From: Chagney Hunt on
On May 28, 6:26 pm, MH <MHnos...(a)> wrote:
> Chagney Hunt wrote:
> > On May 21, 2:20 am, "Mark V." <markvande...(a)> wrote:
> >> On May 20, 3:21 pm, "Bob" <B...(a)> wrote:
> >>> So, what about that complicated
> >>> situation?
> >> I'm trying to figure it out, too. Are the "Red Shirts" the good guys?
> >> They support Shinawatra (thought I'd mention his name to  certify this
> >> thread "On Topic".  :-) ). But wasn't he corrupt? The crackdown on
> >> them seems heavy-handed and undemocratic, but was it really that bad?
> >> And do they have to burn Bangkok in response? Or is that a last resort
> >> of disempowered protest movement with a legit gripe? And aren't the
> >> "Yellow Shirts" monarchists and represent the elite? Or is it that
> >> simple. I hope either/both of you share whatever you find out.
> > It's the Catiline conspiracy in live time -- not the one historically
> > taken verbatim with the heavy-handed oligarch whitewash, of courses.
> Interesting comparison.  My reading of Sallust and a few other sources
> (limited, I agree) is that the Catiline conspiracy was blown way out of
> proportion by Cicero (among others) for self serving reasons.   There
> doesn't seem to have been much real danger to the republic.  Sallust is
> trying to say the opposite much of the time, but his case that Catiline
> was a danger is really quite weak.  And wasn't putting him to death
> quite unconstitutional?

It's not like Cicero never blowing anything out of proportion to
promote his own "brand" :-) And I agree, it was doubtful Catiline's
plan would have amounted to much (or more than another round of Sulla-
esque purge). People were drawn to him by promises, and he had no mean
to control them nor commanded real loyalty like Sulla or Marius or
Caesar. They'd turn on him just as easily when the promises are
inevitably broken. Not to mention that the Patricians still held huge
influence over everything.

Anyway, Roman patricians benefited disproportionally from empire
expansion, Thai's affluent class benefited disproportionally from
economic expansion. Catiline appealed to impoverished ex-soldiers and
disenfranchised Romans with his popularis politics, Thaksin organized
poor and rural Thai into a potent political machine. Both stood to
benefit personally from the change of power. Regardless of their
personal aim, the grievances that drove their supporters were real.
Both government went into high gear how each movement was a danger to
the state. Roman patricians had the power and the will to act
decisively. Thai's government had to wait around for lack of political
support -- but in the mean while they lent the red shirts just enough
rope for the radical wing of the protesters to hang themselves. Once
mayhems had begun, other chancers joined the fun.

The ensued crack-down was not pretty in Rome, and I suspect as much in
Thailand. Once the government can stick the terrorism label on the
protesters, they will do as they they please.