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What Chinese Philosophy Can Teach us about Indignation

Indignation runs rampant of late, and the easiest target is one or other group: immigrants, Muslims, the police. Indignation can be positive when it rouses us to action against injustice. I often regret its absence in our representative’s response to the daily theft of public funds. That indignation would be directed at particular persons for specific crimes.

The Portrait of Su Shi, a detail from Qiao Zhongchang’s (active, 12th century) pictorial comment on Su Shi’s Second Prose Poem on the Red Cliff, completed before 1123. Ink on paper (handscroll), 29.5 x 560 cm. Kansas City: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Martin Powers writes op-eds for the South China Morning Post and Informed Comment. He twice received the Levenson Prize for Best Book in Chinese Studies.

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