Which Side Are You On?

Arya Gaduh, a very good friend of mine and also my co-worker at CSIS, owns a very nice blog. The pieces he posts up there are all very well written and thought of. I remember the time when we, junior researchers at CSIS, were competing to publish op-ed articles in newspapers as many as we could back in 2002. At that time, we were always criticizing each other’s writings, complaining almost about everything: style, arguments or even titles of the articles. For us at that time, praising was a forbidden thing to do…he..he. Nevertheless, when it came to his articles, none of us could comment. His articles, mostly on economics, were always sharp, clear, and clean.

Arya has been very nice to leave comments on my blog recently. Feeling the need to reciprocate, I visited his blog a few days ago. I noticed that he had added some new links there, including one to my blog. What struck me was that he titled that link ‘fellow Indonesian liberal’. I am not sure whether he is serious or, judging from my past experience with him, is only teasing me (hebat lu Ya…he..he).

At this stage, I could not really answer the question that popped up in my mind when I was visiting Arya’s blog: am I a liberal? May be. I did read Anthony Giddens’ “Beyond Left and Right” long time ago though. Similar to what happened during those days in 2002, this time I failed to leave any comment on his blog. I decided to exit quietly with that big question in my head.

I then realized that in fact my blog has more links to the liberals than to the leftists. To the liberals, it links to the blogs of Ari Perdana, Arya Gaduh, Cafe Salemba, and Puspa ‘puspini’ Amri (I know you guys don’t mind being called liberals…he..he). Meanwhile, I only have three links to my proud-leftist friends: Coen Pontoh, Indoprogress, and Martin Manurung (I guess they will not complain about this either, will you Coen, Tin?). For me, it’s a battle of ideas. And it’s good.


17 Tanggapan to “Which Side Are You On?”

  1. puspini Says:

    hahaha….do I mind being called a Liberal? My answer is no, as long as liberal is not associated or even put at par with conservative ;-)
    What I DO mind is being called a ‘Bloody Market Fundamentalist’…and if you have stumbled upon my entry at http://puzpini.blogspot.com/2006/03/21st-century-hegellian-last-week-it.html
    you would understand why;-)

  2. Arya Says:

    Gosh, now I have to explain myself! I am talking mostly about “classical liberalism”, which, to quote Wikipedia:

    “a political philosophy that supports individual rights as pre-existing the state, a government that exists to protect those moral rights, ensured by a constitution that protects individual autonomy from other individuals and governmental power, private property, and a laissez-faire economic policy…”

    I suspect, except for the last two, M. Vermonte is a liberal. Even for the last two, he is a liberal (remember our post-Matrix-Reloaded discussion) — he just need to keep his reputation in front of his audience [;-)].

  3. philips vermonte Says:

    seperti biasa, di depan arya, i am speechless….he..he..he

  4. kuyazr Says:

    (OOT)..I’m a communist..do you mind?

  5. philips vermonte Says:

    bung kuyazr, of course I don’t mind. Why should I? As I said, it’s a battle of ideas. As far as it does not involve violence, the battle of ideas serves as a source of progress for us. The more, the merrier. As simple as that…anyway, salam kenal.

  6. ika Says:

    so which side are you exactly..? hm..tipical akademisi/intelektual…hanya bisa memilah orang dimana mereka..tapi tidak bisa menempatkan dirinya sendiri..? :-)

    salam kenal..

  7. philips vermonte Says:

    ika, you tell me…:-) btw, your blog is intellectually stimulating. Nice.

    salam kenal juga

  8. oktaviani Says:

    Hi philip

    May I know about fulbright from you
    Do the funds from Fulbright support you enough?
    thanks alot


  9. philips vermonte Says:

    Okta, beasiswa Fulbright di desain untuk single student, jadi cukup buat single students. Mereka yang bawa keluarga harus memenuhi banyak persyaratan, misalnya punya additional funding yang fixed sebelum memberangkatkan keluarganya ke Amerika. Dan itu harus dibuktikan dengan dokumen-dokumen tertulis. Kalau tidak bisa membuktikan bahwa memiliki fixed additional funding itu, visa hampir tidak mungkin dikeluarkan oleh kedutaan. Coba periksa website Aminef untuk informasi lebih jauh.

  10. Martin Manurung Says:

    Wah, baru baca ini ada post yang nyebut2 gw kiri. I’m proud to be leftist! If Arya quoted that liberals believe ‘individual rights as pre-existing the state’, then I –personally– can simplify that leftists believe that ‘equality of individuals as pre-existing the state’ and that equality must be ensured by the constitution and the government.

  11. philips vermonte Says:

    he..he..here we go again..where have you been Tin?

  12. Arya Says:

    Martin (#10): But of course liberals also believe in the “equality of individuals”. They just of put “the rights of” between of and individuals. Question is, what do you put between those words?

    Salam kenal…

  13. Martin Manurung Says:

    Equality yang pre-existing itu menjadi buyar karena kepemilikan asset yang tidak seimbang. Rights pun menjadi tidak lagi equal. Sehingga, ‘defending the individual rights’ menjadi kehilangan makna sejatinya, karena rights yang tidak equal. Bahasanya Warren Buffet, ‘lucky sperm club’.

  14. philips vermonte Says:

    he..he…bisa aja bung Martin. Mau tanya sedikit, sejak kapan exactly kepemilikan asset yang tidak seimbang ini mulai terjadi? Jangan-jangan sejak jaman nabi Adam, bukankah pembunuhan pertama manusia oleh anak Adam terhadap saudaranya terjadi karena merasa hak dan kepemilikan “asset”-nya tidak seimbang?

  15. Martin Manurung Says:

    Waduh… Gw udah lama ninggalin cerita romantis a la Genesis itu. Hehehe.. Sejak kapan? Ya, tiap masyarakat memiliki stages yang berbeda. Lebih gampang, kita bisa lihat dari akar-akar tradisi etnis, misalnya di Indonesia. Etnis Batak (yang gw lebih tau, hehehe) akar tradisinya adalah komunal. Property-nya juga komunal. Sisa-sisanya masih keliatan dari ikatan kinship-nya yang sangat kental sampai sekarang. Sejak kapan berubah? Pasti perlu studi untuk tahu exactly sejak kapan.

  16. philips vermonte Says:

    setuju Tin, memang kita perlu banyak studi berbagai bidang….biar empirik…he..he.

  17. Arya Says:

    Martin (#13): Mungkin benar #13. Tapi Bung Martin masih belum menjawab pertanyaan nih: Equality of what?

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