Love Live the Thai Monarchy!
"Demonstrators claiming democracy’s mantle threaten the centuries of stability monarchy has provided," writes Jim Pittaway — Thailand Runs Red. The author notes that "legitimacy—a matter of identity and loyalty—resides... with a 1,000-year-old, very Buddhist monarchical system that has somehow survived into the modern era." He explains:
- We tend to think of monarchies in European terms. Are they absolute or constitutional? Does the monarch reign or rule? Although the Siamese kings had complete personal control of decisions until the 1920s, the most significant roles of the monarchy here have always been more subtle. Culturally, the monarch is the embodiment of national identity and custodian of the ritual purity necessary to sustain harmony in the complex universe of Theravada Buddhist cosmology. This is how the chaos that stalks neighboring Burma or Cambodia has been kept at bay here....
Throughout the turmoil that afflicted the region in the decades after the end of World War II and European imperial rule, Thailand has managed to navigate treacherous waters with superb skill. One of the cognomens of Chairman Mao was “The Great Helmsman.” In this part of the world, proven repeatedly over 60 turbulent years, the undisputed Great Helmsman is a quiet, gentle, wise, vastly experienced man named Bhumipol Aydulet, otherwise known as Rama IX, the ninth Chakri Dynasty King of Thailand. His personal virtues have undergirded one of the few remaining indigenously legitimate systems of state to survive the twin Western plagues of imperialist rapacity and communist vandalism.