Here it is demonstrated how, in the early ru philosophical discussions of human nature and the pivotal role of education, the concept of "custom" came to play a crucial role. This concept became the standard rubric for all defective education or upbringing. Custom was defective because it was partial, tied to the character of place, and dominated by the attraction of material objects. This contrasted with the "classicist" education of the ru that was all-encompassing, grounded in the refined culture of the Zhou literary and musical heritage, and detached from the desire for material goods.