Progressive Dementia

Recent comment by Hobby reminded me of the arguments usually presented to justify the alliance of progressive Thai thinkers and pro-Thaksin movement. Hobby wasn’t the one who invented it and I’ll quote him just because it’s the most recent occurrence: “they see him as just about the only chance to topple the old guard”. Nothing personal.

Feel free to correct me if my interpretation is wrong, but the more I think about this, the less sense it makes.

So, it goes like this:

The old guard is detrimental to the development of Thai democracy so progressives want Thaksin’s help in toppling it. Then, after Thaskin have established democracy here, they’d use it to remove him, via democratic means. Is that the plan?

When I was in third grade me and my mates had a plan to start a band. We didn’t have any money so we decided to play the lottery to finance it. That had better chance of success than the hope that Thaksin would establish working democracy and obey by its rules.

Tanks, judges, and elites can’t curb that man’s aspiration to power, what chance does “democracy” under his direct control have?

Where will they find democratic majority to vote him out? Who is going to support them? Sellout elitist Democrats? PAD fascists? Thaksin’s own fans? Thailand doesn’t have an unlimited supply of voters, you know.

Also there’s something fishy with their idea to first use poor to bring Thaksin back and them use them again to oust him. Using people to achieve your own ends is neither progressive nor democratic.

I’d say it again – nonsense like this makes them unacceptable to the mainstream society and so they are reduced to hanging around Thaksin’s karaoke parties, hoping someone would also listen to their songs. It makes sense in one way, though – those parties have politically fresh electorate, clean slates ready to be molded into whatever you want. They are also quite gullible.

Another questions to these revolutionaries – you don’t have any leaders, how can you hope to pull this off without leadership? Current red leadership is too tainted to be acceptable outside red circles. Sometimes Chaturon gets mentioned as a possible leader. Hmm. Chaturon has spotless and untainted record of serving first Chavalit and then Thaksin through all the abuses those two dished out to the democracy, what are the chances he’d lead the electorate against his masters he never ever disagreed with?

Nah, that’s just progressive dementia.

If anyone has a better explanation, I’d love to hear it.

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10 Responses

  1. Why not just leave it to the Thai people to decide who they want?

    If they want Thaksin, they will vote for him.
    When they dont want him, they will not vote for him.

    It’s simple really!
    (unless watching too much PAD/ASTV has warped your brain so you cannot see it so clearly)

    • “Thai people” is not some unified entity that independently and impartially decides on what it wants, and it isn’t an immutable body either.

      Additionally, at some point “Thai people” agreed on following certain rules, Thaksin broke those rules, and so unless those rules are rescinded he is disqualified from holding positions of political power, no matter what “Thai people” allegedly wants.

  2. Until the coup is undone, any talk of Thaksin breaking rules is pointless.

  3. Hobby, it’s never easy having a democracy, and you don’t have to use ASTV as your source to argue about its flaws. You know that guy, John Stuart Mill, did point out a few.
    And seriously, how can a coup be undone? Until time machine is available to the human race, I doubt it can be undone without creating a new conflict.
    You can rightfully point out its misdeeds, but you still have to live with what remains, not what is in the past. Healing process will be long, and if Pue Thai would not compromise and accept its fate as an unlucky opposition for, say, a year more, you just can’t begin that process. You know, that reform you want. Can’t happen.
    Think of the frustration of Abhisit. He doesn’t really want to amend the constitution but he did offer a referendum. Articles concerning electoral process is important for the next general election red shirts are calling for, but what did the red shirts do? They made a fuss out of the damned 2 billion Baht, calling it a waste. Wouldn’t the next riot cost more than two billion? Of course it would, but do they care? No, because the objective is to get the power back as soon as possible, not democracy.

  4. I’m no Thaksin lover, and when the coup happened I was gullible enough to think it might alow a resetting of democracy, BUT one only needs to look at what has happened since to see that it was WRONG.

    Out of Thaksin alleged crimes, all they have been able to get him on was a very minor technicality – they have not even shown there was any advantage gained – they then handed down an excessive jail penalty.
    (Neither the verdict or the jail sentence stand up to scrutiny, and have been a dreat disservice to the LAW – how can anyone trust the judiciary now that it has shown itself to be so clearly under direction of other powers?)
    btw, same applies to Thaksin’s 2001 ‘win’ on his asset conceaolment case.

    Its a sick joke that you keep talking about Thaksin’s unproven crimes yet ignore the trashing of a democracy (and a constitution) by an ILLEGAL & IMMORAL coup.

    Do I need to re-iterate what has happened to TRT/PPP etc etc?
    Look at the big picture and the pattern is very clear, except if you are wearing yellow glasses:)

    I would prefer the reds kept their protests low key, but look at it from their side – they keep winning elections, and government keeps getting stolen from them – what choice do they have but to protest – in mot democracies they could just agitate a little, wait for elections, and let the people decide who they want to govern, but in Thailand its not the people who get to decide who governs.

    I don’t care about punishing the coup leaders – all that is really required to fix the mess is a return to the 1997 constitution and fresh elections (preferably with the banned 111 allowed to participate).

    • Hobby, I put up a separate Ratchada post.

      Apart from that, Thaksin has been convicted in the lottery case, the court just didn’t read his sentence as he was absent.

      There are plenty of more cases that require his presence to proceed.

      TRT went down for electoral fraud. Or rather for not doing anything to rectify it when they had plenty of time, under guidance of that bright new star Chaturon. Apparently bribing people to set up fake parties or falsify official EC database can live very comfortably with his democratic principles.

      • Trep, I know I wont change your mind so I’m going to continue to be lazy in my responses to you:

        Have you ever wondered why one side of politics keeps getting convicted and the other seems to have more than 9 lives?

        How can PAD make inflamatory statements much worse than Da, yet she’s the one in jail for 18 years after a secret trial?
        (actually, more than inflamatory statements, they invaded govt house and an international airport, and permitted to refuse to recognise any charges against themselves so are allowed to carry on destroying the country)

        Why is the ISA used against the Reds but not the Yellows?

        How can Military/Police bosses neglect duty & refuse to support an elected government one day, yet will support another?

        Why can certain Generals encroach on forest land, get the land in dubious circumstances, have much more wealth than they ever could earn in their Army career, yet nothing is done, and in some cases they even end up as Privy Councillors?

        I’m too lazy to go on, but are you see any pattern?

        • Which side has more than 9 lives? I bet Banharn wish he had one more.

          I have never been convicted for drug offenses, or for anything else, while there are tens of millions people back in my country of origin who had. Even my little brother spent three months in prison. Should they jail me just for the sake of fairness?

          Sondhi has several defamation convictions under his belt and he might very well end up in jail one day.

          Yellows might have preferred ISA instead of tear gas.

          I’m thinking about an entry on the “war on ammart” and generals’ wealth is going to be mentioned. No previews yet, but it’s not urgent, is it?

  5. It’s your prerogative to satisfied with the way things are going in Thailand, Trep, and it’s all coming back to me why I never botherered responding to you on Prachatai:)

    I will leave your site with the old poem:
    (make of it what you will)

    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.

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