Thongchai Winichakul On the crisis of Democracy

Thongchai Winichakul, former student leader in 1976 and now a Professor in the U.S.A., has written an article in Prachatai entitled “Wrong methods create even heavier damage”.

Thongchai writes that academics and those claiming to be part of the “peoples’ movement” constantly and selectively criticise Taksin’s “evil capital” while ignoring the largest capital conglomerate that no one can criticise. This is either because of their stupidity or they are just being dishonest to society.

He worries that Human Rights in Thailand, that have taken decades to develop have now been destroyed and are become a laughing matter in which no one has any faith.

Thongchai also writes that we should stop repeating the phrase that “democracy is the least worse system” because it may sound clever, but in reality it is a sign of ignorance and does not help us understand the situation. For Thongchai, democracy is the best system because it is the only just way of managing power relations in a complex society. Using “wrong methods” (as the Sutep mob and others do) can never build democracy because these methods are diametrically opposed to democracy.

Finally Thongchai criticises those “worthies” who have lined up, almost by prior arrangement, to suggest anti-democratic solutions rather than suggesting that those who are using the wrong methods end their actions. They are helping to destroy the future of Thai democracy.

His article can be read in full here: