This will combine many things I care deeply about with a mea culpa.
[The beginning is a very good place to start as Oscar Hammerstein II said, the greatest American playwright and on the short lists of all time greats. If there were an Order of Merit for all playwrights ever with only 24 could be members, he’d be one of them.]
Along with its many crimes, the British Empire did export rule of law and democracy (one of the reasons Brexit is so awful).
We can see those ideas planted in the very soil of Hong Kong growing into a towering and awe-inspiring cry for freedom and democracy. Every decent person should be supporting the brave people of Hong Kong. I am appalled at the leaders of the West kowtowing to the autocrats of Beijing.
I was wrong. Remember the old China Lobby. They argued that Taiwan, a dictatorship but not totalitarian, could turn into a democracy and IT HAS.
And so can Hong Kong.
The notion that a country is some sort of a mystical eternal entity is not only ahistorical but just plain wrong.
A nation does have a shared history and there are many reasons why it sticks together. Borders may be questionable, but given wars of the past, borders are as they are and should so be unless all agree to make a change.
China has a long history with many accomplishments, but much of that history is of shifting borders, shifting definitions of what is China along with millennia of ossified feudalism.
Taiwan and Hong Kong have a right to self-determination as does Tibet (which is being ethnically cleansed).
If Scotland can have a separatist movement from The UK which was once top of the world, then all things are possible.
As much as I oppose Quebec separatism, it is a legitimate movement in a province which was once Canada itself and also Lower Canada, Canada East and Quebec.
I support Catalonia in its quest for statehood. Those who try to delegitimize it by saying Catalans just don’t want to support the poorer parts of what is called Spain make two basic mistakes. Catalonia is not Spain and Catalan is not Spanish. The other error is that Catalonia as a member of the EU would still be supporting poorer regions not just in Spain but all over the EU.
This is discursive because Hong Kong points up the great need in the world for democracy, rule of law and the right of people to change the political arrangements that have been handed down or commanded from the past.
I won’t quote the Declaration of Independence on this as I view it as a BIG LIE. That a slave owner and rapist wrote all men are created equal and … life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is the biggest lie in all history. Great words or great p.r.
So let’s talk about what we can do to both help and encourage the people of Hong Kong.
Because, in the language of popular culture, Hong Kong is menaced by King Kong and the kleptocrats in Beijing.