Contemporary China had it all, ever climbing GDP, latest and still growing massive high speed rail network, countless of skyscrapers and unstoppable escalating of basic wages, however, the only thing seemed to be missing are the strong bottom lines; What has contributed to the collective softening of bottom lines are complicated and man without inherent constraints of bottom lines are unfailingly capable of carrying out disrespectful deeds and as a results, we had witnessed never ending large scale scandals of incidents of compromised food safety, inferior counterfeited goods, rampant commercial cheating, driving under influences of alcohols and so on.
Classical fundamental moral emotional attachment of sympathy, kindness and fear of collective punishment and repercussion of wrongful deeds to keep all in line all had been largely discarded in contemporary China, from individual to corporate levels to law and order, some are mired in corruption and inefficiency.
Bottom lines serve as the basic social fabric for mankind. Man as social being simply can’t live meaningfully alone, live and let live are essential and well being are interrelated with one another through invisible hands, we ought to refraining from infringing on others territory and interests, maintaining overall orders in public. Many of the rules are legislative and legally enforceable, whereas others are unwritten but understood and widely practiced social norms, like insistence on selling exclusively genuine merchandizes, unadulterated accounting practices, prescribing solely authentic medicines and so on. A few men of high quality and unimpeachable integrity will even go to the extent of sacrificing own self interest for the benefits of larger scheme of things.
Indeed, bottom lines are the pillars of the community and Chinese are always identified as the symbol of high moral prowess, with thousands of years of civilization as backing. One would wonder what could had possibly gone wrong for the past decades? There are probably two major simple contributing factors which led to this dilemma which isn’t inescapable. 1. Self proclaimed High moral grounds, 2. Monopolized mass media influence on society.
One of the key is to remain realistically pragmatic instead of stubbornly self-proclaiming on impractical high moral ground which opens to debate and rarely achievable as most of the layman simply can’t comply to high standard of being saint and noble; when pressured beyond one means, one will resort to cheating instead of being honest about it. This is about consequences and outcomes, not about having the perfect feel-good slogans and as a result opened the floodgate of growing number of massive dodgy and downright dangerous practice, ranging from faked wine, counterfeited cigarette, dubious contract, questionable academic records to harmfully tainted basic essential staples such as capsules casing, cooking oils, infant formula and so on.
In addition, the excessive media coverage of extended culpability for safety lapses of different nature sets bad precedent for nation as majority of Chinese had no alternative faith to seek balance in and state controlled media had become their main source of moral guidance and had consequentially tremendous influences on opinions and behaviors; not rendering helps to passerby for fear of being victimized as massively reported on previous similar incidents. Self justifying own misconducts as the new and acceptable norm as portrayed by the news are just few examples the crucial roles of media in shaping the bottom lines.
Bottom lines is as delicate as a bird in the hand as it can either make or break the system, to avoid eclipse the healthy state in China as It has spawned destabilizing forces for the community, one must begin to address the underlying problems by emphasizing on others parameters other than economic growth.