Fiery Food for Thoughts
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - September 4, 2006 Posted: 11:22:04 AM EDT

I bought a brilliant book yesterday at MPH Subang Parade. 

It is called 'World On Fire : How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred & Global Instability'. The person below is Amy Chua. She is the author of the book. 


Chua, Amy; Professor of Law, Yale University; Author of World on Fire: 'The Myths of Globalization, Markets, Democracy, and Ethnic Hatred,' 

Below is a segment of her Introduction to the book.
 
'One morning in September 1994, I received a call from my mother in California. In a hushed voice, she told me that my Aunt Leona, my father's twin sister, had been murdered in her home in the Philippines, her throat slit by her chauffeur. My mother broke the news to me in our Hokkien Chinese dialect. But the word 'murder' she said in English, as if to wall off the act from the family through language.

The murder of a relative is horrible for anyone, anywhere. My father's grief was impenetrable; to this day, he has not broken his silence on the subject. For the rest of the family, though, there was an added element of disgrace. For the Chinese, luck is a moral attribute, and a lucky person would never be murdered. Like having a birth defect, or marrying a Filipino, being murdered is shameful.

My three younger sisters and I were very fond of my Aunt Leona, who was petite and quirky and had never married. Like many wealthy Filipino Chinese she had multiple bank accounts, in Honolulu, San Francisco and Chicago. She visited us in the US regularly. Having no children of her own, she doted on her nieces and showered us with trinkets. As we grew older, the trinkets became treasures. On my tenth birthday she gave me ten small diamonds, wrapped in toilet paper. My aunt loved diamonds and bought them by the dozen, concealing them in empty Elizabeth Arden moisturiser jars. She liked accumulating things. When we ate at McDonald's, she stuffed her Gucci purse with free packets of ketchup.

According to the police report, my Aunt Leona, 'a 58-year-old single woman,' was killed in her living room with a 'butcher's knife' at 8pm on 12th September 1994. Two of her maids were questioned, and they confessed that Nilo Abique, my aunt's chauffeur, had planned and executed the murder with their assistance. But Abique, the report went on to say, had 'disappeared.' The two maids were later released.

My relatives arranged a funeral for my aunt in the prestigious Chinese cemetery in Manila where many of my ancestors are buried. After the funeral, I asked one of my uncles whether there had been any developments in the murder investigation. He replied tersely that the killer had not been found. His wife added that the police had essentially closed the case.

I could not understand my relatives' almost indifferent attitude. Why were they not more shocked that my aunt had been killed by people who worked for her, lived with her, saw her every day? Why were they not outraged that the maids had been released? When I pressed my uncle, he was short with me. 'That's the way things are here,' he said...'

Read the rest of the Introduction to the book reproduced on Prospect Magazine UK.

Vengeful Majorities
In many poor countries, markets concentrate wealth in the hands of prosperous ethnic minorities. In these places, democracy can be an engine of vengeance. 

Go to full article on Prospect Magazine >>> Click here 

Some good links to Amy Chua:

Conversations with Amy Chua: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley>>
http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people4/Chua/chua-con0.html 

Watch the video here (RealPlayer needed) >>
http://webcast.ucsd.edu:8080/ramgen/UCSD_TV/8639.rm 

Salon : 'World On Fire' by Amy Chua >>
http://dir.salon.com/story/books/review/2003/01/13/democracy/print.html 

Amy Chua on Wikipedia >>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy_Chua 

Amy Chua - Homepage @ Yale
http://www.law.yale.edu/faculty/chuacurriculumvitae.htm 

 

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Wiley Chin
Chief Alchemist
XiMnet Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.

An alchemist of the Internet and marketing strategies, leading the charge to put our creative and software talents into serving companies who are out to slay the global giants. Also known as Chief of Caffeine Consumption and hallucinates between projects. Yes, that accounts for his “giant slaying” stuff.

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