MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of People



Phillippe, Louis (1773-1850)

King of France from 1830 until he was overthrown in 1848.


Phumisak, Jit (1930-1966)

Thai Marxist intellectual, linguist, poet and translator. Phumisak was born in Prachinburi Province in north-West Thailand in what is now Cambodia, quickly moving to Bangkok at the age of 16 due to his father’s job at the tax office. In 1950, he enrolled at the Chulalongkorn University, where he studied philology and from which he was suspended in 1953 after having written articles criticizing greedy and materialistic behavior of Buddhist monks.

Phumisak gained prominence by producing a large body of work criticizing Thai feudalism, monarchy and Buddhism. His most notable work is entitled The Real Face of Thai Feudalism Today, which he wrote for the journal Nitisat in 1957. This work was subsequently banned, but nevertheless secretly printed and distributed among the Marxist intellectuals in Thailand afterwards. In it, he analyzed Thailand’s society and pointed to the remnants of the sakdina structure, in which common people (prai) were forced to perform corvée labor for nobles and local rulers.

Moreover, in his literary criticism, Phumisak criticized the “sakdina-literature”, which glorified the monarchy and attempted to elevate their status to that of divinity while ignoring the social context within which the monarchic rule occured. In his political and literary works, he attempted to portray the continuity of patron-client systems in Thai society, from past to present.

He was arrested and imprisoned in 1958 by the authoritarian government of Marshall Sarit Thanarat for his Communist-ideas. Upon his release he joined the Communist Party of Thailand in the jungles of the Phu Phan Mountains. There, he was shot and killed by the paramilitaries in 1966, aged 36.

In the 1970s, his other works such as the Collected Poems and Literary Reviews by “Political-Poet”, and Thiphakorn: Artist, Warrior of the People, were reprinted and widely disseminated by students participating in anti-government protests.

Compiled by V. Potic