A new player has come into the governments camp when it comes to doing political battle. That new player most certainly has a degree in psychology, and his or her work is showing in the day to day media to help close the division in Thailand.
It can certainly slip right past you unless you are trained to look for it. The subtle use of psychology by the Thai government to end the divide being cause by people loyal to the convicted fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra is like a whisper in the wind.
Consider this, the people seeking to cause the divide are coming up with outrageous accusations and are continually on the attack. They continually spew huge amounts of negativeness that nobody really likes. We naturally move away from negatives.
So as we naturally move away from negatives, we also naturally move towards positives. So when the government responds to the negative and frequently false accusations, their reply is calm and composed not allowing themselves to be drawn down into a fight of negatives. Much like a calm doctor talking to a mentally out of control patient in a psychiatric ward.
What this does is cause the observing person to feel more comfortable with the calm approach and subsequently more receptive to their ideas. After all you would much rather hold a piece of fur than a thorn covered plant.
As the false negative accusations are exposed a second layer of calmness is displayed showing a clear contrast between the negative and the positive.
There are even subtle suggestions such as ‘people would want to leave the red shirt rally after the improper remarks made’ giving reference to the attacks by Thaksin on the privy counsel and on just how close that hits to the King. This touches on the foundation of respect that Thais are taught all during their school years. To not show respect is to be negative. The delivery of those suggestions is also given in a calm in control voice worded in such a way that the same psychological message is the same when read in text. This hits on guilt by association.
The portrayal of cool calm in control, when directly compared to being out of control, even if both have the same ability people will naturally side with the person in control. The only time that would change is if the calmness was seen as weakness, so a balance must be struck to show dominance when necessary to make it work.
Another layer of psychology is the continuous offer for the people looking to seek division in Thailand to join the reconciliation effort. This is regularly offered by the government and that sends all kinds of messages both psychological and cultural. After all the people that are causing the division once call themselves Thai love Thai, and it certainly sets the Thai people to thinking about the deceptive name of what once was the most powerful political party in Thailand.
If the negative spewing people do not stop spewing all that negativeness, the government will eventually win with their calm positive approach.
I’m really trying to imagine how ‘calm’ the government can remain IF the red shirts decide to cause real chaos in one or many more areas during their protest/s.
May I quote Atiya Achakulwisut from Bangkok Post?
“Ultimately, it will not be Thaksin and Co who are able to paint the whole town red. It will be the continued suppression of a desire for change and free flow of information and ideas that will.”
Tumbler, you and Atiya have hit the nail on the head. Thaksin may be the instigator of the current strife for his own personal gain, but I also support the notion that this would not have been possible if the current government had not taken the steps that have to suppress free will and ideas.
Witht the military now having carte blanche to spy on people and with the proliferation of lese majeste accusations, Thailand is looking more and more like a communist state each and every day.
I pray that there is no bloodshed and that Thailand can find peace, but I don’t forsee that happening.