The Dual Nature of Duty and the Deflation Trap in China: Unveiling Commonalities in Diverse Contexts

Lucas Charbonnier

Hatched by Lucas Charbonnier

May 05, 2024

3 min read


The Dual Nature of Duty and the Deflation Trap in China: Unveiling Commonalities in Diverse Contexts


In examining the concepts of duty and deflation, we find intriguing parallels despite their distinct contexts. Duty, often seen as a moral obligation, involves a free choice rooted in autonomy. On the other hand, deflation, as experienced by China, entails a decline in prices that poses economic challenges. By exploring the common points between these two topics, we gain unique insights into the complexities of human behavior and economic systems.

Duty as Moral Obligation:

Duty, as described by Kant, is not merely a constraint but a moral obligation resulting from autonomous choices. It signifies the resistance to desires, testing one's willpower and revealing the dual nature of human beings. Both angels and beasts lack the concept of moral duty, as they either lack desires or have their instincts limited by external factors. The experience of duty involves an internal conflict between rational will and shameful desires, often accompanied by the sensation of shame as a guide for moral boundaries.

Duty as Constraint:

Similarly, deflation in China presents itself as a constraint, both socially and physically. China's recent entry into deflation, amidst a global fight against inflation, has created serious economic problems following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions. The initial boost in economic activity was short-lived, leading to the need for businesses to dispose of excess stock at reduced prices. Sectors such as pork and automobiles have been particularly affected, with price wars and delayed consumer purchases disrupting the expected recovery.

Connecting Duty and Deflation:

While duty and deflation may seem disparate, their connection lies in the behavior of individuals and entities when faced with constraints. In the case of duty, individuals resist their desires to adhere to moral obligations. Similarly, in the context of deflation, businesses and consumers delay purchases in hopes of further price reductions. This behavior reflects a common tendency to navigate constraints and seek optimal outcomes.

Insights and Actionable Advice:

1. Acknowledge and Embrace Constraints:

Recognizing the presence of constraints, whether moral obligations or economic challenges, is crucial. Instead of perceiving them solely as burdens, embracing constraints can lead to innovative solutions and personal growth. By reframing constraints as opportunities for creativity and adaptation, individuals and businesses can find new paths forward.

2. Foster Collaboration and Adaptability:

In both duty and deflation, the ability to navigate conflicts and changing circumstances is vital. Cultivating a collaborative mindset and fostering adaptability allows individuals and organizations to respond effectively to challenges. By embracing diverse perspectives and remaining open to change, individuals and businesses can find resilience and thrive in dynamic environments.

3. Balance Long-Term Vision with Short-Term Actions:

Both duty and deflation require a balance between long-term goals and immediate actions. While duty demands adherence to moral principles, deflation necessitates strategic decisions to maintain economic stability. Striking the right balance between long-term vision and short-term adjustments enables individuals and businesses to navigate constraints while staying true to their core values.


Although duty and deflation may appear unrelated at first glance, their underlying principles reveal commonalities in human behavior and economic systems. Understanding the dual nature of duty, as an obligation and a constraint, helps shed light on the complexities of moral decision-making. Similarly, recognizing the impact of constraints in the context of deflation allows for a deeper understanding of economic challenges and potential solutions. By embracing constraints, fostering collaboration and adaptability, and balancing long-term vision with short-term actions, individuals and businesses can navigate these diverse contexts and thrive amidst constraints.

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