersebut.
Mengapa Den Haag, Belanda, dipilih menjadi tempat penyelenggaraan IPT 1965 tanggal 10-13 November 2015 ? Jawaban lugas, tidak mungkin dilakukan di Indonesia; diskusi buku 1965 saja seperti pada Festival Ubud Bali diintervensi aparat keamanan. Sementara itu, Den Haag merupakan kota simbol keadilan dan perdamaian internasional. Lembaga-lembaga seperti International Court of Justice (Mahkamah Pidana Internasional) dan sejumlah pengadilan khusus dan penting, seperti Tribunal Yugoslavia, diselenggarakan, atau memiliki kantor Sekretariat, di sini. Tribunal Tokyo (Pengadilan Perempuan Internasional atas Kejahatan Perang tentang Perbudakan Seksual Militer Jepang) menyelenggarakan sidang putusannya di Den Haag (2001).
Pengadilan rakyat ini juga bertujuan mendapatkan pengakuan internasional atas keterlibatan sejumlah negara Barat dalam tragedi 1965. Sebuah gugatan diajukan menyangkut peran AS, Inggris dan Australia dalam kasus ini dengan saksi ahli sejarawan Bradley Simpson. Dia menulis buku Economists with guns: Authoritarian Development and US-Indonesian Relations, 1960-1968 yang sudah diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Indonesia. Menurut Simpson “pemerintah Amerika Serikat dan negara-negara barat lain sudah lebih dari setahun mengusahakan terjadinya konflik senjata antara tentara dan Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI) dengan harapan tentara Indonesia bisa menghancurkan PKI”.
Setelah meletus G30S AS membantu dana untuk Komite Aksi Pengganyangan Gestapu sebanyak Rp 50 juta serta memberikan daftar pengurus PKI. Pemerintah Amerika Serikat memulai sebuah operasi yang ditutup-tutupi untuk mendukung militer Indonesia dalam menghancurkan PKI. Pemerintah Amerika menyediakan senjata, bantuan dana dan dukungan politik, supaya Jenderal Soeharto dan sekutunya mengetahui bahwa mereka mendapat dukungan penuh, walaupun dukungan diberikan diam-diam. Saat itu, untuk Amerika, terang-terangan mendukung Soeharto dan tentara Indonesia melawan Sukarno, mengandung resiko politik tinggi.
Simpson juga bersaksi bahwa Amerika sepenuhnya sadar akan rangkaian pembunuhan yang terjadi dan jumlah orang yang tewas selama pembunuhan berlangsung. Amerika tidak protes atau berusaha menghentikan peristiwa tersebut dan malah membantu pemerintah Indonesia dengan menyediakan apapun yang dibutuhkan untuk menghancurkan Partai Komunis Indonesia. Padahal mereka tahu benar bahwa bantuan digunakan juga untuk membunuhi rakyat tak bersenjata. Dari dokumen yang dipublikasikan, pemerintah Amerika mulai mendukung militer Indonesia sejak akhir Oktober 1965.
Pemerintah Inggris, seperti juga Australia, melakukan operasi propaganda rahasia mendukung tentara Indonesia waktu itu. Pemerintah Jepang memberi dukungan dana, juga sejumlah negara Barat yang meyediakan bantuan intelijen, bahkan juga pemerintah Uni Soviet pada waktu itu. Pada masa terjadi konflik antara Uni Soviet dengan Cina soal ideologi komunisme, tidaklah mengherankan kalau Indonesia yang lebih dekat dengan Cina menjadi sasaran Uni Soviet.
Selama 50 tahun studi G30S telah berkembang pesat dengan dibukanya berbagai arsip di AS, Inggris, Australia, Rusia, Jerman, Jepang, dan Tiongkok. Bermunculan pula para peneliti mengenai tema ini di sejumlah negara, seperti di Belanda, Jepang, dan terutama Australia, selain—tentu saja—dari Indonesia sendiri. Bulan September 2015 di Jakarta dipresentasikan laporan penelitian yang dikerjakan tim peneliti Universitas Waseda, Tokyo, Jepang. Salah seorang peneliti Jepang, sejarawan senior Aiko Kurasawa mengatakan bahwa Jepang tidak terlibat dalam peristiwa G30S. Namun Jepang adalah termasuk negara yang paling diuntungkan dengan peristiwa 1965 yang memakan korban sampai 500.000 orang. Jepang menjadi negara investor pertama pada awal Orde Baru. Hal ini agar disadari pula oleh pemerintah dan masyarakat Jepang.

Diharapkan negara-negara asing yang terlibat dalam tragedi 1965 atau yang diuntungkan oleh peristiwa tersebut untuk membantu Indonesia dalam penyelesaian masalah HAM berat masa lalu, misalnya dalam pendanaan program pemulihan trauma para korban. (Dr Asvi Warman Adam, sejarawan)



4 November 2015

 Ilustrasi gambar oleh Alit Ambara


Kemunculan dan Perjalanan Tribunal Rakyat Internasional

“May this Tribunal prevent the crime of silence”

KALIMAT di atas adalah petikan dari pidato penutup Bertrand Russell, seorang filsuf besar dari Inggris, ketika meresmikan War Crimes Tribunal di London, 13 November 1966. War Crimes Tribunal, atau Tribunal Kejahatan Perang, adalah suatu pengadilan non Negara yang ia gagas bersama karibnya, Jean Paul-Sartre, seorang eksistensialis kiri asal Perancis, dan rekan-rekan lain dari mulai pengacara, aktivis gerakan mahasiswa, ilmuwan, dokter, korban perang, hingga pensiunan tentara Amerika.

Tribunal ini murni merupakan inisiatif masyarakat sipil dari beberapa Negara, dan dilakukan untuk menuntut pertanggung jawaban Amerika Serikat dan sekutunya, termasuk Inggris, Australia, dan Korea, atas perang di Vietnam. Tribunal ini, yang kemudian dikenal dengan Russell’s Tribunal, lantas menginspirasi kemunculan tribunal rakyat di level internasional (biasa disebut International People’s Tribunal) terhadap beragam kasus-kasus kejahatan serius, termasuk kejahatan perang, agresi, genosida dan kejahatan terhadap kemanusiaan di banyak Negara di dunia, termasuk yang berkaitan dengan Indonesia.

Hingga saat ini, lebih dari delapan puluh tribunal rakyat internasional, atau beberapa menggunakan istilah pengadilan warga internasional (International Citizen’s Tribunal) sudah diselenggarakan, baik yang bersifat permanen seperti Permanent People’s Tribunal yang berbasis di Roma, ataupun yang ad hoc berdasarkan kasus-kasus tertentu.

Apa dan bagaimana sebetulnya Tribunal Rakyat Internasional, dan apa kontribusinya terhadap rejim HAM internasional serta narasi besar tentang keadilan? Apa relevansinya terhadap upaya memutus impunitas di Indonesia? Apa pula prospek dan kontribusinya terhadap penguatan gerakan masyarakat sipil dan wacana penuntasan kasus-kasus pelanggaran HAM berat d Indonesia? Hal-hal ini akan menjadi bahasan utama dalam tulisan singkat ini.

Saya akan membagi tulisan ini dalam dua bagian. Tulisan bagian pertama akan mencakup pertanyaan yang pertama, sedangkan tulisan bagian kedua membahas dua pertanyaan lainnya. Masing-masing tulisan akan saya tutup dengan sebuah kesimpulan.


Tribunal Rakyat Internasional: Kritik terhadap Sistem dan Politik Hukum Internasional

Salah satu kejahatan yang seringkali diamini banyak orang dan banyak Negara, adalah kejahatan yang diistilahkan oleh Russell sebagai crime of silence, atau kejahatan atas kebungkaman terhadap kasus-kasus pelanggaran HAM berat. Jenis kejahatan ini tidak diatur dalam instrumen hukum baik nasional maupun internasional, tapi pembungkaman dan kebungkaman umumnya selalu menjustifikasi kekuasaan Negara yang sewenang-wenang dan berujung pada impunitas. Seringkali upaya masyarakat sipil yang oposan terhadap rezim penguasa menemui jalan buntu. Tidak saja perangkat hukum dan alat politik yang ada tidak cukup efektif sebagai senjata perlawanan, tapi juga perangkat dan ruang yang ada umumnya dikooptasi oleh rezim penguasa untuk melanggengkan impunitas.

Sasaran perlawanan lantas dialihkan di ruang internasional, dimana perangkat hukum pidana internasional sudah dibentuk dan sudah ada preseden untuk meminta pertanggungjawaban Negara yang telah melanggar hak-hak dasar warganya atau warga negara lain. Sayangnya, di tingkatan internasional pun seringkali tidak efektif membantu perlawanan kelompok oposisi untuk membela keadilan bagi mereka yang ditindas. Sistem hukum pidana internasional mendapat banyak kritikan dari kelompok legalis kritis, realis, poskolonial, dan juga kelompok kiri, terutama dalam kaitannya dengan politik dan kepentingan ekonomi negara-negara tertentu serta keterbatasan implementasinya di tingkatan praksis. Karl Marx, misalnya, termasuk yang memberikan warisan kritik atas institusi hukum borjuis yang menjadi bagian dari kekuasaan yang menindas.[1] Dari sini, Samuel Moyn (2012) mengkritik asas ‘netralitas’ yang diumbar oleh sistem hukum pidana internasional yang pada prakteknya tidak lebih sebagai kamuflase untuk memberi jalan bagi liberalisme untuk menghancurkan perjuangan sosialis dan anti-kolonialisme. Kelompok poskolonial juga melihat ketidak seimbangan kekuasaan antara negara-negara bekas penjajah dan negara-negara yang baru merdeka, yang umumnya adalah negara miskin dan powerless, sehingga sistem hukum internasional malah justru melanggengkan kolonialisme dalam bentuk baru.

Hal ini juga disadari Russell dan kawan-kawan ketika menggagas War Crimes Tribunal.[2] Amerika Serikat dan sekutunya tidak pernah digugat atas kejahatan perang yang mereka lakukan terhadap Vietnam, negara yang baru merdeka, di tahun 1960-an. Kondisi ini bertolak seratus delapan puluh derajat dari komitmen negara-negara “Barat” dalam hal kejahatan berat yang dilakukan oleh Nazi. Pengadilan Nuremberg digelar khusus untuk mengadili Jerman Timur, dalam hal ini Nazi, atas kejahatan genosida terhadap bangsa Yahudi. Berkaca pada Nuremberg Tribunal tersebut, tribunal yang banyak dikritik sebagai pengadilan sang pemenang atas mereka yang jadi pecundang, Russel dan kawan-kawan menggagas sebuah cermin baru untuk masyarakat dunia berkaca pada kejahatan perang yang sesungguhnya. Sebagaimana disampaikan Sartre dalam salah satu sesi tribunal:

You know the truth: in the last twenty years, the great historical act has been the struggle of the underdeveloped nations for their freedom. The colonial empires have crumbled, and in their place independent nations have grown or have reclaimed ancient and traditional independence which had been eliminated by colonialism. All this has happened in suffering, sweat and blood. A tribunal such as that of Nuremberg has become a permanent necessity. I have already said that, before the Nazi trials, war was lawless. The Nuremberg Tribunal, an ambiguous reality, was created from the highest legal principles no doubt but, at the same time, it created a precedent, the embryo of a tradition. Nobody can go back, stop what has already existed, nor, when a small and poor country is the object of aggression, prevent one from thinking back to those trials and saying to oneself: it is this very same thing that was condemned then. In this way, the hasty and incomplete measures taken and then abandoned by the Allies in 1945 have created a real gap in international affairs. We sadly lack an organization which has been created and affirmed in its permanency and universality and which has irreversibly defined its rights and duties. It is a gap which must be filled and yet which no one will fill.[3]

Kalimat terakhir merupakan benang merah dari beragam inisiatif pelaksanaan TRI. Sebuah TRI berperan dalam mengisi kekosongan hukum yang diciptakan oleh negara-negara besar yang kemudian ditinggalkan ketika kejahatan justru dilakukan oleh negara-negara ini terhadap negara kecil. Kekosongan yang sama yang juga ditinggalkan oleh rezim-rezim penguasa di sebuah Negara yang dengan sewenang-wenang melakukan kejahatan berat terhadap warga negaranya sendiri, atau terhadap warga negara lain. Tribunal ini menegaskan pentingnya keadilan formal, dan bahwa keadilan adalah juga suatu hak dan kewajiban bagi masyarakat dunia, tidak hanya terbatas pada otoritas resmi negara atau pemerintah, untuk mewujudkannya.

Tentu saja, sebuah TRI tidak bisa menggantikan formalitas hukum yang hanya mampu disahkan atau dimandatkan kepada Negara. Ini juga kritik utama yang sering ditujukan pada model tribunal masyarakat sipil yang demikian. TRI dinilai tidak memiliki basis formal dalam sistem dan mekanisme resmi yang didukung oleh negara-negara, sehingga tidak mampu mengimplementasikan putusan-putusan yang dibuatnya dalam perangkat hukum yang ada.[4] Meski begitu, TRI punya tiga peran penting: secara prinsip, teori, dan politik.

Secara prinsip, TRI mengadopsi prinsip-prinsip dan mekansime internasional dengan keluaran yang seringkali berbeda dari mekanisme resmi Negara atau lembaga antar-negara yang juga mengadopsi prinsip yang sama. Argumentasi dan putusan didasarkan pemeriksaan terhadap bukti-bukti primer dan sekunder yang didapatkan dari investigasi dan riset yang ketat, serta public hearing atau kesaksian publik yang juga melibatkan saksi-saksi baik pelaku maupun korban. Karena berjarak dengan kepentingan rezim penguasa, dan umumnya mandat didapat dari korban-korban kekerasan, maka hasil dari proses eksaminasi atau pemeriksaan ini lebih mencerminkan prinsip-prinsip keadilan yang dianutnya.

Pemihakan terhadap korban berarti juga merupakan peran teoretis yang difungsikan oleh tribunal, yakni melawan asumsi bahwa Negara melalui representasinya bebas bias dan adil. Pada kenyataannya, senada dengan kritikan Marx, institusi dan sistem hukum seringkali ikut berperan dalam menindas kelompok atau negara tertentu. TRI menegaskan bahwa keadilan sesungguhnya juga merupakan relasi perjuangan atas kekuasaan, dan karenanya hukum perlu memihak pada mereka yang ditindas oleh kekuasaan yang sewenang-wenang. TRI juga membongkar berbagai kelemahan dan keterbatasan dalam sistem hukum yang ada, dan menunjukkan dengan gamblang impunitas yang terjadi lewat upaya-upaya pembungkaman oleh negara. Dengan begitu, TRI mempertanyakan sumber legitimasi dan kepemilikan atas norma-norma hukum internasional dengan menunjukkan berbagai kesenjangan atau kekosongan keadilan yang ada.


dadIlustrasi gambar oleh Dadang Christanto


Secara politik, peran terbesar TRI adalah membuka ruang artikulasi sekaligus mengesahkan klaim dan pengalaman mereka yang ditindas di saat ruang-ruang resmi negara telah tertutup semua. Tidak saja ruang ini memberi jalan bagi mereka yang ditindas di dalam negeri, tapi juga mereka yang di luar negeri dan bahkan masyarakat dunia ikut mengakuinya.[5] Karena ruang lingkupnya dan penglibatannya yang mendunia, TRI merupakan sebuah gerakan transnasional atau lintas negara yang menggalang dukungan dan kesadaran masyarakat dunia atas kejahatan-kejahatan serius yang dilakukan oleh pemerintah atau Negara, sekaligus mengingatkan perlunya memori bersama untuk mencegah keberulangan di tempat dan masa yang lain. Dalam prinsip demokrasi, penguasa tetap harus mempertanggungjawabkan kekuasaannya kepada rakyat yang memilihnya, dan rakyat inilah yang menjadi anggota masyarakat dunia yang bisa menekan pemerintahnya untuk menghadirkan keadilan. Negara, lewat mekanisme yang resmi, bisa saja mengabaikan sebuah kejahatan dan menegaskan impunitas. Namun, masyarakat sipil internasional dapat memobilisasi gerakan yang luas untuk menolak pembungkaman oleh negara terhadap sebuah ketidak adilan.

Russell Tribunal atas kejahatan perang di Vietnam, terlepas dari berbagai kritik yang menyertainya, adalah salah satu contoh sukses gerakan transnasional lewat mekanisme tribunal non resmi ini. Tribunal ini adalah yang pertama kali di dunia yang menegaskan bahwa Vietnam adalah satu negara, bukan dua, yang baru merdeka, dan menjadi obyek ekspansi imperialisme Amerika Serikat. Kedua, Amerika Serikat, dibantu oleh Australia, New Zealand, dan Korea Selatan menyerang bukan hanya Vietnam, tapi juga Kamboja dan Laos. Dalam serangan ini, negara tetangga seperti Thailand, Filipina dan Jepang juga complicit terhadap serangan brutal Amerika dan sekutunya. Sesi-sesi tribunal dilakukan di beberapa negara, dan mengumpulkan dukungan dari berbagai lapisan. Respon dunia dari tribunal ini adalah pengakuan atas invasi Amerika dan sekutunya, dan dukungan luas untuk pembebasan Vietnam dan mengakhiri perang di Asia Tenggara. Kesuksesan tribunal ini dilanjutkan dengan Russel Tribunal kedua yang diadakan untuk memeriksa dan memberi putusan terhadap kasus pelanggaran HAM berat di Amerika Latin oleh rejim dikatator militer.

Contoh yang lain adalah tribunal rakyat atas pendudukan Palestina oleh Israel. Didukung sepenuhnya oleh Bertrand Russell Foundation, tribunal yang dikenal dengan Russell Tribunal for Palestine (disingkat RToP) ini diselenggarakan untuk menginvestigasi pelanggaran hukum internasional yang mengakibatkan penderitaan bagi rakyat Palestina dan menghalangi hak mereka untuk menentukan nasib sendiri (self determination). Tribunal ini melibatkan seratus enampuluh nama-nama besar di berbagai dunia, mulai dari musisi, artis, peraih nobel, ilmuwan, mantan petinggi PBB, hingga mantan kepala negara, dan juga ratusan lembaga serta organisasi yang mendukung perdamaian dan penyelesaian masalah Palestina. Termasuk juga yang terlibat adalah Carmel Budiarjo, seorang mantan tahanan politik 1965 di Indonesia yang kemudian mendirikan organisasi Tapol di London. Dalam situs RToP disebutkan:

This Tribunal has been named the Russell Tribunal on Palestine. It will reaffirm the supremacy of international law as the basis for a solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. It will identify all the failings in the implementation of this right and will condemn all the parties responsible for these failings, in full view of international public opinion.[6]

Kemampuan RToP memobilisir dukungan terhadap penyelesaian masalah Palestina mendesak pengakuan dunia dan PBB atas kejahatan serius yang terjadi di Palestina, sekaligus menolak pembungkaman yang dilakukan oleh negara-negara besar termasuk juga PBB. RToP, dalam putusan akhirnya, menegaskan terbuktinya kejahatan perang, kejahatan terhadap kemanusiaan, dan hasutan ke arah genosida. Meskipun RToP tidak secara eksplisit menyebutkan genosida dalam tuntutannya, namun RToP berpendapat bahwa genosida dapat terjadi karena impunitas terus dibiarkan di tengah kejahatan terhadap kemanusiaan yang terjadi dan adanya hasutan langsung ke arah genosida.[7] Israel dan beberapa negara pendukungnya dinilai mengabaikan hukum internasional, dan PBB serta negara-negara di dunia diminta bersikap untuk aksi-aksi illegal yang dilakukan Israel dalam okupasinya di Palestina. Putusan RToP ini adalah pengakuan internasional pertama yang resmi, mengadopsi hukum internasional yang tidak pernah dilakukan oleh negara-negara dan PBB sebelumnya. Pengakuan ini menjadi rujukan resmi dan advokasi jangka panjang untuk penyelesaian masalah Palestina.

Selain RToP, Russell Tribunal juga menginspirasi berbagai tribunal lain. Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) adalah salah satunya. Berbeda dengan RToP atau beberapa tribunal lain yang sifatnya per kasus (ad hoc), PPT dibentuk berdasarkan pertimbangan perlunya sebuah mekanisme tribunal masyarakat sipil yang berkelanjutan, yang dapat terus menerus mengakomodir kebutuhan akan keadilan yang terus dibungkam atau tidak mampu dihadirkan oleh negara lewat mekanisme resminya. PPT dibentuk tahun 1979 dan berbasis di Roma, Italia, diinisiasi awalanya oleh pengacara dan senator Italia Lelio Basso dan didukung oleh sejumlah tokoh masyarakat sipil di beberapa negara. PPT mendasarkan dirinya pada Dekalarasi Universal Hak-hak Rakyat (Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples, atau dikenal juga dengan Deklarasi Aljir) dan Kesimpulan Russel Tribunal Kedua tentang Amerika Latin. Hingga hari ini, tidak kurang dari tiga puluh Sembilan kasus sudah digelar oleh PPT di berbagai negara.[8] PPT memeriksa berbagai complain atas dugaan pelanggaran HAM yang diajukan oleh beragam komunitas yang terkena dampak pelanggaran tersebut. Sama seperti TRI lainnya, PPT juga menggunakan format pengadilan formal yang ketat, dan mengeluarkan putusan. Beberapa kasus besar yang selama ini dibungkam oleh negara-egara lewat pemerintah dan institusinya, antara lain kasus genosida Armenia, dan intervensi Amerika di Nikaragua dan Amazon.



Sejarah mencatat, hanya sedikit saja kasus-kasus kejahatan oleh Negara yang bisa diadili dalam sistem hukum internasional yang ada saat ini. Dengan kata lain, hukum internasional dan domestik tidak selalu dapat memberikan keadilan karena memiliki berbagai keterbatasan dan selalu beririsan dengan kepentingan politik dan ekonomi tertentu. Hukum kemudian menjadi milik penguasa, dan memapankan impunitas serta membuat sebuah kejahatan pembungkaman terhadap ketidak adilan dan penindasan.

TRI menjadi sebuah ide yang dikongkritkan atas pertimbangan kekosongan dan kesenjangan hukum, antara yang normatif dan yang riil. TRI adalah keresahan masyarakat sipil yang muncul dari ambiguitas negara-negara terhadap keadilan. Atas dasar keresahan inilah pilihan TRI mengadopsi sepenuhnya hukum-hukum dan norma yang ada untuk menjadikannya sebuah cermin lain keadilan, yakni keadilan yang memihak pada korban dan kelompok yang tertindas.

TRI, meskipun tidak mendapatkan legitimasi formal dari negara, namun memiliki dampak penting secara teori, prinsip dan politik. TRI tidak saja memberikan ruang bagi korban untuk mereklamasi tuntutannya, tapi juga mampu memberi fondasi dan pengakuan internasional terhadap sebuah kejahatan berat, dan memobilisir solidaritas dunia untuk menekan negara-negara menunaikan tanggung jawab bersama untuk menegakkan HAM dan keadilan. TRI adalah suatu terobosan yang mendasarkan dirinya pada prinsip-prinsip hukum, namun tetap mengedepankan kebutuhan untuk kebenaran, pemulihan untuk korban serta reformasi institusi untuk jaminan ketidak berulangan di masa depan.

Tulisan berikutnya, sebagaimana saya sampaikan di bagian awal, akan membahas beberapa TRI yang sudah dilaksanakan terkait dengan Indonesia, dan prospek serta tantangannya untuk dilakukan kembali sebagai inisiatif penyelesaian pelanggaran HAM berat di tanah air.***

(bersambung ke bagian-2)


Penulis adalah kandidat Doktor, Australian National University (ANU), peneliti International Peoples’ Tribunal untuk kejahatan berat 1965 (IPT 65)



Argibay, Carmen, “Sexual Slavery and the Comfort Women of World War II”, dalam Berkeley Journal of International Law, Vol 21, Issue 2, 2003

Bickford, Louis, “Unofficial Truth Project”, dalam Human Rights Quarterly, 29, 2007, hal. 994-1004

Byrnes, Andrew dan Gabrielle Simm, “Peoples’ Tribunals, International Law and the Use of Force”, dalam University of New South Wales Law journal, 28, 2013

Chega! Final Report of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor (CAVR), 2005

Henry, Nicola, “ Memory of an Injustice: the “Comfort Women” and the Legacy of the Tokyo Trial”, dalam Asian Studies Review, vol 37 issue 3, 2013

Hindra, Eka, dan Koichi Kimura, Mereka Memanggilku Momoye, Esensi, 2007

Jiwon, Suh, The Politics of Transitional Justice in Post-Soeharto Indonesia, 2012 (tidak diterbitkan)

Klinghoffer, Arthur, dan Judith Apter Klinghoffer, International Citizens’ Tribunal: Mobilizing Public Opiniion to Advance Human Rights, Palgrave, 2002

Kontras dan ICTJ, Derailed: Transitional Justice in Indonesia since the Fall of Soeharto, 2011

Limqueco, Peter, and Peter Weiss (eds), Prevent the Crime of Silence, Reports from the Sessions of International War Crimes Tribunal Funded By Bertrand Russell, 1971

Linton, Suzannah, “Accounting for Attrocities in Indonesia”, dalam Singapore Year Nook of International Law, Vol 11, 2007

Moyn, Samuel, The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History, Harvard University Press, 2012

Simm, Gabrielle dan Andrew Byrnes, “International Peoples’ Tribunal in Asia: Political Theatre, Juridical Farce, or Meaningful Intervention?”, dalam Asian Journal of International Law, 2015

Wahyuningroem, Sri Lestari, “Seducing for Truth and Justice: Civil Society Initiatives for the 1965 Mass Violence in Indonesia”, dalam Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 32, 3, 2013



[1] Lihat Karl Marx, The Rights of Man and Citizen in “On the Jewish Question”, pertama kali diterbitkan tahun 1844.

[2] War Crimes Tribunal yang digagas Russell dan kawan-kawan ini, menurut beberapa peneliti, bukanlah inisiatif tribunal masyarakat sipil yang pertama. Hanya saja, dimensi internasional, dengan pelibatan dari berbagai kalangan di beberapa negara dan penyelenggaraan serta cakupannya yang menduinia, membuat tribunal ini menjadi tribunal internasional pertama yang selanjutnya menginspirasi kmunculan banyak tribunal rakyat internasional lainnya. Lihat diskusinya di Arthur Klinghoffer dan Judith Apter Klinghoffer, International Citizens’ Tribunal: Mobilizing Public Opiniion to Advance Human Rights, Palgrave, 2002.

[3] Peter Limqueco and Peter Weiss (ed), Prevent the Crime of Silence, Reports from the Sessions of International War Crimes Tribunal Funded By Bertrand Russell, 1971

[4] Simm, Gabrielle dan Andrew Byrnes, “International Peoples’ Tribunal in Asia: Political Theatre, Juridical Farce, or Meaningful Intervention?”, dalam Asian Journal of International Law, September 2015, hal. 2

[5] Byrnes, Andrew dan Gabrielle Simm, “Peoples’ Tribunals, International Law and the Use of Force”, dalam University of New South Wales Law journal, 28, 2013, hal. 18


[7] ibid

[8] Lihat websitenya


So what if the pope were a Marxist?
Priyamvada Gopal
By querying the the absolute autonomy of the marketplace, Pope Francis is hardly making a radical critique. But such ‘red scares’ have long history
Italy – Religion – Pope Francis leads general audience

Italy - Religion - Pope Francis leads general audience
Pope Francis has been denounced as a Marxist by rightwingers for criticising ‘unfettered capitalism’. Photograph: Alessandra Benedetti/Corbis Alessandra Benedetti/ Alessandra Benedetti/Alessandra Benedetti/Corbis

The Guardian, London, Monday 16 December 2013 18.35 GMT
Last modified on Thursday 22 May 2014 11.31 BST

Some of his best friends are Marxists, Pope Francis announced last week. Well, not quite, but he has insisted that he knows some “Marxists who are good people”. While making it clear that “Marxist ideology is wrong”, the pontiff claimed he wasn’t offended by being denounced as a Marxist by the US shock-jock, Rush Limbaugh. The conservative radio host and other rabid free-market ideologues have taken umbrage at the recent “apostolic exhortation” which criticised “unfettered capitalism” and the “globalisation of indifference” it has created.

The use of “Marxist” as a slur – along with kindred terms such as “socialist” and “communist” – is not a uniquely American phenomenon but is most familiar to us from the era of the infamous House Un-American Activities Committee, established in 1938 and, later, Joseph McCarthy’s committee.

In that context, and during the “red scares” which followed it during the cold war, these were appellations used to identify and punish any criticism of capitalism, however sympathetic or merely reformist. Indeed, any dissent from mainstream dogma was “un-American”.

America’s first “red scare” took place in the wake of the 1918 Bolshevik revolution. To be a dissident from capitalism in any degree was to be a socialist or a “commie” and, therefore, “anti-American”: the net of denunciation was cast wide enough to include immigrants, conscientious objectors, blacks and Jews.

American public culture is saturated with stories of “commie plots” and conspiracies and many, like the Hollywood Ten, the playwright Lillian Hellman, the actor Paul Robeson, and the writer Richard Wright were famously blacklisted for alleged communist connections. Even Martin Luther King has been accused of Marxism, as has John Kerry and, more recently, President Barack Obama was denounced as a “socialist” for bringing less well-off Americans into the ambit of corporate, very much capitalist, healthcare provision.

In Britain, while many Victorian liberals and radicals were careful to distance themselves from socialism, engagement with both Marxism and socialism has been historically less hostile than in the US. Nevertheless, the use of Marxist as an insult also indicating a treasonous lack of patriotism has been stepped up in recent years, featuring most prominently in the attacks on Ralph Miliband as “the man who hated Britain”.

It is no accident that such terms are deliberately deployed as pejoratives at a time when an unregulated, rampant capitalism and its ideologues are in the dominant position but also fear growing unpopularity and subsequent challenge. In this context, “Marxism” refers not merely to thinking influenced by Karl Marx’s magisterial three volumes laying bare the unavoidable exploitation at the heart of capitalism – it becomes a random, ill-conceived slur to stave off any and all criticism of its operations.

For a mainstream and still fundamentally conservative figure, Pope Francis has indeed gone further than many by poking the sacred cow that is trickle-down economics and querying “the absolute autonomy of the marketplace”. These are not radical critiques of capitalism and have been made before by many, including Keynesian economists who would not consider themselves at all anti-capitalist but are more concerned with saving the system from its own ravages.

While Francis now appears to boldly advocate a church that is poor and “for the poor”, he isn’t about to tear up the Vatican’s vast investment portfolio. We can welcoming the opening that his exhortation has provided for a discussion of the economic regime under which we labour and from which a few profit much more than others. Yet, it is also important to recognise that such criticism is of the sort which ultimately seeks to inoculate capitalism from disastrous meltdown by feeding it measured doses of healthy caution.

Perhaps it is time to properly revisit Marx’s own insights into the workings of capitalism and ask how these remain relevant to understanding how the global economy functions. The pope’s denunciation of the way in which “human beings are themselves considered consumer goods” was much more thoroughly anticipated in Marx’s brilliant analysis of the commodity form which saw this process as central to capitalism, not merely an unhappy side effect of poor regulation.

“Exclusion” and “inequality” are similarly not happenstance spin-offs from a “new tyranny”; they are fundamental to a now old economic dynamic which seeks to concentrate the wealth in a few palms by extracting the labour from many hands. Of course capitalism is rife with “moral corruption”, but we would also do well to look at how inequality is central to its very material workings.

There can be no moral regeneration that is not also a complete rejection of capitalism’s essential immorality. It is futile to keep talking of “including the poor” within the ambit of capitalist opportunity: any good capitalist like our chancellor, George Osborne, understands very well that inequality and impoverishment (codename “austerity”) is absolutely central to the creation and concentration of wealth. Anything less is simply to further the politics of illusion.[]



Oleh: M. Quraish Shihab

Tidak jarang orang mencela sikap fanatisme atau siapa yang fanatik. Celaan itu bisa pada tempatnya dan bisa juga tidak karena fanatisme dalam pengertian bahasa sebagaimana dikemukakan oleh Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia adalah: “Keyakinan/kepercayaan yang terlalu kuat terhadap ajaran (politik, agama, dan sebagainya)”.

Sifat ini bila menghiasi diri seseorang dalam agama dan keyakinannya dapat dibenarkan bahkan terpuji, tetapi ia menjadi tercela jika sikapnya itu mengundangnya melecehkan orang lain dan merebut hak mereka menganut ajaran, kepercayaan, atau pendapat yang dipilihnya.

Umat Islam, walaupun dituntut untuk meyakini ajaran Islam, konsisten dan berpegang teguh dengannya, dengan kata lain harus fanatik terhadap ajaran agamanya, namun dalam saat yang sama Islam memerintahkan untuk menyatakan: Lakum dînukum wa liya dîny—Buat kamu agamamu dan buat aku agamaku (QS. al-Kâfirûn [109]: 6).

Bahkan, Rasul saw. diperintahkan oleh al-Qur’an untuk menyampaikan kepada siapa pun yang berbeda kepercayaan bahwa: …Sesungguhnya kami atau kamu pasti berada di atas  kebenaran atau dalam kesesatan yang nyata. Katakanlah: “Kamu tidak akan ditanyai menyangkut  dosa yang telah kami perbuat dan kami pun tidak akan ditanyai tentang apa yang kamu  perbuat.” (QS. Saba’ [34]: 24-25)

Tidak dapat disangkal bahwa setiap penganut agama–termasuk agama Islam–harus meyakini sepenuhnya serta percaya sekukuh mungkin kebenaran anutannya serta kesalahan anutan yang bertentangan dengannya. Namun demikian, hal tersebut tidak menghalangi seorang Muslim–dalam konteks interaksi sosial–untuk menyampaikan ketidakmutlakan kebenaran ajaran yang dianutnya  dan menyampaikan juga kemungkinan kebenaran pandangan mitra bicaranya.

Perhatikan redaksi ayat di atas yang menyatakan: Sesungguhnya kami atau kamu pasti berada di atas  kebenaran atau dalam kesesatan yang nyata. Yakni kepercayaan/pandangan kita memang berbeda, bahkan bertolak belakang, sehingga pasti salah satu di antara kita ada yang benar dan ada pula yang salah. Mungkin kami yang benar, mungkin juga Anda, dan mungkin kami yang salah dan mungkin juga Anda.

Fanatisme yang terlarang adalah yang diistilahkan oleh al-Qur’an: Hamîyat al-Jâhiliyah (QS. al-Fath [48]: 26), yakni semangat menggebu-gebu sehingga kehilangan kontrol dan bersikap picik dan angkuh mempertahankan nilai-nilai yang bertentangan dengan kebenaran dan keadilan.

Fanatisme yang terlarang adalah yang diistilahkan oleh Nabi saw. dengan ‘Ashabîyah atau Ta’ashshub. Kata ini terambil dari akar kata yang berarti melilit/mengikat. Dari sini maknanya berkembang sehingga berarti keluarga/kelompok di mana anggotanya terikat satu dengan yang lain. Keterikatan yang menjadikan mereka sepakat dan seia sekata, kendati kesepakatan itu dalam kebatilan. Masing-masing tampil dengan kukuh membela anggotanya kendati mereka salah.

Inilah yang diingatkan Nabi saw. ketika bersabda: “Bukan dari kelompok kita (umat Islam) siapa yang mengajak kepada sikap Ashabiyah.” Memang dalam masyarakat yang sakit, sikap demikian merupakan fenomena umum. Sedemikian umum sehingga lahir ungkapan: “Right or wrong it’s my country“. Ini serupa dengan ungkapan pada masa Jahiliyah dahulu: “Belalah saudaramu baik dia menganiaya maupun teraniaya“.

Pernah suatu ketika, Nabi Muhammad saw. mengucapkan ungkapan itu dalam konteks memberinya makna yang benar. Sahabat-sahabat beliau yang telah memahami ajaran Islam dengan baik berkomentar: “Yang teraniaya memang wajar dibela, tetapi apakah yang menganiaya juga harus dibela?” Nabi saw. menjawab: “Ya, membelanya adalah dengan menghalanginya melakukan penganiayaan.”

Benar atau salah adalah negeri kita, partai kita, keluarga kita, tetapi jika dia salah, kita tidak boleh membiarkan kesalahannya berlarut, apalagi merestuinya. Kita berkewajiban meluruskan kesalahan itu dan memperbaikinya, kalau tidak mau dinilai agama sebagai seorang yang fanatik buta. Demikian, wa Allah A’lam. []

“…menyembah yang maha esa,
menghormati yang lebih tua,
menyayangi yang lebih muda,
mengasihi sesama…”


Posted by: Ananto <>, to:, Nov.3, 2015


Berhentilah Bersandar pada Orang Lain

Oleh: Dahlan Iskan

Selama seminggu kemarin, tiga kali saya diminta berceramah oleh perusahaan besar yang sedang mengumpulkan manajer mereka.
Tema besarnya: Apa yang harus dilakukan di saat yang sulit seperti ini?

Saya bilang, saya bukanlah ahli di bidang itu. Tapi, tiga kali berhasil melewati krisis (1988, 1998, dan 2008) membuat saya belajar banyak. Pada 1988, kebijakan uang ketat sangat memukul ekonomi. Pada 1998, krisis moneter menghancurkan banyak hal, termasuk kekuasaan negara. Pada 2008, ekonomi negara sebesar AS kelimpungan.

Yang sudah pasti: Semua itu tidak bisa diatasi dengan hanya ngomong doang. Karena itu, jangan mengeluh terus, jangan marah-marah, jangan menyalahkan siapa pun, dan jangan pula punya mental denial. Cukuplah itu diwakilkan kepada politisi.

Misalnya, ada manajer perusahaan yang mengajukan persoalan begini: Kok harga BBM nonsubsidi kita 50 persen lebih mahal daripada Singapura? Rupanya, perusahaan itu memerlukan bahan bakar minyak (BBM) yang sangat besar. Tiap hari. Itu, katanya, memberatkan perusahaannya.

Apalagi dalam situasi sulit seperti ini. Kok pemerintah membiarkan hal itu terjadi. Kebijakan tersebut membuat dia tidak bisa bersaing. Terutama dengan perusahaan luar negeri.

Karena itu, saya sarankan tidak perlu memperpanjang keluhan. Berjuang ke pemerintah pun belum tentu bisa berhasil. Tiwas kehabisan tenaga dan waktu. Saya lebih menyarankan begini: cari beberapa teman yang juga memerlukan banyak BBM.

Imporlah sendiri! Kalau selisih harganya benar-benar 50 persen, untuk apa tidak memberontak? Saya lihat, perusahaan itu mempunyai kemampuan untuk melaksanakannya. Bahkan, keluhan tersebut mungkin justru bisa jadi bisnis barunya.

Mungkin memang harus membangun tangki atau menyewanya. Tapi, bukankah saat ini lagi rendah-rendahnya harga baja? Bagi perusahaan yang masih punya uang, membangun bisnis baru saat ini adalah yang terbaik. Mumpung semuanya lagi tertekan. Dua tahun lagi, ketika ekonomi mulai baik, perusahaan barunya mulai berjalan.

Yang sulit adalah mereka yang membangun bisnis baru dua tahun lalu. Saat investasi dulu, semuanya lagi mahal. Ketika pabriknya selesai dibangun sekarang ini, ekonomi lagi susah.

Kesulitannya berlipat-lipat: harus menjalankan perusahaan baru, harus mengembalikan modal, dan harus membayar utang. Sedang perusahaan baru itu belum mendapat pasar.

Pada saat sulit seperti ini, orang-orang di lapangan biasanya lebih tepat untuk diajak bicara: untuk menemukan jalan keluar, mencari terobosan, melahirkan ide, dan mencari cara menghemat.

Inilah waktunya direksi sebuah perusahaan harus lebih banyak mendengar para manajer mereka di garis depan. Inilah saatnya direksi sebuah perusahaan berhenti berpidato.

Tidak ada gunanya berpidato. Hasilnya nol. Juga harus berhenti memberikan petunjuk. Berhenti marah. Berhenti mengandalkan gengsi dan tinggi hati. Inilah waktunya untuk lebih banyak mendengarkan.

Dengan sikap rendah hati dan pikiran terbuka. Untuk menerima usulan-usulan cerdas dari ujung tombak. Terutama ujung tombak yang muda-muda. Yang umurnya 27-35 tahun.

Inilah saatnya semua perusahaan hanya memikirkan nasibnya sendiri-sendiri. Tidak ada gunanya memikirkan orang lain. Ini kelihatannya egois. Tapi, hanya sikap egois yang bisa menyelamatkan perusahaan masing-masing. Berhentilah bersandar pada orang lain. Termasuk bersandar pada pemerintah.

Saya membayangkan, kalau sebagian besar perusahaan di Indonesia ngotot menyelamatkan perusahaan masing-masing, akan banyak perusahaan yang selamat. Bahkan maju. Kalau sebagian besar perusahaan selamat, berarti ekonomi kita selamat.

Jangan ada pikiran kalau A bersaing dengan B, maka salah satunya akan kalah. Tidak begitu. Bisa-bisa dua-duanya menang. Yang kalah mungkin C. Kalau C pun melawan, yang kalah mungkin D.

Kalau semua perusahaan di dalam negeri mulai A sampai Z saling melawan, bisa jadi ekonomi nasional yang menang.

Kita menghadapi setidaknya dua tahun yang sangat berat. Tapi, percayalah, mendung tebal tidak akan menggelayut di satu tempat terus-menerus. (*)



Pasar Kita ”Tidak untuk Dijual!”

Oleh: Emil Salim

Semula Selandia Baru bersama Cile, Singapura, dan Brunei menyepakati Perjanjian Perdagangan Bebas dalam kelompok yang diberi nama Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership 2005.

Presiden Barack Obama (2010) merombak Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPSEP) dengan menggabungkannya bersama Australia, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, dan Amerika Serikat (AS) menjadi Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP, Kemitraan Trans-Pasifik).

Ketika di tahun 2011 Kanada, Meksiko, dan Jepang ingin masuk TPP, mereka diterima sebagai ”latecomers” dengan syarat tidak mengubah kesepakatan yang sudah dicapai, dan tidak punya hak veto terhadap hal-hal yang sudah dan akan disepakati sembilan anggota asli TPP-9. Syarat kedua adalah pengondisian yang berlaku dalam kesepakatan bilateral antarnegara sehingga membatasi ”kekuatan berunding” dalam hal-hal yang ditangani TPP.

Pertarungan AS-RRT

Dengan beralihnya TPSEP menjadi TPP, semakin menonjollah peran AS. TPP dinilai memberikan perhatian kecil pada bidang pembangunan. Syarat yang berlaku bagi negara berkembang tidak dibedakan dengan syarat bagi negara maju. TPP bukanlah suatu kesepakatan regional, melainkan lebih merupakan”kumpulan kesepakatan bilateral”, dengan implikasi bahwa konsesi tarif ditentukan secara bilateral tanpa kesamaan jadwal tarif tunggal.

TPP tidak menjadikan Asia sebagai pusat pengembangan pembangunan. Beberapa anggota ASEAN sudah menjadi peserta penuh TPP, seperti Singapura, Malaysia, Brunei, dan Vietnam. Ciri-ciri menonjol dari negara-negara ini adalah terbatas pasar dalam negerinya sehingga memerlukan pasar negara maju anggota TPP.

Di samping perkembangan TPP yang dipimpin AS, setelah krisis finansial melanda ASEAN (1997/1998) tampil ke muka Republik Rakyat Tiongkok (RRT) sebagai pengambil prakarsa bersama ASEAN, Jepang, dan Korea Selatan membentuk Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), setelah melewati proses negosiasi selama 2000-2011. Yang berhak menjadi anggota RCEP adalah negara yang sudah punya ”kesepakatan perdagangan bebas” dengan ASEAN. Karena tak punya kesepakatan ini, AS tertutup penyertaannya dalam RCEP.

Oleh karena Jepang masih mengalami kesulitan ekonomi dalam negeri, Jepang memilih untuk berada di kedua lembaga: TPP dan RCEP.

Perkembangan TPP dan RCEP tidak terlepas dari pertarungan kepentingan AS dan RRT. Bedanya, RCEP memberi penekanan lebih besar pada masalah pembangunan, sedangkan TPP dikendalikan oleh AS dan mencakup kawasan Pasifik. Anggota baru TPP tidak memperoleh hak yang sama dengan anggota lama. Dan, yang diutamakan, TPP lebih pada segi-segi struktural dan institusional mendorong liberalisasi ekonomi.

Yang menjadi kesulitan membahas TPP adalah bahwa negosiasi tentang dan hasilnya tidak transparan dan sifatnya tertutup. Yang banyak dilibatkan dalam negosiasi TPP adalah pengusaha besar AS, sedangkan buruh, pengusaha kecil, LSM, dan cendekiawan tidak dilibatkan. Bahkan, Kongres dan Senat AS juga tidak dilibatkan sehingga 130 anggota Kongres mengirim surat protes kepada US Trade Representative, Ron Kirk.

TPP dianggap tidak memperjuangkan ”perdagangan bebas”, tetapi kepentingan ”lobi bisnis yang kuat”, mencakup kepentingan produsen peternakan, pertanian, industri gula, rokok, farmasi, dan lain-lain. Informasi tentang perkembangan negosiasi TPP kita peroleh dari internet dan tulisan para cendekiawan seperti Joseph Stiglitz dan Rick Rowden.

Asumsi yang hidup dalam TPP bahwa ”pasar bekerja lebih efisien daripada negara”, karena itu intervensi negara yang menghambat kebebasan pasar harus dipangkas. Atas dasar ini, TPP menghendaki pemotongan kebijakan perdagangan yang bersifat protektif, seperti sistem kuota, pengenaan pajak ekspor atas bahan mentah, pengenaan tarif dan lain-lain yang serupa.

Negara maju dalam negosiasi TPP juga menuntut agar perusahaan asing diperlakukan sama seperti perusahaan domestik, antara lain bisa ikut bersaing dalam lelang dan kontrak pembelian oleh pemerintah nasional. Untuk mendorong transfer teknologi dari investor asing dan menggalakkan produksi dalam negeri, pemerintah biasanya menerapkan ketentuan ”konten lokal” dan kewajiban membeli barang dan jasa lokal. Ketentuan yang bersifat diskriminatif terhadap perusahaan asing seperti ini dilarang dalam TPP.

TPP juga menerapkan mekanisme Investor-to-State-Dispute-Settlement” (ISDS) dalam kesepakatan investasi. Jika pemerintah mengeluarkan peraturan sehingga perusahaan investor kehilangan potensi laba, ia berhak menuntut ganti rugi. Perusahaan rokok Philip Morris memanfaatkan ketentuan ISDS dan menggugat Pemerintah Uruguay yang telah mengeluarkan peraturan kesehatan yang mengatur iklan rokok. Akibat aturan tersebut, penjualan rokok berkurang dari jumlah yang seharusnya sehingga perusahaan merasa ”kehilangan laba yang seharusnya bisa dinikmati perusahaan rokok, yang kemudian diberi hak menggugat”.

Sungguhpun Dana Moneter Internasional pada tahun 2012 sepakatmemungkinkan kontrol modal oleh pemerintah, TPP tetap menolak karena ”deregulasi finansial” dianggap lebih menguntungkan ekonomi.

Kalangan kesehatan menolak keras TPP karena memperluas ketentuan paten dan hak cipta, yang mencakup produk final dan juga komponen produk final. Dengan menerapkan ”hak milik intelektual” secara lebih ketat di farmasi, obat generik yang lebih murah tidak mungkin diedarkan lagi.

Sama, tapi tak seimbang

TPP juga memuat ketentuan yang menaikkan biaya bagi negara berkembang karena hambatan mendapatkan teknologi manufaktur, termasuk ”reverse-engineering”. Negara anggota TPP juga diwajibkan membubarkan perusahaan-perusahaan badan usaha milik negara (BUMN) karena dianggap tidak adil dalam sistem persaingan dengan perusahaan swasta.

Dari berbagai contoh ketentuan TPP ini, terlihat sekali menonjol semangat bahwa perdagangan dan investasi bisa berkembang di negara apabila intervensi pemerintah dihilangkan dan dunia usaha diberi kebebasan sepenuhnya untuk menanggapi sinyal ekonomi pasar. Jika bocoran informasi tentang TPP ini benar, tampaklah bahwa negara berkembang dipersamakan dengan negara maju dalam persaingan di pasar bebas. Kiranya samalah halnya dengan menghadapkan juara tinju nasional kita, Ellyas Pical, bertarung dengan juara tinju AS, Muhammad Ali, di gelanggang AS.

Indonesia adalah negara berpenduduk dan berpotensi pembangunan yang besar. Yang kita perlukan adalah bekerja keras dengan keyakinan penuh bahwa Indonesia sebagai pasar besar tidak untuk dijual: ”not for sale!” []

KOMPAS, 6 November 2015

Emil Salim | Dosen Pascasarjana UI; Anggota Akademi Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia


Membumikan Teologi Tambang

Oleh: Wasid Mansyur
Kasus pengeroyokan yang menimpa Salim “Kancil” dan Tosan baru-baru ini semakin menunjukkan potret buram pengelolaan tambang di negeri kaya alam ini. Keduanya, sebagaimana diketahui, adalah salah satu dari sekian aktivis yang menolak pertambangan pasir ilegal di Lumajang, meskipun akhirnya Salim harus kehilangan nyawa, sementara Tosan sampai hari ini masih dalam proses perawatan di rumah sakit.
Kejadian ini sangat memilukan, apalagi penghasilan tambang pasir cukup besar dan menggiurkan sehingga dalam kenyataannya hanya dinikmati oleh beberapa gelintir orang. Bahkan, kepala desa Awar-Awar sebagai salah satu tersangka dalam kasus ini dipandang cukup besar perolehan upetinya dibandingkan dengan upeti untuk pemkab Lumajang. (Jawa Pos, 05/10). Di sisi yang berbeda, masyarakat terdekat, khususnya di Desa Selok Awar-Awar tidak menikmati apa-apa dari hasil tambang ini, kecuali kerusakan lingkungan akibat eksploitasi tambang pasir yang dikelola dengan cara rakus dan mengenyampingkan akal sehat.
Oleh karenanya, dapat dimaknai bahwa pemanfaatan tambang selama ini, menurut penulis, tidak berbanding lurus dengan keyakinan kita dalam beragama. Agama yang dipahami masih banyak berkutat pada persoalan ritual, belum banyak menyentuh apalagi menjadi kekuatan etik bagi pengelo lahan tambang. Padahal, limpahan hasil alam dan tambang di negeri ini adalah karunia yang cukup besar dari Allah SWT agar dimanfaatkan dengan baik, bukan malah dirusak.
Jihad Pertambangan

Keimanan kepada Allah dan Rasul-Nya tidak berarti apa-apa, kecuali bila pelakunya mampu membumikan keimanan itu menjadi tindakan nyata. Mengutip Imam al-Ghazali dalam bukunya Ihya’ Ulum al-Din, proses pembumian keimanan itu bisa dilakukan dengan meneladani sifat-sifat luhur Allah dan Rasulnya. Ucapan tentang keimanan, tanpa tindakan akan kurang memberikan efek manfaat secara nyata bagi masyarakat luas.
Oleh karenanya, bila dikait dengan tambang, keharusan mengelolahnya dengan baik dan menghindari eksplotasi yang berujung pada perusakan ekosistem lingkungan adalah kewajiban orang yang beriman (Mukmin). Komitmen ini didasari bukan karena akal sehat menolak kerusakan, tapi sekaligus implementasi keimanan kepada sang Pencipta, Allah. Pasalnya, Surat al-A’raf; 56 telah menegaskan agar kita tidak sekali-kali melakukan kerusakan di muka bumi setelah terjadi perbaikan, Wala tufsidu fi al-ardhi ba’da ishlahiha.
Jika merasa Mukmin, tapi di lain tempat melakukan perusakan terhadap alam, maka keberimanannya dipandang dusta. Dikatakan dusta sebab ia telah menjadikan keberimanannya hanya sebatas formalitas belaka, padahal menjaga keindahan alam sejatinya adalah bagian dari menjaga keindahan kreasi-Nya, yang termasuk bagian dari implementasi nilai-nilai keimanan. Bagaimana bisa dikatakan Mukmin sejati, bila akhirnya dalam setiap saat melakukan pengerusakan atau pembunuhan terhadap ciptaan-Nya.
Tapi, memang harus diakui kerakusan atau keserakahan acap kali menjadi penyebab seseorang lupa terhadap jati dirinya sebagai Mukmin. Akibatnya, pengelolaan tambang bukan dalam rangka memanfaatkan alam, tapi lebih pada tindakan eksploitasi sehingga tidak mengindahkan pada kesimbangan ekosistem lingkungan. Lagi-lagi demi meraup keutungan sebanyak-banyaknya, padahal akibat dari kerusakan alam hari ini pastinya akan “dinikmati” bencananya oleh anak cucu kita di masa yang akan datang.
Apa yang dilakukan Salim dan Tosan merupakan langkah jihad, setidaknya jihad melawan nafsu rakus dan serakah.  Perlawanan keras dari kedua aktivis ini cukup wajar sebab mereka berhadapan langsung dengan kondisi di lapangan, yakni bagaimana pertambangan pasir itu terjadi sudah melampaui batas-batas kemanusiaan akibat tidak mengindahkan sisi kerusakan lingkungan.
Dalam konteks yang lebih luas, serta belajar dari kasus Salimdan Tosan, semua elemen masyarakat harus bersatu dalam rangka melawan segala bentuk apapun kaitannya dengan pengelolaan tambang yang merusak ekosistem lingkungan. Kesatuan masyarakat sipil diharapkan mampu mendorong kekuatan lain, baik dari pemegang kebijakan yang atau pemegang modal, untuk tidak semena-mena mengeksporasi alam hanya untuk kepentingan ekonomi.
Pada akhirnya, upaya ini kembali pada kita semua sebagai insan yang beriman. Pastinya, pengerusakan terhadap alam adalah bagian dari pengingkaran terhadap nilai-nilai keimanan. Karenanya, memerangi perusak alam  atau penambang liar berbanding lurus dengan memerangi korupsi dan radikalisme sebab sama-sama bertentangan dengan prinsip kesalehan sejati sebagai buah dari keimanan, yakni kesalehan pada Allah dan Makhluk-Nya. []
*) Wasid Mansyur, Aktif di Lembaga Majelis Dzikirdan Sholawat Rijalul Ansor, Gerakan Pemuda Ansor Jatim

“…menyembah yang maha esa,
menghormati yang lebih tua,
menyayangi yang lebih muda,
mengasihi sesama…”


Posted by: Ananto <> To, Friday, 6 November 2015, 13:11.


Ujaran Kebencian dan Kebebasan

Oleh: Azyumardi Azra *

Pro-kontra mencuat di kalangan masyarakat terkait Surat Edaran (SE) Kapolri No SE/06/X/2015 tentang penanganan ‘ujaran kebencian’ (hate speech) di ranah publik. Ada tujuh bentuk ujaran kebencian disebut dalam SE: penghinaan, pencemaran nama baik, penistaan, perbuatan tidak menyenangkan, memprovokasi, menghasut, dan menyebarkan berita bohong. Semua tindakan ini memiliki tujuan atau berdampak pada tindak diskriminasi, kekerasan, penghilangan nyawa, dan atau konflik sosial.
Dalam SE dinyatakan, ujaran kebencian bertujuan menghasut dan menyulut kebencian terhadap individu dan atau kelompok masyarakat/komunitas berbeda dalam aspek: suku, agama, ajaran keagamaan, keyakinan atau kepercayaan, ras, antar-golongan, warna kulit, etnis, gender, difabel, dan orientasi seksual.
Ujaran kebencian bisa tersampaikan melalui berbagai media, antara lain: orasi kegiatan kampanye [politik], spanduk atau banner, jejaring media sosial, penyampaian pendapat di muka umum (demonstrasi), ceramah keagamaan, media massa cetak maupun elektronik, dan pamphlet.
Menurut SE yang ditandatangani Kapolri Jenderal Badrodin Haiti pada 8 Oktober 2015, persoalan ujaran kebencian kian mendapat perhatian masyarakat nasional dan internasional seiring meningkatnya kepedulian terhadap perlindungan HAM. Karena itu “dengan memperhatikan pengertian ujaran kebencian di atas, perbuatan ujaran kebencian apabila tidak ditangani dengan efektif, efisien, dan sesuai dengan ketentuan perundang-undangan, akan berpotensi menimbulkan tindakan diskriminasi, kekerasan atau penghilangan nyawa”.
Menghadapi ujaran kebencian, Polri menetapkan prosedur penanganan. Jika tindakan preventif sudah dilakukan namun masalah tetap belum terselesaikan,  penyelesaian dilakukan melalui penegakan hukum sesuai KUHP, UU No 1/2008 tentang ITE, UU No 40/2008 tentang Penghapusan Diskriminasi Ras dan Etnis, UU No 7/2012 tentang Penanganan Konflik Sosial, dan Peraturan Kapolri No 8/2013 tentang Teknis Penanganan Konflik Sosial.
Penulis Resonansi ini menyambut baik SE Kapolri tersebut. Meski penerbitan SE itu boleh dibilang terlambat; beberapa tahun lalu dalam Seminar tentang ‘Hate Speech’ di Mabes Polri Jakarta untuk menyambut Hari Bhayangkara, penulis menyarankan perlunya UU tentang Penanganan Ujaran Kebencian. Tetapi, nampaknya berbagai pihak terkait kurang peduli terhadap masalah ini sampai kemudian Polri mengambil inisiatif dengan menerbitkan SE Kapolri tersebut.
Sejak masa pasca-Soeharto khususnya—masa euforia kebebasan, ujaran kebencian terlihat merajalela dan mewabah di tanahair. Wabah itu paling jelas terlihat di dunia maya dan media sosial. Orang dengan mudah menemukan berbagai bentuk ujaran kebencian khususnya terkait SARA.
Ujaran kebencian juga sering terdengar dari mimbar agama, baik khutbah maupun pengajian. Tidak jarang khatib atau penceramah menyampaikan ujaran kebencian dengan menista kelompok lain baik intra maupun antar-agama, menuduh orang, kelompok atau aliran lain sebagai thaghut dan sesat.
Mereka yang memberikan ujaran kebencian dalam ceramah dan khutbahnya  telah menyalahgunakan kebebasan berceramah agama di Indonesia. Negeri ini adalah ‘surga’ karena untuk berceramah tidak diperlukan izin; padahal di hampir seluruh negara berpenduduk mayoritas Muslim lain orang tidak boleh memberi ceramah dan khutbah kecuali punya surat izin atau sertifikat dari lembaga resmi.
Hampir semua negara di dunia—termasuk yang paling bebas seperti Amerika Serikat dan  negara-negara Eropa Barat—memiliki UU atau peraturan lain tentang penanganan ujaran kebencian. Uni Eropa misalnya menerbitkan manual tentang ujaran kebencian; Anne Weber, Manual of Hate Speech (2011). Manual ini bertujuan memberikan panduan kepada para pejabat pemerintah, ahli, aktivis LSM dan masyarakat tentang kasus ujaran kebencian dalam kaitannya dengan kebebasan berekspresi.
Dalam Resonansi pekan lalu(29/10) penulis menjelaskan, kebebasan berekspresi dan kebebasan beragama (hurriyat al-ta`bir atau hurriyat al-ra’y) termasuk yang dijamin dalam Deklarasi Universal Hak Asasi Manusia (DUHAM)  Kebebasan berekspresi merupakan prasyarat kebebasan beragama.
Tetapi masalahnya apakah kebebasan berekspresi harus berarti kebebasan liar tidak bertanggungjawab yang justru digunakan untuk penyiaran ujaran kebencian? Karena itu masalahnya adalah bagaimana kebebasan berekspresi dapat dapat diwujudkan secara bertanggungjawab.
Kebebasan berekspresi dan kebebasan beragama bukan tanpa batas. Dalam kebebasan berekspresi dan kebebasan beragama terdapat hak orang lain untuk tidak dinista dengan berbagai bentuk ujaran kebencian.
Banyak ayat Alquran juga melarang penyebaran kebencian. Islam memberi hak kepada individu untuk menyatakan segala sesuatu asalkan ujaran itu tidak berupa penistaan (blasphemy), fitnah, penghinaan atau pernyataan yang  menimbulkan kerusakan, permusuhan dan penghilangan nyawa. Islam mendorong kebebasan berekspresi lewat pernyataan arif dan bijak, nasihat dan tawshiyah yang baik dengan kesabaran, bukan kemarahan.
Kebebasan berekspresi dalam kebebasan beragama mesti dijaga bersamaan dengan penguatan rasa tanggung jawab. Karena itu, penggunaan kebebasan berekspresi untuk menista penganut agama lain justru merupakan tindak pelanggaran terhadap kebebasan berekspresi dan kebebasan beragama. []

REPUBLIKA, 05 November 2015

Azyumardi Azra | Guru Besar UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta; Penerima MIPI Award 2014 dari Masyarakat Ilmu Pemerintahan Indonesia