Sunday, March 22, 2015

Lee Kwan Yew dead at 91

Lee Kwan Yew has passed at 91. See the 2005 interview with Der Spiegel below for some interesting comments from 10 years ago.

Lee: "I always tried to be correct, not politically correct." —From Third World to First: The Singapore Story.

Mr. Lee: I faced this problem myself. Every year, our unions and the Labour Department subsidize trips to China and India. We tell the participants: Don't just look at the Great Wall but go to the factories and ask, "What are you paid?" What hours do you work?" And they come back shell-shocked. The Chinese had perestroika first, then glasnost. That's where the Russians made their mistake.

SPIEGEL: The Chinese Government is promoting the peaceful rise of China. Do you believe them?

Mr. Lee: Yes, I do, with one reservation. I think they have calculated that they need 30 to 40 -- maybe 50 years of peace and quiet to catch up, to build up their system, change it from the communist system to the market system. They must avoid the mistakes made by Germany and Japan. Their competition for power, influence and resources led in the last century to two terrible wars.

SPIEGEL: What should the Chinese do differently?

Mr. Lee: They will trade, they will not demand, "This is my sphere of influence, you keep out". America goes to South America and they also go to South America. Brazil has now put aside an area as big as the state of Massachusetts to grow soya beans for China. They are going to Sudan and Venezuela for oil because the Venezuelan President doesn't like America. They are going to Iran for oil and gas. So, they are not asking for a military contest for power, but for an economic competition.

SPIEGEL: But would anybody take them really seriously without military power?

Mr. Lee: About eight years ago, I met Liu Huaqing, the man who built the Chinese Navy. Mao personally sent him to Leningrad to learn to build ships. I said to him, "The Russians made very rough, crude weapons". He replied, "You are wrong. They made first-class weapons, equal to the Americans." The Russian mistake was that they put so much into military expenditure and so little into civilian technology. So their economy collapsed. I believe the Chinese leadership have learnt: If you compete with America in armaments, you will lose. You will bankrupt yourself. So, avoid it, keep your head down, and smile, for 40 or 50 years.

SPIEGEL: What are your reservations?

Mr. Lee: I don't know whether the next generation will stay on this course. After 15 or 20 years they may feel their muscles are very powerful. We know the mind of the leaders but the mood of the people on the ground is another matter. ...


kurt9 said...

There is something called the "dark enlightenment" on the internet that appears to be a mishmash of mostly right-wing ideologies - paleo-conservatism, traditionalism, crunchy-con, etc. Some of these bloggers argue that the representative democratic governments that the West has have largely failed and should be replaced with non-representative systems. Some of them even talk about monarchies and the like.

It seems to me that Lee Kwan Yew is the modern version of what these people advocate. Yet, there has been very little reference to Lee Kwan Yew by the "dark enlightenment" bloggers over the years.

What gives?

SethTS said...

Maybe apologists for "endarkenment" are simply too disconnected from practical reality to know Lee Kwan Yew existed?

It seems no idea is ever bad enough for people to well and truly abandon it. Eventually it comes back, if only because it has become entertainingly different from the conventional wisdom.

CommentCommunicationMajor said...

They talk about Singapore quite a bit.

kurt9 said...

Xenosystems does. None of the other "dark enlightenment" guys do.

kurt9 said...

I think so. Yes. The "dark enlightenment" (or neoreactionaries as some call themselves) seem as logically incoherent as the liberal-left types they decry.

aseuss said...

The thing that shows Singapore's success is that millions from outside have settled there. In fact, Singapore is 38% immigrant, and very diverse racially and ethnically: 70% Chinese, 15% Malay, 10% Indian, 5% a mix of Europeans, Arabs and Americans. Indonesian domestic workers, Malaysian professionals, Indian construction workers, American billionaires.

CommentsCommunicationMajor said...

Yeah, they never mention it.

Rastus Odinga-Odinga said...

The thing you need to understand about LKY is that he was *not* an authoritarian. That was just a side issue that never really interested him. What he really was, was an elitist, an anti-egalitarian. And that took incredible audacity in the face of the power of the egalitarian superstition. The result was that he made a great many people feel that they were losers; which in fact is precisely what they are. But these people are determined to overturn LKY's legacy; the bullshit departments at the national university [political "science", sociology, the usual gang of tards] and the pseudo-academics surrounding them are pushing hard for this, indoctrinating a new generation. Sad.

5371 said...

The Soviet economy, of course, did not in any way collapse because of a "lack of civilian technology". The reasons were purely political.

Erik Sieven said...

the world needs more politicians like him

botti said...

I thought some did, particularly where he quoted Richard Lynn's work. He attempted to address birth rates with a graduate mother scheme. This provided direct financial benefits and special school enrolment privleges for graduate mothers having more than two children. He is one political leader who seems to openly acknowledge HBD. In "Conversations with Lew Kwan Yew" he states he considers demographic change will lead to a loss of dynamism in the US (pages 114-115). He also thought, but for Watergate, Nixon was the best US President he encountered. "He had a realistic view of the world. He was a great analyst, realistic, but also a tactician to get things done." (p81).

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