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Lying Flat

Quick research on “Lying Flat”

Lying down is really good
Lying down is wonderful
Lying down is the right thing to do
Lie down so you won’t fall anymore
Lying down means never falling down.

  • How to express tangping in English
    • Overworked millennials are growing extremely frustrated at the low upward mobility. They’ve decided to escape the rat race and live a low desire lifestyle. No marriage, no children, stay employed and forgo all material desires, such as a house or a car. 
    • Millennials are faced with the economic curse since birth. No matter what they do, they cannot get ahead. So they decided to just throw in the towel and give up
  • Chinese Millennials Are Giving Up the Rat Race to ‘Lie Flat’
    • The intense pressure to succeed at school and beyond has burnt out a whole generation in China—just like in Japan and Korea. Young professionals are finally fighting back.
    • “I felt consumed by work,” Zuo said. “My job every day couldn’t give me the feeling of satisfaction that I learned something new or that I realized my value.”

      Lying flat, or tang ping in Chinese, describes a phenomenon among young people who, instead of striving for higher pay and social status in life, choose to simply lie down and give the bare minimum.

    • The internet buzzword means many things. Simply put, many who embrace the attitude choose not to work hard, not to buy apartments or cars, and not to get married or have children—things Chinese society expects a responsible, functional adult to do. But they all seem to reflect one attitude, defined by an op-ed in the South China Morning Post, that represents “a silent protest to unfairness, often the result of structural and institutional factors that can no longer be altered by personal efforts.”
    • hipster
    • Neijuan, which translates as involution, is the driving force behind the lying flat movement.

      The Chinese news site Sixth Tone describes it as “the opposite of evolution,” meaning people are trapped in vicious cycles of over-competition which stop them from moving on, growing or benefiting.

      For Zuo, the word manifests itself in being stuck in what the anthropologist David Graeber calls “bullshit jobs” with grindingly long hours, and constantly having to explain to recruiters why she—with her degree from Boston College—deserves a job more than a fellow graduate who went to another Ivy League institution.

    • Perhaps more similar to the lying flatists are self-identified NEETs, an appropriated British government term which stands for “not in employment, education, or training.” Like lying flatists, a global community of NEETs trade tips online for how to survive without participating in the normal economy.
    • For one thing, China is not starved for white-collar workers. If 10 percent of college-educated young people decided to drop out, for example, Biao says that would be at worst inconvenient rather than catastrophic. “If 10 percent of young people turned off their mobile phones and deleted all their apps, that would be serious,” Biao says. But if they continue to click and scroll, consuming content and producing data from their darkened solidarity bedrooms, they’re still generating value in the Chinese economy.
  • China’s Downwardly Mobile Millennials Are Throwing in the Towel

    • The poster called his philosophy tang ping (躺平)or “lying flat.” “Lying flat is my wise movement,” he wrote. “Only by lying flat can humans become the measure of all things.” In the simplest terms, it means not trying anymore.
    • The concept struck other users as profound. It resonated in particular with college-educated but downwardly mobile young people who have spent their whole lives endeavoring to get good grades and a good job, only to find themselves either boxed out of the white-collar labor market or miserably overworked in it.

      What would it be like to admit defeat, to drop out, to stop striving and simply exist?

    • Involution is the condition that lying flat responds to. In other words, if lying flat means quitting the rat race, involution describes the unsustainable experience of the racers. 

      involution entered the popular discourse with a new meaning: the condition of profound existential depletion caused by pouring all of one’s energies into a doomed project of self-advancement and fulfillment of society’s expectations.

lying flat, slackers, chilling

lying down and doing as little as possible

adopting a more relaxed approach to life

an anti-consumerist manifesto

To lie flat means to forgo marriage, not have children, stay unemployed and eschew material wants such as a house or a car.

A generation ago, the route to success in China was to work hard, get married and have children. The country’s authoritarianism was seen as a fair trade-off as millions were lifted out of poverty. But with employees working longer hours and housing prices rising faster than incomes, many young Chinese fear they will be the first generation not to do better than their parents.

While plenty of Chinese millennials continue to adhere to the country’s traditional work ethic, “lying flat” reflects both a nascent counterculture movement and a backlash against China’s hypercompetitive work environment.

“People realize that material betterment is no longer the single most important source of meaning in life.”

Mr. Ding thinks young people should work hard for what they love, but not “996” — 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week — as many employers in China expect. Frustrated with the job search, he decided that “lying flat” was the way to go.

Poster’s Comments

The intense pressure to succeed at school and beyond has burnt out a whole generation in China—just like in Japan and Korea. Young professionals are lying flat. 

It is good that people start paying attention to the complete picture of their own well beings: physical and mental health, material and spiritual better-off. There are many ways of living and many definitions of happiness. A single-minded preparation for a future is doomed.

There would be no pyramid without a base. We hope that the rich and powerful can see the economic opportunity out of the elevated and diversified human needs and lead the society to the next stage of prosperity.  We also hope that there will be more protections for the weak. 

In economics, the value of one factor depends on its scarcity. Looking at the history of the developed countries, we notice the labor has become more and more valuable due to its scarcity comparing to capital.  With the increasing cost of raising up children, the increasing quality of individuals, China will evolve into a higher civilized state with each life being regarded as the most precious and each individual being fully respected. And then the labors in China will have their golden time. 

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