Many Northern Thais still recall their independent political heritage with pride and continue to school themselves in the folk history and heroes of the former Northern kingdoms. Among townspeople and the educated, far greater emotion is attached to the heritage of independence and the rather recent realignment of the North to Bangkok than among the outlying peasantry, for whom statist political realities continue to have little meaning. Because of their closer dealings with the nation, its legal codes, its fiscal procedures, its internal and international political problems, and its development schemes, and because of their daily contact with the representatives of Bangkok, Northern town dwellers show a greater awareness of the condescension accorded them and the double standards applied to them by outposted public bureaucrats, Central Thai business interest, and junketing officials and tourists. When such perceived behaviour is compounded by the widespread local beliefs that taxation imposed at the center far exceeds services rendered to the region and that the regional terms of trade are kept purposely unfavourable, it is not surprising that an important segment of educated Northern opinion has it that the region continues to be discriminated against for the benefit of the Center. In all fairness it can only be admitted that Central Thai attitudes and central government actions appear to be not entirely free of a colonialist view of the North, although these attitudes and actions, too, appear to be changing.
– Extracted from Edward Van Roy (1971), Economic Systems of Northern Thailand: Structure and Change, Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. pp. 30-31.