Saturday, March 25, 2006



P. Prasetyohadi

Fellowship research with API Program, Nippon Foundation

This paper intends to elaborate the reasons of success and failures in the implementation of land redistribution, identifying commonalities among four case studies in the Philippines and Indonesia that have variation of relatively high and lower achievements. This investigation preliminarily reveals that 1) the difference of the claimed lands in both countries is comparatively little, yet differently understood in each context; too few for the Philippines and too much for Indonesia; 2) if peasant’s possible livelihood constitutes the minimum, necessary conditions, then success keys of agrarian reform would refer to untiring endeavours to use democratic space employing all capabilities (Philippine cases) and to the degree of self-determination of the peasant groups to fight against the opponent (Indonesian cases); 3)the dichotomy between social and state actors in the Philippines would be resolved as far as the reform be prevented from being merely used as a tool for political votes, while in Indonesia the opposition between both actors remain tough albeit not impossible to resolve, considering that on the ground the peasants continue to directly access to lands.

THE RESULTS of agrarian reform in the Philippines and Indonesia are varied and uneven. In the Philippines, some show high results and others very low. In Indonesia, some peasant groups could stay as real tillers and others failed even to ‘claim’ the land. Realizing many kinds of results of the peasant struggles to get the land, I would like to point out the reasons why peasant group in certain areas succeeded in gaining the land and in other locations have failed. Understanding such reasons, I may propose some suggestions to frame sustainable land distribution and post-land transfer process.

In this investigation starting from selected case studies, I discover three key issues in deter-mining ‘the success or failure’ of attempts to obtain lands. First, comparing the outcomes of existing efforts in resolving land conflicts in both countries, the difference of the obtained areas is comparatively little, yet proportionally quite differently understood for each context. Second, ‘rules of success’ refers to the full-scaled efforts in engaging social and state actors while stressing allied pressure strategies against the land controllers (Indonesian) and landlords (the Philippine) through mobilising peasants for direct land occupation and administrative pressures including locking disinterested government officials. Third, in order to have meaningful process of resolving land problems, organising activities, while framing it with cultural base, remain the most important for the implementation of such reform to ascertain the process. Any certificate-oriented land transfer could be useful for supporting human life, yet only as far as it refers to employ peasant’s tilling activities in a politically correct, good purpose-oriented manner.

This presentation of preliminary findings is mainly divided into five parts. First is a note on the theoretical consideration; second, details of comparative findings out of examining the performance of each organisation focusing on the role of the social and state actors, third, the impacts of social movements on agrarian reform, and fourth, concluding remarks containing the main findings. The last part of the article is a reflection about the search for social justice in both countries.

The research does not mean to cover the whole complex phenomena of agrarian reform in both countries yet restricts its scope to more conspicuous, limited performances yielded by the actors involved in the cases, and in turn it may inevitably dig out information out of limited cases to reveal the most possible understanding, mirroring larger experience at higher level. I also refer to a concern about possible subjective concept of ‘success and failure’ [1] to the common context of the efforts to improve rural social change in term of acquiring the land out of inequality of land owner-ship in certain territorial units. Such efforts generally target at promoting landless peasants ––or nearly landless–– to acquire the land (land reform) and their likeliness to cultivate and live out of it (post-land transfer). ‘Success and failure’ in this case entails how far the peasants could occupy (either legally or not) and uphold it in order to cultivate the land and to maintain their livelihood.

Theoretical Consideration

To help more clearly reaching the objectives of this investigation, I focus my analysis on a certain aspect of social movements, concentrating on the roles of the actors involved, behind the struggles to gain the land. In analysing the roles of the actors, I mainly categorise two different actors, i.e. the state and the social. Examining the roles of each in their interaction during the process of gaining the land overtime, I draw the reasons behind, methodologically speaking, their achievements as far as related agrarian reform practices are concerned.

In order to sum up all individual achievements of the actors, and how they interact one with other, particularly of the peasant groups, nevertheless, this research owes to comparative politics that I apply in considering the case studies. A related analytical tool helps this analysis to discern the determining factors and contexts of success and failure of the efforts towards agrarian reform. In comparing the case studies I analyze the actions of the actors involved, exploring the range of changes that take place in the due course of social movements. The critical preference to examine the interaction of the state and society could expectedly reach the mobilizing points in which one engages with the other, presuming what the actors do falls within the intended extent of what they struggle for. Accordingly, as political scientist Jonathan Fox (2004) defends this theoretical framework as the paramount strategy for yielding achievement, the actions are meaningful for all the actors involved in the context of strengthening civil society, including the social movements for agrarian reform.

In the context of agrarian reform as a pro-poor program in both countries, following Fox’s concept, the dynamic framework of the so-called ‘sandwich strategy’ pushes the empowerment outcomes either of the people and the government. In such a dynamics, the actors may be categorised accordingly into three different parties, i.e. 1) the peasants and their organisers, 2) the agrarian re-form implementing parties (the government) who hold the power to apply the related public policy, and 3) local establishments such as landowners or land controllers and their allies, many of whom are embedded in both the state and society. With the pressure from below from the peasants and their organizers and from above from the pro-reform government parties, we may see the outcome of positive social change in terms of some achievements of the independent peasant groups such as in gaining the land and more accountable performance of the government in mostly awkward policy arena of agrarian reform. Such dynamics allow the peasant groups to clearer recognise and to prevail over deep-rooted impediments to social changes.

In addition, as Fox asserts, the role of rural social movement is instrumental factor in yielding power sharing, transparency and participation. However, the stronger the movement from the part of the social actors alone does not guarantee the yields of the collective struggles as it has been suggested by political scientists such as David S. Meyer (2001). This relativity should be applied even to the primacy of engagement of state-social actors. What Meyer refers as ‘fortifying myth’, therefore, remains valid for the actors to create for certain collective movements to yield and to persist. And I would argue that the myths are being created by the actors within these researched social movements.

Another restriction from comparative approach refers to the condition that the political structure and historical context of both countries do not easily match up [2]. However, the condition of the peasants, specifically those landless, who dominate the population in both countries, are quite similar in facing extreme poverty and patronised daily life-culture, in the past and in recent time, and in such a comparative perspective the question of fighting injustice remains tangibly relevant in both countries. I argue, accordingly, that analytical scope at micro, inter-village level is favourable focus in this research.

Two Case Studies in Each Country

I take the Philippine case studies in two villages from Negros Occidental province in Visayas, and Tarlac province in Central Luzon. The province has performed among the worse ac-accomplishment according to the government as of July 2004 [3], which I take as a starting point. Tarlac province performs among the highest. The selected social movement group was the Nagasi barangay people who fought for land that was part of the Benedictos family’s hacienda Esperanza (I call them the Negros case for the rest of this article). While in Tarlac in Northern Luzon, I draw my attention to a landholding in Ablang Saplang and Nancamarina barangays, which formerly owned by the powerful Cojuangco family (‘Tarlac case’). The NGO joined the barangays into one working unit as both may be formed into one scope of organising activities.

In Indonesia I also take two villages, all in West Java province under one peasant union of Serikat Petani Pasundan (SPP) as the main umbrella of movement organisation. Because there is no government’s data available to start with, I take a deliberation with a senior scholar-cum-activist [4] on the peasant movement to select two kinds of peasant organisations at village level that have per-formed best and worse practices in reaching the goal of agrarian reform. I took Ciècèng village, in Tasikmalaya district as the peasant group that unfolds later to be the strongest in controlling the occupied lands. The other case is Cibenda villagers’ movement, in a coastal village to Indian Ocean, adjacent to the international tourism industry of Pangandaran in Ciamis district, as a village that has failed to sustain social movement.

Philippine Case Studies

Dynamics of the Peasant Movement in the Negros Case

There are four main rises of the social movement of the Nagasi barangay’s peasants, characterised with land occupation and harvesting actions. [5] The first round took place by the end of 2000, marked by clashes that took place as they were blocking each others from harvesting, while police kept watching. Peasants decided to retreat as they were outnumbered. Second round of vibrant movement, a year after the last retreat in Feb. 2002, was marked by strong out-of-the-area mass mobilisations, while building alliance with other peasant organisations to storm the local government’s land reform agencies both at municipal and provincial level for two weeks. The third round took place five months later, when the peasants, assisted by a municipal level allied peasant organisation, conducted bigger mass mobilisation, supported by members of provincial level allied peasant organisations and other civil society groups. The three-day mobilisation came out to be stronger as it was conducted right in the area, hence, occupying the area including harvesting activities. The fourth round was marked by killing incident of a beneficiary-peasant in March 2003, when the peasants launched land occupation, after months earlier of coordinating with diverse parties to occupy the awarded land. The failure of mass mobilisation in the third round had motivated the peasants to ask for help from Manila-based NGOs for agrarian reform to muster national government’s supports. They managed to pressurise on the President to install the peasants into the awarded areas. The peasant leader could personally meet the President, after which she instructed the central office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to include military officers to assist the peasants in cultivating the land.

Dynamics of the Peasant Movement in the Tarlac Case

There were two main rises of the social movement of the Tarlac peasants, the period of which spanned from Jan. 2002 to Dec. 2004. The first took place after months of ‘administrative pushes’ to the local government’s offices of agrarian reform at municipal and provincial level. They succeeded in compelling the government officials to conduct land surveys, after which the peasants were installed in the area. The second rise is marked by intensive internal groups meetings, before the surveys were held. The NGO and the peasants conducted general assembly of all peasant members to consolidate their readiness to safeguard the survey. The group strengthening process was so thoroughly carried out to maintain their interests and fervour that they conducted continuous barangay’s mass meetings during two months of Jan. and Feb. 2003. As a result, all the peasants of about 250 people pressured the provincial agrarian reform office that the land surveys be accomplished as soon as possible.

Similarities and Differences of the Philippine Case Studies

Political Opportunity and Land Certificate as Starting Point

Both cases represent a deliberate choice of the agrarian reform actors at national level to pick the contentious big landholdings as they were controlled by influential landowners. The Benedicto family owned the Cojuangcos-controlled hacienda Esperanza and the 1,040 hectares land-holding in Tarlac. Both were Marcos’ cronies who succeeded to evade their properties from redistribution. This political option was taken by NGOs networking such as Unorka since 1998, a nationwide new networking movement for peasants’ interests to implement land reform in contentious landholdings. This option has been further worked out after learning the initial brief round of a comparatively high accomplishment of redistribution of mostly “less contentious” public lands had dwindled. It was particularly during the tenure of the DAR secretary Ernesto Garilao (1994-1996), who was exceptional among most DAR secretaries, a skilful management practitioner who kept empathy to the peasants and the NGO networking, apart from fully gearing the coordination synergy of the officials.

In addition, in both case studies, the granted land certificates internally created a more urging situation for the peasant groups to further their struggle for land because they had more hope to succeed, although they were yet hollow. In the Negros case, the land remained effectively held by the landowner, though the peasants, with the help of the NGO, had worked on it considerably since 1992, while in Tarlac case the government alone could not effectively worked on it. In addition, the Negros peasants passed through the struggle mainly with the efforts of social actors (the intervening NGO and the peasant group itself), while the Tarlac peasants later realised the land certificates were already available for them provided by the government’s program.

Role of the State Actors in the National Politics of Agrarian Reform

Not all government officials, including those of DAR, behave in the same level of helpful-ness for the peasants. However, in each case study related state actors eventually played important roles to make land redistribution to happen. In Negros case, pressurised by the networking NGO and the peasants, President Arroyo strongly recommended DAR along with the military to help in-stall the peasants in the area. While in the Tarlac case, the pressures of the NGO along with the peasant groups drove the provincial DAR officers to conduct land surveys before the installation.

Although in the Philippine case it may be assumed that the state actors generally support the cause in obtaining the land for the peasant beneficiaries, in Negros case, in contrast to Tarlac case, the municipal level officer was ambiguous, because in such important events the officer turned out to be disposed to the landlord’s influence though he promised only shortly earlier to fulfil the peasants’ demand. The only difference with Negros case, most of Tarlac government’s officers in the whole balance were comparatively supportive, although it was clear they lacked of interest to process the land distribution quicker, apart from the bureaucratic hurdles.

However, there was a positive role of the mayor as a negotiator in easing the tension between the landlord and the Nagasi peasants such as by including the landlord’s interest in bringing in pro-plantation farm workers as beneficiaries for land distribution and by lending hand to talk with the management to allow land surveyors to enter the area. The officials actually have positive possibility to resolve tension by taking role as negotiator or mediator, instead of blocking the land reform process.

Roles of the Social Actors

NGO’s Roles

With the help of organisers sent by the NGOs, peasants generally know that land transfer is the assigned job of the government as stipulated by the law. Well keeping the law, the peasants have the very rights to remind the government to implement their task and accountability, through dialogues and mass mobilisation. The standard community organising activities at barangay or inter-barangay level include: 1) investigation to targeted areas, 2) contacts building in the area, 3) meetings in the area to start organising the peasants, 4) petition preparation for the land coverage, 5) paralegal training to selected peasants to inform and strengthen them about their rights, 6) small group pressures through “dialogue” with the government and 7) mass mobilisation to pressurise the government to follow the distribution process in diverse matched occasions such as the national agrarian reform program anniversary, the campaign of national level NGO networking to oust the DAR secretary, etc.

Accordingly, there are three main points how strategy was developed: 1) To pressurise the government, the NGOs apply dialogue and mass mobilisation, along with mass supports of the beneficiaries, 2) In order to increase pressurising strength of the mass, they built alliances with other peasant groups in the adjacent villages, 3) To grasp stronger pressure, the NGOs link the struggle at the barangay with the national; not only in discourse but also bringing peasants directly at national stage’s struggle.

Unlike the NGO’s involvement in Negros, however, in Tarlac case, along with the initial stage of peasant organising activity, the NGO took an option of making alliance with political party Akbayan that supported the peasant cause. The NGO motivated the peasant associations to support the party’s target at having three out of two seats in the Congress in the national election in May 2004. This option did not happen in Negros case.

The Role of the Peasant Group

Though the period of intense struggle of one is slightly longer than the other ––the Negros case took four years, the Tarlac case about three years––, both represent political struggles with a parallel intensity that they concentrated energy to reach the same goal of land ownership or land occupation transfer.

However, some diverging points in the performance of the groups in both cases are put forward. First, the understanding about the need for conducting social movement. Both peasant groups have different understanding about how social movement strategy should be waged for. In Tarlac case, when the social movement was on the way, many among peasants still did not believe the land could be distributed. This is in contrast to that of many among the Nagasi peasants who have longer kept struggling for the distribution even though they knew that the land would not be just left that way by landowner. Although they faced internal problems of the pro-landlord (Negros) and pro-land administrator rival peasants (Tarlac), their eventual results in the breadth of social movement are different in which the scope of the strategy of the Negros case was wider with diverse tactics for long struggle.

Second, the strength of the peasant groups. Nagasi peasants reserved strength in fighting against the Hacienda Esperanza’s management. They may have better future as compared to the Tarlac peasants, whose struggle’s performance tends to slide down. The land dispute in Negros case reached the first peak of the conflict after the landlord represented by the management felt exhausted because all means available had been exploited, either legal means, using armed security guard forces, or hiring goons. However, the lingering conflict shifted to erupt in the area, instead, with vehement pressures to the landlord. It was no longer exchange of legal position and verbal contestation, as the peasants began harvesting the crop, an action that provoked landowner to send guards, and as expected, simultaneously the management also did the same in return. Despite such pressure, peasants sustained harvesting actions in addition to coupling it with committing the corporation to engage legal battle.

Third, the framing social movement with cultural base. Unlike the Tarlac case, Negros case peasant community enjoyed the intervention of the NGO that was led by a Catholic priest from the independent Philippine church. The NGO has evocatively enclosed the peasant social movement with fundamental religious symbols of contextualised liberation spirit.

The Role of the Opponents

In Negros case the landlord’s actions were generally ‘parallel’ to peasant social movement, meaning when the peasants were pressured or attacked in diverse events, they accordingly increased their strikes. I argue that all landlord’s harsh pressures that were aimed to curb the peasants result in a bigger response from the peasants instead (this also applies for Indonesian case). Only in third round the landlord missed opportunity to beat the group. At the time, supported by provincial level peasant alliance the peasants padlocked the provincial government’s agrarian reform office for entirely two weeks, ‘as a symbol of the agency's inutility in protecting beneficiaries.’ [6] The period of mobilisation was indeed the longest among its kinds, despite no prompt response. That way, allied groups exceeded landlord’s strategies in repressing the peasants. The last landlord’s strike was much more surpassed by peasants’ full-scaled movements, which finally beat the landlord’s whole strategy. The peasants and the NGOs apparently agreed that unless they much strongly hit landlord’s strategy, they would lost the game.

Such all-out performance of the movement is entirely in contrast to that of Tarlac case. This difference, therefore, reflects the level of difficulties of each group in facing the opponents. In Negros, the opponent is primarily the die-hard landowner with her/his actual coercive power and in Tarlac it is the administrator of the landowner and the inaction of the government’s. The latter’s single performance was quite plain but only the administrator’s past unaccepted moves when the parts of the land was sold to adjacent barangays’ residents.

Main Commonalities in the Philippine Cases

Four most striking observation, either in similarities or differences, as far as possible impacts of social movement on agrarian reform process is concerned, may be put forward. First, main trend of each distinguishes the character of the peasant groups. The tendency of the peasant movement in Tarlac seems to be “more curved”, quicker disappearing, particularly after they finished the process of the land survey. [7] Second, the level of difficulties of each community differs in struggling to get the land. Negros peasants confronted big landlord, having lucrative enterprises, while employing hundreds of armed security guards, with a lot of capital to pay hired workers to mobilise. The Malibu Corporation is a highly productive enterprise; while in the Tarlac case such active production like nearby sugarcane distilling factory is not immediate. The latter was managed only by an administrator who at the maximum tried to influence the police and the barangay captains. Third, the level of the “contentiousness” of the landholdings in the Negros case was dissimilar to Tarlac, so that the responses of the government come out to be comparatively, let’s say, ‘approach-able’ though in a negative way, in which the reluctant government officials were pitted to accept that the peasants should be tightly guarded up to entering the perilous area during the recurrent reinstallations. Fourth, difference in building process of networking pressures against the authority. The Tarlac case, for instance, had no need to engage the case up to the level of the President, while in Negros case, the coalition of peasants and NGOs succeeded to draw the attention of the person number one in the country up to approving the military to help guarding the installation. In both cases they intensely conducted the same strategy of involving and relating the local to the national. The tight relation between two-side networking of the intervening NGOs guarantees the strength of the pressures.

Impacts of Peasant Social Movements on Agrarian Reform

The ‘successful’ outcomes of the government’s program may be considered as a dichotomy as weighed against the NGOs that claims very low. Negros Occidental’s experience is considered among the ‘success’ by the NGOs, while the government’s data show it is among the lowest. One could perceive the Negros Occidental and Tarlac’s experiences typically constitute an “honestly typical” recognition for understanding the agrarian reform accomplishment in the Philippines, in the sense that Negros Occidental put up experiences of a relatively meaningful process, in which the social and state actors interacted relatively intense despite the political contention; while Tarlac endured less opposition from landlord though supposedly not less contentious process. If the agrarian reform process in the Philippines proceeds in such “honest” way in which the Negros Occidental traversed intense experiences of social movement, there is more hope for peasant communities to succeed.

At national level, success period of land transfer program implementation was mainly overshadowed by the central government’s role during 1993-1994, particularly when the DAR secretary was less politically minded but having strong office management prowess. Working together with the civil society actors, the programs were strongly pushed along with the peasant social movements. However, this period seems to be a particular case, as compared to tenures of other secretaries, who mostly held political interests not for the peasants.[8]

To sum up, in one side, the agrarian reform program accomplishment in the Philippines after the 1986 regime change is characterised by the leading role of the government, supported by the social actors. In other side, the contrast could be learned from the Philippine political history that is marked by the frequent social upheavals mostly conducted by the peasants along with the communist struggles. After 1986 the radical was suppressed, and as violent clashes stopped in mid-1990s the agrarian reform program quickly but significantly proceeded. In 2004 clashes between the radical and the government’s anti-insurgency policy has reached higher level [9] that in many cases pitted the peasants in between [10]. This development may seriously hamper the program’s continuation in the future. However, if one views the 1992 split between the ‘rejectionist’ and the ‘reaffirmist’ groups as part of the government’s successful counter-insurgency policy[11], such on-going rivalries between the pro- and anti-government groups have severely divided the social actors that in turn it remains detrimental for the agrarian reform process.

The Indonesian Case Studies

The Ciècèng case in Tasikmalaya district represents a relatively unbeaten peasants’ action in occupying abandoned land while the Cibenda case in Ciamis district otherwise. Both groups maintained fervour in their struggle despite the different results. However one may observe the providence of being in remote area for the hilly Ciècèng village that is not easily accessible by public transport. Even if the authority tries to reach the area, they will have to traverse bumpy, unpaved village small streets. One may not see any remains of the rubber plantation, all changed into mainly banana trees and some soft wood plants. Villagers find it fairly not difficult to block and trap police officers and thugs for days when they enter and attack the peasants in the area. Whereas the Cibenda village is adjacent to an international centre of Pangandaran beach resorts to the Indian Ocean and the economic implication of this open spaced area is therefore much envied by richer people in the surrounding.

Dynamics of Peasant Social Movement of the Cibenda Case

There were two main rounds of the movement with the first was characterised by relative initial supports from district council members to continue tilling the land and to keep the council’s promise to resolve the land conflict from being counterfeited by the village administration influenced by well-connected politicians-cum-businessmen. The second higher fervour of the movement had different character since it was generated as responses against the police’s action in sending Cibenda peasant leaders into jail for having burned one newly built hatchery. The arson was triggered by the perceived breaking the agreement. Peasants claimed they had warned the company several times but unheeded. The solidarity actions for the jailed peasant leader generated mass protests then, the earliest kind of visible public attraction ever happened in the 'reformasi' era in the district. The peasants and the student activists strongly pushed the government to legally process the certificate counterfeiting case.

Dynamics of the Peasant Social Movement in the Ciècèng Case

There were three rounds of social movement that consists of two main fighting in the area and an out-of-the area mass mobilisation in the last cycle. During the first round that started in March 2000 the peasants had collectively ‘sustained’ to cut down many plantation’s rubber and cacao trees. They justified their actions by legal fact that the government’s licence to develop the plantation (HGU) already expired, while the peasants had earlier asserted their proposal to till the areas to the government though not positively responded. In the second round, the plantation at-tempted full-blown assaults against the peasant communities by manoeuvring over 300 thugs, over a dozen of police and military officers. It was during a retreat that the students were also more determined to intervene the peasants and involved among them to forcefully fight back. The third round took place in April 2002 onwards was characterised by mass mobilisations out of the area. This last sequence of attack involved about 500 thugs and police officers. After several peasants’ houses and destroying crops were gutted down, about 100 peasants were determined to defend themselves, while peasant groups from other neighbouring villages offered helps to strengthen the defence. However the fighting turned odd as the peasants burned one of the police’s trucks, an incident that let them to arrest four leading peasants. The legal process and the court sessions sparked off events that rendered peasant social movements alight.

Similarities and Differences in the Indonesian Cases

Political Opportunity

The extraordinary opening of political space in Indonesia after the 1998 regime change constituted the main opportunity that was made the most of it by the peasants in land occupation cases in the countryside. The situation was evident at Cibenda, not less obvious at Ciècèng. Another turning point took place in May 2000 when ex-president Abdurrahman Wahid who claimed ‘to be none better than him about what the poor need’ stated that ‘40 percent of plantations’ land should be returned to the people’. [12] The statement was interpreted as a ‘presidential decree’ before peasants took their own hands to occupy the land, a quick move that matched to the preparatory period when most of the peasant groups (over 60 percent) in the three districts in eastern West Java where SPP works started the organising and land occupation activities in 1999, one year after the regime change.

The difference of both peasant groups in reacting to the 'reformasi' refers to the timing of the intervention of the student-led NGOs in the districts. Though land disputes in both villages had started to hit the peasant communities earlier during the past regime’s time, the organising activities directed by the NGOs took place one earlier than the other, not in a parallel period. Cibenda started in Aug. 1998 and the other over one year later in Dec. 1999. Two reasons may be offered for it, first, the remoter location of the Ciècèng than the Cibenda villages that it took longer time to relate the peasant concerns to the town-based NGOs, and secondly, unlike at Ciècèng there was a student activist who hailed from Cibenda village and related his co-villagers’ problems to a senior movement organiser who later helped the student group to set up an organisation for the specific purpose in supporting the Cibenda peasants. The presence of ‘organic leader’ made the peasant concerns quicker being channelled into organised activities.

Role of State Actors


a) District councillors. Only the district councillors tend to be willing to help the peasants by recognising their grievances. The councillors also take role as ‘supporting witnesses’ to the peas-ants’ cause in negotiation meeting with the plantation and government officials who support the plantation.
b) Land agency. In both cases the state land agency at the district level (BPN) did not perform any helpful role, as they were normally expected to be supporting land reform program, even in Cibenda case, their role was almost negative since the agency officials were even individually involved in the land grabbing scheme.
c) Government attorneys. In both cases they supported the local establishment’s interests.
d) Police. Police used their main assigned tasks to maintain order by implementing criminal law. In case of peasants breaking the law, such as burning hatchery building (Cibenda), damaging police’s trucks (Ciècèng), police sought to arrest them.


a) Administration officials
i. During the land occupation struggle. In Cibenda case, the peasants almost could not fight against high-profile moves of the officials because their position is fairly weak. While in Ciècèng case, the peasant group could still rely their interests on the lowest level of state actors i.e. the village head, at least he maintained to be truthfully neutral.
ii. After the land occupation. The Ciècèng peasants won the election of the village head and village councils, though the challenges were abound because at the district level, such leaders in the lowest level of bureaucracy were pitted against other neighbouring village heads and the government-appointed sub-district head. Cibenda peasants failed in 2004 attempt to enter into the election arena of the district councillors for lack of internal supports from the umbrella peasant organisations.[13]

Role of Social Actors

The NGO’s Role through Organising Activities

The role of the intervening NGOs to the peasant communities may be said ‘minimal’ in both cases. It is apparently normal in the framework of program implementation if the peasant group is enough strong; the NGOs need not to intervene the peasant community organising activities. However, interviews with organizers reveal that in the latter development why they face less fervour of the peasants is that apart from institutional difficulties on the part of the NGO as they lacked of adequate concept of post-land occupation activities, they also lack financial resources to support the travel to remote areas in the district.

The difference between the NGOs’ roles in both cases relates mainly to the existence and non-existence of ‘organic leader’ from among the peasants. The involvement of the NGO in Cibenda case was therefore almost better assisted in their work to respond the land dispute in the village by doing organising and mass mobilisation activities. In addition, the intervening NGOs also emerged out of support from more experienced pro-democratic activists who had long been in con-tact with larger political activists at national level during the repressive establishment of the New Order.

Role of Peasant Groups

There are three points of similarity between the cases could be forwarded. First, on social movement awareness, the Cibenda and Ciècèng peasants both maintained high fervour, apart be-cause of the opening political space in the district; apparently it was mainly for releasing social rage over land dispossession they had been enduring for long time.[14] Second, on criminal charges, the state actors’ efforts to criminalise the peasants are the most hated because it is socially hardest hit against the peasants. Criminal charges may be interpreted as the state’s tool to warn against any attempt of other peasants to occupy the land. There is parallel understanding with both peasant groups of Ciècèng and Cibenda villages on this matter.[15] Third, on the duration of the intense struggle, the duration of the peasant movements in both villages is nearly the same of about 30 months each. Both cases have started the land disputes since earlier years that were quickly prevented by the repressive regime from any attempt to resolve the problem but individual efforts that later quickly subsided. Both also maintain relatively high responses from the peasants themselves, particularly after being intervened by the student-led NGOs in each district. However, the open social movement dwindled as the establishment apparently saw it inappropriate to continue the operation against the abandoned land occupiers, apart from the likely diminishing resources of the plantation corporation to finance the manoeuvre.

The character of the land disputes differ as far as they relate to the kinds of opponents they faced in which Ciècèng peasants confronted the state-owned plantation company and the other the government officials and well-connected businessmen-cum-politicians. The Ciècèng peasants, as a consequence, were quite opened to have stronger solidarity from the other peasants in the three districts of eastern W. Java because most groups faced the same opponents, while the Cibenda villagers were quite isolated and their fought issues were quicker dwindling away. Both groups develop, accordingly, a different strength in the long run of their struggle.

Unlike the Cibenda villagers, the Ciècèng peasants have a traditional Islamic religious base that helped to propel the land claiming. Religious belief was adopted as a cultural framework[16] for their social movement that their struggle was more assessed and appropriated by the leaders.

Other Organisations’ Role

In both cases, there were other organisations that emerged in response to the movements. In Ciècèng case, a pro-plantation NGO attempted to propose negotiation arrangement between the peasants and the plantation management. The negotiation that resulted in less pressure to peasants may be interpreted as positive role of the NGO. While in Cibenda case, two local Muslim youth organisations staged a rivalling mass mobilisation to warn to the peasants not to influence the decision of the judicial court sessions that tried the peasants for criminal charges. At the initial stage of 'reformasi' era such contention was discouraging the peasants’ cause, however later on the other groups made up their view towards the peasants’ struggle.

The Opponents

Both opponents were the same pitiless though eventually they failed in occupying the land as the peasants fought to retain their rights. Both used the state actors, i.e. the government officials to support their interests, and most likely also spent their wealth to finance their moves, particularly when they used the services of police officers and thugs to coldly threaten the peasants. However, if one compared the details of each party’s actions, Ciècèng peasants turned out to be ‘encompassing’ over the opponent, while the Cibenda may still have the reasons to be apprehensive over whether the opponents take another turn of actions in the future because the opponents seem to be just slowing down only for a while, while the peasants’ actions have undoubtedly subsided away.

Commonalities and Impacts on Agrarian Reform in the Indonesian Case Studies

Comparing both case studies, there are at least some points to note based on their commonalities as far as agrarian reform is concerned. First, the engagement between the state and social actors may take place only if the peasant communities have succeeded in occupying the land with the support of larger-than-village level peasant organisation, on the condition that the process is accompanied by extra efforts to approach the government officials. Second, the level of strength of the peasant groups’ matters as the Cibenda peasants are more fragmented as compared to Ciècèng. The latter is much facilitated by their better politico-geographic position, while the Cibenda village is much exposed to open tourism market space that allows their opponents to apply diverse political strategies. There is a tendency of peasants’ struggles in the farthest frontiers of the upland areas to succeed.[17] Third, larger solidarity from district level of peasant groups and beyond for collective actions diverges, as compared to the kind of the opponents of the rest of the groups in the region which face mostly the state-owned plantation and forestry. Fourth, the occupation hectarage dimension at Ciècèng has apparently matched up the population, the counter-fact of which has created less motivation for the Cibenda peasants to fight for, unless they develop different economic framework.[18] Fifth, the conflict grounds allow or disallow each peasant group to develop balance of their actual and political possibility. In Cibenda case the hatchery burning has proved the only major incident taking place in the area, while the rest of their mass mobilisations took place anywhere else in the district’s capital of Ciamis town. In Ciècèng, the recurrent fighting in the area and the expanding land take-overs even increased the peasants’ political strength and perhaps strengthened the land “tenure” as well, for the time being.

Such commonalities lead the analysis to go beyond village level comparison. As shortly mentioned above, among phenomenal implication of the extraordinary circumstances of the opening political space after the downfall of authoritarian president Soeharto in 1998 is that practically the state has been far much weaker that its apparatuses could no longer maintain order as what had happened during more than 30-year authoritarian rule. Among the expressions were that, first, peasants braved themselves to occupy lands that legally were still owned by the state as the largest land controller in the country along with thousand corporations taking operational concessions in forest and plantation lands, and second, even though they have been “criminalised” for committing crime of mostly destroying opponent’s properties, they stood up the trials at the courts and put into jails.

This situation corresponds to the national political situation for agrarian reform, and most possibly also in other fields of people’s lives. Though there is openness, the political opportunities also expose constraints. From the point of view of the authority, criminal law is the last stronghold that they indispensably have to apply. The dominance of the state in implementing criminal law against the peasants reflects the inexistence of progressive agrarian reform program as a larger national framework to contain such widespread phenomena of land occupations. In other words, though there have been much changes after the regime change that has opened political opportunities in the regions, the pro-reform actors are facing constraints that have prevented them from further entering the recognised political system that is still in the hand of the powerful remnants of past regime. In such difficulties, they tried to look after possibilities between the lines at least in two levels, first, from below, decentralisation policy imposed from Jakarta as political opportunity was taken by the intervening NGOs to make the maximum advantage of the land occupation action, and second, from above, the pro-peasant NGOs also tried to push the peasants’ real agrarian reform agenda when the People’s Assembly discussed about Decree 9/2001 on agrarian reform and natural resource management, a decree that can still be used by the peasants in fact as a practical negotiating piece to the government of its accountability.

Concluding Remarks

Claiming Credit of Agrarian Reform

Deeper into the essence of agrarian reform, both kinds of historical course of the peasantry in the two countries seem not to guarantee the results expected by the peasants. Though the Philippines have long history and experiences in dealing with agrarian reform, the results seem to be in the least possible. The hectarage of land redistribution claimed by NGOs was only the maximum of five percent, meaning about 300,000 hectares, as compared to the ambitious government’s CARP scope of six million hectares in 1989-2004.[19] In fact, in Indonesia, in addition to the Department of Forestry’s report on the hectarage of the occupied lands (118,830 has), in 2003 SPP estimated about 14,000 households have occupied almost 9,000 hectares of land in 31 locations in Garut, Tasikmalaya and Ciamis districts.[20] While the YLBHI estimated about 160,000 hectares of several kinds of lands have been occupied, based on the reports of the branch offices.[21] As suggested by many analysts, this occupation is exceedingly substantial considering the prolonged dispossession and repression during Soeharto era and the hectarage is certainly a loss for the plantation and forest management. The figures may not be simply extrapolated as such.

The Indonesian phenomenon may raise a crucial question: why the land take-overs have lasted that longer as compared to the Philippine ones in late 1980s and the rest? If accounted strictly in term of statistical consideration, furthermore, the difference of the claimed areas in both countries is comparatively little, yet proportionally quite differently understood for each context; too few for the Philippines and too much for Indonesia. The question to be further answered in an upcoming investigation: Is it worth to pursue land reform program that has required large amount of people’s resources, like the Philippine case as compared to Indonesia? Or, do Indonesian agrarian transformation circles really need to rush for legal recognition of land occupation? What kinds of follow-ups for agrarian reform in each country could be properly addressed accordingly?

Rule of Success?

Lessons learned for fruitful land redistribution remains in the paramount importance of policy struggle in public arena how to make state actors and society actors to work together for it. Public practices refer it mostly to either by (administratively) putting pressures to the government actors to demand for their accountability, and padlocking their venues, or legal battles against landlords in the Philippine case or land controllers in Indonesia. However, vehement pressures, once it is timely, are unquestionably required for the success of peasant social movement to be directly conducted with occupying targeted area and other tilling-related activities (planting, harvesting, dwelling), of course with more dangerous risks. The consciousness to conduct such action would only be possible after peasants affirm themselves that they have every reasons, in all aspects of existing human endeavours for justice (human, social, political, legal, historical) that the opportunity for it remains open albeit very tight and tedious, and that the risks are fully managed and accounted carefully, employing all possible human capacity, and certainly with readiness to shoulder the consequences if really inevitable. However, the minimum (!) efforts suggest that all this “rule” of success does not matter only if the constitutional guarantees have been set in advance as it is evident in the politics of agrarian struggle of the Philippines. There is a minimum opportunity with heavy emphasis that could be put on continuous pressurising dialogues with the related, direct authorities, while developing arguments and group’s integrity.

Back to Essence of Agrarian Human Condition

The land certificates have been focused in the Philippines as an important token for the struggle to get the lands, as the Philippine case studies show, yet more clearly the odd appears in the Tarlac case. This typical Philippine phenomenon of land transfer may become a trap in the whole agrarian reform process. In the meantime, in Negros Occidental, I found a phenomenon that probably more land certificates have been available for peasants yet no organising activities have been initiated by any intervener. In fact, no agrarian reform programs could be successful without those inevitable organising activities. While in Indonesia, I see the actual land occupations without any single piece of recognition from the government. Even many of them are not certain about their past legal documents. They have nothing but oral records from mouth to mouth of their ancestors. Individual land certificates, in the midst of open market, are prone to be sold away. Things get worse for the customary communities in the outer Indonesia. However, surprisingly, the peasants really till the land and earn a living out of it, unless it is certainly not worth living on the occupied lands. Indeed, the working capacity of the NGOs anywhere —particularly in this case it refers to the Philippines— is limited compared to the millions of peasants in the countryside who have not been intervened for organising activities and the follow-ups would have to be more selective. Even so, this observation emphasises that the peasant organising activities, while framing social movement with cultural bases (religion), remain the most important for the implementation of agrarian reform anywhere to ascertain the process. Any certificate could be surely useful for supporting human socio-political life, but only as far as the essence remains how to employ it in a politically correct, good purpose-oriented manner.

Democratic Extent and Human Condition

The historical consciousness of the Philippine peasants’ struggle may not be easily transferred to Indonesian peasantry. The range of political constellation of each is quite different and sometimes incomparable. Agrarian reform in the Philippines has much become a tool of the government to gathering people’s votes that the genuineness of the reform may be seriously at stake. While in Indonesia, agrarian reform is formally still rejected because the state simply tend to ignore it while comparatively having less people’s capacity to participate. Anthropologically, probably, the state in Indonesia behaves like the pitiless big landowners in the Philippines, while the state in the Philippines like the unreliable politicians in Indonesia. The commonality of ‘fortifying myth’, the guarantee for success, quoting David Meyer (2001), for social movement likely remains in the same manner of the injustice and rural destitution. While imagining comprehensive agrarian reform, Indonesia may nevertheless learn about how political extent for democratic changes has been made possible at least in the past that we would better maintain than losing it. Once in 1971 peasants, students, labour forces, teacher associations, and other pro-democracy supporters were able to create mass mobilisation chains, padlocking arguments with the Senate in Manila for over two months before the formation of the DAR. While in Indonesia, peasant groups have scarcely been able to mobilise even for two days and a lot of political options and social divergences have not met each other. However, the Filipino politics of lip service in the form of advanced legal technicalities, as we may see in the “comprehensiveness” of the agrarian reform programs, may be turned upside down by the unsurprisingly very simple human condition that is the fulfilment of rights to live in an adequate fashion.

Search for Justice

This observation on structural injustice presumes the present Filipino and Indonesian societies inherit bondage of the past entangled with lopsided social structures of land tenure systems, at the cost of the precarious condition of the majority of each country’s population in rural areas. I opt here for the opinion that one could only find strong arguments for fighting for justice only if s/he could see positive opportunities in the midst of difficult surroundings, like what we see in the experience of Nagasi peasant struggle.

In the one side, stressing classic stance in social justice theory on ‘propertarianism’, the search for justice in both countries remains highly-demanding despite increasing pessimism for the globalised structure of imbalance of power and resources sharing over developing nations to the rest of changing world economy. What is unacceptable in the search for justice, however, is not inequality as such, but inequality combined with the extreme destitution and misery of those who are worst off. To date, recent studies indicate the Filipino poor have been further divided for deeper impoverishment. Worsened gradation of poverty shows they dramatically separate the marginally poor (mahirap) from the destitute (dukha). In Indonesia, while the governments are still struggling to cope with the prolonged economic crises, poor people in the countryside risk of being more abandoned, as could be seen in the current widespread phenomena of hunger (busung lapar) that the elite mostly deny.

On the other side, efforts to resolve democratically such conundrum of inequality remain harder human undertaking, no less in the realm of agrarian reform, as landed elite and land controller entrenched with land rights retention in the Philippine case while the Indonesian governments, allied with neo-liberal economic proponents mostly among the elite business sectors, remain stubborn from substantial pro-poor reform. Recent world economic instability, as could be seen in the increasing dependency on world oil price and penetration of global profit-taking businesses into the villages, has worsened the rural conditions. In fact any local transformations have to consider global changes. Elite in both countries, in this case, justified their stance on the ground of political “egalitarianism” to maintain public institutions for the sake of economic growth and social order.

The convergence between both perspectives could be pursued, therefore, as it offers fertile for fresh search of better human condition, in what philosopher John Rawl maintains that, to put it in simple way, first, ‘everybody has the equal rights and freedom’, and second, in dealing with social, economic inequality, ‘a) it should be arranged that the biggest benefits be given to the poorest, and b) it should be maintained to the public a fairness in opening fair opportunities.’[22] In other words, what is relevant in this reflection, “inequality is anyway inevitable, however, we should not let anybody to exploit it at the cost of the whole population.” The problem is then how to implement such difficult principle. Surely it is the main task of the public actors as they are assigned to maintain “fair opportunities” in a law governing the societies such the constitution, basic political rights, control over executive power, and so forth. The state actors are entrusted by the peoples to do so. However, if this task is taken for granted to the traditional state actors, this principle will never be achieved, even otherwise. In the Philippines, the elite control the governments, avoiding the rural poor from intervening. In Indonesia, the governments remain stubborn from poor people’s outcries. Hence Rawl’s principle is actually not in the poor’s immediate reach. However, because the principle is characteristically imperative, it is then a condition to fulfil in advance that the poor need a bridging link between the government and the rural poor communities. The link lies perhaps in the adequate representation of the rural poor’s interests, socio-political goals to struggle that are definitely hard to meet as well.

One should keep in mind that the opponents of the rural poor in the struggle to fight for justice are undeniably grotesque and unbeatable. In the Philippine case, the peasant struggles with the government’s agrarian reform programs have put forward stronger promises to improve poor rural communities though the manoeuvre of the elite against the peasants remains pitilessly craftier, while in Indonesia pro-peasant meaningful changes are still far away as the government tends to adopt pro-global market approach. In Indonesia, the peasants’ interests even still tend to be excluded from joining the civil society.

However, albeit very rare and harder option to take as it costs lives, many peasants kept waging social movements and they are even more vibrant in recent years in both countries. This development offers some break out of the gloomy trends in the fight for justice. In the midst of failures and successes there are lessons to learn from. As I have argued along this article on peasant social movements and their impact on how all parties respond and act one to the other for agrarian and rural reform in both countries, thus far, if a better step ahead is to be conducted, the alternative remedy lies in reading the line of opportunities, precisely because they are fewer, for social changes, either success or failure —both are important variation for development. In this study I have endeavoured to draw some findings hopefully useful for future improvement.**


Borras, Saturnino J. 2004. Rethinking Redistributive Land Reform, Struggles for Land and Power in the Philippines. Doctorate Thesis in Development Studies, The Hague: The Institute of Social Studies.

Fauzi, Noer. 2004. The New Sundanese Peasants’ Union: Peasant Movements, Changes in Land Control, and Agrarian Questions in West Java. In Jurnal Analisis Sosial 9 [1]: December (51-77).

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Franco, Jennifer C. 2003. On Just Ground: The New Struggle for Land and Democracy in the Bondoc Peninsula. Quezon City: Institute for Popular Democracy, Occasional Paper No. 25, November.

Golstone, Jack A. Social Movements and Revolutions: On the Evolution and Forms of Collective Action. Unpublished paper. Davis: University of California.

Kerkvliet, Benedict. 1993. Claiming the Land: Take-overs by Villagers in the Philippines with Comparisons to Indonesia, Peru, Portugal, and Russia. In Journal of Peasant Studies, 20(3):459

Kymlicka, Will. 1990. Contemporary Political Philosophya: An Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press Inc. (Indonesian translation is published by Yogyakarta: Pustaka Pelajar, 2004).

Ingram, Helen M. and Dean E. Mann. 1980. Introduction: Policy Failure: An Issue Deserving Analysis (11-32). In Helen M. Ingram and Dean E. Mann (eds) Why Policies Succeed or Fail, Beverly Hills and London: Sage.

Meyer, David S. 2001. Claiming Credit: The Social Construction of Movement Success., obtained 30 July 2005.

Scott, James C. 1986. Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance. In Journal of Peasant Studies, 13(2):5-35.

Securities and Exchanges Commission, 2004. Philippines5000, Top 5000 Corporations, 2004 Edition, Mandaluyong City: SEC.

Rahayu, Sarno M. 2004. Pengaruh Reformasi Agraria bagi Gerakan Petani di Desa Cikaso dan Sekitarnya, Skripsi S-1 Program Studi Pendidikan Sejarah, FKIP, Universitas Galuh.

Securities and Exchange Commission. 2004. Philippine5000, Top 5,000 Corporations, 2004 Edition, Corporate Governance Reforms and Performance. Mandaluyong City.

Skocpol, Theda. 1984. Vision and Method in Historical Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Tarrow, Sidney. 1998. Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics, Second Edition. NY: Cambridge University Press.

Wurfel, David. 1983. The Development of Post-War Philippine Land Reform: Political and Sociological Explanations. In Antonio J. Ledesma, S.J. , Second View from the Paddy, More Empirical Studies on Philippine Rice Farming and Tenancy, Manila: Institute of Philippine Culture, Ateneo de Manila University, 1-14.


I thank you for many reviewers who have selflessly offered me their comments to improve this article: Dr. Edward Aspinall from the Department of Political and Social Change, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University; Dr. Abdul Rahman Embong of the IKMAS-UKM; the farmer organisers Leslee F. Inso, Herdi Mismuri, Arif Budiman; Nagasi farmer leader Ka Lito Estama; Fr. Anoran, Harry Olac and Ramon Pedro of the NCPERD in Bago City, Negros Occidental. I am also grateful to the Asian Public Intellectuals Program that has made this research possible. This article is an abridged to original one, see

[1] Ingram and Mann (1980) as quoted by David Meyer (2001).
[2] The on-going Philippine agrarian reform program (CARP) has lasted over a dozen years, while the Indonesian one that unfolds particularly after the 1998 regime change has not actually materialized as a comprehensive program led by the government.
[3] I took the data from the Planning Service of the DAR's headquarter in Q.C., in Sept. 2004.
[4] I discuss the selection with the Bandung-based agrarian reform observer and activist Noer Fauzi Rahman.
[5] I base on Feranil (2003)'s account.
[6] Feranil 2003:43.
[7] In her note, organiser Leslie F. Inso wrote nearly by the important event of land survey implementation, "The community organizer was having a problem on the thinning attendance of the peasant members during meetings and activities in the local and national level. A problem that became worse as time goes by. Most of the peasants found assurance when their lots were surveyed and was lazy to join other activities and the reason that the NGO did not have other programs to offer but was limited to LTI campaign and local governance."
[8] There was also a case when a secretary had to be toppled down after strong team working of different parties behind peasant social movement propelled from the centre in the capital down the diverse regions in the Philippines, organiser Leslie F. Inso's report.
[9] I base this observation on public reports on NPA-related clash incidents during 1988-2004 that I compiled from the Philippine Daily Inquirer's and the Manila Times' news reports.
[10] Franco 2003: 24.
[11] Goldstone 1997:20 as quoted by Tarrow 1998:149; see also Feranil 2003:11 in which he maintains that Government's counter-insurgency policy has influenced peasant organisations to abandon the revolutionary route toward agrarian reform.
[12] Nationwide, Jakarta-based Kompas daily, 15 May 2000.
[13] Interviews with Cibenda peasant leaders, August 2005.
[14] Interview with Ibang Lukmanuddin, the secretary general's deputy of the SPP. When Lukmanuddin asked the peasants not to continue cutting down the plantation's trees in order to ease the tension, one of the leading peasants from Ciècèng village simply refused such demands, saying that he "will take all its consequences."
[15] Interviews with Adi Rohman from Ciècèng village and Nanang Junaedi from Cibenda village who were jailed for several months for criminal charges of burning police's truck and shrimp hatchery's building.
[16] Tarrow 1998:112 quoting Christian Smith, 1996.
[17] This observation is also supported by the fact that fewer land occupation actions taken place in lowlands at least in Java.
[18] Some Cibenda villagers opened land in Selasari village, farther localities. This action has not motivated other peasants to follow.
[19] I base the figure that is confirmed by the NGO circles as a publicly perceived more trusted opinion, as compared to the government's. The meaningful processes of land transfer underpin the argument of this comparison. NGOs and peasant groups in the Philippines mostly take less notice of the government's figures of agrarian reform accomplishment. While in Indonesia, the government having no longer firm grip on the people is nearly regarded as the beaten opponent who admits loss.
[20] Interview with Nissa Wargadipura, the director of the Yapemas in Garut, W. Java, September 25, 2005.
[21] Interview with Boedhi Wijardjo, former head of the division for land and the environment of the YLBHI,
[22] Yogyakarta, 21 August 2005.
[23] See Will Kymlicka, 1990: 71 (I use Indonesian version).

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Arah Dasar dalam Menyelesaikan Konflik (Sumber Daya Alam)

Tulisan berikut ini saya susun dan tulis kembali sebagai pendahuluan buku berjudul "Menyeimbangkan Kekuatan", yang diprakarsai oleh Ichsan Malik, Boedhi Wijardjo, Noer Fauzi dan Antoinette Royo, diterbitkan oleh Yayasan Kemala, Jakarta, 2003, h1-14. Gagasan dasar tulisan ini berasal dari pemikir hukum kritis Michael W. Reisman & Aaron M. Schreiber 1987 bertajuk "Jurisprudence: Understanding and Shaping Law, Cases, Reading, Commentary". Rujukan ini semula merupakan tawaran dari Antoinette Royo yang pernah mengikuti kuliah-kuliah kedua pengajar tersebut.

PARA pihak yang terlibat dalam proses transformasi konflik kini sedang berusaha mencari dan menemukan prinsip-prinsip bagaimana rakyat dapat menentukan diri sendiri dan memilih langkah-langkah konkrit. Tampaknya, sekiranya hendak kita ibaratkan, mereka tengah melihat bintang petunjuk jalan di langit. Cukup jelas dapat dilihat, tapi bintang-bintang itu tak cukup jelas menerangi jalan dan jalur di mana kaki melangkah setapak demi setapak. Jika terlalu mendongak memandang bintang, dapat jadi kaki tersandung batu, atau terperosok ke dalam lubang yang tak terlihat. Meskipun ada bintang-bintang yang lain, cahaya yang telah tampak itu setidaknya adalah alternatif yang sifatnya sudah sangat jelas atau konstitutif dalam proses perjuangan mempertahankan hak-hak yang berkaitan dengan sumber-sumber daya alam. Konstitutif dalam arti mengandung unsur-unsur yang konstruktif, formatif tapi sekaligus hakiki. Konstitutif juga berarti bahwa cahaya itu tidak lagi abstrak dengan konsep-konsep tapi malah sedang membimbing tindakan yang nyata dan spesifik ke arah dan tujuan yang jelas, yaitu proses mengambil keputusan dan bertindak.

Karenanya, kalau dikatakan secara singkat, buku sumber ini bagaikan bintang petunjuk jalan, meskipun tentunya kita sadar ada alternatif yang lain. Cahaya bintang ini berupaya menawarkan pelajaran dari proses-proses bagaimana banyak pihak berupaya menyelesaikan berbagai konflik. Inilah salah satu alat pendukung untuk terus menguatkan para petani, nelayan, masyarakat adat dan rakyat pada umumnya. Mereka lebih sering kalah dalam perjuangan menyelesaikan sengketa dan konflik sumber daya alam. Tanggapan kita, sementara terus-menerus bertanya: Bagaimana cara menguatkan mereka secara efektif, efisien, jelas, dan mencapai tujuan, dan mencegah kecondongan jadi bertele-tele karena rumitnya permasalahan? Apa yang paling penting bagi para pihak dalam proses transformasi konflik yang mereka jalani agar proses itu berlangsung secara efektif? Apa syarat-syarat dasar yang harus dilatih agar mereka yang terlibat dalam proses perubahan sosial dan politik sampai pada tujuan pemulihan para korban? Pertanyaan-pertanyaan inilah yang sebagian dicoba dijawab dalam buku "Menyeimbangkan Kekuatan" ini.

Pemenuhan cita-cita menyelesaikan berbagai konflik sumber daya alam yang merebak di berbagai lokasi di Indonesia kiranya masih jauh dari tercapai. Memang sudah ada yang pulih, sebagian kecil setidaknya, sejak pergeseran rejim 1998 di Indonesia ini, seperti mendapatkan hak-hak miliknya atas tanah. Tapi pemulihan itu masih sangat sedikit. Di antara yang pulih itu pun masih terancam oleh berbagai potensi bahaya yang mencemaskan. Keadaannya, masih tetap tak sebanding dan tak seimbang. Malah ada kecondongan semakin mengerasnya kemungkinan perubahan yang berorientasi semakin menekan ke bawah. Formasi establishment politik ekonomi semakin membeku.

RUANG lingkup buku sumber ini adalah proses fasilitasi. Dan, proses fasilitasi transformasi konflik yang tak bertele-tele, yang kita maksudkan di sini, tidak hanya concern pada acara dan agenda pelatihan demi pelatihan serta perangkat-perangkat yang dibutuhkan, tapi semestinya juga memrediksi dan mempengaruhi suatu kompleks dari para pihak berkonflik (bisa lembaga, bisa "berbentuk", bisa "tak berbentuk") yang berkaitan dengan pengambilan keputusan melangkah ke depan, baik yang formal, informal, terorganisasi, tak terorganisir, kelompok-kelompok dan individu-individu yang semuanya memiliki andil dan pengaruh terhadap para korban yang menjadi subjek dari keprihatinan dalam proses transformasi itu. Seluruh peristiwa ketersingkiran para korban itu tidaklah hanya sekedar kejadian kekerasan, aksi penggusuran, tindak penyingkiran yang dialami oleh para korban. Keputusan yang diambil oleh para perpetrators itu sendiri juga bukan sekedar seperti tampak dalam bentuk surat keputusan badan pertanahan nasional, izin kontrak karya, surat keputusan menteri, dan lain-lain, yang serba kotak, putih, dingin dan kaku. Hampir-hampir "tak berekspresi". Sementara itu, semua bentuk formal yang lebih sering kita tengarai sebagai perubahan itu dipengaruhi oleh berbagai faktor dan pihak-pihak lain, misalnya kepentingan para pengusaha atau tengkulak ke tangan-tangan sekelompok pemegang kuasa kekerasan koersif, atau bahkan koalisi sekutu hitam yang mereka lakukan dengan sipil bersenjata, atau segerombolan preman dan tukang pukul. Anda akan ditantang untuk menegaskan karakteristik hakiki dari kompleksitas itu. Dalam hal ini proses fasilitasi transformasi konflik yang sedang dikembangkan tak bisa tidak harus tidak bertele-tele, tapi juga tidak gegabah. Para korban itu sendiri sudah bagaikan tenggelam ke dalam arus deras perubahan yang tak dikehendakinya, masih lebih baik jika tampak mulutnya yang berteriak minta pertolongan. Kebisuan para korban pengelolaan ngawur terhadap sumber daya alam akan menantang para pelaksana proses fasilitasi agar tetap partisipatif, bukan hubungan guruómurid, tapi sungguh-sungguh jadi pendamping, bidan, penyapih yang memiliki kepekaan batin dan jiwa besar.

Fasilitasi transformasi konflik adalah proses pembentukan komunitas dan kelompok kerja yang tanggap terhadap fakta dan tantangan lapangan. Tugas fasilitasi ini adalah membuka kemungkinan-kemungkinan adanya peluang-peluang baru, atau lama tapi diperbarui, menjalin aliansi, menggandeng koalisi, menguatkan bobot pemahaman dan tindakan. Fasilitasi ini adalah proses sosial yang pertama-tama dibimbing oleh kehausan akan pemahaman duduk perkara konflik secara komprehensif, lalu fasilitasi juga menegaskan identifikasi siapa pemegang kekuatan yang akan menentukan nasib para korban, dan bagaimana kekuatan (dan juga kekuasaan) itu dapat digunakan secara efektif untuk pemihakan kepentingan rakyat. Karena fasilitasi yang sifatnya komprehensif itu pada dasarnya adalah menentukan proses mengambil keputusan, penentuan peluang, penegasan pilihan dapat dicapai, maka mereka yang terlibat dalam proses fasilitasi itu haruslah memusatkan perhatian pada mengidentifikasi langkah-langkah dasar dari proses mengambil keputusan itu sendiri ditentukan. Tentunya proses fasilitasi ini juga concern pada pemahaman unsur-unsur dasar dalam proses mengambil keputusan: membangun kesepakatan, menetapkan kata putus, mengakhiri perjanjian, dan seterusnya.

Ini ringkasan pokok peran sentral para pihak dan siapa pun yang terlibat dalam proses transformasi konflik: (1) Analisis masalah pokok yang dihadapi secara menyeluruh, menentukan konteks dengan kepastian keberpihakan pada keadilan untuk para korban, (2) Analisis terhadap cakupan yang lebih sempit, detil tapi relevan, yang berpengaruh terhadap: [a] lingkungan atau situasi di sekitar, [b] proses yang menjamin efektivitas kekuatan dan kekuasaan, [c] proses penentuan kesepakatan yang sifat lebih formal, [d] hasil dan capaian-capaian dari proses itu. Yang tercakup dalam "hasil" adalah bagaimana tingkat produktivitas dari pengambilan keputusan, bagaimana distribusi dari keputusan itu dirasakan oleh para pihak, terutama subjek dari fasilitasi, beban dan kelegaan yang dirasakan, atau "nilai-nilai" apa yang dikandung dalam proses mengambil keputusan itu, termasuk apa dampaknya terhadap lingkungan manusia dan lingkungan alam.

Fasilitasi pada dasarnya adalah seni memecahkan masalah, menyelesaikan konflik, melerai sengketa. Fungsi ini berada pada titik krusial menerjemahkan pengetahuan, nilai-nilai dan gagasan menjadi rencana yang sah (adil) dan memang sungguh dapat berfungsi baik, (relatif) cocok untuk semua pihak. Hanya jika fungsi ini dipenuhi, fasilitasi itu dapat dikatakan "bermanfaat", ada gunanya untuk masyarakat.

Seni menyelesaikan konflik ini bertugas menentukan bahwa apa yang diinginkan bersama memang sungguh jadi nyata terealisasi di lapangan. Seni ini menegaskan bahwa perubahan sosial yang diinginkan itu tidak akan jalan dengan sendirinya begitu saja, tapi haruslah ditentukan terlebih dahulu apa saja prasyaratnya, menjelaskan alternatif-alternatif yang lebih condong diinginkan bersama, metode-metodenya untuk mencapai tujuan itu dan tentu saja mengalkulasikan langkah-langkah yang harus diambil dalam mengimplementasikannya, terutama jika sudah bersentuhan langsung dengan kerumitan dan kompleksitas "kenyataan lapangan" yang keras dan penuh dengan tarik-ulur kepentingan.

BAYANGKAN jika Anda seorang tokoh masyarakat di pedesaan Aceh, yang membawahi sekian puluh ribu massa petani dan buruh tani yang semuanya berteriak tak punya tanah dan dihambat jaringan tengkulak, diserang oleh politik revolusi hijau, pembangunanisme dan ancaman kekerasan militer. Budaya di lingkungan Anda adalah patronase, korupsi, cari untung sendiri. Setelah perang anti-separatis, katanya, pemerintah pusat menetapkan untuk memaksakan rejim kekuasaan lokal yang baru. Cirinya militeristik, kaku, ikut perintah atasan. Negeri ini, termasuk desa Anda, diubah jadi negeri polisi. Setiap hari Anda diinteli. Tapi anehnya, semuanya berjalan dengan teratur, semua didasarkan pada hukum yang jelas dan kepastian yang tinggi. Syariat Islam ditegaskan ulang untuk melegitimasikan rejim itu. Kekerasan yang dilakukan oleh penguasa rejim juga dipaterikan dengan hukum yang disahkan.

Anda sendiri memiliki komitmen yang kuat terhadap demokrasi, hukum dan martabat manusia. Anda terkenal karena visi dan pemikiran Anda sebagai tokoh masyarakat dipandang jernih, memiliki reputasi nomor wahid sebagai tokoh berwibawa dan berprikemanusiaan. Rejim penguasa tertarik pada peran Anda. Lewat jalur kementerian dalam negeri, komando tentara lokal dan dinas sosial politik, Anda tidak disingkirkan dan tidak dipandang sebagai separatis. Rejim membutuhkan Anda dan reputasi Anda, untuk ikut mendukung rejim (menceriterakan kebaikan rejim) baik di antara warga desa dan provinsi Aceh serta Indonesia umumnya, tapi juga luar negeri. Anda sendiri sangat sadar bahwa Anda dimanfaatkan dan nanti pasti juga akan ditendang dan disingkirkan jika rejim itu sudah tak butuh Anda lagi. Tentu Anda juga khawatir dengan keamanan diri Anda, seperti juga banyak orang lain di Aceh. Tapi, justru karena komitmen Anda pada kemanusiaan, hukum dan kebenaran sangat mendalam, Anda jadi bingung dan timbul konflik batin yang mendalam pula.

Ada beberapa alternatif yang tersedia dan Anda harus memilih salah satu: (1) Menerima kenyataan bahwa kekuasaan militer itu memang brutal dan menyesuaikan diri dengan kebrutalan itu agar dapat selamat baik diri sendiri maupun warga desa Anda; (2) Mundur ke desa, bersembunyi entah di mana, menunggu terjadinya perubahan; (3) Melanjutkan jadi tokoh masyarakat secara terbuka tapi berperilaku baik dan bersikap ëlow profileí demi keselamatan, tapi terus berusaha mengritik rejim militer dan korupsi; (4) Pergi ke pengasingan di luar negeri dan berjuang melawan rejim itu dari sana; (5) Mengguyur diri dengan bensin dan membakar diri di depan istana negara di Jakarta; (6) Ikut para gerilyawan di gunung-gunung.

Ada beberapa alternatif, tapi jika Anda tersudut hanya dapat mengambil satu pilihan atau masuk dalam keadaan terpaksa harus menjawab ya dan tidak yang sifatnya eksklusif, situasi ini sangatlah merepotkan, bagaikan buah simalakama. Padahal, pilihan-pilihan jawaban yang ada sifatnya juga sangat hipotetis, ada banyak pengandaian di belakangnya. Pilihan-pilihan jawaban itu didasari oleh latar belakang pemikiran tertentu tentang tujuan hidup dalam masyarakat dan model pengambilan keputusan yang dilakukan serta cara-cara yang ditempuh untuk mencapai tujuan itu. Latar belakang ini mempengaruhi analisis, cara mengidentifikasi masalah dan konflik yang ada, serta bagaimana memecahkan konflik-konflik itu.

Setelah menguak kembali berbagai masalah etika hidup sepanjang zaman, buku "Menyeimbangkan Kekuatan" menghadirkan latar belakang pemikiran dan sikap-sikap dasar manusia sepanjang sejarah sehubungan dengan pilihan-pilihan yang mereka ambil. Setelah menegaskan prioritas yang akan harus diambil, setelah mempertimbangkan semua pendapat dan sikap yang ada di sekitar Anda ódi mana rakyat selalu kalah dalam pertandingan, persaingan dan konflik yang tak seimbangó dan dalam sejarah manusia, Anda akan siap masuk ke dalam aras dan poros yang sangat jelas: supremasi hak-hak asasi manusia, atau keadilan dalam perjalanan pemikiran manusia. Dilema-dilema terus akan Anda hadapi sepanjang penjelasan bacaan buku sumber ini, tapi dalam intensitas yang semakin menyempit pada aras konsep, semakin membesar pada poros menemukan titik temu dan jalan keluar dari konflik.

Tema besar yang melatarbelakangi seluruh buku ini tidaklah hanya sekedar latihan berpikir tentang konsep-konsep abstrak, refleksi berbagai pengalaman yang tak terjangkau atau tak terbayangkan karena keterlibatan yang mendalam para pihak dalam transformasi sosial itu sendiri, tapi buku ini juga memancing Anda untuk mencari dan menemukan pilihan-pilihan yang barangkali bisa jadi tidak ringan tanggungannya, baik untuk masyarakat secara umum atau pun untuk subjek fasilitasi yang Anda lakukan. Pengalaman lapangan sendiri akan bicara pada Anda. Kesadaran tentang penyelesaian konflik pada dasarnya adalah tantangan untuk bertindak. Jika tidak bertindak, Anda hanya akan jadi pakar, bukan para pihak-peserta subjek pelaku perubahan yang terlibat di dalamnya.

Namun, sebelumnya Anda ditantang untuk terlebih dahulu memahami konflik secara mendasar dalam kaitan dengan sumber daya alam dan seluruh latar belakang konsep eksploitasi politik ekonomi di belakangnya. Kemudian Anda akan dibawa lebih jauh masuk ke dalam persoalan-persoalan mendasar di balik kekacauan dan kehancuran karena pengelolaan sepihak atas sumber daya alam di Indonesia (sebagai bagian dari politik dunia). Akhirnya hal-hal yang mengarah pada tindakan menyelesaikan konflik kembali akan menantang Anda untuk mengambil keputusan untuk menentukan bentuk dan model fasilitasi yang selayaknya dilakukan, baik dalam kegiatan advokasi langsung maupun dalam bentuk perundingan (negosiasi) atau mediasi. Relung dan pernik yang melatarbelakangi preferensi "menyeimbangkan kekuatan" dari bawah ini dapat mempengaruhi cara Anda menyelesaikan konflik, mengambil keputusan, dan tentunya juga apakah dampaknya pada cara kita menyelesaikan masalah memang ada manfaatnya untuk masyarakat dan rakyat yang jadi subjek fasilitasi secara luas itu sendiri. "Menyeimbangkan Kekuatan" menawarkan bahan-bahan dasar yang menjabarkan berbagai permasalahan etis ódan karenanya sekaligus praktis dalam hidup warga masyarakat, dan karenanya juga mengantisipasi kemungkinan cara kita bersikap dan menangani konflik dan sengketa sumber daya alam. Inilah alasan dasar dari proses yang kita jalani ini: mencoba membangkitkan inisiatif Anda dari bawah untuk menyelesaikan sendiri konflik-konflik yang terjadi.

Preferensi "menyeimbangkan kekuatan" tidak begitu saja didapatkan oleh para penulis dan pengarah buku sumber ini. Dalam suatu masyarakat demokratis, setiap orang diandaikan ikut serta berpartisipasi dalam mengambil keputusan. Para pihak ditantang untuk memberikan sumbangan dalam mencari penyelesaian dan titik temu atas berbagai konflik dan sengketa dalam masyarakat: kepentingan-kepentingan bersama apakah yang terus harus ditemukan dan diyakinkan bersama. Tak sedikit pula godaan untuk mereka yang mulai belajar memiliki banyak pengaruh, banyak konstituen. Di tengah godaan itu, para pegiat masih pula ditantang untuk membangkitkan, menghimpun dan menularkan kekuatan dalam bentuk ketrampilan yang dilatih dan kepribadian yang ditempa. Tapi pelajaran dari semua pengalaman ini sangatlah relevan untuk kesehatan dan ketahanan serta kekuatan tubuh sosial politik dan ekonomi masyarakat kita.

Sebagai pihak-pihak yang terlibat dalam proses transformasi konflik Anda semuanya menjadi pusat, subjek tapi juga objek dari proses tersebut. Cara Anda memandang diri sendiri dan proses-proses dalam kelompok subjek fasilitasi dan perangkat-perangkat pikiran yang Anda butuhkan untuk mendesakkan perubahan sosial secara bersama-sama akan diuji apakah sungguh-sungguh jadi efektif. Mungkin agak kurang biasa jika kita menganggap bahwa pemikiran atau gagasan adalah "perangkat kerja"; begitu pula dengan konsep atau metode untuk memusatkan perhatian Anda pada masalah yang dihadapi, proses pengumpulan informasi dan data, lalu mengolahnya untuk kemudian memecahkannya. Namun sarana inilah yang kita ciptakan untuk memenuhi kebutuhan kita dalam menganalisis dan bertindak menjalankan tugas.

Berikut ini akan diketengahkan empat sarana yang dibutuhkan untuk menegaskan pilihan-pilihan dalam mengambil keputusan yang berguna sepanjang proses fasilitasi, proses advokasi dan proses pendampingan dalam transformasi konflik. Pertama, titik pandang kritis pada diri sendiri. Sarana ini dibutuhkan agar kinerja transformasi sosial itu jadi lebih efektif. Sarana ini sifatnya subsidier tapi kiranya justru mendorong agar sarana operasional utama menjadi lebih efisien. Kedua, cara pandang kita terhadap komunitas atau kelompok masyarakat yang kita fasilitasi; di sini digunakan beberapa "kacamata" yang dirancang agar jadi lebih tajam mengarah pada salah satu aspek dari sasaran (target) dan menguranginya ketika dibutuhkan, menyaring atau menekan aspek-aspek lain. Ketiga, proses-proses yang kita coba pengaruhi dan kemudian proses-proses itu juga mempengaruhi diri kita sendiri dan para pengambil keputusan yang lain. Keempat, adalah teknik-teknik nyata dalam mengambil keputusan.

Titik Pandang Kritis

Dalam berbagai hal yang melibatkan proses fasilitasi dan tindakan intervensinya untuk mempengaruhi proses-proses sosial, alat yang paling ampuh dalam melakukan keterlibatan dan menentukan pilihan adalah diri kita sendiri, cara berpikir kita, yang mempengaruhi pemahaman kita dan cara pandang kita terhadap pilihan-pilihan yang kita ambil.

Ada dua pokok mengapa titik pandang kritis ini diperlukan. Pertama adalah kebutuhan untuk mengambil jarak. Anda adalah bagian dari proses fasilitasi yang sedang dijalankan tapi sekaligus Anda juga bukan sepenuhnya berada di sana atau bahkan termasuk mentah-mentah di sana. Preferensinya tentu berada pada tingkat cara kita berpikir, ada dalam benak kita, dan bukan menarik diri secara fisik. Dengan "menarik diri", Anda memiliki peluang untuk memahami diri Anda sendiri secara lain, secara berbeda. Kedua, kebutuhan memandang diri Anda sendiri sebagai pendukung proses fasilitasi dan keterlibatan itu, sekaligus juga jika menentukan pilihan-pilihan. Semua orang menjadi sasaran untuk dipengaruhi, termasuk fasilitator transformasi itu sendiri, ódipengaruhi oleh situasi dan kondisi, yang akhirnya menentukan cara pandang kita dan cara kita mengambil pilihan tindakan, juga sangat mungkin mendistorsi tindakan yang kita ambil.

Ada tiga hal yang dapat mendistorsi tindakan kita. Pertama, kecondongan emosi yang dapat berpengaruh pada tindakan kita; semua orang memiliki kecondongan ini; kedua, kecondongan kita jadi sempit karena latar belakang budaya dalam kelompok, bangsa, dan sistem bahasa; ketiga, distorsi yang timbul karena keterlibatan yang intens dalam suatu unsur kelembagaan tertentu; misalnya: mereka yang lama dididik sebagai psikolog tentu akan memandang persoalan dari sudut pandang pendidikannya.

Karena adanya kecondongan-kecondongan distorsi ini, setiap peserta pihak dan pengambil keputusan hendaklah mengembangkan cara-cara dan metode untuk menguji dirinya sendiri, mengaca diri sejauh mana emosinya mempengaruhi tindakan, apakah memiliki kecondongan parokial "kedaerahan", apakah bias lembaga pendidikan atau tempatnya bekerja. Anda dapat mencari sendiri bentuk-bentuk yang cocok; ada banyak cara dan teknik yang dapat dikembangkan untuk terus-menerus menjamin terselenggaranya "titik pandang kritis" ini.


Kacamata jenis apa saja yang diperlukan bagi mereka yang terlibat dalam proses transformasi untuk memulai upaya transformasi konflik "Menyeimbangkan Kekuatan" dan dalam mengambil keputusan? Pertama-tama, kacamata itu haruslah komprehensif untuk menganalisis konflik dengan makroskop daripada mikroskop. Jika orang menganalisis konflik, sering komentar dilontarkan: "Ini konflik karena kerakusan pengusaha dan pemerintah." atau "Ini konflik etnis." atau "Ini konflik karena senjang ekonomi." dsb. Komentar itu sering begitu saja kita anggap benar. Tapi sesungguhnya kenyataan konflik itu tak sekaku seperti komentar-komentar itu. Batas-batas, mana bidang ekonomi, mana lingkup etnis, atau politik, batas provinsi, ini wilayah pedesaan, ini konflik perkotaan, dan sebagainya, sebenarnya tak menggambarkan keadaan yang sesungguhnya dalam kenyataan. Penekanan yang dilakukan secara eksplisit dalam memandang masalah konflik secara komprehensif akan membuat para pihak yakin bahwa diri mereka masing-masing sungguh telah berpijak pada suatu lingkup keseluruhan di hadapan suatu masalah tertentu yang sifatnya spesifik. Di samping itu, kita harus menerima bahwa sumber-sumber daya yang dimiliki oleh masing-masing pihak dan mereka yang diserahi mengambil keputusan pada dasarnya terbatas. Oleh karena itu kebutuhan untuk memandang konflik dengan kacamata komprehensif haruslah diimbangi dengan sikap selektif dan kalkulasi sumber daya yang selayaknya.

Konsep dan teori memang diperlukan untuk menentukan fokus perhatian kita. Kita membutuhkan teori, baik secara eksplisit atau pun implisit, ketika menarik kesimpulan: apakah ciri-ciri, variabel dan jenis hubungan tertentu memang perlu dikaji dan diuji atau sebaliknya tak perlu sama sekali. Lagi pula teori atau kerangka pemahaman itu hendaknya bersifat realistis. Yang menghasilkan pola-pola keputusan yang sifatnya mantap dan tetap biasanya justru kerangka (teori) yang muncul dari bawah di antara masyarakat sendiri. Yang dari bawah inilah biasanya mencetuskan sesuatu yang lebih tahan uji. Karenanya model ini akan menantang para peserta-pihak dan para pengambil keputusan itu sendiri, sementara mereka berupaya mempengaruhi kelompok masyarakat yang dilayani.

Dalam menentukan fokus fasilitasi ini, prasyarat untuk tidak hanya mempertimbangkan hal-hal yang sifatnya subjektif haruslah diberi tempat. Kita tak bisa hanya melihat sebelah mata pada apa yang dikatakan orang tapi juga apa yang sesungguhnya mereka lakukan. Perlu keseimbangan antara penekanan pada perspektif (apa yang dikatakan dan yang dipikirkan) dan operasi pelaksanaan (apa yang dilakukan di lapangan). Berkaitan dengan hal ini, diperlukan pertimbangan yang mendasar sehubungan dengan, di satu pihak, apa yang dianggap benar oleh masyarakat óinilah ruang lingkup target dari kesadaran masyarakat konvensionaló dan, di lain pihak, apa yang sebenarnya hendak dilakukan. Di sini dibutuhkan keseimbangan antara pentingnya menekankan wewenang (yaitu apa yang dianggap benar oleh masyarakat) dan kontrol (terhadap apa yang hendak dilakukan).

Dalam hal ini kita lebih membutuhkan konsep-konsep baru yang sifatnya dinamis dan berorientasi pada proses, dan bukan "ketentuan-ketentuan hukum" (konstitusi) yang sifatnya kaku, tapi pengutamaan pada proses yang "menentu" (konstitutif). Dalam kenyataan, yang justru membuat suatu lembaga (bukan harus berupa kantor) mampu bertahan dan berkembang dasar-dasarnya bukanlah ketentuan-ketentuan yang dihasilkan oleh lembaga itu. "Ketentuan" mengindikasikan adanya dokumen-dokumen yang sifatnya pasti tentang bagaimana suatu keputusan berfungsi atau bagaimana keputusan tertentu sebenarnya diharapkan. Padahal dokumen-dokumen itu tak melukiskan dimensi-dimensi nafas hidup lembaga itu secara persis dan representatif. Di sini kita membutuhkan suatu kacamata yang fokusnya mengarah pada proses-proses yang sifatnya "menentu", yaitu proses mengambil keputusan yang terus berjalan dan berlangsung. Di situlah wewenang dan kontrol ditetapkan dan disepakati bersama. Dalam proses itu akan tampak bagaimana hal-hal mendasar dari pihak-pihak yang bertikai atau subjek fasilitasi transformasi konflik tetap bertahan dan berkembang.

Perlu dicatat pula munculnya suatu kontras antara ruang privat, ruang komunitas, ruang publik dan ruang negara dalam masyarakat kita. Ke mana fokus fasilitasi diarahkan? Di Indonesia negara telah jauh campur tangan ke ruang-ruang komunitas (adat), ruang publik sipil, bahkan ruang pribadi masyarakat. Jika fokus kita tetap mendua antara negara dan sisanya, maka tak jelaslah preferensi kita pada proses perubahan sosial menuju perbaikan dan kemajuan. Di sini fokus kita terarah pada penguatan masyarakat, penyeimbangan kekuatan. Sebab, kehancuran sistem-sistem komunitas telah membuat mekanisme-mekanisme komunitas itu tak berdaya memulihkan dirinya sendiri. Ruang sipil dan ruang komunitas haruslah dijamin dalam fokus fasilitasi ini.

Mengelola Wewenang dan Kontrol

"Advokasi langsung" sangatlah dibutuhkan dalam konteks kondisi ketidakseimbangan di antara pihak-pihak yang berkonflik, di mana rakyat umumnya kalah karena lemah. Objek dari pilihan dan keputusan sosial dalam fasilitasi mengarah kepada advokasi langsung menentang penindasan dan represi yang terus terjadi. Namun represi yang tak juga berhenti itu sudah merembet lebih jauh dan mengacaubalaukan masyarakat dan rakyat sebagai pihak yang kalah. Akibatnya, pekerjaan para pegiat advokasi tak mencukupi tanpa melengkapi diri dengan penegasan penguatan ke dalam komunitas yang dilayani, dan pada saat yang sama proses penguatan itu pun harus berorientasi ke luar.

Dalam hal mengelola wewenang dan kontrol, tidaklah cukup hanya mengidentifikasi proses-proses represi yang terjadi menindas rakyat dan kemudian menentukan sasaran tindakan advokasi dengan menekan balik dalam memastikan perubahan-perubahan sosial yang ditargetkan. Di sini diperlukan pula "analisis fase" yang jelas. Harus ditetapkan siapa aktor-aktor yang terlibat dalam konflik (para peserta proses transformasi), bagaimana masing-masing pihak ambil posisi, apa harapan mereka masing-masing baik pada masa lalu maupun ke depan, apa tuntutan-tuntutan mereka (perspektif), bagaimana posisi interaksi konflik di antara para pihak, faktor-faktor dan sumber-sumber daya apa saja yang dipakai dalam interaksi konflik untuk mencapai hasil tertentu yang mereka sasar (basis kekuatan dan kekuasaan mereka), bagaimana sumber-sumber daya itu dimanipulasikan baik secara paksa dengan kekerasan atau pun secara persuasif, bagaimana strateginya apakah diarahkan kepada pribadi-pribadi tertentu atau kelompok masyarakat atau cakupan sosial yang lebih luas lagi, dan akhirnya apa dampak-dampaknya. Berdasarkan "analisis kebutuhan" (needs assessment), deskripsi dan penentuan dampak konflik ini perlu pula dipertajam spesifikasinya agar dapat ditentukan ruang lingkup proses perubahan sosial dan perubahan nilai-nilai yang terjadi. Kalau perlu, pada perubahan nilai-nilai sosial itu, analisis dipertajam lagi agar jadi relevan berdasarkan aspek-aspek ini: kekuasaan, harta-kekayaan, akses informasi, kemampuan dan ketrampilan (teknologi), kesejahteraan, nafkah batin, harga diri, gengsi sosial, dll. Analisis fase dan analisis kebutuhan ini dapat membantu para pengambil keputusan untuk menentukan faktor-faktor yang mempengaruhi tingkah laku para pihak dan akhirnya memanfaatkannya untuk mencapai perubahan sosial yang ditargetkan bersama.

Apa yang Harus Dilakukan: Basis Kegiatan Mengambil Keputusan

Menghadapi berbagai kelemahan rakyat yang pada umumnya membuat mereka selalu kalah dalam memperjuangkan hak-hak mereka, siapa pun yang terlibat dalam proses transformasi sosial menuju situasi yang lebih baik tidak bisa lagi hanya mengambil keputusan bertindak jika sedang ada masalah atau terjepit atau ada kasus saja, alias sambil lalu secara intuitif mengambil keputusan. Menghadapi keadaan semacam itu secara komprehensif, prosedur mengambil keputusan tidak bisa hanya sekedar menerapkan proses jangka pendek dan mengikutsertakan beberapa gelintir orang saja, tapi haruslah menempatkan proses fasilitasi dalam kesinambungan yang terus-menerus yang dapat dievaluasi dan diuji objektivitas kegunaannya. Detik-detik pengambilan keputusan bisa mendebarkan jantung para pihak, tapi juga dapat dideskripsikan dan diterapkan secara sistematis dan dalam ketenangan serta kemantapan, tanpa menimbulkan kehebohan.
Beberapa pokok berikut ini dapat menjadi bermanfaat sebagai bagian inti dari dimensi intelektual pengambilan keputusan, yakni:

a. Tujuan harus jelas!
Perlu dipertimbangkan apakah ada kesenjangan yang terlalu lebar antara keinginan dalam proses fasilitasi kita jalankan dan kemampuan yang ada? Antara apa yang disukai dan kemampuan kita dan kelompok dalam memrediksi tercapainya suatu tujuan yang ditentukan bersama? Apa saja masalah-masalah yang terkait dengan tujuan yang hendak dicapai bersama?

b. Belajar dari sejarah!
Mengingat tujuan yang hendak dicapai, belajar dari mereka yang berada pada garis perjuangan yang sama sangatlah penting. Siapa saja musuh-musuh dan para pesaing yang ada di sekitar? Dengan siapa aliansi dan koalisi dapat dibangun dan dijalin? Strategi apa yang cocok diterapkan? Hambatan-hambatan apa yang dapat diperkirakan akan menghadang upaya transformasi yang dilakukan? Sumber-sumber daya apa saja yang mungkin dimiliki? Teknik-teknik apa yang dapat dipelajari dan dikembangkan? Mungkinkah belajar dari keberhasilan dan kegagalan di masa lalu? (trend analysis)

c. Analisis faktor
Sejarah tak perlu berulang, kecuali dalam situasi yang sama dicapai suatu hasil yang (minimal) memang baik. Malah kalau bisa tentu opsi pilihan yang lebih baik yang harus ditetapkan dan dipastikan untuk masa depan yang diprogramkan bersama. Namun kondisi sering berubah, bisa perubahan total, atau bisa jadi hanya perubahan parsial. Belajar dari masa lalu pada aspek faktor-faktor yang berperan dalam seluruh proses transformasi dapat membantu menentukan opsi dan strategi di masa depan, tapi perlu ditegaskan sebelumnya perbedaan konteks keadaan di masa lalu dan masa yang akan datang.

d. Melakukan prediksi
Inilah salah satu tugas yang paling sulit mengingat tingginya tingkat represi dalam konteks sosial, politik dan ekonomi di Indonesia. Melakukan prediksi pada tingkat detil-detil perubahan pada ruang lingkup yang lebih sempit kiranya sangat dibutuhkan dewasa ini. Memang jarang ada nabi yang muncul di dunia modern ini, namun suatu proyeksi ke depan dengan mengetengahkan gambaran (sekalipun khayal atau kiasan) akan sangat berguna dalam proses komunikasi penguatan kelompok. Gambaran ini haruslah diintegrasikan ke dalam proses pengambilan keputusan untuk transformasi sosial yang diperjuangkan.

e. Menemukan atau menentukan alternatif
Jika rakyat yang berada pada posisi tertindas atau berada dalam konflik entah sifatnya vertikal atau horizontal sudah melakukan semua opsi dalam proses transformasi yang sejauh itu mampu dibayangkan dan dikembangkan tapi toh tetap tak menghasilkan perubahan apa pun yang ditargetkan, inilah saatnya para pihak, para pemuka di antaranya, ditantang secara jujur untuk menawarkan alternatif-alternatif. Dari para pihak yang terlibat dalam proses ini diharapkan munculnya cetusan-cetusan alternatif yang cerdas dalam strategi perjuangan. Inilah raison díËtre eksistensi dari proses transformasi konflik.

f. Jangan Lupa Tersenyum!
Nelson Mandela di Afrika Selatan, Dalai Lama di Nepal, atau pegiat perdamaian Adam Curle adalah orang-orang yang dilahirkan dengan "instink tersenyum". Thich Nhat Hanh seorang biksu, penyair tapi juga pegiat perdamaian dari Vietnam, tidak hanya tersenyum dengan "menentramkan hati" ketika konflik sedang melanda, tapi ia juga menegaskan praktik "tersenyum" sebagai metode transformasi konflik berakar dalam pengalaman kebijaksanaan tradisional. "Jika [hati] kita damai, jika kita bahagia, kita dapat tersenyum dan berseri-seri seperti bunga mekar, dan setiap orang di sekitar kita, dalam masyarakat kita mendapatkan rasa keberuntungan dari rasa damai dalam hati kita.î [Nhat Hanh 1987] Gagasan "tersenyum" sebagai pendekatan menyelesaikan konflik ini didasarkan pada keyakinan (teori) bahwa kita berasal dari sumber yang sama dan unsur-unsur dalam sumber yang sama itu saling tergantung satu sama lain (interdependent co-origination). Inilah bagian dari praktik "keprihatinan kita yang sungguh terlibat dalam masyarakat dan rakyat seumumnya". Keprihatinan ini mengingatkan kita bahwa para pihak dalam transformasi konflik juga harus ber tanggung jawab pada transformasi masing-masing dirinya sendiri bersamaan dengan proses transformasi yang dijalaninya. [Miall 2001]

Namun, tetap ada suatu pertanyaan yang mengganjal dalam hati kita. Kekalahan-kekalahan rakyat dalam menyelesaikan konflik berhadapan dengan negara, pengusaha dan sekutunya, belum tercerahkan juga bagaimana mengatasinya, kecuali mengujarkan bahwa diperlukan upaya-upaya menyeimbangkan. Memang, akhirnya semua ada di tangan kita sendiri. Namun, jika kita bertanya, dengan ujaran yang sedikit lebih tajam: Apakah ada kunci suksesnya dalam jangka relatif dekat ini? Berbagai jawaban muncul jika kita tanyakan kepada mereka yang bergulat langsung di lapangan. Beberapa alinea akhir ini mencoba menyarikan suatu alternatif jawaban mereka.

Kepada para pendamping dan mereka yang terlibat dalam usaha penyelesaian konflik, pada dasarnya rakyat berharap menjadi partner, tidak ingin ditunggangi, dipakai, dimanfaatkan untuk kepentingan-kepentingan yang bukan kepentingan rakyat. Rakyat ingin "dimudahkan" dalam usaha-usaha mereka menemukan jalan keluar. Itulah hakikat makna kata dari bahasa Latin "facil" yang kemudian kita pinjam untuk menyebut semua upaya penyelesaian konflik sebagai "fasilitator" atau "fasilitasi", pribadi-pribadi atau proses-proses yang diharapkan "memudahkan" hal-hal yang sulit, rumit dan penuh pertentangan.

Sementara dari cakupan makro, yakni ruang sosial, politik dan ekonomi, kunci sukses perjuangan rakyat pada dasarnya adalah terselenggaranya "wadah" (organisasi) dan tumbuhnya semangat dan kemauan untuk menghidupkannya. "Semangat" ini adalah basis kesadaran rakyat dan perjuangannya. Dalam semangat dan perwujudannya itu haruslah ada kekuatan untuk mempertahankan diri dengan memangkas setiap kecondongan membelokkan perjuangan menjadi lebih mengutamakan kepentingan individu, yang menyebabkan perjuangan menjadi terpecah-belah dan tak kuat. Kebersamaan yang sifatnya "kolektif" adalah unsur hakiki eksistensi organisasi. Semangat perjuangan itu berpusat pada rakyat itu sendiri sebagai manusia yang menjadi pusat keprihatinan. Kata lainnya yang dapat ditawarkan di sini: "ideologi petani-isme", "ideologi indijenusisme" (masyarakat adat), "ideologi rakyatisme", dll. Dari semangat ini dituangkan suatu perwujudan perjuangan panjang dalam mencapai "kemandirian politik dan logistik". Ruang politik ini akan dicapai jika integritas rakyat jadi utuh sehingga sanggup menjamin dirinya sendiri. Dalam aspek hukum dan budaya, kemandirian ini haruslah diwujudkan dalam proses pertumbuhan yang dijamin oleh mekanisme penentuan kesepakatan bersama. Rakyat yang mandiri adalah rakyat yang "kritis sekaligus sejahtera", seimbang antara eksistensi dirinya sebagai manusia dan alam di mana ia hidup.

Namun, pada masa sebelum Soeharto lËngsËr, organisasi-organisasi rakyat, termasuk yang berbasis sumber daya alam, barulah sekedar menjadi "kelompok-kelompok penekan" rejim otoriter. Kini perjuangan itu sudah akan harus berwujud suatu "gerakan politik rakyat" yang dijamin oleh organisasi yang mandiri. Salah satu unsur penyatu dan pengadanya adalah bahwa gerakan ini tidak bisa lagi hanya jadi semacam "gerakan moral", tapi sudah akan harus mampu mempengaruhi kebijakan-kebijakan publik. Di satu sisi, masih terus akan ada perdebatan tentang sarana-sarana mana yang lebih sesuai dengan ciri-ciri masing-masing kelompok rakyat yang berjuang, namun dalam kaitan dengan sumber daya alam suatu "sistem pengamanan hak milik" (tanah atau dalam bentuk yang lain; lokasi penangkapan ikan untuk nelayan, misalnya) adalah tak terelakkan, apa pun bentuknya. Di sini lain, sekarang sudah tak sedikit rakyat yang berbasis hidup pada sumber daya alam ini telah mampu melakukan desakan-desakan dan lobbies sendiri tanpa dikawal oleh pegiat dan pendorong gerakan moral. Mereka juga telah sedikit demi sedikit menambah kemampuan teknis yang dipelajari dan dikembangkan karena kebutuhan mendesak. Tapi cakupan unit perjuangan itu masih sempit dan terpisah-pisah karena umumnya lebih dominan di tingkat daerah dan sporadis di sana-sini. Sementara itu, ketidakjelasan dan kongkalikong secara halus di antara rejim di tingkat pusat dan daerah masih tetap sangat merugikan nasib rakyat sendiri. Tanpa suatu organisasi yang kuat, cita-cita ini tetap akan tinggal dalam pikiran saja, ketika peluang yang kita lihat sampai titik ini tak juga menjadi mobilizing points untuk maju selangkah lagi. Sampai pada tahap kesadaran ini, ruang politik yang lebih leluasa untuk rakyat bagaimana pun menjadi kebutuhan yang dirasa mendesak.***