A few days ago we noted that when there is drought, the palace and military propaganda machine cranks up, emphasizing hierarchy.
The other thing that happens is that the sometimes cockeyed ideas of the king are recycled. One is the use of cloud-seeding, which is generally considered scientifically dubious. Yet in Thailand, because the technology has the king’s name attached to it, taxpayers’ money is poured into the effort every time there is a drought. They’ve been at it again during this dry season.
The other idea that the military promotes is the sufficiency economy concept, first called the “new theory” some years ago. Royalist posterior polishers also get into the act, even if the notion of sufficiency is foreign to their class. Even for its alleged founder, the call for sufficiency economy is an act of political and economic hypocrisy.
For PPT, this is essentially a fact as the sufficiency economy is a rhetorical device that demands loyalty to the monarchy. This is one of the reasons it is wheeled out in times of stress or of political instability. Yet an article in The Nation on the latest military sufficiency economy exercise is even more difficult to understand than usual. To be honest, we find it almost incomprehensible, but readers might be more knowledgeable on this nonsense than us.
We just note a couple of points. First, the idea of using swales for water diversion is hardly new or central to the “new theory.” Farmers worldwide have used them for centuries. Second, small ponds as water catchments is a part of the “new theory,” and again they have been used by farmers forever. but the calculations used to justify them are often simplistic (look at the “calculation” of evaporation in the previous link). As well, the mandated systems require considerable resources.
The point of this story, though, is its propaganda value, and it is only a few paragraphs in that the reader learns that it is the military at work with tame “celebrities”:
The first day of the project was spent cycling, running or walking the 30 kilometres from the Special Warfare Centre’s Command School at Camp Erawan to the Command’s Sufficiency Economic Learning Centre in Lop Buri…
While the story is confused and confusing, the military’s use of royalist propaganda for discipline and hierarchy is clear.