The fact of the matter is, there will be no monarchy reform.
It was a foregone conclusion even before the demand was made. Not just because the Prayut Chan-o-cha Regime would refuse it, but also millions of Royalist Thais would stand against it.
The Prayut Regime has the full weight of the law, Ukrainian tanks, and Chinese submarines at its disposal. The Ratsadon Movement has yellow ducks.
It’s not a fair fight. So there will be no monarchy reform.
In every society, there’s a context made up of the past and the present.
This is Thailand’s context.
The kingdom has been going through a cultural revolution for five months. That’s not enough to go against 800 years of tradition. More precisely, it’s not enough to stand against the legacy of King Rama 9.
Barring lightning strikes, the dual monarchy/military power isn’t going anywhere soon.
A few months of the cultural revolution isn’t going to defeat that which has been entrenched for decades and centuries, with all the wealth, power, and guns at their disposal.
Change will come, but later rather than sooner.
Other than physical force, the only way to achieve change is through a cultural revolution.
The reform of the feudalistic mindset of Thai society will not be easy.
The social reengineering of the entrenched patronage network will take time.
The dismantling of the mafia-esque political governance that rules the country will be a significant challenge.
Nonetheless, change is a fact of life.
Four months ago, public criticism of anything monarchy-related was an unthinkable national taboo. But just this past week, a professor and a student went on national TV to debate over the king’s wealth versus the nation’s wealth.
Thailand is making up for decades of lost time in a matter of a few months.
Change will come. But it will have to follow our own little Age of Enlightenment. Therefore, the role of Ratsadon is to educate and change the mindset. To build the future, starting now.
The task is not to change the mindset of the older generation.
Old folks rarely change their minds, if ever. The mission is to enlighten the younger generation, the newer generation, and the next generation.
How well Ratsadon can educate Thailand will determine how fast change will come.