Christopher G. Moore Blog

Comments: Report on Foreign Eyes by Christopher G. Moore
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I am learning that blogs tend to be quite limiting when dealing with big ideas. My "confidence" that the Thais will solve their conflict lies not in the Thais themselves, but in the process of social change: culture will out! In my view the cultural mandate is stronger than any introduced politics. Political cummunism in Russia under Stalin was more like the Tzarist culture it replaced, and the same goes for Viet Nam: more culturally Vietnamese than communist. It is not that Wetern political democracy might not some day become a real part of the Thai ethic, but that its interpretation will unlikely resemble what Westerners know. Christopher made the point: the way confict is resolved between Thais differs greatly from the way Westerners resolve conflict: Western political democracy cannot function as intended in such a cultural context. Thais, like everyone else on the planet resolve conflicts between each other: that the cultural way is subtle and not loud and direct like Westerners means that Western political democracy is greatly handicapped, and maybe doesn't belong in the confines of Thai culture.The march of real-world events in Thailand will decide to what extent Thais will adopt Westen political ways if at all.

From: De Turner Posted: 6/7/2010 9:30:57 AM

 

 

Del Turner writes: "The sooner Thai intellectuals abandon the idea of transfering Western political democracy into their culture instead of developing their own culturally based system of government in tune with the real-world events with which they hacve to contend, the better. I have confidence that they will do so." Bravo, Del! You are one of the few westerners who have this opinion. Even most Thais disagree with you. I, however, agree with you. And I have met some Thais who have expressed similar opinion, but they do not speak it out loud for fear of derision. BTW the Vietnamese seem to be doing very well for themselves. Everyone who is familiar with Hanoi cannot help but notice a great change in prosperity, for better or for worse. However, I do not share Del's optimism, as expressed in his last sentence.

From: The Ancient Mariner Posted: 6/5/2010 11:32:13 PM

 

 

Well done. Too good for a blog, me thinks. Then again, It may just be that I have read too many bad blogs.

From: Kevin Posted: 6/3/2010 1:16:30 PM

 

 

Sorry, Christopher, although your analysis is mostly corerect about the underlying conflict between Thai cultural ways and Western political democracy, it needs to go one step further. There seems little doubt that politics does not substantially change society, only real-world events do so. The process apparently starts with the intrusion of an event (the invention of the bow and arrow, automobiles, cell phones, the birth conrtrol pill) which upsets the existing belief system. The behaviour is the first thing to change, adjustment of the existing belief system then follows, and, finally, wit new belief systems in place, institutions change. Political action merely chatters around the edges of substive cultural or social change, and neither starts nor facilitates the end result. The Thai panel, and yourself are both right in some respects. A good try, but with events at your front door, it must be hard to see more than just trees. The sooner Thai intellectuals abandone the idea of transfering Western political democracy into their culture instead of developing their own culturally based system of government in tune with the real-world events with which they hacve to contend, the better. I have confidence that they will do so.

From: Del Turner, Kamloops, BC Canada Posted: 6/3/2010 12:40:40 PM

 

 

thank you, quite instructive I have been saying that democracy does not need reconciliation because it provides a mechanism for decision making where there are differences which, unfortunately plays directly against the reconciliation/harmony line of the government, and you say also against a basic ethic of asian society.... hmmmm... interesting, I will to keep your view in mind when thinking through issues

From: David Brown Posted: 6/3/2010 1:01:21 AM

 

 

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