The progress of a case when a mother killed in an uprising event against Islamic Defender Front (FPI) in Sukorejo is still continuing. Many discussions have been held either formally or informally. Social media has also become part of the public space where people are continuously giving their points of view regarding the case. Some people insist that Indonesia government should be firmer in dealing with FPI. On the other hand, another recent report also shows that the actual driver is not an FPI member; hence there is no firm ground to denounce FPI. Furthermore, there is also an argument stating that “if you were on the driver’s seat, facing the uncontrollable mob throwing stone toward your car, you would do the same thing: you could not control your car and you would not know what you were currently doing and driving toward to.”
Cases related to FPI do seem very hard to be dealt with. Indonesia government seems reluctant to dismiss the group despite many evidences have clearly shown brutal attacks conducted by the group; aside from its social role as the guardian of moral and also several social activities that has been successfully conducted. A crucial question then arises: in this democratic regime, where people can easily and freely express their opinion regarding any cases, why should horizontal conflicts should remain exist?
Problem of justice
In order to determine the root cause of conflict, it can be traced back to the problem of justice when collective living is conducted. It can be then correlated to the case of social contract where every individual in a society agree to be bound by a contract that will act as the main principle in a society. The contract is also then about preserving justice since it is the only way to build just society. It can be considered as such because the contract is made in order to avoid conflict to happen in the future.
In every contract built, the most important point is where people involved in the contract lay aside their individuality to build a more integral society that is not bounded by differences. Since human beings are keen to preserve their ego in their nature, there will be a strong need to build a body that will legitimately act as a guardian of the contract. This body is well-known as government.
Any government is then a protector of its own contract since it has acquired its legitimacy from the people proposing the contract. Furthermore, government is the only legal body that can use harsh punishment in order to preserve the contract since, if we back to the premise above, a contract is the single source where justice is preserved in a collective living. Thus, when a government fails to guard the contract, it will also become the time where horizontal conflicts begin to appear and everyone seeks his/her own path of justice, regardless the means they use.
The problem of contract
The problem of justice is valid as long as it is assumed that the contract produced has accommodated the interest of the people involved and thus creating the common good. But horizontal conflict may also arise if the contract made does not accommodate the interest of the people.
This condition can be easily seen in Egypt’s current crisis where Morsi was still in throne. When the parliament constructed the contract that was considered too subjective, people living inside Egypt yearn for more participation and accommodation when finally the social contract was legally established. This demand then continued until now in an uprising resulting in horizontal clash between those who support Morsi and those who do not.
In such a circumstance, horizontal conflict appears not to preserve justice by everyone’s way. It is more than that namely to preserve justice as just as possible by establishing a contract that is not subjective. The conflict happens as a long to build a just society not as a part to divide the society apart.
From this part, it is clear that a good contract should be able to accommodate the interest of the people living bound by the contract. It will be then considered as just. But, forcing one’s preferences too much above others is not also a good choice since it will only lead to another uprising demanding more participation and less-subjective contract. There should be then a balance between one’s interest and the common good in order to preserve justice.
How about Indonesia and its horizontal conflicts? What I do believe is Indonesia’s current contract is indeed an outstanding contract, if it cannot be described as excellent. It acknowledges differences while preserving unity and preventing social injustice. From my point of view, the compromise when this contract was being deliberated was indeed a good one so such an outstanding contract could be eventually produced.
Thus, if we bring this premise to Indonesia’s current context, it is absolutely clear that actually the Indonesia’s contract (Pancasila) is not well-preserved. Social injustice can be traced everywhere as can be clearly seen in Papua where huge disparity appears since its minerals are easily extracted but its population is left behind. Indonesia’s Gini Ratio has also risen above 0.4 means that one percent of Indonesia’s wealthiest persons have accumulated wealth equivalent with 40% of Indonesians’ overall wealth.
Another clear example can be seen where politic is no longer about making a policy better. Politic is merely about extracting money and corrupting tax paid by the people. There is no longer deliberative conducted in parliament since many of them are absent or taking a nap during meeting. What is the point of democracy then? Or you could see many law enforcers can be easily bribed despite the fact that they are the front line in guarding Indonesia’s social contract. In this regard, our level of civilization is then doubted.
Furthermore, if Indonesia government cannot deal with religious differences, for example, it should not be a strange thing to see how many religious affiliations groups fight each other because each of them yearns for identity and preserving justice to be also recognized in this country. Moreover, if the government is also reluctant to deal with any hard-liner group who wish to challenge Indonesia’s social contract, people will then take the role and preserve their own justice by throwing stone and preventing such a group to get in. Furthermore, if Indonesia government cannot also preserve well-being for its population, it should not be a weird thing to see people conflicting each other just to get enough food to eat. And I do believe that there are much more “if outside there that are potentially happen if Indonesia government fails to act.
Indonesia has actually had the power to be a civilized country. Its contract has acknowledged that difference should be preserved and social equality is guaranteed. The problem now is about the implementation. As long as Indonesia government is reluctant to be firmer unto groups who has not accepted the contract, we will always be in stagnant position since we will always deal with the same problem every day without have any interest in clearing and finding solution. Indonesia is then no longer just for collective living and this can be a plausible reason why horizontal conflicts often appear. If Indonesia government cannot preserve the contract, the society living inside the country will then walk back to the primitive era where the contract had not been established yet. In such a circumstance, people can easily kill others just because they have different views about something. One person can also kill another as a mode of retaliation. In this bleak condition, what is longed for by the society is the same: justice. And the only way to deal with this matter is clear: Indonesia government should take back its role as the guardian of the social contract.