[Marxism] Are Yellows the Thai Red-Browns?

Matthew Russo russo.matthew9 at gmail.com
Fri May 9 14:19:15 MDT 2014


Another instance of neo-conservative revanchist politics on the part of
ex-Marxist, ex-communist renegades?  I've seen ex-communist involvement
with the Yellow Shirt linked Democrat party mentioned by Giles Ji Ungpakorn
as well.

Red and Yellow: Thailand's Future in Check and Balance

Philip J. Cunningham

"Meanwhile the yellow ideology, if such a thing can be said to exist, also
appropriates tropes and fault lines from past eras, especially the identity
politics of the Thai establishment at the height of the Cold War when being
“red”, which in those days meant communism, was posited as being unThai and
antithetical to tradition. Ironically the seemingly pro-elite yellow shirt
movement enjoys the support of many ex-communists with significant links to
northeast Thailand and self-made men and woman of ordinary circumstances.

"The core leaders of the yellow shirts are not that different from the core
leaders of the reds, cut from the same generation of upwardly mobile,
university-educated urban Thais who came of age during the violent and
disruptive decade of the 1970’s when the state battled with the CPT for the
hearts and minds of the Thai people. The basic similarities between the two
camps are masked and their differences accentuated because they wear
opposing colors and manipulate opposing tropes.

"Hidebound, if not reactionary, rhetoric about protecting the establishment
and preserving a timeless traditional status quo has been paired with
outrageous acts of rebellion, raising the question of which speaks louder,
action or words?

"Yellow shirts claim to uphold the sanctity of state, religion and
monarchy, which implies that people need to know their place and know the
rules of traditional society, yet they have been as defiant, or more
defiant, than the reds in staging bold acts of civil disobedience–the
outrageous but peaceful and smoothly executed November 2008 takeover of
Thailand’s international airport to pressure Thaksin’s brother-in-law to
step down as premier in being a case in point.

"On the other hand, the yellow shirts, in part due to their close
association with the lay Buddhist order Santi Asoke, and in part due to
their enthusiastic embrace of the “pho-phiang” or “Sufficiency” philosophy
popularized by the king, offer a compelling vision of a calm, harmonious
society at a time when Thailand is being rocked by the shifting tides of
global capitalism and foreign influence. In this sense, the yellows, while
ostensibly traditionalists, are picking up where the Thai communists left
off in the fight for sovereignty and self-rule in the face of American
imperialism and global capital."

As suspected, at the top this is a bitter faction fight within the Thai
bourgeoisie, or "oligarchs", to use the now popular alias for big
capitalists these days.  This has produced a crisis of the State
institutions and an opening for the masses of peasants and poorer workers.
The Shinawatra party strikes me as nothing so much as a Thai FDR-New Deal
type party of conservative reform or "passive revolution". This might
explain why imperialism doesn't pick clear sides in the struggle.  What
they want is an end to the chronic political instability.

Complete article http://www.japanfocus.org/-Philip_J_-Cunningham/3786

Also, background on "The rise and fall of the Communist Party of Thailand"

http://links.org.au/node/1247

-Matt



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