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Title:The technological city: 1984 in Singapore. (Volumes I and II)
Author(s):Lau, Lawson Liat Hoe
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Christians, Clifford G.
Department / Program:Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political Science, General
Political Science, Public Administration
Mass Communications
Abstract:"The Technological City 1984 in Singapore," is an interpretive, analytical and interdisciplinary study of the Republic of Singapore under the role of hegemonic political organization called the People's Action Party. It contended that stringent and efficient central control of the mass media as well s societal, judicial, and political structures by a one-party political system resulted in its rapid economic development. Although the unit of analysis is the nation state, Lee Kuan Yew (prime minister, 1959-1990) has so domineered Singapore politics that much of the study analyzed his authoritarian role in its political, communications, judicial, and societal structures and his fabrication of a people to meet the dictates of building a technology city.
This dissertation explored Jacques Ellul's notion of la technique, defined as "the totality of methods rationally arrived at and heaving absolute efficiency (for a given stage of development) in every field of human activity." This macro concept is used to elucidate the technological milieu.
Technique and the ethic of efficiency arrived at near perfection peaks in Singapore. Chapter 1 used the motif of efficiency ("the one best way") to explain the death of political and cultural pluralism and the emergence of totalitarianism (albeit not in its ideological conception); the replacement of the jury with a judicial system; the taming of the labor movement; the domestication of the local and foreign media; the virtual absence of bureaucratic corruption; and the government's role as provider, matchmaker, family-size regulator.
Chapter 2 noted the merging of information with propaganda and the undermining of democratic life; the building of propaganda on truth rather than lies; and the undermining of freedom of speech because of the pursuit of centralized efficiency.
The theme of efficiency and wealth subverting traditional values and culture was taken up in Chapter 3.
Jerome Cohen referred to the Orwellian nature of PAP control with regard to its psychological manipulation of citizens jailed without trial. "1984 in Singapore" pointed out this dimension of life. Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, however, ended in remitting pathos. This dissertation concluded on an optimistic note. The 1984 general election in Singapore saw a relatively massive electoral revolt against the PAP's arrogance and its divisive policies.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 Lau, Lawson Liat Hoe
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9236512
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9236512

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