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In the article Culture Is Destiny Foreign Affairs 732 1994 Lee kuan Yew discusses ideas about Singapore and the importance of culture to its people Lee suggests the implementation of a Western styled democracy inapplicable to Asian societies due to cultural differences I will discuss the adoption of cultural nationalism and Asian values and its use by elites in Singapore to justify the current regimes stance against democracy I will argue the implementation of a Western styled democratic political nation state can still accommodate cultural issues Lee suggests are unworkable East Asian society has been under pressure to apply democratic systems of government due to globalisation In the case of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew selectively adopted the idea of a Western free market economy and as a result has had great economic success Dae Jung 1994 p 118 This occurred while elites such as Lee Quan Yew held tight political control over the country Zakaria argues that Singapores government can best be described as a soft authoritarian regime Zakaria 1994 p 99 Lee Quan Yew achieved this through cultural nationalism and more specifically the idea of Asian values and Confucianism In the case of Singapore Dae Jung argues that the concept of Asian Values is used by leaders such as Lee Quan Yew as a mechanism in which to create stability and support for the elites Moreover Lees view of culture is not only unsupportable but self serving Dae Jung 1994 p 190 Lee Quan Yew makes further use of cultural nationalism and Asian values through Confucianism in an attempt to support his view that Western democracy cannot work in Asia In particular the Xiushen qijia zhiguo pingtianxia This is an attempt to explain the current regimes stance and support his argument that Western styled democracy cannot apply to Asian society He argues that it is fundamental to society and that in Singapore it is the basic concept
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