The Enemy of the State is Not the People

Artwork by Alessandro Mulya

It’s often heard; the grand battle of State versus People, and the other battle that varies with it. The police are battling with the civilians, and the uprising of France with the aristocrats created perhaps one of the best painting of history. From the age of kingdoms to communist leaders to capital ventures, the purpose of a state has been shifting from one axis to the other.

The head of the state, no matter how cool-headed he is or how kind he is to his people, is bound to make mistakes. That is why tyranny often times lead to enrichment of one particular person, and spreading to a small circle, his/her family and cronies. The addition of state being governed by a group of competent people rather than one makes it clear that the state needs people. A nation itself comprised of it’s governing body, people, and a region. At least, that is supposed to be like that. But with the international news that catches my ears recently — of uprising in Myanmar, of several anti government movements at North America, of Taiwan’s conflict with China, of maybe things that are happening at every listed country on Earth there is — there will always be a conflict of the state versus the people.

Instead of calling it conflict of state versus people, perhaps a better ( or bitter, depends ) idea would be calling it conflict of state and people, to further objecting the idea of a rift happening between these two. Seeing as how the state and the people can work together despite they’re not seeing eye-to-eye with each other gives you a better look on how instead of holding rifles, we began holding hands instead. Sure, the idea may looks impossible on paper, and after all that you’ve personally went through with your country, you’d probably think that “this is not going to happen in my country”. What with all the corruption maybe, or the state that’s squeezing every penny out of you or even death threats targeting every rebellious civilian’s head, it is not a simple feat to simply say, or even do, the coalition of the two, the synergy in between.

What the state and the people always argues and sometimes, for the lack of a better word, insisting on rules, is often the case. See, here in Indonesia, there’s a certain law that forbids you from mocking the president. But this receives numerous amount of backlash — ranging from what could counts as “mocking” to possible manipulation of the law. The people are worried that this law could be weapon of mass incarceration, and while it is true to some extent, it could have not been the case of why this law was written in the first place. The state should listen to the objection of the people, and with all the resources and the manpower that they have, write it, research it, rewrite it, and then research it again. It requires thousands and thousand of hours being put in, and it should be like that.

The state itself is comprised of people in it, and like everything that comes with it, is the power of the people in it’s truest form. The representative also experience public roads with potholes, all with the other setbacks and unfriendly encounter with the locals. This is why it is important for the state — or the government, in this matter — to have their house resides close with all the things that are going on, instead of luxury mansions on the beach side. How will state know what is being wrong with the public transport if they arrive at their office, day in and day out with their coupe and sedan? The state is the people, and it is important to strive to that purest form.

Still in topic of the last sentence, on the brink of the pandemic, there has been multiple talks about cutting short on funding for all government’s staff, seeing as how slashing the executive officers wage will certainly help all the others in need. At the moment this article is written, there is still no continued argument about such things happening in the future. Even after that, some of the government’ staff become the first ones to receive their vaccines, cutting in line for those of old age and front-line workers. But still, applause should still be awarded for Indonesia’s president for being the very first to be vaccinated — leaving conspiracy theorists and skeptics to leave no questions unanswered. And evident in this, the leader of the state is also the people. They could, by democracy, vote on the regulations they see fit and the politicians they deemed worthy, regardless of whatever their background was.

State will always be the people, and it will always be compromised by the people, united by the people, divided by the people, built and diminished by the people too. No matter how far the government will chant bombastic slogans or bodacious advertising,



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store