《中国积弱溯源论》 is a text by Liang Qichao, wherein he laments the social structure in China. After a couple of paragraphs, he makes the point that the perception of each social stratum’s duty is still described by a dictum of Han Yu (its gist being that, once commoners don’t serve and provide for their superiors, commoners deserve to be executed).
Now, Liang, using the example of servants in 20th Century China, arrives at the conclusion that Han Yu‘s dictum still holds.
He presents the following conjecture (if my reading is correct):
Suppose, there is today a servant of a powerful family, who does as follows： he takes away his master’s property to have it for himself and says: „If what the master provides is somewhat lacking, I shall forthwith go, lacerate and slay him!” There is no one, not even a small child, who would not regard this a great example of rebellion and immorality. What is the difference between today and Han Yu‘s words?
I made the following interpretations:
Is my interpretation correct that 五尺童子 is part of all those who 指? It seems unrealistic — but conducive to Liang’s point — for 五尺童子 to have been so thoroughly indoctrinated. But even more unrealistic, if 五尺童子 does the killing and lacerating.
It seems to me, my interpretation should be correct. But at the same time, the servant’s reaction (killing for being slightly underpaid and even announcing it) seems too extreme for being the recipient of our compassion.
Edit: I strike my silly point below. As the oldest answer observes, I need to read the preceding sentences and Liang‘s analogical reasoning immediately becomes clear.
Also, if I translate right, Liang‘s argument seems specious, as condemning vindictive murder by servants is not the same as advocating authoritarian murder by superiors.