Isnin, 13 Oktober 2008

Brainstorming the cause and effect of global economic crisis






Are we falling down now?


This is a red alert. A real one.


The upper half of this entry will be in English and meant for the economic literate. I need to express my thoughts regarding the global economic crisis in the lingua franca of the economic world.


The other half would be in Bahasa Melayu to serve as a mobilization mechanism that I will be sharing later.


The Upper Half


First, I am not sure how many of us have really monitored this whole mess since the beginning of the year that started with the subprime crisis. In reality, as being mentioned by various public intellectuals through out the world, the real crisis already started in the aftermath of 9/11.


I have been monitoring this bloody mess for the past 2 years.


Of course there are many deficiencies in my previous analysis. Some of that are due to:


  • Devoid of philosophical framework as the basis of my economic analysis. Today, I have been minimally equipped with Prof. al-Attas framework in few conceptual matters.

  • Devoid of Historicism. But definitely I am not TOTALLY in favour of Marx and Hegel’s economic determinism which has a place in historistic philosophy.


The real leap of faith in my analysis of modern day problems occurred after encountering al-Attas ideas. It was definitely a great alteration of my very own weltanschauung (worldview).


I am still far from completing the whole transformation of my worldview. Perhaps after finishing my Phd (Insyaallah) I hope by that time I can fully utilized the philosophical framework of al-Attas.


As I said earlier in my previous entry, my understanding of al-Attas ideas and his philosophical framework is too minimal if I were to compare it with his full-fledged scholarly work.


Alas, I have been benefited greatly even though I have only studied his ideas in the past 6 month’s time.


I have been greatly influenced by the civilizational discourse (wacana ketamadunan) as well the importance of Sufism (tassawuf ) in understanding and solving the problems in the social science domain.


For Sufism, I have to acknowledge once again for al-Attas and my recent acquaintance with Kitab al-Tanwir of Ibn Ata’illah.


Of course like I said before, my understanding on this illuminative field of knowledge is merely on surface. Still not the experiential type of understanding like what the great scholar of the past had received from the Almighty.


My involvement with Penang social movement the likes of Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM), Consumer Association of Penang (CAP), Citizen International (CI), Persatuan Ulama’ Pulau Pinang (PUMPP) and TERAS Pengupayaan Melayu has tremendously contributed to the ‘radicalization’of my idealism that once being nurtured under the Gamis (a.k.a PAS) system of tarbiyah.


The great upheaval of my idealism as a student activist would be my involvement in the issue of Malaysia-US Free Trade Agreement (MUFTA) which I think has become stagnant lately. Even though the issue is not as big as the Battle of Seattle in 1998 or the one the Koreans has fought bravely in the past few years, it was still a great turning point of my life as a khalifah in this world.


The FTA issue had given me the first hand of experiencing the reality that being largely marginalized under the shade of normative economic discourse which I have received earlier by attending one semester of lectures in Economic and International Business when I was in the 1st and 2nd year of my studies in UTP plus my weekly routine of reading The Economist magazine.


Being a Chemical Engineering student, I have better insight on the fundamental nature of the industrial practices which is also the part and parcel of the complex structure of neoliberal-capitalist economic system.


I know what kind of world view this group of budding engineers have and how it has been shaped by their academic and cultural life in campus. These are future professionals that either going to build or ruin the country with their very own mind.


The potential cause for ruining the country and perhaps the humanity at large can be attributed to their, to borrow Herbert Marcuse word as ‘One Dimensional-Man’ identity. Their paradigm of thinking is normally confined to corporate and individualism agenda.


I don’t like to blame the management, the academicians or even the students as this problem of ‘The Captive Mind’ syndrome as being explained by the late Prof. Syed Hussein al-Atas is a third world countries phenomenon. A post-colonial disease.



Therefore in order to solve this issue, one must view it in a collective manner. A synergy of understanding between the stakeholder (people at large) and the stockholder ( sponsors, lecturers, management).


Basically in the midst of this writing, I just let my mind run wild and pour everything I can to, sort of stretching up the dimension of the discourse in this entry.


I was thinking and contemplating about free market in Ibnu Khaldun’s time and the one that being championed by various group of libertarians which in Malaysia being aggressively promoted by some of my friends from Malaysian Think Tank London.


I have been thinking on this matter for about a year.


It is just like a jigsaw puzzle. A mosaic that need to be allegorically understood with the synthesis of real phenomena in history and the occurrences in modern times.


To my libertarian’s friends (by the way I am not a classical Islamist, humanist socialist or whatsoever kind of political idealism), I believe we have 2 kind of economic problems:

1) At the level of theoretical and conceptual.

2) At the level of reality that cannot cheat us from the grim picture of current mankind's problem.


I would not elaborate further as my analysis on this matter is still far from complete.


I believe there is no such thing as the corporation, or multinational companies in the history of Islamic caliphate.


If they ever had this kind of economic species, it would never be the same as the current nature of corporation which has largely being shaped by the Western industrial tradition and philosophical system.


And this economic species called corporation is THE REAL AGENT OF DESTRUCTION to our economic system which of course being anchored by the capitalist economic system.


I will write on this matter in near future after I found some historical evidences in Ottoman’s annals.


As far I can remember, the British East India Company and the Dutch Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC) were some of the earlier parasite that had participated in the colonial capitalism expansion.



This echoes Lenin’s view that “imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism”.


I am pretty damn sure how imperialistic Nike, McDonalds, and other fellow Western companies have done towards the larger section of the third world countries. Remember sweatshop in Indonesia anyone? Or how about the slave worker of cocoa plantation in Ivory Coast?


Please search for John Pilger’s video on globalization in the net.


This bunch of economic species is my sworn enemy.


As long they keep exploiting the oppressed and the world of nature, forever will they succumb into this battle between Good and Evil.


Beside corrupted government, the corporations have their own sugar daddy too.


They are called the Trinitarians of Evil.


IMF

World Bank

WTO



Now they are getting back together (except for WTO) to save their children in the Wall Street as a disguise of alleviating poverty. Go and read David Korten or John Perkins books.


I hope the economic literate people will respond to my point of view to create more debate in this matter. Perhaps, Malaysian Think Tank London can invite me for a forum so that we may discuss this issue in a proper context.


After all we want the best for Malaysian right?


The Lower Half


Wahai rakyat.


Dalam keadaan Negara kita telah hangus RM 57 Bilion dalam masa seminggu yang lepas, para pemimpin dan politikus kita masih berkokok dengan kepentingan masing-masing.


Baik dari Barisan Nasional mahupun Pakatan Rakyat.


Masing-masing nak jaga kepentingan kuasa masing-masing.


Kalau di bahagian Pakatan Rakyat masih sibuk untuk rampasan kuasa.


Kalau di Barisan Nasional sibuk dengan pilihan raya dalam parti masing-masing.


Alih-alih, masalah ekonomi yang serius sebegini dipinggirkan dari radar masing-masing.



Pergilah kalian beli surat khabar parti masing-masing. Muka depan balik-balik pasal Anwar Ibrahim dan isu-isu politik kepartian.


Tidak bermakna nama sesebuah pakatan itu membawa makna ‘Rakyat’ mereka betul-betul merakyatkan diri mereka.


Politik kepartian yang merebut kekuasaan akhirnya tetap akan memerlukan kuasa untuk membetulkan segala-galanya. Bila dah berkuasa, kena fikir cara nak kekalkan kuasa pula.


Inilah yang menjadikan Barisan Nasional dan Pakatan Rakyat sebagai dua kali lima sama dengan sepuluh.


Retorika politika yang palsu.


Sudah. Malas nak layan pemimpin macam ini.


Wahai mahasiswa!


Kita masih bebas daripada cengkaman kuasa yang menggiurkan!


Kita masih mempunyai ruang dan peluang untuk bersikap idealis dalam pada masa yang sama realis.


Kita tahu bahawa Pilihan Raya Kampus makin hampir. Tetapi tidak bermakna kita harus lupakan orang yang merana di luar kampus.


Kembalilah kepada masyarakat. Mari kita lakukan culture jamming dengan membajirkan risalah di merata tempat untuk menyedarkan rakyat kita bahawa kita diambang krisis ekonomi yang sangat serius.


Saya sebagai seorang aktivis bebas sudi membantu mana-mana gerakan mahasiswa di mana-mana kampus untuk kita lakukan gerak kerja yang serius dalam membantu rakyat memahami realiti semasa.


Pedulikan parti politik. Mereka ada agenda masing-masing.


Kita yang masih berada di tengah-tengah antara yang dipimpin dan yang meminpin haruslah menjadi juru bicara dan tangan-tangan yang mampu mengubah nasib rakyat, atas izin daripada Allah jua.


Saya sudah mual dengan teater di pentas politik semasa.


Marilah kita kembali kepada zaman sewaktu Baling yang menangis masih sempat dikesat air matanya.


Ayuh kita membumikan kembali perjuangan rakyat.



P/S: Kepada mana-mana gerakan mahasiswa yang memerlukan bantuan nasihat untuk lakukan cultural jamming dan menggerakkan kempen menyelematkan ekonomi negara kita bolehlah hubungi saya. Cepat. Rakyat memerlukan suntikan kefahaman daripada kita yang sedang berada di menara gading ini.



Contoh culture jamming:







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