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November 23, 2020

Welcome to The Bastion

This is truly an exciting time. It’s a time of possibility, and hopefully, a time for change.

What is The Bastion?

The Bastion is a newsletter about Thai politics, in particular, about this defining moment in Thailand.

It’ll be covering events as they unfold, but unconstrained from the typical news format. There will be interviews, analyses, and some experimental stuff.

Who is The Bastion for?

The Bastion is not a news publication. It’s not going to strive for balance and it’s not going to avoid taking a stand.

By its very definition, a bastion is a place that strongly upholds certain beliefs. For this newsletter, those beliefs are that democracy is non-negotiable, and every person’s vote should count equally — no senators, no quality votes.

So, The Bastion is unapologetically democratic and progressive. It is for those who share those ideals, or at the very least, for those willing to engage in good faith.

It’s also undeniable that The Bastion is the work of one person, and represents my ideas and interests. So here are some things about myself:

  • I am not an expert. While I have taken college-level courses on these topics, I have no formal degrees in political science, international studies, or history. If you require academic qualifications, this newsletter is not for you.
  • In 2019, I voted for Future Forward. If elections were held today, I would wholeheartedly vote for Move Forward. I disclose this not just as a matter of transparency, but also as a matter of pride. I believe Future Forward (and its offshoots) have nothing but good intentions, and their politics closely align with mine.
  • I am stridently progressive. I believe government can be an instrument for good, and it should do everything it can to regulate big businesses, ensure social welfare, and uphold human rights.

Why a newsletter?

Newsletters are what blogs used to be. They are an honest and personal medium. An opt-in conversation between the writer and the reader.

They also foster communities. Everyone here shares the same interests, and hopefully, the comments will be a fun and safe place for conversation, not just between myself and the reader, but also among readers.

Importantly, newsletters are unconstrained by typical incentives like ad views and social media algorithms.

Ever wonder why some outlets publish daily op-eds that are almost devoid of substance? Or why others post over 20 articles a day? If you make money from ads, you have to drive up pageviews and you have to feed the algorithm. It’s not any kind of malicious intent, it’s incentives.

Sure, you’ll find gems in there, but structurally, most of them will be filler.

With newsletters, hopefully we can cut out the noise — just have the steak, no potatoes.

Lastly, it’s an exciting time! We are seeing history unfold, and in many ways, we are making history. I’m glad we’re going through this moment together.

See you around!