I am law - Thailand's repetitive decisionist moment
In early May Thais witnessed a prime minister felled for a single transfer of office (rightly in normal circumstances), and then two weeks later a coup-group, acting as self-anointed national saviors in the decisionist fashion of all coups de'etat, declared themselves as law itself and then proceeded to remake the state by a series of non-constitutional decrees, some of which forcibly detain for the purposes of "adjustment" those who would question on what law stands the coup.
The Thai coup makers' dispiriting humvee -and-trample use of martial law and the 2014 May coup are a product of a gritted-tooth spit in the face of history-as-freedom; brazen and contrarian, the coup leadership must convince now themselves of their own legitimacy by double speak - hence their sensitivity about protestors reading Orwell's 1984.
Thailand's return to its repetitive decisionism (how many coups d'eat now?) , which is to say this latest assumption of sovereignty by the law of might not right, has its origins not in some original sin of the military will to power, but in the failure of the political leaderships to settle the terms of their elite contest amidst emergent mass movements.
When given a constitutional terrain on which to contest their respective ideologies they each, at different times, failed to submit to a higher law. In this round the weight of failure obviously goes to the PDRC and the Democrat Party. As egregious as the Pheu Thai party may have been to its opponents, it was still a possibility that smart oppositional politics and strategy could have whittled away its electoral power.
Now, with Democrat Party complicity and an establishment fearful of the emergence of new politics across the political divide - of mass mobilization and a democracy of doing - the military has truncated the crisis (that might have been an episode of democratization) not so much with a full stop as with an exclamation mark screaming unity and Thainess! Its partisan round-ups, censorship and exhortations builds a fortress of hyperbole backed by guns.