Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Thailand: the revolution opens



The League for a Fifth International [LFI] has written a useful analysis of the current situation in Thailand. We disagree however with its call for a Constituent Assembly and argue for a Workers’ and Peasants’ Government in Thailand to overthrow feudalism and capitalism and open the road to socialism.


Another useful more in depth analysis which also traces the reactionary role of the Maoists in Thailand, does however fall short of offering any political program for workers power.

In summary, the LFI argues that a revolutionary situation has developed arising out a split in the ruling class. On the one side is the King, the Army and the traditional Thai landlords and bourgeoisie that want to keep control of Thailand out of the hands of the pro-imperialist bourgeoisie. They are supported by layers of the middle class who mobilise dressed in yellow shirts.

On the other side is the billionaire populist boss Thaksin and the fraction of the bourgeoisie that wants to enrich themselves by privatizing and selling off Thailand’s assets to the international capitalists. The military removed Thaksin in 2006 and since then has staged several army backed coups to remove and keep the popular red-shirted Thaksin parties from power.

The latest protest by the UDD coalition [National United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship] backed by Thaksin was in response to the December removal of the popular elected government. Of course this ''united front" is really a popular front which ties workers and poor peasants to the middle class and the Thaksin wing of the the bourgeoisie. Thousands of redshirted protestors took over Bangkok and had running battles with the police and the military. Yet it was obvious that the rank and file of the military were reluctant to violently repress the protestors. A revolutionary situation had opened up. The workers had demonstrated their unwillingness to be ruled in the old way and the ruling class was divided on how to deal with the popular insurrection.

Both wings of the bourgeoisie are using their mass supporters to gain the advantage on the streets. Thaksin himself wants a “peaceful revolution”. This is the siren song of the popular front to use the masses but keep them in check while the bosses negotiate. But the problem is that the growing support for Thaksin and opposition to Royalty will see the military used to repress the masses. The revolutionary situation will end in the fire and blood of the counter-revolution.

It is therefore necessary for the workers and poor peasants to urgently break from the UDD popular front and from the Thaksin wing of the bourgeoisie and to form an independent armed workers and poor peasants’ party capable of building organs of workers and peasants' power, splitting the ranks from the officers in the army and taking power.


The LFI calls for a Constituent Assembly [CA] which is radical bourgeois parliament based on one person one vote. Yet to be able to call a CA free of electoral corruption would require the workers to be already in power and this would have to be in the form of a workers government made up of delegates elected by the armed workers, peasants and soldiers councils.

For that reason revolutionaries must be for a Workers’ and Peasants’ Government to overthrow feudal and capitalist society and open the road for socialism.

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