Lee Kuan Yew rest in peace sign Vian Saputra/ZumaPress

Que descansen en paz los valores asiáticos

NUEVA YORK – Pocos políticos han cosechado tantos efusivos homenajes públicos después de sus muertes como lo hizo Lee Kuan Yew, fundador de Singapur y su primer ministro por un largo período. Un hombre a quien Henry Kissinger llamó sabio, y el presidente ruso Vladimir Putin consideró como un modelo de conducta política y Barack Obama describió como “un verdadero gigante de la historia” es un hombre que debe haber hecho algo bien.

Una cosa es indiscutible: la influencia de Lee fue muchas veces mayor que su autoridad política real, autoridad que, a su evidente frustración cuando Singapur y Malasia se separaron en 1965, nunca se extendió más allá de los estrechos límites de una pequeña Ciudad-Estado del sudeste asiático. La influencia más profunda que Lee tuvo fue en la China post-Mao, donde el auge económico empresarial coexiste con un Estado autoritario, unipartidista y leninista.

Lee fue el pionero del capitalismo con mano de hierro. Su partido llamado “Partido de Acción Popular”, a pesar de ser mucho menos brutal que el Partido Comunista de China, impuso su autoridad sobre un Estado de facto unipartidista. Lee, al igual que muchos líderes autoritarios (Mussolini, para mencionar uno), fue socialista en algún momento. Pero su pensamiento recibió la influencia de remembranzas extrañamente nostálgicas de la disciplina colonial británica y de su propia interpretación del confucianismo, misma que hace hincapié en la obediencia a la autoridad, pero ignora el derecho a disentir, que también es parte del confusionismo.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in

  1. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    Angela Merkel’s Endgame?

    The collapse of coalition negotiations has left German Chancellor Angela Merkel facing a stark choice between forming a minority government or calling for a new election. But would a minority government necessarily be as bad as Germans have traditionally thought?

  2. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.

  3. A GrabBike rider uses his mobile phone Bay Ismoyo/Getty Images

    The Platform Economy

    While developed countries in Europe, North America, and Asia are rapidly aging, emerging economies are predominantly youthful. Nigerian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese young people will shape global work trends at an increasingly rapid pace, bringing to bear their experience in dynamic informal markets on a tech-enabled gig economy.

  4. Trump Mario Tama/Getty Images

    Profiles in Discouragement

    One day, the United States will turn the page on Donald Trump. But, as Americans prepare to observe their Thanksgiving holiday, they should reflect that their country's culture and global standing will never recover fully from the wounds that his presidency is inflicting on them.

  5. Mugabe kisses Grace JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images

    How Women Shape Coups

    In Zimbabwe, as in all coups, much behind-the-scenes plotting continues to take place in the aftermath of the military's overthrow of President Robert Mugabe. But who the eventual winners and losers are may depend, among other things, on the gender of the plotters.

  6. Oil barrels Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Getty Images

    The Abnormality of Oil

    At the 2017 Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, the consensus among industry executives was that oil prices will still be around $60 per barrel in November 2018. But there is evidence to suggest that the uptick in global growth and developments in Saudi Arabia will push the price as high as $80 in the meantime.

  7. Israeli soldier Menahem Kahana/Getty Images

    The Saudi Prince’s Dangerous War Games

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is working hard to consolidate power and establish his country as the Middle East’s only hegemon. But his efforts – which include an attempt to trigger a war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon – increasingly look like the work of an immature gambler.