Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thailand and the French Revolution

ภาษาไทย: ประเทศไทยกับการปฏิวัติฝรั่งเศส  July 15, 2014 (ATN - OpEd) - Isn't it ironic how all the self-proclaimed "progressives" (read: Thaksin Shinawatra's "red shirts") in Thailand cite the French Revolution as something to aspire toward? 

Is it that these people do not realize what that so-called "revolution" resulted in? 

It resulted in a devastating bloodbath, the destabilization and destruction of their country, and in the ashes the rise of despotism unparalleled to anything they thought they were removing in the first place. 

Not only did they end up with a new tyrant in power - Napoleon Bonaparte - but a tyrant that would extend French injustice well beyond its borders in the form of empire. Napoleon would eventually and quite ironically declare himself a king... and to this day France is run utterly by oligarchical corporate-financier combines that plunder the nation, squander France's resources, and defame its name and reputation across the globe with one imperial adventure after another - the most recent would be Mali, Ivory Coast, Libya, and attempts to overthrow the government of Syria along side the US, UK, and regional despots like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel. It does this all behind the tenuous facade of "democracy," giving the people the illusion they have a choice when in reality they do not. 

The French people hold their breath each election hoping that "this time" they can have their voices heard. But such a prospect is just as untenable as Napoleon himself heeding the will of the people rather than pursing his own self-serving hegemonic designs.  So what was the "French Revolution" in reality? 

Not the advance of the common man, but rather the evolution of despotism - an evolution that is still ongoing today. What the "revolutionaries" fought for was a system of despotic control better disguised and more sustainable than open, outright despotism - but make no mistake, however comfortable it may seem, it is despotism nonetheless.  

For Thailand, those carrying the banner of the "French Revolution's" cause should be exposed as either ignorant or pro-tyranny, or perhaps both. Fostering civil war because you want to re-label your type of government and in fact make matters worse for everyone in both the short and long term is dangerously irresponsible. These "progressives" are not enlightened, but they think they are, and that is dangerous. 

The saying, "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" implies that these "progressives" are so sure of how clever they think they are compared to the average Thai, that their arrogance blinds them to what they are really doing. Their sense of superiority leads them to the delusion that they need not respect anyone or anything - and regimes like that of Thaksin Shianwatra posing as "Western-style democracy" offers them a way out of respecting Thailand's ancient institutions, culture, and history. This army of arrogant, nihilistic narcissists would see Thailand burned to the ground just as France was, and rebuilt with a tyranny many times worse than they claim Thailand's indigenous institutions are, all because they "think" they've stumbled across some kind of "forbidden knowledge" only they are clever enough to understand.

Real revolution looks nothing like that the French undertook before the despotic and destructive rise of Napoleon. Real revolution is measured in pragmatic, technological progress that empowers the people directly, not through nominees allegedly representing their interests. Local institutions that leverage technology to find pragmatic, technical solutions to our daily problems is true empowerment, while undermining and decentralizing the power of special interests. Real revolution is not burning your city to the ground, killing your opponents, or the stuffing of ballots into boxes every few years to "elect" representatives that pretend to care about our interests. 

Real freedom comes through self-sufficiency in all ways, be it culturally, economically, technologically - in terms of education, resources, agriculture, and even art and entertainment. This is something the current institutions of Thailand already promote. Those interested in upturning these institutions are those interested in maintaining hegemony over the people, not liberating them - and these malevolent forces have an army of witless acolytes prepared to assist them in doing so ... all in the name of "revolution."