Reality 101: There are no good people

General Prayut Chan-o-cha is not a good person.
Thailand has no good people.
I’m not a good person.
The world has no good people.

Each individual has good and bad in us. We are all capable of love and hatred, of compassion and cruelty, of justice and injustice, of generosity and greed, of humility and arrogance.

When General Prayut launched his military coup, he let his greed overcome his sense of justice.
When he selected 250 senators to vote for him as prime minister, he let his arrogance overcome his sense of fairness.
When he arrested individuals and put them in Attitude Adjustment Detentions, greenlit the usage of water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets, he let his cruelty overcome his compassion.

As he fails to manage the COVID-19 pandemic but continues to insist on monopolizing power, he let his ego and stubbornness overcome the lives and welfare of the people.

Real-life isn’t a fairy tale or a soap opera. No knight is riding in on a white elephant to save the day. There are only humans, each capable of both good and evil.

But there is such a thing as good governance that nurtures virtues and minimizes the evil of corruption and abuse of power; that allows merits to flourish over incompetence and ineptitude.

Checks & balances.
The demands of the people.

But during five years of dictatorship, General Prayut deleted good governance. During two years of quasi-democracy, he persecuted freedom of speech and assembly through abuse of the law and of power. He even has a lawyer retained on taxpayers’ money, filing charges against those who speak out against him.

We must wake up from the fairy tale and switch off the soap opera. Real-life isn’t made on a lavender field. The task of nation-building must be founded on good governance, written in the nation’s constitution and the people’s conscience.

General Prayut is not evil. He’s merely one of the legions of people in this world whose own goodness is defeated by hatred, greed, injustice, arrogance, stubbornness, and cruelty.

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