Singapore, where the government owns most of the land and housing and a stake in most business is the American right's "capitalist ideal"


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/11/capitalist-ideal.html


#2

Isn’t home ownership mandatory in Singapore? Mortgage payments and HOA fees are like FICA in the US. Then again, no one is has the dream of taking a cheap camper and living the free life driving around the wide open spaces of west Singapore.


#3

I agree with Bryan Caplan. It is the capitalist ideal.

This is why I think capitalism needs to be stopped or, at the barest minimum, hobbled, lest we all become so idealized.


#4

It is proof that capitalism easily becomes oligarchy with monopolized markets and ownership if not regulated towards consumer protection and free markets.


#5

The state ownership pushes this towards fascism, more than capitalism. Here’s how I envision the definition:


The corners represent the pure ideals, no government will reach. Everyone I show this to agrees with 3/4 of it, but I’ve found enough people to be vehemently opposed to all four corners.


#6

In what sense does Norway “collectively own the means of production”? There is partial government ownership of the (rapidly depleting) oil fields, but factories and farms producing things are privately owned. It, like the rest of Scandinavia isn’t “socialist” in any meaningful sense of collective ownership or a planned economy. It’s a capitalist society that simply has somewhat higher taxes than is typical elsewhere in Europe and hence has better funded health services and education.


#7

Being trained in multivariate analysis, I appreciate the effort to try breaking down a complex problem of data visualisation to just two dimensions.

However, there is so much wrong with this…
I don’t know where to start…


#8

It’s like American conservatism had fully embraced living in Bizarro-land. The capitalist ideal is state controlled, and the moral ideals involve overt racism, serial philandering, sex abuse and child molestation.
(Or, you know, their stated positions never had anything to do with their actual concerns.)


#9

Singapore does seems to have a lot going for it though, at least from a distance. They are on the cutting edge of sustainable architecture - actually green, with biomes built into new buildings. They are very intolerant of things that many consider detrimental to society, like littering, petty crimes, spitting your gum on the sidewalk, drug use…


#10

Places like Singapore are great for inconveniently pointing out that there are probably half-a-dozen different axes for measuring government. By failing to fall neatly onto a one or even two dimensional axis, they provide talking points of both approval and disapproval for everyone.

I will admit I find it amusing to see both right-wingers and left-wingers like myself use Singapore as both a good and bad example, trying futilely (and I’ve tried valiantly) to map it into either a good or a bad guy, depending on context.

Dammit Singapore, fit into someone’s geopolitical narrative!


#11

There’s a simpler solution. The left wing is the enemy. And anything that the enemy believes or stands for is wrong and must be opposed. And anything that the enemy hates and opposes is correct and must be defended. The enemy believes that evidence-based science is correct, therefore all evidence is fake. The enemy believes that a candidate is a sex offender and should not be allowed in government, therefore the candidate is actually a paragon of virtue and must be elected immediately.


#12

Yeah one week I was working there I bought a doughnut in a shopping centre and, without thinking too much about it, walked down to the metro to eat it on the platform. Two young men with fully automatic rifles approached me in short order and told me to put the doughnut away. I did as I was told.

@Kaleberg

West Malaysia and Indonesia provide Singapore with its wide open spaces. I once saw a fast italian car in the distance and my host told me that it you want to drive it fast, you would get up at 4 AM, and have breakfast in Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian police would be unlikely to notice.


#13

I’m not trying to capture all the data, just to make a foundation claim to define the starting definitions of these terms. If you could point out some flaws (doesn’t have to be all) I would be very interested. Honestly interested that is. I’ve been expanding on this idea and trying to refine my concept.

As I engage in arguments with various people on the left and right, I find one of the problems is that the two sides (or ten sides, as it may be) have very different definitions of basic terms. For example, a right wing friend of mine insists that the nazi party is firmly left wing. It’s right in the name: ‘national socialists’. How do I argue with that?


#14

Singapore is also where Chinese with money go to retire.


#15

There’s that. There’s also this (thread), that American conservatism is “a tangle of resentments & bigotries, driven by the erosion of white privilege” and everything else is window dressing:


#16

Beyond explaining to them the intricate details of how things change over time and their registered name and brand may not necessarily reflect their beliefs twenty years down the line, or how the National part of the name is expressly intended to modify the Socialism part because the party explicitly rejected Marxist theory in favour of an nationally-oriented (read: cultural and racial) formation of social systems, the easiest way is to simply respond:
“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is neither democratic nor a republic.”


#17

Yep. This is wrong on SO many levels.


#18

my one big complaint is that – like so many people – the writer associates the white-wing with the “heartland”. if that’s all it was, the current 45 wouldn’t have been elected.

the truth is, we have an entrenched structure of institutionalized racist policies throughout this country. policies which are being used by the hyper-randian folks to further their own ends.

an erosion of white privilege? definitely. they saw the election of obama as proof that their outsized hold on the world was slipping. and they voted for the current 45 because they thought he would help them directly.

but the heartland? if it were that easy, we wouldn’t be so completely f-d right now. so far, the people that i know who supported trump – all white upper-middle class folks from the coasts – are perfectly happy with his performance.


#19

I would really like to hear on which levels it is wrong. I’m not being defensive or anything. I want to learn. So far when I’ve talked it over with people, their objections are based on my definitions not matching what they believe about each ism.


#20

If you want to see this kind of thing in the US go to Las Vegas.