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The way I see the independence of a country

Indonesia will celebrates its 65th Independence Day on August 17, 2010 (means today). Many event like game competitions, ceremonial, decorations, and excitement happening on all over the country to welcome this special day, making the atmosphere felt more patriotic.

I do not know why current atmosphere spurred my thoughts to ponder a simple question like this: "What is the meaning of independent ?" This question is in the context of a country. It is also possible to reflect the meaning of independence for a country out there, not only for Indonesia. In popular sense, the meaning of independence is being free from colonialism. That sense was popular at the time of World War I and II, but for present century I tend to use a different approach.

So to ponder the question, I take an example of a smallest entity of a state, namely a family. A family (assuming a father as the head of a family) can be said to have been independent if :
  1. Independence to give love, peace, and harmony equitably to all family members, although each family member may have different desires, for example: different religions, different political views, different personal principles, etc. but still remain in one family bonds that must be cherished.
  2. Independence to make decisions for his family affairs independently without depending on other parties.
  3. Independence to manage his own family (especially kids) into a better direction. For this one I often hear a naughty kid who is often troublesome parents, but parents confused how to overcome it.
  4. Independence to fulfill the basic needs of his family, namely: food, clothing, house, health, education. For this one there is still a lot of young families who are still supported by parents.
  5. Independence to protect all family members against external threats.
Did you know that the number of independent family in a country is the mirror of the real independence of a country, and now I have been thinking that this achievement is more effective to prevent invisible threats. That's my way, and the next is your turn to judge.


  1. Hapy independence day Tikno. On Aug 15th we celebrated our 64th independence day.
    I like what you say about being truly independent.

  2. Congratulations on the 65th birthday of RI. Indeed one should be able to provide for oneself and those family-members dependent on you ( who in their turn in that case are not yet independent of course)

    As for independence: I enjoyed reading your take on the subject. However sovereignty think is an ideal - it never can be absolute and total. Countries have to take into account ( be voluntary or after being forced to do so)the interests of other countries and individuals are at best fully independent in their heads but in daily life one's discretion always will be limited by the freedom of neighbours and shared institutions.

  3. independence for me means no war, no corruption, no colonialism.
    well, happy birthday Indonesia..
    I'm agree with you about what you said through independence..

  4. “Independence? That's middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.”

    -George Bernard Shaw

  5. @Rummuser, maybe we should have an "Interdependence Day"?

    @Tikno, you have me thinking of North Korea which certainly is "independent", but there isn't much to celebrate. Hope you had a good celebration!

  6. @ Amrita,
    Happy Independence Day to you too. I see your country now is growing rapidly and hopefully it will in line with bringing prosperity.

    @ Colson,
    If the context is on the international relationship, of course must consider the interests of other countries, but still based on the formula of win-win solutions and mutual interests.
    But... I still wonder on your words of "being forced to do so".

    @ Meutia,
    It's interesting you said : no corruption. Allow me to amend your words to become: Independence (not afraid) to combat corruption.
    Happy Independence Day for our country :)

    @ Rummuser,
    Middle class blasphemy? Oh... maybe George Bernard Shaw had another point of view by saying that. From philosophical standpoint, I would agree with you that: "we are all dependent to one another, every soul of us on earth". But... it was a different subject.

    This post is my presentation for the new measurements towards the sense of independence which it ONLY means free from colonialism (I think this is an old style since modern people has considered the issue of colonialism as a history of the past). I'm just trying to dig more deeply and offers additional measurement in the present century.

    PS: I really want all the state leaders to read this post, with the hope they pondering this post and want to look down.

    I see you put quotation marks for the word "independent" :)
    The celebration in my town are not as busy as last year, perhaps coinciding with the fasting month.

  7. @ tikno: With "Being forced to do so" I referred to what happens after a country becomes member or a client of an international organization. Rules can be forced by IMF on countries that are desperate for loans,by the European Union or by ASEAN on it's member states etc.

  8. @ Colson,
    Become a member of an international organization can be categorized as a choice. In case must follow the terms of loans... that is also a choice, why asked for loan (albeit by perforce). The context is choose at first, not being forced at first.

    By the way, if a country is always ask for loan but fail to pay the debt, then it can be considered as not meet the measurement no.4 above. Meant the country is not independent economically.
    Looney has been thinking about North Korea. What other countries in your mind?

  9. @tikno:
    Becoming a member or asking for a loan is a choice ( though not always). But after that the countries' span of discretion is limited, also by rules and regulations the super-national entity imposes on it's members or clients.

    As for countries I have in mind, I can say that as a matter of fact ( in my definition) no country is independent, because all are interdependent in our world of globalization. Maybe some are almost independent (the super powers like the US - although it is dependent on oil from the Middle East and capital from China). On the other hand some are extremely dependent on others [ the countries for instance that survive by their huge exports. Without demand by other countries, Germany, the Netherlands or even China will have a hard time. Which is exactly what happened to Germany and the Netherlands over last two years).

  10. Thanks again and looking forward for your post on making more.home jobs

  11. new comment , nice post! *hayyah, ga ngerti artinyanih,,

  12. @ Colson,
    I agree that interdependent in global trade era can not be avoided. This is in the context of mutual need.

    The context of this post is about the ability of a country, including the ability to pay debts, ability to export useful products which it was interested by many consumers.
    In short: The ability to deal with liability, needs, and threats.

    In this opportunity, allow me to express my musings on the example about family above:

    On point No.1:
    In the context of a democratic country, Obama's decision to allow a mosque near to the Ground-Zero is a show of an independent country. Imagine if the church was built in Iran. Ah ... religious doctrine and the influence of spiritual leaders is still bigger than the President (as a symbol of a country). Even if the President think objectively, he have no ability to do so.

    On point No.2:
    This relates to independence politically. If a business tycoon or a group of mafia has much influence political decisions, it can be said the state has not been independent politically. Moreover if much influenced by other country's interests, it can be said the state's political confidence has been degradated in international relationship.

    On point No.3:
    The ability to overcome the "naughty kids" such as separatism / rebels, group of mafia, radicalism.

    On point No.4:
    I'm sorry to say Ethiopia in the past.

    On point No.5:
    Capable of providing security to the people.

    @ Stela James and Trimatra,
    Thank you for stopping by.

  13. One can view independence in millions of ways. But basically independence means being or doing something without any influence, force or help from other parties. However, it is human nature that we always depend on others we cannot completely be independent from others. Independent countries, no matter how advanced or developped they are, they are still dependent on other countries even on economically poorer countries. Rich people are still dependent on others with poorer financial status to make their life more comfy or to do everything that they think they will pass it to others because they are not good enough to do the job. Yes, it is human nature to interdependent on each other indefinitely.

    However, as an individual or as a country, we are obliged to develop our ability to sustain our independence the best we can. So we will be able to give more than what we have taken from others....

  14. Hi I'm coming to read your post.. n met berpuasa ya

  15. @ Yari NK,
    Yes, independence can be viewed from many angle.
    You, Colson and Rumuser also have a good point of view.
    My musings before I wrote this post is like my answers to Colson. At least that is my way.

    @ Saung,
    Thank you.

  16. happy anniversary to our country.. let's get hand in hand to reach our dignity...

  17. @ Edwin,
    After considering the case of fishermen between Indonesia - Malaysia recently, I like you said: "Let's get hand in hand to reach our dignity"

  18. I read it. it's vary nice. thanks for the post.
    work at home

  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  20. Hi tikno, thanks for the blog visit and leaving a comment. Yes, I first learned about the Indonesian Holiday from one of my Indonesian blogger friend Nensa. I am adding your blog to my reading list so I will not miss your blog.

    I hope you had a wonderful celebration during the Independence of your country, Indonesia.

  21. @ Jolly Princess,
    Thank you!
    The celebration for this year was slightly calm in my town. Perhaps because it coincided with the fasting month

  22. Hey Tikno...

    As requested and promised ;)

    You have written a thought-provoking post. Perhaps I still need to think about it more.

    I note that there is an assumption that the father is the head of the household. Does it really matter who the primary breadwinner is? If we are talking about independence within the framework of substantial autonomy to make decisions for oneself (family), then it is irrelevant who heads the household.

    With regard to the other points. The provision of basic services is an indication of relative wealth more than it is of independence, is it not? Conceivable an authoritarian state could provide better health care and other basic services in comparison to a constitutional democracy. So, does the provision of basic services seal the independence deal?

    More specifically, if there are families who are unable to provide the basic services to their family members, then is this sufficient to claim that the country as a whole is not independent because it has citizens who live below the poverty line?

    In the Australian context, having just had an election, can you truly be independent if your federal government mandates compulsory voting? Can you be independent in these circumstances? This is important in my mind with respect to the final part of your post that talks about the idea of family independence mirroring the independence enjoyed by a nation state.

    All the same, excellent post (these are just my initial thoughts to your post).

  23. @ Rob Baiton,

    "Does it really matter who the primary breadwinner is? "
    That is just an assumption considering the general assumption. Not a real problem if substituted by a woman in the context of democratic state.

    "So, does the provision of basic services seal the independence deal?"
    It seal to independent economically :)

    "More specifically...."
    In the context of a state it is impossible to remove poverty totally even though in America. It's sufficient to claim if the percentage of the poverty rate has been quite disturbing to the financial stability and domestic security stability (criminality because of poverty) in a country. That is quite a reasonable measurement.

    "In the Australian context, having just had an election..."
    That is the purpose why you are elected and wants to hold the mandate. Using an analogy of a family, if you want to choose or be elected by your soul mate to build a family then you should ready to carry the family's mandate automatically, at least meets the five criteria above to be independent.
    Talking about people's mandate. Do your best to fulfill the mandate given without much influenced (moreover if it forced) by the interests of third parties which lead to deviation of people's mandate.

    "these are just my initial thoughts to your post"
    Wishing of your further reviews ;)


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