‘Dictator’s Handbook’ better source than Montesquieu
Re: “Thaksin chose the wrong quote”, Have Your Say, September 1.
Montesquieu died in 1775, the same year that King Taksin was busy putting the Kingdom back together. Had the French thinker lived to see Thailand under junta rule he probably would have exclaimed, “Bordel de merde!” (A rough translation would be “holy sh*t”.)
For a more up-to-date quotation, Thaksin could have used the words of Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, a 70-year-old political science professor at New York University:
“Dictators depend on a small coterie to sustain their power. These backers are drawn from the military, the senior civil service, and family or clan members, have a synergistic relationship with their dictator. The dictator delivers opportunities for them to become rich, and they protect him from being overthrown.”
By the way, this dude co-wrote a book titled “The Dictator’s Handbook” which can be downloaded for free online. It should be required reading for all cadets at the Thai Military Academy Preparatory School.