Better to builda ?balanced way? for?Araya balanced way? than?to swing the pendulum? for pounding one another!!


The current political conflict reflects the replay of old movie but with new characters. It?s a real destruction cycle of political ?opponents? which?cannot? be resolved by the pressure of the crowdsbecause each party has its own?crowds? who are ready to leave their home and demonstrate supporting force, accounted for nearly one million people!

From the initial conflict begun many years ago till the last one in 2011, I have been analyzing the problem of conflict and proposed the concept of?balanced way? as a solution for Thailand. As this has been acknowledged and implemented by no one, the protest cycle for ousting the government has revisited.

I had ever analyzed that if both parties are still adopting this approach further, the violence for seizing the power space will be gradually rising without unanimous agreement like the swing of pendulum. Once the pendulum swings to one side, the reaction to fight back must take place. When one side has pulled the powerbase pendulum to its own end, the other side will also pull the powerbase back to its own end. And, both parties hold supporting thoughts and reasons of why they have to swing the pendulum instead of sitting for discussion. In my analysis, there are 4 reasons.  

Reason 1: perceived that the opponent is not trustworthy. Trust that protesters gave to the government has completely vanished during the preceding scenes of situation. The more influential the hatred is reiterated from the leader of antigovernment, the more difficult the door for negotiation will be opened.Therefore, no matter how the prime minister has asked for negotiation or parliament dissolution, that couldn?t gain trust to believe that action truly intends to resolve the problem.  

 Reason 2: perceived that its own side can win. According to the disclosed situation from time to time, it reveals the retaliating and outsmarting action given that each side views that their own side could win and defeat the opposite side tranquilly.Hence,?negotiation?is not in their mind.But, if both partiesforesee the possible loss of public interest, each of them might take one step back to accept the negotiation.

Reason 3: perceived that defeat is equal to zero.This situation both parties view that there is only one option ? to win. If they retreat or are defeated, it means a complete loss. Nothing remains like a 100-to-0 bet.In this conflict, each side does not take it as a partial loss but a complete loss. And this made each side seek for a victory, causing more forces to be gradually employedwithout turning their back or leaving this card game due to an expensive bet already put in place.

Reason 4: perceived that no middleman can reconcile.  This is the first time in my life to notice that disharmony deep-dives into a family, peer group, or even LINE group. In addition, people in society are all fragmented as if the middleman is not allowed. Virtually every institution that used to be politically neutral or non-political participant is drawn into the cycle of controversy. By being pressured to select either sidevoluntarily or self-interpretation of the other side, up until now it?s hard for both sides to mutually select and accept the middleman who has the genuine integrity in his/her negotiation role for this conflict reconciliation.

In my view, sooner or later, the solution for this conflictwill eventually be concluded at the negotiation table of different related parties by having the middleman to be a facilitator. Whether this will be merely acted before or after the loss from attacking one another!!!

I hope to see a joint negotiation table very soon before the destruction.And, when that day arrives, I?d like to propose a solution with the concept of balanced waywhich I had proposed since the early inception of conflict 8years ago and last occurrence in 2011 to greatly enhance the national agreement. 

During the past 8 years of problems in Thailand, there are 3 dimensions of unbalancing. When the powerful sidedistinctively occupies the balance of power, balance of interest and balance of society, it can hold the state power and control the state almost perfectly. This can frighten the other side regarding no standing space, no interest and no adequate power. So, they will try to pull the powerbase back by sweeping all of the parties together to demand and drive out the government.  But, this kind of power pullback is simply a change of the powerful polar that pulls the balance of power, interest and society to the other sideand causes the other side to lack of standing space, interest, and power until they have to reactively deploy the way we have observed to fight the power back.  

The solution is to tryto build 3 dimensions of balance which are balance of power, economy, and societyas well as 5 participants- politicians, government officers, business people, academicians and citizens -who have a major role in Thai society to be granted the average power, interest, and standing point in the society appropriately.

The balance of politicsmeans the power balance. If the power holder does not proper-share the political power fairly but seize the power or incline to either side or group until some groups feel powerless, freedom-obstructive, oppressed, or unequally treated. Once the balance of power is incomplete, it would lead to a fight for seizing the power back. Thus, if the balance of power can be constructed appropriately, the conflict will be swiftly dissolved. 

The balance of economymeansthe balance of interest. The said statement that?the conflict of interest causes a collapse? still holds true in every period and is the major cause for people to go to war through the past world history. No exception for Thailand. Whenever the balance of interest does not exist and the power holder does not entirely and reasonably share the interest, the benefit-losing group will gather to protest. However, if the balance of interest can be perfectly constructed, the conflict issue will be subsided.

The balance of societymeans the balance of societal space. It involves a?standing dignity space? in society, in honorable position without being obstructed or treated as a second class citizen or adopting double standard, being prevented to own a place in society and defining criteria that cannot be accepted by normal people. These actions cause discomfort and feeling unjust; and definitely followed by the conflict and protest with violence to conquer the societal space back.

 Balanced way is a way out of conflict which is based on the truth analysis. And, no one is brave to speak this?truth? out. Butif the problem really needs to be resolved, it?s required to understand and accept the root cause for right problem-solvingby realizing that the creation of agreement is simply a temporary dream but the creation of balanced way is a sustainable truth for problem-solving.

In the future, once the balanced way happens, I?d further elaborate the concept of ?Araya balanced way? for genuinely making a balanced way civilized.

Kriengsak Chareonwongsak
Senior Fellow at Harvard University?s Center of Business and Government.
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