[Marxism] Thailand: Judicial coup a blow to democracy
russo.matthew9 at gmail.com
Fri May 9 16:31:27 MDT 2014
Right, as I have suggested from the beginning, and reaffirm in the most
recent posts, the "Red Shirts" are an umbrella label for a FDR or (as you
mention) a Peron type populist conservative reform "passive revolution".
This, if anything, paints the "Yellow Shirts" in even a more reactionary
light, more like the US Tea party type of reaction. "Yellow" reactionary
populism led by the Democrat Party became a necessity after the end of
permanent military rule in the 1990's (formally it ended in the 1970's).
They may have been assisted in this move by a possible neo-conservative
populist revanchist backwash out of the ex-Maoist communist milieu.
However, election after election has shown that the Yellows can't compete,
hence their openly anti-democratic politics.
Clearly imperialism - though Japan's policy is unknown here - prefers
political stability for investment and "free trade" and therefore prefers
the election-winning successor to the banned Thai Rak Thai, the Pheu Thai
But I'd greatly caution against seeing this through especially any
"Ukrainian" prism in particular. That would be cookie-cutter one-template
fits all analysis of the most inappropriate sort, as it is hard to imagine
two more unlike situations as Ukraine and Thailand in terms of both history
and at present. It is precisely the method of our political opponents,
when they see two simultaneously occurring events, to draw some sinister,
paranoid, connect-the-dot black and white parallels and take sides
accordingly. Even sillier is the notion that the first task of analysis is
to "identify the fascists". Now there are self-described fascists in
Ukraine - Pravy Sektor and, for all practical purposes, Svoboda, as this
latter cannot become a Euro-style "post-fascist" opportunist Far Right
party in the present Ukraine situation, as it faces competition on the
street "to its right". These, together with the fact that the broad Right
gained the leadership of the Maidan uprising, effectively blocks by means
of terror any Left or socialist entry into the Maidan for the time being.
And the fascist presence could become stronger, not weaker, in the wake of
any IMF-induced austerity. Ironically the one opening that could appear
would be in the anti-separatist working class in the Donbass!
Thailand is quite different: There are no fascist parties involved. Giles
is emotionally off-base in referring to the Yellows as "fascist", but that
is a minor excess, as I agree with both the comments by Karadjis and Nick
Fredman concerning Giles and the general Thai political situation. The
Democrat Party is ideologically of the "traditionalist" Far Right moving to
a so far unsuccessful type of reactionary populism. I wouldn't even call
it "post-fascist" as this way of framing it doesn't really apply to
Thailand, unless a lineage could be traced from Thai collaboration with
Japanese imperialism during the war, as the Japanese regime *was* a type of
fascism, IMO. And ultra-monarchist to boot. In any case the Yellows
absolutely present no opening for the left or socialist politics.
That makes it pretty much a no-brainer that the "Red Shirts" present the
opening. And not because they wear red shirts. All the more so as this is
not a party, but an umbrella designation, so an independent socialist
approach is possible without having to latch up with the Shinawatra
parties. So Giles has the right orientation here.
The anti-cookie cutter result is that while US/EU imperialism is
effectively in an indirect bloc with actual self-described fascists on the
street - because the neo-liberal Kiev government, clearly closely coached
by the US, can't "roll them up" and is too weak to get rid of them, thanks
to the Putin threat - in Thailand US imperialism most likely prefers "the
Reds" over the long run.
If one must draw parallels with other countries, it might be with Egypt.
As Karadjis put it, "one is reminded of the wing of the Egyptian democratic
movement that turned so anti-MB – for very good reason – that they welcomed
the coup, and still support the Mubarakist military – after all, like in
Thailand, the “uneducated” masses voted for the wrong people." Or,
differently, with the anti-Bolivarist opposition in Venezuela, where
Bolivarism, while not having an obvious "reform oligarch", "passive
revolution" type leadership, ultimately works to preserve capitalism in
On 5/9/14 1:18 PM, Matthew Russo wrote:
> By Giles Ji Ungpakorn
> May 8, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The
> unelected, anti-democratic and illegitimate Constitutional Court has
> a coup d'?tat, overthrowing Prime Minister Yingluk Shinawatra on a mere
> technicality. It claims that the elected prime minister did not have the
> right to move a government official.
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