By Giles Ji Ungpakorn
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Extra resources for A Coup for the Rich: Thailand’s political Crisis
In Thailand’s case, the ruler of Bangkok, King Rama V or “Chulalongkorn” brought about a revolutionary transformation of the political and economic system in response to both pressure from an outside world which was already dominated by capitalism, and the result of class struggle within. 17 This involved destroying the power of his Sakdina rivals, the Moon Nai, nobles and local Jao Hua Muang. Politically this was done by appointing a civil service bureaucracy to rule outer regions and economically, by abolishing their power to control forced labour and hence surplus value.
As an institution the Monarchy often behaves like a business corporation, charging fees for public appearances and degree ceremonies. Yet we are told by rural anarchists 9 that the King “invented” the idea of Community- Self Sufficiency Economics or Setakit Chumchon Por-piang as an alternative to global capitalism. After the 19th September coup the government announced that it would use “Sufficiency Economics”. The legitimising influence of the Monarchy is sought by many people from very different backgrounds.
Respect and showing respect is a personal choice and can be shown without prostration on the ground. When considering the transparency of the Monarchy we must expand this to include economic transparency too. The fight against corrupt politicians, the insistence that public figures declare their assets and share ownership and the demand that Taksin’s family pay taxes is only right and proper. But we must not have double standards. The same rules must apply to all. Therefore we need to see asset and earnings declarations from the Palace and the Palace should pay taxes like all other citizens.
A Coup for the Rich: Thailand’s political Crisis by Giles Ji Ungpakorn