Understanding Civil Society: Characteristics, Characteristics, and History

Meaning of Civil Society – Do you know what civil society means? Civil society is a part of society that has manners in building, interpreting, and living its life. Civil society is often interpreted with different meanings. This is one of the concepts of waiuh face.

Philosopher Petrus revealed that a civilized society can be interpreted as a civilized society in the meaning of life. The origin of the word civil is from English, which means civilized or cultured.

While the term civil society is taken from the translation of civil society itself, that is civilized society. The concept of translation was first introduced by Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, through his talk at the National Symposium in 1995.

This concept created by Anwar Ibrahim wants to show that the ideal society has an advanced civilization. More precisely, he mentioned that what is meant by civil society is a fertile social system. Where the system is based on moral principles that can guarantee a balance between the stability of society and individual freedom.

Meaning of Civil Society

As explained earlier, civil society is a fertile system that guarantees moral principles. Where individual freedom and community stability are very balanced.

Another definition of civil society is that they are a group of people who are civilized, humane, possess knowledge, excel in technology.

The Meaning of Civil Society According to Experts

Below are some definitions of civil society according to experts. Read the information carefully.

1. Mun’im (1994)

Expressing that the term civil society is a unique idea that manifests itself in various social orders. Where the most important thing from the idea is the effort to coordinate various conflicts of interest. Whether it is the interest of the community, individual, or even the country

2. Hefner

Hefner revealed that civil society is a society that has special democratic characteristics in interacting with other societies. Moreover, civil society is usually more heterogeneous.

In these conditions, they are expected to be able to organize themselves and be able to grow awareness to create civilization. That way, they are ultimately able to participate and overcome global conditions that are quite complex and also full of competition.

3. Mahasin (1995)

As explained earlier that civil society is a translation of civil society (in English). The word civil society consists of two words from Latin, civitas dei which means city, God and society which means society. From the word form one word namely civilization which means civilization. Therefore, civil society has the meaning as a community or group of urban people who have developed civilization.

4. Munawir (1997)

According to him, the civil society comes from the Arabic language. The word Madani comes from the word madana which means to inhabit, build, or live. But changed again to madani which means city people, civilized, and civil people. Thus, we can conclude that the word madani in Arabic has many meanings.

While the civil concept according to Majid (1997) is often seen as a society that has merited in facing the plans of power and against the arbitrary government in Southern European countries, Latin America, and also Eastern Europe.

5. Hall (1998)

Hall says that civil society is usually synonymous with the term civil society. Where it means an idea, a shadow, a dream, and an ideal of a community that can embody social life. In a civil society, its members will stick to humanity and civilization.

Characteristics of Civil Society

After understanding some of the definitions of civil society from the experts, the following writer will explain some of the characteristics of civil society that you need to know:

1. Upholding Values

Civil society is synonymous with its civilized nature. They always uphold the values ​​and norms and laws they support. They hold all that with knowledge, faith, and technology. This means that civil society has a life based on the rules that are in place. Starting from values, laws, norms, and others.

Their obedience is based on faith, knowledge, and technology that they have learned. Then developed with the strength of their faith and confidence in the Creator.

2. Have a High Civilization

As human beings who have strong confidence and faith in God the Creator, civil society has proven that they are a civilized society. Where they have good manners and manners. In addition, they also have manners towards their fellow human beings as well as their God.

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3. Prioritizing Equality and Transparency

The next characteristic is that civil society judges that their status is all the same. Whether it’s a woman or a man. Openness or transparency means that they will live life with an honest attitude and do not need things to be covered.

So that it will grow a sense of mutual trust between one member and another. This shows that this society has a democratic nuance. Where their democratization can be created with the existence of Non-Governmental Organizations, political parties, a free press, and tolerance.

Why can it be like that? Because in social society it is related to the discourse of rational social criticism. Where community members explicitly and clearly create democracy. So, civil society can only be guaranteed by a country that adheres to a democratic system, such as Indonesia.

Then related to the tolerance that has been mentioned above, it has the meaning of the willingness of each individual to accept various views, attitudes, and also political differences. Such tolerance is an attitude developed in a civilized society. It is a form of mutual respect and mutual respect. Both groups and individuals who have different opinions and attitudes.

4. Free Public Space

A free public space is usually also referred to as the free public sphere. This is a region that allows the community to have the rights and obligations of citizens. Where they have full access to various political activities, unite and also cooperate, express different opinions, and also gather and obtain information widely.

5. Supremacy of Law

In KBBI, the supremacy of law means the highest authority in the law which means that there is a guarantee of the creation of justice that can be realized. This can happen when a country places the law as the highest authority.

It should be underlined, that the intended justice can be realized if the existing law is applied neutrally. This means, there is no exception to obtain a permission in the name of the law.

6. Social Justice

Social justice or also called social justice is a balance and also a proportional division between the rights and obligations of a citizen and the country itself. Where it covers aspects of life.

That is, citizens have rights and obligations towards their country. So is the state, they also have rights and obligations over their citizens.

The rights and obligations have a balanced portion. So that it will produce a balanced output as well. Plurality or diversity will certainly occur in society. Especially in a country that has millions of citizens. Where they come from various different groups.

So, what is meant by pluralism is an attitude of accepting and acknowledging in writing that the society in a country is plural or diverse. This can be a factor in the creation of a multicultural society. Starting from culture, values, customs, norms, as well as language, religious tribes, ethnicities.

As a member of civil society, as is the case with Indonesian society. We have various languages, tribes, religions, cultures, ethnicities, and others. Of course, we must have a pluralistic attitude and also believe that a plurality will provide positive values ​​that come from God.

7. Social Participation

To establish relationships and cooperation between groups and individuals, we need to participate in the social environment. This aims to achieve and realize certain goals.

With clean social participation, then that is the beginning of the creation of a civil society. This can happen if there are nuances that can make individual rights and obligations very well protected.

That means, civil society needs to balance between its rights and obligations. So that social justice will be created as mentioned above.

Characteristics of Civil Society

In addition to having special characteristics, civil society also has its own characteristics that are different from society in general. Here are some characteristics of civil society that you need to understand.

1. Integration between individuals and groups is exclusively woven into society through social alliances and social contracts.
2. The power that exists in civil society is diffuse. So that the dominant interest can be reduced by the presence of alternative forces.
3. There are development programs that are dominated by the state or the government and also other development programs that are dominated by the community itself.
4. Equipped with access to the relationship between the interests of individuals and also the country. Because, members of volunteer organizations can give input to decisions taken by the government.
5. Progress and development of creativity that was initially hindered by the totalitarian regime.
6. The creation of loyalty and trust. So that each individual acknowledges their attachment to other individuals and they do not prioritize their own interests.
7. There is the liberation of society through the activities of social institutions with various perspectives.
8. Having trust and faith in God. That means they are a society that has a religion and acknowledges the existence of God. In addition, they also place God’s law as the foundation in managing life.
9. Live peacefully and peacefully. Because, all the people in the civil society, both as a group and as an individual, respect and appreciate the other party.
10. Help each other without interfering in someone’s internal affairs that could reduce their freedom.
11. Tolerance, that means they will not interfere in the affairs of others who already have freedom as human beings. They also will not feel disturbed by other parties who have different backgrounds.
12. Creating a balance between rights and obligations.
13. Have a high civilization. That means they have a love for science and use and benefit from that knowledge for the future.
14. Have noble morals.

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History of Civil Society

Various types of efforts have been made in order to create and create a civil society. Be it for a short term or for a long term. In order to create a civil society in a short period of time, it is necessary to choose a trustworthy leader. Then, the community also needs to place a leader who can be accepted well and who can lead wisely.

When looking for the historical roots of civilized society, it can be seen that in Ancient Greek society, this already exists. In Raharjo (1997), it is revealed that the term civil society has existed since before AD. The person who first coined the term civil society was Cicero, an orator from Ancient Greece.

According to Cicero, civil society is a political community that has good manners. This is usually exemplified by people living in the city. Where they have their own legal code. With the existence of citizenship and city culture, the term city is not just a concentration of people.

But also as a center of culture and civilization. In addition, the term civil society does not only refer to the term civil society. However, it is also based on the concept of the city of Medina built by the Prophet Muhammad SAW. Therefore, civil society also refers to the concept of civilized society or civilization. As well as another concept introduced by the philosopher Al Farabi, namely the concept of Medina as the Main State.

According to a researcher at the Pesantren Development Board and Islamic Studies, Dr. Ahmad Hatta, the madinah charter is an important document that can prove that civilized society in the past was very advanced. In addition, he also emphasized that the clarity of the law and the constitution in the society.

Even if we look at the opinion of Hamidullah (1958) in his book First Written Constitutions In The World, the madinah charter is the first written constitution in human history. The constitution surprisingly contained rules about civil rights that are currently being debated a lot.

These civil rights are now known as HAM or human rights. This appeared long before the Universal Declaration of the United Nations, the French Revolution, and even the Declaration of American Independence was proclaimed.

Such is the explanation about civil society that the writer can give. From all the explanations above, we can conclude that civil society is actually the concept of society that we need today. Especially in Indonesia which has various differences. Starting from tribe, race, religion, values, morals, and others.

With the creation of a civil society, of course we will be spared from the conflicts that arise due to differences that are not appreciated and respected. For example, during the election, there will definitely be many conflicts that arise due to political differences. Individuals and groups can hate each other just because they have different choices.

Well, if we have characteristics and social concepts similar to civil society. So that kind of conflict can definitely be avoided or even eliminated. What do you think? Have you applied the concept of civil society in your daily life?