Greediness as part of the Chinese psyche
On November 30, 2013, Chinese commentator Xu Yunfang wrote about “Chinese style looting” that occurred on November 28, 2013, in Tangshn City, Hebei province. A truck carrying 35 tons of oranges failed to make a turn on the freeway and spilled the oranges. Villagers living nearby immediately began looting the scattered oranges. In the process, they trampled on and crushed most of the oranges they came to loot.
The writer said that this behavior is based on 1. a mentality of taking opportunistic advantage (zhan pian yi), and 2. a habit of “joining the crowd to engage in agitative uproar (qi hong)”. He further explained that this shameless looting and “joining the crowd to engage in agitative uproar” satisfy the Chinese mainland people’s innate “greediness” and “distorted mentality”, and they have “shredded Chinese traditional culture.”
Greediness has been recognized as a characteristic fault of the Chinese people. The looting behavior seems to be an innate reaction of the less educated rural Chinese. However, educated city dwellers who went on vacation (October 1-6, 2013) by car and were stuck in traffic for hours got out of their cars and looted the melons in the fields nearby. The attempt to swipe silverware from on board a Singapore Airlines flight illustrates an innate looting mentality.
The spontaneity of the looting seems to be subconscious. Outwardly it seems to be part of the nature of the Chinese people, as if it is a part of the Chinese psyche, and the behavior seems to be natural to them.
The opposite of anorexia nervosa is gluttony out of a fear of hunger, which I call “hunger nervosa”, and I define it as gluttony due to a fear of hunger. This “hunger nervosa” seems to underlie the opportunistic greediness of the Chinese psyche.
The Chinese people have suffered famine due to floods, failed crop yields due to drought, and starvation due to war and political oppression generation after generation. Such disasters have inculcated in the Chinese psyche a deep fear of hunger. This profound fear of hunger has created a mentality of taking opportunistic advantages. This mentality has become a generalized “innate” characteristic of the Chinese people regardless of educational levels. This “hunger nervosa” leading to looting has also been seen in the recent disaster in the Philippines.
“Agitative uproar” is a spontaneous gathering of people into an onlooking crowd that engages in agitative shouting. Public agitation and uproar have been well depicted in many Chinese kung fu movies where people would gather and shout in protest. The same scene can also be seen in stonings in Iran and northern Afghanistan where a crowd would gather and shout while the “sinner” is being stoned to death.
The distorted mentality of the Chinese people
The distorted mentality of the Chinese people to me is illustrated very clearly in their generalized inability to recognize irrationality and their generalized inabillity to recognize irrational behavior. It is also reflected in the utterly shameless and despicable statement that “China is the true center of Buddhism”. It is egocentrism of the utmost degree. It is the pervasiveness of this extreme egocentrism that is the mental distortion of the Chinese people. Some may argue that this extreme egocentrism stems from thousands of years of Sinocentrism. Indeed, many comments demonstrate this Sinocentrism.
However, the distorted mentality of the Chinese tourists illustrates personal and individual egocentrism. There have been many cases of Chinese tourists engaging in fist fights on board airplanes over seating and over overhead bin space. Such behavior illustrates an irrational insistence on gaining slight advantages or benefits, an irrational unwillingness to compromise and be considerate, it is an irrational egocentrism that qualifies as a neurotic mentality and psychotic behavior. The behavior of the Chinese mainland tour guide who insisted on immediate compensation for a flight delay due to mechanical trouble and the subsequent cat fight with a stewardess demonstrate a loss of contact with reality, a delusional behavior that by any medical definition constitutes neurosis and psychosis.
Communist China seems to have created an entire population of people with a neurotic and psychotic mentality. As the commentator said, the Chinese people have a “distorted mentality” and as the People’s Daily said, the Chinese people are spiritually ill.