The Thai Political Paradox
The Thai Political Paradox. Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences(2014) 5(4), 775 -782.
8 Pages Posted: 14 May 2014
Date Written: March 4, 2014
To the outside observer the protests and the overall political struggle in Thailand looks like the traditional liberation struggles common in the developing world. Due to the concurrent nature of the recent stages of the struggle some may even make the mistake of connecting the Thai struggle with democratic movements in the Middle East, also known as the Arab Spring. Nevertheless, this initial conflation of the struggle against the Thai government led by the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) with the popular movements fighting for democracy in the Middle East is inherently incorrect. Form can be confused with essence by the casual observer of Thai politics. Yes, the PDRC mobilizes supporters to march and to protests against the incumbent government. This is very similar to what most movements have done in the Middle East and closely resembles the now famous occupation of Tahirir Square in Egypt. Another similarity is the apparent emphasis on non- violence, at least at this stage of the political struggle. The PDRC’s name includes the words “people” and “democracy”, also very similar to other liberation movements. Therefore, on the surface the so-called yellow shirts of the PDRC look very similar to other liberation movements. Nevertheless, form is not essence and the similarity ends here.
Keywords: Dictatorship, Democracy, Thailand, Red Shirts
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation