Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fruits from the Liberal Arts #1 - Alexis De Tocqueville on Singapore ?

Here's a short snippet on how my journey towards equipping myself with some skills of a Liberal Arts are bearing some fruits.

Alexis De Tocqueville was a French politician with a liberal outlook in life. He wrote a book after visiting America called "Democracy in America". Some statements he made can be easily reapplied to the local context:

a) Citizens displayed great melancholy in the bosom of abundance.
b) The is disgust of life in the midst of an easy and tranquil existence.
c) Tocqueville's thesis is that at the centre of democracy and freedom lies great ennui.
d) Freedom allows citizens to adopt a single minded pursuit for material goods.
e) Men who live in democratic times have multiple passions, but most of their passions end in the love of wealth.

Now I read only a summary of his books but this has certainly ignited an interested to read the entire book just to see if Alexis has predicted our Singaporean way of life over a century before Singapore gained independence.

Another possible use of Alexis' works is to give us a glimpse of how China's growth will change their people and outlook in life, there is already talk of China being like the US a 100 years ago.

I won't really be dismissing the liberal arts now that I've discovered this gem.

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