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By Giles Ji Ungpakorn

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Paper presented at the Faculty of Economics, Chulalongkorn University, 29/6/2006 (In Thai). See Chatthip Nartsupha (1998) Peasant Community Economics in Thailand. Chapter 5 In Chatthip Nartsupha et al. Peasant Community Economics. Wititat. 272 54 A Coup For the Rich Thailand’s political Crisis Counter Images concerning the Monarchy On the 24 th June 1932 the Peoples Party, lead by Pridi Phanomyong, Field Marshal Plaek Pibul-Songkram and others, staged a successful revolution against the Absolute Monarchy of Rama VII.

Also of note are Chaiyan Chaiyaporn, Surapong Jaiyarnarm and Prapart Pintobtaeng who have acted either as supporters or advisors to the junta. In the case of Prapart, he is not a liberal but lacks all faith in the independent power of the Peoples Movement or the ability of the poor to lead themselves. Prapart is an advisor to the Assembly of the Poor, but he has capitulated to the elite by joining the “Tank Liberals”. Yet the ordinary villagers in the Assembly of the Poor have generally maintained a principled anti-dictatorship position.

The present Thai State is not plagued by splits between the pre-capitalist elites and modern aggressive capitalists. The split is about how to divide up the spoils of exploitation and the degree to which the State should intervene in the economy. It is certainly true that the Taksin government was sensitive to accusations that there were disagreements with the Palace, but this is more about the legitimacy which the Monarchy gives to a government. As will be shown later, this legitimising function has been cultivated by all governments since Sarit.

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