Electoral Commissioner Sodsri Sattayatham has revealed that at an attempt to register a socialist party in Thailand has been foiled by the vigilance of the EC. She said a “socialist” party could be defined as a “communist” party, and the commission ruled that the name may violate democracy.
Mrs Sodsri was also reported as saying that the national security agencies have been asked to monitor the activities of anyone who might try to start a socialist party under an assumed name.
Under the leadership of the Internal Security Operations Command (who can draw on their long experience of protecting the country’s political well-being ever since the days when they were called ‘Communist Suppression Operations Command’), measures are being drawn up to protect the nation against infection by dangerous viral philosophies such as socialism and communism.
Seemingly innocuous ideas like socialism can, paradoxically, be among the most dangerous, according to ISOC.
‘Some people may be easily misled by the symptoms of socialism,’ said an ISOC spokesperson. ‘Behaving responsibly towards others in society is of course quite common and of itself quite harmless. Most people recover from this quite easily once they see the superiority of dog-eats-dog capitalism. But acute socialism is in fact something quite different and can easily mutate into far more serious problems, such as communism.’
Anyone suspected of altruistic attitudes such as calling for higher levels of social welfare or public takeover of key industries will be subject to strict quarantine measures while tests are run to check if they are infected with socialist ideals or just simply insane.
It was hoped to establish quarantine facilities in every province, but ISOC’s huge and secret budget is insufficient for this purpose. Provincial prisons will instead be used as a stopgap measure.
To protect convicted criminals from exposure, current prison inmates will temporarily be released into the care of the community. The dangers posed by allowing murderers, rapists and serial lèse majesté offenders to roam the streets are quite insignificant when compared with the risk of an ideological pandemic, according to government sources.
Since it has been well established that ideas like socialism and communism do not occur naturally in Thailand, special efforts will be made to prevent ‘carriers’ from entering the country.
Special ‘political’ scanners have been set up at Suvarnabhumi Airport to pick out potential ideologues from ordinary tourist arrivals. Officials have been coy in explaining exactly how the machines work but it is thought that they are calibrated to detect ‘ultra-red’ wavelengths.
The devices, however, are not foolproof, as was revealed when a party of Manchester United supporters were mistakenly detained at Suan Phlu Immigration Detention Centre on the strength of the readings they gave to the scanner. The Immigration Division is considering suing the manufacturers for the damage caused when the United fans wrecked the cells after becoming tired and emotional.
While the government intends to rely primarily on highly trained immigration officers spotting socialists by means of ‘passive surveillance’ (apparently based on the shape of their skulls, socialists being known to have pointy heads), more scientific measures are also being considered.
‘We think it may be possible to spot socialists by looking at their passports,’ said an immigration official speaking on condition of anonymity since he lacked the authority to spout nonsense in public. ‘Our intelligence sources tell us that some entire countries are socialist and this is revealed by looking at their passports. One example is the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Obviously we will prevent their citizens from entering the country.’
When informed that the USSR no longer existed as a country, the official replied that this showed the fate that could befall Thailand if socialists were let in.
Although the dangers are very real, the government wants to guard against panic. It points to the fact that Thailand has successfully resisted socialist ideas many times in the past, by the simple means of killing, imprisoning, or exiling people suspected of socialism.
Members of the general public are asked to maintain vigilance against any possible spread of socialism. They should avoid any gatherings where socialism might be suspected, such as certain university faculties, some temples and NGO offices. They are also advised to wash their brains frequently. This is easily done by watching any government television channel, especially game shows and soap operas.