Monday, September 02, 2019

Hong Kong's Reminder and Warning

For those who know how precious and rare individual freedom actually is in this world, this summer's series of protests in Hong Kong have been both inspiring and tragic.

The British Empire took land of no value and turned it in to an island of freedom. Even though a colony, by the time the British lease ran out, the people of Hong Kong had built a unique Chinese-Anglo-Saxon fusion culture that was a shining example what the Chinese people and their culture could accomplish if given even a basic level freedom and the rule of law.

The last few decades, Singapore and Taiwan have developed along similar lines. They have small populations (7.3 million, 5.6 million, & 23.8 million souls, respectfully) whose light outshines the autocratic and imperial PRC's 1.39 billion.

Ultimately, what would Hong Kong want - a people who have developed a very different concept of individual liberty, economics and civic culture than the mainland? In a perfect world, independence along the lines of Singapore. Outside a general collapse of the Chinese nation, that isn't going to happen. They also know that once the 50-yr transition period expires in 2047, the PRC would prefer to simply absorb them ... but in a way that keeps the dynamism.

Odds are, that is what will happen - though the PRC will not get the dynamism. Hong Kong's residents know this and hope for some way luck will give them a way to maintain some form of "One Country - Two Systems."

Sad. Very sad.

One thing the Anglosphere needs to start working on a plan for - especially the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand - is how to accept Hong Kong refugees as we approach 2047 or earlier if the PRC reverts to form. Hong Kong was a small island of the West. A smart, hard working people facing assimilation by a soul-crushing PRC. For those who want to leave before the final boot of the PRC comes down, we should let them. Make sure you make sure they are ligit HK and not PRC citizens ... but yes.

Person to person, you could do a lot worse for new citizens.

We don't live an ideal world, and the PRC will in all likelihood just grind down Hong Kong resistance - and another little light of relative freedom will fade out - a footnote in history like so many other little island states.

While so many small minded, blinkered, self-loathing native born in the best of the Anglosphere; UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand - like to bad mouth their nations - those who know the world know what special places they can be. Imperfect, yes, but less so than others.

Hug your passport a little more. Take a moment to appreciate your liberty. Nurture it, protect it, help it to grow both in your nation and elsewhere.

Also, look to Hong Kong's brave people - and thank the Fates that you were born where you are, and not there.

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