Commodifying Marxism

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3. Commodifying Marxism: The Formation of Modern Thai Radical Culture, 1927-1958.
Kasian Tejapira. December, 2001.


In this study of the formation of modern Thai radical culture, Tejapira reveals a process of cultural and political interaction which results in a mutual transformation of exogenous Marxism/communism and indigenous Thai culture. The study draws on data from a number of primary and secondary sources, including memoirs from and interviews with leftist intellectuals, contemporary radical publications, and a number of unpublished Masters’ dissertations in the Thai language. The book traces the introduction of Sino-Vietnamese Marxism/communism into Siam during the absolute monarchy in the late 1920s until the late 1950s when, under the military regime, it emerges as a particularly Thai cultural phenomenon. The exogenous ethnic character of the early Siamese communist movement made it an easy target for the conservative nationalist/royalist ideology of Thai-ness and socialism had been pre-judged as utopian even before its actual arrival in Thailand.