Despite all the cultural conservatism, then, the Confucian view of civilized life is, in the end, optimistic. Sigmund Freud, to take a prominent Western counterexample, saw the tension between hot and cold cognition as the ineradicable tragedy at the heart of modern life. We were miserable in the state of nature because a world where everyone alliowed their id—their hot cognition—to run wild would be chaotic, capricious, and brutish...A civilized life is better for everyone overall, but it also exacts a cost: everyone is required to either rpress or sublimate a large portion of their instinctual drives and to live under the iron rule of cold cognition. The result is a state of what Freud calls Unbehagen, which is usually translated as "discontent" or "dissatisfaction" [as in Civilization and its Discontents, aka Das Unbehagen in Kultur] but also includes a sense of physical unease (p76)
Political relationships, on the other hand, are problematic because they are not by nature wu-wei—the innate hot cognition of a minister does not incline him to trust or obey or love his political superior—but they need to be wu-wei* in order to work properly...."If you try to be filial, this is not true filiality; if you try to be obedient, this is not true obedience. You cannot try, but you also cannot not try; trying is wrong, but not trying is wrong" (quotes are from "the Guodian texts").