Monday, 11 August 2008

Political Malaise

When the founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, they'd glamourised an age-old Greek concept of democracy and fuelled it with the noble rhetoric of personal rights, individual liberty and the glorious pursuit of happiness.

The interesting irony is that Americans, the very first modern children of democracy, are an increasingly unhappy lot. The uncertainty that the democratic process in The United States can solve problems leads to a niggling strain on the psyches of its citizens, especially when the voting process, seen as a patriotic act, leads to a burdening sense of hyper-moralization. People are torn between candidates and parties they can't clearly trust everytime voting comes along, and time after time people are disappointed with the outcomes of their choices, leading to a decrease in efficacy and self-determination. Over time, contingent reinforcement kicks in and some form of learned helplessness comes into play.

That's a small jab in the ribs for democracy. Recently, an article titled "Why They Hate Singapore" was published in the papers, as our political practices are once again under the limelight from international scrutiny. provides some interesting insights.

Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking.
- John Maynard Keynes

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