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« The Dao of Snowflakes | Main | Confucius in Beijing »

January 11, 2011


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Amy Chua's article is deeply disturbing- that she is a teacher of Law is terrifying.

Great post Sam.

Well said.

I was struck by the fact that she would, in effect, ban the "play[ing of] any instrument other than the piano or violin." That would limit music to a relatively limited sphere within the Western canon, not to mention eliminating Chinese music altogether. Even if she meant that comment tongue-in-cheek, as I suspect she did in all fairness, it is indicative of small-mindedness.

That thought led me for the first time to make a connection between Chinese thinking and the Cultural Revolution, which I had seen before as some kind of foreign intoxication. Instead, it was the Amy Chuas, and their belief in human perfectibility from above (starting with their own children), who spawned that disaster.

That she was a Legalist mother is one of the first thoughts that I had when reading the WSJ article.

Sam, this may irritate you to no end, but David Brooks seems to agree, in his own way, with what you're saying:

From a completely non-philosophical standpoint, it seems that Chua also encourages her children to think of their self worth terms of their performance. This is, psychologically speaking, rather dangerous as it may encourage a dysfunctioning of their personality. In the worst case it could lead to Narcissistic Personality Disorder- a mental illness in opposition to all ethical standards including those of "Confucianism". This is no way to raise one's children to become junzi or zhenren...

I am Chinese and I have a tiger mother. I think that she is a piece of shit. I even published a book about why I think so. Yeah.

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