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Monday, September 27, 2010

Venice and its "lesson" for Singapore

"Blame someone else and get on with your life." - Alan Woods


One of the case studies students learn in Propaganda (Social Studies) classes is Venice.

Supposedly its Golden Age was in the 15th century, and it lost its position due to "complacency". The intended moral of the story, naturally, is that Singapore cannot afford to be "complacent".

However, not only is putting Venice's decline down to "complacency" typically simplistic in the extreme and self-serving (there were many historical factors resulting in Venice losing its lucrative position), one reason Venice lost its power was that it was abusing it - leading the Spanish and the Portuguese to find alternative trade routes to the East Indies (which resulted in their colonial empires).

So ironically we have a very non-National Education moral for this case study.

Addendum: In other words, Singapore should not be arrogant and bully/look down on other countries.
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