Red bullock

Bullocks

子謂仲弓,曰:「犁牛之子騂且角,雖欲勿用,山川其舍諸?」
Confucius said of Ran Yong: “Some might hesitate to choose the offspring of a plough ox for a sacrifice, but if a bullock has grown its horns and sports a ruddy coat would the spirits of the hills and rivers reject it?”

It is easy to forget how genuinely radical Confucius was in advocating that men should be promoted based on their talents rather than their family background. Why indeed would spirits of the hills and rivers reject a bullock with full-grown horns and a ruddy coat even if its father was a nefarious scoundrel like Ran Yong’s supposedly was?

It only took Western Europe, the self-proclaimed fountain of enlightenment and democracy, a mere 2,000 years longer to latch on to this fundamental principle – not that this minor detail has stopped it from claiming ownership of the concept.

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