On Monday I wrote about Thailand. Not a huge story in the US but a much bigger deal here in Sweden because Swedes vacation so much in Thailand. Here is the top of the story:
The violence in Thailand – which seems to have come to a close with the army in control of central Bangkok and deals struck with Red Shirt protesters – seems confusing. You’ve got Red Shirts versus Yellow Shirts in a dance going back years (remember when the Yellow Shirts closed the Bangkok airport?), and Thailand has a long history of coups and political violence. Most reports focus on Thaksin Shinawatra, a populist billionaire former prime minister currently in exile and the hero of the Red Shirts.
What does all that mean?
Class warfare. That is what it means. The effects of globalization and mass migration. The maturation of democracy in the developing world. The ability of traditional elites to maintain power in a “flat” global society.
This is important stuff. And what is going on in Thailand could be the proverbial “canary in the coal mine” not just for Asia but for any place in the world where a poor underclass with rural or foreign roots becomes an integral part of a big city.
Like Nairobi. Or Delhi.
From Simon Tisdall in The Guardian:
If the clashes in Bangkok were transposed to central Paris, international commentators would be talking excitedly about revolution, class warfare, the future of the social contract, looming economic catastrophe and the end of democracy. Outside pressure to calm the situation would be immense.
Christopher Johnson in The Japan Times gives a pan-Asian take:
This demographic time bomb also exists in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Manila and other cities with huge migrant populations. If Thailand’s red shirt uprising is a revolution of rising expectations among the servant class, then migrant laborers elsewhere might also demand a greater share of political power.
To finish reading, you can go here.