Hong Kong. Pro-democracy movement. People there asking for Donald Trump’s support and singing American patriotic songs. Months now of demonstrations. Protesters stopping the operations at airport. No massive action by Chinese government to put down the revolt. American press trying its best to put a positive spin on the demonstrators’ actions and insistence that what is being seen is a movement for democratic rule against a tyrannical and oppressive government that wants to control the people of Hong Kong as it does, repressively, those on the Chinese mainland. Well Americans, China is not, intentionally, a western democracy—writ capitalist nation that advertises itself as democracy when is really a place where money buys policy, by the wealthy and for the wealthy at the expense of all others. The Chinese government readily makes transparent the fact that it is one party that makes decisions for the state and that the good of the state is the most important factory in the decisions the one party makes. The basic assumption is that a good state is good for the whole of the people and, for that good, individuals have to cede some degree of individual freedom. People cannot do whatever they want and if they want to do things that are not in the best interests of the state and the people who are its beneficiaries, they will not be allowed to do what they want.
Indeed, the system that is the communist system of China limits individual freedom. The system that is the “democratic” system of the United States of America allows some individuals to limit the freedom of other individuals and, it has to be obvious that a those with the power to influence policy most very often care not about the consequences of what they do for the great numbers of people affected by the decisions they are allowed to help make because wealth in America can buy power, the power to decide such things as the quality of life others will be allowed to live.
The American media, as is the American government, condemning the Chinese government for not allowing the Hong Kong demonstrators to have their way. There is reporting that hints at—can only hint at—forceful response by the Chinese government. What they are able to show is police on the streets and police using force—not deadly force—to restore order. This is shown to be a brutal reaction to people whose only desire is to be free. I ask, how many hours would demonstrators in the USA be allowed to occupy a public airport or close down the core business area of a major American city? Brutal reaction?
And what about the life the Chinese government, as authoritarian as it is made out to be, allowits people? Has life gotten better or worse for the average Chinese citizen over the course of the last 25 years? Talk to Chinese living in China and the answer will be a whole lot better. Is it good enough? Not really? Why? Because there is room from improvement—not all works as well as people would like it to work. But the direction things are going, this is being celebrated. The direction things are going in the United States? Consider what you would have to say if you were to be honest.
Lastly, that history of Hong Kong, the British Colony. How should that figure into our assessments of what is going on in Hong Kong? Another piece about this later.