Chapter 27: A Fatal Blow
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“Ruoran is right. Money is the root of all evil!”
“‘Wan’ doesn’t mean ‘all.’ If you don’t understand, then refer to the Cihai Dictionary.”
“Xiao Luo, let’s see how you refute this time.”
The female students who had a good relationship with Huang Ruoran jeered at Xiao Luo to express their hostility against him even as they applauded enthusiastically in support of Huang Ruoran.
Huang Ruoran looked at Xiao Luo quietly with eyes full of hostility.
Xiao Luo looked at her and chuckled, “No matter how you cut it, one apple can only be one apple after all. It may seem that Huang Ruoran has listed many “evils,” but in fact, there is only one, and that is the greed for money. Is the desire for money the only type of evil? The answer is no.
If you say ‘wan’ doesn’t mean ‘all’ or ‘everything,’ then I would like to ask, if I say that you ‘must not (wan wan bu ke) agree with my position’ today? Does that mean that you disagree most of the time, but occasionally, you may agree? The answer is of course not, so the word ‘wan’ here means ‘all.’ ”
Zhu Xiaofei couldn’t help but spit out a swear word. The reason is that Xiao Luo’s rebuttal was too convincing, even if someone wanted to be convinced by Huang Ruoran’s assertion, it was impossible now. If Huang Ruoran’s previous statement was compared to a violent storm, Xiao Luo’s counterattack was like a rough and angry sea. The whole world was in a state of turmoil under these two waves of language power.
Everyone’s ears perked up. They saw that it was not only Huang Ruoran who had a strong command of English and was highly eloquent but also Xiao Luo. The control the two of them had over spoken language was freaky.
Xiao Luo still kept a slight smile on his face. He continued, “Money cannot comprehensively cover all the evil in the world. According to anthropological research, the forms of evil fall into four categories. Three of them are wholly unrelated to money. Only one of them is greed.
I will not talk about greed for money now. I’ll talk about the evil of extremist beliefs. In 1995, some cult members released sarin nerve gas at a Tokyo subway station, killing twelve people. More than 5,000 people were admitted to hospitals for treatment. Also, during the Crusades, it wasn’t only adults who were harmed. Many innocent and unarmed women and children were burned alive even as they hid in churches.
These cases account for most of the deaths and injuries. Shouldn’t this be included in the so-called ‘all evil?'[ And if so, what does it have to do with money?
Wu Sangui let the Qing soldiers enter the pass. He did it for Chen Yuanyuan, not money. Some time ago, the news reported about an obsessed man who killed his girlfriend and dismembered her body into thirteen sections because she found a new love. Is the cause of this evil deed hatred in his heart or the loathing that already exists in him? Or perhaps it’s because his girlfriend didn’t give him a breakup fee?
Various examples show that money isn’t the cause of all evil, so I don’t think that money is the root of all evil. At least, it can’t even compare to many other types of evil at all! ”
The class gasped as they listened. This technique behind this rebuttal was compelling. It was a direct strike against Huang Ruoran’s point of view.
Tutor Zhong Meili’s eyes welled up with surprise. Her class had not been so lively in many years. Not only did the newly arrived Xiao Luo push her students to an unprecedented peak, but he also made her, as a tutor, excited. She never thought that a topic she had thrown out could actually trigger such a fierce verbal showdown.
At this time, Huang Ruoran spoke up. She met Xiao Luo’s question head-on. “The first question you said is primarily a problem of evil cults. Asahara Shoko solely planned the poison-gas incident at the Tokyo subway station. He was the founder of Aum Shinrikyo. He sold one strand of his hair to his worshippers for 30,000 yen and a cup of bath water for 50,000 yen. He might not have said it, but whatever was going through his mind, wasn’t it ultimately about money?
If Wu Sangui did what he had done for Chen Yuanyuan, why does he still want to be promoted to a high official position when he had already become the king of Yunnan and had Chen Yuanyuan in the palm of his hand after letting the Qing soldiers through the pass? Why could his mind still not relax? Why does he even want to be the emperor? It’s always because of money.
The people of China compare extreme hatred as ‘hating someone like they have killed your father and stolen your wife,’ but now, some people who have no money can sell their wives, and when they have money, they can sell out their fathers. Is this still hatred? The greatest hatred is caused by money or the desire for money.
You previously said that ‘must not’ (wan wan bu ke) clearly states the meaning of ‘all,’ but you are mistaken. The word ‘wan’ in ‘must not’ (wan wan bu ke) is an adverb, and the ‘wan’ in ‘root of all evil’ (wan e zhi yuan) that we are speaking about today is an adjective. You use adverbs and adjectives as analogies. Isn’t this incompatible and irrelevant?
Honoré de Balzac once said money squeezes through every crack to penetrate our society. It controls politics, the economy, and ethics. When everything is controlled by money, what path do we take?
So my viewpoint is the same as before, I think money is the root of all evil!”
The classroom fell silent again. Huang Ruoran and Xiao Luo were engaged in a battle of words. There was no gun smoke here, yet it was more intense than a battlefield. This showdown was bloodless.
The students held their breath and were shocked by the confrontation between Huang Ruoran and Xiao Luo. Every word was beautiful and forceful as it faced the assertion of the other party head-on. They used cases from foreign countries and quoted words of famous people, such a level of knowledge deeply moved their audience. The figures of Huang Ruoran and Xiao Luo now looked like two timeless mountains standing in front of them.
Xiao Luo smiled and said indifferently, “‘Wan’ is not only an adverb but also an adjective. What is a ‘surefire strategy’ (wan quan zhi ce) and is ‘perfectly foolproof’ (wan wu yi shi)? What is universal gravitation (wan you yin li) and ‘intelligence of the universe’ (wan wu zhi ling)? Doesn’t this ‘wan’ mean all? Is it, could it, possibly refer to exceptions?
The Cihai Dictionary is authoritative, but aren’t you quoting out of context and straying from the topic by just looking at the morpheme ‘wan’ and not the phrase, ‘root of all evil’ (wan e zhi yuan)? Also, everyone, ask yourself honestly, do humans not have an evil nature? Is everything induced by money? From where do man’s greed and brutality originate?
If money is the root of all evil, why were this brutality and greed suddenly not termed as evil before money was invented? So, is it the greed and wicked thoughts in the hearts of humans that is the root of all evil, or is money the root of all evil? Do it still necessary for me to continue explaining? ”
Everyone’s soul was impacted by this one narrative.
This was undoubtedly a fatal blow. Yeah, would there be no evil if money had not been invented?
There was no way to explain, no way to refute. It was a totally hopeless situation!
Huang Ruoran couldn’t speak for a while. Even for her, it was beyond her capability to refute Xiao Luo’s statement. She just clenched her teeth and looked at Xiao Luo unhappily, unreconciled with this outcome.
It was now clear who won and who lost!
Everyone was really convinced by Xiao Luo, especially the final statement, which was simply devastating and crushing.
The girls who had ridiculed Xiao Luo before could not say a single word now. Xiao Luo’s ability to organize a speech, his ability to rebut, and his command of English were first-rate. He was superb, yet here they were mocking him for speaking without thinking and for not knowing the limits of his abilities. They suddenly realized that they were actually playing the role of the savage, trouble-making villain who would never amount to anything!
They could not help but feel their faces getting hot, none of them dared to raise their heads and meet Xiao Luo’s gaze.