Love the king. Respect the monarchy. But do not allow yourself to be manipulated by tyrants.
It’s the oldest trick in the book. To inspire the people to do wonderful things that are testaments to human glory or fan anger and hatred to commit genocide and atrocities, all you have to do is lay claim to the higher power, the moral authority.
False prophets have incited fanatics to slaughter millions, all in the name of one God or another. Kings and emperors claiming divine authority have done likewise.
It has worked since the cavemen invented tribal priests. It still works in 2020 in the Kingdom of Thailand.
What or who is the higher power, the moral authority in the context of the Thai culture?
The answer is the monarchy institution and the sovereigns whose tradition considers Lord Buddha’s earthly incarnation and Lord Rama’s worldly embodiment. The Father of Land in which we live, at his mercy and his charity.
The alpha and the omega. The first and the last. The beginning and the end.
That’s why we crawl at the feet of royalties. That’s why we are told to get out if we don’t love the father because the land belongs to the father, not the people.
This belief system dominates Thailand’s traditional mindset.
Therefore, tyrants conveniently use the institution to invoke the higher power and give themselves the moral authority to prevent democracy, oppress freedom, and subjugate the people.
That’s why in the late 1950s, Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat brought the monarchy back into the Thai consciousness. That’s why every dictator has since identified himself as the defender of the monarchy. That’s why whenever the people rose to demand freedom and democracy, those tyrants would simply shift the narrative, accusing the people of wanting to overthrow the monarchy.
The result is as we have seen. Whether on 14 October 1973 or 6 October 1976.
Today, we witness the same pattern.
This article, The Monarchy Question: Thailand descending into madness, explains Khana Ratsadon’s demands are not to overthrow the monarchy. That instead, it wants a democratic constitutional monarchy with the king as the head of state.
Listen to Khana Ratsadon’s official demands. Don’t jump to conclusions over words and banners critical of the monarchy. Don’t listen to the hell, fire, and brimstone sermons of General Prayut and his apostles.
“Prayut, get out” is not “Monarchy, get out.”
“Rewrite the constitution” is not “Rewrite the king.”
“Reform the institution” is not “Overthrow the monarchy.”
Do not fall for the oldest trick in the book and defend the undemocratic power of General Prayut Chan-o-cha and military rule.
This manipulation has been the reason and will continue to be why when tyrants open fire and the people lay dead on the ground, those who believe the words of false prophets would look on thinking that this is a rather good thing.
Love the king, respect the monarchy but stop legitimizing tyrannical power.