By Terry, this blog editor
Before you come to the conclusion that the Thais must be faulted for buying the government’s Nationalism Building too harshly, I think you have to step back and ask why have the Thai tail been wagged so easily.
From my interaction with the Thais, the Thais are a very proud people and have a tradition of joining ranks when faced with external threats. And Cambodia and Thailand go back long in history as competitors.
The best example of this Nationalism in Thailand is that the Thai, still today, blame Soros for its economic crisis years ago, and totally, never have looked inward to see that they themselves let the Thai finances deteriorated to the point that it was ready to fall.
But more importantly, the Thais are a people who never had real democracy and freedom. And that means they are not highly critical and do not question authority well. Most Thais live all their life in a society that is highly hierarchy and much to do with the class system. This again means they are a people who only understands power and ranks.
Many Thais are trying to struggle out of that situation. It is very similar to the millions of Americans who are against the war in the Middle East. But Nationalism is a very strong emotion, and when you have a structural weakness, like even in America, Nationalism have a way to turn even the most rationale person into unreasonableness.
The only way the current far right government in Thailand can stay in power, is through building Nationalism. And if you have been following Thailand since the coup of 2006, it is this simple feeling that have kept the far right in power.
So don’t be too harsh on the Thais. There are some here who can see through the propaganda, trying to fix that structural weakness, and they deserve your continuing support.
Thailand’s only hope, lies with these liberated Thais.
As the noted Thai historian said, “If the structural problems in Thailand is not fixed, Thailand is heading into an epic level blood-bath.” The current Nationalism fervor in Thailand is pushing Thailand in that direction. From one crisis to another, one coup to another, to the current international relation one, it is clear that Thailand is one with a self-destruct course.