The failed state scenario

1 02 2014

The royalist anti-democrats have long shown a disdain for “the country” because “the country” does not belong to all Thais, but is theirs. Indeed, there is something to this claim. The current Thai state was created and has been maintained by the hierarchical institutions that want total control. The lower classes are just the workers and farmers who are to be exploited and suppressed in the interests of those who “own the country.”

So closing the country’s airports in 2008 was a “patriotic act,” returning the country to its true and rightful rulers: royalists, monarchy, military and the old Sino-Thai tycoons.

Hence, when failed state scenarios are contemplated, PPT’s bet is that this upper crust think that it matters little, because they will soon put it back together, under its true and rightful rulers.

But listen to young Thammasat University political scientist Prajak Kongkirati at the Bangkok Post. He says what is obvious: “The PDRC [the anti-democrats] rejecting the election has escalated the deep-seated political conflict to another level from which it will be difficult for the country to recover…”.

Prajak says the “PDRC’s transformation from being an anti-government group to becoming an anti-election one is a ‘big mistake’.” This is because it has “triggered a situation for a possible clash of the masses…”. He adds:

By boycotting the election, the protest group has turned not just millions of people who support the Yingluck government into its enemies, but also millions of others who still cherish their democratic right through the electoral process.

The “animosity towards the election itself marks an unprecedented development in the country’s prolonged political conflict.” Prajak continues:

In short, the PDRC has destroyed the previously agreed-upon means to settle political conflicts, he said. By boycotting the election, the PDRC broke the peaceful and democratic way for the general public to participate in a process to decide who should have the right to govern….

”The PDRC is pushing society closer to a corner where there is no exit,” Mr Prajak argues.

Prajak understands the frustration of the rank-and-file anti-democrats. With supporters from Bangkok middle class and many from the Democrat Party stronghold in the South, “[i]n the current electoral landscape, these two groups … are the minority…”. He adds: “Their main vehicle in the parliamentary system, the Democrat Party, has not won a general election in more than two decades.”

Failed party rather than failed state?

Maybe both: “With the conflict raised to the anti-democracy level, will the country be able to recover from it?… Mr Prajak believes it is possible albeit very difficult.” He went on to predict “a state of paralysis and failed government will prevail with the country suffering political instability for a few more years.” He worried that the country could be plunged into “a state of anarchy.”

PPT’s guess is that the string pullers behind the scenes reckon the cost is worth it if they can maintain control over the unruly lower classes.