Chinese Millennials Are Giving Up the Rat Race to ‘Lie Flat’

Discussion in 'Politics' started by FryDaddyJr, Oct 11, 2021.

  1. FryDaddyJr

    FryDaddyJr Well-Known Member

    Since she graduated from college last year, Ziyi Zuo has left two well-paid jobs in Shenzhen and Beijing. The 22-year-old who is now unemployed has returned home to Tianjin in northeast China to embrace “lying flat,” a growing movement in China where young people are rejecting traditional Chinese competitiveness.

    The Chinese Communist Party has clamped down on people sharing the new philosophy online but in an increasingly rigid social structure with a large wealth gap, the movement is proving irresistible.

    “I felt consumed by work,” Zuo said. “My job every day couldn’t give me the feeling of satisfaction that I learned something new or that I realized my value.”

    Lying flat, or tang ping in Chinese, describes a phenomenon among young people who, instead of striving for higher pay and social status in life, choose to simply lie down and give the bare minimum. It gained traction quickly after a now-deleted post on Tieba, a Chinese forum site, coined the word as a life philosophy. On Douban, a social platform and China’s version of IMDb, a group named “lying flat group” had 10,000 members before being taken down in May. Internet memes, T-shirts, and garments also started appearing online.

    The internet buzzword means many things. Simply put, many who embrace the attitude choose not to work hard, not to buy apartments or cars, and not to get married or have children—things Chinese society expects a responsible, functional adult to do. But they all seem to reflect one attitude, defined by an op-ed in the South China Morning Post, that represents “a silent protest to unfairness, often the result of structural and institutional factors that can no longer be altered by personal efforts.”

    To many, Yanlin Li, a 24-year-old Columbia University graduate, seems overqualified for a job at a Beijing bank. But fed up with the nights she skipped dinner to finish a data report, and the hours she spent studying for investment exams to no avail, Li settled for something stable.

    “There are many class-defined things that I just can’t overcome,” she told The Daily Beast. “For the older generations, if you work hard for something, there’s a big chance that you will succeed. But for us, society is different. There are many things you can’t get even if you work hard for it.”

    Official media took notice shortly after the concept of lying flat became a hit on China’s social media. Guangming Daily, a house organ of the Communist Party’s propaganda department, published an article criticizing the lifestyle as an avoidance of stress, saying that it “obviously is not beneficial for economic and social development.” Guangzhou-based Nanfang Daily, another government mouthpiece, also chastised the attitude as “not only unjustified, but also shameful. Such ‘toxic chicken soup’ has no value whatsoever.” Zhihu, China’s Quora-like platform, also banned the search term “lying-flatism.”

    Most recently, the Party’s network management office demanded major e-commerce platforms remove any products touting “lying down” or neijuan before June 21, a source told China Digital Times.

    Neijuan, which translates as involution, is the driving force behind the lying flat movement.

    The Chinese news site Sixth Tone describes it as “the opposite of evolution,” meaning people are trapped in vicious cycles of over-competition which stop them from moving on, growing or benefiting.

    For Zuo, the word manifests itself in being stuck in what the anthropologist David Graeber calls “bullshit jobs” with grindingly long hours, and constantly having to explain to recruiters why she—with her degree from Boston College—deserves a job more than a fellow graduate who went to another Ivy League institution.

    Hanning, a 32-year-old in infrastructure financing who asked us not to use her second name, has spent three weeks working from the exotic city of Dali in southern China, and described herself as “half lying flat.” She does not believe the efforts of government media will have much success in ending the movement. “Unless the society undergoes some structural changes, for instance, there is no more involution,” she wrote in a text, “more and more young people choosing to lie flat will be the trend.”

    Evidently, the Chinese government feels alarmed by the trend. If widely adopted, they fear that the neologism can be a threat to a country that is struggling with a slowing economy and an aging population. In May, the Chinese government announced that it would now allow couples to have up to three children in an attempt to boost population growth.

    But many young people are choosing not to have children, including Zuo. Two months at a Beijing education consulting firm opened her eyes to the reality kids live in—finishing middle-school math curriculum by fifth grade and earning awards after awards—doing everything to gain a competitive advantage to get into a good school.

    “These kids faced involution from the moment they were born. Their edges were slowly knocked out to just fit in the society’s rules of competition,” Zuo said. “Why would I want to bring life to Earth, only for them to suffer through all of it?”

    Despite criticisms from the official media and some public intellectuals, many Chinese people see the trend as a natural reaction to the unrelenting pressure of modern life. A poem that went viral on WeChat reads, “Lying flat, is to not bow down. Lying flat, is to not kneel. Lying flat, is to stand up horizontally. Lying flat, is a straight spine.”

    Chu Qiao, a 23-year-old based in Shenzhen, said she recently adopted the lying-flat mindset. While keeping her job at PWC, she no longer strives for a higher-paying job and can enjoy her free time. Before, life was full of anxiety for Qiao, who dated in fear of ending up alone, hit the gym after a 10-hour-day to keep an ideal body shape, and tried to beef up her résumé with new software certificates and data skills. But now, instead of feeling the pressure to be the best version of herself in other people’s eyes, she is spending more time with family, friends, and her border collie.

    “I like it now,” she said. “I realized that I work to live, not the other way around. I’m just living for myself.”
  2. ddddd

    ddddd Well-Known Member

    People going against the Communist regime? How long before they are sent off to the "reeducation" camps?
    Mopar Dude, charley and StankyBoy like this.
  3. Profiler

    Profiler Well-Known Member

    Do you have the mental aptitude to see the irony of this article? It appears loonie leftism has ruined communism. Go figure.
    Mopar Dude and StankyBoy like this.
  4. yakpoo

    yakpoo Well-Known Member

    The CCP will make sure they lie flat.
    StankyBoy likes this.
  5. toughcoins

    toughcoins Rarely is the liberal viewpoint tainted by realism

    As the title implies, this is largely a generational trend. It is far from a Chinese phenomenon, and knows no geographical borders.

    As the gadgets one wants begin disappearing from store shelves, as stores begin shuttering for lack of wares, as produce becomes an expensive scarcity, as homes degrade to hovels, as fuel runs out, as utilities begin to fail, the world will look back, all to late, and realize that lying flat does not meet the needs of the human race.

    Let's see just how long it takes Flat-Liers to become "Flat-Liners".
  6. charley

    charley Well-Known Member

    No. this is NOT going against or resisting the Red Chinese Leadership and CCCP.

    The "movement" is EXACTLY what Xi wants, and upon research, this seemingly well meaning social philosophical anarchist, is not what the dumazz social media of the West assumes.

    She is a product of the CCCP Malcontent Disruption Campaign against the young restless educated "westernized" generation, and she and others have been deliberately constructed and educated and indoctrinated as Social Leaders, to resist by using Pacifism as a tool, instead of armed Anarchy and military resistance. It is intentional abandonment of any coup type thought of resistance by this new generation of Communists, and their misguided path of "no resistance is resistance".

    It is control of the Populace in the tradition of Mao, without the needless reduction of a growing population of education, that is a serious issue in Red China, and allows for the ILLUSION of Freedom of Thought without the use of harsh reeducation, while preserving the next generation of educated Red Chinese needed to compete economically on a world-wide basis.

    Do not entertain any serious discussion that the CCCP is not aware of the power of the internet and social impact of same. The Red Chinese are Masters of cyberspace manipulation.
    ddddd likes this.
  7. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    And you're against ruining Communism....Why?

    P.S. A "loonie" is a Canadian Dollar.
  8. yakpoo

    yakpoo Well-Known Member

    loon·ie | \ ˈlü-nē \
    Definition of loonie

    1. Canada: a coin worth one Canadian dollar

    2. [​IMG]
    StankyBoy and toughcoins like this.
  9. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    A record number of workers are quitting their jobs, empowered by new leverage
    Source: Washington Post

    The number of people quitting their jobs has surged to record highs, according to new data from the Department of Labor released Tuesday. Some 4.3 million people quit jobs in August, according to the monthly survey — about 2.9 percent of the workforce.

    The phenomenon is being driven in part by workers who are less willing to endure inconvenient hours, compensation, or conditions because they know there are ample opportunities elsewhere. Those numbers include about 892,000 workers in restaurants, bars and hotels, as well as 721,000 workers in retail. An additional 706,000 employees in professional business services and 534,000 workers in health care and social assistance also quit.

    Nick Bunker, economist at the jobs site Indeed, said the numbers were a reflection of the leverage workers have in the current economic market, with job openings outnumbering unemployed workers. The high level of people quitting their jobs was likely due in large part to people leaving jobs to take other positions, although the data doesn’t specify why people are quitting and where they are ending up.

    “This really elevated rate of people quitting their job is a sign that workers have lots of confidence and they have relatively stronger bargaining positions then they’ve had in the past,” Bunker said. “There’s lots of demand, and people are seizing that opportunity and quitting their job.”The numbers add another data point to a surprising aspect of the pandemic: that workers are emerging with more leverage, as many employers say they are struggling to staff up.

    This is a developing story and will be updated

    Read more:
  10. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    Very funny Yak crap. Someday you'll learn the difference between a yak and a water buffalo but not any day soon I suspect.
  11. toughcoins

    toughcoins Rarely is the liberal viewpoint tainted by realism

    Liberals were loonies long before 1987.
  12. toughcoins

    toughcoins Rarely is the liberal viewpoint tainted by realism

    This, and the follow-on demand for government benefits to cover those not really working is a harbinger of hyperinflation never before seen by the USA. Scary stuff, this is . . .
  13. yakpoo

    yakpoo Well-Known Member

    You can't see it in the small avatar pic, but the WB has a really goofy grin! I was looking for a Yak pic, but loved the BW pic when I saw it. I have no idea what I did with the original. :oops:
  14. Mopar Dude

    Mopar Dude Well-Known Member

    The day has finally arrived. Every young person entering the workforce should be immediately deemed vice president. Heck, I think I will go and take Tom Brady's job right now. I could make use of a few spare million in my bank account and by golly I deserve to be a top ranked quarterback. That is my birthright isn't it?
    ddddd, Profiler and yakpoo like this.
  15. yakpoo

    yakpoo Well-Known Member

    The only reason you're not is because racist white men are holding you back. :rolleyes:
    Mopar Dude likes this.
  16. Mopar Dude

    Mopar Dude Well-Known Member

    I do find it rather amusing that as long as the Chinese have worked so diligently to keep western culture from their society that the "I am too gifted to work" mentality has found its way into their young peoples minds.... They unleashed a virus on us so we retaliated by gifting them the worst of our culture. I only wish we could pull the plug like they did. Never thought I would see the day that our great nation would decay from the inside out. Especially like this. The founding fathers have rolled over in their graves. I guarantee that they didn't have soft hands.
    StankyBoy, Profiler and yakpoo like this.
  17. yakpoo

    yakpoo Well-Known Member

    Our institutions (schools, scouts, military, etc) used to teach civics. A passing civics test score is still a requirement of "legal" immigration.
    Profiler and Mopar Dude like this.
  18. toughcoins

    toughcoins Rarely is the liberal viewpoint tainted by realism

    Unfortunately, getting 60% or more correct is no longer the measurement of passage of an examination.

    Thanks to the red-ink-police, writing one's name on the exam almost gets one there all by itself.
  19. ddddd

    ddddd Well-Known Member

    To be clear, you are saying that these pacifists will offset the ambitious "westernized" members of their generation. Then the younger group (next generation) will be brought up without western influence and they can take over control (thus preventing any type of dissent from a group that could be potentially disruptive to the regime). I can see that to a certain extent.
  20. charley

    charley Well-Known Member

    It is not a certain extent. It is the Xi Mandate.

    First and foremost, he is a Maoist. 2nd and equal in importance of his own priorities, he favors Capitalism theft by means of education.

    I don't "say" this. The Pacific Conference Presentations, usually an at odds affair concerning Ideological shifts, produced the assessment from the best minds @ Brookings, Heritage, Cato, Ludwig Von Mises Institute and Rand....all in agreement.... that this is the Xi Capitalist Initiative Mandate. I just happened to be a fortunate recipient of the product (for which I am always grateful).

    Trillions is involved, over the next 20 years. Multi-trillions. Control by violence against the People will be a useless endeavor.
    ddddd likes this.

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