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This post was edited by LawrenceD at 2013-7-30 15:06|
The punk wrote: "provide PROOF that Singapore is "socialist."
Only for literate readers:
The PAP was born and fought for independence as a socialist party, quite distinct from the British-sponsored quislings in the Labor Front who, under Lim Yew Hock, cracked down on socialist groups such as trade unions, the newly-formed PAP and some Leninist groups. Because of continuing protests and strikes by the working people the British finally offered self-rule while retaining defense and foreign relations powers. General elections were held and the PAP emerged victorious, to the horror of many foreign companies who disagreed with the party's socialist platform. There was capital flight as many such companies left for Kuala Lumpur and other capitalist states. Because Singapore was basically a small island with limited resources, the PAP later decided to relax its state-controlled economy and offered incentives for foreign investments in the state. Many foreign corporations took the risk because of Singapore's strategic location, good harbor, hardworking citizens, and an incorruptible government.
The PAP had both democratic socialists and Leninist elements, and this caused internal struggles and splinter groups which later formed their own opposition entities. While the opposition had good reasons for wanting immediate, total, independence, Lee Kuan Yew's faction thought that it was not politically feasible at the time. Kuan Yew himself was very much the typical Asian socialist leader who often moved with the masses - he and his ministers used to carry spades and worked among the people in several Singapore reclamation schemes.
Singapore got its opportunity for independence after it formed with Malaya and some eastern Borneo states to create Malaysia. Later, quarrels with Kuala Lumpur saw the separation of the island with the Malaysian Federation, and the island country finally attained complete independence during the 1960s. Like many Asian socialist states, Singapore first focused on an import-substitution strategy for industrial goods, only to find that there's a limit to the policy. That was the reason why the state relaxed its role and allowed more foreign involvement in certain sectors of its economy. Nevertheless, government-linked companies dominated the Singapore economic scene, and projects such as urban development were undertaken by the government as part of its socialist program. The main economic planner, the great Goh Keng Swee, was, after his retirement, invited by China to advise on China's own coastal development. The principle of state intervention plus market economy, first tried out in Singapore, is now practised in China.
Today, in terms of GDP per capita derived from PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) calculations, Singapore is rated above the UK, US, Australia, and many other Western nations (including most Nordic countries except Norway) by the World Bank, the IMF, and even the CIA. Average life expectancy is also higher than in UK or the United States. As Stephen Leebs wrote in Forbes,"By virtually every measure of well-being, in fact, from life expectancy to per capita GDP, Singapore now surpasses America" (http://www.forbes.com/sites/grea ... -wrong-about-china/).
Despite the influence of neo-liberalism, Nordic countries still follow a largely socialist program of heavy taxes which are used for citizens' health, education, and other public programs (which caused a Holstebro friend to lament that "that's why the Americans called us communists"). The penchant for socialist programs was well-known, especially during the 1950s/60s when many Asian socialists studied the collective farms (cooperatives) of Sweden and Denmark. It's interesting that while German gymnastics tended to accentuate individual values (though it was born of the collective wish for independence from Napoleonic France), Nordic gymnastics stressed on collective exercises, e.g. mass calisthenics.
Note: Marxists today know that, partly due to historical circumstances, countries like the Soviet Union and even China tended to practice bureaucratic capitalism rather than socialism or communism (the latter is in reality non-existent because it's an ideal, one that could be realized only when each individual is able to - to borrow Maslow's terminology - self-actualize).