I enjoy Spiked! and often mine it for useful ideas. It is composed of individualists, many of whom have lefty backgrounds but have overcome that spiritual handicap and usually advance interesting arguments for freedom.
But this week’s Spiked! goes a little too far in the iconoclastic spirit.
THE COMMUNIST WHO MADE SINGAPORE A CAPITALIST SUCCESS
Some geezer called James Heartfield – a writer and researcher. His latest book, The European Union and the End of Politics, published by ZER0 Books – takes a posthumous swipe at Lee Kuan Yew, who died a few days ago and is being rightly mourned by his people for his transformation of a steamy, tropical island into a thriving super-city.
Lee Kuan Yew did a fantastic job, and not the least of his successes was the way he made communism vanish as a political force in Singapore.
And yet Heartfield seems to resent that great achievement, even though his manner of writing suggests he himself is not unaware of the evil of communism and the horrors visited on countries it seized.
- It is true that the Communists were set on seizing power, and just how progressive their rule might have been can be guessed at from the example of the People’s Republic of China
So how come he criticises sensible leaderships in Singapore (and KL and Jakarta, don’t forget) who recognised the demonic nature of the enemy their country faced and fought back?
- Lee Kuan Yew turned on the Communists in Singapore, first forcing them out of the People’s Action Party, and then, in government, repressing them.
Good for Lee!
He certainly does not deserve to be defamed post-mortem as the Spiked! headline surely does. Even if he had red links as a young man, his record ever since redeems him – the Red vermin would undoubtedly have immersed Singapore in blood and cruelty.
Some of the best anti-communists in all lands have been those who woke up to its satanic spell and did all they could to expose it.
Heartfield quotes Lee disapprovingly.
As Lee wrote: ‘Could we have defeated them if we had allowed them habeas corpus and abjured the powers of detention without trial? I doubt it.’
It is debatable in the West whether allowing totalitarian hypocrites like the CPGB or the CPUSA to function as pretend political parties, despite the truth that they were enemy agents, was the best course of action.
But in a fledgling state like Singapore, as in Indonesia, Lee was correct.
A poisonous snake should not be treated as a domestic animal, but rather beheaded. This was widely recognised as the proper way to handle the problem. Again, Heartfield has a useful quote –
Dr Albert Winsemius of the United Nations Technical Assistance Board advised that to get the investment needed, Singapore had to ‘get rid of the Communists’. ‘How you get rid of them does not interest me as an economist’, he said, ‘but get them out of the government, get them out of the unions, get them off the streets’
This sound counsel, however, is seen by Heartfield not a simple sense from a friendly source to Singapore’s leadership but as a ‘clampdown,’ demanded by Lee’s supporters in the developed West.
That is demeaning to the late statesman, who was first and foremost a patriot.
He took effective cleansing action, not at the behest of UNTAB, surely, but on the basis that his countrymen and women would thus be better protected from rabid red fanatics .
I could go on some more about the article, not least to ask why it says that, in the battles between the Reds and the people, the greatest slaughters were in Indonesia, whereas the truly colossal killings took place in Red China, where the Communist Party murdered scores of millions in taking and holding power…
But save that for another bright, scorching weekend. Time for me to go forth and enjoy the mid-day sun!