…what ensured the success of the coup was the middle classes’ uneasiness with democracy. The middle class, while supportive of democracy as an ideal, was not at ease with the system in reality. Its fierce onslaught on the flaws of the system was taken by the military as a veiled request for a takeover of the government. Very few in the ranks of the middle class realized that they had in effect formed a pro-coup alliance with the military.
No, it’s not about Thailand’s 2006 coup but the coup of 1991. The quote comes from Anek Laothamatas’ 1996 “A tale of two democracies”
in The Politics of Elections in Southeast Asia edited by R. H. Taylor. Those who think that a sense of rural-urban divide is a product of Thaksin’s populist manipulation would do well to read the article in full. You don’t have to agree with everything in Anek’s portrayal of voting behaviour to appreciate that he is pointing to a fundamentally important dynamic in Thai political life.