Three items of interest for you today:
In case you're not already aware, the military in Thailand staged a coup on
Tuesday night (Bangkok time), ousting caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra. Traditional spin can be found in your favorite news sources
and I have included a few links below under References.
My commentary will take a slightly different angle.
A coup d'état (pronounced /ku de'ta/), or simply a coup,
is the sudden overthrow of a government through unconstitutional means by a part
of the state establishment, that mostly replaces just the top power figures. It
is also an example of political engineering. It may or may not be violent in
nature. It is different from a revolution, which is staged by a larger group and
radically changes the political system. The term is French for "a (sudden) blow
(or strike) to a state" (literally, coup, hit, and État, state,
always written with a capital É in this meaning).
Thailand's political history is littered with coups, and this is the 18th
coup since 1945 - perhaps it's because the Thais understand the farce of
The event is nowhere near as dramatic as represented by
our usual news sources. I have spoken by telephone to 3 people in Bangkok,
who confirm that many businesses are operating normally, despite the declaration
of martial law and a bank holiday. Some in rural and tourist areas are not
even aware of developments.
For those of us not directly affected by the coup, the best thing we can do
is sit up and take note of what actions are taken, so that we're prepared if the
same thing happens in our country. And this may not be as far-fetched as
it sounds. As we move closer and closer to the breaking point of all
Western systems, military coups will become commonplace: either as a catalyst
for change, or as a result of something in the system breaking (perhaps a stock
We must always keep in mind that events in otherwise remote areas are often
permitted or engineered so that valuable lessons can be learned by leaders of
greater nations. (Do you find it ironic, as I do, that the PM was visiting
the UN and the Council on Foreign Relations when the coup occurred?
Find it hard to believe that Western nations watch and learn from
Third World Countries? Ponder for a moment the desperate situation in
Zimbabwe. This human tragedy has continued unchecked for over 12 years,
with little international commentary, meaningful aid or intervention.
Nevertheless, many valuable lessons have been learnt by Western leaders about
property confiscation and government tyranny. But I digress.
Here are the results of the Thai coup, which could easily affect you if the
same were to happen in your country:
- Local TV stations are controlled to broadcast news of the coup. In
Thailand, images of the King and patriotic songs and messages were broadcast;
- TV stations unsympathetic to the cause are shut down. In Thailand,
foreign stations broadcast via cable like BBC and CNN were blacked out, making
it almost impossible to receive independent news reports;
- State of Emergency and Martial Law is declared. In Bangkok, tanks
and soldiers were deployed in city streets to protect the King's residence and
- Banks closed, allowing only access to ATM's;
- Stock prices tumble as country's credit rating is downgraded;
- Borders closed and all overland travel denied;
- Gatherings of more than 5 people prohibited;
- Although no official curfew has been announced, most Thais in Bangkok are
remaining indoors after dark.
It doesn't take much imagination to realize the impact actions such as these
will have on the man in the street, as the value of his home crashes, his money
remains inaccessible and travel becomes impossible. Look how quickly it
happened in Thailand - the same is coming very soon for the US and other Western
nations - doubt it not.
In my last email I introduced the term Cultural Agility, with a
promise to describe what I meant.
If you Google Cultural Agility, you will find few meaningful
references to the term, because it's not a widely used phrase. It's
mentioned on IBM's website, where they talk about the ability to:
"...respond with flexibility and speed to any customer demand, market
opportunity or external threat."
I define Cultural Agility as:
The ability to respond effortlessly to rapid environmental and societal
changes. The ability to lead a life with utter indifference to external
In an age when rapid environmental and societal changes are becoming the norm
instead of the exception, I predict that Cultural Agility is set to
become the next big thing to be taught by Life Coaching experts who are ahead of
Perhaps a few examples.
- Widely-traveled independent travelers have highly developed
Cultural Agility because they are at ease in extremely diverse cultures
and settings; whereas business travelers who only stay in 5-star Western-style
hotels have no Cultural Agility;
- Expatriates living away from home who tend to dine with locals or in local
eateries are usually Culturally Agile; those who only mix with their
nationality and insist on maintaining standards accustomed to "back home" are
not Culturally Agile; (An excellent example of expats living in
Thailand who are not Culturally Agile can be
this forum, where the panic, pointless posts and useless scaremongering
regarding the coup gives a clear idea of how the average person will react
when the same happens in the US. And remember, these are all expats who
have been living in Thailand for many years!)
- Those who believe only their country, their leader and their political
system are correct and that all radical Islamic Fundamentalists should be
destroyed, are not Culturally Agile; those who understand that every
system is broken, including their own, and are looking for a viable solution,
are Culturally Agile, since they embrace change for the better.
I think you get the idea.
Why is it important to develop your own Culturally Agility?
Simply because we are living during a unique phase in humanity's development.
For the first time in history we have a way to overcome our ignorance, at
precisely the same time that we have created the means to make this ignorance
genocidal on a global scale. This dichotomy will cause rapid changes in
everything we have taken for granted:
- political systems,
- economic systems,
- health care systems,
- business, and the like.
Preparing for these changes is almost impossible since we do not know
what changes are coming our way. Storing long-life food, while useful in
the short-term, won't help if we're trapped by our own fear. Having gold
stored safely won't help if there's civil unrest in our neighborhood and
international airports have been closed.
Cultural Agility is the ability to morph, disappear or meld into the
background as the situation dictates. It's the art of becoming a
chameleon, a spy, an escape artist, a leader, all at the same time. It's a
skill we need to develop, and I'll be talking much more about this in the weeks
If you have any further ideas on Cultural Agility, please do share
them by clicking here.
I recently recommended by email an excellent new book called Genuine
Freedom by Matt Engelman.
In case you missed news of the 20% volume discount and free shipping anywhere
in the world, you can read all the details, as well as book excerpts at
The book is not yet available in traditional bookstores, nor from Amazon US,
but you can order directly from the publishers. They guarantee same day
dispatch to any destination, free of charge. See
That's all for this time. If you wish to comment on anything in this
newsletter, please do contact
Live Free and Keep Thinking!
All the best,
PS. Feel free to forward this email to your friends who may be concerned with
what they see happening in the world. Even better,
Your Friends about the ThreeWorldWars news service. It will help ensure that
everyone in your circle is aware of the planned World War 3!
Included below is a list of Internet references used in this email.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5362332.stm - "Thai army
chief's statement in full" - from BBC
http://cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/09/20/thailand.coup/ - Running
Commentary from CNN
http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/20Sep2006_news01.php - "Actions Taken
http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=84072 - "Expats in
Thailand Discuss Unfolding Coup"