Law vs. king

4 10 2020

We want to draw attention to a thoughtful article at Boston Review. “The Law Ought to Be King” is by Peera Songkünnatham. This is a story about the underlying motivations of recent protests and deserves a “long read.”

Here are some of the highlighted bits of the text:

Thailand has been gripped by the largest wave of protest in years, forcing a reckoning between the country’s dual structures of democracy and monarchy.

Thailand is formally a constitutional monarchy, but in recent years the king has made it clear that he is above the constitution rather than bound by it.

The fearful wait-and-see attitude toward the new reign that pervaded Thailand four years ago has been superseded by a decisive impatience: we’re sick of waiting; we’ve seen enough; let’s get it over with now.

With the ceiling of acceptable criticism blown off, language has taken on a particularly charged political power.

The hard fact is that the monarchy’s undoing comes from inside the house. Vajiralongkorn’s actions have become increasingly hard to defend even to the monarchy’s die-hard, born-again supporters.

Leaders are careful to frame their demands in terms of monarchical reform rather than anti-monarchical revolution. But in effect the two are joined in an ultimatum to the king: either you rehabilitate yourself, or your entire establishment will fall out of the people’s good graces forever.



One response

6 10 2020
Cartoon king | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] reading the article we recently linked to at the Boston Review, we noticed a cartoon by King Vajiralongkorn. Of course, we’d seen […]

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