The famous cry to arms during the Revolutionary War of America has come a long way. All over the world people use adaptations of it in their bid for liberty in various forms. Scientists repressed by the Catholic Church before the Enlightenment cried ‘Tribuo mihi Licentia!’ to their captors, while the Spanish War yielded the Spanish adaptation, “Viva la Libertad”! But in each and every situation in which the word ‘liberty’ was uttered, its meaning adapts to suit a new context like the flow of water meeting a new obstacle. So what is the nature of liberty from the perspective of Authoritarian city-state Singapore?
In a country the size of Singapore, radical variations in style, culture, and preferences are few and far in between. As such, many of the different areas in which liberty can usually be applied to in places such as America may not be applicable in Singapore. Take religion for example. In America, more than 80% of the people are Christians. However, only about 15% of Singaporeans subscribe to Christianity. As such, there are fewer representatives of different groups of people, and some groups may be rendered obsolete or underrepresented and its committed form of liberty may be too minor to be considered a major form. Hence in this context, personal liberty, social liberty, and political liberty will be the main forms of liberty canvassed.
Personal liberty here can be defined as man’s freedom to act as he pleases as long as it affects only himself. As such, the nature of personal liberty in Singapore is largely a given for any individual. Singaporeans are free to do as they wished so long as the authorities ‘don’t know about it’. This may be true for any democratic country or pers...
... middle of paper ...
...y and norm for some governments to enforce their policies with force. They must keep in mind though, that compulsion cannot produce virtue; it can only produce the outward semblance of virtue. In the end, the people still have to be educated so that they possess the means to think and decide for themselves. In the meantime, some aspects of their liberty may have to be put on hold. We can thus see that liberty is not meant to be an end but only a means to allow reason to rule. The nature of liberty then is the freedom to act rationally. So is it worth the bloodshed and struggle to obtain it? Patrick Henry seems to think so, and perhaps his famous words may enlighten us on the reason why:
“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- All but four countries in the world claim to be democracies. While this statistic is demonstrative of democracy’s widespread appeal, it fails to articulate the extreme differences in the level of democracy that is experienced in these countries. Many states are merely democratic in name. Others began the democratization process but have failed to progress toward a true democracy. Scholars identify religion as a source of promotion or hindrance to democratic development. They argue that some religions are predisposed to liberal forms of democracy while others are a few steps shy of theocracy.... [tags: Government Styles, World Religions]
1672 words (4.8 pages)
- Singapore theatre is greatly influenced by the theatre of Anton Chekhov and Henrik Ibsen, especially in regard to the purpose of the play. Ibsen and Chekhov use their plays as social commentaries to explore Europe’s social issues and criticise outdated norms; Singaporean plays function as social commentaries, too. However, Singapore theatre and the theatre of Chekhov and Ibsen are definitely not entirely the same, with writing styles being a main contrast. This paper examines how much the work of Ibsen and Chekhov has affected Singapore theatre.... [tags: Singapore Theater ]
1190 words (3.4 pages)
- The Limits of Freedom Liberty is the state of being free, to be able to speak and say anything freely. Liberty was not absolute for everybody. Back then and even today people still don’t have complete liberty in America. The early Americans put limits on freedom even when they were trying to create more freedom. They type of limits that the early Americans put on freedom were limits on freedom of speech, and much more. Even with the American Revolution, it was not for everybody. The American Revolution was only for the colonist and men, but over time the idea of liberty and equality became for everyone.... [tags: Liberty, Freedom of Speech, American History]
1658 words (4.7 pages)
- The principle of non-harm was brought forth by James Stuart Mill in On Liberty by introducing two different spheres that make up life. The spheres were private and public. A meaningful life is found when a maximum private sphere is present because decisions are personally beneficial. Democratic historical and social context give background to why the non-harm principle was so revolutionary. The non-harm principle can be applied to freedom of speech in that harm by words only occurs when the result is instant physical harm.... [tags: James Stuart Mill, On Liberty]
2738 words (7.8 pages)
- Introduction The Battle of Singapore took place during World War II from January 31 to February 15, 1942. The two opposing forces were the British and Japanese. Lieutenant General Author Percival led 85, 000 men to defend the war while Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita commanded the invasion with 36, 000 men. The onslaught to invade British Malaya commenced in December 8, 1941. During this period, General Yamashita started invading this British colony from Indochina and subsequently from Thailand.... [tags: The Defence and Fall of Singapore]
2567 words (7.3 pages)
- How might the Singapore society differ were it not for these technologies – would the society be more or less heavily regulated. Lee recommends analysing politics and society by addressing how power struggles and relations were played out in the pre-Internet era, namely the maintenance of political control via public support (2005: 74). Foucault defines ‘governmentality’ as the point of contact where the technologies of power interact with the governed. This spurs Lee to postulate that, in order to retain power in the Internet era, 'governments need to be actively involved in shaping the design as well as the societal, cultural and regulatory environment in which the Internet and other new... [tags: Singapore Politics, Government]
1910 words (5.5 pages)
- Image is everything. We can make even the most disturbing scene seem poetic by just adding a few birds, trees, or a river. Poetry is one of the mediums that use this mask. In Singapore by Mary Oliver, imagery plays a very important role. She writes a poem about a poor woman she saw in an airport in Singapore washing an ashtray in the toilet, seem like the woman was encompassing a beautiful scene in nature. A poem is always a beautiful thing, so she wrote a poem about this woman making her a metaphor to the serene image of nature.... [tags: Poetry]
627 words (1.8 pages)
- Introduction The Republic of Singapore celebrated its 42 years of independence in year 2007. Situated at the southern tip of Malaysia, Singapore currently holds a population of 4.68 million as of June 2007. At 704.0km2, it is ranked 4th in the world for its population density. During the past four decades, the economy as measured by real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), multiplied by over 20 times (Ghesquiere, 2007, p.11). As a small and extremely open economy, Singapore long term survival is very much dependent on the ability to maintain its viable position and remain afloat in the sea of global competition (Mun Heng et al, 1998, p.14).... [tags: Singapore Economy ]
1537 words (4.4 pages)
- Singapore’s recent economic history Singapore is well located for international industry and trading. The development of the Singapore economy depends heavily on foreign capital, foreign technology and foreign workers. Foreign companies are attracted by an interesting tax system. The foreign investors profit from the fact that they pay lower tax rates than local residents. The Singaporean government has a big influence on the social and economic development. The authorities organized for example trainings for Singaporean workers in order to obtain trained, highly motivated residents.... [tags: Singapore Business Economics]
1093 words (3.1 pages)
- Can Singapore be described in terms of a Foucauldian ‘disciplinary society’ or a Deleuzian ‘control society’. Deleuze proposed that we are in the midst of shift from Foucault’s ‘society of discipline’ to a ‘society of control’ (1992: 3). Unlike the ‘disciplinary society’ where subjects progress from one ‘moulding’ institution to another (schools, college, factories, offices, etc.), a ‘control society’ is typified by constant modulation (Wise, 2002: 32). According to Rose, control operates by affiliating subjects to a variety of practices which by design encourage adherence to certain norms in modern liberal societies (2000: 325).... [tags: Politics, Social Control ]
1976 words (5.6 pages)