Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why we cannot be like America

For the latest example by Thomas Friedman. Yet another of the countless example we all come across that the Americans have a tendency to learn lessons the hard way. They also end up learning it very well but that story is for another occasion.

I still remember clearly from my JC days so long ago. My GP teacher proposed that democracy is just tyranny by the majority. That had stuck with me and would take many years for me to break that lens and grasp that in America, it is the unreasonable tyranny of the minority, which turns out to be also wrong. It didn't help that LKY also reinforced this point year after year.

As usual like many, I am amused by Churchill's eloquence. His oft repeated quote about the Americans which my daughter had become fond of quoting from time to time for a few years already.

You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else. 

Until about a few years back, I didn't understand why the Americans behaved thus.

The American political system and society make it impossible for the majority to lord over the minority and sometimes even the minority of just one.

As my kids grow up I recognize that there are lessons they cannot learn except by the hardest way and some of the most important lessons I cannot teach but had to by faith be left to God. I would not explain it here but America is also an act of faith. Nearly all nations are based on territories and a few on race and culture but none I know is based on beliefs like America is. It is the ultimate idea virus.

Often America wait for those who cannot be persuaded or understand except through painful mistakes to move forward. If small countries like us try to do the same, we will be sunk. There are limits to how most countries could adapt American ways for themselves.

This is the last paragraph for Friedman's op-ed. Familiar? That's was exactly what LKY warned them before they invaded Iraq. We all knew because the aghast LKY went public on this. I sent that article to a friend in Dubai with the following comment.

Note the last paragraph. That was what LKY was telling them Americans not to invade Iraq. A trillion dollar lesson for not heeding his advice.

Do we have a trillion dollars to spare? But they have paid billions for many other mistakes before. Well we can also spend a trillion bucks if the Singapore Dollar is the world's reserve currency.

1 comment:

  1. There were many other political and other leaders in the world who had warned President Bush not to invade Iraq!! But USA only wants client states especially in the most important region of the world i.e Middle East for its oil and nothing else.

    Their (USA top govt officials) ego tells them that the present age is the age of Pax Americana and no country should dare mess with their world order and global systems (economic, political, financial and monetary systems)!