Strange and disconcerting days both onstage and behind the curtain, as the wind of change blows ever stronger ‘cross the humid Land of Smiles in a Thailand divided by massive economic and social disparities and the bewildering grey area brought forth by the complexities of a democratically elected government accused of monopolising power by sections of society who long for an elitist, non-democratic rule. Police dissemble checkpoints, sheathe weapons and join protesters, while their colleagues take aim at missile throwing students. The military is undecided; ousted former PM and alleged puppetmaster Thaksin’s agentur are supposedly stirring up mischief in the ranks of the dissenters. The row continues; the mud is being slung by both sides, and over one hundred thousand confirmed dissenters did today, and will tomorrow, be expected to take to the streets.
The sobering details of evident social rifts and the smoke screen of illusion make clear that while not all that glitters is gold, not all that smells foul is necessarily inedible, and in a world of grey painted black or white by agenda-driven bias, the same black or white views create screens of fog or light which obscure present and future potential crimes against the people.
So, from the perspective of an egalitarian hippy and a believer in brotherhood and freedoms; the supremacy of intent and goodwill over law, bureaucracy and certainly over elitism, and a borderline anarchist at heart; who to support?
Thailand’s societal makeup is rather more complex than may be observed with the outsider’s eye.
Which side is one to choose? Amazingly enough, the egalitarian soul shall argue against democracy, whose pyrrhic victory has led to the rule of a puppetmaster and the encroachment of multinational corporations and Thailand becoming part of the global corporatocracy.
But in the interests of fairness, here’s an objective look at both sides of the Bangkok protests:
Presided over by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra – sister to ousted former PM Thaksin, whose corporate power, backing of the American corporatocracy and Fortune 500 is well documented – the government was democratically elected; indeed, in three successive elections Thaksin’s led or allied party has romped home to victory in the ballot box.
On the surface, it seeks to serve the needs of the peasantry in a way that their counterparts do not; in essence, the argument for maintaining the status quo is the simple “black and white” fact that they were democratically elected, and are the rightful rulers not merely de facto, but de jure, as per the constitution.
Curiously, precisely that; de jure. The government of Yingluck are accused of rewriting that very constitution; being de facto dictated by former twice-ousted PM Thaksin (more on him later) and of ignoring recent court rulings that modifications to the constitution under their watch were illegal and contravened the written code of the Kingdom of Thailand.
While supporting the peasantry in a way it is strongly felt the “Yellow Shirts” would not – they being pigeonholed as representative of the interests of the ruling elite, the Bangkok-ites and middle and upper middle classes (and with it, more police authoritarianism would surely follow) there is an underlying authoritarianism of Putin-esque form in the Shinawatra incarnation of Thailand.
From Thaksin to his sister Yingluck; the house of Shinawatra is many years in to their democratically unconquerable reign. But, it is claimed within the country that with less than a quarter of the country actually voting, and a degree of ballot box manipulation and “bought votes”, the elections aren’t a truly representative of the unified will of the Thai majority, much less the city dwellers and well-to-do.
Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul even went on to announce plans to arrest anti-government media officials (Blue Sky TV) and even the administration of the capital city allied to Suthep, the principle antagonist of the Yellow Shirts resistance of whom hundreds of thousands of protesters have campaigned as a replacement to Yingluck.
To focus on the man himself and clarify his role; Thaksin was ousted from government in 2006, returned with American corporate backing after he opened the floodgates to US-ASEAN corporate takeovers for various multinational corporations to monopolise various markets, and reclaimed the throne. He was ousted once more in 2010 from government and country (should he return, he will have to face 2yrs jail time on corruption charges) yet his sister’s election led to a veritable rewriting of the constitution. To the protesters, Yingluck is simply continuing in her brother’s footsteps, selling further Thai interests with free trade agreements between the US and Thailand.
On the eve of his spectacular overthrowal in 2006, Thaksin was speaking in New York City to the all-powerful US Council on Foreign Relations. He is a legitimate friend of the Fortune 500 family.
Of course, up the length and breadth of Thailand, it is fair to say that a great deal are unaware of the nature of his free trade agreements, although the effects of his opening the floodgates to the multinational corporations is evident. But they ARE all well aware of Thaksin’s own War on Drugs.
Sometimes a picture says a thousand words:
~The Protesters & Opposition
The Yellow Shirts; whose supporters throng the heaving streets and squares of the bustling boomtown of Bangkok – its sounds and smells amplified and intensified like a volume cursor rolled all the way round – plan to shake the tree long enough for Thaksin’s sister and his current cronies holding the fort to come crashing down and out.
Thaksin himself may be absent, but while his sister holds the reigns and his joining of Thailand to the corporatocracy has led to the incursion of de facto corporate influence and rule, he is equally symbolic of the endemic problems facing the Thai nation.
The protesters – a far more diverse mob than is perhaps suggested in the corporate media of the west – far outrank the pitiful counter-rallied that Yingluck’s regime has managed to drum up.
Black clad violent protesters have been widely claimed as infiltrators into the midst of the “rioters” – their subsequent violence being attributed to Yellow Shirts’ policies and the violent intent of the dissidents. In reality, the protesters willingly – happily, even – disbanded for the King’s birthday, with the Thailand monarch being a man whom is universally revered (and whom it is illegal by lese majeste to criticise), and as was to be fair, widely reported, the Thai police equally happily dismantled their own roadblocks and barricades, exchanging items with the protesters in clearly visible solidarity.
That was only a precursor to further to what occurred four days later when the protests resumed; whole sections of the Thai police sheathing their weapons and ceremoniously discarding their means of policing by force.
Yes, even for those with whom after consideration of world corporatocracy, one must definitely side – even at the expense of democracy, which is abused anyway in the event of multinational Fortune 500 and Bildebergers rule – one must still list the cons.
- The Yellow Shirts reject democracy – wishing for a chosen People’s Council of sorts
- No discernible democracy could lead to a reactionary de facto centralised dictatorship
- This in turn could lead to Thailand becoming an intolerable police & military state – always an ugly feature to the enlightened mind, an anathema to the anarchist and the hippy.
- Less representation – on the surface at least – for Thailand’s peasantry in the countryside.
That’s about it, to my sensibility.
By all means, do endeavour to correct me if I’m drastically wrong; but the destruction of democracy – supposedly sacrosanct in western ideals – is justified in this context. In any case, a multinational corporation-backed regime ruled by a shadowy and already-deposed puppetmaster derogatorily known as a Wall Street stooge doesn’t truly have “the people’s” interests at heart anyway; to those with “The Will To Power” that the likes of Thaksin use to claw their way into total executive power, the interests of the people is a ludicrous, abstract notion which cannot, and will not, ever truly feature in their interests.
While the western media appears on the face of it to be fully supportive of Yingluck, with little mention of police solidarity and much ado made of the King’s birthday “cessation of hostilities” – in war terms – and of course, little to nothing ostensibly mentioned regarding the Deputy Prime Minister’s despotic orders to arrest all prominent dissenters – or indeed, those in support of the uprising who buy ink by the bucket load – with near-total executive administrative power in the Bangkok city limits; if Thaksin and his sister are Hitler and Goering (though in a slightly different context) then Deputy PM Surapong is conducting the shadowy Heydrich SS-Gestapo secret police manoeuvres behind the scenes, casting enemies indiscriminately into “The Dustbin of Thaksin’s Reich.”
Here in Bangkok, the people have risen, and they have spoken. Even as pre-conceived illusory discounted luxury items made Anglo-American supermarket shoppers fight, scratch and claw each other in a sick pantomime of dripping greed, the supposedly third world, comparatively backward Thai folk rose up in righteous anger to protest for their rights, and to depose the system that led to multinational, globalist corporate encroachments on their land.
Salud, no pasarán & viva libertad to those fine fellows says I; it makes you proud to be Bangkok-ian.
Let this be a lesson to the world; We Shall Overcome, Some Day.