We need strong business ethics, to operate business honestly and give fair value to consumers. I am speaking on this topic at a dinner of the alumni of an American university.
Here are some points contained in my speech:
In Ancient China, the “four categories of the people” was a hierarchic social class structure developed by scholars as far back as the late Zhou Dynasty (c. 1046–256 BCE). In descending order, these were the shi (gentry scholars), the nong (peasant farmers), the gong (artisans and craftsmen), and the shang (merchants and traders).
Why are the merchants and traders treated at the lowest rank?
The merchants, traders, and peddlers of goods were viewed by the scholarly elite as essential members of society, but were placed on the lowest of the four grades in the social hierarchy. The scholars in their writings denounced the merchant class as greedy and lacking moral character. Merchants were seen as somewhat parasitic to the needs of all other groups in society, since they used the goods that others produced and made their own profits from them. In essence, they were seen as business savvy, but not morally cultivated enough to be venerated representatives of Chinese culture.
I wonder if our business community of today fall into the same description of "greedy and lacking moral character?"
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