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Counting the number of Thai coups tells us nothing


Good summary but Taksin was hardly the freedom fighter he is being made out to be. The army are taking initiatives now (eg corruption, wealth distribution that both parties failed to tackle


Counting the number of Thai coups tells us nothing

Giles Ji Ungpakorn

Many foreign news reports about the present situation in Thailand like to trot out figures for the number of military coup d’états that this country has suffered. People then shake their heads and dismiss Thailand as a “basket case” for democracy. But the overall figures for Thai coup d’états fails to uncover the complexities of Thai politics, especially the class struggle between the ruling class and those who are ruled.


If we discount “self-coups” , which were merely about consolidating the dictatorship at one moment in time, and if we discount “failed coups” which were all about ruling class rivalry, we can see that Thailand has had 10 successful coup d’états.

The 1932 revolution, which overthrew the absolute monarchy, was not a coup d’état. It changed the political system and was therefore a political revolution. It was…

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