By John Keane, University of Sydney ‘Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must be silent’, wrote the young Ludwig Wittgenstein in his Tractatus (1921). The words are now famous, but in matters of politics the elegant last-sentence formula of his key early work must be doubted, and...

By John Keane Hong Kong’s Chief Executive C.Y. Leung rang in the Lunar New Year earlier this week with a noteworthy speech urging the citizens of Hong Kong to change their ways. Renowned for his calculated frankness, and his cracking faux pas, Leung said during the...

By John Keane The dwindling but still determined protesters in Hong Kong now face a vicious media assault on everything they stand for by central party propagandists in Beijing, writes John Keane. Now entering its third week, its numbers dwindling but its determination and purpose still remarkably...

By John Keane Are political developments in Hong Kong heading for a second Tiananmen massacre? A fortnight ago, partly to provoke discussion, partly to sound an alarm, I suggested in a radio interview that unless the Chinese government wisely handled the fast-unfolding dynamics, things in Hong...

By John Keane The following remarks were presented at a recent public forum in Sydney to celebrate the launch of Kerry Brown’s Carnival China: The People’s Republic in the era of Hu Jintao; Essays on Politics, Society and Culture. They tackle the issue of how best...

By John Keane During several decades of contact with writers trapped in stressed and strained political circumstances, I can’t ever recall meeting a literary figure who was brave and principled enough to offer herself up for arrest and imprisonment by the authorities. That’s what the young...

By John Keane Most people know from daily experience that memories are vital for their sense of well-being. Memory is the bearer of lavish gifts. It strengthens our capacity for living in the present. Memory brings direction. It prompts us to move on, to imagine different futures. When...

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