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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • The quote is about modern China, written in about 1952, in English (my asking about the source language was just a feint!), in the intro to a little paperback on Chinese history I found at a used bookstore, by some guy named H. G. Creel. But the way you can change the names and have it work for all sorts of places and times, is amazing.
    Another idea, even more widespread, is that except for a few scholars, the Chinese people are a mass of illiterate and, mentally, almost inert people who neither know nor care what goes on in the world at large, or even in China as a whole. Among them, it is supposed, such a force as "public opinion" could hardly be said to exist, except as the masses are told what to think by the bureaucrats who dominate them. In accord with this theory it has been assumed that in order to control China, a foreign government needed only to cultivate the favor of the high officials, or pay regular bribes to the warlords. The people in general, it has been thought, could be ignored.