Sunday, September 6, 2009

Reform or Revolution?

"There is no guarantee of success for the revolutionary road in Thailand. It will be a long hard struggle. But I believe that there is no longer any room for reform in order to achieve democracy. The behaviour of the elites since the 2006 coup has proved this".
Giles Ji Ungpakorn

I have come to the same conclusion as Giles - it should not be that revolution is the only way, but unfortunately the elites have set the ground rules by their stubborn resistance to change.

I did not like many aspects of Thaksin's rule, and whilst firmly in the 'song mai ow' camp, I now regret accepting the 2006 coup as a chance to 'reset' democracy - it's embarrassing how foolish that viewpoint now looks.

If a country has to be ruled by a tyrant (or tyranny), then at least let it be by the tyrant the country votes for!

For decades, the elites have had all the knowledge, all the power, all the education, and they have used propaganda, censorship, draconian jail sentences etc to try to cower the people - yet with all their advantages & 'brilliance', the country is still a political mess with no sign of any improvement.

I'm with Giles:- if its a choice between trusting the old power, or the (new awakening) masses, then I say give the masses a try.
The old mob have had plenty of opportunity to change, plenty of hints & warnings, yet they still refuse to reform and insist they know what's best, and that everyone else is either 'ngoh' or doesn't understand 'thainess'.

Giles has some further views, however at this stage of my knowledge, I cannot make up my mind about them:
- its obvious the army needs to be cut down to size, but how it can be done?
- it must be very difficult for Giles to call for the monarchy to be abolished (and not merely reform), but I can understand his thinking:- it seems there is no way the army can be reformed until it only answers to the people (elected government), instead of some 'higher' authority.
At a minimum, IMO, the Privy Council should be abolished, and an LM charge should only be able to be instigated by the palace, and the accused should never be forced to endure closed trials.
- in my heart I agree with the Socialist principles Giles champions, but in practice I cannot see how it works, anywhere in the world - the local socialists in my area place great faith in Chavez's 'Bolivarian Revolution', however I am not comfortable with the way they brush aside the many criticisms of whats going on in Venezuela - in my view Giles would be better served turning towards his father's 'social democrat' outlook.