Posts Tagged ‘Singapore’

HuffPo NRx?

After this (linked in the last Chaos Patch), comes another pointed lesson from the same Tech-Comm island bastion, with a title that doesn’t even try to distance itself from hardcore Dark Enlightenment through use of a strategic question mark: “Singapore Challenges the Idea That Democracy Is the Best Form of Governance.”

It’s written by a Westerner this time, Graham Allison, who — to complete the extremity of infiltration — is “Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School” (XS emphasis). So he can say anything he wants, and he says this.

For a provocative analogy, think of countries as if they were hotels and citizens as guests. … Rarely do guests offer views about the ownership of the hotel or how it is governed. [That last sentence is about as close to pure Moldbug as you can get without actually quoting the guy monster.] … “Liberty” … includes both “freedom from” and “freedom to.” … Singapore stands at the top of the international competition on “freedoms from:” It ranks first internationally in the World Bank’s measure of “regulatory quality” and second on The Heritage Foundation’s scale of economic freedom [First, of course, is Hong Kong], while the U.S. comes in 13th. Gallup’s 2014 World Poll found that eight in 10 Americans see “widespread corruption” in the U.S. government, compared with seven in the Philippines, six in Zimbabwe and one in Singapore. On the World Bank’s “rule of law” index, Singapore scores in the 95th percentile of nations, the U.S. scores in the 91st, the Philippines in the 42nd and Zimbabwe in the 2nd. With a population of almost six million, Singapore’s incidents of robbery were only a seventh of Boston’s, which has a population of only 650,000. … When we turn to “freedom to” metrics, however, one-party Singapore scores well below the U.S. on three of our core freedoms: “freedom of expression and belief,” “associational and organizational rights” and “political pluralism and participation.” … When one asks “hotel customers” for feedback, the results are even more troubling for Americans. As the table below shows, four out of five Singaporeans are satisfied customers. They have confidence in their elections, their judicial system, their local police and their national leadership. In contrast, only one in three Americans has confidence in our national government and the country’s leadership; fewer than half regard elections as honest; and three-quarters of the population sees widespread corruption in government.

Look at SingGov as a business corporation (“hotel”) and it’s delivering an efficient, attractive service. WashCorp, not so much.

Next up from HuffPo — Is decomposition of the United States into Patchwork micro-states an idea who’s time has come? (Unlike Allison’s editors, I’ve thrown in the question mark there out of fidelity to liberal traditions.)

August 10, 2015admin 47 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction
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Chaos Patch (#55)

(open thread + links)

Schmitt, sovereignty, and distributed systems (with a reminder), also sovereignty and fealty. Algorithmic monarchism. Another (excellent) introduction to NRx (also this). Radical ethno-nationalism, pro and con. Diversity and complexity. Thede union. The burden of common culture, and locality. Original sin, and the theology of ruin. Entryists. Practical feudalism (and a glimpse into the coming book). Vulgar as hell, but genuinely witty. Secession stuff. Friday fragments. Meta-reaction (and related ‘This Week in Doom’).

A couple of LKY stragglers (and video), plus another three. Demographic disaster in China (also, if the PRC has a PR operation in Hong Kong, it might need to up its game). Battlefield Europe. The corpse in Russia’s basement (also).

Murray and Putnam on class, plus more about Murray. The insanity of the Left is becoming hard for even leftists to miss. Reality is triggering. Entertainment from Gawker. Nerd comedy.

Musk really wants to sell electric cars. Plus, chilling on warming. Justine Tunney on nations and corporations (video). Why isn’t Silicon Valley more like Detroit?

Black-Hispanic conflict in America (with extra anecdotes), and also relevant. Difficult conversations. College material. Israelis versus Jews (also worth remembering). Chinese in Africa. The unbearable whiteness of philosophy. Recolonization please. Race surrealists are a waste of time.

Lovecraft’s liberalism. Strauss and liberty (plus more on Strauss).

Group selection is a mirage. All psych is evo-psych. Baby-editing time approaches. Too smart for their own good. The SAT isn’t measuring affluence. Consensus catalepsy. Moral extremity.

Darkly comic.

March 29, 2015admin 56 Comments »
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The problem with greatness is that nowhere near enough of it comes along to rely on. To assume it, therefore, is a prospective vice, even if it is (retrospectively) indispensable to historical understanding. It would be more convenient for everybody if it could be ignored completely. This is one of those moments in which it clearly cannot be.


The important things to note about Lee Kuan Yew have all been said innumerable times before, and again in the last few days. He was a Neoreactionary before anybody knew what that was, an autocratic enabler of freedom, an HBD-realist multiculturalist, a secessionist Anglospherean, and the teacher of Deng Xiaoping. Right now, it’s tempting to be glib in proclaiming him the greatest statesman of modern times — but he almost certainly was:

In the 1950s and ’60s, Lee traveled from Sri Lanka to Jamaica looking for success stories of former British colonies to emulate. Fortunately, he chose different models instead: He decided to study the Netherlands’ urban planning and land reclamation, and the oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell’s management structure and scenario-led strategy-making. Singapore, it is often joked, is the world’s best-run company. Lee is the reason why. […] … Now the yardstick is not personality but institutions. Lee Kuan Yew-ism, not Lee Kuan Yew. This is why the 21st century belongs to him more than to icons of Western democracy like Thomas Jefferson or even Jean Monnet, the founding father of the European Union.

There are some interesting obituary pieces out there that are definitely worth a look, but mostly even the sympathetic Western media thinks it knows better (1, 2, 3, 4). It really doesn’t.

ADDED: “The evolution of Lee’s racism …”

ADDED: Spandrell and Jim on LKY.

March 23, 2015admin 24 Comments »
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Quote note (#142)

To add to the ledger of Singapore as a redoubt (no doubt beleaguered) of Neoreactionary insight, an opinion piece in the most recent Straits Times begins:

China’s rise has been psychologically disquieting to many in America and the West generally, because in China, capitalism flourishes without liberal democracy. This is regarded as somehow unnatural and illegitimate because it punctures the Western myth of the universality of certain political values and of the inevitability of the development of certain political forms. And unlike, say, Japan or India, China only wants to be China and not an honorary member of the West.

The myth of universality is ahistorical, pretentious and parochial.

It is ahistorical because it ignores the inconvenient fact that every Western country was capitalist long before it was either liberal or democratic as those terms are today understood …

… much sanity follows.

January 9, 2015admin 4 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy
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Club 333

… is already a thing:


(This spotted in Singapore’s Little India.)

January 8, 2015admin 6 Comments »


No one really denies that Singapore is the most functional society on earth, which is interesting in itself. Everything works here (even multiculturalism (of which they have the superior Confucian hegemony version, rather than the ethno-masochistic late-Christian fiasco)). Practical civilization reaches its zenith in the orchid zone of the Singapore botanic gardens, or somewhere close to it. This drives a lot of people — even those who profoundly admire the place — into a sulfurous rage.

No one likes an apple-polisher of Gnon (or scarcely anyone, I’m exempting myself, along with a few others). By demonstrating social functionality, Singapore makes everyone look bad, which doesn’t go down well. The Sings make us all look like useless scum. Yes, there is that.

Conversation snippets:

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January 7, 2015admin 58 Comments »