RE: Singapore's Military Drafting

From: Chen Yixiong, Eric (
Date: Mon Sep 03 2001 - 01:37:14 MDT

> Wow. appears to confirm
> all of this. Surely egress is among the most fundamental rights;
> or perhaps I heard too many stories of East German border guards
> gunning down those attempting to leave without permission (North
> Korea apparently still murders those escaping to the south, though
> means other than bullets may be used, bullets being rather expensive).

In my opinion, the alternative to stopping the free flow of people out of one's nation would almost surely lead to dissent, with possible nasty effects on the government such as coups and bloody rebellions. Such restrictions also fosters the monopoly of the state over oneself, such that one would have no choice but to "purchase" citizenship from the state.

Such a monopoly will have tremendous power, since it controls the economical system too (indirectly with setting business rules and affecting the reputation of companies, and directly via market intervention), unlike an economical monopoly.

I find it amazing that the UN had not made this a major issue when it sought to promote human rights and free markets. If economical monopolies cannot exist, then a monopoly of the state over control of the lives its members must never exist.

> Although I oppose it, I understand the rationale for Singapore's
> reliance on draftees. I don't understand such strong measures to
> ensure that no young male flees the country. How effective can
> such soldiers be?

I had questioned this (such as in my previous article), and continue to question this. I seriously don't believe that such measures will produce goodwill among a nation's citizenship. Strangely, a lot of those who entered reluctantly returned rather satisfied and happy that they had undergone this.

On one hand, there may exists a positive process that could actually improve oneself. On the other hand, this may just contain illusions and a desperate attempt of the mind, via cognitive dissonance, to justify the time spent. Meanwhile, there exists a big unknown in my future concerning this, and what will happen to me. Oops, I hope that certain people will not read that I wrote all these until I left the military.

> It seems to me that if some flexibility in the terms of service
> were offered and women were included, Singapore could have more
> than enough soldiers for its defense without such harsh penalties
> for those who want badly enough to avoid the draft that they would
> leave the country.

The Government refuses to budge from its current position, except make it easier for businesspeople to bring their male children with them on business trips by not requiring them to post "bail".

I had also proposed a possible solution using "foreign" labor, but the Government would most likely not consider it, as politically, it had backed the idea of compulsory drafting too much to reverse course now, or it might anger previously complacent citizens that served the draft.

> You have my sympathy, not that it'll do you any good.

Thanks a lot. A possible solution would lie in the UN proposal I just posted.

Some of you here may wonder why I think this has relevance to Extropians. Well, this variety of events shows how "real world" politics can interfere so effectively in one's hopes, aspirations and visions that can retard or render it impossible to fulfill certain goals.

As a result, we would find it productive to help solve such relatively minor issues so that we can proceed to the real thing.

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