When you have a large number of lesser educated people, it is often if not always over their heads to understand what is the right path for the country. They are often deceived into following the wrong path. Part of that deception is rooted in the subconscious, and that subconscious says to follow the Alpha male as the Alpha male is the best provider.
In a side by side comparison with Thaksin Shinawatra, and Abhisit Vejjajiva, Abhisit comes out more intellectual, and Thaksin comes out more Alpha. As a natural result people tend to follow who most closely resembles themselves. People with higher education tend to move away from physical demonstrations and support themselves above the shoulder, where people that do not have a high education often end up in jobs that are very physical and use what is below the shoulders.
On the same note, you are more likely to see people with lesser educations attending a Thai kick boxing match than Thai Opera. A person with a very high education is likely to attend just the opposite.
In a National Geographic special that was aired some time back, a troop of chimpanzees was the topic of the special. Each male clearly understood their place in the pecking order behind the Alpha male. The more dominant the male, the higher the ranking in the troop. It is very simple and requires no education to understand inside the troops hierarchy as it was completely governed by fear mixed with the survival instinct.
As the story continued one of the lower ranking males can across an empty 5 gallon tin. The tin once contained gasoline to fuel the expedition’s electric generator. He discovered that when he hit it with his hand, it gave off a sound much like the cymbals used in many cultural dances in a variety of Asian countries including Thailand and China. As he continued to hit the tin it stared to roll and he promptly chased it all in and around the troop while hitting it. After knocking and banging it around for 5 minutes, he suddenly found he was the new Alpha male of the troop as he promptly scared the existing Alpha into backing down.
Now if you flash back to April and the red shirt riots, when Prime Minister Abhisit promptly demonstrated that he was indeed the Alpha male in charge and called for a state of emergency, the end result was Thaksin went running off with his tail tucked well between his legs and Thaksin’s fastest crony Jakrapob Penkair went running for the hills and fled the country. During that time Abhisit clearly bridged the educational divide and showed the entire country including Thaksin supporters that he was the man in charge.
As soon as the April incident was over Abhisit returned to looking like an intellectual as his schooling taught him. This however is a bit of a flaw in thinking. What is right and wrong depends entirely on your GPS coordinates. In the UK where he was schooled the assumption is everyone has at least a high school education and will respond in order to Abhisit putting away his teeth and claws. Having shown them once should be enough.
However in Thailand this is not the case, and regular showings of Alpha aggression are needed. Without that show it is quickly seen as weakness and not intellect. Thaksin and his red shirts frequently if not always show the aggressive traits associated with being an Alpha male through arrogance, and the lesser educated Thais instinctively follow this. Because Abhisit does not regularly show Alpha traits, he loses support in Isaan that is Thaksin’s stronghold.
For Abhisit to finally route out Thaksin’s influence, he must be the lion and not the lawyer in Isaan. It is the only way to bridge the education gap quickly and keep Thaksin and his cronies in check. By doing that he will gain the respect he needs in Isaan to close the gap Thaksin is trying to make.
Well, what’s ever been good about Thailand’s education system anyway? Turning young minds into obedient, submissive monarchists? Suppressing even the slightest hint of alternative or radical thoughts?
Interesting idea, Richard.
I wonder if I’m not enough of an alpha male even though I’m the boss of my company.
My team seems to accept whatever my behaviour is although I’m 99% the time a well mannered chap.