Demonology and Contemporary Thai Politics

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Demonology or dehumanization is a widespread phenomenon in some countries around the world to justify the use of violence against people. In this article, the author aims to study the process of changing public opinion among the majority of voters in Thailand regarding proponents of democracy by portraying them as demons. This has led to widespread violence against such people on numerous occasions. They were suppressed following the 2006 coup d’état and the political crises that occurred in 2008, 2009, and 2010; after protests by the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship in 2009 and 2010, an attempt by the Democrat-led government to suppress the protesters by military force resulted in the highest civilian death toll in Thai political history. Since the 2014 coup d’état, the military junta has systematically crushed any overt acts of democratic protest and ridiculed and denigrated the protesters. Alarmingly, there has been virtually no objection to this persecution from the conservative middle and upper classes, capitalists, and organizations in the judicial system. Although these groups are a relatively small group of people, they have had an important influence, which has clearly been seen in the downfalls of four democratic governments between 2006 and 2014. The injustice towards the pro-democracy proponents and the prejudice against them, instigated by the military, from the majority of voters in Thailand deserves serious consideration if we want to develop Thailand into a society that regards all people as humans and where suppression, violence, violations of human rights, and vituperation are seen as abhorrent.