Where to now?

7 01 2021

Clipped from Khaosod

There’s been considerable “advice” to the protesters. It seems to us that the protesters have been remarkably innovative and inclusive in their activities, confounding critics several times. Even so, this seems like a time when well-meaning commentary is important. Here’s one piece that came across our digital desk:

Thailand’s protests will pause until the beginning of 2021. Will Corona take the wind out of their sails? Also. Rather, however, disagreement about the political course. Thailand’s state class refuses to reform. The military, state bureaucracy and the royal family remain major obstacles to democratic change.

Thailand’s young smartphone generation is reaching its limits. Digitally networked demonstrators now also have a pop-cultural character. However, yellow rubber ducks cannot achieve greater support among the population. Are the protests developing into a political theater?

Disorientation

Dissent over the political course was foreseeable. A leaderless movement without a clear program and demands beyond the resignation of General Prayuth’s government remains weak. The belief in reformability and will to reform of Thailand’s conservative class is a naive illusion.

Political passivity

Thailand’s demonstrations are supported by the urban middle class. The really poor remain without a voice. Thailand’s silent majority is reluctant to change. The monarchy continues to enjoy respect as an institution. Adolescent radicalism collides with Thailand’s culture.

Belief in authority

Collective awareness in Thailand is determined by the culture of authority and avoidance of conflict. Hierarchical social structures are closely linked to subordination and obedience. Values that are conveyed in school and at home and that control social behavior in everyday life. No humus for democracy.

What needs to be done?

If you don’t have a plan, in the end you have to submit to those who have one. The structurelessness of the protests contrasts with the tight structures of the state. Clear political goals and strategies remain indispensable for mobilizing a broad alliance against undemocratic rule. So in Thailand.

thaimonitor (no. 62)  04-January-2021.
thaimonitor is a German-language newsletter of expats in Thailand.

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10 01 2021
Royalists, academics and palace propaganda | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] couple of days ago we posted on advice to protesters. That advice was well-meaning. At the Asia Times Online, however, academic […]

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