Cultural Exchange through the Gallows
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  • The discourse you see about demographic implosion in Europe is much overstated. With regard to the industrial Orient, it is not. The ‘rise of Asia’ faces certain constraints.

  • “Watching what happens to the fate of the death penalty and to the global discussion about it will be a one way to see whether Asia is moving toward Western values. . .”

    You are assuming the rule of law, independent judiciary, and intolerance of corruption by Party cadres and wealthy entrepreneurs, none of which exists in China.

    Meanwhile we see a moral convergence here in the U.S.

    http://tinyurl.com/7ks8c3j

    The choice is between civilization and pre-modern barbarism. Who is zooming who?

  • NJD

    The Death Penalty is nearly universally popular, even in Europe. In the Guardian newspaper it was recently pointed out that 65% of brits favor the death penalty. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/datablog/2012/jul/10/olympic-charts-uk-changed

    Perhaps Singapore is better at listening to its people than Europe?

  • Jim.

    Eurocentrism based on current European values is probably going to be less successful at imposing itself long-term than what one might describe as “European values of the era of European expansion.”

    Read CS Lewis’ “Abolition of Man”, particularly the last portions of the book that find congruences between Christian values and values discovered by Eastern religions, if you want to know what the future of moral norms is likely to hold.

  • Singaporeans have evidently had the common sense to follow the Texas model of a developed society. 😉 Compare the effectiveness of the European model in the case of Slobodan Milosevic, with the successful introduction of the Texas model in Iraq as a replacement of the less developed Roman model which involved tearing Saddam’s predecessor apart in the streets.

  • @ Jim 4,Thanks – I’ll look into Lewis’ Abolition of Man.

  • Kevin

    I wonder when liberals and conservatives will switch views on the appropriateness of being guided by international opinion in US Constitutional jurisprudence.

  • Jim.

    @Kevin:

    I’d call it more of a split between precedence and novelty, really.

  • MGCC

    I lived in Singapore for a couple of years in the mid-90s. It seemed like every week the newspaper would report one or two executions for drug offenses, which made me think that Singapore was a HUGE shipping center – enough smugglers weren’t getting caught that the harsh penalty wasn’t a deterrent.

  • Corlyss

    “mandatory death sentences in a dozen categories of serious offenses will be retained because they have broad public support and have proved effective in deterring crime.”

    Whadda one-two punch! Effectivity and public support! Maybe the EU could take a lesson or two. It might be their one popular program.

  • Corlyss

    “There is no sign at this point that increased economic development brings end of death penalty”

    Nor should it. The EUrocrats whine constantly about justice this and fairness that, all the while weighting their systems in favor of criminals and against people and their property rights. Self-defense as a bedrock doctrine favoring people is disappearing at a rapid rate in the EU, along with private property rights. Increasingly the only right of self-defense in Europe is to submit to the criminal and file a police report afterward. Defendants get no justice, especially without the death penalty for murder cases, while criminals are coddled on the grounds that the state can’t afford to keep them in prison for long terms.

  • Cunctator

    Let’s all criticise Singapore’s decision concerning the death penalty because, after all, our justice system 9and those in other Western liberal democracies) work so very well. One thing about capital punishment, you don’t have to worry about recidivism.

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