When Thailand’s Lese majeste law was created it was intended to protect the Royal family from a multitude of negativeness. However when you stop and think about it, if the Lese majeste law is overused for political gain or for control of certain groups, one does have to wonder if that itself is not Lese majeste by somehow lowing the Royal family into the fray of politics, personal gain, and power seeking.
In this case it is very easy to swap out Lese majeste for almost any noun. It could be fertilizer or it could be detergent or it could even be medicine of any type. As fertilizer, detergent, or medicine are essentially meant to make things bigger, cleaner, better or whatever there is a tipping point that too much of anything has the opposite effect.
Too much fertilizer can make the soil’s ph too far off what plants can tolerate and the result is smaller plants or they simply will not survive. Too much detergent can have a negative effect on the strength of the threads making them brittle or damaged. Too much medicine is simply known as an overdose that can result in a fatality or serious lasting harm.
Admittedly there are groups that are actively, regularly, and almost chronically committing Lese majeste. Those groups are clearly tied to Thaksin Shinawatra and for what it is worth the general feeling is the Lese majeste law is being properly applied thus tossing it to the courts to pass judgment.
The issue is if the Lese majeste law is questionably being used on a respected scholar or other person who has shown nothing but respect for the Royal family, is that use of the law in that context Lese majeste or not becomes a valid question. That scenario clearly suggests some motivation on the complaining person(s) part to achieve some personal gain by indirectly using the Royal family as a tool.
Even if all the right intentions were the motive to file Lese majeste charges on a scholar, it could almost be seen as over mothering, and over mothering can be just as bad or worse by not allowing reasonable exposure to negatives. Another example can be the understanding of vaccinations. Controlled exposure to some modified virus to trigger an immune system response is clearly better than having zero immunity to the virus if and when the real deal comes around for a visit.
This does bring up the question of zero tolerance when it comes to Lese majeste offences. In concept it sounds like a good idea, but in reality it quickly becomes a self consuming monster that is out of control from the word go. For example if a person farted and the wind was blowing in the direction of the King, that could be seen as an attack on the King in a zero tolerance situation. Although a fart is as much a part of nature as a flower, it still could be seen as an attack.
So clearly there must be some test to see if the use of the Lese majeste law is in itself Lese majeste. Using a little common sense directs the first question of the test to be ‘Will some commoner benefit from filing Lese majeste charges?’. If the answer to that is yes, it should stop right there and be reviewed. If the answer is no then that will prompt the second question of the test being ‘Will filing Lese majeste charges be seen as using the Royal family as a tool?’.
The second question is much more difficult to answer as it depends on personal opinion, and that is largely based on personal sensitivity. In this case perhaps the best approach is tossing the question to a pool of people who will act as a sort of jury and simply go with their majority opinion. The people should be common folk free of personal ambitions related to the matter.
This brings us back full circle and does invite the question, should there be a third question, forth question or whatever to avoid tarnishing the Royal family. The answer to that question can only be answered by the most wise of the wise.
It does become obvious to the casual onlooker that the Lese majeste law is very probably being overused and that the closer to zero tolerance the application of the Lese majeste law, the more likely the Royal family is being abused, and that itself can be much more negative than what is trying to be prevented.