OPINION | The Singapore Fantasy and the Impossibility of Benevolent Autocracy

Though China is sometimes invoked in quasi-admirable terms, the real goal for the anti-populist would be, in a sense, “getting to Singapore”, where there are (notionally) competitive elections, but much of the state functions on a perception of “clean”, meritocratic technocracy. However, Singapore is not “Singapore” and the reasons for this point to both the impossibility of closed systems of government being benevolent and the need for the anti-populists to stop dreaming and start addressing real concerns.