Pragmatism the guiding principle to go forward

Singapore Perspective 2015, did not follow what it was but saw a few clips of it on TV with all the luminaries and intellectual who’s who in the gathering talking about Singapore and its future. Happened to watch a small exchange between Assoc Prof Eugene Tan in an intellectual exchange with Prof Kishore Mahbubani on the topic on pragmatism. Eugene Tan was on the side saying that pragmatism as a guiding principle must be moderated or it would be too harsh and lacking soul and values when applied with no exception. Kishore was on the side arguing that pragmatism must be the guiding principle of our policies and we cannot afford to compromise on this great cornerstone of functionality. As a little island we would perish if we are soft and not pragmatic. There was no choice, but Eugene was saying that they were choices.

The audience of intellectuals, top civil servants and academics and many more, were put to a vote and more than 60% agreed with Kishore’s passionate plea that pragmatism is our only tool and pillar to survive. I believe, being a bunch or gathering of the brightest minds, they were indulging in a purely academic exercise and though they voted for pragmatism, it was just for the moment, a debate. I believe that they would not apply pragmatism in their policies or in the conduct of their lives and making decisions that affect other human beans.

Put it very simply, pragmatism in its extreme form, in black and white, is about functionality and usefulness. Anything that does not work, not practical, not useful, should be abandoned, rejected and threw away. In another word, if one is no longer contributing, ‘jiat liao bee’, one must be put away, culled or put to sleep. When a person is no longer useful to himself or society, he lost his reason or right to exist.
Using this pragmatic logic, all Singaporeans must be replaced by more talented and capable foreigners. No but’s and no if’s. Not good enough, you don’t deserve a place here. By the same logic, when one is no longer productive or useful to society, handicapped, sick, weak, with no relevant skills to contribute to the betterment of people, society and country, that person must be put to sleep.

Very likely not many people would be allowed to live past 60 years if pragmatism is the guiding principle for the right to live in this world class city. But then again we must congratulate ourselves that pragmatism would not be practiced to such an extreme and there are many other things that are of value to being human, kinship, family, compassion, love, caring, kindness, mercy, heart, emotion, feelings etc to temper the sharp edges of the ruthless and emotionless concept of pragmatism.

The thought is quite frightening if a society or country is run or operates under the principles of being useful and functional or not and with its elite talking about them emotionlessly as the right way forward. If our top talents and intellectuals were to rule using pragmatism and survival as the only basis, where would we be heading to? We would probably keep a population that is young, healthy and clever. Anything else would be deleted.


Anonymous said...

Q: If our top talents and intellectuals were to rule using pragmatism and survival as the only basis, where would we be heading to?
A: We would become like Singapore in 2015.
Ooops! Sorry!
We are Singapore in 2015.

Anonymous said...

/// We would probably keep a population that is young, healthy and clever. Anything else would be deleted. ///

No lah. Not true.
LKY, LHL and Tony Tan are all not young tio bo?
And they still are active in the Singapore population right?
Not yet deleted right?

patriot said...

'Where would we be heading to?'

'You shall be put to sleep'.

I shall suggest that the useless(jiakleowbees) be put
to sleep eternally each time
they take up a bed in hospital
for a month or longer.
They should not be kept to waste
away precious resources.
After all if they recover and live
longer, more resources will be wasted.


The said...

/// I believe, being a bunch or gathering of the brightest minds, they were indulging in a purely academic exercise ///

Verbal diarrhea and mental masturbation.

Anonymous said...

Pragmatism is what leads to Mean Testing, giving them unfettered data access and rights to our Bank and health details, so that the CPF Minimal sums for Medishield will be the next inflated item. That is the pragmatic end results to the daft singaporeans in 2016 when they kee-chiu to vote for the right wingers PAP over and over.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Aiyah. For a supposedly intelligent, and globally respect "intellectual", Kishore is sometimes mind-numbingly naive, or just plain WRONG.

PRAGMATISM in the true sense dispenses with the maudlin "touchy-feely" emotional bullshit lah, which is why pragmatism works.

Modern Singapore's success is the result of hard, cold, pragmatic decisions, based on the data and global climate of the times. Singapore's policies change to accomodate changing circumstances and situations.

Pragmatism for Singapore's sake has worked and continues to work, but it takes a government run by a powerful Benign Dictatorship which will enact the tough, hard often brutal policies needed to keep the Motherland moving forward.

Sometimes it is necessary for a cuntree to sacrifice its own people for the sake of the cuntry. People are REPLACEABLE. If Singaporeans think it is ok to sacrifice young men for the defence of the nation, then by similar logic it is ok to sacrifice other Singaporeans for the PROGRESS of the nation.

So IMO, pragmatism, in it's cold, hard reality is A-OK for the purposes of social engineering.

As previously stated, a young and vibrant nation and its society must experiment and innovate to be up there in the top tiers of the world's societies and culture.

Got pragmatism?

Anonymous said...

The real pragmatic Singaporean voter:
How does it benefit me to vote for you?

patriot said...

Meritocrazy and Pragmatism are the Double Trajedies Of Sin.


Matilah_Singapura said...

"In crisis there is danger and opportunity" is a much bandied and already vulgarised interpretation of 危機.

Tragedy or not, reality is what it is. You cannot change it, but you can adapt, change and profit. (from the hidden "opportunities")

Otherwise, you tell me how lah, can you survive/ prosper in Singapore?

patriot said...

Matilah Singapura.

That's the Destiny.

The so called 危机就是机会, opportunity in a crisis has now become a way to prosperity. No wonder that the US is a specialist at it. The US creates crises for businesses and to invade or even occupy others territories.

Regimes too create crises to cower its' citizens into submission or hold them at ransom. ALL THESE ARE ABUSES that had to be resisted or made to maximum level for all to perish together. Cannot join them, make them join You. Sacrifice together if need be, if crises are man made to create opportunity by perpetrator(s).

Anyway, opportunity or not, Matilah Singapura sounds likable.


patriot said...


Matilah Singapura sounds likable IF NOT LIKELY.