04 October 2014

The violence in Hong Kong

As the protests in Hong Kong persist, the authorities have finally resorted to violence (anyone who thinks these beatings didn't have official sanction, form a line behind the people who believe the Moon landings were faked and Saddam really had WMDs in 2003).  Was anyone expecting otherwise?

The protesters aren't asking for much.  Their chief demand now seems to be the resignation of Hong Kong's chief executive, CY Leung.  It's not like they're asking for the kind of freedom that Americans, Europeans, or Japanese take for granted every day.

It's even remotely conceivable that the Beijing regime might decide to meet this demand, sacrificing one interchangeable apparatchik for some peace and quiet.  But I think it's unlikely.  The regime learned an important lesson from perestroika in the USSR -- start making any concessions to the masses at all, and the whole system could start to unravel and eventually collapse.  So their preferred response is a crackdown, no more brutal than necessary to crush dissent, but no less either.

Don't be surprised if the final act in Hong Kong is every bit as bad as in Tienanmen Square.

The Beijing regime is a brutal fascist oligarchy of murderous thugs who are willing to kill however many of their own subjects they need to in order to stay in power.  It's not any more complicated than that.  Westerners like to try to delude themselves otherwise (and there's already signs of the predictable drip-drip of vomitous editorials and blog posts striving to "understand" and legitimize the regime's position), and the psychological reasons for this are straightforward enough.  But what Westerners convince themselves of inside their own heads does not change the reality on the ground in China.


Anonymous Zosimus the Heathen said...

Some years back, I got an unusual, and rather unnerving, taste of the Chinese government's heavy-handed methods all the way out here in Australia, when I went to the performance of some musical troupe (allegedly) hailing from the western Chinese province of Xinjiang. A number of (presumably Uighur) protestors were out the front of the venue, handing out leaflets protesting the Chinese government's abuses in the aforementioned province, and I took one of their pamphlets when it was offered to me. As I attempted to enter the venue with it, however, a security guard told me, "That literature is not permitted inside!" and took the leaflet from my hands. Upon going inside, I found a staggering number of security personnel about the place (far more than I've ever seen at any of the metal or hip-hop shows I've been to, before or since), which naturally put a bit of a dampener on the evening's proceedings. Anyway, the show itself was very good, but when I went home and did a bit of Googling (to try and find out why security had been so heavy at the show, and acted the way it had), I found out that the whole thing had been nothing more than a bit of propaganda by the PRC (to presumably give the impression that everyone in China was happy to be part of that country). As I said, it was all a bit unnerving, and it also pissed me off that the show organizers had been able to have local security acting as their hired bully-boys for the night.

Re the media trying to whitewash the Chinese government's response to the protests, that doesn't surprise me at all. Ever since Deng Xiaoping and his successors liberalized the precious bloody market in China, it seems that that country's government has no shortage of Western apologists. So long as the all-important markets don't suffer from this crackdown, I suppose that's all that matters!

04 October, 2014 07:28  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Zosimus: The massive security presence may have been meant to deter defectors. Even if the performers were ethnic Chinese and not Uighurs, my impression is that most educated Chinese who aren't part of the ruling elite have given up on any hope of real change and just want to get out of China.

04 October, 2014 08:56  
Anonymous Zosimus the Heathen said...

I never thought of that. It's sort of funny - ever since the Cold War ended, I haven't heard much of defectors any more (though I suppose there's still no shortage of countries people would be eager to defect from). I'll admit I'm a bit ignorant about how easy it is to leave China these days. Sometimes I get the impression that people there enjoy the same (or nearly the same) level of freedom of movement as Westerners do, though I've also heard a lot of stories of Chinese citizens having to rely on people smugglers to get them out of the country. China's a bit of a mystery to me these days. While I did a bit of modern Chinese history at school, I unfortunately haven't been keeping up with what's been happening in that country since the end of the Cold War.

05 October, 2014 04:31  

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