Recently, the word “lie flat” has become a trendy word on the Internet in the mainland, because a young netizen posted a post entitled “lie flat is justice”, saying that he has not worked for more than two years, but does not mind resisting the pressure of traditional social values, free to live a “lie flat”. The article resonated with many young people. The post resonated with many young people, and “lying flat” was derived from the refusal to “struggle” to escape the severe exploitation of “internalization” by reducing consumption and life desires and other ways to cut costs ( Long working hours and low returns, vicious competition among colleagues with unlimited overtime, etc.). Young netizens’ recognition and discussion of “lying flat” even alarmed the officials, and the relevant posts were deleted. An article to counterattack, and was reproduced by Xinhua. Obviously, the rise of laying flatism has touched a nerve in the CCP.
The mouthpiece’s accusation of lying flat cannot be separated from the traditional thinking that “only hard work can change one’s life”, but the truth that the mouthpiece is not at liberty to tell is that lying flat resonates with young people because they no longer believe that personal struggle is enough to climb up the social ladder. When college graduates can only live a “996” life even in large enterprises, when take-out riders are squeezed out of every minute and second by accurate big data, can you say that China’s young people lack struggle? But after the struggle, “996” remains, because this is the “dream spirit” of young people “should have”; delivery riders within ten minutes to deliver meals, the next time will require nine and a half minutes to do This is because this is the “improvement and optimization”.
Young people are constantly working hard, but they are not reasonably rewarded under this exploitative system, and the dividends are completely harvested by the vested interests. Since efforts can not change the fate, then what is the use of efforts? Why not just lie flat, at least life is easier. In contrast, in addition to the vested interest class, there is naturally their “back wave”, a birth starting line that is higher than the people do not know how much, without struggle is enough to stand at the top of society. Under such a reality, how can we convince young people that struggle can change their lives?
This is not the first time that the unrestrained crony capitalist system in the mainland has been resisted. Last year’s May Fourth Youth Day official propaganda film “The Backwaters”, intended to encourage young people to strive forward, showed a positive picture that only a few could enjoy, but was out of touch with the reality of most young people, and “backwaters” was derided as a synonym for the offspring of the powerful. Earlier than that, there was the term “leek” used by civilians to mock themselves, and this time netizens combined them into one, creating slogans such as “It’s not easy to cut leeks lying flat” and “I don’t want to kneel, but I can’t stand, so I have to lie down. ” and other slogans. These slogans are diverse, but the target of the protest is clear: they point directly at the current serious disparity between the rich and the poor, the solidification of classes, the exploitation of labor, and the system that contributes to this series of problems. At the centennial of the Communist Party, which was founded on the principle of “opposing the exploitation of peasants and workers by the bourgeoisie,” the emergence of lay-pingism at this time is an indictment of the unrestrained exploitation of labor by the powerful and capitalist, and is this not the greatest irony of the Communist Party’s “unforgetting its original intention”?
The same kind of exploitation is found in both capital and society
For one thing, the public discontent behind it is a challenge to the regime’s ideology, and for another, from a practical point of view, the more people lie flat, the more they do not produce, consume, give birth to children, or buy a home, which will only shrink the power elite’s dividends and even trigger economic and political problems under the trend of aging population and weak domestic demand. Therefore, the official must suppress the laying flat speech, but a single sentence of “shame on lying flat”, coupled with the illusory positive energy chicken soup, definitely cannot solve the problem at root.
For the Maoist left in the Communist Party, the current problem of capitalist exploitation originates from the reform and opening up of the country to “capitalism”, so it is necessary to return to the line of “fighting the rich”, and the government should take action to purge capital. However, “the country into the people’s retreat” does not necessarily solve the problem of lying flat, after all, in the era of the people’s commune pot rice, another form of lying flat as well, the era of the term “lack of enthusiasm for production”. The difference between the two is that one is the exploitation of workers in the name of the “state” and the other is the exploitation of capital, but the result is still the same, that is, the majority of the fruits of labor end up in the hands of the same group of powerful people. This is one of the most paradoxical phenomena of the “two 30 years” of the Communist Party of China, as the same kind of exploitation occurs regardless of the surname of the capital and the surname of the society.
To really solve this problem, it is simple enough to let workers share the fruits of their labor in a reasonable way, so that capital cannot exploit workers’ time and labor without restraint, so that individuals can climb up the social ladder by their struggle, and laying flat is no longer attractive. However, this is very difficult to implement in a one-party dictatorship in China. After all, the Chinese Communist Party has all the power in one hand, and it is fundamentally contradictory to the dictatorship itself to ask for self-restraint and concessions to the people. Better labor protections and more balanced labor-management relations are mostly found in democratic societies, due to their power-limited institutional design. As long as the fruits of effort are reasonably shared, lying flat will not be the mainstream choice of the people, whether in the right-leaning UK or the left-leaning Nordic welfare states.