Alan Klima and Peter Geschiere

According to Alan Klima and Peter Geschiere, there is a link between a "high relationship" and a "high market." According to them, the exceptional functioning of some economies is due to a tight link between citizens and superpowers, such as gods or wizards. Kilma contends that it is hard to explain Thailand's economy using traditional local concepts or from a worldwide standpoint (Klima, 448). According to him, the nation's economy's outstanding performance following the 1997 financial crisis can be attributed to Budha's assistance. As a result of the financial crisis, the followers of Luangta Maha Bua (the ‘forest saint’) organized a campaign that was geared towards requesting the Budhi to offer some of his charismatic powers to the nation’s national reserves (Klima, 448). During the campaign, they requested the Budha to show his generosity, compassion, and kindness to the nation and, hence, save it from the economic crisis. The followers agreed to introduce a new kind of taxation that was also deemed as a religious observance, whereby they introduced a new form of taxation. During the fourth year, a ceremony was held all over Thailand and all the presents collected – more than a million dollars and gold whose weight was more than a ton- were handed over to the government (Kliman, 449). The ceremony was conducted in temples all over the country and was complimented by some rituals where Luangta Maha Bua would appear to receive the presents. Ultimately, the ceremonies replaced the ‘kathin’ – a traditional ceremony that was held in Thailand and it involved robes-giving rituals.

Usually, people, villages, families, or even groups strived to save more money for the event than their peers, which was then used to make ‘money trees’ that were placed at the monks’ feet. On that fateful day – when all the money and gold was to be given to the government – Luangta Maha Bua based his sermon on the theme of sacrifice, which compelled people to give out more money. Klima calls this idea of making the people contribute money to boost the economic welfare of their state the Buddhist theory (Klima, 450). According to the theory, the spiritual enhancement of an individual is not achieved through a person’s concentration but also through communal fellowship, which encourages people to give out their possessions to benefit others. On the other hand, Geschiere argues that the performance of the economies – more so of the African nations – has been linked to the input of some supernormal powers – for example witchcraft. According to him, witchcraft is not just an evil thing but can also be made use of in a positive way, which would enable one to progress, in this case by helping him/her amass more wealth (Geschiere, 814). He cites that there is evidence that links the increased economic development in Taiwan to ghost worship. Also, he argues that the immense riches gained through ghost worshipping has been a major factor behind the increased broad appeal and strength behind the cults (Geschiere, 814). In Africa, there are various forms of witches, which include ‘ekong,’ ‘nyongo,’ ‘famla,’ and ‘kupe.’ ‘Ekong’ witches are deemed as the wealthiest as they live in good houses and even possess some electronics and cars. Geschiere notes that ‘ekong’ witches take advantage of their victims by forcing them to work on some plantations that are usually invincible (Geschiere, 822). De Rosny suggests that ‘ekong’ is usually used to address the occurrences in the contemporary market economies as it has the potential to influence the consumption patterns of people and their accumulation of property (Gieschiere, 822).


Nevertheless, there exist some differences between the two scholars’ frameworks on the intervention of the supreme beings in the economies. Unlike Klima who seems to be supporting this intervention, Gieschiere notes that the African were against the intervention of these supreme beings in their economies. Gieschiere claims that the African states had even proposed that they would implement some policies that would eradicate witchcraft from the society. As a result, most of the witches – for instance, ‘nganga,’ the traditional healers – did their best to lead a low profile life since they were always treated with suspicion by the other community members. Besides, they were occasionally persecuted for they were deemed to be a significant threat to the peaceful co-existence among the societal members. One can point out that the intervention of the supernatural powers in Thailand was encouraged as it was associated with only positive effects within the community, which included boosting their economic welfare and that of the entire nation. However, on the other hand, their intervention in most African countries was resisted as it had been noted that they had the potential to affect the societal members adversely. Also, as Geschiere argues, unlike the Africans, the Whites do not believe in witchcraft, which is always associated with some adverse effects on the society, hence, making people fear its wrath.

Works Cited

Geschiere, Peter. ‘Globalization and The Power of Indeterminate Meaning: Witchcraft and Spirit Cults in Africa and East Asia.’Development and Change. Vol. 29. Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 1998.

Klima, Alan. ‘Thai Love Thai: Financing Emotion In Post-Crash Thailand.’ Routledge, 2011.

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