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General Paper Essay Outline : ‘Victim of its own success.’ Is this true of your society?

These are just some ideas. This outline is not meant to be taken as the only or final answer to the question.

warning handle with care

The discussion must not simply be describing the problems that come with success, but must actually appreciate the word ‘victim’ which connotes disempowerment, some kind of hardship to be endured (note the words in red)

1) Economic progress >>> standard of living improves markedly = more purchasing power; spectacular development in a short span of time = respectable standing in the world
HOWEVER, overemphasis on results and efficiency >>> stress weighs people down 

2) Meritocracy to promote fairness by the rewarding based on achievement is also a very empowering idea to motivate people to improve the state of their own lives; makes the society a principled one, since it is tied to justice, transparency and incorruptibility
HOWEVER, in the long run, achievers use their just rewards to pull away from the rest, creating a gap between the haves and have-nots. In fact, without intervention, the have-nots become more vulnerable to those who have earned more wealth or power who seek to consolidate their position in society.

3) Pursuit of literacy for the nation >>> more educated people can participate in higher level work which can give greater satisfaction for the person, but also raises the country’s potential to drive higher earning knowledge-intensive or skills-intensive sectors of the economy
HOWEVER, using education only a means to climb the socio-economic ladder makes the society obsessed with qualifications which pressurizes people to get ahead without actualising the nobler aims of education which include learning, broadening one’s perspectives or being creative for their own sake

4) Order was established so that people have the freedom to pursue progress in peace
HOWEVER, this stability was won by suffocating political dissent >>> today, lacklustre policy debate can have an impact on the quality of solutions that can be arrived at to solve huge problems. And it will be the people who bear the brunt of it at the end of the day.

5) Other difficult decisions of the past, made for the sake of progress, have also come back to bite us.
a) current reliance on foreigners
– locals forced to compete
– the government is also scrutinised more than before by international groups and other governments with regard to the treatment of foreigners,

b) two-child policy  >>> today, the aging population is a genuine problem to bear


One could argue that technology, planning and cooperation with others can help deal with problems such as the aging population, diminishing number of NS recruits or even structural unemployment due to the over-supply of graduates.
Thus, while this society can be said to be a victim of its own success, like other victims who see hope of relief, it does not have to always be in its current state.


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