Palestina kembali membara. Beberapa minggu yang lalu, Israel menyatakan akan membangun pemukiman di Jerusalem Timur yang merupakan wilayah Palestina.  Aksi ini membuat AS meradang dan meminta Israel untuk segera menghentikan rencana pembangunan tersebut. Permintaan AS ini ditolak mentah-mentah oleh pemerintahan Netanyahu. Bahkan tatkala Joe Biden, Wapres AS yang dekat dengan Israel ini berkunjung ke Israel, Menteri Dalam Negeri Israel mengumumkan pembangunan 1.600 unit perumahan baru di Ramat Shlomo, daerah yang masuk wilayah Palestina menurut garis batas tahun 1967. Bagi AS, ini adalah sebuah penghinaan dan langsung mengeluarkan kutukan keras terhadap tindakan Israel ini. Untuk menggambarkan ketegangan ini, Duta Besar Israel untuk AS, Michael Oren telah mengatakan kepada sesama diplomat Israel bahwa hubungan bilateral Israel- AS berada pada kondisi paling buruk semenjak pertengahan 1970-an.

Doktrin Luar Negeri AS

Sudah menjadi kebijakan tradisional Israel bahwa setiap inisiatif konsesi perdamaian di Timur-Tengah harus diikuti jaminan dukungan terhadap keamanan Israel. Di tahun 1949, ketika Presiden Truman menuntut penghentian invasi Israel terhadap Mesir, sebagai imbalannya Israel meminta perundingan dengan negara Arab yang berujung kepada pengakuan eksistensinya di Timur-Tengah. Pada tahun 1974, Israel rela berdamai dengan Mesir dan Suriah dengan imbalan adanya pasokan logistik dari AS terhadap Israel Pasca Perang Yom Kippur. Perjanjian terakhir dimana Israel menukar perdamaian dengan keamanan terjadi pada tahun 1991, ketika Israel menyepakati paket proses perdamaian komprehensif dengan imbalan adanya penyebaran antimissil Amerika selama perang Irak Pertama.

Bagi AS sendiri, doktrin keamanan yang selama ini dianut dalam politik luar negeri adalah mencipakan bandwagon effect melalui pembentukan aliansi sekutu yang loyal. Selama perang Dingin hingga sekarang, AS terus memperkuat aliansi Transatlantik agar dapat terus melakukan penangkalan (containment policy) terhadap dominasi Uni Soviet di Eropa. AS juga terus menjaga aliansinya dengan negara-negara lain di berbagai regional;  baik Israel di Timur-Tengah maupun Jepang di Asia Timur.

Namun di bawah Obama, tampaknya tradisi kebijakan luar negeri  ini berubah. pada satu sisi, dalam menghadapi perang melawan teror, Obama mengambil jalur alternatif dengan membangun dialog yang mendepankan respek terhadap dunia Islam. Dalam pidatonya tahun 2009, Obama berjanji akan memperbaiki hubungannya dengan Islam. hal ini terlihat dari pengurangan pasukan di Irak, dan penutupan penjara Guantanamo.

Di sisi lain, pada saat yang bersamaan, kaum Neo Konservatif di Senat dan Kongres mengkritik Obama yang dianggap menjauhi teman-teman terdekat AS seperti Israel dimana permasalahan “kecil” seperti pembangunan perumahan di Jerusalem Timur menjadi isu besar bagi Obama, sementara ancaman nyata misil Iran dan ekonomi dari musuh-musuh AS, seperti Iran dan Cina, Obama masih terlalu soft dalam menghadapi Nuklir Iran, Misil Rusia, dan kekuatan Ekonomi Cina.

Dari Aliansi ke Kompetitor

Robert Kagan, intelektual konservatif AS melihat inkonsistensi antara Kebijakan Luar Negeri Obama dengan tradisi Politik Luar Negeri AS. Selama kurun satu setengah tahun masa pemerintahannya, Obama menghabiskan banyak energi untuk membangun hubungan dengan para kompetitornya tinimbang menjaga keutuhan para pendukungnya. Tinimbang mempererat hubungan dengan sekutu-sekutu tradisionalnya, AS terus berusaha melakukan diplomasi dengan Rusia, Iran, Cina, dan negara-negara Arab.

Sampai sekarang, AS masih melakukan negosiasi dengan Rusia. Tak tanggung-tanggung, Obama setuju untuk menegosiasikan pemasangan Tameng Anti Misil di Polandia dan Ceko yang membuat Sekutu AS di Eropa tidak merasa bahagia. Usaha Diplomatik Obama untuk mengimbau Beijing untuk melaksanakan kebijakan nilai tukarnya berorientasi pasar pun bertepuk sebelah tangan. Beijing menolak tekanan asing termasuk AS untuk meningkatkan nilai Yuan terhadap Dollars. Hal ini akan semakin memperarah defisit perdagangan AS-Cina. Selain itu, pendekatan yang cukup lunak dengan stict and carrot diplomacy-nya terhadap Iran selama setahun pertama pemerintahan Obama dinilai gagal oleh banyak pengamat termasuk Edward Luttwak karena jawaban menurutnya jawaban bagi permasalahan Iran adalah regime changes.

Permasalahan dengan Israel akhir-akhir ini tentu menjadi batu sandungan pula bagi Obama dalam menghadapi para sekutunya. Untuk membuktikan kepada negara-negara Arab dan dunia Muslim bahwa Amerika Serikat bersedia menekan Israel untuk memajukan proses perdamaian telah membuat sekutu terdekat AS di Timur-Tengah ini marah.

Inovasi dan Pengorbanan

Kebijakan luar negeri yang sedang dilakukan Obama bisa jadi inovasi terbesar dalam 60 tahun sejarah kebijakan luar negeri AS. Kebijakan tua dari era PD II yang bertumpu pada jaringan global aliansi formal militer dan politik dengan sesama negara sekutu, akhirnya lambat laun mulai ditingalkan Obama. Dengan kebijakan luar negerinya akhir-akhir ini, Obama  seperti sedang menepati janji-janjinya untuk menciptakan dunia yang lebih multipolar.

Foreign Policies begins at home, adagium ini juga berlaku bagi Obama. Akan ada biaya yang ditanggung Obama dalam inovasi yang dibuatnya. Tentunya kekuatan Lobi Israel akan merongrong pemerintahan Obama mengingat AIPAC telah melakukan lobi terhadap setengah anggota kongres AS dengan Joe Lieberman sebagai punggawanya. Belum lagi fakta bahwa 6 dari 10 orang AS masih bersimpati terhadap Israel. Meski demikian, kita tetap berharap inovasi dalam politik luar negeri AS di tangan Obama, akan membawa perubahan signifikan bagi AS dalam menyikapi isu konflik Israel- Palestina.

Inovasi ini memang menyakitkan bagi AS dan sekutunya. Namun AS pernah melakukan hal yang serupa di era Franklin Roosevelt dimana dia memberikan Cina (bukan pemenang PD II) kursi di DK PBB dan membantu perekonomian Jerman dan Jepang. Untuk membangun multilateralisme, lebih baik bekerja sama dengan kompetitor daripada memberikan seluruh loyalitas kepada sekutu.

Surely, there is close relationship between innovation and global competitiveness. According to report made by Information Technology and Innovation foundation, western leadership is being challenged by rapidly advancing Asian nations. This report stated that China, Singapore, Japan, and India are listed among top countries in their achievement on global competitiveness and innovation progress in the last decade. Furthermore, China and Singapore are listed as two highest ranked nations in their rapid progress on competitiveness and innovation. Meanwhile USA, UK, German and other western capitalist countries are listed below those Asian nations. It means in the coming decade, Asian nations will be more competitive and innovative than western countries. In his optimistic point of view, former Singaporean diplomat Kishore Mahbubani wrote there that will be a shifting from Western to Asia.

While other Asian countries are rising, Indonesia is still trapped in stagnation of innovation. Indonesia itself is listed number 54 in Global Competitiveness Index. According to World Economic Forum the driven force of Indonesia’s development is still in the stage of transition from factor driven (infrastructure, macroeconomic policy, etc) to efficiency driven (Good and Labor Market Efficiency) while other Asian Countries such China, Korea, Taiwan, and etc. has been listed in the stage of innovation driven.

With its democracy and Muslim moderate majority, Indonesia should have been following the path of marching toward modernity passed by other Asian nations. The problem for Indonesia is how to fostering innovation Indonesia. At least, there are two major enabler of innovation to be aware of by the government; first is education, second is the incentive

China and India in recent decades are predicted to beat the United States in the field of technological development. One of the most decisive factors of this change is the rapid development of educational institutions that impact upon the development of technology. Everyone knows, now the American educational system is in times of crisis. Year after year, the American students are increasingly unable to compete with students from Asia in terms of science and mathematics. Year after year also, the statistics showed the American schools increasingly under the international rankings. And problems in the United States education system is not a problem but a problem of education quality access for citizens less fortunate. In the United States, public schools far worse than private schools and lower class citizens are not able to attend the best schools.

Education is a matter of opportunity and access. India shows how the development of technology and knowledge dashed when India began to leave the spirit of caste in Indian society. Then what is the relationship between the losses of caste to the spirit of technological developments? Simply, more brains and talents that previously did not have the privilege to gain knowledge can finally feel the delicious science. These talents provide the magic for India. The key to the success of India is a population that can enjoy education. So many Indian scientists who formerly came from lower castes. But thanks to education, they now become the backbone for the rise of India.

Indonesia should create education that fostering innovation. Instead of having the character of education in innovation era, Indonesian education is still characterized as education for the industrial age where schools educate student not to understand but to memorize. Indonesian education like a school bus rolled along the highway, with a teacher standing in front and show interesting and important sights, but to remind the passengers that, they cannot come to explore what is on the side of the road. As a result students who wish to pursue their interests and passions have to do it themselves

Innovation and Public Policy

The public sector policy makers are instrumental in creating innovation. Policy makers are able to innovate by using policies that create incentives for business player, both in the private sector formally and informally, to continue to create small innovations consistently. Effective policy requires an understanding of the relationship of the public sector with the overall economic performance. We must see the public sector is not out of economic activity, but rather an integral part of the economy itself. Today, Singapore, China, and other Asian Countries are actively changing their laws to make themselves more competitive in global business. Furthermore, some of these countries put in place incentives for firms so that they can foster their innovation.

Take for example the convergence Bill discussed in the House of Representative. Structure of the Indonesian telecommunications industry today is still vertical. These vertical market barriers the entry of new players. Such industry structure tends to strengthen the position of the incumbent. The extent of the network, and the amount of assets owned by the incumbent experiences; and high sunk cost and initial investment of network development resulting in high barriers to entry for new players. This will inhibit the emergence of competitiveness and new innovation. With this Act, the market structure is expected to be more easily competitive for new players to enter. Along with the existence of a competitive market, innovation will accelerate increasingly.

The vested interest of major player in the business will certainly inhibit the formation of this Act. In the discussion of this bill in the House of Representative, we will be able to see the tendency of government; whether to support the creation of global competitiveness through innovation or support the big players in the industry.

So, the major enablers in increasing Indonesian global innovation are nothing but education policy and government regulation in creating business competitiveness. China, India, and other Asian rising star have proven that these two enablers are major factor in fostering innovation and creating global competitiveness.

It does not matter whether a cat is black or white; if it catches mice, it is a good cat

Deng Xiaoping

Kedepan, kekuatan ekonomi Cina akan sangat susah untuk ditandingi. China telah menyalip Jerman sebagai eksportir terbesar di dunia.  Sampai sekarang, cadangan devisa Cina adalah yang terbesar di dunia dengan total lebih dari 2 triliun dollar. Pertumbuhan ekonomi pun berada di level 10,7%, melebihi setiap prediksi yang dilakukan terhadap pertumbuhan ekonomi Cina.Dengan pertumbuhan ekonomi yang mencapai dua digit ini, dapat dipastikan Cina akan menyalip Jepang menjadi Negara dengan ekonomi terbesar kedua di dunia. Salah satu faktor utama yang membuat Cina mampu tumbuh sedemikian rupa menyaingi negara-negara maju lainnya adalah pemahaman mereka yang mendalam akan kebijaksanaan yang dikembangkan oleh bangsa Barat.

Kishore Mahbubani berujar bahwa rahasia kebijaksanaan yang membuat peradaban Barat mencapai puncak kejayaannya di abad ke-20 adalah pragmatisme. Lebih dari seabad yang lalu, Jepang telah memahami kebijaksanaan ini dan mengimplementasikannya dalam restorasi Meiji. Tiga dekade yang lalu, seorang pragmatis tulen bernama Deng Xiaoping telah mengubah perjalanan sejarah bangsa Cina dengan menerapkan pragmatisme di setiap bidang kehidupan Cina.

Pragmatisme Cina

Dalam khazanah filsafat, Pragmatisme selalu diidentifikasikan sebagai sesuatu yang menjijikkan dan tidak pantas. Dalam kehidupan sehari-hari, pragmatis terkadang digunakan untuk merujuk kepada perilaku yang tidak baik. Padahal, pragmatisme merupakan cara pandang yang selalu membuka diri terhadap kebenaran dan tidak mencoba mencari kebenaran absolut. Cara pandang ini menghasilkan perilaku yang tidak terkungkung oleh ideologi dan kepercayaan sempit. Weber berpendapat bahwa spirit protestanisme yang membidani kapitalisme tak dapat dilepaskan dari etika pragmatisme. Adalah spirit pragmatisme yang melepaskan Amerika dari kepercayaan akan rasisme dan ethnic intolerance menuju pengakuan hak-hak sipil yang universal. Dalam era globalisasi ini, pragmatisme adalah panduan terbaik yang dapat digunakan mengarungi perjalanan menghadapi tantangan abad ke-21. Pragmatisme bukanlah sesuatu yang keliru dan harus dijauhi. Sebaliknya, pragmatisme mampu menciptakan optimisme dan membuang hambatan-hambatan yang biasa terselubung dalam doktrin-doktrin ideologi yang kaku.

Sikap pragmatisme selalu lebih baik daripada sikap yang didasari kepercayaan ideologi yang kaku. Keputusan Cina untuk meningkatkan ketergantungan perdagangan dan ekonomi dengan Jepang merupakan keputusan pragmatis karena Cina mengabaikan hubungan yang kurang baik diantara keduanya yang selama ini terjadi. Cina juga tidak ambil pusing saat negara-negara Barat memprotes rendahnya penerapan hak asasi manusia di negara-negara Afrika. Cina malah semakin intensif melakukan kerja sama serta memberikan bantuan kepada negara-negara Afrika.

Tatkala AS secara tegas menolak melakukan negosiasi dengan Iran, Cina justru memilih jalan diplomasi dan menolak mentah-mentah sanksi terhadap Iran. Masih segar diingatan kita tatkala hampir semua negara mengutuk pemerintahan Junta Militer Myanmar yang memberangus Demokrasi, Cina malah menjadi mitra dagang terbesar bagi Myanmar. Bagi Cina, diplomasi adalah diplomasi dan perdagangan adalah perdagangan. Cina memahami bahwa urusan dalam negeri suatu negara bukanlah urusannya. Cina pun paham perekonomian jauh lebih penting tinimbang politik. Hal inilah yang luput dilihat Gorbachev tatkala ia lebih memilih Gastnost (reformasi politik) tinimbang perestorika  (reformasi Ekonomi).

Cina juga telah mencoba keluar dari permasalahan cultural constraints yang dihadapinya untuk terlibat aktif dalam budaya global. Sekarang, Kota-kota di Cina terlihat seperti kota-kota di Barat. Warga Cina berpakaian layaknya mencoba meniru mannerism orang Amerika. Merk-merk Barat yang dapat diakses jauh lebih banyak berterbaran di Cina menandakan usaha Cina untuk mentransformasi dirinya menjadi bagian dari dari warga negara Dunia dimata orang-orang Amerka dan Eropa.

Pragmatisme Cina yang selalu melihat kedalam tinimbang keluar membuat kebangkitan Cina selalu dilihat sebagai kebangkitan yang damai (the peaceful rice of China). Cina selalu fokus membangun peradaban Cina daripada membangun peradaban dunia. Tak heran, Cina tidak pernah terbebani untuk menjadi polisi dunia yang bereaksi terhadap segala permasalahan yang muncul. Terlepas dari ideologi komunis yang dianut negara ini, pada dasarnya Cina telah menjadi bangsa pragmatis sejati yang mampu meraih capaian-capaian yang belum mampu ditandingi oleh bangsa Asia manapun.

Indonesia dan Pragmatisme

Sekali lagi, adalah sikap pragmatisme yang  menghantarkan Amerika Serikat menjadi negara adikuasa meski sekarang Amerika malah cenderung meninggalkan pragmatismenya demi pandangan-pandangan ideologi konservatif kaum hawkish. Jepang berhasil mengimplementasikan pragmatisme dengan mengambil berbagai macam best practice negara negara Barat untuk diterapkan di beberapa aspek kehidupannya. Cina dibawah Deng Xiaoping telah mengikuti jalan serupa yang dilalui oleh negara-negara maju lainnya. Cina pasca Deng adalah Cina yang terus melejit menjadi kekuatan baru dunia. Tak peduli apakah negara dijalankan dengan demokrasi atau tidak, Cina terus menggapai mimpi-mimpi besarnya untuk menjadi kekuatan dunia yang mumpuni. Cina memberikan contoh kepada negara-negara berkembang lainnya untuk berjalan menuju modernitas dengan etika pragmatisme.

Bangsa ini harus lebih berani untuk bersikap pragmatis di segala aspek berbangsa. Sebagaimana yang diucapkan oleh Deng Xiaoping, It does not matter wheter a cat is black or white; if it catches mice, it is a good cat. Kita harus menyadari bahwa persoalan sesungguhnya bukan pada apa yang layak, tetapi pada kesejahteraan rakyat Indonesia secara keseluruhan. Bagaimana caranya? Kebijaksanaan pragmatisme akan memberikan kita jalan.

Human imagine them self free from fear when there is nothing left to be unknown

Mark Horkheimer

My father once told me when I was a little. “In my village, spear was used to catch a fish in the river, but today, it is used to kill the man in the hostility break among villages”. I wonder how spear which I know as a weapon is firstly used to catch a fish. What drive people to use this “technology” in a bad way?

I don’t know exactly whether the spear is used to catch a fish first and then is used as a weapon or vice a versa. But in fact, spear is a neutral stuff. You can make it bad or good. Spear is the same with science we have today.

History shows us that the progress of science occurs when there’re wars among us. We’re entering the Age of Atomic after the great Catastrophe of World War II. And Military technology develops significantly in the time of Cold War where so many inventions were made that affect our life. Computer we use and internet we consume was firstly used for military purposes.

In the early of human civilization, science gives us an assurance and a pattern in the world of uncertainty. Moreover, technology then comes as a tool for human to survive and to adapt with nature. But today, after industrial revolution, science and technology comes as a tool for conquering. We’re not adapting with nature but trying to conquer it.

Today’s science is a science to conquer: conquering unknowns, conquering aging, conquering environment, conquering nature, and finally conquering ourselves. Weapon of Mass Destruction is an example of the result of science that conquers us.

I come with an idea of converting science which conquers humanity into science that values human and nature. I called this humanized Science. My equation is Humanized Science= (Knowledge + Conscience + Ethics) Harmony.

The core of science is knowledge. Without knowledge there will be no science. But knowledge in itself has an interest. So, instead driven by interest, knowledge should be guided by the virtue coming from our deep heart. That’s why we need a conscience that co- the science. What is the important to landed man on moon if there’re still starvations leading to the conflicts we can’t resolve? Before we go further in creating technology, let’s stop and think, is this really for human?

Then, what is the important of science in progress if three million people live under two dollar/ day? What is the role of technology if it’s only create many stuff that finally forced human to consume too much while those less important. It’s all about ethic which is based on human values! The progress of science should be ethically related with the condition of human being.

Those variables inside bracket of the formula are factors that perceived by human being, we have not to forget that the non-human being factor is also important. As a leader, it is the task of human to represent them. The key for human to represent others is harmony. To maintain harmony, said Confucius, responsibility comes first. Science should responsibly aware to nature.

I do believe that the role of science is not only to fulfill human sense of conquering. The role of science should not be purposed to make our everyday life seems so easy. All of the pleasure and easiness we sought will gradually decease the nature and finally our civilization. Nature is no longer able to sustain our desire.

Lead by science, Homo sapiens has made a great revolutionary leap which we called agricultural revolution where after that we can develop civilization, religion, and philosophy. Science and technology were built in order to adapt with nature but not against or conquest nature. Science to conquer seems to develop civilization but in fact it endangers our civilization. It’s time for us, to do the same thing our ancestor did. Welcome to the third Revolution which we call as the revolution of Humanized Science.

A different, a better, and a more sustainable future are able to be obtained if we know how to use our technology and direct our science. We’re entering the era of the third revolutionary leap of human science since industrial revolution. The role of science that based on conscience, ethic and harmony with nature, will finally lead human to the invention of the new way of life that harmonizing human and nature. So, what kind of science we need for the better tomorrow? Well, you can use this formula to assess all form of science and technology you find. I just want to say, stop try to conquer everything, this time is for adapting and harmonizing. This is the role of science we need to construct.

The world post-financial crisis is expected to be more adopted regulatory economics which is more predictable rather than the one that lead us onto an economic turmoil. This costly financial disorder has made several European countries call for the new Bretton Woods Institutions in order to design a new global financial system. Meanwhile, USA seems to take a classical strategy to overcome the economic crisis, mercantilism. It seems that those solutions aren’t clear enough to fix the architecture of world’s financial economy. Some say that capitalism is now universally accepted as being fundamentally broken. Harold James called it the Marx Renaissance. Weeks ago, there was a momentous forum held in Jakarta. It was the fifth World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF). A forum that carry a spirit of Islamic economy; a forum that affirm there is a big hope for Islamic economic system as an alternative economic system that gives a different color to what we have today. Representative from Muslim countries gathered to talk about the way how Islamic Financial system can answered problems caused by the failure of conventional financial system. Though generally, WIEF generally talked about Food and energy security, there are some discussions about how Islamic banking can stem the tide of the global financial crisis. Islamic financial system as solution In Islamic financial system, everything is permissible to be traded excepts if there are element uncertainty in the transaction which can cause a speculation and gambling that lead into exploitation of financial system. Conventional financial system is vulnerable with these uncertainties. Derivatives products are examples of uncertainty in conventional economic system. Islamic financial system values more on the microeconomic. Economy activity should have a link to the real asset. The other difference between Islamic financial system with conventional financial system is the prohibition of excessive interest on debt. One of the factors that cause subprime mortgages is also the debt-based financial system which is the basis of conventional economic system. So it is not astonish that Islam prohibits the use of interest on practice of loan which sometimes become the tools to exploit debtor by the creditor. Islam tends to encourages investment through mudaraba (direct risk-participation ventures). The most important thing, Islamic financial system appreciates values of humanity. Economic activity should be framed in the context of human relations and social relations. One should not exploit the other. Justice and fairness are the basic values for the economic activity. That’s what the purposes of Islamic financial system for. Most of the observers say that the Islamic financial system is still left far behind from the conventional one. It can be seen from the slowly growing of Islamic financial system. Others say Islamic financial system is like circum size of conventional system. Despite of the hesitancy, there is a hope to see Islamic financial system as alternative of conventional in doing financial economy. Finishing a Home Work For me, financial crisis is a moment for Islamic financial system to appear as a solution. This should be the time for Islamic financial system to increase their market share. For Islamic scholars and Islamic financial actors, those critics are the homework to be done. The questions such how we build generation that understand about Islamic economic system, what is the best practices of leadership should owned by leaders in private sectors, and how we convince Muslim to trust Islamic financial system. Firstly, we have to prepare human resources who concern on Islamic banking. Till now, our youth have rarely knowledge on Islamic banking. It makes youth have a little seriousness in developing Islamic Banking. Malaysia has an International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) which became center of Islamic financial education. Those who want to study about Islamic Financial and banking system can easily study in there. In Indonesia, world class center of Islamic financial education remain few. It is time for us to back to traditional values like integrity, credibility, and humanity that lead to the more justice and fair financial system. We are at the turning point. Spiritual values become inspiration for the emergence of more ethical economy which expunges greediness in economic activity. It is a choice for actors in economic activities to decide whether ethic will be vanished in our effort to chase economic wealth or will be our basic foundation to arrange our future economy. Islamic economic system provides us the bases to create more ethical economy more than the conventional economy. Education is the Key Why Indonesian can’t while Malaysian try to be the center of Islamic Banking. Today, Malaysia is a country that seriously works on Islamic financial system. They forecast that Middle East petrodollar would be abundant due to the high price of oil. The architecture of Islamic financial system has been made in Malaysia far before Indonesian realized the potential of Islamic financial. Though Muslim is only 60 % of Malaysian, the Malaysian sees Islamic financial system as a part of their future economy. Today, Malaysia has already invested on dinar. A part of their international trading is conducted with Dinar and Dirham. These shows how Malaysian Islamic banking actors must struggle to convince ummah to choose Islamic banking as their choice. They can’t just rely on the government’s help or fatwa from Indonesia Council of Ulama (MUI). There’re should be a stronger effort to bring Islamic financial system more familiar to the society. Today, Islamic financial system has already had strong infrastructure. We have already had official regulation regarding Islamic financial systems. Moreover, Islamic Financial has already been a distinctive directorate in Bank of Indonesia.

Qur’an 15.19

“And the earth we have spread out like a carpet; set thereon mountains firm and immobile; and produced therein all kinds of things in due balance.”

In Indonesia, especially in its big cities, emerges a phenomenon which we can’t judge whether it is good or not and we called it the revivalism of religion. Since 80% of Indonesian’s religion is Islam, so, what I saw dominantly is the revivalism of Islam. But in fact, in my opinion, this phenomenon is not only appearing in Indonesia and Islam but also in around the world and of course in every religion too.

Islamic informal education or commonly called “pengajian” spread around every where in Indonesia. Some of us think that only old people who paid attention with this “pengajian”, but in fact, they who are attracted by this “pengajian” are mostly youth. They all have obedience to what the preacher said to them. And they all implement what the preacher said to them. At this point, there are no problems. This revivalism obviously is not negative phenomenon. We can interpret this phenomenon as evidence that religion is basically important in modern society and religion will always exist among society.

But deviations occur when religiosity interpreted by only from the political framework. Religion, that basically provides set of values and norms for the creation of harmony in plural society like Indonesia, becomes an identity and tool in gaining a power.

As a Muslim youth, I had already felt to be indoctrinated. And, none of the doctrines are related at how to maintain the environment, even though a lot of verses in Qur’an teach us about it. Instead, youth are indoctrinated to use religion as their identity and should implement their religion in conservative way. They should exhibit Islam as their identity. Thereby, in Indonesia, religions become the cause for majority of horizontal conflicts which can be rooted as identity conflict. Religions become catalyst for hatred among Indonesian. Therefore, Religions forget their most primary enemy, the deterioration of ecological environment.

The impact of this phenomenon for society is that; first, Most of the doctrines taught in “pengajian” are focusing on moral ethic. It is not bad to learn about moral ethic but it is imbalance if we are too overemphasizing in moral ethic. We are too busy to judging other personality, such how polite person ethically using clothes, and etc. But why there are no doctrines taught about “eco-moral” which gives us guidance to interact with nature morally (I’ve never heard about Islam for Environment Organization). I can guarantee that mostly preachers in Indonesia are always talking about moral ethics rather than eco-moral. We do concern too much about morality among people but we forget morality in interacting with ecology.

Secondly, it seems that when ecological disasters occur, each religion is always feeling distrustful to other religion. They think that beyond other’s aid; there are hidden agenda to convert the people from one to other religion. At the end, people neglect other’s aid because the religion difference within. Thus, it makes the cooperation among religions are very rare in Indonesia’s society.

If this mind set is still dominating our attitude toward the others, there will be two kinds of probability for our future; first, religion will be neglected because it can’t resolve environmental degradation; second, we will always see the conflict between religions which will lead humanity into vain. And I think the second one is the most possible than the first one for our own future.

My friends and I who concerned about the condition of environment and religion have created small group of university students (called Komunitas Alternatif) who care with the dialogue about the importance of religion-based environmental resolution. As coordinator, firstly, we try to gather university students to come together in one place to discuss openly about how we can revitalize religion values in order to make it as a tool for avoiding the lack of society responsibility on environment sustainability. We realize that religion doctrines are still affecting Indonesian behaviors.

By making environmental issues as the main issues on every religion-based movement (especially Student Movement), we can reduce level of ignorance of Indonesian society. And also, we can unify all religions to stand together in same side rather than fighting each other. Through its doctrines, religion could become the best way in educating society by explaining how important the issues of environmental degradation to mankind. Religion is the best thing in achieving the consciousness of its members.

In conclusion, then, I think that multiform religions must be based on a new realization that we have a common problem in today’s environmental problem and thus a collective future to overcome. How our children can perform their own religion’s rules if in the same time their environment is dying because we still arrogant toward each other.

There was a time where we live with the realization that nature emerges on the condition within the extraordinary interaction of human, ecology, and spiritual grounding and guidance. But in the modern era, humanity is challenged by the emerging of religion which paradoxically breaks this trinity because of the political interpretation of religion. How far we can sustain the future depends on how strong our vision toward the future. Religion is the most potential vision to save the earth, so why don’t we excavate this vision from religion before religion sink deeper in the deep sea of hatred. So what are we waiting for? Let us create this vision together!

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.

Bertrand Russell

As an International Relations Student, International cooperation is one of the most familiar words I’ve heard in my Class. But yet, the words seem to be not absolutely positive. When we talk about International Cooperation, then there’re always two points of view that contradict each other. First, I see International Organization as an effort of the state to fulfill its national interest. As an entity stuck in the jungle of international system, like Kenneth Waltz said, nations are always standing alone. Nations always seek what is the best for their people. In the jungle of realism one is the enemy of the other. Nations wage a war each other due to fulfill their interest. Even in this point of view, the world look like a dangerous world, only cooperation seems to make this conflicting interest can be hushed. Cooperation can be seen as the way we reduce conflict. In the second point of view, cooperation has familiar meaning with interdependence. International society is a society that collaborate each other to gain something big for human progress. International relations are dictated by a set of norms. While some states may, at times, disagree on what actions should be considered normal, the majority of nations recognize the mutual benefits that can be attained through cooperation on generally accepted rules. Some examples of norms include peaceful settlement of disputes and respect of national borders. These expectations are adhered to by most state leaders and are somewhat institutionalized by international organization. That’s why we have an agreement on cooperation. Whatever your point of view is, cooperation is the best way in achieving common good. But, sometimes, cooperation can be dangerous if those who cooperate agreed in bad things. When I was observer in UNFCCC held in Bali, I saw how fragile cooperation based on short term interest of the party. Each states attempt to hold out their interest and override the common good of the people. Think about USA that always neglects to agree in Protocol Kyoto. Simply because of interest of view American people who will suffer a financial loss due to Kyoto protocol. I feel dirty. Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely that’s why to achieve good cooperation, shall we need a virtue on. In the international relations, the best way to achieve cooperation is to make each states depend on each other. The more powerful states, the more unfair, the cooperation are made. We have to remember what Gandhi had ever said, “Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good”. Surely we don’t want to cooperate in a thing that wreck down the earth. History shows us that the progress of knowledge happen when there’re competitions among nations. Military technology develops significantly in the time of cold war, the war between Ottoman Empire with the rest of Europe created the invention of alternative route to Indian islands and therefore the invention of America. Well, in some extent, it is true that competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain degree but it has a cause a great catastrophe on human being. Now, it is time for cooperation where positive sum game creates wealth and profit in each player. There is a wonderful metaphor for world cooperation, described by John Williams. It’s called The Olympics. It is a kind of international competition that’s wholesome and healthy, interplay between countries that represents the best in all of us. That’s the way how we have to think about international cooperation. We must build international cooperation in terms of people cooperation not in government or corporate anymore. People can participate in all of the area of cooperation. When we talk about security sometimes it becomes harder for the people to involve. It is seemingly a state matters. When we talk about economy cooperation it is soundly a corporate matter. But today there aren’t any more. So many people get involve in protecting human security because human security is a basis of national security. So many people also get involved in fair trade, the way how people’s method against unfairness in free trade. Global Warming attack us, and it is not states who remind us how danger if we’re not changing our way of life, it is a people who concern and cooperate each other through global network who remind us how badly a global warming is. Technology can make us easier to cooperate with other. Production of knowledge’s, goods, and services become collaboration activity where more people engage and participate. This can change elitism in cooperation where we always refer cooperation just into states cooperation or multinational cooperation. It is time for people cooperation transnational so that.. Global network has made a great revolution on people cooperation. We must always support the way how international cooperation being conducted. In my conclusion, I would like to quote Eisenhower, though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration, and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace. So, it is up to us whether we participate on cooperation or not. But, as human being, it is a nature for us to cooperate rather than to conflict with other. Peace can be sought by cooperation not war.

Indonesia is the most unique nation in the World. There are no such nations which consists a lot of difference more than Indonesia does. Nation which constituted by ethnics from Sumatra in the west into Papua in the east and from Kalimantan in the north into Pulau Rote in the south cover a lot of different religion, society, culture and economy. Indonesia is also rich in natural resource and homeland to fast growing population. It also has numerous dynamic economies.

But in spite of that, because of the desire to improve economic growth by doing industrialization and expansion of capitalism cost Indonesia with tremendous problem of Environmental degradation. By looking in what have done in the field of environment, the environmental degradation could be perilous problem for environment’s future.

To solving environmental degradation, we still use old paradigm which is still put government as a main actor in preserving environment. But in fact until now it still remain failure in gaining objectives on environment sustainable development. As we know that Asia Pacific region contains various cultural diversity and also traditional knowledge system which has been developed for almost thousand years. In many countries in Asia Pacific and especially in Indonesia there are a lot of various local indigenous which have local knowledge in viewing nature. Thus, cultural diversities in Asia pacific regions could be vital modal to preserve environment in the framework of sustainable development.

In this essay I argue that we should put local indigenous society and local indigenous wisdom as a main actors and main preference in the field of environmental sustainable development. Because the man, nature, and culture are trinity which can not be separated, without their participation and their traditional knowledge, sustainable environmental development will be only commitment in paper.

The Failure of state
Seen from international system dimension, it is already being natural for states to emphasize its national interest and to make high politic issues as main issues of state. Since environmental issues are low politics issue, until now, states is still put environmental issues as periphery issues in their national interest. Beside that, in all efforts considering environmental issues, states only build an environmental regime which only exist in paper and never realize that all of efforts are useless if it not be implemented directly.

According to Lorraine Elliot, Ineffectiveness of state in the field of environmental issues basically because is an incongruence between problems which arise from the international connected nature of the global ecosystem and solutions which are sought in the framework of geopolitical system based on system. For example, since Stockholm conference 1972 until Rio Conference in 1992 there were no big changes brought by state. Even until know, environmental degradation is still not yet decreased.

State’s roles in domestic level are far from what we expected. State failed to build institutions which conduct sustainable environmental development. Shoddier condition, state, directly or indirectly, participate on damaging environment because of bad management on natural resources or corrupted government. For example in Indonesia, state based management paradigm conduct by government of Indonesia in forest management result a decreased on Indonesian forest and fauna. It also creates poverty for indigenous society who live near forest. Also state’s support on MNC in Papua case is one of the biggest mistake hold by government which caused increasing environmental degradation and regional separatist.

Ecology not Economy
Beside the ineffectiveness of state, there are two most basic mistakes in handling environmental issues; the fallacy of logic of thinking and improper method using in solving environmental problem. If we talk about sustainable environmental development, we always associate it with economic aspects and if we talk about what is the solution we always refers to scientist or we always refers to what modern science tell us about.

States always see environmental issues in economic perspective. For developing states, Environmental issues are often used to beg more debt to developed states. Joseph K. Nyerere had ever said that negotiating about environment issues is also negotiating about economic. For developed states, since using economic approach on seeing environment issues, they dare to claim that they have already struggled for environmental issues. For example, Australia claimed that they refer to a lot of money which has been sacrificed to protecting environment. Even there is no correlation between how much money sacrificed from hazardous industry with decreasing of pollution on environment.

Honestly, we can say that logic of economic rarely concerned about future ecology. Of course in some cases, there are initiatives taken by corporate concerning environmental issues. But indeed, corporate still put environment as commodity which should be preserved so that it can be exploited in the future. Framework of economic put environment as commodity not as environment itself. Therefore, sustainable development concept only becomes such tool for corporate to always exploit natural resources.

The second problem faced in gaining sustainable environmental development is we never ask about what kind of method we can use to solve environmental issues. For this long time, we always believe in solution giving by scientist because we believe that by using scientific approach, we can get closer to the best result. But we never realize that there is relation between knowledge and power. In some degree, modern knowledge can be justification for actions resulting environmental degradation. We still remember that USA reject ratify Kyoto because it lack of scientific approval. Just like in Indonesia, where a lot of environment is sacrificed in the name of development.

The Importance of Indigenous society’s knowledge
All facts lead us to rethinking what we have believed on how should we protecting our environment. The key to all environment issues is laid on local knowledge and local wisdom. Indigenous societies become important, in managing environmental development, because of their local wisdom which is the best method for solution on environment problem.

Erich fromm said that people always choose one of two modes of living; being and having. In order to being in the world we must have things. We must have things in order to enjoy them. In this case, indigenous society lives in environment surrounding them so they know very well what nature want from them and how they should maintain environment. Differ with others which don’t living in there (evaluator or scientist), they do not have any feeling of having the nature so they don’t know accurately how to maintain environment.

It is true that local knowledge is not scientific knowledge. But philosophically, local wisdom rooted from the belief that environment is also apart of every day life. Even local knowledge absolutely unscientific and characterized as primitive in term of modernity, in fact, traditional management have been successful in maintaining environment from degradation.

It has also become clear that, because of their extensive ecological knowledge, societies which are based on sustainable developmental practices are much better able to accurately assess the true costs and benefits of ecosystem disturbance than any evaluator coming from outside the local area. How local society serves their own nature by using their local knowledge is the best way achieving objectives of sustainable environmental development. Many communities in Asia Pacific have been opted to market their own “indigenousness to tourist from the west, without giving them a chance to implement their own culture in their way of life. We never realize that indigenous culture play major significant role in preserving environment from degradation. All of the environmental degradation is caused by the withdrawal.

Recommendation and solution
In order to increase indigenous society’s participation, firstly, there should be a shift in power relations from national to local level. The rights and basic needs of local communities and indigenous peoples should prevail over the perceived national interest as determined by government. Government can not insist their willingness to develop in any local communities based by national interest because sometimes, national interest is not represented the willingness of local communities. So, Government is not the centered actor who fully responsible on sustainable environmental development anymore but indigenous society with their local wisdom will be an actor who fully responsible in their heritage land. Empowerment of indigenous society could be performed by giving them access on development planning in their own land.

To gaining objectives of sustainable environmental development, it is necessary to accommodate traditional knowledge. Traditional knowledge and local wisdom is the best way achieving environmental sustainability because local wisdom perceives Mother Nature as unity with culture and also with society. The balance between nature and man can be provided by local wisdom because, unlike modern science, there is distinction between man (subject) and environment (object).

International financial Institutions or regional financial institutions such ADB should provide a large number of aids to help indigenous society to participate in maintaining their own nature. IFI still concentrate their aid to increase sustainable development by look only on economic aspects whereas environment is the main problem faced by developing countries. In Indonesia, there are some efforts empowering local communities by local NGO’s, but their efforts are not followed by support from government and financial institution which have program to reduce environmental degradation. A lot of aid gave by financial institution sill using old method which using government as an actor to solving environmental degradation so they give a lot of money to government but there were no any improvement in environmental sustainability. Aid from IFI should flow directly indigenous society that have local wisdom to maintain and manage their land.

Position of NGO and other social movements in efforts for sustainable environmental development are only as catalyst. NGO roles is as an actor who giving indigenous societies a consciousness that they should participating in sustainable environmental development. Government roles in sustainable environmental development is as an actor who facilitate indigenous society by conducting as law enforcer and also creating set of rules to assure the system is going well. Finally, the implementation of sustainable environment development is in the hand of local indigenous society.

Last but not least, indigenous society’s empowerment should not serve only as a symbol. There are some efforts which want to put Local indigenous community as puppet by giving them quasi roles in preserving sustainable environmental development. By implemented this paradigm which put local indigenous community as a main actor in achieving sustainable environmental development, not only environment can be saved but also Culture and human of indigenous which eradicated by modernity. For Asia Pacific region which has a lot of indigenous society, indigenous society with their local knowledge will be the most potential capital for preserving environment from degradation.

 

 

For the umpteenth time, Jombang city in East Java was shocked by the news about their inhabitants. Not so long ago, we heard about Jombang gay named Rian who mutilated 11 people, now, we are shocked again by two cases engaging children of Jombang. First is about little shaman named Ponari who has sorcerer stone; the second is about children who can memorize a whole Qur’an with its translation.

 

Ponari is believed to have a sorcerer stone which he found near his home in Jombang that can cure all of the diseases. Thousands of people come to his house just to get a treatment from Ponari. In their view, Ponari is a savior sent by God to them. People believe in his sorcerer stone even though the child doesn’t know what happened around him. People keep insist to see him. The worst is those who don’t get treatment from Ponari try to drink from drainage ditch water around Ponari’s house. What else can be told, this is the symbol of irrationality in Jombang society.

 

In second case, Those kids, from 5,5 years age till 14 years age can memorize whole entire Qur’an and its translation. It seems to be a miracle. How could possible those kids can memorize when they’re still a children? But in fact, there is a key answer for this miracle. It is the methodology of those kids to memorize Qur’an. Those kids, Ahmad Azmi Amiq (12), Rofi’ul Majid(14), Kamila Niami Permatasari (5,5), dan Putri Fitriani (9), do not get the ability to memorize al Qur’an suddenly like Ponari case. They’ve learned memorizing method called Hanifida (invented by a couple named Hanif and Ida). This method is not only applicable in learning Qur’an but also other lesson such mathematics.

 

 

Postmodernity and Irrationality

Jombang reminds us how thin the difference between rationality and irationality. After Descartes disseminated his rationalism “cogito ergo sum”, I’m thinking therefore I’ am, this world isn’t really become rational. It is not because not every aspect of our life become modernized, but there’s still a space in human life for those things that we called irrationality, superstition, insanity, or ect. This is what we call as the world of post modernity.

There are two things that can be examples on how the civilised and modernised society get stuck on irrationality. First the emergence of pop culture and the second is cyber culture. We’ve been made confuse with the emergence of pop culture and cyber culture in which both of them lies irrational behavior. The irrationality in both of them is similar even not same with those in Jombang.

 

Pop culture is an example how logic of function of one commodity transforms into logic of desire. The commodity which constructed by the producer will be consumed by consumer in irrational way. Karl Marx said that the commodity constructed to attract desire called a fetishism of commodity. Fetishism is a form of irrationality that makes people consumes a commodity without thinking what the functions of those things are. Lifestyle, fashions, and entertainment are some of the example of fetishism.

 

Modern society which is based on modernity assumption is not a rational society anymore. Nothing left in the society where logic of desire has dominated. No rational choices left when we want to consume something. We buy a coffee in Starbuck even the price is so high, we go to mall just for freshing our eyes, we buy a logo rather than function. Once Umberto Eco has ever said, modern man prefers to consume a sign and image rather than everything. Delueuze and Guattari call this modern society as Schizophrenic society.

 

Postmodern Society is also a cyber society. Jean Baudillard said that in Postmodern Society reality will be replaced by simulacra which is means the pseudo-reality made by high tech machine that make us believe that those pseudo-reality is much more real than reality itself. The reality isn’t take place in three dimensional spaces but in digital information bytes. Cyberspace is one of the examples of the world of Simulacrum.

 

How can people be a very satisfied sitting in the front of PC for hours just to play Facebook?  How can People give others by giving them a picture of gift that represents a real gift? It’s only happen in the cyber society. Of course, pedicab driver or village farmer will describe these cyber society behaviors as irrational. More moron than what Ponari community did. So what is the similarity between Ponari with his sorcerer stone with young student with his Facebook? Both of them express irrationality in different type

 

Learning from Jombang

Nurcholish Madjid has ever said, “There was something wrong in the water of Jombang” I think it is true. Jombang is the city of both rationality and irrationality, even post modernity.

 

You can meet criminal like Rian with 11 victims, thinker like Nurcholish Madjid who became the teacher of nation, comedian like Asmuni, cultural actuator like Emha Ainun Nadjib, or a singer like gombloh. In religious level, in the one hand, you can meet fundamentalist Islam like Ustadz Abu Baka Baasyir and in the other hand, the liberalist Islam like KH Abdurrahman Wahid. Sure you can find politicians from Jombang too. Gus Dur (Third President of Indonesia, Sholahuddin Wahid, Muhaimin Iskandar (Vice Chairman House of Representative), and Imam Utomo (previous Governor of East Java) are those politician who came from Jombang.

 

Jombang teach us that we have a plurality even in the way how we see the truth. We can’t say that what those people who seek Ponari to cure their problem as irrational, stupid, and uneducated. In fact we all have irrationality in ourself, in our society, in our civilization. Like plurality showed by Jombang, we have to celebrate that irrationality is still exsist. Nor We won’t judge Jombangese as irrational nor as a thread because in every society there will be always irrationality.

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