Tang Ping: the Art of Lying Flat (Chinese Movement)

I was watching YouTube the other day when I came across a video about Tang Ping, or ‘Lying Flat’. It’s an anti-work movement in China… Say no more, I immediately put the dog down and instructed him to be quiet.

I was fixated on the screen. -This sort of stuff must really p*ss off the controlling elite:

“Who told these kids they don’t have to work, what about taxes?!”.

“But Sir, you don’t pay taxes…”.

“I avoid taxes, perfectly legal. This new generation is full of slackers!”.

I was a little hesitant in writing this post, after learning about how the Chinese government were trying to censor the movement, coz Lord knows, I don’t wanna get caught in that crosshair.

But then it dawned on me, Lying Flat is just, ‘Opting Out’. And Opting Out ain’t nothing new in the West.

In fact, I’ve Opted Out myself. It’s true.

Anyway, before I go further, you should know:

This post contains speculation and personal opinion. It may also contain adult comedy and sarcasm. It is not advice and is solely for entertainment and informational purposes.

Lying Flat, Opting out, Screw you and your job!

I hated work for the longest time. -Not the actual work mind you, it was the racism, the bullying, the unfair treatment, the cliques and their secret pacts, which really used to get under my skin.

Every day was a personal battle:

“Let’s quit this poxy job and catch the next train to the ocean. Why put up with this sh*t anyway?”


“Alright, alright.”

And family.

“Fine! But when is it our time, man?”

It’ll be Saturday soon.

The long and short? I was responsible and stayed.

Saved up my money and started a business,

and finally,

when I could no longer stand to have one more piece of s*#t thrown at me,

I quit.

But these ‘Lying Flat’ geezers seem altogether, a much more chilled-out bunch…

Young man Lying Flat in the hills

What is the Lying Flat movement? A definition (Tang Ping)

The words, ‘Tang Ping’ directly translate to, ‘Lying Flat’ or ‘Lie Flat’, according to Google.

As for the lifestyle, ‘Lying Flat’ is said to be a social protest movement, which opposes overwork and the 996 working regiment (9am to 9pm, 6 days a week), practised by some Chinese companies.

Wooah… 9am to 9pm? For 6 days on the trot? I hope they get paid lunch breaks, and dinner breaks too, for that matter.

Anyway, Lying Flat is a form of extreme frugal living, designed to offset the need for employment. Fantastic stuff… in theory.

-I’m talking from experience, here.

We were frugal for years while trying to buy our way out of hell.

…Long, grinding, years.

And this wasn’t some comfortable version of frugal living; I’m talking about saving every penny like they’re trying to jump.

Living like that for a prolonged period of time really takes incredible sacrifice.

This was made even worse by the fact that we could actually afford to buy ourselves something nice, but had to suppress our desires, in order to achieve our goals:

Frugal thought process: How are the peanuts? Tasty right? Don’t worry, you’ll be free in 8 years, and then you won’t have to put up with those assholes at work anymore.

Normal brain: No man, they absolutely suck. These low-budget nuts taste like toe. We’ve got like 5k in the bank, can’t we at least buy one small bag of cashews?

Frugal thought process: Cashews? That’s gonna set you back 3 weeks… Fool.

Luo Huazhong and the Art of Lying Flat

The guy who started Lying Flat (Luo Huazhong), said this:

Lying flat is my wise movement, only by lying down can humans become the measure of all things.

Luo Huazhong AKA the “Kind-Hearted Traveler” (Lying Flat is Justice)

That’s so beautiful, man.

“…humans become the measure of all things.”

I’m telling you, those are the poetic words of someone who hates work.

I know because that’s how I get to talking all the time; focus on the love, man!

There’s more to life than showing up at some random place, being surrounded by people who hate you, and working in exchange for the lowest wage they think they can get away with.

All the while, the entire financial system, from top to bottom, is utterly corrupt.

Why not just let the conscientious objectors go?

We’ve seen way too much and have our reasons!

The Tang Ping Movement

I find this stuff fascinating because it’s a vocalisation of a pain I truly understand and empathise with.

The Lying Flat movement is another expression of the human desire for respect and freedom.

Of course, there’s a balance to strike here, because the economic system would simply collapse if we all suddenly decided to ‘Lie Flat’.

But I believe the modern world has an opportunity to create a new system which would be fairer to all parties and offer freedom in a way never witnessed before.

Will it happen?

I wouldn’t hold your breath.

PS. Please consult your doctor before cutting out food groups in order to save money.

If you enjoyed this post, maybe you’ll enjoy another.

Sources: Wikipedia (Tang PingSlackers – [Related Buddha Like Mindset]), The Guardian (The Low Desire Life) The Economic Times (Censored and more), Quora (Interesting user opinionAnd again) China Insights (Recruitment Issues and The ‘Master of Lying Flat’)

Interesting YouTube videos: China InsightsBloomberg Markets and Finance

Notes: I can not read or write in Chinese, so information was taken at face value.

Copyright: oldcynic.com

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  1. Have you published anything else on the “tang ping” movement? Did you get any responses to this article? I’m trying to figure out why we’re hearing so LITTLE about this phenomenon…

    1. Hi Shariff, I don’t think it’s a term most people in the west are familiar with. I suspect terms/concepts like “Escaping the rat race”, “FIRE”, and such are more popular.

      I know they don’t mean the same thing but they’re more System friendly.

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