From LKY to LHL, from Qin to Han. It's not a 'Chinese problem' but a perspectival one

Confucianism may be seen as the popular philosophical base supporting the Legalist view of the Government. Thus, with the institution of the Qin came the institution of Legalism. And to 'soften it', came Confucianism.

I'd say that the reason why the Qin was opposed to Confucianism was because it would inevitably throw up questions on what ought to be the right sort of relationship between the people and the government and between the people themselves. With the iron-fisted Qin-imposition of a one-way system, which has been the bane of Chinese humane, multicultural and democratic progress ever since, came, thereafter, the ‘PR period’ where Confucianism became the paradigm from whence one made sense of the relatively new universe and her/is place in the scheme of things. The point is, without the harsh enforcement of the Qin, the Chou period in terms of relatively greater perspectival vibrancy might have continued. With the institution of the Qin, Confucianism comes in to perpetuate the status quo with its exhortations on propriety and stability – which can be paraphrased with doing one’s best within a status quo as opposed to changing it. Whatever Confucius had to say on other matters, and which indeed is laudable in themselves, is more of an ‘urging’ as opposed to the well-systematised and unequivocal call to maintain the status quo, harmony, whatever the foundations, obedience, and peace. In this, Confucianism plays the role of a perpetuator and can be a great thing when it comes to perfect conditions. However, in imperfect conditions, it promotes the perfection of the methods to cope with it. And that, produces post-Chou, as opposed to pre-Qin, ‘Chinese’ culture – which is more aptly termed, ‘Qin culture’.

If one was to look at Singapore’s development, it mirrors the aforementioned evolution in China. The monocultural Qin vision was also replicated for the purpose of maintaining the continued hegemony of the Qin-cum-Confucian system of thought and thoughtlessness. The replication of this mindset amongst the Chinese by ‘cultural identification’ imposed top-down is that which enables the formation of a ‘greater China’ through its perspectival satellites in ‘modern’ times. I say, ‘top-down imposition’, not because this is really felt as imposition amongst the post-dialect Chinese generations in singapore, but because it is imposed by the dilution of difference to the point that ‘multiculturalism’ in singapore has nothing more than a tributary or ‘constituency’ status within a greater Qin milieu. By the formation of these ‘perspectival satellites, China and said ‘satellites’ will began to form a mutually supportive symbiosis against the perspectives of the west and others in the region. In this, China holds the muscle in the face of the world, whilst singapore serves as a ‘controlled’ experiment on how multiculturalism can be dealt with within a ‘modernity’ that is divisible between the western ethos and the Qin one.

Now, in a previous observation, I had stated that the Chinese diaspora serves as China’s offshore militia stomping on all difference and extending its perspectival and political sphere of influence. However, this is not really the fault of the Chinese as they are socialised into the Qin mode of thought and thoughtlessness not in terms of forcibly being taught to be as such, but by attempts by the Qins of modern times to do so via the dilution of difference-cum-racial/cultural association. In this, they have served as unwitting pawns for the age old Qin-cum-Han elite sector.

Hence, in the ‘singaporean’ milieu, I have often observed, there is nothing ‘Indian’ or ‘Malay’ about it other than cuisine. Even ‘singlish’ is a Qin version of a ‘multicultural’ language as it facilitates, generally, a superficial view of reality – which is required so that people would leave philosophy and politics in the hands of the ‘professionals’. For instance, what I term, the ‘perspectival infrastructure’ – which determines the development of feelings and thoughts - is quite Qin given the absence of highly visible democratic movements; the absence of people of differing cultural genres intermingling in an integrative as opposed to as assimilative way; the absence of political discussions amongst people; the perspectives of oppositional writers and political parties that evidence the pursuance of politics along the path of, ‘to thy leader be true’; the popularity of gambling; the tendency of people to discount contradictory opinions via ignorance or dismissal; the regimented nature of popular cultural vibrancy; oppositional movements having little cognizance of the value and absence of multiculturalism; the diluted intellectual/perspectival quality of local media productions; amongst a host of others. If one was to compare, say India to China, or India to Singapore, one would find that Singapore falls on the side of the latter and not the former when it comes to said perspectival infrastructure. One could say that singapore is thus a wholly Chinese milieu when it comes to the menu of social experience as enumerated above. But it would be more accurate to say that it is a Qin milieu as it evidences the perspectives and consequences of the Qin-and-thereafter as opposed to Indian/Chou/Malay(ICM). The senses, other than that of cuisine, is wholly Qin. There are hardly any intellectual stimulants around that can be said to be ICM. In this, the mind is subconsciously bombarded with the perspectivally debilitating.

It is on this basis, amongst others, that in the discussion of multiculturalism or discrimination in singapore, or the host of problems the absence of the former brings - from Mandarin-teaching methods to why Indians charge more for prata on Chinese New year - we have to be cognizant of the fact that what we are dealing with here is not a ‘Chinese problem’ but the consequence of the institution of Singapore’s Qin dynasty, during the Lee Kuan Yew period, to the Confucian or ‘Han’ in the Lee Hsien Loong period. In essence, the 'Han' period of Singapore's evolution, signals the reduction of the human persona to the point it can mistake fool's gold for the real McCoy.




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