Every day, millions of online diarists, or bloggers, share their opinions with a global audience. Drawing upon the content of the international media and the World Wide Web, they weave together an elaborate network with agenda-setting power on issues ranging from human rights in China to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. What began as a hobby is evolving into a new medium that is changing the landscape for journalists and policymakers alike.
An article in the Review section of the Guardian today argues that political blogs are few and far between in the UK because they have a very vocal local media. In America, political blogs seem to be in fashion and are growing in influence. So what is the situation in Singapore? Political blogs are few and far between in the Lion City. How can this be understood?
After reading Bauman's,(pp.226-227) "Society Under Seige", one particular section seemed to shed some light on Singapore.
The presence of a despot is usually taken for granted as a ncessary arrangment to build and maintain order and stability. The question of how to enlighten the despot also arose. In order to know that the despot had become enlightened a situation would have to arise wherein the despot would only use his power in very few, extremely rare circumstances. More to the poiint the number of these extremely rare circumstances that would require the despot to react, are also reduced to a minimum by the subjects. So there would be few occasions calling for the despot to react in a 'non-elightened ' manner.
Bringing about such a situation would require the joint effort of despotic ruler and subjects. So such a situation would be created when the subjects were unlikely to make moves provoking the use of the despots powers.
So the despot and subjects are in a social contract of sorts. Bankrupting political opponents, use of the Internal Security Act are examples of the despots powers used on rare occasions. It may also explain the lack of political blogs about Singapore and the PAP.
But the thing that really got my attention was that Bauman was writing about a model of 'Feudal Society'.