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wchao37 Post time: 2020-4-11 19:55
It’s funny that you mention Vermeule, who co-founded the book review magazine called The New Ramb ...
Thanks for the tip. I'd argue that most ancient Chinese thinkers living in antiquity set store by a school of thought developed by Laozi or 老子, who apprised his followers that human beings would do well to let things run its own course since everything is governed by the natural order, a harmonious world thanks to the existence of yin and yang. Zeno of Citium, the philosopher who founded Stoicism in the Athens, held a similar idea, arguing that "world is governed by a divine “logos”, or law, which orders everything." The Stoics suggested accepting what happens to us, good or bad just like some Chinese thinkers who are still sympathetic to Taoism or the so-called 无为而治: the conception just let things run its own course without interfering it.
Yet this kind of thinking has been carpeted by other Chinese bright minds, who argue that doing nothing is by no means a commendable choice when faced with thorny issues, particularly if we are talking about business leaders who need to get to grips with pesky issues with alacrity instead of resorting to dilatory tactics or palming such problems off to someone else. Amazon's founder, Jeff Bezos, seems to be the supporter of the second camp: he cares about the level of attentiveness with which Amazon's top brass and division heads treat intractable problems and decision-making. Ram Charan, a management guru who wrote a book about Amazon's decision-making, argues that Amazon's high velocity decision-making goes a long way towards helping Amazon boost productivity and shedding bureaucracy, turning it into a flat organization sans of silos, just like the world depicted by Thomas Friedman in his bestselling book The World Is Flat. Thomas Friedman makes a case that globalisation and advances in technology, for the most part, have leveled the playing field, giving the needy a chance to enjoy lots of benefits wrought by the prevalent across-border trade.
To be fair, the world in which Laozi lived was different. Then people living in China had no knowledge of the existence of Roman Empire and the culture of Greece. More to the point, China consisted of several big and lots of small "nations" that were embroiled in many vehement battles designed to annex each other's land way back, which was a period called 春秋. At the time, ancient wits like Laozi were also preaching the virtues of morality, self-restraint, and education, thinking that reading books was the only way for people to slough off their ignorance; some thought it was a perfect opportunity for them to be part of officialdom.
Regardless, there is no denying that was a golden age for genuine intellectuals because people only begrudged one's erudition and only respected people reading books. Now it seems to be a different world, a world where online celebs use the internet to rake in gobs of money and gain clout. Just take a gander at those garden-variety and even crummy video clips produced by some online celebs, who don't scruple to use pranks to make fun of innocent people. They often post lots of music video clips featuring songs with cloying lyrics and sexy dance routines, with scantily-clad lasses dressing like characters from anime movies. Little wonder that the internet has been infantilised.
I need to watch Teletubbies now. LOL.