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Sunday, October 1, 2023

The Hong Kong call for democracy


The young people who are teeming the streets requesting for the right to self determination, are part of a worldwide movement that started with the Arab uprisings and stretched the farthest corners of the globe.  Domination is dying and cannot stand the test of time, which is proven to be a fact, far from a hypothetical theory, with each day that passes us by.


Hong Kong which passed from British colonialism to Chinese control in 1997 has never had the opportunity to decide for itself democratically who should steer the affairs of the state. This has been the backdrop which has fueled the peaceful uprising that is organised by these very keen and optimistic students. Communist China which continue to hold sway over both Hong Kong and Taiwan are known to not give up on their territories or even allow demonstrations, but instead uses force to quell them down, because such protests are seen as a threat to the elitist Communist party that has ruled for many years since Mao Zedong.  



The Tiananmen Square massacre comes to mind which has a lot of resemblance with the current movement now on the streets of Hong Kong. In 1989 students gathered to call for a democratic rule after the failure of Mao’s communist policies, which left the country in limbo and utter desolation, especially when it came to the fundamental human rights. What happened afterwards went down in history as one of China’s greatest political tragedies. The People’s Liberation Army was unleashed on the student protesters and killed a minimum of 200 students and left many fatally injured.  Will another Tiananmen happen, especially with the many resonances it shares with the current movement? 



China’s interest in Hong Kong is mainly in its very successful capital flow and investments. And when we look at the history of domination in every time, age or place, we readily find that it was more or less motivated by wealth and the increment of capital accumulation. After convincing the people of Hong Kong that they will be able to choose their own leader by universal suffrage in 2017, the mainland government all of a sudden changed their mind and instead said they will choose a committee of 1,200 people who will choose one person to lead the nation.



The strange thing is that most of these council members are close allies of Beijing and the others are from the powerful financial community, who form the backbone of the country’s enviable economy. In the wake of this sudden change, many people are agitated and are forced to realise with a sobering reality that Beijing only wished to consolidate their grip and to formulate a strategy wherein corporate interest will be looked after more than ever before.  And this presents us with an irony. 



Communism which rules China was an ideology that was thought out by Karl Marx and Frederich Engels to fight for the working class and the peasantry who are the productive class, and are being oppressed by the non productive class which is the middle class and owners of the corporations. So communist ideology calls for the liberation of the working man and woman from the clutches of the bourgeoisie by sharing equally in the wealth it generates. Now what happens when the China of Mao Zedong and The Little Red Book is siding with the so called middle class oppressor? It seems the People’s Republic has betrayed its most fundamental ideological backdrop and can only resort to dubious explanations that cannot back it up nor quell the continuous call for self rule in its colonies.



Yesterday was the National Day for the communist party and student protesters turned their backs on the Chinese flag as officials held processions to celebrate it. This signals a very profound change in the psyche of the younger generation which will hold the reins of governance in the little rich island, in that they will not be gullible and passive actors in the shaping of their city state’s destiny.


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