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"Against corruption" vow won't tame corruption: Poll

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... the article cites an ABAC poll, concluding that 73.5% of all Thais believe that the current Prime Minister Yingluck's recent declaration to rid the Thai government of corruption will fail ... for those not following Thai politics, PM Yingluck is the little sister to convicted felon, fugitive and former Thai Prime Minister Taksin, to whom she is widely and openly acknowleged by many of Taksin's selected ministers as serving as his abiding puppet (but, not admitted by her).


... four ABAC polls conducted semi-annually since January 2011, on Thais' views of corruption, consistently conclude that between 63% and 65% of all Thais accept corruption "as long as it benefits them" ... http://www.bangkokpost.com/breakingnews/297436/poll-corrupt-govt-still-acceptable.


... corruption is institutionalized in Thai government, because it is institutionalized in Thai society ... predictably so, and unsurprising if you look into the sociology behind it ... corruption is merely a reflection of the widespread ethical values of the Thais, who choose these corrupt public officials to represent them ... now, this part is important: representative democracy works, whether in its highly evolved, or formative forms ... corruption as a widely-held Thai cultural value is overwhelmingly representative throughout Thai society and government.


... long-time residents of Thailand will attest to the commonly accepted Thai view of corruption ... some here will cite exceptions, which are there, but I would categorize them as exceptions ... little in Thai cultural values argues against corruption.


... of other points, consider that:

  • Judeo-Christian based value systems in the west have a foundation on inward beliefs, which manifest themselves in our cultural values ... a strong sense of guilt, being one of those ... if we are given an opportunity to do wrong, and there is no one to witness us doing wrong, we have an internal moral/ethical compass that invariably comes to bear on our decision-making, whether someone is looking over our shoulder, or not ... we might then be motivated to not do wrong ... or ... if we do choose to do wrong, we suffer with a sense of guilt that bears on most of us afterward, and influences our future decisions to do wrong, or not.


  • Conversely, the Thais' value system has no such inward mechanism as a foundation ... no internal moral/ethical compass ... Thais, specifically (and Asians, generally), are motivated by external influences ... face, being one of those ... if Thais are given the same opportunity to do wrong, and there is no one to witness them do wrong, they have no internal moral/ethical compass to bear on their decision-making ... their behavior to avoid doing wrong is motivated by loss of face, which is activated only when someone is there to witness their doing wrong ... if there is no one witnessing their wrong-doing, there is no loss of face ... and, with no loss of face, there is no wrong-doing ... this explains why Thais appear so pathologically guiltless, and so obsessed with denying any responsibility for even the simplest of their bad behaviors.

... we see this in Thais everyday behaviors and decision-making ... you needn't even watch so closely to see it.


... that makes corruption an accepted behavior amongst Thai cultural values as long as they do not get caught ... it is who they are, and influencing them away from corrupt behaviors is simply not in the cards ... this is one of my arguments for why I believe Thai culture as a fundamentally inferior culture ... uncivilized, tribal, feudal, survivalist ... almost pathologically flawed.


... sorry to disillusion some of you Thai enthusiasts, who do touch and goes here, even for years (missing some of the finer points of Thailand, beyond Pattaya = whorehouse to the world) ... and, some of the resident farang, who have found rare exceptions  (good on 'em) ... but ... think about it.


... okay, men ... blast away.



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