Before I started Thisrupt, I had my own little blog unimaginatively and egotistically named voranai.com.
This was an article I published on 3 March 2019, ahead of the national election on 24 March.
In the article I wrote:
Thanatorn’s alleged crime is fermenting a revolution of the mind that could lead to the changing of social hierarchy and traditional status quo. That, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is what we call a people’s revolution. As old as time, it’s a tale most feared by the traditional establishment.
The article ended with this sentence:“One thing is for certain, tradition VS change, it’s a tale as old as time.”
I’m not a prophet, nor am I an oracle, my name isn’t Nostradamus. But from February 2020 to this very day, that is what has been happening in Thailand: the rise of the people, a revolution of the mindset, a cultural revolution.
Ask any pro-establishment supporter, and they will tell you, Thanathorn Juangrungruangkit is the puppetmaster, the moneybag behind the pro-democracy movement.
Whether he is or isn’t, I would love to see the evidence.
But one thing is for certain: he started this wave of the cultural revolution.
From children as young as high school to college students, middle-class office workers, and even many among the older generation, they protest against tradition, social hierarchy, and the status quo.
They rise against the belief system.
They have even gone way beyond anything Thanathorn had said, at least in public. They went straight at monarchy reform.
Not even the red-shirt UDD went there, at least not officially.
Perhaps Thanathorn may have kickstarted the change the elites do not want to believe in, but truth be told the cultural revolution was coming sooner or later anyway because change is the natural evolution of human society. You can only put a lid on it for so long.
On one hand, we have the babyboomers who grew up in the Cold War era: tradition, hierarchy, and monarchy.
On the other hand, we have the Millenials and younger who are growing up in the social media era: freedom, globalization, borderless world, K-pop, and snazzy hashtags.
The two forces are bound to clash.
Then you have the Generation X like me and others, who grew up somewhere in the middle.
But humans, such that we are, view life as a bedtime story. There must be the good guy versus the bad guy. It’s a tale as old as time.
And in this very Siamese story, the bad guy is Thanathorn Juangrungruangkit.
This article, which I published on Thisrupt.co, 11 March 2020, discusses how he may face 10 years imprisonment for the “crime” of filing too late his previous shareholding in a defunct celebrity gossip magazine.
But notice, the headline says:
Thanatorn may face 10 years in prison, for the crime of trying to change Thailand into a democracy
Because, that’s really what he’s guilty of, nothing to do with a defunct celebrity gossip magazine, or lending money to Future Forward Party.
In fact, he’s also facing Section 112, the lese majeste law, for questioning Siam Bioscience and the concession/monopoly to import and manufacture the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca. The company is owned by His Majesty the King.
But really, that’s not why. The 3 to 15 years lese majeste sentence per count is because they blame him for Thailand’s cultural revolution.
That is his true crime.
You see, the cultural belief system dictates the character and behavior of a nation. To change the belief system is to change the national DNA. To replace or reduce the power of the powers-that-be.
To the traditional establishment, Thanathorn is a dangerous threat.
In the previous video, we discussed how Thaksin Shinawatra’s cult of personality was becoming a threat.
Trust me, Thanathorn’s cult of personality is much more of a threat given the present context.
6,254,726 million popular votes and 81 parliament seats in the 2019 election were unprecedented for a newbie political party.
Some of you may say no, newbie Thai Rak Thai party swept the 2001 election.
But bear in mind, an important reason was that Thaksin had gathered most of Thailand’s political godfathers into his party. Thanathorn did not pursue that strategy. Well, he couldn’t. Palang Pracharat already recruited a lot of those political godfathers from Thaksin.
But then Future Forward was banned, now we have Move Forward. 81 MPs went down to 53 MPs, and trust me, they will lose more. It’s an illustration of how deadset the traditional establishment is to squash the power of Thanathorn Juangrungruangkit.
He’s a dangerous threat. He has become a hero for the new generation, and also for many people of the older generation.
Let me tell you a story.
There was a very popular soap opera from 2011 “ดอกส้มสีทอง” about a rebellious young girl named Reya, nicknamed Fah or Sky.
She’s fierce, daring, and outspoken, very un-Thai. Her husband is a much older wealthy businessman, who she affectionately calls “พ่อ” or daddy.
Let’s leave Sigmund Freud out of this, and focus on Thai politics.
A famous phrase from the soap opera is, “ฟ้ารักพ่อ” (Fah loves daddy).
The phrase top trended on Twitter in 2019 and Thanathorn jokingly tweeted a reply, “Daddy loves Fah too and all the people.”
Also, supporters took to calling him “พ่อฟ้า” (Fah’s daddy). But also, literally, it means Sky Father.
It was all a joke, but it’s not funny to everybody, because it reflected a growing phenomenon that undermines the traditional belief system.
Here we have the context of a rising national figure with the political goal of changing the belief system and power status quo, in a country where the belief system dictates that “the land belongs to the father,” while the people are “peasants under the sky” and “servants of the land.”
As we’ve discussed in the previous Thaksin video, in Thailand, there can only be one father. There can only be one sky.
There can be a couple of funny uncles,
but there can only be one father.