Videos: The Vinegar Tasters & Bureaucracies

The “Vinegar Tasters” is a famous theme of Chinese painting: Confucius, Buddha and Lao Tzu all tasting vinegar from the same barrel wind up having three very different reactions to the flavors they taste.

Confucianism has always been the most popular, government-sanctioned philosophy, because it helped promote a strong central government and an effective bureaucracy. But bureaucracies exist at a price, and dynasties often collapse when corruption and salary costs rise higher than the current dynasty can afford.

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