Indeed, what are we to make of the Thai coup makers' dispiriting use of martial law and censorship, and its growing political ambition evidenced by appointing an effective military majority to the just established National Legislative Assembly? This is a level of khaki ambition unseen since the Cold War 1970s. And it finds diplomatic support in Chinese and Burmese quarters. On display is a gritted-tooth spit in the face of history-as-freedom as the junta tries to convince itself of its legitimacy, as much as others, by double speak - hence the arrest of those at downtown Paragon Mall caught reading Orwell's 1984. This is not so much a case of an emperor with no clothes as commoners with mirrors.
While conspiracy theorists view the military return to power as a plot, the decision to assume sovereign power by might, lies not in some original sin of the will to power, but in political circumstances surrounding the failure of competing political leaderships from 2005 onwards to settle the terms of their elite contest amidst emergent mass movements. When given a conditional constitutional terrain on which to contest their respective ideologies they each, at different times, failed to submit to a general constitutional law, providing the emotional, political or legal fuel to sustain a deadlocked politics .
Piece written last week but was unable to place it.