Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Neurotic Virus- Chinese Cannot Admit They Are Wrong

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 30, 2013

Great quote from Bo Yang here. It comes from the book, ‘Civilizing China, by R Barme, et al.


The Inability to Admit Error

Chinese people’s inability to co-oper- ate and their predilection for bickering among themselves are deep-rooted, harmful traits. These behaviour pat- terns do not stem from any inherent weakness in the moral fibre of the Chi- nese people, but rather from a ‘neurotic virus’ which infects Chinese culture, making it impossible for us not to act in certain ways in given situations.

We may be entirely aware of the fact that we quarrel among ourselves, yet it is beyond our control to stop it. ‘If the pot breaks, no one can have anything to eat; but if the sky falls, there’ll always be someone tall enough to prevent it from falling on me.’ This tendency to- wards internecine struggle is associat- ed with a terrible reluctance to admit mistakes… .

Full free copy of the book here


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