The arrival of boats packed with migrants fleeing from war, violence and oppression, whether it be in South-East Asia or the Mediterranean, is only “a problem” for people who have been socialised by mainstream ruling class views.
Capitalism, in Thailand and elsewhere, is a harshly unequal system, where wealth and resources are concentrated in the hands of a few exploiters. This creates a false image of society not having enough resources to properly fund decent housing, schools and hospitals and to fund job creation. It is a deliberately “created shortage” designed in the interests of the ruling class. This lie is reinforced through nationalism and other ideologies which urge people to grovel to authority. It is a brutal set of beliefs that urge people to think that Thailand “cannot afford” to open its borders to welcome the Rohingya.
The Thai monarch is the richest man in the country with obscene amounts of wealth. The Thai military spends huge amounts of money on weapons and on lining the pockets of the generals. Top businessmen and civil servants live lives of luxury while the majority of ordinary working people can hardly scrape by. There is no shortage of funds or resources to help the Rohingya.
That is why socialists in Thailand, and across the world, demand that all refugees be accepted into society. When they settle in our countries they can also make a positive contribution to wealth creation.
The most nasty side of capitalist ideology is that it attempts to turn millions of decent people into heartless bastards who support pushing fellow humans back into the sea to die.
If we cannot move beyond nationalism and royalism and welcome refugees, we will also never be able to challenge the capitalist inequalities within our society. But to change society we also need political organisation.
Giles Ji Ungpakorn