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Were Thai Fascists Bad?

Daktoria
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10/16/2015 1:58:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
When most people think about fascism, they think about the Germans, Japanese, Italians, Hungarians, Romanians, and Bulgarians. Some think about the Spanish and Argentines too...

...but there's one exception to the rule that doesn't seem to have been all that bad.

Thai fascists were anti-imperialist, anti-royalist, didn't commit war crimes, and supported equality across all of Thai society regardless of where you were born in the country or what your social status was. They maintained Thailand's independence from the British, French, and Japanese, and sought to return control of the Thai economy to the Thai people instead of being manipulated by Chinese influence as it had been for centuries. They sought to modernize the country, elevate its educational standards, and ensure a healthy way of life.

In a sense, Thailand's best corollary at the time would be Iran, a similar country that while not explicitly fascist, had similar anti-imperial, anti-royalist, and non-aggressive intentions while focusing on development. That said, Iran ended up invaded by the British and Soviets for having a relatively weak military. Thailand, in contrast, wasn't invaded, and even liberated a few territories from the British and French empires in Burma and Cambodia.

In fact, the United States after the war supported both of these countries as well despite the pressure put on them by British, French, and Soviet diplomacy.

Is it feasible to say that Thailand proved that fascism doesn't have to be bad?
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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10/16/2015 6:11:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Well, they did have some not so bright moments, like executing political enemies after mock trials. But I suppose 18 political killings is not that bad on the grand scheme of things. Not many countries can claim better.

The issue is more with what fascism is (at least with what 20th century fascism is). People don't like the idea of being subservient to the state, which is a core tenet in fascism. See how everyone wants the draft abolished (which is probably the USA's single biggest fascist policy).

There is also the issue that because the people need to hold the state as bigger and more important than themselves, the state has to build a massive cult following of its people and purge those that don't buy in, in one way or another.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Daktoria
Posts: 497
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10/16/2015 9:24:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/16/2015 6:11:33 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
Well, they did have some not so bright moments, like executing political enemies after mock trials. But I suppose 18 political killings is not that bad on the grand scheme of things. Not many countries can claim better.

The issue is more with what fascism is (at least with what 20th century fascism is). People don't like the idea of being subservient to the state, which is a core tenet in fascism. See how everyone wants the draft abolished (which is probably the USA's single biggest fascist policy).

There is also the issue that because the people need to hold the state as bigger and more important than themselves, the state has to build a massive cult following of its people and purge those that don't buy in, in one way or another.

My understanding of fascism is it's a militant, anti-capitalist, racist ideology that seeks to standardize people's way of life while proposing superiority to others' ways of life. What you've described there with the State is general totalitarianism. Subservience to the State applies to more ideologies than just fascism. For example like you said, Stalin and Mao cultivated cults of personality just as much despite not being fascist. There was plenty of third world oppression as well to give comparable examples to Thailand itself. Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, and Indonesia are good local examples of regimes gone wrong in South East Asia alone.

Heck, it's arguable that Southeast Asia was unappreciative of Thailand's anti-imperialism during its fascist reign because of how communist the rest of SE Asia became. Thailand basically got slapped in the face despite making the effort to liberate others from British and French rule while remaining independent from the Japanese. Thankfully, America decided to cooperate with it throughout the Vietnam War, letting Bangkok headquarter SEATO, and even recognizes it today as a Non NATO Major Ally.

I've been trying to verify those who were executed in the mock trials, and I haven't found any sources that do so. I also know that following WW2, Thailand was repeatedly pressured by communist students and foreigners who tried to revolutionize the country, and it had a continued track record of minimal casualties. All and all, I just don't see fascism as amounting to a disaster in the country, so it seems to show that it can work without going bad.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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10/16/2015 11:23:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/16/2015 9:24:11 PM, Daktoria wrote:
At 10/16/2015 6:11:33 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
Well, they did have some not so bright moments, like executing political enemies after mock trials. But I suppose 18 political killings is not that bad on the grand scheme of things. Not many countries can claim better.

The issue is more with what fascism is (at least with what 20th century fascism is). People don't like the idea of being subservient to the state, which is a core tenet in fascism. See how everyone wants the draft abolished (which is probably the USA's single biggest fascist policy).

There is also the issue that because the people need to hold the state as bigger and more important than themselves, the state has to build a massive cult following of its people and purge those that don't buy in, in one way or another.

My understanding of fascism is it's a militant, anti-capitalist, racist ideology that seeks to standardize people's way of life while proposing superiority to others' ways of life.

Umm... no. First off, it does not have to have any element of racism in it. That is not a pre-request.

What you've described there with the State is general totalitarianism. Subservience to the State applies to more ideologies than just fascism.

Fascism is within totalitarianism. As I said, subservience to the state is a core tenet. I did not say it is not the only tenet. 20th century fascism rose from WW1 and the realization that an entire nation could be mobilized for a purpose. With proper equipment, you did not need to be a highly trained soldier, but that in times of need, everyone could stand up and fight and combined, the power of a single nation could defeat any army. In ideological form, the "mobilization" was not exclusively for war, but for whatever the nation needed. If there was a bad winter issue, it could mobilize the people to farm more land for more food to get through it. If it was an invading army, it would to mobilize for battle. If it was a sudden change in technology, they could mobilize to a key aspect of the economy to introduce that technology, etc. But it was the notion of the people would give their all for the state's command, and the state would (ideally) only command them in ways that were good for society.

This is way the symbol for 20th century fascism is the fasces.

The main thing with fascism is how they obtain doing this. Through extreme nationalism (which can easily be turned into racism) and ideally autarky.

For example like you said, Stalin and Mao cultivated cults of personality just as much despite not being fascist. There was plenty of third world oppression as well to give comparable examples to Thailand itself. Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, and Indonesia are good local examples of regimes gone wrong in South East Asia alone.

Heck, it's arguable that Southeast Asia was unappreciative of Thailand's anti-imperialism during its fascist reign because of how communist the rest of SE Asia became. Thailand basically got slapped in the face despite making the effort to liberate others from British and French rule while remaining independent from the Japanese. Thankfully, America decided to cooperate with it throughout the Vietnam War, letting Bangkok headquarter SEATO, and even recognizes it today as a Non NATO Major Ally.

I've been trying to verify those who were executed in the mock trials, and I haven't found any sources that do so. I also know that following WW2, Thailand was repeatedly pressured by communist students and foreigners who tried to revolutionize the country, and it had a continued track record of minimal casualties. All and all, I just don't see fascism as amounting to a disaster in the country, so it seems to show that it can work without going bad.

http://www.executedtoday.com...
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Daktoria
Posts: 497
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10/17/2015 2:51:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/16/2015 11:23:16 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 10/16/2015 9:24:11 PM, Daktoria wrote:
At 10/16/2015 6:11:33 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
Well, they did have some not so bright moments, like executing political enemies after mock trials. But I suppose 18 political killings is not that bad on the grand scheme of things. Not many countries can claim better.

The issue is more with what fascism is (at least with what 20th century fascism is). People don't like the idea of being subservient to the state, which is a core tenet in fascism. See how everyone wants the draft abolished (which is probably the USA's single biggest fascist policy).

There is also the issue that because the people need to hold the state as bigger and more important than themselves, the state has to build a massive cult following of its people and purge those that don't buy in, in one way or another.

My understanding of fascism is it's a militant, anti-capitalist, racist ideology that seeks to standardize people's way of life while proposing superiority to others' ways of life.

Umm... no. First off, it does not have to have any element of racism in it. That is not a pre-request.

What you've described there with the State is general totalitarianism. Subservience to the State applies to more ideologies than just fascism.

Fascism is within totalitarianism. As I said, subservience to the state is a core tenet. I did not say it is not the only tenet. 20th century fascism rose from WW1 and the realization that an entire nation could be mobilized for a purpose. With proper equipment, you did not need to be a highly trained soldier, but that in times of need, everyone could stand up and fight and combined, the power of a single nation could defeat any army. In ideological form, the "mobilization" was not exclusively for war, but for whatever the nation needed. If there was a bad winter issue, it could mobilize the people to farm more land for more food to get through it. If it was an invading army, it would to mobilize for battle. If it was a sudden change in technology, they could mobilize to a key aspect of the economy to introduce that technology, etc. But it was the notion of the people would give their all for the state's command, and the state would (ideally) only command them in ways that were good for society.

This is way the symbol for 20th century fascism is the fasces.

The main thing with fascism is how they obtain doing this. Through extreme nationalism (which can easily be turned into racism) and ideally autarky.

For example like you said, Stalin and Mao cultivated cults of personality just as much despite not being fascist. There was plenty of third world oppression as well to give comparable examples to Thailand itself. Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, and Indonesia are good local examples of regimes gone wrong in South East Asia alone.

Heck, it's arguable that Southeast Asia was unappreciative of Thailand's anti-imperialism during its fascist reign because of how communist the rest of SE Asia became. Thailand basically got slapped in the face despite making the effort to liberate others from British and French rule while remaining independent from the Japanese. Thankfully, America decided to cooperate with it throughout the Vietnam War, letting Bangkok headquarter SEATO, and even recognizes it today as a Non NATO Major Ally.

I've been trying to verify those who were executed in the mock trials, and I haven't found any sources that do so. I also know that following WW2, Thailand was repeatedly pressured by communist students and foreigners who tried to revolutionize the country, and it had a continued track record of minimal casualties. All and all, I just don't see fascism as amounting to a disaster in the country, so it seems to show that it can work without going bad.

http://www.executedtoday.com...

Well yea, extreme nationalism is racism on steroids. It doesn't just discriminate against other races, but other nationalities within your own race like how Hitler discriminated against the Slavs who were still white.

What's interesting about Thailand is how it turned this around though. Instead of discriminating against other SE Asian cultures, it used extreme nationalism to mobilize against the British and French.

Anyway, I read your link, and it connected me to the Songsuradet Rebellion which is interesting because it connects the 18 political killings to the Night of the Long Knives in Nazi Germany. The NLK was actually an internal purification movement against more radical members of the same party, so strangely enough, those killings might actually have not been that bad. The rebellion was like how Hitler took out someone worse than himself. It didn't involve killing people of alternate political leanings.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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10/17/2015 3:58:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/17/2015 2:51:00 PM, Daktoria wrote:
At 10/16/2015 11:23:16 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 10/16/2015 9:24:11 PM, Daktoria wrote:
At 10/16/2015 6:11:33 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
Well, they did have some not so bright moments, like executing political enemies after mock trials. But I suppose 18 political killings is not that bad on the grand scheme of things. Not many countries can claim better.

The issue is more with what fascism is (at least with what 20th century fascism is). People don't like the idea of being subservient to the state, which is a core tenet in fascism. See how everyone wants the draft abolished (which is probably the USA's single biggest fascist policy).

There is also the issue that because the people need to hold the state as bigger and more important than themselves, the state has to build a massive cult following of its people and purge those that don't buy in, in one way or another.

My understanding of fascism is it's a militant, anti-capitalist, racist ideology that seeks to standardize people's way of life while proposing superiority to others' ways of life.

Umm... no. First off, it does not have to have any element of racism in it. That is not a pre-request.

What you've described there with the State is general totalitarianism. Subservience to the State applies to more ideologies than just fascism.

Fascism is within totalitarianism. As I said, subservience to the state is a core tenet. I did not say it is not the only tenet. 20th century fascism rose from WW1 and the realization that an entire nation could be mobilized for a purpose. With proper equipment, you did not need to be a highly trained soldier, but that in times of need, everyone could stand up and fight and combined, the power of a single nation could defeat any army. In ideological form, the "mobilization" was not exclusively for war, but for whatever the nation needed. If there was a bad winter issue, it could mobilize the people to farm more land for more food to get through it. If it was an invading army, it would to mobilize for battle. If it was a sudden change in technology, they could mobilize to a key aspect of the economy to introduce that technology, etc. But it was the notion of the people would give their all for the state's command, and the state would (ideally) only command them in ways that were good for society.

This is way the symbol for 20th century fascism is the fasces.

The main thing with fascism is how they obtain doing this. Through extreme nationalism (which can easily be turned into racism) and ideally autarky.

For example like you said, Stalin and Mao cultivated cults of personality just as much despite not being fascist. There was plenty of third world oppression as well to give comparable examples to Thailand itself. Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, and Indonesia are good local examples of regimes gone wrong in South East Asia alone.

Heck, it's arguable that Southeast Asia was unappreciative of Thailand's anti-imperialism during its fascist reign because of how communist the rest of SE Asia became. Thailand basically got slapped in the face despite making the effort to liberate others from British and French rule while remaining independent from the Japanese. Thankfully, America decided to cooperate with it throughout the Vietnam War, letting Bangkok headquarter SEATO, and even recognizes it today as a Non NATO Major Ally.

I've been trying to verify those who were executed in the mock trials, and I haven't found any sources that do so. I also know that following WW2, Thailand was repeatedly pressured by communist students and foreigners who tried to revolutionize the country, and it had a continued track record of minimal casualties. All and all, I just don't see fascism as amounting to a disaster in the country, so it seems to show that it can work without going bad.

http://www.executedtoday.com...

Well yea, extreme nationalism is racism on steroids. It doesn't just discriminate against other races, but other nationalities within your own race like how Hitler discriminated against the Slavs who were still white.

What's interesting about Thailand is how it turned this around though. Instead of discriminating against other SE Asian cultures, it used extreme nationalism to mobilize against the British and French.

They discriminated against the Chinese. They did not allow Chinese papers into the country so they could maintain their monopoly of media. They imposed taxes on just Chinese people. Sure, they didn't round them up in the millions and gas them like the Germans did to the Jews.


Anyway, I read your link, and it connected me to the Songsuradet Rebellion which is interesting because it connects the 18 political killings to the Night of the Long Knives in Nazi Germany. The NLK was actually an internal purification movement against more radical members of the same party, so strangely enough, those killings might actually have not been that bad. The rebellion was like how Hitler took out someone worse than himself. It didn't involve killing people of alternate political leanings.

Not sure how you got that. The Coup of 18 corpses is pretty well documented. But regardless if you believe they may have been horrible people, they were tried in a kangaroo court and executed. They were not given a fair trial by any stretch.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Daktoria
Posts: 497
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10/17/2015 5:14:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/17/2015 3:58:50 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
They discriminated against the Chinese. They did not allow Chinese papers into the country so they could maintain their monopoly of media. They imposed taxes on just Chinese people. Sure, they didn't round them up in the millions and gas them like the Germans did to the Jews.

The Chinese for centuries had manipulated Thailand economically, militarily, and politically. They weren't comparable to the Jews. Chinese belonged to an explicit country that put influence on Thailand for a very long time, and enabled migrants to move into Thai society just to extract its wealth and pin it down while utilizing social networks to maintain control on those flows of wealth. On top of that, the Chinese influenced Thailand's neighbors to the detriment of the country.

In fact, this influence even has consequences in Thailand today. The southern Islamist insurgency comes from the descendants of the Sultanate of Malacca, a Chinese protectorate.

Not sure how you got that. The Coup of 18 corpses is pretty well documented. But regardless if you believe they may have been horrible people, they were tried in a kangaroo court and executed. They were not given a fair trial by any stretch.

To be fair, there are times when it's appropriate to suspend due process because the system itself can be corrupt. A "fair trial" would be anything but.
Daktoria
Posts: 497
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10/17/2015 5:30:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
In fact, a lot of Thai fascism was premised on the corrupt favoritism and nepotism that pervaded Thai society from the royal monarchy, and the first Thai constitution was written after the royal monarchy was overthrown. Even now, the monarchy is often accused of the same nonsense, especially from how its constantly indulging in vices, and the military has intervened many times since WW2 to stabilize the country without going overboard.

There is good reason to believe the system would have been corrupt if it gave a fair trial to the accused. The fascists at the time were in the process of modernizing the country away from its past of favoritism.