Are we really what we claim to be?

28 September 2002

Firstly, I would like to announce that I support Singapore. I would love to see that my country succeed in this global economy and be competitive. I am sure most of the people would agree with this.

I would like to bring to your attention of the philosophy of ‘Objectivism’ by Ayn Rand with regard the role of the government which I found myself agreeing with:

The ideal political-economic system is laissez-faire capitalism. It is a system where men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. It is a system where no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical force against others.

The government acts only as a policeman that protects mans rights; it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church. (Taken from:

Under this theory of laissez-faire government, it is purported that this would bring about creativity and happiness to the people. Lester C. Thurow (MIT professor) the author of the book “Building Wealth” indicates that the success of United States today is due to its founding fathers believing in the virtues of free speech and minimum control, which encourages thinking and creativity among is people. (Although it is not perfect example, most people still look to Amercia as a role model.)

I believe that the Singapore governments control in various ways stifle creativity and repress thinking among its people. From strict regulation and government-linked companies such as SingTel, PSA and SIA, it has curb the spirit of potential entrepreneur.

Although we do have successful Singaporean entrepreneurs running small and medium enterprises (which is commendable), do we have entrepreneurs running large, innovative, global enterprises, whose revenue is over 10 billions annually and surpasses the GDP of large countries, like the Americans do?

We have one of the highest per capita income in the world, and we often tout ourselves as one of the most brainy people in the world in various fields and industry but are we really what we claim to be?


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