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Thailand had had many military coups, played unsavoury role facilitating Americans' extraordinary renditions and tortures of detainess, and did not suffer much. Investors would rather flee elections in democratic India than leave military ruled Thailand. The only consequences for Bangkok regime will be: 1. The question of succession as 82-year old Rama IX is increasingly isolated. 2. Negative coverage of Thailand in foreign media.
Thailand seems caught between the rock of globalization and the hard spot of remaining traditional monarchy and values.  All I can say is that modernization and progress brought through the agency of globalization and the doctrine of Neo-Classical Economics will be like taking what is left of Thai society and dropping it into a giant tree stumper.  That prospect does not seem appealing.  Are there any other players in this drama?  And does the military remain loyal to the King and current prime minister or have they had their traditional allegiance subverted by US military aid and the concomitant indoctrination in the benefits of "reform" along lines favorable to US business interests?    

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Apr 13th, 2009 at 05:41:42 PM EST
ARGeezer:
And does the military remain loyal to the King and current prime minister or have they had their traditional allegiance subverted by US military aid and the concomitant indoctrination in the benefits of "reform" along lines favorable to US business interests?
The coup against Thaksin in 2006 showed that the security apparatus remained loyal to tradition despite, for instance, Thaksin stacking the higher ranks with colleagues from his days at the police academy. But it's been nearly 3 years, things are still unstable and it is anyone's guess what will happen when the King is replaced by his son.

It is a sad fact that Thailand's 1997 "liberal democratic" constitution was so easily subverted by the likes of Thaksin, and the country seems indeed caught between a rock and a hard place: reactionary traditionalists and crony capitalists. And we're not even talking about the muslim-majority regions in the far south of the country, which appear increasingly detached from Bangkok regardless of which of the two factions has the upper hand in the capital.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 14th, 2009 at 06:37:52 AM EST
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It's worth noting that the reactionary traditionalists are having problems in part because they've done nothing over the last 20 years for the rural poor. Their undemocratic proposals for reforming parliament were largely based on stopping said rural masses voting for someone other than them.

Thaksin's crony capitalists likely don't have the interests of the rural poor at heart, but they have directed some small slivers of money towards improving life out in the sticks (mostly road and water projects, alongside some corrupt gimmickry connected to various crony businesses - satellite TV springs to mind.)

Another sad fact is that both sides have indulged in military clampdowns on the Muslim regions with all the horrors that "war on insurgency" usually brings...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Apr 14th, 2009 at 06:57:04 AM EST
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