Thailand’s Troubles Show Democracy’s Weakness: Pankaj Mishra – Bloomberg, February 12, 2012
…Finally, Thailand (THGDPYOY)’s older, paternalistic elites revolted against Thaksin’s attempt to create a one-man democracy. Confronted with an invincibly popular politician, they were forced to resort in 2006 to an old-fashioned military coup, endowing Thaksin with the aura of a martyred democrat. Successive elections, most recently in 2011, have proved that a majority of Thais still back Thaksin, despite his contempt for civil liberties.
…Certainly, as the cases of China, India, Russia and Thailand reveal, authoritarian figures offering quick technocratic solutions to political and economic problems are here to stay. They will seek support among the beneficiaries of globalization even as they try to keep the masses passively committed to, or distracted by, the larger project of national greatness.
Of course, once the masses have been awakened, they will demand a larger share of the political and economic goods, bringing them inevitably into conflict with already privileged classes…
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- 11 Years Ago: The Coup – September, 2006
- 11 Years Ago: The Coup – Newspaper Front Pages
- 6 Years Ago: After just a few months in office, govt pushing hard for Thaksin pardon
- Remember the bullet-proof child gods who led a brief Karen insurgency into Thailand in the 1990s?
- From 1989: An article in the NYT about Rama IX
- 6 Years Ago: Pheu Thai govt moves fast–Proposed law gives police power to shut news media
- The network of the officials who helped Yingluck escape
- All About the Royal Cremation Ceremony for the late King
- Who is left to burn Thailand?