AGAINST AMERICAN CAPITALISM
When money (in the form of gold metal) was first created, Satan came and approached. He kissed the money and swore: “Indeed I am pleased if you are worshiped by humans more than me, from today on we are allies together to fight against the real God.”
Ambassador of the United States of America in a small country
Nice morning, birds singing, cool weather, maybe 27 degrees celsius. I whistled a little welcoming the day I entered the office where I have worked for 35 years. Entering the room my mood was still cheerful until I found someone sitting in my chair. Marshall Green, the United States ambassador to the lands of the Patchouli Islands was sitting there groaning at the clock.
“Dear Minister, it is already nine o’clock! No wonder your country is like this, backward! Let alone the people, the minister is just not on time!” Ambassador’s critique.
I smiled, sitting in the guest chair in front of my own table. Dealing with the United States Ambassador is indeed heartbreaking, the scratches will add to the wound, always eating the hearts of officials of small countries, but certainly not for senior ministers who have served for 35 years. Oh no, maybe I’m the only one who has this specialty. Smiling mischievously, I took a notepad out of my pocket, put on glasses, and pretended to read the scribbles I wrote yesterday. It’s like a work schedule.
“Your Majesty, I saw today’s schedule, it’s not written here that we have an appointment.” My facial expression is naughty.
There is no breeze, like two samurai who are about to compete. The two of us seemed to be setting up fighting horses. The ambassador opened his smartphone, a feeling stabbed me, he was furious. Although my views are not always correct, the fact is that during my 35 years as a minister I have faced dozens of US ambassadors, and they have always felt they have the power to slap anyone in small countries. Whether officials, ministers to the Sultan. Try it with Russian comrades if you really dare.
“What is making His Majesty angry on this beautiful morning?” However, in the association of fellow people and the State, the weak must still succumb.
He rose from his seat moving to my side, his fury on an apocalyptic level. “Who has the right to be scolded?” he whispered softly, pressing.
I pointed to myself, smiling the sweetest fake smile I could create.
“Who has the right to scold?” he asked again.
With a thumbs-up, very polite like a servant from Majapahit, I pointed at him.
“But I don’t understand the cause of Your Majesty’s anger, the Justice River Kingdom has always complied with international law (which is to America’s taste of course), we pay export taxes as appropriate, and most importantly no United States citizen has ever been harmed while traveling. in our country. On behalf of our people, I beg to be told what is our temperament that offends Your Majesty’s heart?” I asked slowly.
“Motherfuckers!!! Politicians, members of Parliament, and ministers to your Sultan always speak on behalf of the people. Did you know? If you speak on behalf of your people, then I speak on behalf of the people of the United States who are being harassed by you!” He gritted his teeth, angry again.
It’s time for tug of war, diplomacy is tiring, and we have to talk in circles before we reach our destination. But diplomacy is also fun, when a representative of a large allied country, enormous in fact, only with a strength of 500 marines is able to easily invade our country which only has 40,000 inhabitants, having to talk to a country that doesn’t know where.
“Certainly no one in this country is insane enough to dare disturb the American people let alone their government, our greatest ally, and trading partner.” A compliment, but I consider it a disguised insult. After all, we are the only country in the world that has had a trade balance surplus with the United States, for 50 years in a row. This country has succeeded in sending pepper, coconut, and coffee to America peacefully, while American products that come here are not in demand. Who wants to buy Starbucks coffee for 50 thousand a cup, if our bean cut coffee is better, and only costs 3 thousand a cup?
Being praised like that, even a small child blushed. The Ambassador’s face softened, from evil to half evil, I was still wary. American capitalism has one weakness, namely, when your nation is unique, non-resisting, and has no minerals, you are almost impossible to colonize.
Look at the Papuans, they are unique, do not fight but have a gold mine. So the Americans colonized them to take the gold. If there is a Sultan who is the richest, of course, it is the Sultan of Papua. In every prayer I pray that God does not give gold in our land, it is enough for the Papuan people to endure this miserable punishment, we are clearly unable.
“As the Minister of Information and Communication don’t you know?” His gaze is probing.
I shrugged, “Sorry sir, uh I mean Your Highness. I am not the Minister of Information and Communications.”
This is starting to horrify, is America already similar to the People’s Republic of China? A little bit of censorship of information, and if you are different (religious) go straight to the camp like the Uighurs. Of course, America is not like that, they are calmer than communist China, I suspect.
“Fuck Man!!! Sultan says you are Minister of Information and Telecommunications, everything about the internet matters as your business says! Don’t you know circumcision?”
Being a minister in The Justice River country, the salary is two sacks of rice a month, of course, it’s not a lot. Luckily I have a side job, my side job is a circumcision Mantri aka a circumcisionist. Throughout my career as a Mantri, I have trimmed and repaired thousands of foreskins, one of which belongs to our current Sultan, Sultan Malik Saleh Perkasa Alam.
In Malay countries, you are very respectful to three kinds of people: First, your parents; Second, the teacher of the Koran; and Third; What’s mine is that people service your “tools” into Patriot missiles. Si Saleh (Your Majesty Sultan Malik Saleh Perkasa Alam) must have been in a hurry to deal with the Ambassador and sent him to be handled by an expert who is considered wiser (better in tongue silat), namely me.
“I am the Minister of His Majesty’s River Justice Sultanate Network. But yeah, that network includes electricity, water, and maybe the internet too?” I held my beard, rolling my eyes pretending to be stupid, hopefully, the anger subsides.
His Excellency the United States Ambassador, Marshall Green slapped his forehead. “We live in the 21st century, the internet is important! How can you people who claim to be civilized deny that and behave like the stone age by combining it with electricity and water?
“Sorry Your Majesty’s error, wasn’t it in the stone age. We don’t all know electricity yet.” My eyes went up in a funny way.
“I know that. How you people of this country are good at speaking, it is appropriate that no white nation has succeeded in colonizing you!” The insult is a sore boy.
“Sorry Your Majesty’s error, it’s not that nothing works, but nobody wants to. If the United States sent troops to colonize us, of course, we would not fight back. In fact, I thought we could send our goods there without export tax. Or it will drain America’s foreign exchange by opening a coffee shop in front of an American military base.” A diplomat must be able to humble himself so that his country is not invaded by a big country, but unfortunately I am a minister and sometimes I have to be a diplomat. I was so angry that if today I was given the power to go back to the past, I would cut off the Sultan’s missiles.
“Okay, I’m tired of talking to you!” He unbuttoned the top and loosened his tie, slouching in the chair like a vitamin D deficient, brittle bone.
Thank you praise in my heart. I quietly waited for him to leave, maybe I should eat boiled noodles to get rid of the ambassador’s bad aura. But he was still silent, had not left.
“You still remember 6 months ago when I visited this country and said the key to progress is openness.”
The United States Ambassador to the Island of Patchouli does not only deal with our country, there are more or fewer dozens of countries. He was the Mobile Ambassador, the traveling pharmacist I made fun of him, Sultan Malik Saleh Perkasa Alam when I said he was laughing so happily he rolled on the floor so happy, I almost kicked the Sultan because he looked so childish at that time. What if someone else saw it?
“Six months is a long time, I’m old and forgetting trivial things. Not to mention that I have quite a lot of assignments.”
The Ambassador of the United States knows that besides the Minister I am an orderly circumciser, the only person in the world who holds the position of Minister as well as an internist, his gaze is often disdainful and underestimates me. If you were the Minister of Home Affairs of North Korea, you would be furious while showing off the nuclear remote. But for the ministers of the Sultanate of Rivers, justice is considered trivial by the American Ambassador is a great achievement, stay down and don’t let it become a threat to them.
“To know civilization, you have to watch films, especially Hollywood productions, do you remember when I spoke at the meeting at the Hall of Fame?”
The Hall of Facing is the place where the Sultan receives foreign guests, usually Saleh when dealing with great powers always invites me. That time was the introduction of Marshall Green as the new ambassador to replace Herbert Faith who was promoted to Ambassador and Plenipotentiary to the Russian Federation. Promotion? Yes, yes, from ambassadors to countries out of nowhere, they immediately became ambassadors for one of the rivals of the United States.
“Cinema? That’s impossible, Your Majesty. The Ulama in the land of the River of Justice will not allow that. The youth of this country have excessive lust in their opinion, so they cannot be allowed to linger with the opposite sex in the dark.”
“Is that true?” He raised an eyebrow.
“Not necessarily, Your Honor, but if the government doesn’t listen to the words of the ulama, the communists will coup. Would Your Majesty be happy if we became a communist country? Imagine a trusted ally of the United States of America becoming a new Cuba just because of the cinema?” I asked pitifully.
“Historical insight, the ideology of this country is a bit stupid. The cleric is right, conservative! The communist new left. Where can I meet? Study minister, don’t just read 1920s books! This is the era of 2020, HOS Cokroaminoto and Tan Malaka are long dead, their ideology and people.”
“That’s not it Your Majesty, it’s not that if there’s no way to the right then you have to turn left, right?” I asked.
“Sometimes I wonder how Sultan Saleh Perkasa Alam can trust someone as stupid as you to continue to be a minister.” He mocked me.
You savage capitalist! Of course, we don’t allow cinemas in our country not because it’s obscene. I proposed it, giving Saleh an understanding that there are two American products that we must avoid so that we do not have a trade balance deficit with America: First, weapons, and second, Hollywood film royalties.
“I got reports that in this country there is a site that maliciously copies Hollywood movies and shares them for free via streaming. This act is politically and economically detrimental to the interests of the United States.” He said furiously.
Disrupt the American economy? This ambassador is very stupid, it only reduces the income of Warner Bros., Paramount, and Marvel too. But I still have to act.
“Oh, how bad. If our scholars knew of course they would criticize it. I will suppress the site, not only for the benefit of the United States but more for the morale of our nation.” I hit the table in annoyance.
“You mean American movies have a bad moral impact?”
“Oh no, that’s not what I meant Your Majesty. That’s not my opinion, but our well-known conservative clerics.”
“This country should not submit to those idiots who lived in the 15th century, for the progress of the country of the Ulamas it should be tightened up a bit. It is time for your Sultanate to be progressive.” His face was serious but relaxed.
I smiled understandingly, “That can’t be Your Majesty, our leader can’t be harsh on the clergy, not out of fear huh. We cannot oppress those who in every prayer and sermon pray for good for the leader and this country.”
“Your logic is twisted! Stupid!” He pointed at me furiously.
“At least bent is better than broken Your Majesty.” I smiled sweetly, and verbally abused myself in English, I really understood it, but it wasn’t as painful as being scolded in the local language.
Inside I laughed. Because of us, the country of the River of Justice will never follow Western culture immediately, it is better for this infidel to call it stupid than later in the hereafter not be part of the Prophet Muhammad. I insulted back, only in my heart.
“You lack technology, we can help track the site with expert tools and consultants.”
I’m silent, apart from guns and Hollywood movie royalties as United States income. There is one more dangerous, consulting service. Small countries will be forced to borrow funds, to then buy their equipment and highly pay their consultants. But don’t worry, they say the fee can be paid in installments, it will be light even if the interest is stifling. Only stupid officials are available, plus officials bribed by America. That’s why I hate capitalism, that’s why I fight capitalism.
“At an affordable cost of course.” He smiled, however great the United States was as a superpower, they were still merchants selling their own corporate products. Even though we are a small country that is out of nowhere but we have to fight their capitalism, gently of course.
“I think we can handle this matter ourselves Your Majesty, God willing, we can!” This time I was firm.
He nodded, annoyed and angry. “I’ll give you three months! You certainly know what the consequences will be if America is angry, of course. If you forget, remember Iraq, remember Afghanistan, and remember Libya.” His eyes flashed menacingly.
I bowed to this mangy bunny and ushered him in front of the office with small pleasantries. After the US Ambassador’s car left, I called Syamaun and ordered him to prepare a car to report this to the Sultan.
“So he said that?” The Sultan lay down on the chair, as soon as I finished reporting personally in a closed room, apparently, he had been worried all this time and expected me to come and tell him the situation.
“Uncle, our people need entertainment, while the threat from the United States is very real. What should we do?” He is worried because of his love for the people who need free entertainment, and I also know that he is also one of the connoisseurs of the illegal domain. But on the other hand, the United States is the strongest country in the world as well as the most profitable trading partner for us. The flick of an embargo, or even an invasion could occur.
“Is there a solution uncle?” In a closed room, the Sultan prefers to be called son by me, perhaps because I am his father’s only living friend.
“There is always a solution son, I have a way out.” I smiled mischievously, very mischievous for a person in his sixties.
He smiled, “why didn’t you tell me earlier? What is the solution?”
I whispered closer, he laughed so hard he went limp. After laughing, he asked, “Uncle, why do you have to whisper in a closed room?”
“There is an old saying that even walls have ears in palaces.”
Sultan Malik Saleh Perkasa Alam’s expression was surprised, he looked at me with admiration. Just like when he was a child, the time after his circumcision was done with minimal pain.
On the way back from the palace, Syamaun drove calmly. I looked at this land I love, its streets, its murky rivers, its harsh but sincere people. I love this country, everything and I am grateful to be born in this country.
“Syamaun in three months can you build a new domain and have the data moved?” I asked.
“Let alone three months, even a week can.” He smiled.
“Well please prepare immediately, in two months turn off the old domain, wait two days and turn on the new one.”
“Okay, and thank you, minister.”
“It was I who thanked you for working on the domain for me.” I laughed feeling offended.
“Thank you for providing entertainment to the people I mean,” he said.
“You see leaders should be like other humans, they want to be happy, want their people to be happy too of course, but we can’t just flow money easily to foreign countries.”
Syamaun was silent, he looked back through the glass respectfully, immediately at that moment I took a moral lesson that sometimes the Minister of Networks can be higher than the Sultan himself. To understand your opponent, you have to live and think their way. One way to understand their great culture is to watch their films, such as Starwars, Avengers, and so on. But we do that without paying. That’s where I smiled contentedly and what a beautiful day today.
- GATE WITHOUT GATE, THE MILITARY STRATEGY OF IEYASU TOKUGAWA; 10 JUNE 2017;
- DUSK IN MALACCA; 4 July 2017;
- THE RIVERMAN; 18 July 2017;
- OH MAN, I COMPLETELY DON’T KNOW YOU; 23 July 2017;
- AFTER THE REVOLUTION ENDED; 28 July 2017;
- AN UNCLE’S STORY ABOUT THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT; 11 August 2017;
- FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN GOATS AND WOLVES; 29 October 2017;
- A NOTE FROM A LOSER; 10 November 2017;
- HARLEQUIN AND THE TREE OF HOPE; 13 November 2017;
- NOTHING; 18 November 2017;
- TESTAMENT FROM HANG TUAH; 25 November 2017;
- FOR ONE WEEK IN LOVE; 27 November 2017;
- INTERVIEW WITH THE DEVIL; 17 January 2018;
- THE BEAUTY OF THE MOON; 21 January 2018;
- ADIOS ANDALUCIA; 13 March 2018;