An Alternative Voice from Academia

This interview is generating quite a buzz (judging from the comments being left), although it seems to be ignored in the mainstream media. It appears in Prachatai, the Thai Online newspaper, whose editorial quality I think sometime exceeds its print counterparts.

Prachathai interviews Pichit Likitkijsomboon, an associate professor in Economics at Thammasart University, where he supervises the faculty’s graduate program. Don’t let that fool you in thinking he’s another Thirayuth Boonmi clone. Prachathai introduces the interview this way:

รศ.ดร.พิชิต ลิขิตกิจสมบูรณ์ อาจารย์จากคณะเศรษฐศาสตร์ มหาวิทยาลัยธรรมศาสตร์ เป็นคนแรกๆ ที่ฟันธงว่า เบื้องลึกที่สุดของม็อบต่อต้านทักษิณ ก็คือ การไม่เลือกข้างทุนนิยมโลกาภิวัตน์ที่ ‘ทักษิณ’ ดำเนินไปอย่างขันแข็ง แต่เขาเชื่อในทุนนิยมโลกาภิวัตน์ และเชื่อมั่นว่า ‘ทักษิณ’ ซึ่งมาตามกติกาประชาธิปไตยจะนำพาประเทศไปได้ดีบนทางสายนี้ หากแต่ขบวนการต่อต้านนี้เองที่จะทำให้การเมืองไทยถอยหลังไปถึงสมัยพล.อ.สุจินดา หรือหลัง 14 ตุลา หรือกระทั่ง 2476 นั่นเลย

Pichit Likitkijsomboon was one of the first people who declared that the root of the anti-Thaksin movement was the turning away from the globalized capitalism that the prime minister firmly put into practice. He believes in globalized capitalism and is confident that the democratically-elect Thaksin is leading the country in the right direction but it is the anti-Thaksin movement itself that seeks to lead the country back to the days of General Suchinda, the post-October 14 era or even to 1933* [when the first prime minister in the post absolute monarchy era shut parliament and suspended certain provisions of the constitution].

Stirring stuff. I browsed through the article and several issues he raised really hit the nail on the head. I’ll gather my thoughts and post them soon.

* An earlier version of the article had the wrong year, 1932. This was the year absolute monarchy ended.


12 responses to “An Alternative Voice from Academia

  1. Someone mentioned to me the other day about some ajarn from Thammasat having nice things to say about Thaksin. I couldn’t find the article they were talking about it, but from what they told me it seems it was something from Ajarn Pichit.


  2. It’s a great read, thank you. However, you might want to post the link to the actual article, rather than to the newspaper’s front page.

  3. Good to hear that you guys find it interesting too. Any comments on the main points raised though? One thing that caught me was around the middle of the interview when the prof was asked what he thought would be the way out of the current crisis.

    แต่ผมดูแล้วมีแนวโน้มจะล้มกระดานสูง เพราะตอนนี้ทุกคนจะเอานายกฯ พระราชทานหมดแล้วนี่… คงฉีกรัฐธรรมนูญแน่ ไม่รูปแบบใดก็รูปแบบหนึ่ง

    In other words, calls for a royally appointed prime minister to usher in the glorious second round of political reform will likely succeed. In light of the current situation, which is is really winning?

    poststaffer: The direct link to the article on Prachatai is here:

    I’d put the link on the word ‘interview’ in the first sentence.

  4. Naphat

    Are you going to post a translation of selected sections of the article or just offer commentary? I ask because I am intending to translate a few parts of the article and will post them here. I would prefer not to start to translate certain parts if you were also translating certain parts as well.

  5. I’m a bit scared that all we get after the whole situation here is just a quick fix which won’t solve the problem in deep.

    Personally I don’t want someone else than Taksin because I think he understands Thailand challenge.

    However, I think he don’t get a clue about democracy too. Hes government and all Thailand’s governments are corrupted. I mean a lot! (All governments are except some heavens in northen Europe).

    So my position is: Get Taksin back to the government but have the government questionned on anything that looks murky. And then there is no good answers then take action!

    Here, anytime someone ask a question there is a law suite from the government probably with the money of the people… Use it for projets not to sue. That’s what I say.

    As long as powerful people will think that winning the government is winning the lottery, nothing will work.

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