The New Economy is thriving in Singapore


| March 2, 2001


All Good No Bad, Thomas Frank, Context
The New Economy is thriving in Singapore, writes Baffler editor Thomas Frank in the literary and cultural journal Context. Why? Because politics are absent, and intellectual life and freedom of the press have been obliterated. So what happens when a country worships at the altar of the marketplace? Frank went to Singapore to find out and discovered a country devoted to corporate culture. 'In the bookstores,' he writes, 'I could find no copies of the Baffler, but a collection of management theory so vast that they dwarf any I have ever seen in America.' He also witnessed 'Microsoft Day' at the local mall, fathers and sons eagerly lining up to bask in the gaze of Bill Gates' Southeast Asia emissaries. Hungry? Frank found a mass of American-style rib restaurants. 'The line outside...Kenny Roger's restaurant was so long,' he states, 'that I had to get my ribs from Tony Roma's instead. (I could also have chosen a rib place called 'Fat Daddy.')' Frank did not find Singapore strange. Just the opposite, he found it familiar. 'Depoliticized but intensely successorized, Singapore is what America will be like if the 'New Economy' crowd get their way for much longer,' he warns.
--Anjula Razdan
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