By Kenneth Tan

Via shut readings of latest made-in-Singapore motion pictures (by Jack Neo, Eric Khoo, and Royston Tan) and tv courses (Singapore Idol, sitcoms, and dramas), this booklet explores the probabilities and barriers of resistance inside a complicated capitalist-industrial society whose authoritarian executive skillfully negotiates the dangers and possibilities of balancing its on-going nation-building venture and its "global urban" aspirations. This publication adopts a framework encouraged by means of Antonio Gramsci that identifies ideological struggles in artwork and pop culture, yet keeps the significance of Herbert Marcuse's one-dimensional society research as theoretical limits to acknowledge the ability of authoritarian capitalism to subsume artistic endeavors and pop culture whilst they try out consciously--even every now and then successfully--to negate and oppose dominant hegemonic formations.

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In some cases, the penalties for upsetting the government have been disproportionately severe, even for people who might appear to be quite harmless. In some other cases, though, the government has shown an uncharacteristic tolerance, even for actions that might seem to be rather bold politically. The effect on ordinary Singaporeans of this unpredictability in the government’s response is self-censorship and the censorship of others (see for example Gomez 2000). In this regard, the sustained use of coercive instruments has been mostly unnecessary since widespread knowledge of their existence alone— and perhaps the occasional demonstration of their power—has been sufficient to generate a climate of apprehension in which Singaporeans will regulate their own behavior and practice modes of self-censorship, making restrained calculations about what they can or should say and do in a panoptical society that, like the prison architecture analyzed by French philosopher and historian Michel Foucault, induces a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power.

In Singapore, it is widely believed that only a well-defended—and therefore stable—nation can continue to attract the foreign capital and talent that are necessary for the economy to develop and grow. Compulsory military service in Singapore mobilizes its citizens for the possibility of war, and it serves as a political instrument to discipline and control the male population by diverting their aggressive energies away from political expression and into military regimentation, refocusing these energies on a perceived external enemy (K.

Lee 1983). The government’s attempts, at the time, to reward graduate mothers who bore more children, and less educated mothers for choosing to be sterilized, led to the resurrection of feminism in Singapore and, it one-dimensional singapore 13 is commonly believed, electoral losses for the PAP government, which had won all parliamentary seats in the four general elections that were conducted between 1968 and 1980. Singaporean women were presented as selfish, and the opportunities for self-advancement that had been opening up to them since the 1970s, no more than a necessary evil that accompanied modernization.

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