2. DISDAIN FOR THE RECOGNITION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
3. OBSESSION WITH NATIONAL SECURITY
Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
4. SUPREMACY OF THE MILITARY
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
5. CONTROLLED MASS MEDIA
Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
- Highlights taken from Wake Up And Smell the Facism (see website for the 9 other characteristics and make your own opinions)
Although written in an American context, I think there's a familiar scent of Singapore in all this. The greatest trick the government has done, sort of like the devil in a way I guess, is convincing everybody there is no evil. But you have to read between the lines. Unlike more extreme cases of facism such as those experienced during WW2, certain governments around the world seem to take a much more passive and elusive approach that appears to legitimise their very actions that define facism.
Facism is defined as 'a system of government marked by centralisation of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism'. In "passive-modern facism", you replace the dictator with an authoritarian government of like-minded ministers and by being passive, no actual violence is carried out against people deemed "dangerous" to the government but are free to harass you in any number of ways while still abiding by their law. Thus creating the illusion of being a legitimate democracy and reinforcing my perception of Singapore's image as a plastic existence. There is no real opposition, which is only really being kept alive to validate and strengthen its image as a democratic system. Terror in today's context is translated into threats, fines, slander etc, which has already been displayed in many prominent cases. Nationalism is probably the foremost obvious characteristic of Singaporeans. Countless national day songs in the memory of every primary/secondary school kid, music videos and the patriotic display of flags on every HDB flat. This probably seems the most innocent of traits, but is really just a ploy to reinforce unity and trust between people and government. The underlying propaganda that we are a perfect society thriving on excellence in this competitive world. There is no room for anything less. Anything otherwise that is portrayed in the media just....ends up on the floor at the cutting room. Perhaps James Hetfield of Metallica says it best in his one-phrased opening track for the Garage Inc. album, "Free speech.....free speech for the dumb".
The "Crazy Frog", kept at number one for four weeks by a bunch of people who clearly need to learn what sanity is.
Singabloodypore: An ex expatriat from Singapore blogs his experience with the Singapore government and in his latest post, opens doors for conspiracy and shines light on a potentially much, much darker side of the Singaporean government. Almost X-Files-ish. Minus the aliens and add anal-retentive government agents.
I don't pretend to hate the Singaporean government for things I personally don't know about. But Im only today discovering hints of information into Singapore's political past that it has kept hidden better than the Japs have hidden WW2 truths in school textbooks. But it is not a very big secret, if you choose to look at it, that those who stand up against the government WILL fall without fair fight. A bit like choosing to fight Agent Smith perhaps. Because every man who HAS chosen to fight, has lost more than just his reputation....and a broken pair of sunglasses. While there is no "Neo" in this case, I do know this; that the number of Singaporeans with 'freed minds' is increasing, or at least surfacing to public attention either via the internet or mass media. Recent events that push and test the boundaries of Singapore's "democratic" image prove what's real and what's plastic. More people are challenging the system or at least questioning those policies in the public eye. Your whole life as a kid in Singapore has been brainwashed, turning you well into being a nationalist with wool pulled over your eyes. You call it civil education, I call it propaganda. Making you believe in this 'perfect' society on condition that you look no deeper. I couldn't even believe the propaganda bullshit I saw on TV regarding National Service (2yr+ compulsory military service for young Singaporean men) about how well your sons are treated at army and that driving trucks/tanks..etc (and pushing pencil for some that I know of) is really worth giving up 2.5 years of your youth for (Singapore's stupid military strategy is another story). The National Parade, while I do appreciate the spirit of unity, is utter bollocks if you do not recognise the wrongs of your country as well. But as said in Matrix Singapore, I guess for even those who know the truths about the system, they have chosen the blue pill for ignorance is bliss.
I remember mentioning the subject of human rights to a group of Singaporean friends once, "Doesn't it surprise you that we have one of the highest execution rates in the world? We're practically up there with Saudi Arabia which chops off limbs for breaking islamic laws."...to which my topic was met with little response. Yea why should we care. We're not on death row.
"Repression, Sir is a habit that grows. I am told it is like making love-it is always easier the second time! The first time there may be pangs of conscience, a sense of guilt. But once embarked on this course with constant repetition you get more and more brazen in the attack. All you have to do is to dissolve organizations and societies and banish and detain the key political workers in these societies. Then miraculously everything is tranquil on the surface. Then an intimidated press and the government-controlled radio together can regularly sing your praises, and slowly and steadily the people are made to forget the evil things that have already been done, or if these things are referred to again they're conveniently distorted and distorted with impunity, because there will be no opposition to contradict." - Lee Kuan Yew, 1956