Thoughts On A Post-Socialist Manifesto: Focusing On Malaysia In Age Of Complexity And Cybernetic Capitalism – Essay


There is a need for greed in this post-colonial British country called Malaysia. It is the need for greed at a high speed that is killing the rakyat/masses fast. 

From the need to monopolize plantations, public works companies, investment brokerages, private hospitals, television stations, media conglomerates, satellites beaming 100 channel televisions that turn kampong folks into soap-opera and Bollywood junkies, right up to airlines that need newer landing grounds that will also turn surrounding areas into Disneylands — Malaysians are now addicted the fascination of monopolizing. 

The game MONOPOLY by Parker Brothers must have been a good socializer to the idea that monopolizing and being greedy is good. For decades, the ideology of monopolizing has shaped the consciousness of Malaysians and monopolizers are considered heroes of the Malaysian-styled laissez faire world of corporate-crony-crypto capitalism.  

There is even a Malaysian version of the game MONOPOLY that is based on the cities of Cyberjaya and Putrajaya. We love to teach ourselves how to make the other guy bankrupt and how to monopolize everything. We love to even make bankers bankrupt. The best part of this game of simulation is when we land in jail and cannot collect “$200.00”.  

It seems like a perfect foreshadowing of the jailing of American Ponzi-scheme guru Madoff and in Malaysia of those politically well-connected robber-barons who will be hunted down and jailed when total change sweeps the nation. They cannot collect their $200.00. 

MONOPOLY killed America and many other nations. The capitalist world is collapsing under its own weight and it is a perpetual revolution of collapses, across time and space. Marx predicted that America would collapse but the prediction did not come true; Roosevelt’s New Deal saved America from drowning in its dust bowl. The “ten days that shook the world” of Russia – of the October Revolution” did not shake America but gave a chance for the IWW or the International Workers of the World (“The Wobblies”) to scare American capitalism off. The cycle continues as we observe the bipolarity of history and its “butterfly effects”

In Malaysia, the game of corporate-crony capitalism is that of “rent-seeking” monopoly and of “interlocking directorateships” especially in the GLCs (government-linked companies.) 

The rakyat/masses are merely spectator happy to read about first Malaysian billionaires, world-class Malaysian companies, and who’s who in the Malaysian corporate world. 

The rakyat are happy that they now can fly cheap, that they are reading about how famous Malaysia is as a great “medical tourism” destination, and which Bollywood star will get a Datuk Seri-ship. I wonder if there are ways we can curb the capitalist urge in us; an urge that is often couched cleverly in the language of “progress, innovation, and trickle down”. This cannot pass the test of “deconstructionism”, “ideologiekritik”, nor answer the question “cui bono” or “who benefits”? 

Since the beginning of the privatization of healthcare for example, there have been enthusiastic talks on “medical tourism” in which private hospitals are making their services attractive to foreigners seeking highly affordable and at greatly discounted treatment at Malaysian’s leading medical centers. I think the rakyat must insist on these hospitals too offer medical tourism opportunities to Malaysia’s poor – those who we hear seek public donations for surgeries that will save their lives. But Malaysia is moving in high gear in privatization and medical centers are only interested in serving efficiently those who can pay. 

Let the kampong/vilage folks and the poor of all races seek traditional cure for their terminal illnesses; the medical centers are profit-centers run by Malaysia’s multinational corporations that are run by the rich and the powerful. This is the image of progress we are seeing. As in a short story “Senja di Jakarta” or “Twilight in Jakarta,” by the Indonesian writer Muchtar Lubis, the life of the politician is more important than that of a padi planter. 

We are a nation, like Sisyphus as Albert Camus says — imagining ourselves happy. In a country where few monopolizes and the need for greed is growing at a great speed. 

It is as if the few wants to plunder the nation as fast as they can before the entire country, like the story of Firaun/Pharaoh and Qarun in the ancient scriptures, is swallowed by the weight of power, arrogance, and wealth accumulated. 

In thinking of the events that are shaping the world is general and Malaysia in particular, I wrote the following idea of a manifesto, inspired by Compexity Theory as analytical lens: 


A specter is haunting the worldview of revolutionary movements globally. Synthesized with the advancing power of cybernetic technologies, namely the Internet and other “personacratic” tools of liberation from the dread of Post-Modern Industrialized society, global revolutionary movements are finding inspiration instantaneously in the events that alter culture and consciousness.  

The wired world has offered rapidized, globalized, and co-constructivized platform of revolution that begins with the mind, shaping consciousness and ended with the shaping of policies brought about because of changes in regimes. 

The specter of the spirit of revolutionary ideals is making its presence in multitudinous ways; this specter, archived in the consciousness of nations, buried by the political economic wave of advanced capitalism sped up by the revolution in nanotechnology and imperialized by those who owns them means of controlling the international production-houses of labor. 

As the post-modern world moves into the realm of a changing nature of Pax Americanism, as the world continue to see conflicts multiplying in many countries, overarchingly networked into the advanced capitalist matrix of both Eastern and Western powerhouses of Capitalism, the global masses of peoples alienated, enslaved, marginalized, and victimized by the forces of Techno-Elitism began to rise and educated of their condition, their awareness aided by cybernetic technologies and mass application of activist-cybernetic journalism. 

The collapse of the American Empire and the rise of Obama-ism, Trumpism. and next Biden-ism and both as an ideology of hope and despair and a transparent mask of postmodern Imperialism is a meeting ground between the forces of historical-materialism, one brought about by the specter and the dying force of 21st. century global imperialism that is having its tentacles amputated one by one. 

The specter that is haunting the globalized world of networked economies is a specter that is Fractal in nature; borne out of the manifestation of Chaos and Complexity, recognized, and discerned through the application of a hybrid of Complexity and Critical Theory. 

Post-modern technopoles called the “modern nation-state “or “countries” or “hamlets of democracies” are fast and furiously breaking down. Culture, politics, economics, religion, and society are no longer meaningful constructs to describe the inner workings of these “post-Nationalistic era entities” called “independent and sovereign” nations. A new paradigm of describing these post-modern tribalistic enclaves hegemonized and shrouded by the politico-linguistic terminologies of nationhood and statescraftism is needed. 

Let us explore further the fundamental character of the cybernetic republic and the possibility of a world totally transformed by Digital Technologies ruled by Techno-Mystics whose job is to provide stewardship to deconstruct Capitalism, gradually install a technological paradigm of social change based on the yet-to-be-constructed principles of Cultural Egalitarianism, and consequently bring forth radical changes characterized by the establishment of a postmodern form of Agro-based socialism that harnesses the power of Nature and bring Humanity closer to its Natural Self.

Dr. Azly Rahman

Dr. Azly Rahman is an academician, educator, international columnist, and author of nine books He holds a Columbia University (New York City) doctorate in international education development and Master's degrees in six areas: education, international affairs, peace studies, communication, fiction, and non-fiction writing. He is a member of the Columbia University chapter of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. Twitter @azlyrahman. More writings here. His latest book, a memoir, is published by Penguin Books is available here.

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