Monday, August 18, 2014

Dysfunctional Hong Kong

According to a report by the "Wall Street Journal" (WSJ), 163,000 Hong Kongers marched through downtown on 2014 July 1 and demanded democratic governance. They constituted 2.28% of the population. The strength of this protest is much weaker than the strength of the successful protest (attended by 500,000 people, constituting 3.21% of the population) in Prague in 1990 November.

There is an even more notable difference between Hong Kongers and Czechoslovakians. Specifically, for the 10-year period prior to the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to mainland China, the Hong Kongers had plenty of time to clamor for establishing an independent Republic of Hong Kong that would have guaranteed human rights and democracy. Yet, during this 10-year period, no group in Hong Kong ever held demonstrations demanding independence and its accompanying guarantee of civil liberties.

Rather, the Hong Kongers strongly supported Chinese nationalism, and according to a CNN/Time poll on 1997 June 26, more than 60% of the Hong Kongers enthusiastically supported unification. Further, 50% preferred social order over democracy. On the very night of the handover, huge crowds of Hong Kongers enthusiastically participated in Beijing-sponsored celebrations.

Neither the Czechs nor the Slovaks would ever celebrate being ruled by an authoritarian government.

According to a recent report by the WSJ, roughly 100,000 Hong Kongers rallied in downtown on 2014 August 17 to applaud Beijing's suppressing democracy in Hong Kong.

Neither the Czechs nor the Slovaks would ever applaud an authoritarian government's suppressing democracy in their society.

The ugly conclusion is that whereas the Eastern Europeans succeeded at creating democratic societies (in the Czech Republic and Slovakia), the Hong Kongers will fail.

No comments: