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The CCP and the philosophy of lying flat
Most Asian countries I have been in work unbelievable hours and 6 or more days a week for very little pay.
Quote:The philosophy of ‘lying flat’ – the greatest irony for the CCP | Lam Hoi

Recently, the buzzword “lying flat” has taken mainland China’s cyberspace by storm. The term originated from an internet post, titled “Lying Flat is Righteous”, written by a young netizen. According to the author himself, he has not worked for more than two years. But he stares down the traditional values of society, living the life of a free spirit by “lying flat”. The article has touched a chord with many young people, and the definition of “lying flat” has been further expanded to include cutting back on spending, restricting individual desires and saying no to “working hard” as a way to escape the harsh exploitation of “involution” (long working hours with low returns, the unhealthy competition between colleagues who are on overtime perpetually as well as other phenomena). Young netizens’ recognition and discussion of “lying flat” have even alarmed the government. Not only was the post removed from the internet, but the Nanfang Daily also published an essay titled “‘Lying flat’ is shameful. How can it be righteous?”, which was also posted onto the website of Xinhuanet in criticism of the philosophy. Obviously, the emergence of “lying-flatism” has touched a sensitive nerve of the CCP.

The government mouthpiece has attacked the “lying flat” philosophy on the grounds that “you can change your life only through hard work”, which is a traditional mindset. However, the inconvenient truth that the mouthpiece is unwilling to mention is that “lying flat” resonates with young people because they no longer believe that they can work their way up the social ladder by working hard. How can one say that young people are not working hard enough when they begin their “996” working lives (the requirement to begin work at 9 am and leave work at 9 pm for six days a week) in a big company as soon as they graduate from university and food delivery drivers have every second of their time wrung out of them by the precise machinery of big data? Despite their hard work, the “996” working lives remain, because young people are “supposed” to be “pursuing their dreams”. After a rider manages to deliver a meal within ten minutes, he is asked to do it within nine minutes next time as part of an “improvement and optimization” drive.

Though young people keep working hard, they fail to receive reasonable returns in the system of exploitation. The benefit of their hard work is reaped by vested interests. What is the point of hard work if it cannot change your destiny? Why not just lie flat? At least life will be easier by doing so. Furthermore, young people are facing not only vested interests, but also their scions, who were born into much higher social statuses than ordinary people. They are at the top of the social hierarchy without having to work hard. Such being the reality, how can one convince young people to work hard to change their lives?

This is not the first time someone has had a brush with mainland China’s system of unfettered crony capitalism. During last year’s May Fourth Youth Festival, the authorities unveiled a promotional film called “The Waves Coming From Behind”. The original intention was to inspire young people to work hard, and the film was full of positive things about life. However, the positivity depicted was merely the privileges of a few, things that were completely irrelevant to the lives of young people. Thus, “the waves coming from behind” became a derogatory term synonymous with “the offspring of the rich and powerful”. Before that, there was the term “chives”, which refers to the masses who are easily tricked. This time netizens have amalgamated the two terms and created slogans such as “Chives that lie flat are not easy to cut” and “I don’t want to kneel, and I can’t stand. So, I have to lie flat”. These multifarious slogans have the common targets: the enormous disparity between rich and poor, the sclerotic class structure, the exploitation of labor and the system that has caused all that. Isn’t the “lying flat” philosophy, which has coincided with the centenary of a CCP that is “against the bourgeoisie’s exploitation of farmers and workers” and which takes aim at unfettered capital’s exploitation of labor, the greatest irony for the CCP when it calls on us “not to forget the original intentions?
Different ages, similar exploitation
No doubt the CCP is aware of the dangers posed by the “lying flat” philosophy to the regime. First, the public grievance embodied by “lying flat” is a challenge to the ideology of the regime. Second, from a practical point of view, if many people “lie flat” by refusing to work, spend money, have children or buy a flat, the gains of the rich and powerful will shrink at a time of an aging population and weak domestic demand. This will in turn lead to economic and social issues. This is why the authorities must launch a clampdown on the “lying flat” philosophy. However, the mere words of “lying flat is shameful” and the unrealistic Chicken Soup-style positivity are definitely incapable of solving the problem fundamentally.
For the Maoists and leftists within the CCP, today’s problem of capitalist exploitation is attributable to the “capitalist roaders” during Reform and Opening Up. Therefore, it is necessary to return to the old approach of “a crackdown on despotic landlords”, i.e., government action against capital. However, the idea of “a bigger state and a smaller private sector” does not seem capable of solving the problem of “lying flat”. After all, during the era of the “people’s commune” where people had meals collectively, another form of “lying flat” existed. The term back then was “lack of enthusiasm for production”. What is common between these two types of “lying flat” is that both are a form of passive resistance (by not actively engaging in production) as a response to the seizure of the fruits of their labor. As for the difference, the seizure was conducted by the “state” in the past, while it is now conducted by capitalists. But the results are similar, i.e., the fruits of labor ending up in the hands of the same gang of rich and powerful people. Similar exploitation has occurred in the ages of capitalism and socialism, and this is one of the most paradoxical phenomena of the two 30-year periods of the CCP.
A real solution is very simple indeed. It is to let workers have a fair share of the fruits of their labor, so that capitalists cannot exploit workers’ time and labor without limit. When it is possible to move up the social ladder by working hard, “lying flat” ceases to be an attractive idea. This, however, is very difficult to achieve in a China with a one-party dictatorship. After all, the CCP has a monopoly of power, and it would be a fundamental contradiction of the nature of authoritarianism for the CCP to restrain itself and share the gains with the people. Better labor protection and more balanced relationships between employees and employers are mostly found in democratic societies, as there are checks and balances in the designs of their systems. As long as it is guaranteed that one can have a reasonable share of the fruits of their endeavor, “lying flat” will not be the choice of mainstream society in either the right-leaning UK or the left-leaning Nordic welfare states.
An excellent philosophy, and an indication of the intelligence of the Chinese people. I think it would work well here in the increasingly Marxist USA. It may be working to a degree already. Employers are begging for employees. "Help wanted" signs are everywhere, and the employers are complaining that no one is applying for the jobs. They attribute that to People "making too much money" on unemployment, but I think they are wrong about that.

I think it is more a response to the increasing authoritarianism here.

As an example, I've not collected any unemployment at all, much less megabucks, in a year, and I'm not applying for any of their bullshit jobs. Why should I make a crap ton of money for someone else, with the government taking an inordinate share of what is left in my pocket? Why should I go in for the daily grind of a no hope job, and wear an obedience muzzle to do so? Yeah, that's right - employers are still requiring workers to wear their muzzles as a sign of obedience to the regime. None of the customers at Walmart are wearing the muzzle now, but all of the employees still have to. The government contractor that still keeps bugging the shit out of me to come work for them (probably 30 or 35 e-mails from them at this point) makes a point of telling me that covid restrictions are in effect there. Fuck 'em. They can breathe their own CO2 all day long if they want - I'm not going to.

Who but a complete idiot wants to get involved in their Marxist cause when they can clearly see the likes of the honchos of BLM buying extravagant dachas in gated communities off the backs to the proles doing their bidding, and not lifting a damned finger themselves to improve the lives of the people they are fleecing? Even the Marxists have their fingers in the till to rob their proletariat.

The government is begging me to go back to work too, so they can pick my tax-payin' pocket. Fuck 'em. if they want taxes from me to pay for their crazy spending sprees, then they can cut the tax rate back to a reasonable level. Otherwise, if I ain't making a taxable wage, they can't tax me at all, much less into oblivion. Besides, they still owe me a crap ton of money that I'll never see. If the bastards would cough up what they already owe me, they might be able to snatch a bit of that back as tax, and convince me they still have a little bit of good will, instead of daily convincing me they are lyin' thievin' bastards.

Of course, not making a wage also means I'm not spending anything to line their theivin' pockets, either, so it's a double-whammy. They are neither taking most of what I make, nor are they getting it by selling me their crap. Stick THAT "golden parachute" up yer ass, Ms. CEO!

So, yeah, "laying flat" is a viable alternative here, too, and it appears to already be putting a bit of a hurt on the blood sucking leeches among us. Maybe if we do it long enough (I ain't the only one), they'll come around to reasonable accommodations. If they don't, fuck 'em. They can wither and die for all I care. We got along better when they kept their cotton-pickin' fingers out of our pockets - that goes for the corporations AND the government.

Surround them and starve them out if they won't listen to reason. When you depend on masses of underlings for your very existence, prudence dictates that you ought to treat them better than they do - or else they'll just "lay flat" and watch you die.

“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...

I guess my question is how do I determine where living one's life ends as you want and laziness begins? Just wondering. 

For the record, I feel people should be able to determine how their own lives go.

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