“There’re too many of them,” he said.

A friend in advertising business, who has been living in Beijing for over ten years, told me:

“Fools are in short supply in China since there are too many deceivers.”

He just made a proposal to a client. That particular client stole his idea but didn’t give him the contract he was entitled to.

His complaint can be explained in two ways, all well tied to the cultural background.

  1. In China (and many other cultures, for that matter), a deceiver usually partners with a disguised “fool” to trick their preys; when the target is confused by the fool, or thinks that s/he can work with the deceiver to con the “wealthy” fool, s/he is in the game.
  2. One capable deceiver should be able to trick many “foolish” (or we should say greedy) victims in his/her career.

So once the deceivers in a society outnumber “fools” who either work with them in pairs or would become groups of victims, the structure is in its own dilemma.

According to the theory of evolution, the overpopulated species would start struggling for resources (“fools”); some of them might become a more advanced civilization through fierce competition but the rest would fall to the lower layer of food chain, or they’d just collapse altogether.

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