I found it surprising that literature and literacy was highly valued in Ancient shinese culture and was not limited to the rich aristocrats, royal people, government officials, or an intellectual class. During the Chou Dynasty (1000-600 BCE), reading and writing was for everyone, for example Classic of Poetry had several authors: kings, aristocrats, peasants, soldiers, men…and even women! Whoa! Also, according to Norton (pg 684) arguing people (possibly diplomats) would use lines from poems as zingers. The 100 schools of thought, spreading their brand of morality and ideologies, were cropping up as well, as a result, I think, of the cultural emphasis on literacy and education and for all walks of life in ancient Chinese society. Basically, I think because education was such an integral part of society, they valued creativity, freedom of expression, and morality. I understand that there is a thousand year or so time gap between this period and now, but it’s interesting that now
China has a lot of censorship, and the Cultural Revolution, lead by Mao was against the intellectuals.