No Trust in the pro-Thaksin Pheu Thai PartyLeadership! Mobilize the Working Class and Poor Peasants to Defeat the “Yellow Shirts”, Army Command, and Monarchy!
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 21.5.2014,www.thecommunists.net
1. On 20 May, Thailand’s army command declared martial law "to restore peace and order for people from all sides" without consulting the government. It also ordered the censorship of the media in the interests of "national security." According to a statement made by General Prayut Chan-O-Cha and delivered on all television stations, the army "prohibits all media outlets from the reporting or distribution of any news or still photographs detrimental to national security." While the army command claims that this "is not a coup," there can be no doubt that a military coup is in fact underway. On 7 May, the country’s Constitutional Court already dismissed the elected government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
2. The background of the military coup is the attempt of the old elite to overthrow the democratically-elected government of the bourgeois-populist pro-Thaksin Pheu Thai Party. Since November 2013, the so-called “Yellow Shirts” led by the Democrat Party, have organized reactionary demonstrations aimed at provoking a coup d’état against the government. The Democrat Party is the traditional representative of the reactionary political elite which is composed of the army command, the upper echelons of the state bureaucracy, the majority of Thai’s big business, and – as their figurehead – King Bhumibol. It is a neoliberal, royalist, big business-oriented party which has its main base of support among the urban middle class of Bangkok. The Democrat Party has never actually won a parliamentary election, but rather has gained positions in the government via a succession of previous coup d’états and interference from the military.
3. Why is the traditional elite hostile towards the present government? During the last thirteen years, the strongman behind all democratically elected governments has been the deposed and exiled former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin is a multi-millionaire, and his bourgeois party is inextricably linked with the capitalist system. However, it also has the support of the working class and the poor peasants due to some social reforms it has introduced. As a result, the pro-Thaksin forces have won every parliamentary election in the recent past. These popular forces form the basis for the so-called “Red Shirts” movement.
4. However, the government of Yingluck Shinawatra and the leadership of the Pheu Thai Party have reacted to the “Yellow Shirts” provocations in an utterly cowardly way. From the start of the current crisis last November, they have actively discouraged their mass base among the poor from mobilizing against the reactionary demonstrations of the “Yellow Shirts.” Even now, they refuse to call for mass protests against the coup d’état. This is not surprising. Given the fact that the main goal of the pro-Thaksin leadership is to find a compromise with the traditional elite, they are unwilling to mobilize their working class and poor supporters. They fear that this might provoke bloody clashes and pre-revolutionary developments, as has happened several times in the past, and get out of hand.
5. From the start of the present crisis, the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) has warned that the demonstrations organized by the Democrat Party are of a reactionary nature and are aimed precisely at provoking a coup d’état. Similarly, we have issued warnings about the pro-Thaksin leadership’s demobilizing tactics. Naturally, socialists cannot give any political support to these forces. However, we have repeatedly maintained that the united front tactic must be employed by the “Red Shirts” movement to defend the democratically-elected government against the utterly reactionary coup d’état orchestrated by the constitutional court and army command.
6. In order to decisively defeat the immanent counter-revolution and to open the road towards real democracy and social justice, the working class and the poor peasants must be mobilized for mass demonstrations and a general strike. It is urgent that socialists work towards breaking the rank and file Red Shirts away from the cowardly pro-Thaksin leadership. The goal must be to build an independent workers’ party. The RCIT believes that such a party must raise the banner of permanent revolution, i.e., the intermeshing of the democratic and socialist revolutions, which will lead to an armed uprising of the workers and poor peasants aimed at overthrowing capitalism and founding a workers’ and peasants’ republic.
7. The developing coup d’état also demonstrates the bankruptcy of centrist pseudo-Trotskyists like the “Committee for a Workers International” (CWI). As we had previously shown, the CWI supported the reactionary mobilizations of the “Yellow Shirts” and the Democrat Party which paved the way for the present coup d’état. This position is a serious political crime, similar to the support of various centrists (CWI, the Cliffite SWP/IST, the ISO [USA], and the Morenoite LIT-FI, and the UIT-FI) for the reactionary Euro-Maidan movement in the Ukraine. These forces are incapable of differentiating a revolution from a counter-revolution. Once again, we see how centrism, which adapts to non-proletarian forces while canting Marxist phrases, only confuses and misleads the workers’ vanguard.
8. Authentic revolutionaries in Thailand should work to build a revolutionary workers’ party in conjunction with their participation in the creation of a new World Party of Socialist Revolution which, in our opinion, will be the Fifth Workers’ International. They should fight for a program centered around the following slogans:
* Defeat the reactionary coup d’état! Prepare for mass demonstrations and a general strike!
* For the abolishment of the monarchy and the establishment of a republic! Down with the army command and the constitutional court!
* Down with the reactionary constitution! For a Revolutionary Constitutional Assembly controlled by armed, mass organizations of the workers and peasants!
* Expropriate big business and nationalize the banks! Place large industrial and service enterprises under workers’ control! Nationalize the media under workers’ control!
* Expropriate the big landowners and distribute the land to the poor peasants!
* Unconditional support for the right of national self-determination for the Muslim people of Patani in the south of Thailand
* For a workers’ and poor peasants’ government based on councils and popular militias of the armed masses!
International Secretariat of the RCIT
We also refer our readers to past statements by the RCIT on the recent crisis in Thailand:
RCIT: Thailand: Defeat the looming reactionary Coup D’état! Mobilize the Working Class and Poor Peasants as an independent force against the “Yellow Shirts”, Army Command and Monarchy! 4.12.2013, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/thailand-looming-coup-d-%C3%A9tat/
Michael Pröbsting: Thailand: CWI’s Disgraceful Support for the Bosses’ “Yellow Shirts”, RCIT, 15.1.2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/cwi-on-thailand/