What’s happening, for what is now a very long time, in Hong Kong is both appalling and scary, with unprecedented street protests that saw over a million citizens protesting against the power grab from Beijing. Sooner or later, it was expected that China would stretch its grotesque tentacles and impose its ideologically corrupt “state communism”. In fact, let’s clear something up from the start. China is not communistic, it is a brutal state-run capitalist dictatorship that uses psychological warefare tactics to control its massive population.
What makes China’s dictatorship even more brutal and umatched in scale and scope is exactly what made Hong Kong successful: market capitalism. China’s ever increasing power comes from the leverage it gained through trade and hosting the means of production for a plethora of western companies. It silently became the second economy in the world (in terms of nominal GDP) and while its success was welcomed by all the economic erudites of the neoliberal schools of thought as a prime example of the benefits of wild capitalism, few of them actually discussed how the newfound power of China will play in the world order.
Hong Kong is a sad but relevant example of what China (and I mean here the Party) thinks about liberal values. While history unravels in front of our eyes, we, in the very heart of the western world – prime beneficiaries of the rise of China through the cheap goods we enjoy – are left to watch wihout any retort. Nothing can happen to help HK without distabilizing the balance of power between states. China will grab more power and will seek all avenues to crush any resistence. It has already happened with China’s Uighurs, a muslim minority that has been subjected to dystopian methods of eradication and social control.
While we enjoy our goods that have been subsidized by the cheap, yet ever resourceful labour in China, Hong Kong is still fighting to find out how its already decided faith will play out. The most powerful state-run bureaucracy will not budge just because there is some “pressure”. And yet, I still hope the people of Hong Kong will find the power to resist the monolith. In hundreds of years, historian, alike social scientist, will analyse this historical event as a cruel social experiment: a society that has been formed based on liberal values and that was forced to give them up and live a parallel life. This is not new, let’s not forget. The Eastern European countries are a pretty good example of societies that were crumbled and reshaped by political forces that dehumanized and reconstructed a mirrored image of what once was: a distorting mirror.