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Philosophy

This category contains 81 posts

Is Capitalism without Socialism Sustainable?

By Ooi Kee Beng, Editorial in Penang Monthly, October, 2017 The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the end of the communist experiment, and to the extent that the experiment was an application of Marxist ideas about class conflict as the driver of human development, the reunification of Germany that followed also meant for many … Continue reading

The Art of Dismantling Cultural Pluralism

By OOI KEE BENG, “Picking on the Past”, column in Penang Monthly, October 2017. (Published on Merdeka Day, 31 August 2017 in The Malaysian Insight). MALAYSIA is a special place for its natural geography and its human history, but most importantly of all, because of its demographic complexity. The peninsula is on the western receiving … Continue reading

The Diminishing of Humans Through Identity Politics

By Ooi Kee Beng, “Picking on the Past”; Column in Penang Monthly, November 2017 (earlier version published in Forum, The Edge, Malaysia, 25 September 2017). Who am I? A simple question to ask oneself, and yet, no simple answer suggests itself. As long as the issue is about the singular person, it appears to be … Continue reading

One Thing is Certain—There will be More Amendments to the Constitution

By Ooi Kee Beng, Editorial, Penang Monthly, August 2017 As with all agreements, consensus and contracts, a Constitution is a hunt for a balance – and a dynamic one at that, between the expressing on one hand of lofty national aspirations and ambitions, and on the other of compromises meant to be more binding than … Continue reading

The Parochial and the Global are Intertwined

By OOI KEE BENG For The Edge, Forum July 24, 2017 In the time of Brexit and the tenure of Trump; with the triumph of Putin and the threat of Kim, instead of thinking about how Globalisation is being reversed, we should take a longer perspective and think about how the global battle in modern … Continue reading

The Primacy of Political Economy in Asia

By Ooi Kee Beng, Editorial, PEnang Monthly, July 2017 It’s a complicated subject, this thing we call Economics. I don’t always know what it means. I remember once talking to Robert Kuok about it. His reply was (and I paraphrase from my vague memory of that conversation): “Economics is simply about living, isn’t it? As … Continue reading

We no longer have real time

By Ooi Kee Beng The Edge Malaysia Weekly (June 26-July 02, 2017). You know that you are living in the 21st century when you wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is reach across the bed — not to caress your spouse, but to embrace your smartphone. After all, it has … Continue reading

Nothing like a Good Disaster to Keep Us Humble

By Ooi Kee Beng The Edge Malaysia Weekly (May 2017) Humans are land animals. The history of humanity has been largely played out on land. The sea was something that rivers emptied into, and much of seafaring had hugged coastlines. Lakes were simply smaller seas. Access to fresh water, though, is vital to human life. … Continue reading

The Hokkien Vernacular

By Ooi Kee Beng, editorial in Penang Monthly, May 2017. IN LIEU OF a normal editorial, and in keeping with this month’s cover story being about Penang Hokkien, I am providing here in somewhat truncated form, the Introductory from “The Hokkien Vernacular” (edited by George Thompson Hare and published in Kuala Lumpur in 1904). I … Continue reading

On Sexism, Racism, Ageism and Other Bigotries

By OOI KEE BENG, Editorial for Penang Monthly, April, 2017 A racist act is the conscious effort by one group identity to effectively reduce the social status and the security, the rights and the privileges, and the integrity and dignity of another group identity. The intended dynamic is two-fold, and lies firstly in the racist’s … Continue reading