Democracy: Analysis: “Does Thailand need a separation of church & state?”

Buddhist images at Wat Mahathat built during t...

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  • By Ranger, Thai Intel’s political journalist

Just great, it is Saturday in Bangkok and it is a lazy afternoon and I am like watching soft porn-then bang, like a “cat out of hell” hit me, a friend in America sent me an Economist article about “Karmic Conservatives” in America, with the opinion that America is as fucked up as Thailand with conservatives running like “loose cannons.” Gone was tits and ass and in its place-something to think about.

Off course, underlying the Thai political crisis, deep beneath the surface is two very different philosophy about life itself.

Here in Thailand, the royalist, elite and military cling to Buddhism fundamental teachings that knowledge belongs and can only be found by the enlightened one-and the rest are just followers, and these others are there to suffer their bad karma.

That means off course, the royalist, elite and military are the enlightened ones in Thailand, or the closest to it, and so they can do no wrong against those below them that are meant to suffer the bad karma.

Off course, Buddhism itself is like the constitution and what is missing in Thailand is the”Bill of Rights” which in fact, Buddha also has-in the forbidden sins he prohibits people to do-like the taking of life and all sort of other Buddha Bill of Rights (prohibiting the taking of life as sin, for example, is in fact, just the human rights to life).

However, the karmic conservatives in Thailand have utterly failed to respect any of Buddhism’s Bill of Rights.

And that is why the royalist, elite and military rulers of Thailand can come out and say it plainly that, quote: “Democracy, liberty, justice and human rights are not Thai values.”

Take the killing of the Red Shirts protesters, as the karmic conservatives says was OK because it was done in good faith and good intentions by the enlightened ones-like so fuck Buddha’s “Bill of Rights” against killing and the rights of human being to life. In common language, the Thai military chief and government says it all the time the Red Shirts suffer the killing because of their own bad karma.

Then as so many have said, the lese majeste laws in Thailand is also linked to Buddhism teachings-in the twisted imagination of the karma conservatives that sees Thailand as a class system, originating again from the concept of enlightenment and the leadership of the enlightened. And so to protect the top, meaning Thai royalty who are supposed to be enlightened good people, lese majeste is used to protect them and also the associated class system with the good and enlightened on top.

Obviously, the class system and belief in the rule of the good enlightened one runs directly against democracy, liberty, justice and human rights.

  • Justice: Like take justice and the judicialization of Thai justice system that have made justice in Thailand one of the biggest global joke. Rule of law in Thailand is actually the “Rule by Twisting the Law.”
  • Corruption: Even corruption is now the worse in Thailand’s history according to polls of the Thais, but it is OK, since the corruption is done by the enlightened ones.
  • Freedom: Then freedom of expression, apart from the confinement of the class system on freedom to protect the top in the use of lese majeste, the royalist, elite and military sees themselves, again as the enlightened ones, and of themselves as the holder of the truth-and so anything else is worthless and to be censored out.
  • Democracy: In Thailand there is a coup or attempt coup, on average, every 3 years-where most global observers says Thailand’s democracy never had the chance to grow, take root and mature.

The other side of the Thai political crisis, are off course, reformist-who sees Thailand as hopeless. The reformist are a horde of people with differing ideology, from socialism, capitalism, populistism, middle of the road red shirts, democratic academic, social democrats or even revolutionaries and others.

But the group, in combination and united, sees Democracy, Liberty, Justice and human rights as the solution to Thailand’s problems.

Seems like what Thailand really needs is a separation of church and state.

The following is from the Economist on Karmic Conservatives in the USA:

Oct 19th 2010, 13:14 by W.W. | IOWA CITY

WHAT makes tea partiers tick? Jonathan Haidt, a trailblazer in the scientific study of the psychology of moral sensibility and judgement, says it’s conservative conviction in “karma”. Perhaps this is not what you were expecting? Mr Haidt elaborates:

Karma is not an exclusively Hindu idea. It combines the universal human desire that moral accounts should be balanced with a belief that, somehow or other, they will be balanced. In 1932, the great developmental psychologist Jean Piaget found that by the age of 6, children begin to believe that bad things that happen to them are punishments for bad things they have done.

Mr Haidt goes on to argue that, as conservatives see it, since the New Deal, liberals in power have been trying to suspend the karmic laws of cause and effect, insulating individuals from the injurious effects of vice and poor judgement. Birth control and abortion detached sex from it’s natural consequences, welfare rewarded indolence and illegitimacy, and so on. “Now jump ahead to today’s ongoing financial and economic crisis,” Mr Haidt says.

Again, those guilty of corruption and irresponsibility have escaped the consequences of their wrongdoing, rescued first by President Bush and then by President Obama. Bailouts and bonuses sent unimaginable sums of the taxpayers’ money to the very people who brought calamity upon the rest of us. Where is punishment for the wicked?

Not only are sinners saved from their just desserts, in the karmic conservative’s scheme, the virtuous and true are punished for their industry through unjustly burdensome levels of taxation and bureaucratic interference. Studies show liberals are more likely to treat equality as a moral baseline, and to see wealth and poverty as lucky or unlucky draws in the cosmic lottery. For them, the state acts well when it intervenes to smooth the unequal wages of fortune. However, Mr Haidt contends, “[f]or the tea partiers, federal activism has become a moral insult. They believe that, over time, the government has made a concerted effort to subvert the law of karma.”

This is an intriguing hypothesis, and Mr Haidt offers a number of pieces of evidence to back it up. The data he sets forth, it turns out, strike a blow to the idea that the tea-party movement is primarily animated by “libertarian” sentiments.

Here’s a statement about the positive side of karma: “Employees who work the hardest should be paid the most.” Everyone agrees, but conservatives agree more enthusiastically than liberals and libertarians, whose responses were identical.

And here’s a statement about the negative side of karma: “Whenever possible, a criminal should be made to suffer in the same way that his victim suffered.” Liberals reject this harsh notion, and libertarians mildly reject it. But conservatives are slightly positive about it.

The tea party is often said to be a mixture of conservative and libertarian ideals. But in a study of 152,000 people who filled out surveys at YourMorals.org, led by my colleague Ravi Iyer of the University of Southern California, we found that libertarians are morally a bit more similar to liberals than to conservatives.

Mr Haidt goes on to note that libertarians differ as strongly as do liberals with conservatives about the importance of “group loyalty, respect for authority and spiritual sanctity” among moral considerations. Mr Haidt seems to suggest that these differences in moral temperament will cause the largely conservative tea-party movement to fail to fully integrate its libertarian rump. This prediction rings true. For over 40 years libertarians have been an impotent drop of oil in the conservative gallon bucket. One is almost tempted to say that libertarians pinning their hopes on tea-party triumph deserve what they’ve got coming to them, but, alas, there is no karma.

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