Quote of the Day: Neighborhood Security Guards A “Capricious, Unsupervised, and Unscrutinized Form of Violence”

Today’s quote is a rumination on the fatal stabbing of a delivery man in Qingdao. In early December, a neighborhood security guard stabbed a food delivery man during a conflict about whether the latter could park his moped inside an apartment complex while making deliveries. Subsequent reporting revealed that the delivery driver, Li Yuekai, had studied abroad in Australia and then returned to China. In some corners of the internet, Li became an object of mockery for his perceived “failure” to convert an international degree into a prestigious job. Li’s violent demise and the posthumous mockery he endured prompted others to point out that he was a textbook example of a modern-day “Kong Yiji,” a viral 2023 term for overeducated and under-employed youth who feel spurned by society. 

Others took a different approach. On the WeChat blog New New Mocun (@新新默存, @xīnxīnmòcún), a “reincarnated” version of a twice-shuttered blog, the writer Zou Sicong reflected on the increasingly systemized yet “capricious, unsupervised, and unscrutinized” violence neighborhood security guards inflict on other workers:

“You thought the travails of the past few years had nothing to do with ‘underclass security guards.’ But what you didn’t realize is that their outsourced violence has become systemic. It’s a more capricious, unsupervised, and unscrutinized form of violence. Their systemization has allowed them to appear only when necessary, for the rest hiding amidst the humdrum of your daily life, only resurfacing to ‘protect your safety’ by murdering a delivery man, yet another person servicing your needs.”  – Zou Sicong in “Why Do We Mock That Unfortunate Delivery Man” published to  the New New Mocun Blog [Chinese]

For more on “reincarnated” blogs see the entry “Reincarnation Party” in CDT’s newly launched ebook, “China Digital Times Lexicon: 20th Anniversary Edition.”


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