Jun 2, 2005

What We Fight For

"We give you the freedom to vote, but along with that freedom comes a responsibility... A responsibility to vote for the correct party...[sic]" - Lee Kwan Yew 1993

There was electricty in the air that night as Lee Kwan Yew spoke directly to the citizens of a disobedient district and nation-state. He was angry, you could hear it in his voice and there was going to be a price to pay. I was in the disobedient district of Bukit Panjang that night, and after Lee Kwan Yew spoke, my friend's old Chinese mother admonished us and urged us all to immediately go downstairs and make sure that the proper parking stickers were attached to our cars and that all the relevant licenses and such were up to date. "They are coming for us tonight.", she warned.

I had lived in Singapore for several years and to this day, this is one of the seminal events during my stay there that truly opened my eyes to the facade of what Singapore's success story is all about. The Merlion had finally awakened, opened it's maw in anger and once again bared the razor sharp teeth of recrudescent facsism.

How does one describe what life is like in such a society? The constant paranoia and fear that permeate through the society. The fear that you might step out of line or that someone might overhear you talking and misinterpret what you say. Being completely stripped bare of your liberty and freedom.

Singapore is a beautiful place to visit, it is by far the one of the cleanest, greenest cities in the world. It has an abundance of things for tourists to do with excellent shopping and with an annual GDP that competes with the leading nations of the world. Singapore has become a very popular tourist destination in recent years, with a total of 8,328,118 visitor arrivals in the 2004 with 333,117 of those visitors coming from the United States. Singapore is a wonderful place to visit provided that you stay out of trouble. Very few visitors will ever be able to get a complete picture of Singapore in their short visits though, they will remain oblivious to the fact that sometimes appearances can be deceiving.

The CIA factbook seems to embellish and oversimplify Singapore's form of government by describing it as merely as a "parliamentary republic". The truth is that Singapore's government is nothing more than a new modern form of resurgent facsism specially designed for the 21st century that is perhaps best described as "statist authoritarianism".

I'm continuously intrigued at how so many liberals in the west seem to think of fascism as ideology of the far right, the truth is that the "new fascism" is in reality an ideology of the left, it is merely a form of statism with an authoritative government controlling and regulating all the entities of economic planning and policy. In my book if you regulate and control an entity's use then you might as well own it. Just like socialism or communism, statism requires the subjugation of individual liberties and free markets by the government. What many of America's democrats and liberals fail to recognize and see is that this authoritarianism ultimately crushes individuality and destroys all diversity and tolerance. Ironically the left's idea of a nanny state and a utopian society becomes nothing more really than a mirage.

Despite the mirage, America's Democrats (Socialists) and Western liberals who are perhaps enfeebled by their own inconsistancies continue to find themselves enamored with their envisioned utopian society. So dangerously seductive is this lure of a diverse, multicultural and tolerant society that despite being warned, much of America's left continues to find themselves hopelessly lured to it, like a moth to a flame. It is America's authoritarian left who would like nothing more than to see our own government become more "involved" in our lives and the livelihood of our citizens. Countries like Singapore with their government subsidized healthcare programs, low crime rates and economic success stories seem to cry out like a siren's call.

Lured by the the siren's song and unaware of the jagged rocks below, America's left and the Democrats, who have no idea really of where they are actually going, continue to recruit from the disgruntled masses of passengers by enticing them with an assortment of goodies aboard their rainbow-flagged vessel, the "Good Ship Lollipop" all the while promising to set sail for this elusive land of milk and honey when in reality they have found themselves hopelessly adrift in an endless sea of moral relativism.

For some, I suppose it is human nature to always think that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. In recent years it would seem that many in America have truly forgotten the value of freedom and of liberty and seem more concerned with what tangible benefits they can receive.

America has always stood for liberty, freedom and democracy throughout the world. Many authoritative asian societies though in recent years have now rejected this model. They don't think that democracy and human rights are universal. They see them merely as parochial, self-serving Western notions. They don't even believe that capitalism has to lead to democracy, or that democracy is a desirable state of affairs. Many of the countries such as China hope to adopt the American economic model, while rejecting the political and social freedoms that underpin it. They see American liberties and permissiveness as the main factors leading to high crime rates and poor education. In fact, some Southeast Asian countries now argue that their model is actually superior to the culturally degenerate American one precisely because they reject these fundamental liberties.

It's been said that one never truly appreciates something until they have lost it. Im sure many reading this can imagine love being like that or one's wealth. Perhaps harder for many Americans to understand is the loss of freedom and liberty. Like many of you, growing up in America I had always taken my liberty and freedom for granted. I never truly understood what life would be like otherwise. I do now.

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