A Coup for the Rich: Thailand’s political Crisis by Giles Ji Ungpakorn

By Giles Ji Ungpakorn

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40 Neither must Thailand be a Military Dictatorship, the days of which should have been over long ago also. It is important to re-affirm this because the Peoples Movement has fought and sacrificed life and limb for rights, freedom and Democracy on many occasions, whether it be in 1932, 14th October 1973, 6th October 1976 or in May 1992. Today the Peoples Movement must continue this struggle to open and expand the democratic space from the threats of illegitimate authoritarian power. In stating that Thailand must be a Democracy, we should not forget that even the junta which staged the coup understood that coups are illegitimate in the eyes of Thai people.

With its Stalinist-Maoist politics, was the dominant influence on the Peoples Movement. Like their sisters and brothers around the world, Thai activists reacted to the collapse of Communist Party both in terms of its failure and its authoritarian nature. T. meant that there was a dominance of Autonomism, Post-Modernism and Third Way Reformism among the Thai Peoples Movement32. These are all theories which lead to an acceptance of the free market and liberalism, either because they reject “theories” and “Grand Narratives” or because they see no alternative to free-market capitalism because the movement from below is doomed to failure.

Giles Ji Ungpakorn 59 In summary, then, the Monarchy as an institution has traveled through a number of major transformations in the last 200 years, from a Sakdina institution, through a short phase as an Absolute Monarchy, ending up as the Constitutional Monarchy we see today. Today’s Monarchy is therefore neither ancient nor Sakdina. So what is its nature and function? 18 In this essay Hill showed that the English Revolution overthrew feudalism during the course of the civil war, which was fought between the Monarchy, Church and large landowners on one side, and the “Middling sort” or middle level land owners and urban merchants in alliance with the poor, on the other.

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