Venue: Wongsanit Ashram

(Pracha Hutanuwatr)

We live in an extremely complex and interdependent world. Many things happen to us and we don’t know their causes and conditions.  These include financial crises of boom and bust, unemployment, continual debt of farmers, extremist & fundamentalist groups of all sorts, regional and civil wars etc.  It is important for spiritual leaders and social change makers to understand hidden discourses and underlying structural arrangements, as well as looking into the emerging alternatives around the world.

During these days we will also wrestle with big concepts such as neoliberalism, globalization, corporate-capitalism, failings of socialisms, gender justice, consumerism, media analysis, money & debt, social justice, sustainability, etc.

We will also explore the classical and contemporary philosophy of politics and political ideas in Asia as well as their influence at the grassroots to this day, and also explore alternatives to the present globalised political, economic and cultural model from broad non-Western and specific Asian perspectives.  Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of structural violence and alternatives on contemporary crises.


Learning Themes

  •  Critical understanding of the role and impact of colonialism in Asia
  •  Why we need to recognise and rebuild Asian political thought?
  •  What are the characteristics of Asian democracy?
  •  Relevance of Gandhi and commentary of ” HIND SWARAJ”
  •  Mao’s Red Book in view of political and economic changes in China since 1949
  •  Cultural Revolution in China, Understanding Post-Mao Era and Knowing Deng and his influence
  •  Masao Maruyama and the impact of his works on Japanese politics, society and culture
  •  Lee Kuan Yew and the Singapore model of development – Debate!
  •  Rise and influence of authoritarian capitalism in Southeast Asia
  •  Currents of Political Thought in Iran, Egypt and Middle East
Recommended Readings and Websites:
M.K Gandhi, Hind Swaraj, or Indian Home Rule, Navajivan Publishing House, India