Qing General Zeng Guofan on Precursors to Social Chaos

Golly I hope he wasn’t talking about the USA these days!

I assume he must have had the Taiping Rebellion in mind.
 
The famed Qing statesman, scholar and general Zeng Guofan  曾国藩 (died 1871) talking about the three necessary precursors of great social chaos. 
Translation:
 
1) No matter what the matter is, people can’t tell the difference between black and white.
2) Good people get ever more humble and polite; useless people get ever more outspoken and bold.
3) When problems become very serious, people rationalize and normalize them, everything is just tacitly accepted. Insincere responses without rhyme or reason are given to every issue.
曾国藩曾说,社会大乱之前,必有三种前兆:一、无论何事,均黑白不分。二、善良的人,越来越谦虚客气;无用之人,越来越猖狂胡为。三、问题到了严重的程度之后,凡事皆被合理化,一切均被默认,不痛不痒,莫名其妙地虚应一番。
曾国藩 quote on social chaos
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About 高大伟 David Cowhig

Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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