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4/17/2009

Are we capable of thinking for ourselves? II.

The example of the public demonstration in Thailand has been quoted as a bad thing. How could the people demonstrate in the streets, destroying public properties and hurting people, disrupting the economy and breaking down public order and security? Think for a moment, why did all these happen? At face value all these are bad, no doubt. But without understanding the background to what is happening to Thailand and how the Red Shirts were forced into the streets, one will be making a false or wrong judgement on the people and event. Violent demonstators! Guilty, no good, lock them up. Beat them up. Let me post a hypothetical case, say an event happening here in the future. A President Bum is installed at the Istana. He is not happy with a popularly elected PM and his cabinet. He incited the army generals and some groups to wear Yellow Shirts to demonstrate in the streets. He eventually forced the popularly elected PM and govt out of power and installed his own men as PM and govt, without the people electing them. Should the people then demonstrate in public about such an abuse of power or a violation of the democratic system of electing the govt? And if the people do demonstrate, is it bad, is it wrong? Or should the people just accept everything that has happened, do not break the law, do not demonstrate and disturb the peace. Peace and public security are paramount and under no circumstances should people be allowed on the streets. What you think?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not sure if the President actually has the absolute power to dismiss and appoint PMs under the Constitution. In my opinion, there should be a single immovable reference point that all parties in a dispute have to agree to adhere to. In our system, that reference point should be the Constitution. Now, if the Constitution does indeed grants the absolute power to president Bum to appoint and dismiss whomsoever he chooses as PM, then everyone including the people have to abide by it, notwithstanding the fact that the new PM may not have been popularly elected. The Constitution is supreme. If those not happy with a non-elected PM and governmemnt will have the opportunity to display that inhappiness at the general election when it comes.

redbean said...

what happens if the bum president violated the constitution? in bangkok, it is just about this. ahbisit was made a PM not in accordance with their constitution. it is a backdoor govt.

Anonymous said...

abcisit was chosen by the generals after 3 other PMs were ousted under highly mysterious circumstances.

abcisit, became the PM not thru the ballot box, is not the people's choice and has persistently resisted attempts for democratic elections.

the yellow shirts and the red shorts both broke the laws, but only the red shorts were shot at and sent to the slammer.

these types of things can happen anyway where the oppositions are easily fixed and decimated.

Anonymous said...

The Constitution cannot be a reference point because it can be altered, with sufficient support. In Singapore's case, with 98% of the seats in Parliament, the PAP can amend the Constitution to turn Singapore into a communist state if they so wish. I don't think there is an easy answer to Redbean's poser. The rule of the street is not the answer to a totalitarian government, especially one that is in full control of all government machinery and is unscrupulous enough to use the apparatus to achieve their ends. Democracy in itself too is not without its flaws, as we have seen in Thailand where a PM was able to win power simply on the back of populist policies that appeal to the majority, whilst in the same breath plundered the nations coffers. It's not simply a case of Ahbisit being a back door PM.

Anonymous said...

When the rule of law breaks down and the unhappy majority are not given choices, these things happen.

As seen in france, philippines, indonesia, vietnam and pre communist china, the rule of the streets, revolution, people's uprising became the answer to the totalitarian and unpopular governments in those places.

Depending on which way one choose to look at it and no doubt, how it best serve one's interests, the situation can be interpreted accordingly; the yellow clappers, Protestors Against Democracy in cahoots with the army cum business tycoons took down the previously elected PMs, against the consituition 3 times in a row and caused chaos to the country is seen as justified; the red shorts responded by fighting for democracy and their rights, and they are ... the villians.

To some, the red shorts are only as unlawful as the generals who in the first place took away their constituitional rights, the consequences in these types of showdown are often bloody and unpredictable.

Anonymous said...

The red shirts were bloody and violent alright when they came out with their sticks, stones, hammers, knives, cocktails and pistols to reclaim their democratic rights .. they are no doubt undesirable hooligans.


In 2006 the generals broke the law outright and threw away the constitution in their coup d'etat against the elected government with their bazookas, rocket grenade launchers, M16s automatics, armoured vehicles, tanks, howitzers.. weapons of rapid destruction, and it is... ok.

Anonymous said...

Violent is no the way of solution even under any opression or repression or anger. One in these day can be exorcised for making overly express degoratory remark if power(media,gvt,right groups,ect) that be don't like it but one must accept and kowtow to them.

Matilah_Singapura said...

"Thinking for ourselves" is actually an individual pursuit.

Sure, anyone can think for themselves, but the objective should be to think correctly for oneself.

In the public school system, kids are taught what to think, not how to think; to respect authority instead of being skeptical about authority and demanding hard-evidence on why authority is to be trusted at all.

You'll find (some of the best) skeptic and critical thinking links (among other things!) at my blog,or you can do the work yourself and search using google. Comments on my blog have now been turned back on.

During times of uncertainty, the grifters, con-artists and charlatans emerge from under their rocks to dupe the gullible out of their money. People with tend to drop their guard and succumb to bogus ideas like medical quackery, multi level marketing schemes MLM), pyramid games, 'get-rich-quick' shams, cults, religious fakery (like faith healing), psychics, super natural nonsense, 'guru-based' ideology for 'self-improvement' (some courses cost thousands of $$), pseudoscience, etc.

Protect yourself, and those you care for. Learn how to think properly.