philebookworm

For the love of the written word

Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States and the World


This man is truly a wise leader. Reading his insights on the future of China, India, and the US as well as the pitfalls of Western (American)-style democracy and the direction of globalization, one gets into the mind and character of this great political leader. One will realize the reason why Singapore rose to become a developed and modern city-state it is now. A recommended read for leaders!

I borrowed this book from the office library, curious what this man had to say about global issues. His insights are very detailed and spot on. He doesn’t mince words with his views on America and other countries. While not a philosopher (he is the very first one to say this), his beliefs impinge on a combination of Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Confucius and other contemporary political thinkers–and these all appear very seamless in him.

The book, released by the MIT Press, is a compilation of interviews and talks by Lee.

Favorite quotes from the book:

“A nation is great not by its size alone. It is the will, the cohesion, the stamina, the discipline of its people, and the quality of their leaders which ensure it an honorable place in history.”

“Contrary to what American political commentators say, I do not believe that democracy necessarily leads to development. I believe that what a country needs to develop is discipline more than democracy. The exuberance of democracy leads to undisciplined and disorderly conditions which are inimical to development. The ultimate test of the value of a political system is whether it helps that society to establish conditions which improve the standard of living for the majority of its people, plus enabling the maximum of personal freedoms compatible with the freedoms of others in society.”

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