English Archive

In Remembrance of Kru Krong Chandavong

In Remembrance of Kru Krong Chandavong

May is our month of memory. Beginning with International Workers’ Day, it marches past several anniversaries—the gunning down of Jit Phumisak on the 5th, the Rajprasong crackdown on Red Shirt protesters in mid-May, the 2014 coup on the 22th—only to end with the anniversary of the execution of schoolteacher-turned-politician Krong Chandavong in 1961 on the orders of Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat. Here, a poetic ode to Chandavong is translated on the anniversary of his death.

ความแปลกแยก Alienation [TH/EN]

ความแปลกแยก Alienation [TH/EN]

มาร์กซ์กล่าวไว้ว่าแรงงานทั้งปวงล้วนแปลกแยก (Alienated) นั่นเป็นสาเหตุว่าทำไมคุณถึงรู้สึกหดหู่ตลอดเวลา และ นั่นไม่ใช่ความผิดของคุณ จะว่าเป็นโชคร้ายก็ได้นะ แต่คุณต้องเป็นคนหนึ่งที่แก้ไขมัน We have to become aware of our alienation, gain alienation consciousness, so as to fight it with solidarity and comradeship. Caring for others, for no other reason than we would hope someone else cares for us.

Thaksin

Thaksin

Thaksin Shinawatra defined Thai politics for a generation and forever reshaped it. Somehow, this elite capitalist billionaire became the unquestioned champion for a destitute peasantry. Thaksin’s politics defied left-right categorisations, creating an economic miracle, lifting millions out of poverty while further developing the very same mechanisms of capital that had placed them in said destitution.

No Sweat

No Sweat

In the late ’90s, the horrors of sweatshops became a focal point of concern in the global North. However, in the past two decades, they’ve faded from public attention. We spoke to No Sweat, a campaign to abolish sweatshops, about labour organising, campaigning, consumer culture and approaches to tackling the global North-South wealth divide. 

Proletarian Revolution In The Global North Is Impossible

Proletarian Revolution In The Global North Is Impossible

There is virtually no material production in the north, only service capital— debt and foreign holdings. The material existence of the northern proletariat is dependent on global south labour and continued material extraction. This raises the question of whether successful proletarian revolutions in the north are even remotely plausible.

Was Thailand Colonised?

Was Thailand Colonised?

Thailand often joins a small list of ‘third world’ or ‘global south’ countries, along with Ethiopia and Afghanistan, that escaped the horrors of European colonisation. However, as with the aforementioned states, the claim is somewhat dubious. In reality, Siam was ‘all but’ colonised starting in the late 19th century and well into the 20th century.

Music For Life – Revisited

Music For Life – Revisited

Ties between many of the original and most influential radical folk artists and their anti-capitalist beginnings seem to have frayed long ago. In an exercise of separating art from artist, leftists today must analyze the troubling messages espoused by many of these artists during the tumultuous political period from 2008-2014.

Insurgency In Yangon – Interview

Insurgency In Yangon – Interview

We spoke to Myo Min, an ethnic Rohingya, Din Deng contributor, activist and Yangon resident about the current situation in the former capital city on the eve of war. In the past few months an underground insurgency has grown in the city and life for it’s residents has become increasingly dangerous, although many are determined to aid the movement against the military junta.

Thalugaz Interview

Thalugaz Interview

For the past few weeks, there have been constant violent protests in the Din Daeng neighbourhood of Bangkok. Din Daeng is an extremely deprived area of the capital, particularly after strict lockdowns in the latest wave of the Covid pandemic were implemented with virtually no economic assistance. Since mid-august, predominantly young people have been fighting the police with improvised weapons like fireworks, small homemade bombs, slingshots and Molotov cocktails.

Are protests in Thailand a colour revolution? No

Are protests in Thailand a colour revolution? No

Every time I find a new leftist media outlet I always type Thailand in the search bar to see if there’s been any coverage. More often than not, there’s nothing, but on the rare occasion that Thailand does appear, it’s typically an article denouncing the Thai protest movement at large as a ‘colour revolution’. Often this claim is made with little to no explanation as to what a ‘colour revolution’ is in the opinion of the writers.

The Real Face of Thai Feudalism Today TLDR – Part I

The Real Face of Thai Feudalism Today TLDR – Part I

The purpose of the book was to expose how the plight of the rural Thai peasant in the 1950’s was a vestige rooted in the old feudal system, laying bare its horrors and its exploitative framework. Jit wrote this book as an antagonistic rebuttal against the revisionist history of the ruling classes taught to most Thai’s at the time (and still today), which typically depicts a utopian agrarian past, rather than the brutal exploitative reality. 

No One Cares – Workers Camps – Interview

No One Cares – Workers Camps – Interview

No One Cares – Bangkok is a horizontally organised volunteer group made up of around 20 people. No One Cares was recently formed during the second lockdown in Thailand. They provide emergency food and medical aid to temporary worker camps in Bangkok, which have been sealed shut since the imposition of the latest lockdown. We spoke with Dion, an activist and coordinator for the group.

Euro-Fascism with Thai Characteristics

Euro-Fascism with Thai Characteristics

In the 1930s, Thailand began a project of mass homogeneity based on western Euro-Fascism. This project was refined by the monarchy in the 1950s, leading to a reactionary consensus lasting a half-century. However, many elements in the recent protest movement, so far, fail to recognise their own deep-seated Euro-fascist tendencies when challenging the contemporary Thai state.

The Uprising & The Rohingya

The Uprising & The Rohingya

An examination of the implications of the mass uprising and Civil Disobedience Movement in Burma/Myanmar on the much maligned Rohingya people (many of whom are joining the campaign against the military government, standing in solidarity with the protesters).

Royalist Realism & Lèse-Majesté

Royalist Realism & Lèse-Majesté

The Lèse-Majesté law, also known as Article 112 in Thailand, forbids any criticism of the monarchy in the kingdom under punishment of imprisonment. Even those far removed from the machinations of Thai politics are vaguely aware of this law. In an era where basic freedom of speech is held as sacrosanct, this law is globally recognised as being bizarre and archaic, and hardly used for anything other than protecting an already seemingly beloved institution.

รัฐประหารในพม่า (Burma coup)

รัฐประหารในพม่า (Burma coup)

So the million dollar question regarding the coup is: Why now? That’s what’s confusing so many Burma watchers.

คำถามโลกแตกเกี่ยวกับการรัฐประหารครั้งนี้ก็คือ ทำไมเป็นตอนนี้?  คำถามนี้กวนใจผู้ติดตามสถานการณ์ในพม่าตอนนี้อย่างยิ่ง

Haji Sulong – Patani’s Reformer, Martyr and Father

Haji Sulong – Patani’s Reformer, Martyr and Father

The name Haji Sulong is little known in Thailand proper, despite being considered a hero and the founding father of the modern separatist movement in Thailand’s deep south ‘Patani’ region. Little is known outside the region about the conflict that erupted following his death, showing just how localised a civil war can be. This nescience is embodied in Haji Sulong, a man who lived an extraordinary life, was wildly influential and yet almost totally unknown to Thai society at large. 

Please Proletarianise the Protests

Please Proletarianise the Protests

Since the involvement of select labour unions, I have begun to see potential in the protests happening in Thailand today. However, the protests need to rapidly take on a working-class character, they need to be brought to consider economic injustice, and they need to involve the people who live on the edge of Thai society if they are to be successful. 

The Exit Ramp Off The Highway To Climate Catastrophe

The Exit Ramp Off The Highway To Climate Catastrophe

As our society is speeding towards climate catastrophe, we must radically re-examine our relationship with and conception of the natural and material world, which is currently based on the hierarchies of our inter-human relationships: A blueprint for avoiding ecological collapse and radically improving the lives of humankind. 

Freelance & The Protestant Work Ethic

Freelance & The Protestant Work Ethic

The 2015 film Freelance (English title Heart Attack) directed by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit is an extremely rare example of Marxist Thai cinema. Knowingly or not the film explores a number of Marxist critiques of capitalism and The Protestant Work Ethnic. 

Luang Pee Jazz 5G, A Critique

Luang Pee Jazz 5G, A Critique

For the purpose of this critique I will be primarily deconstructing the sequel (Luang Pee Jazz 5G), as the first installment is almost too chaotic in it’s narrative to attempt to decode, and in truth I did not fully understand the plot. We must also consider, throughout this analysis, Marx’s view on religion…

Music For Life – A New Generation Rises

Music For Life – A New Generation Rises

The soft guitar and haunting vocals ring out: “He died in the outskirts of a jungle. His red blood spilled all over Isaan soil. It’s red colour will last forever. He died worthless, but his name lives on. People asked about him, craving to know more about Jit Phumisak. A philosopher and author who lit the candle for common people.”
How leftist Thai folk radicalised a generation and continues to inspire today.