This morning I started pondering over what Singapore could have been like, had it become a communist country half a century ago.
The following might really have happened:
1) there would be social housing;
2) men would be conscripted for two years or more of their lives as a form of social engineering; trade unions would be controlled by the state (and the economy possibly encumbered by minimum wages?); 3) there would be no freedom of assembly, no freedom of speech and expression, you can be arrested for what you say or write, and the newspapers would be state-monitored and all you read is propaganda;
4) major businesses would be concentrated within a network of state-owned enterprises;
5) complacency would lead to shoddy construction and poor maintenance, simple things like trains and lifts may not be working properly;
6) everything from what you can smoke, what music, movies and performances you are allowed to enjoy, and even your sexuality and related forms of lifestyle, would be controlled by the state;
7) the state may be so obsessed with such grandiose ideas of modernisation, that beautiful forests and villages would be cleared, cultural heritage like the authentic historical buildings and cemeteries obliterated just to be replaced by plastic facades of progress.
Quite a scary thought, no?