It’s been almost seven months since I’m in Jakarta. For those of you who don’t know, Jakarta is a metropolis slum of a city, which somehow is also the capital of Indonesia. Anyway, after seven months living here, there are two things that seemed apparent to me in the social forming of this community. One is that the social gap is bigger than anywhere in the world, second is that the different class doesn’t seem to like each other. Oh and there is a third, almost most of the members are dickheads.
Being a stranger to the city, the first time I caught up with my friends here, of course I complained about the traffic. Being used to the uni life, I always see these problems from a various aspects other than the road user’s behaviour, because for me behaviour is shaped. I mean I’m sure that the road users are not following the rules just because they are inherently evil or inherently dickheads. There must be a system that is failing, be it the police, the law, the education, the social justice system, or even the social mechanism that shapes a whole bunch of riders and drivers that apparently doesn’t have any level of integrity in themselves.
Anyway, the only thing I got from that friend of mine is a prejudice.
“The poor is always right”
And when I came across a post on Facebook about traffic, guess what the caption was?
“The rich is always right”
So I asked myself, then what should we do to solve this problem then? When the two classes hate each other, and the two classes doesn’t seem to realise that they both are being the same jerks on the street. I mean the case is then not about the poor or the rich being right or wrong, the case will then be that the people are just being a jerk in general (period).
The thing about our beloved country is that anybody can be rich, and anybody can be poor. It doesn’t go together with intelligence whatsoever, but somehow people think that way. Even worse, our justice and education system allow people with “small” mentality to harvest money and power, as long as they know enough “important” people. And knowing is not a difficult thing nowadays, now that we are coming towards the title of being the first “mobile country”.
The result has then being that the class get muddled up, the richer doesn’t only get richer, but they get even more selfish. Because in other country, the more money you have, the more tax you have to pay. Meaning that the tax money can be spent on poorer people for their health, education, or any other facilities that can better their life. So there is not much of a jealousy towards the rich. But the case in Indonesia is different, because people can easily dodge paying for tax and not get caught. Most of the people holding the power have those powers because of corruption, and the money that people are using is taken from the people. It’s the other way around.
And when the poor people are trying to make sense of what is happening, where does their money go, and how will they survive, the only answer has increasingly become that the government took their money for their own good. So now the prejudice is that anybody with a nice car has stole their money.
After years of thinking that way, money has slowly become a language for them. Facility would then become less and less important. Because there is no medical benefit, they would then prefer money rather than insurances. Because there was no such thing as a green space, they would then prefer living in their house rather than nice apartment. The people have become even more and more sceptical about the government, and every step that the government now do to develop the society will now be opposed. Because all that the people know now is that the government doing is to take money, and they will lose their source of income.
Having money has become an obsession in this county.
That’s why when the economy is slowing down, the labour force is doing a strike asking for more minimum wage with the assumption that they will spent more money to buy stuff that will mobilise the economy so that they will not seen as redundant and ended up being let go. How ridiculous is that? I mean where do they think the companies will allocate the money from?
It has increasingly become not only that “I” have to have more money, but it has also become “you” have to have less money.
Who the “I’s” are and who the “You’s” are? I don’t really know. It certainly is not the rich and the poor. It certainly is not that.
Because everybody here is just blaming anyone that they can. Everybody is “right”.
All that I can conclude from all of these is that we all are people with small mentality.
“Nasionalis yang sedjati, jang nasionalismenya itu bukan timbul semata-mata suatu copie atau tiruan dari nasionalisme barat akan tetapi timbul dari rasa tjinta akan manusia dan kemanusiaan” – Soekarno
Manusia dan kemanusiaan, bukan negara.