[Marxism] Thailand: Smells like a coup, tastes like a coup, looks like a coup
lnp3 at panix.com
Wed May 21 20:08:52 MDT 2014
On 5/21/14 9:46 PM, Michael Smith wrote:
> Let the record show that I saw it coming. A good ten minutes ago.
Michael, there are 1500 Marxmail subscribers and probably 5 times as
many others who read the archives on a daily basis. You really need to
consider whether it is useful to write jibes such as this. Surely you
are capable of doing a little bit of research to come up with some
relevant data that will help us understand Thai politics better.
This, in any case, is the conclusion to a long piece I wrote on 1/31/2014:
I don’t want to leave the impression that I am a partisan of the “yellow
shirts”. As was the case with my post on the Ukraine, my main interest
is in highlighting the complexities of the struggle. In the world of
schematic Marxism, you always end up with all of the good guys on one
side of the barricade and all the bad guys on the other.
Thailand, like the Ukraine, suffers from a deficit of class
consciousness. In a way, both societies are victims of the collapse of
official Marxism. In Thailand, Marxism meant Maoism. Most of the
activists who emerged in the 1970s were attracted to Maoism and some
went so far as to join guerrilla detachments in the countryside. The
failure of that movement left many activists in a quandary as to how to
move the struggle forward. When Thaksin came along with promises (and
intent) to change Thai society, they jumped on board. Whether or not
that change went to the heart of class relations became a secondary
In the Ukraine, activists made headlines by toppling a Lenin statue. In
all of the protests over the country’s desperate attempts to avoid the
consequence of neoliberal assaults, the solutions have revolved around
more neoliberalism—either EU or Kremlin in nature. It is up to the
anarchists mainly to draw class distinctions.
Taking the long term view, the Thai left has the same mission that we
all do, namely to resurrect Marxism and develop a party that can fight
for social transformation. That might sound utopian, but I don’t know of
any other solution that is worth fighting for.
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