This democratic dictatorship was examined in my Aug 22 column, "Welcome to Thakland". The fear of it could provoke a civil war.
Revisiting the issue, for the civil war scenario to play out, the anti-Thaksin faction must create enough chaos and anarchy in the streets to necessitate military and/or court intervention. This could then lead to a regime change.
Taking this as an undemocratic seizure of power, supporters of Thaksin could take to the streets by the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. Another round of violence could ensue; anarchy could again cast its shadow.
The military could then split into anti-Thaksin and pro-Thaksin factions. Hence, violence could turn into a civil war.
Morally and rationally, all of this could be avoided. But morals and rationale don't always factor into human behaviour and political behaviour, particularly when emotions are charged. Anger and hatred boil over and greed for power is at stake.
Let's trace our steps back to the anti-Thaksin faction, which created chaos and anarchy. Bear in mind, this is no longer 2006 or 2008. This year would take more than upper-class ladies marching in the streets or thugs seizing the airport. They must have effective wartime leadership to rouse the populace into a bigger scale of destructive frenzy.
Sondhi Limtongkul and Chamlong Srimuang were effective wartime leaders. But one has already called it quits, so we shall take that at face value for now - while the other is seemingly no longer involved much.
On the other side, Jatuporn Prompan and Nattawut Saikua were effective wartime leaders, and if need be the Thaksin faction can summon the likes of the late Colonel Khattiya "Seh Daeng" Sawasdipol.
Currently, there is no clear wartime leader for the anti-Thaksin faction. If we factor in the rallies organised by the Democrat party, then Abhisit Vejjajiva is the leader. The question then becomes whether he would make an effective wartime leader. The answer to that question necessitates another _ is there anyone else?
We can also pose the question as to whether Mr Abhisit, judging by character and integrity, would employ such a tactic. The answer to this could be quite predictable, depending on whether you are pro-Ahbisit or anti-Abhisit.
Again, at the moment, as far as we know, the anti-Thaksin faction has no wartime leader. In this assumption we leave out the military, as tanks are the second step in this scenario, responding to chaos and anarchy, not the first step, creating chaos and anarchy.
Keep in mind that wartime leaders cannot be invisible and behind the scenes. He or she, or they, must be visible and audible, clear and loud - on the political stage, the radio and the television, bellowing into the microphone with passion and commitment, playing on the ordinary supporters' hatred of Thaksin and fear of the Thaksin democratic dictatorship.
The anti-Thaksin faction must also have popular supporters who are willing to get crazy in the streets. This column takes it for granted that the people can always be roused into a destructive frenzy, provided the right button is pushed by the right finger.
This indictment isn't just for the people of Thailand, but the people anywhere in the world - educated or uneducated, urban or rural, any race, creed or breed. Historical evidence and current conflicts around the world can attest to this.
If the people can't be manipulated and exploited, then no government would exist. At the same time, if no government exists, then there would be chaos and anarchy. The circle of life is a situational irony drawn by a master comedian.
We assume that if there's effective leadership, then what follows is the belief in an eventual victory. If they believe they can win, then resources to finance and sustain the cause can be found.
Shrewd businessmen do not invest in a lost cause. Believing in profitable returns to investment is the decision to invest. The returns do not have to immediately be monetary, but the opportunity to gain power and hence monetary. As in the business world, one has to make a proposal in which the investors see realistic and attractive returns.
In Thailand, we are many wonderful and shameful things; also, we are shrewd businessmen. So shrewd that professors who teach business ethics in colleges may contemplate mass suicide by hanging, leaving just one note saying, "We've failed to teach you".
With effective wartime leadership and resources, it's only a matter of whipping the people into a frenzy. But since the 2011 general elections when the Pheu Thai Party unseated the Democrats, effective leadership in general has been a question mark for the anti-Thaksin faction. Now in 2013, effective wartime leadership is also a question mark.
There are other elements in the civil war scenario, but here we focus on the leadership. We end today's column with two questions: If the anti-Thaksin faction wants to go down the civil war road, can they find effective wartime leaders?
The answer is thugs and opportunists, fanatics and true believers with the talent for political agitation and the charisma to seduce the populace are always out there. It's a matter of recruitment and reward. We can ask those who recruited Mr Sondhi and Gen Chamlong, Mr Jatuporn and Mr Nattawut for advice. Then we can ask those four if the rewards are worth it.
The other question is does the anti-Thaksin faction actually want to provoke a chain of events that may lead to a civil war? To which, we hope that the current street movements are but a political communication strategy to persuade and convince the Thai people to unseat the Pheu Thai government democratically at the ballot boxes, rather than agitating the doomsday scenario.
Contact Voranai Vanijaka via email at email@example.com.