In Pocatello, Idaho
It is prohibited for pedestrians and motorists to display frowns, grimaces, scowls, threatening and glowering looks, gloomy and depressed facial appearances, generally all of which reflect unfavorably upon the city’s reputation.
I'd suggest that there's some pretty important freedoms available in Singapore, vis a vis, say, the USA...
- freedom from drugged up crazies
- freedom from gun toting crazies
- freedom from crushing poverty
- freedom from rednecks
Rather than focus on state imposed conformity, it might be more illustrative to consider the cultural aspect involved, that people have a sense of community.
Rather than an individualistic "me first, only me" attitude, there is an attitude something approximating JFK's "ask not what your country..."
The friends I know in Singapore seem to feel free to do lots of things, quite happily, and don't seem too worried by not being able to get into anti-social behaviours.
Finally, there are published statistics (please don't ask me for references, I read, then don't always bookmark) suggesting Singapore to be one of the top ranking countries for desirability for ex-pat posting.
Obviously I reject the thesis presented here, at least as it applies to Singapore, as well as disagreeing with Gibson's viewpoint.
[thought bubble] Strewth! Did I write all that??? Musta got a bit steamed up and defensive! [/thought bubble]