The time has come to reframe the great questions before Thailand and upset the forces pressing for polarisation and confrontation.

Farang perspectives on individualism and hierarchy, resting as they do on emotional, psychological, intellectual and philosophical nihilism of post-modernism, offer little in the way of constructive visions for a common good for Thais.

Unreflective social traditionalism offers little in the way of a constructive vision for the 21st century.

Cooperating, balancing, blending, amalgamating, keeping the core and letting go of the periphery — classic traits of successful Thai modernisation, not to mention successful resistance to the Khmer, the Burmese, Colonialists and the Communists — should now be in vogue.

It is a time for a grand consultation and compromise, and not for demands and rigid self-seeking.

– Extracted from Stephen B. Young, “What is happening to the land of ‘mai pen rai’?”, The Nation, 23 January 2010. Previous New Mandala coverage of Young’s current stint in Thailand is available here.