June 5, 2014

INDEED, THE REGIME'S CONTINUANCE IS BASED ON SUCH COWARDICE:

Why China Lacks Do-Gooders (Adam Minter, 6/19/14, Bloomberg View)

What accounts for China's lack of good Samaritans? Theories vary, and point to factors as variable as the lack of obligations to strangers under the Confucian value system, and the social dislocation and mistrust that's inevitable in a rapidly urbanizing, formerly agrarian society. To be sure, there was very little social theorizing in the wake of the McDonald's murder. Instead there were recriminations and a sense that "something" had to be done. "As for the moral dimension of the problem," wrote Qiao Zhifeng, for the state-owned Yangtze River Network. "We need to introduce incentives, including rewards for courage, and material awards, as well."

Whether or not such policies will bring about a culture of good Samaritanism where none existed before is unlikely. Indeed, as discussion of the murder continues into the week, there's been a decided shift in tone, away from the self-critical to the defensive. After all, accompanying a senior citizen to the hospital and jumping in front of a deranged cultist screaming "demon" as he beats someone with an iron bar are two very different kinds of good Samaritanism and -- in the opinion of an increasing number of online voices -- it's crazy to expect everyone to do the latter. "Everyone has the right to cowardice and retreat," wrote Yi Zhenxing, a well-known online video director, in a widely circulated tweet that he posted to Sina Weibo late Sunday morning. 
Posted by at June 5, 2014 3:46 PM
  
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