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Re: <nettime> From Deng & Thatcher 1984 to the Hong Kong 2014 OCCUPY
Flick Harrison on Mon, 6 Oct 2014 03:50:23 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> From Deng & Thatcher 1984 to the Hong Kong 2014 OCCUPY


Brian,

Your support for Democracy in Hong Kong might be met with some
opposition here, from those unwilling to distinguish it from capitalism.

As capitalism globalizes, so does dissent of all kinds; that's always
been true.  The Jihad is already reaping the benefits of networked
international insurgency, and for a while the pro-democracy / occupy
movements were as well... it will be interesting to see what resonances
the HK protests have, both inside mainland China and elsewhere as well.

Hong Kongers have a lot to complain about, as you pointed out.

The transfer of Hong Kong's millions of citizens to totalitarian China
like so much chattel was one of the most undemocratic things I've seen
in my lifetime, from a country (Great Britain) which claims to be the
very soul of democracy and vanguard against tyranny.  Hell, the treaty
was signed a hundred years earlier, before universal suffrage even in
Britain.  Surely it would have been more sporting to hold a referendum
in Hong Kong on whether those people wanted to join China?  That would
have made their relationship to Beijing more federal, with the terms
more open to negotiation rather than mainland fiat, and would have
implied the right to secede at a later date.

I think the West overall hoped that HK was a ticking time bomb that
would blow China into the New World Order from the inside.  That is, the
benefits of the unfettered engine of capitalist wealth-generation in
Hong Kong would be too valuable for China to tamper with, and they were
partly right.  The British tried to throw a little English on the HK
democracy ball in '95 before shooting it Beijing's way, and Beijing has
tried to walk democracy back since then.  For as weak as HK democracy
ever was, the freedom of speech and other social freedoms will be very
troublesome to quash, especially as China is seeing the benefits of
social freedom with relation to consumer spending, and they may infect
the mainland.  I've heard that government-run internet ventures fail
miserably in China, whereas closely-supervised but independent projects
do spectacularly better.  Both Russia and China (and America for that
matter) prefer to muscle into the hidden back-end of successful players
rather than trying to lead the market with tech that is a thin front for
spookery.

So maybe the infection runs both ways...


- Flick

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On Oct 5, 2014, at 11:28 , Brian Holmes <bhcontinentaldrift {AT} gmail.com> wrote:

> On 10/04/2014 11:48 AM, Tjebbe van Tijen wrote:
> 
>> 'Rule of law' did not only benefit big business, but also functioned
>> as social leveller for the less affluent citizens of Hong Kong,
>> because a successful economy is only hampered by too blatant social
>> unequally in its direct realm.
> 
> Dear Tjebbe, despite the due respect which is considerable, I read the
> above and said, "Huh?"
 <...>

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