Some anti Chinese beliefs

Sep 2018
17
Germany
#1
Some people claim that the pre modern Chinese killed especially intelligent villagers (often accusing them of witchcraft) and that "there is a famous Chinese saying, that the intelligent should be killed". Now I do know, that entire villages would finance the education of especially smart boys, in the hope that they get through the imperial exam and can then help their village, which makes me doubt this. Also Chinese people are if anything quiet overrepresented in intellectual pursuits today worldwide.

I wanted to ask if such a "famous saying" does indeed exist among the Chinese, or if it is just propaganda?
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#2
I have never heard of any anti-intellectual trend in pre modern Chinese society, and that doesn't seem likely from.everything I know.

The closest I know of is I seem to recall hearing about a legend of an early emperor killing off some scholars.and destroying their works, but that was politics, not anti-learning. No evidence the legend was ever true, but perhaps some garbled version of it inspired the claim that he Chinese killed especially intelligent villagers. I.am cjriois who these people are who are making the claim.


PS -

I looked up some Chinese sayings and some might be construed as anti-intellectual:

"Better by travel 10,000 li of roads than read 10,000 books"

"listening to a lord's remark is better than 10 years of reading books"


But other seem to praise learning

"A good book is like a friend"

"You will regret reading too few books"
 
Last edited:
Aug 2015
1,844
Los Angeles
#4
I often wonder where that came from, the original was

读万卷书,行万里路

In essence do both, read lots of book and travel a lot.

Maybe its another error in transcription such as 以德报怨.
 
Feb 2011
6,156
#5
China's a big country with lots of people and a long history, so you'll find all sorts of phrases, sometimes contradictory. The most famous phrases tend to be pro-intellectual more often than not. However, the most famous anti-intellectual statement came from Ban Chao, who got sick from following in his father's footsteps:








 
Last edited:
Sep 2018
17
Germany
#6
China's a big country with lots of people and a long history, so you'll find all sorts of phrases, sometimes contradictory. The most famous phrases tend to be pro-intellectual more often than not. However, the most famous anti-intellectual statement came from Ban Chao, who got sick from following in his father's footsteps:








Thanks, do you know of any phrase that says, that intelligent people must be killed?