Is the PAD an organ of the state? As Marxist thought indicates, ‘the state, in the last analysis, consists of armed bodies of men.’ The PAD is certainly a body of armed people – most of the guards appear to be men, while the women act as human shields – in common with most if not all right-wing movements, the PAD maintains strict divisions in duties and responsibilities dependent on gender. However, it is accurate t consider the PAD an organ of the state?
What are the characteristics of an organ of the state, given the characteristics of Thailand in which unelected figures wield the real power either by means of behind the scenes action or else in full public view but in a society which refuses to discuss what is plain and obvious.
First, the organ must do the will of the state where the state is defined as those unelected figures who have genuine power.
Second, the organ must be loyal only to the state and refuse to consider negotiation or compromise with non-state interests (including elected politicians in the case of Thailand).
Third, the organ must receive its authority and needed resources from the state.
I think it is fairly clear that all of these grounds have been met, even if the law prevents open statement of some of the consequences. In the eyes of some members of the state, then, the PAD has more legitimacy than the police, whose loyalty is also commanded (now to only a limited extent) by the will of the people as expressed by government.
Does this matter? It would if certain legal suits were possible.