Completely unpredictable, an online article advocating lie flatism quickly resonated with a wide range of society once it came out. This net article declares: “…… Since this land never really exists to exalt the thought of human subjectivity, then I can make it to myself, lie flat is my wise man movement. Only lie flat, talent is the measure of all things.” Thus, countless people who refused to have children, refused to marry, refused to work, did not buy a house, lowered their desires, lowered their consumption, were suddenly subjected to a point of enlightenment, and found the shining meaning in it from a negative way of confrontation.
It would not be too much to call this online article a manifesto of modern lay flatism. However, I would like to point out that “lie flat” is not a modern invention. In the ancient slavery period, “lie flat” has long been put into practice. The slave’s “lie flat”, once is a self-evident existence, is also a natural choice. It can be said that all slaves, in varying degrees are a lay flatist. Further analysis of the social causes of “lying flat”, with the help of a part of the economic principles, from the cost of slave labor to talk about. Marxian economics, based on the analytical framework of the opposition between capital and labor, infinitely exaggerated the contradiction between capitalists and workers, and put forward an absurd slogan of “the proletarians of the world unite”, thus deceiving generations of people. At the beginning of the last century, American economists pointed out that capital is in fact the present value of assets, the cost that can bring a stream of income to the present and the future. In other words, any cost that can bring a stream of income (now and in the future) is capital. For example, land, plant, and machinery are the cost of future income, i.e., capital. This type of capital is kept in the form of means of production and is also called non-human capital. Likewise, human physical strength, technology, and intelligence are costs that can lead to income, so human physical strength, technology, and intelligence, are also a form of capital.
In the 1960s, the University of Chicago economist Schultz formally introduced the concept of “human capital”, which soon had a huge impact on the field of economics. By this time, Marx’s analysis of the opposition between capital and labor had actually faltered. The greatest deception of the capital-labor analytical framework was that it not only created a contradiction between workers and capitalists, but also concealed the sharp opposition between taxpayers and forced tax collectors. Soon thereafter, with the birth of property economics, the concept of “human capital property” emerged. It became clear that human capital, like life, liberty, and property, was a right and must be protected. The concept of “human capital rights” is the key to the interpretation of layism. The concept itself reveals the fundamental question of who owns the “property rights of human capital” naturally.
There must be one owner, or a number of owners in the form of equity, of the means of production (non-human capital property) such as land, plant, and machinery. It is possible to legally separate the owners from the users (operators), for example, in a joint stock company, the shareholders have the ownership and the managers have the management. Under totalitarian rule, the non-human capital of the peasants – the land – can be plundered in the name of agrarian reform, and the non-human capital of the capitalists – the plant and machinery – can be plundered in the name of public-private partnership, with the help of a violent machine. No one can stand up to defend the property rights of non-human capital (means of production), which is a retrogression of human civilization. Only the property right of human capital, which is always naturally attached to the individual, cannot be taken away by anyone.
A slave, legally, belongs to the slave owner. Rationally it seems that this slave’s physical strength, intelligence, and technology, also belong to the slave owner, but unfortunately God does not set it up that way. The slave owner can take away all of the slave’s possessions, including the slave’s right to freedom and property, but only the slave’s human capital (including the slave’s physical strength, intelligence, and technology), which no one can take away at will. The slave, as an individual, is the absolute owner of his human capital. It is also because of this innate setting that when the slave’s human capital is plundered, he can spontaneously choose to “lie down” – he can be lazy, he can play dumb, he can play dumb. To further “lie down”, he can also choose to escape and choose to destroy the tools. Even if the escaped slave is caught, he may choose to “die rather than give in” – the “lie flat” to the extreme. A slave woman’s face was also a form of human capital, and the property rights of this capital were also owned by the slave woman. When the slave owner attempts to plunder her human capital – the forced possession of her body – she immediately becomes “disfigured”, which is another way of “lying flat” as a confrontation. This is another way of “lying down”.
The phrase “must endure, not lie flat” shows the brutality and violence of communist totalitarianism, which is even greater than that of the ancient slave masters. They can use violence to seize all the non-human capital rights of people, including land and means of production. But they are also unable to appropriate any individual’s human capital rights. When more and more people found that they could not be rewarded for their investment in human capital, while a small group of wealthy people could easily transfer billions or tens of billions of dollars to the Western world, people found out that their human capital was being plundered, and the awareness of protecting human capital property rights began to brew. How many migrant workers work for a year, but at the end of the year, but can not receive wages, can only kneel in the streets to beg for wages; graduate students, to buy a house to choose a spouse to start a family, you have to carry a heavy debt burden; have children, can only endure the exploitation of primary and secondary school teachers tutor; hard work all their lives, once a serious illness, will soon lose their families; science and technology backward, chip hard to find, from the scientific and technical personnel of different degrees of ” Lie flat”; university teachers plagiarism into the wind, in fact, is a variant of “lie flat”. Thus, it seems that “lie flat” is precisely the defense of their human capital, is also an inevitable choice.
The slaves’ lying down – including playing dumb and lazy, including destroying the tools of production and running away – was the actual reason why slavery eventually tended to die out. Professor Bazell of the University of Washington theorized that the dissolution of slavery became a natural phenomenon when slave owners found that the costs of trying to prevent slaves from “lying down” were greater than the benefits of slavery. Nowadays, people’s “lie flat” is not just the primitive form of laziness, playing dumb, running away, or destroying tools, that is the traditional “lie flat” that has appeared in the middle and late stage of the Cultural Revolution. Today’s people, openly their own “lying flat” declaration, they refuse to give birth, refuse to marry, refuse to work, refuse to consume, refuse to desire, refuse to buy a house, refuse to ……
When more and more people join the ranks of “lying flat”, the day when the totalitarian rule of the Communist regime will end, will it be far away?