East Asian democracy is a joke -- the adoption of "democracy" by those countries seeking to modernize, when those peoples had not previous experience or education in democracy reveals what a stupid idea it was.
Hong Kong seems to have too many naive idealists who don't understand politics as the art of the possible but would rather make a name taking some stand unlikely to garner support internationally or have any sort of real consequence for protecting Hong Kong's unique freedoms. They may think they are ready to be suppressed and suffer the consequences from the Mainland, but why are they so willing to cause difficulty to their fellow Hong Kong people? Outright defiance is not possible, and they do not have the means to make Hong Kong independent, so why this sort of stupid talk?
A couple of months ago John Derbyshire asked why Chinese people seemed incapable of democracy, despite being "well-educated." Book smarts is not the same as political smarts, or the political virtues. Chinese people have no real tradition of republicanism -- Aristotle's observations of those to the east who live under empire and not suited for any other life is applicable not only to the Persians. Chinese people have lived thousands of years under despotism, soft or hard, and the character-shaping culture has been created accordingly.
Some Chinese may like their heroic bloodshed novels or movies, idealizing brotherhood with those who are not family members, but in a mass culture with no opportunity for alternative communities, institutions to develop, and where loyalty is directed primarily to the clan and others are recognized mostly through commercial ties and nothing more, they simply have no real practice with republicanism.
(It is intriguing to compare the development of the clan-focus in Scotland with that of China, as the causes are very different?)
Despite the movies, how many people really romanticize of the triads or conflate it with the jianghu of wuxia novels? While triads may have some rituals to bind their members to one another, in the end, they are criminal organizations that seek to make a living at the expense of society. What real loyalty do the heads of these gangs have to their members? How many would be willing to sacrifice their brothers to save their own skin?
Even in small local villages, how much equality is there between families? In the past there were leading families who benefited from having an education and passing the imperial tests. How much of this was really changed by the Communists?
Democracy then turns out to be nothing more than the manipulation of the masses by the few -- oligarchy under the guise of democracy.
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