Corruption: "Vote or tax" is nonsense

opinion January 29, 2014 00:00

By Tulsathit Taptim

5,754 Viewed

Dear Thai people, I see that Democracy wrote you a letter last week, so I couldn't help myself. What nonsense he tried to put into your heads! It was self-romanticising and idealising at their best. I could just ask him to come back to the real world, bu

Forget checks and balances, my friends. You people were on the right track. Democracy only works with me, Corruption, as the engine oil. Your country is suffering a huge political crisis not because of lack of checks and balances, but because I and he, Democracy, are reluctant about striking a deal.
Democracy, baby, you are all about people’s power. If the majority says the world is flat, then so be it. If the majority says graft is acceptable as long as it benefits them, embrace that and move on. If Thais ask what’s wrong with one side’s corruption if the other side is also corrupted, listen up, kiddo.
As for you, Thai people, listen, too. I’ve been battling Democracy for God knows how long, but, weak and near-dead as he is, he wouldn’t accept a pact. I want him to accept me as his inseparable buddy. I want it to be a universal, irrevocable, indisputable and non-protestable knowledge that Democracy and Corruption come as a package. You want the former, you’ll definitely get the latter. It’s supposed to be that way.
What do checks and balances do? They make life difficult – no, impossible – for you. Goodness is what the majority says it is, and that’s it. “Listen to the minority” my ***. Please excuse my language. If you have to heed what the minority has to say every time you make a decision, you aren’t going anywhere. Somehow, somewhere, some people will oppose an idea. That’s why we needed Democracy to begin with. 
Hitler wasn’t me screwing Democracy’s head. Hitler was an Exhibit A victim of imperfect Democracy. He was a prime example of what can happen when the world is half-hearted about Democracy and me. World War II erupted because a lot of people forgot that he had the right to do what he did, after he had been empowered by his people.
You may argue that the rest of the world did not agree with Hitler, and that was “Democracy” prevailing in the ultimate sense. Nice try, but didn’t the rest of the world also disagree with the Iraq invasion? If I remember correctly, the United Nations was not that pleased with its Security Council. So, did Democracy defeat Hitler and Dictatorship defeat Saddam Hussein? I’m confused.
Well, let’s forget what I just said about Iraq and Hitler. Let bygones be bygones, unless you want to wreck your brains trying to make sense of them. My point is, romanticism and idealisation are extremely harmful. They give you a dilemma, make you grow an impractical conscience and, finally, land a war on your doorsteps. To quote Al Pacino in “The Devil’s Advocate”, idealised Democracy will make you “jump from one foot to the next, and laugh his **** off” while you’re doing that.
The world is grey, Thai people. Democracy and I are the perfect package. You wouldn’t want me to keep on with Dictatorship, would you? If you wonder why I don’t want to be with Dictatorship any longer, all I can say is that things have become a bit too easy. Dictatorship embraced me since the dawn of mankind. Let’s just say Democracy is a much better challenge.
Even Democracy admitted in his letter that money is important. “What on Earth will you vote for if there’s no money for winners of the vote to spend?” he said. He was referring to the importance of tax, but let me rephrase it just a bit to make it more realistic: What on Earth do potential vote winners want if not the money? Don’t tell me they want to serve, protect and sacrifice.
Unlike Democracy, I’m not here to persuade you. You see, the messier and nastier things are, the more they play into my hands. I’m here to rebut that pitiful, self-aggrandising angel named Democracy. He asked you to embrace his true essence, to respect both vote and tax, or else. What baloney. Either vote or tax, it’s romanticism all the same, and romanticism belongs to the art world only.
I’m a humanist, and the most practical one alive. I’m here to remind you that you don’t have to “take it or leave it” as far as I’m concerned. I’ve always been here with you through thick and thin and no matter what. Like “that song” says, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.
Irrevocably yours,