Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Elitism 501 : Dear Leader has found his successor!

Elitism 401 is found here.

The Dear Leader of N. Korea has found his successor. After searching the whole of N. Korea, it turned out the most suitable person happens to be be Kim Jong Il's youngest son Kim Jong Un.

Before you shout the "N" word, let me explain clearly why his selection is completely meritocratic. Yes, it is all based on meritocracy and I can prove it! The junior Kim is the best educated N. Korean of his generation having attended private school in Switzerland and the top military school in N. Korea while many of his peers have shrunken brains due to malnourishment. The only other people who come close in terms education are his siblings but they lose out when other factors are considered. Kim Jong Un is his father's favorite and has been groomed for the job. No other person is as familiar with the inner workings of this secretive govt and he is the only one who will be able to run the place. Lastly, he is a splitting image of his father which means they may be able to reuse those gigantic ubiquitous portraits found all over N. Korea possibly saving the impoverished state millions. Since he look so much like his father, it is easy for the masses to transfer their adoration from the father to the son. There is nobody more qualified than Kim Jong Un to take over his father's job therefore meritocracy is alive and well in N. Korea!!!!!.....Meritocracy is alive and well but the people of N. Korea are not.
Meritocracy is only part of the bigger picture. For meritocracy to work well and deliver the benefits to the people, other factors have to be in place. Meritocracy delivers when there is competition and a level playing field. Opportunities have to be made available to as many people as possible. Elitism which narrowly selects a small number people to be lavished with quality education, opportunities and special grooming leads to an unhealthy form of meritocracy such as the one we see in N. Korea. You can alway argue that the selected person is the best one for the job - but do the pre-conditions for a healthy meritocracy exist? ...Are opportunities available only to a small number of elites selected and groomed for the job? Is there secrecy in the system that prevents others from stepping forward?
Elitism is the enemy of a healthy meritocracy because it takes away the element of competition. So when our leaders start advertising that their system is good because it is meritocratic, you remember that even in N. Korea they have meritocracy. In Singapore where they have replaced our democracy with a select and groom process in the PAP ...and then promote these people to MPs by using GRCs and estate upgrading threats, we have ended up with an elitist system. The selection is from a small group composed largely of scholars who have been lavished with education and opportunities. At the end of the day, I guess what you see is what you get. Singaporeans are told they have the best possible leaders thrown up by the system...and the N. Koreans too can be told they will be getting the best possible leader under their system.


Anonymous said...

Kudos to you, Lucky. Its marvellous how you can connect things that happen around us and simplify our version of meritocracy. Good show !

Anonymous said...

Very well written. Hear hear.

Anonymous said...

"Equal opportunities" is one of those political buzzword - just like "Freedom is about choices", and which I think are all US political origins - which is actually just meaningless spin, to make bad sounds good, to justify, and actually continue to propagate inequality and injustice.

As an analogy, I bring everyone to the start of the 100m line, and OK, I also give everyone training and right nutrition, etc, but it still does not mean all will make the cut for the national team. But you can certainly claimed everyone was given "equal" opportunities, ie you have only yourself to blame if you dont make it.

The problem is that we are all not equal, a kind of reverse elitism if you like, and not all opportunities can be equally exploited by anyone. Some needs no training, some more, some needs more nutrition, etc etc

Competition amongst equals is fair. But mere competition is inherently unfair.

Justice is not merely about equality, but being true to a person. But the law in a land is a blindfolded lady.

In some ways my argument justifies elitism, for just as not all can run 100m in under 10 secs so not all have the capacity to rule.

The real question is how such a person - for anything - can be discovered and developed. Equal opportunities and equal competition may not be the perfect way as it is make out to be.

But maybe as in democracy, we just have to settle for the least worst way, and perfection is but the stuff of dreams.

Anonymous said...

Mr Lee Kuan Yew made Singaporean taxpayers paid for the expensive US university education for his sons and grandsons (through the smoke screen of a body called SAF), without touching his millions in his pockets.

He probably can guess that dynasty doesn't last for more than 4-5 generations, so he's saving the millions for a rainy day, eg when Singaporeans revolt, and squeezing out the most from you guys now.

Onlooker said...

The Communism of Elitism = twisted form of meritocracy(the qing dynasty version of lineage succession).
Wan shui wan shui wan wan shui.

Anonymous said...

Every country is unique. From North Korea to China to India to Zimbabwe to Malaysia to Singapore.

Each has its own unique way of being in power and stay long in power.

One man's meat is another man's poison.

Or one man's strength is another man's weakness (or shame).

So cannot compare and no use to compare.

ErniesUrn said...

We have to compare, becuase the end result is always the same regardless what system of governance,


Anonymous said...

N Korea is worse than Singapore Inc lah as Singapore once in every 5 years will remember what is democratic (at it's minimum). So, it's up to the people to choose the lesser evil...

Anonymous said...

lim sweet says the best


unlimited wealth, prosperity and opportunities FOR ALL. LOL

Anonymous said...

N.Korean's extra-ordinary family?

subra said...

Excellent case study in 'meritocracy'. You chose the most extreme example of nepotism and used it to show how the political doublespeak of 'meritocracy' can act as a cover for elitism. Though not anywhere near the North Korean model, we do have in Singapore a system of producing a scholar class from within which meritorious candidates are chosen for senior positions in the state apparatus.
Meritocracy is well and fine so long as the precondition of socio-economic equality is satisfied.
Good job.

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant connection... well done Lucky.

Anonymous said...

Good article. Pity the PAP regime cannot understand this.

Anonymous said...

please be fair lah, Lucky.

If he is not the son of the dear leader, he would have become the leader of the land at age 15.

Anonymous said...

Haha, I guess when pressed for an explanation (not that he need to explain) elder Kim would probably say:

1) Nobody else wants the job
because they have to make great sacrifices

2) I did not nominate him, someone else in my cabinet did, despite my objections originally.

3) He will make all the decisions himself, but I will still be holding his hand, so you people should not worry too much.

Lost Citizen

Fran said...

Dear Lucky,

Thanks very much for your interesting blog. It's always nice to see how people on the other side of the globe live, how they share the same joys and sorrows.

I actually have a question about your blog. Would you mind dropping me an eMail ( RE: Question) so that I can contact you?

Thanks very much in advance!

PS: "Lastly, he is a splitting image of his father which means they may be able to reuse those gigantic ubiquitous portraits found all over N. Korea possibly saving the impoverished state millions." Love your sarcasm!

Anonymous said...

Lucky, I think to be fair, you should also talk about the meritocratic system in Malaysia.

Recently, our police managed to rescue the estranged wife of the Kelantan prince, who had been accused of mistreating her. If you had given our police low marks for their handling of the Mas Selamat case, then how about assessing them on their ability to stand up to Malaysian (and Nepalese) royalty, who have absolutely no concept of human rights for ordinary citizens?

At the very least, our society exercises some form of meritocracy. Have you read of relatives of our leaders beating up local civilians, and walking away like nothing has happen? Compare this to how Malaysian and typical 3rd-world royalty treats normal civilians.

You think the Malaysian police will ever dare to forcibly arrest a Malay prince for assualt and battery?

Anonymous said...

"Competition amongst equals is fair. But mere competition is inherently unfair.

Justice is not merely about equality, but being true to a person. But the law in a land is a blindfolded lady."

an over looked piece with way better substance and depth.

just to let you know ;)

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:38pm

Our police is damn busy body. One malaysian, the other indonesian. so what the hell singapore police got to do with their internal matters?

Unless someone in singapore has a stake in their affairs?

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 3.58pm.

In Singapore, you don't have to be a prince.
You just need to be a newspaper editor. One day jail for killing someone!

Anonymous said...

Correction : its for Anon 5.38pm

DanielXX said...

OMG his son looks like a retard. Must be the result of inbreeding.

Anonymous said...

I think anon 5:38pm was referring to the very recent case where our police rescued the estrange wife of the kelantan prince. She claimed that the local enforcement in her land did absolutely nothing to protect her from a prince.

I too have heard of rumours of malaysian royalty beating up their caddies on the golf course, inflicting severe injuries, and still getting away scotfree.

Somehow, that seems to have gone under everyone's radar, including Lucky's, whenever people like to compare our judicial system against malaysia's. I haven't read of the old or young fart beating up their caddies yet.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 9:00am

Thats because they golf overseas (eg Malaysia)where they aren't big shots ...

Yo Lucky

Mr Wang works in a IB so he would have better intel\info than u would ever have. Also helps that he is more savy than the jokers we have in Temasek.

Btw, any bets on when Li HongYi will be PM?

Anonymous said...

Hey Lucky

IMH got no broadband.

U may want to self moderate and stick to Christian bashing for a while...

Anonymous said...

How come our PM still haven't found his successor ? Still waiting for his son to grow up ?

All our Deputy PMs no calibre meh ?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9am

To beat or not to beat, outside singapore, is not within her jurisdiction.

Im assuming that u r implying that this is a case where singapore will be seen as the saint among our neighbours. hrmmm...but not so for the wealthy escaping taxation from their motherland...

Anonymous said...

Remember the young fart Mr Lee Hsien Loong gave two tight slaps to the underperforming Temasek chairman Mr D.

In retrospect, given Mr D's and Ms Ho Ching's recent 6 Billion loss portfolio, Mr D. deserves more than TWO TIGHT SLAPS.

So to beaat or not to beast?

Claningl said...

In SIN-gap-ore, the cunning ones won't want to be seen dirtying their own hands to touch any of the "untouchables". They have the running-dogs, the upperdogs and underdogs from the secret squirrel agency to do their dirty works for them lah.

Yah, I still can remember, there was once a short-tempered upstart young prince who gave a tight slap to the face of a very senior mini-$tar in front of everybody during a heated argument at a closed-door conference. The next day, two mini-$tars immediately resigned.

I was then working in that mini-$tary and it was lunch time. A group of us were having lunch in the lunch club. And someone who attended that conference spread the "slapping news" - it spread like wildfire in minutes within that lunch club. Many simply could not believe their ears. There were "Ahs", "Wahs", "Is Its", and all sorts of sounds of shock as well as orgasm. That was so many years ago.

True or not? It is up to you to believe, because in SIN-gap-ore, there are truths and there are tooths.

We are all so lucky to have people like Lucky Singaporean to keep amusing us no end.

Thanks, Lucky, for such an insightful read.

Anonymous said...

I cant quote the source, but I believe it is well known by economists that capitalism has to go hand in hand with democracy. Take away democracy and what is left behind is exploitation and abuse.

Now I believe this one is pure rumour, it has been said that the successor has already been found. After all, HC did already resign amid big applause of having done a great job.

Stanley said...

Haha Lucky Tan, you almost fooled me. I thought you were writing about S'pore.

Anonymous said...

A good jab on LKY's flawed theory of Elitism. The major difference is if GCT was there as the 2nd PM, we are almost like the North Korea. If LKY is correct, North Korea and the past dynasty in China should still be around since the emperors are the best of the best. someone should send him to study history indeed.

Kathy said...

Remember the young fart Mr Lee Hsien Loong gave two tight slaps to the underperforming Temasek chairman Mr D. In retrospect, given Mr D's and Ms Ho Ching's recent 6 Billion loss portfolio, Mr D. deserves more than TWO TIGHT SLAPS. So to beaat or not to beast?