With most top Thai school supporting Fascist Suthep, Thailand as education hub for Fascism?

Thailand guard

Thailand guard (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Most top Thai universities, such as Chula, Mahidol and Thammasart, have come out to support the activity of the Suthep’s Fascist movement, with many Rectors closing down their university, and making statement, that they allow students to participate in Suthep’s movement.

In fact, some rector, such as at NIDA, says it plainly, one man one vote does not work in Thailand.

But Thailand is trying to establish itself as an ASEAN education center. Yet with most top Thai school supporting Fascism, can Thailand ever become an education hub?

Thus, on one side is Thailand’s aspiration to be the education hub of Southeast Asia, and a few years back Thailand announced a major spending plan to achieve that goal. And Thailand today is literally full of international-linked colleges. On the other hand is Thailand’s extreme right wing positions, and leading global academia circle trashing Thailand, as the home of far extreme right wingers.

What goes on the hearts and minds of teachers and professors that teach at those many international linked colleges in Thailand is a big question mark. Already at one such school, attacks were made on Yingluck’s 11 year old boy and another school, issue a letter saying addressing corruption can help Thailand avoid instability, clearly, hitting at the Shinawatra family.

But the other day, Thai E New, a website news organization, ran a story on how a key professor at a leading university outside Thailand, presented his paper on Thai Politics at Thailand’s own far extreme right Chula University and the professor pretty much trashed the right wingers in Thailand to pieces. Thai E News reported a bewildered Chula professors.

As many know, Chula University, has become the key center point where extreme righ wing ideology is formulated and spread across the Thai academic circle-like believe it or not but this best university in Thailand has actually ban books-like the book by Jai Unkpakorn, who is a leading Thai social-democrat. Chula in fact, organized its alumni, where 1,000s showed up, and went marching in protest with the Fascist Suthep.

Everyone it seem is talking about Thailand getting back to normal, with an election in the future, that Yingluck had called. However, normality, to many foreign academic observing Thailand, means a depressing slide back to the past political configurations that can be called Thai-style democracy.

This is a system where politicians, political parties and parliament are made weak and where real power resides with traditional, repressive and hierarchical institutions.

After several years of political turmoil that began in 2005 with a protest movement to oust then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and was punctuated by the 2006 putsch that sent Thaksin packing, increasing street violence, the occupation of Bangkok’s airports by the royalist People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and the army’s mid-April crackdown on anti-government protests in Bangkok, have made things worse. Now we have the extreme right wing, Fascist in nature, Suthep running wild in Thailand, with the backing of most Thai universities.

Kevin Hewison, Director of the Carolina Asia Center and a Professor in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says, with Thaksin as premier, the concentration of political and economic power in his hands and his obvious appeal to the poorest and weakest classes challenged the conservative consensus that concentrated political power with the conservative elite.

There is now ample evidence that the conservatives who have long considered themselves the country’s rightful rulers are now trying get back in charge with Facist Suthep.

The current fascistSuthep’s activity, again back by several of Thailand’s best universities, and the conservative agenda are bolstered by urban middle-class support. In the past it was thought that the middle class would be the force for democratization, but that’s not the case. This middle class supporting the Fascist Suthep, many argued, was sealed during the Red Shirts uprising that convinced the middle class that the red shirts will burn their houses, shops and factories to the ground the next time they rise. Hence they will support the establishment and limited democracy. The Amnesty Bill, further strengthened their anti Shinawatra beliefs. Then there is the Fascist Suthep and Abhisit’s Democrat Party voter base, taking advantage of everyone.

Can Thailand ever develop into an education hub, with schools all in favor of Fascism?

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