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Thai Succession Set to Strengthen Military’s Hand
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  • Andrew Allison

    Thailand: another stunning “success” for the smartest guy in the room.

  • Dhako

    Color me surprise, but do I detect a certain sense of humility in which you folks are feeling, particularly in recoiling from the manifest direction in which you used to hold about the affairs of man, when you say, the “Laws of History” don’t seems to be constant or leading to inevitable spread of democracy? Do you by any chance trying to repudiate – at least with honey-dripping words, or even in a sotto-voce tone – the old thesis of “End of History” (and the last man standing) of your colleague (and one of the movers-and-shakers of this rag-sheet), namely professor Fukuyama?

    After all it was the cardinal thrust of that thesis that “Law of History” has one direction only. And however circuitous others drive their historical wagon to that “predetermined-end”, what is indisputable is that the affairs of man (and his politics) has one “guiding northern star”. And that star, is that as prosperity leads to a broad middle-classes, then a pluralistic society with free market props as well as liberalized rule of law under-girding the whole structure will be glimpse, firstly, at the marching of it, and then as that prosperity grows in many fold, that “new politics” (or at least a recognizably westernized polity) will emerge more fully into a view.

    Consequently, it’s only a matter of having the patience to wait for this “self-directing-metamorphosis” to happen, while in the mean-time allowing the free market prosperity to work it’s “political magic” on the public square, which in turn will deliver liberal politics in the fullness of time. That at any rate was the “bullet-points-version” of what Professor Fukuyama have had the ingenuity to inculcate into a whole generation of western’s thinkers and opinion-makers across on both side of the Atlantic.

    And yet that central thrust falls apart in the case of Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, given the fact that these states are not poverty-stricken ghost nations. But on the contrary, they are a speedily developing nations with a legitimate claim to say their nascent prosperity has the wherewithal to be as broad-based phenomena as can be imagined. And in the case of Singapore, where prosperity is taking for granted, it seems that a western style plural democracy is view as nothing but a harbingers of class-conflict and social decay, given the fact one of the salient features of modern western style democracy is the comprehensive retreat of the state and assumption of the highest position of the public square by the market.

    All in all, you really need to get your thinking straight in here, chaps. And perhaps, while you are at it, you could tell Professor Fukuyama to revisit his celebrated thesis and see if the intervening quarter century since he first published it in early 1990s, historical reality in which we have came to witness have had a sense dissolution for him, particularly towards his profoundly held view of “Hegelian linearity” of history (with capital H). Hence we shall await those new discourse (if we are lucky enough to be given in here) with what could only amount to a bated breath on our part.

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