The Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew

LKYMr Lee Kuan Yew was a sage. Politicians are generally vile, myopic, self-serving, stupid, vacuous windbags. That Singapore had a Confucian sage for its first prime minister is amazing. Too bad Singapore is a small country. Imagine if LKY had been the first prime minister of India. India’s economy today would probably have been about 10 times that of China, instead of being 1/5th that it is today.

Here’s LKY at an elections rally in 1980. He points out that a socialist centralized command-and-control economy fails miserably, whereas an open free market economy thrives. China, he notes, followed the Soviet model and failed. But fortunately for China, Deng Xiaopeng recognized the problem and had the courage to admit that China had to move toward an open free-market economy. Admitting past mistakes is the first step to recovery. It takes courage to admit one’s mistakes. Both LKY and Deng had that courage. Not one single Indian politician has ever admitted one single mistake. For that, hundreds of millions of Indians have paid, and continue to pay, a heavy price.

The minds of three generations of Indians have been systematically poisoned by socialist nonsense. They have come to believe that government is the answer to every problem of society. The fact is that the government is the cause of those problems. They think that profit is a bad word, when the fact is that without profits, society suffers. Only after the poison of socialism is removed from the polity will there be any hope of India’s development. No Indian administration has ever understood this fact.

Post script: I have about 20 posts on Lee Kuan Yew so far on this blog. Go read them all.

Author: Atanu Dey


2 thoughts on “The Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew”

  1. I am not sure Indian politicians don’t understand what you are saying. Their problem is either 1) Getting rid of the socialism rhetoric affects the vested interests they built up over the years or 2) They think it will cost them electorally as people affected by the decision would against them while those who benefit would not necessarily vote for them.


  2. I’m Chinese and a long time observer of india, I would like to clarify a few points:
    Not too obvious to people outside E asia,Confucism,like Taoism and Chinese version of Buddhism are diffused rather than institutionalized;there’s no initiation rituals but sure the influence is there. Chinese don’t care to define what confucism is in the modern contest.
    Attributes of Confucism:
    a)Emphasis on education. Confucius said:”To educate regardless of class background of the students”. Confucius upheld the class system but also strongly believed in class mobility through education. Rarity among old civilisations.
    b)Confucists emphasize on people to people relation and people to state relation and couldn’t care less on metaphysical things
    c)Secularism. Confucius said:”Respect the gods and spirits but keep a distance from them”
    d)Chinese believe there’s something profound and commanding in the sky and call it ‘Heaven’ but seldom speculate on it’s nature. One can call it a notion of monotheism.
    e)Confucism,like many old system of beliefs,is misogynist and could be quite suffocating. Early Chinese leftist writer Lu Xun called it ‘cannibalism’. Under incompetent emperors, confucism was decadent and foot-dragging because it also stresses on conformity

    There’s one confusius’s quote I like very much:”Knowing shame is courage”. I always remind myself China is a poor 3rd world country.

    China and India operate quite differently. In the past few decades,china has been under the threat of at least one superpower. Modern China is the product of more than a century of geopolitical Darwinism. Chinese have left no ideological ground unturned.

    Because of indian sensitivity,I wouldn’t comment further except that Indian ‘pride’ manufacturing is truly astounding,


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