HK Links

The Hong Kong situation looks as if it’s calming down significantly. (Special thanks to the consistently sane commentary from Bill Bishop — @niubi — for soothing the shredded nerves and infuriation here at UF.)

A few links (with more to follow):
Martin Jacques gets the story basically right. (UF quibbles concern his seeming — mainstream Jacobin — assumption that the democratization which has so far taken place is a ‘good thing’ and the UK, under Chris Patten’s disastrous period as governor, bears no responsibility for it.)
Steve Wynn comments briefly, and sensibly.
“… it was all avoidable.”
Pure Jacobinism (also here, on Bloomberg TV).

Some less-recent pieces worth mentioning:
Predictable Jacobin chaos-mongering from The Economist. Also at The Diplomat.
Adam Minter adds some important context (but, sadly, he’s also a Jacobin).

Despite appearances in the Western media mega-bubble, not everyone is a Jacobin:

For an extravagantly harsh statement of sound political philosophy on the topic, there’s Jim.
Under threat of divorce proceedings (“What are you thinking? This is supposed to be your work blog. Our friends could read it.”) it’s necessary to attach some additional comment to this –admittedly utterly horrific — link. Its author is a political genius, whose complete disregard for all conventional human sensitivity can be ‘difficult’ even for his greatest admirers. The point being made (beyond the deeper-level conception of legitimacy), as I take it, is not that it would be anything other than catastrophic for the delightful, civilized, and talented people of Hong Kong to be squashed by tanks, but rather that it would be extremely helpful to the production of a sane political outcome if their most excitable constituencies — and perhaps even more importantly the foreign commentators meddling in their fate — took seriously the possibility that they might be squashed by tanks. In other words, calls for democratic ‘color’ insurrection — of the kind invoked by absurd US-manufactured ‘Occupy’ branding — are implicit incitements to revolutionary martyrdom. Making this fact explicit, and thus manifestly detestable, is the single most important contribution that can be made to a rational resolution of the problem.

ADDED: Western media says Hong Kong protests are “clean and orderly.” Is that racist? (Apparently, there’s some danger of conceiving Hong Kong people as a global ‘model minority’.)

ADDED: Some (Western) perspectives beyond the mainstream Jacobinism; Paleoconservative, Communist (specific brand uncertain), Ultra-Monarchist.

ADDED: Žižek blesses the protests with lunacy — “demand the impossible!” and other left-psychotic bromides. It broke the West, so there’s no reason it can’t work elsewhere too. Related.

ADDED: “But the protest message, as described by the loudest activists, is problematic, because its central theme of democracy for Hong Kong is all wrong. The degree of political participation in Hong Kong is actually at its highest in history. Before 1997, Hong Kong was a British colony for 155 years, during which it was ruled by 28 governors — all of them directly appointed by London. For Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, to now brand himself as the champion of democracy is hypocrisy of the highest order.”

ADDED: Bargaining with the Dragon

ADDED: The religious dimension. (It’s worth remembering, as a supplement to this specific article, that East Asian Jacobinism is distinctively Christian, wherever it is found.)

ADDED: This ‘rant’ seems entirely calm and reasonable to me (and that’s after it has been rhetorically heated by compression).

ADDED: The road to ruin.

7 thoughts on “HK Links

  1. Pingback: Democracy « Jim’s Blog

  2. Revolution kills people. If there is a rule that people on one side cannot be killed, there is an implicit rule that people on the other side can be.

    The winning side is the side that gets its rule accepted.

  3. Pingback: Outside in - Involvements with reality » Blog Archive » Chaos Patch (#30)

  4. I always find it curious how many NRx folks link to my site. Especially on issues like this when it is fairly clear that my sympathies are ‘Jacobin.’

    In any case, I’d suggest that you are framing this wrong. The HK protests are as much about autonomy as they are about democracy. Western journalists talk democracy because that is the language they speak and the cause they love. Autonomy has far less appeal to their cosmopolitan senses.

    But it is the feeling that “We are Hong Kongers, not Chinese! We don’t want to be subsumed into your empire!” that drives these protests more than anything else. I figured traditionalist types would pick up on that.

    Figured wrong?

    • “The HK protests are as much about autonomy as they are about democracy.” — I don’t disagree, but the equation is symmetrical. It’s the compulsion to formulate the search for autonomy in the language of democracy — and through mass street politics — that makes such developments so unfortunate (and potentially calamitous).

Leave a Reply