Friction is about the deforestation of Indonesia after Soeharto’s downfall from government.As an anthropological work, Tsing illuminates her readers as to how connections are made globally that through a network and a chain of reaction the cultural values of the Indonesian rainforests are pulled into the limelight of the world…
Friction is about the deforestation of Indonesia after Soeharto’s downfall from government. As an anthropological work, Tsing illuminates her readers as to how connections are made globally that through a network and a chain of reaction the cultural values of the Indonesian rainforests are pulled into the limelight of the world. However, it isn’t only a dimension of interconnectivity that prevails in Tsing’s book but it also explores power dimensions (Neuman 2004:11). There is a power dimension within the global scope that wrests its control over the Indonesian environment, from multinational corporations vying for profit and thick-skinned environmentalists adamant over its protection, both however could also provide a negative and a positive effect in Indonesia and its people.Tsing’s Friction is arguing about the continuous division and wresting of power over capitalism, environmentalism, science and politics (Tsing 2005: 2). Therefore, not only is Tsing’s work anthropological but it also has the dimension of political sociology. The Indonesian rainforests are the centre for her debate because through one rainforests there exists several claimants as to how the rainforest should be conducted. There isn’t merely one player but a myriad of players within the context of the Indonesian rainforest. To begin with there are the natives who seek to use the
rainforests as a means of shifting cultivation. There have been evidences where shifting cultivation instead of being corrosive to the environment could prove useful
of factories and to grow cash crops. Both the swidden agriculturalists as well as the locals need the
employment available through either these means of swidden or factory work for daily sustenance.
But the power of global interconnectivity cannot be ignored. Environmentalist action in
reality is quite powerful. With relative pressure they are able to shut down factories and deter
employment for hundreds and thousands of Indonesians. In an effort to preserve the environment,
environmentalists are also destroying the livelihood of rural Indonesians and swidden
agriculturalists. Because of the limited means for employment many rural Indonesians have opted to
migrate to the urban areas causing even more the making of shanty towns, high urban
unemployment rate and an increase of social problems and crime, as well as overpopulation.
To begin with as I have explained above conducive to power relationships is a post-
structuralist ideology. They became necessary because Tsing relates to a post-colonial world that is
powered by capitalism. However, capitalism in actuality does not mean that with the end of
colonialism the post-colonized worlds are free from the veins of Western power. It must be
understood then such global movements such as human rights advocacy and environmentalism have
their roots in the Western hemisphere. These Western influences and powers infringe upon a post-
colonized world without realizing what actually Indonesian people want. Overzealous activism as
well has infringed the rights and sustenance of many and not providing any other further means of
sustenance while their only goal is to protect the Indonesian rainforest environment. But such
scientific advocacy to understand the benefits of the Indonesian ...
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