'Democracy in America' Explained.

A stunned silence greeted my Friday post. Obviously I didn't "say" much in the post, just put up some quotes from an old book I discovered on the Gutenberg Project RSS feed I get at work.

(If you want similar gems [and a shitload of dross] coming into your feed every day, just go to Gutenberg.org, scroll down and click on the Daily eBook RRS.)

Maybe it wasn't clear, maybe it was, but the point was to show how a disenfranchised group, elderly African Amercians in the South before WWII in this case, tend to drift away from participation in politics. As many of them said, it's "white man's business." They feel powerless to have any effect, and just accept whatever decisions come along. " Just whatever way they went was a satisfaction to me," as Joe said. (Apart from the message it gives of mute acceptance, isn't that the sweetest expression?)

In my mind I see parallels with the silent majority in Singapore, as well as with certain minority groups... Those disenfranchised people in low incomes, the old and alone, the homeless, etc... for whom the government is a LONG long way away, for whom goverment is a rich man's business. (Which in Singapore, it is.)

Those in poverty really do have "a sense of proportion" about the constant reduction spending power of their meagre incomes, all right. Cents of proportion, dollars of consequence.

"If you are going to quarrel about S$46 million – up or down another S$10 to S$20 million – I say you don't have a sense of proportion." - Lee Kuan Yew, Channel NewsAsia, 4 Apr 07

How excited can you get about politics when nothing you can do seems to make any difference, when there is no place where people in power are listening to what you really would like to say? When your vote doesn't count because there the hope for a strong opposition has been legislated and lawyered away. When the government outright threatens you, by saying that they will not upgrade your flats if you vote away from them...

Sigh, groan.




My expat friends roll their eyes when I carry on like this... They wonder why I bother, why I risk it. But I just have to vent. It's a conscience thing. I doubt if I could sit back at home twenty years from now with my grandchildren on my knee, asking me "What did you do in the war, Grandad? What did you say when you saw things that were wrong? Did you just take the money and run, or did you at least say SOMETHING, however ineffectual and token?"

And those friends laugh at my naivete and my intellectually shallow reasoning, like this. And as I do myself, they query my true motives. (To get hits to my blog!)


Posted by: expat@large on Apr 21, 07 | 8:27 pm | Profile


Continued stunned silence. Give the modem a kick.

Posted by: Dick on Apr 22, 07 | 1:55 am

some things need no commentary...

"...don't look up..."

(movie please)

Posted by: savannah on Apr 22, 07 | 10:44 am

If you want more hits just post a picture of some famous female bloggers boobs ~grin~

Posted by: Indiana on Apr 22, 07 | 11:41 am

Dick: something profound.

Sav: that's what I had thought, but...

Indie: any suggestions?

Posted by: expat@large on Apr 22, 07 | 12:03 pm

p.s. Sav - I give up on the movie.

OK three guesses. Aliens? Superman? The Discreet Charm of The Bourgeoisie?

Posted by: expat@large on Apr 23, 07 | 9:26 pm

gene hackman to will smith in "enemy of the state" seemed appropriate, sugar

Posted by: savannah on Apr 24, 07 | 4:03 am


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