a community of singaporeans

Entrepreneurship And the Future State of Affairs – Part 3

Posted by theonlinecitizen on February 13, 2007

By leounheort

People find thinking and examining things critically inordinately difficult, and yet it is these things that give rise to the ideas that drive culture. History has shown that the culture of a nation reflects the current philosophies of the times: Beethoven lived in the Romantic era, where emotions, feeling and senses took centre stage; consequently, his works are all expressions of his personal feelings and beliefs, and one cannot deny the contributions of his works to German culture.

Culture arises only when there is a significant Zeitgeist within a nation that propels its geniuses to express it with their creative works. So long as current Orders hinder significantly these geniuses and/or the formulation of certain ideas and philosophies, there will be no culture, and then there will be no nation. This further disadvantages a country, whose peoples are not naturally predisposed towards critical thinking and original thought. I’ve already shown that the materialist and rigid conservative mindsets hinder the creative process significantly; our artistic entrepreneurs are therefore the worst off.

The current economic situation does not help. Singaporean artists, more so out of necessity than by choice, are part-timers, for they cannot survive on their art alone. Singapore is simply too small. Those who do take up the arts, much less go into it full-time, would invariably face a great deal of rigidity, comprised of the conservative/materialist mindset: Singapore is too small, therefore you can’t survive; being a doctor/lawyer/pilot/engineer pays more and is more high class; why bother being an artist if nobody appreciates your work; this is so controversial that it better not be published; you are censored for having this and that; and so on and so forth.

Business-minded entrepreneurs need not face these problems; they could even be boosted by the State’s official encouragement of such people. Therefore, it is the artist who faces the most difficulty in doing what they do best, for the future survival of a country, by creating some intangible thing that has no immediate material manifestation, or at least a significant one. He faces the hardest task, and, most probably, he must go it alone. His struggle is the most difficult, and yet, it could well be the most rewarding, both to himself and to the nation.

The success of an artist, however, cannot be understated. It is he who ultimately defines the culture of his country, and thereby his nation. The business entrepreneur complements this, by ensuring that his country grows economically. As stated earlier, the future of nations, Singapore especially so, in this globalised society rests on these entrepreneurs.

They must have a sufficiently strong will to power to overcome rigidity; they must be creative enough to break new ground; they must be passionate about their work; they must be risk-takers; they must be unafraid to fail.

Before these entrepreneurs can rise to glory, they need to be able to overcome the current materialistic/conservative mindsets, if only within themselves. After overcoming themselves, they would find that surpassing other forms of rigidity to be an easier-than-expected task; from there, they set forth to exercise their creativity.

But can Singapore produce such people? That is the question for another essay.

Read part 1 here, and part 2 here.


About the author: The writer is a seventeen-year-old Junior College pupil who specialises in philosophy, politics, social issues, spirituality and thriller writing, the last in both print and online media. He also thinks too much for his own good.



2 Responses to “Entrepreneurship And the Future State of Affairs – Part 3”

  1. Hi, I’ve written a post with a similar theme (what’s holding back entrepreneurship in Singapore).

    I started my post with the line “Entrepreneurship is a state of mind. – Guy Kawasaki.” Thought that was similar to what you’re saying.

    I appreciate your post, but because it is a thought provoking post I disagree:
    1. Not all artists are part-timers; we already have successful full-time artists
    For example, we have full-time filmmakers, we have full-time visual artists. Colin Goh+Woo Yen Yen and Tan Pin Pin in filmmaking, John Clang in photography, Phunk Studio in graphic design, they are all successful and full-time.

    2. Part-timers are not necessarily inferior. We need more part-timers
    Ken Lyen, a “part-time” player in our Singapore musical industry, hopes to bring our musicals one day to Broadway. Why can’t people be a doctor AND an artist? Do artists have to be full-time to be any good? If we want a culture that really appreciates the arts and a vibrant scene, we need more part-timers.

    3. The arts scene is globalized, and increasingly so
    Singaporean artists don’t have to be confined to Singapore, and shouldn’t be.

    4. Singapore government is increasingly seeing the monetary value of the arts, and supporting the arts
    Mainly because the government realizes that creativity is an important aspect of our economy in the future. I’m not passing a judgment if they have the right approach, I’m saying they DO realize and are supporting with money the arts. “Singapore – “The Creative Economy”

    5. Singaporeans are “not naturally predisposed towards critical thinking.” What???
    Woah, such a sweeping and inaccurate statement.

    On March 24th, I will be attending “DiaS’pura” held at the Univ of Penn. Full-time artists (I hope we’re broadly defining them the same way) like filmmakers Colin Goh, Djinn, Li-Anne Huang and photographers Jing and Yian Huang will be there. Perhaps they, having been through the process, would be able to tell us how they became full-timers.

    Thanks for your post – good to know you’re educating yourself outside JC stuff.

  2. Leounheort said

    Thanks. To address your points:

    1. I didn’t say that. What I really meant was that artists tend to be part-timers. We of course have successful full-time artists, like the ones you have cited. I didn’t mention them because, unfortunately, they slipped my mind as I typed the essay. But, I did mention that we do have full-time artists; one need only look at the following line and deduce from there.

    2. I didn’t say that part-timers were inferior. I myself don’t care about whether or not artist X is a full-timer or a part-timer; I only care about the quality of his work. If he’s a genius, I’d say so; if he were bad, I’d also say that, without pulling any punches. I advocate having more artists in this essay; I don’t care if they’re full-timers or part-timers, so long as they are great.

    3. I agree. In my essay, too. I didn’t say that artists should be confined to Singapore; I’m just outlining the problems they face here. I myself advocate that artists in Singapore should go regional/global if they want to, and have the opportunity to.

    4. Yes it is. Also, I made no references to the Government here, where artists are concerned. So what are you disagreeing with?

    5. This point didn’t come across as clearly as it should have been. I wasn’t referring to Singapore, or I would have used ‘Singapore’, not ‘country’. In fact, I would have cut out that sentence altogether, had I not missed it during personal proofreading. It would have clarified things. It was supposed to be something along the lines of: we won’t have a nation, and the people of a country wouldn’t have the mindset to create this culture as well. Looking back, that sentence seems kind of awkward, and I would have cut that point had I the opportunity to. Myself, I believe that people of all kinds aren’t naturally predisposed to critical thought: among other things, this requires an excellent education system, opportunities to exercise intelligence, and motivation, before people of any kind would start thinking critically. As for your elaboration, I can, in fact, say that your statement is itself ‘sweeping and inaccurate’, unless you can provide some kind of proof.

    Have fun, and enjoy yourself there. But then, I always believe that the experience of one person is so unique that all we can draw is inspiration; we cannot take their lives and replicate them step-by-step to become successful full-time artists ourselves.

    You’re welcome. I’ve always felt a giant disconnect between the education system and the real world, made worse by the fact that my teachers don’t tend to reference the real world some times. So, I find myself going beyond them, and into the world in itself.

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