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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Prachatai: Interview with Giles Ungpakorn

On the coup:

It's a class conflict in many ways. Thaksin and his cronies competed with the military, other groups of capitalists, and conservative bureaucrats to govern and exploit us.


Thaksin had his gimmicks, which were populist policies that really benefited poor people, to build up a power base, to calm society, and to adjust the efficiency of the Thai economy after the 1997 crisis. His government suppressed the mafia associated with the military, and modernized the bureaucracy, and that upset the military and old-fashioned bureaucrats. The middle class, businessmen, and capitalists at first were impressed, but later became sick of him. And some capitalists had conflicts with Thaksin when they didn't get a share of the pie. Eventually, there were protests to oust Thaksin. The regressive civil sector, including the People's Alliance for Democracy, joined hands with royalist capitalists to usher in the coup d'├ętat.


On Sufficiency Theory:

The sufficiency economy is not an economic policy because it lacks substance. It's more of a political cult. Some call it a philosophy, but it's a credo propagated by the conservative rulers to accompany the ‘Nation, Religion, and Monarchy' slogan, and to oppose state welfare in the form of populism and a welfare state.


Read the rest here.

2 comments:

Red and White said...

As you know I am no fan of Thaksin but I am a fan of Giles even though I disagree with a fair amount of what he says.

Reading this piece suddenly made me realise something interesting. In England I support a far right party, but in Thailand I would be tempted to support the party Giles mentions.

People often suggest our political values are rigid, but perhaps they are flexible, depending on our understanding and interpretation of our political environment.

col. jeru said...

Fonzi you've demoted me to Corporal in your Blog Roll list. Reinstate me to COLONEL JERU young man or else!

Giles is too leftist for my liking and Thaksin was just too corrupt period. But leftists and greedy capitalists do mix and do kiss - the birth of Samak's PPP party remember.