Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Hong Kong Democracy Movement: What is the end-game after the 5 demands are met?

I have been following these demonstrations since they started but really don't know Hongkongers or mainland Chinese, the language, culture and history, well enough to get a complete understanding of the situation and people involved. I have some personal familiarity with Hongkongers and mainland Chinese but cannot and do not claim to any sort of expert. But I do have enough information to form my own views that should be at least passably cogent and what follows are the opinions and observation of someone from the outside looking in.

As an aside:

It must be noted that Hongkongers were not given a referendum so they could have a say in their own fate at the end of the British lease and colonial rule was wrong. Had the majority wanted repatriation with the PRC, then the current pro-democracy demonstrations would be invalid. You guys signed on for this and it's too late for buyer's remorse. Had they wanted independence or continue with the U.K. in some capacity or another, then there may have been a chance of getting U.N. recognition under the rights of people to self-determination or negotiation of a better deal with strict provisions with the PRC. In the least, maybe one country, two systems would have been permanent with some kind of real international enforcement mechanism. Maybe I'm just dreaming here.

As it was, Hong Kong was transferred over to PRC ownership as if one were selling a house and Hongkongers were treated as if they were nothing more than the furniture sold with the house.

Now to the point of this post.

One might view my question of what is the end-game after the Democracy movement's 5 demands would be hypothetically met with some curiosity. Would not the 5 demands be the end-game?

I don't think so. As I see it with the current one country two systems paradigm set to expire on July 1, 2047, the 5 demands if met would constitute a sort of Faustian bargain where Hongkongers would enjoy a liberal democratic society for just over the next 28 years before Mephistopheles comes to collect Hong Kong's soul in the bargain.

I don't know where Hongkongers' minds are on this whether 28 years of freedom would be just fine before being absorbed into the People's Republic of China collective and that they only want the PRC to live up to it's end of the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984. Would they be perhaps rolling the dice, reasoning that if 24 hours is a long time in politics then 28 years would be a geological epoch during which the Chinese Communist Party would meet the same fate as all the other dinosaurs and they could keep their democracy. Or do they think it possible to either extend the one country two systems thing indefinitely or perhaps try for independence.

The first possibility to me would make no sense as it would be very naive. Communists, like organized crime families, when crossed, never forgive and never forget. After it became evident through one and two million Hongkongers taking to the streets in marches and the recent council election blow-out, the CCP will view all Hongkongers as guilty and will be sure to punish the city at their earliest convenience. Hopefully the leaders and the more radical protesters will be able to emigrate before 2047 otherwise the odds are good they will be dissappeared all legal and above board unlike the Causeway Bay bookstore guys.

The communists are the sort of people who will get an enemy even if he's 95 years old, on his deathbed and minutes from a natural death. Then the commie will put a pillow over his face just to make it personal. Don't underestimate vindictiveness of leftists or how seriously communists take any challenges to their power, real or perceived.

There might be some who would claim "socialism with Chinese characteristics" would be a different sort of commie with a different outcome. I disagree as the mechanics of power and control in an authoritarian/totalitarian system are more universal. Also the socialist/communist system attracts the sort of person Spandrell at the Bloody Shovel blog refers to as biolenninists. Maybe they differ in culture but in psychological defects and immoral motivations, they are brothers under the skin. The cultural differences in this case would simply be overtones. As another aside: The Spandrell and Bloody Shovel blog reference is ironic in this case as a post he wrote about Hong Kong, well...let's just say he doesn't like Hongkongers very much. No, he really hates Hongkongers and it seems personal. Besides, it would seem that "Socialism with Chinese characteristics" is really simply "Socialism with Communist characteristics". End aside.

The second, wait 'em out possibility would be a Hail Mary pass to cheat Mephistopheles of his prize. A long shot at best but possible. This idea does have a potential and serious drawback.

In the mean time until 2047, civil unrest and demonstrations will continue as the situation becomes a stalemate or the PRC does something to definitively end it. One possibility of ending the pro-democracy movement is by relocating a significant percentage of the population of Hong Kong and spreading them throughout the mainland. For those dissidents who remain: A seat in the tiger chair and chat with the boys from the Ministry of State Security or Ministry of Public Security might be enough to convince some but for the stubborn and recalcitrant, there's always room for one more in one of the concentration camps re-education centers for naughty malcontents.

Those Hongkongers scattered throughout the empire will be replaced by more loyal mainlanders which will fundamentally change the culture of the city and also make Mandarin Chinese the primary language of the city. It's an old tried and true tactic used by the Soviets. If the reader has seen my previous posts on the civic nationalism/magic dirt fallacy/Hotel Queens, native population ethnic dilution or replacement works by atomizing the community into a series of small, competing groups. Who says Marxism isn't scientific? They just test their theories out on human beings instead of lab rats.

For the remaining malcontents who can't see the wisdom of being a slave of the State, among the loyalists will be informers working for pay or extra "good citizen" social credit points so people will either be found dead from "suicide" or mysteriously vanish into a Bermuda Triangle type thing that exists near Causeway Books.

As to independence, maybe it would be the best solution as things stand now with Hong Kong and China not seeing eye to eye but as of now that is really a long shot with an incredibly small chance of success. The CCP is not going to let go of its "all your Chinese people, anywhere on Earth, are belong to us!" over-the-top, rapaciousness and racial/ethnic chauvinist attitude. This is problematic because with a pro-democracy movement up against a totalitarian communist regime, said protesters are viewed by CCP authorities as what they're pleased to call a "color revolution". And there can be no half-measures as a revolutionary.

Donald Cavaioli

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