Royalist propaganda for the new reign

23 12 2017

Royal and royalist propaganda has not decreased with the new reign. Indeed, there has been a dogged determination to make the new reign look a bit like the old reign,

One of the reasons for this is that the military dictators view royal myths and propaganda as the keystone of the conservative political order.

The Nation reports reports on a new and permanent exhibition at Museum Siam that claims to display “the evolution of Thai culture” but which is little more than royalist propaganda.

The exhibition is claimed to explore “diverse aspects of Thainess” but there’s little “diversity” in the underlying codes of royalist determinations of “Thainess.” It does this “through 14 rooms spread across two floors.”

While the exhibitions play with notions of “Thainess,” there is nothing but standard and approved views of monarchy. One curator is quoted:

It is believed that the King has divine status and the architecture related to the monarchy is traditionally fashioned around this belief. To Thais, the King is the heart and soul of the nation….

So all of the playing with “Thainess” is okay when it is popular culture but not when it comes to the keystone of official “Thainess.”

The “Thailand’s Three Pillars” room has official “Thainess” in its invented traditionalism:

The core concepts of Thailand’s three deeply rooted institutions, nation, religion and monarchy, which collectively reflect the expression of Thainess, are featured in the “Thailand’s Three Pillars” room.

Using trendy gimmickry visitors are “invited” to accept this royalist traditionalism in a periodization straight out of school textbooks hammered into reigns.

In all of this standardization of “Thainess,” the 1997 economic crisis is highlighted as leading “many Thais to recognise the wisdom of the ‘sufficiency economy’ espoused by … King Bhumibol Adulyadej…”.

Royalism is “hipsterized” and made “normal” and “standard.” No alternatives views allowed. That’s royalist propaganda for a new reign.


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29 07 2019
Updated: Constructing the monarch | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] fear associated with his erratic and narcissistic behavior, for the palace propaganda machine, nothing much has changed and it uses familiar and tried and true […]