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Hong Kong Protestors: Hooligans or Heroes?

Andre Vltchek
Whenever Hong Kong protesters are destroying public property, there are no cameras of Western media outlets in sight. But when police decide to intervene, protecting their city, Western media crusaders emerge in full force.

On September 15, 2019, huge US flags were waving in the air. A massive demonstration, consisting of mainly young people, was moving up from the old British-built downtown area of the city towards the US Consulate General, often erroneously called the “embassy.”

The temperature was well over 30 degrees Celsius, but the number of ‘protesters’ kept growing. Many of the main arteries in Hong Kong were entirely blocked.

Western media were there in full force, wearing yellow fluorescent vests, their ‘Press’ insignia, helmets and masks. They mingled with the crowd, filming US flags, clearly enjoying the show.

“President Trump, Please Liberate Hong Kong,” I read on several posters.

“Liberate from whom?” I asked a cluster of protesters, all of them in ninja outfits, metal bars in their hands, black scarves covering their faces.

Several of them replied, mumbling something incomprehensible. One girl shouted defiantly:

“From Beijing!”

“But Hong Kong is China, isn’t it?” I asked. “How could it be liberated from itself?”

“No! Hong Kong is Hong Kong!” came a ready-made reply.

Nearby, I spotted British Union Jack, with old colonial-era Hong Kong coat of arms.

The big demonstration was clearly treasonous. Its members delivered a petition to the US consulate general, demanding that the US Congress pass legislation that would require its government to monitor and decide whether Hong Kong is ‘autonomous enough’ from the PRC, and whether it should then qualify for US trade and economic benefits.

All over the downtown area, hundreds of ‘ninjas’ were shouting pro-Western slogans. Here British-era HK flags were being waved, alongside the US flags.

I approached a young couple among the protesters, who were resting on a bench:

“Do your friends realize how brutal, undemocratic and oppressive was British rule? Do they know in what misery many Hong Kong citizens had to live in that era? And about censorship, humiliation…?”

“No!”They shouted at me, outraged. “It is all propaganda!”

“Whose propaganda?” I wondered.

“The propaganda of Beijing!”

At least they spoke some English. A bizarre thing about Hong Kong is that, while some people here would like to (or are perhaps paid to say that they’d want to?) have the British colonial administration back, a great majority of the people hardly speak any English now, while also refusing to speak Mandarin. Little wonder that Hong Kong is quickly losing its edge to the pro-Chinese and highly cosmopolitan Singapore!

But the demonstration was not where ‘the action’ really was and I knew it, intuitively.

The flag-waving march was a big staged event for the Western mass media.

There, ‘pro-democracy’ slogans were chanted in an orderly manner. Nothing was burned, vandalized or dismantled wherever Western press cameras were present!

A few blocks away, however, I witnessed monstrous vandalizing, of one of the entrances to the Central subway (MTR) station. Hooligans who call themselves ‘protesters’ were ruining public property, a transportation system used by millions of citizens every day.

While they were at it, they also dismantled public metal railings that separate sidewalks from roadways. Metal bars from this railing were later utilized for further attacks against the city infrastructure, as well as against the police.

Umbrellas in the hands of ‘protesters’ were covering the crime scene. Umbrellas similar to those used in 2014, during the previous, so-called ‘Umbrella Uprising.’

No foreign reporters were in sight! This was not for the world. This was raw, real, and brutal.

“Don’t film!” covered mouths began shouting at me.

I kept filming and photographing. I was not wearing any press jacket or helmet or Press insignia. I never do, anywhere in the world.

They left me alone; too busy destroying the street. As they were dismantling public property, their backpacks, stuffed with portable players, were regurgitating the US national anthem.

My friend from Beijing wrote me a brief message:

They are selling their own nation and people. We have very bad words for them in Chinese.”

But it is not only mainland China that is disgusted with what is happening in Hong Kong. Three major Hong Kong-based newspapers, Wen Wei Po, Ta Kung Pao and Hong Kong Commercial Daily, are all pro-Beijing, pro-police and are defining ‘protesters’ as “rioters” or “troublemakers” (in Chinese).

Among the big ones, only Ming Pao and Apple Daily, which are traditionally anti-Beijing, are defining ‘protesters’ as ‘gatherers’, ‘protesters’ and even “liberators.”

Local citizens are mainly (as they’d been during the 2014 riots) hostile to the ‘protests’ but are scared to confront the mainly young, covered and armed (with metal bars and clubs) gangs. Some tried to, even in a luxury mall in the center of the city, and were brutally beaten.

‘Protesters’ seem to be on adrenalin, and in a highly militant mood. They gather and move in hordes. Most of them refuse to speak.

What is important to understand is that, while the rioters are trying to spread the message that they are ‘fighting for democracy,’ they are actually highly intolerant to all those who disagree with their goals. In fact, they are violently attacking those with different opinions.

Furthermore, and this I have to spell out, after covering protests in literally hundreds of cities worldwide, from Beirut to Lima, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Paris, Cairo, Bangkok and Jakarta: what is happening in Hong Kong is extremely mild when it comes to police responses! Hong Kong police run well and fast. It created human chains, flashed a lot of light and sporadically used tear gas. It defends itself when attacked. But violence?

If you compare police actions here to those in Paris, it is all politeness and softness. Hardly any rubber bullets. Tear gas is ‘honest’ and not mixed with deadly chemicals, like it is in many other places, and administered in small doses. No water cannon spitting liquid full of urine and excrement, as in many other cities of the world.

Trust me: I am an expert in tear gas.

In Istanbul, during the Gezi Park uprising, protesters had to use gas masks, so did I. Otherwise you’d faint or end up in a hospital. People are also fainting in Paris. No one is fainting here; this is mild stuff.

As for the ‘other side,’ the level of violence from the protesters is extreme. They are paralyzing the city, ruining millions of lives. The number of foreign arrivals in Hong Kong is down 40 percent.

Reception at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, which is right next to Sunday’s battles, told me that most of the rooms are now empty, and during the ‘events’, the hotel is cut off from the world.

And what about their traitorous demands? Would this be accepted anywhere in the world? Flying flags of a foreign country (in this case, of the USA) and demanding intervention?

Hong Kong “pro-democracy activist leaders” like Joshua Wong are clearly colluding with Western interests and governments. He and others are spreading, constantly, what anywhere else would be described as fake news.

For instance, “My town is the new Cold War’s Berlin,” he recently declared. Yes, perhaps, but not because of the HK government, but because of his own actions and the actions of people like himself.

Coverage of events by Western mass media is clearly selective and that is putting it mildly.

Actually, many media outlets from Europe and North America are ‘adding fuel to the fire.’ They are encouraging rioters while exaggerating the actions of local police. I am monitoring and filming their work and what I see is outrageous!

I am writing this report in Tai Kwun Center. Now world-famous art complex (of the “new, Chinese Hong Kong”), this used to be the Central Police Station under the British occupation, as well as so-called Victoria Prison Compound.

Mr. Edmond, who works for the center, explains:

If there was a referendum now, the so-called protesters would not win. They would lose. This is an internal issue of China, and it should be treated as such. A continuation of the 2014 events. What changed this time is that the protesters are opting for extreme violence now. People of Hong Kong are scared; scared of them, not of the authorities.”

Here, prisoners were confined and executed, during British rule. Not far away from here, monstrous slums were housing deprived subjects of the queen. After the Brits left, those slums were converted to public parks.

Life in Hong Kong improved. Not as fast as in neighboring Shenzhen or Guangzhou, but it improved. The reason Hong Kong is being ‘left behind’ is because of its antiquated British-era laws, rules and regulations, its extreme capitalist system; because of “too little of Beijing”, not “because of too much of it.”

These hooligans are going against the interests of their own people, and their own people are now cursing them. Not loudly, yet, as rioters have clubs and metal bars, but cursing.

Western media chooses not to hear these curses. But China knows. It hears. I hear Hong Kong people, too.

Chinese curses are terrifying, powerful. And they do not dissolve in thin air.

Originally published by RT

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism, a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.

Filed under: China, latest, Other Media

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Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism, a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.

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vexarb
vexarb

First a warning from Belfast, and now one from Russia, what happens when people smash their environment for the sake of freedom. BTL The Saker, today’s Middle East thread:

“Think about it. I was in Moskau several times as SSSR tottered and then collapsed, and it ain’t pretty. Imagine sitting in a car driven by a Colonel with a well known security apparatus and he’s buying petrol from a government tank truck on a back street in Moskau, cash on the barrel head, because his State voucher for same is useless. Or watching him removing the windscreen wipers from his machine when we parked it, knowing full well if he didn’t, when we returned to the machine after five minutes they would be gone. Or sitting at stop light and having two achingly beautiful young women wash the windscreen for kopeki and once they figured out I was foreign, literally offering themselves. Electric for your house or flat? Good luck. Law enforcement? Pull out your wallet if you want help. Wallet? Are the greenbacks worth the paper they are printed on?

Food? What will your wife say when she goes to her local food emporium and the shelves are empty and the prices have risen 500% in two weeks? And this is just scratching the surface. How many of you know how to grow food? How many of you know how to fix things, I mean really fix things, not something as simple as replacing a light bulb (if you can find one for sale)? Heat? Natural gas? Petrol? Fresh bread? Working ‘bank card’ machines? How many of your friends have these skills? How many of you have salable skills useful in a non technical economy?

A word to the wise. We all know The Empire is falling, but one would hope, and pray, that the fall is a gentle. That is what you should be praying for, a gentle decline, not a demise.

Auslander
Author http://rhauslander.com

Sounds remarkably similar to BigB’s warning (below) not to trash our environment for financial profit: “Food: Waitrose is full of prawns and avocados – that arrive from the other side of the world 365 days a year. Until they do not arrive at all.”

Wilmers31
Wilmers31

If they had protested against undersupply of housing which results in people living in ‘cage homes” (search on y-tube) I could have understood. They need a reality check – America is an attractive model for them?

BigB
BigB

I’m left wondering if anyone actually read this article? The demonstration was almost totally peaceful: which I just happened to have had verified in person …by a friend that just returned from HK last week. He was watching from the Mandarin Hotel: and saw no violence.

This agrees with the article: if you actually read it. Which many of the comments betray they did not. Andre went looking for violence: and found it away from the main demonstration. Which passed peacefully. And on Monday: everyone went back to work.

Then the BTL outpourings of colour revolutions and East/West imagined geographies. Well, if you go looking for it. Or project a specious and oversimplified narrative construction on the event. Were their Americanised agitators doing damage? Yes there were. Were there others, perhaps the majority, who had genuine reasons to be there? Yes there were. And by and large they did so in a respectful manner. Andre says so himself. Read him. Before he starts constructing an alternative and personally biased narrative of his own. Which many swallow, hook, line, and sinker to confirm a spurious narrative of their own. Rinse, regurgitate, and repeat.

So why is it so hard to construct a nuanced view that there were both authentic and inauthentic motives on display? Not everyone in HK is either in the thrall or the pay of the CIA. That they are is completely dumb thing to state.

Many in HK do want autonomy – according to a straw poll conducted by my friend. And why not? It stands to reason. If nothing else: it is one of the deepest of human drives. So everyone who wants autonomy for HK – from China and the USUK – deserves to be “suppressed with exemplary force”? What sort of insanity is this? And why is it so seemingly popular? Is everyone who wants autonomy in the pay of the CIA? The theory perverts its own purpose, does it not?

Whenever Andre pens an article: all the hegemony supporting crypto-capitalists; the neoliberal neophytes; and the globalist gophers come out to play with their East/West imaginary geographies; anti-hegemony pseudo-theories; and internet meme economic faery tales. Facts do not matter, as I have found out. One click into economic reality would show that the dollar and yuan are pegged. Collapse of either would mean collapse of both. But brute economic reality gets in the way of a good story.

China is the Empire now: at least as its driving and globalising force. And the entire integral globalised dollar Empire is an Empire of destruction. The teleology of capitalism is the collapse of the global economy, the collapse of civilisation, and perhaps even the collapse of the planetary life support systems. Which is the brute reality. Capitalism: East or West – is anti-humanity and life-blind. Not that the people in HK or anywhere else care. Gimme more of that capitalist hopium: I wanna spin a yarn about how beautiful our insatiable appetite for our own destruction is. Let’s not let reality get in the way.

It’s all a big story: for which reality is an inconvenience. And environmental realism is repressed. We are consuming reality and spitting out degradation in its wake: in the utterly vain hope that capitalism will be a ‘win/win’ for humanity. What bullshit is this? Andre manipulates his own bias as much as he accuses others of doing. Read the article again. Read the comments. And weap for humanity.

We need no enemies. Our narrative constructivism is the only enemy we have. One we cannot see when we are in its thrall. Think it is the CIA that is distorting reality? The CIA inside the head, maybe?

Antonym
Antonym

You don’t have a half Chinese mother and a C.Party family like Andre.
(no not a coke party)

bevin
bevin

The gaping hole in your critique of capitalism-the one filled with sound and fury of dubious significance-is practice. Your answer to imperialist wars and blind capitalist economics would be the counsel to cultivate our own gardens. And, in moments of rest, to contemplate our navels. And the motes in other eyes.

BigB
BigB

Tending our own gardens would be a very good start: both metaphorically and literally. Praxis is the key.

There are three main areas that the neoliberal globalisation collapse model presents humanity with a carnival of cascading crises: overfinancialisation; sovereign energy justice; and sovereign food justice. The main crisis is a crisis of distribution. Right now: there is enough of each to go around. And I do not mean to my table: but everyones table globally.

Forex trades at $5tn a day. Global poverty trades at £139bn *per annum* to eradicate. A fraction of the days trade ends poverty. No excuses except capitalist metaphysical excuses about ‘natural orders’ and other lies.

Energy: hydrocarbons keep the lights on 321 days each year …so long as they arrive ‘just in time’. What if they don’t? There is no Plan B for sovereign energy. The GND is a lie. Each element is an energy sink: resulting in a deficit of an already dwindling resource. The GND exacerbates, exaggerates, and accelerates collapse. It also entails green imperialism and increased energy polarisation and poverty. But it keeps the bourgeois socialist from critiquing capitalism.

Energy depletes in quality faster than it depletes in quantity. I have expressed this many,many, times. That means it is an economic drag. Growth stopped long ago (23 years in the UK). The capitalist solution is extend and pretend with debt. All recovery from the GFC was largely cosmetic and debt-funded. Now we have insurmountable debts that mount exponentially: while the ability to repay decreases entropically and exponentially. The capitalist solution is to turn on the QE debt-taps permanently. Can you see the problem of the energy/entropy/finance nexus? Because I can: very clearly.

Food: Waitrose is full of prawns and avocados – that arrive from the other side of the world 365 days a year. Until they do not arrive at all. Then what? We import 40-60% of our food ‘just in time’ and we only have about four days of leaway. Then, if it is the summer …mmmm. But in mid-winter: what will the bourgeois socialist do without prawns?

We are a bad winter away from lights out and grid failure. The Yellowhammer documents – propagandic as they are – show just how vulnerable we are under the capitalist globalised system. The capitalist solutions – especially the GND – are anti-solutions.

You can scoff all you like: but capitalism faces a crisis of legitimacy even capitalism is aware of (see thr FT’s ‘New Agenda’ or Carnage’s Jackson Hole speech). There are no alternatives on the table: only in heads. If the head cannot speak of its legitimate concerns – that even capitalists share – then what?

Almost the entire populace of the developed world think we can have infinite increase correlated only by infinite imagination. This is a ‘ratiocentric’ reality imbalance. The Politician does not lie because they believe the contents of their imagination to be real. This is the rationality crisis that entails the environmental crisis. Do we have to follow?

I propose we start listening to the indigenous leaders in the Amazon. Nevermind that they are being hyped: they are right. They know they have it all and our phoney system of lies is destroying life on earth. I heard more wisdom and sense in two minutes on Monday than I did from decades of watching the unfolding Spectacular in the West. The one we all find so attractive. Perhaps we should all tend our own garden more often? Before we talk of motes in others eyese?

bevin
bevin

Most of what you write is unexceptionable. But What is to be Done? Where do you propose to start? Your contributions to these discussions invariably expose actors, Corbyn for example, as either crooks or dupes. And action in association with them as a waste of time. The climate protesters are either tools of capitalism or idiots. Or both. China should not be encouraged to defy the Empire because it has ambitions which are just as nasty.
But we should listen to the people of the Amazon basin.
Of course we should. And they should listen to us. The problem is to construct-beyond the walls of the capitalist fortress- a means of communicating. An International of working people, subjects, the disenfranchised.
The problem is clear, it is the world of Wallenstein’s imagining-the Columbian empire, the international trading of commodities.
You are right about the importance of food. And about the matter of distribution as the remedy to every sort of poverty. We are so close to equality and freedom that we can imagine it.
All that remains is to demolish the barriers in our way. What, apart from listening, do you propose? Posting longer and more frequent contributions to this forum?

BigB
BigB

What is to be done? I’ve been posting solutions as well as critique. To be fair, the solutions are normative – as Arne Naess used to say – once you frame the questions and problems correctly. The future is normative. The solutions flow from facing the future from the here and now. The reframed question becomes: “Why do we *not* do what it is increasingly obvious that we should do?”

Answer: because we are not engaged in the here and now. The logic is almost syllogistic. It becomes a question of framing.

The answer is quasi-indigenous: build robust, uncomplicated systems that become as neo-self sufficient as possible. The opposite of over-investment in complexity. The application of appropriate technology, agroecology; etc. There are plenty of solutions when we face the problem. The one proviso being: none of this can be achieved with capitalism. It is the growth vectors of capitalism that are driving destruction. Even the capitalists know this: so they feign a propensity to change.

Have you ever wondered where all this is going? Can you fix a computer? I can, after a fashion …after a trip to my local store. What about soldering a motherboard, if the shops have gone? What about all the computerised systems we run: and the massive internet of things we propose? How do we maintain it all with limited specialised functional knowledge. Concrete only lasts a few decades without maintenance. What about a nuclear power plant. Do you know how to maintain one if the grid is down indefinitely?

We live with the pretense that this could never happen. This entails permanent growth and resupply. Is that a reasonable assumption anymore? The past is a poor indication of the future. This has been called the extrapolation fallacy.

There is only one outcome on our current trajectory: and it is a bad one. For all concerned. We are not offering ourselves any solutions because we will not engage with the problems …that growth is finite and finished; that finance is for humanism and not just for finances sake; that resources are too precious to squander; that life is too precious to squander. The solutions are as obvious to me as they are to the Amazonian leaders: end our irresponsible infatuation with impossible permanent growth. End capitalism.

The aporia is not mine. I have laid out my anti-capitalist, anti-globalist, pro-humanism stall from day one. The question becomes: “Why do we *not* do what it is increasingly obvious that we should do?”

There is no one answer. We are so far from our connectionism and our indigenous embodied roots in this highly specialised and technologised world that we cannot seemingly do without. The technological realism is a prosthetic, extended, and virtual realism that encodes us …in no trivialised way. Freedom: do we even know what that is anymore? Everyone wants to be free: but no one knows that what they want to be free from. Capitalism and globalism provide no answers: I can tell you that for free. There is only one Empire – despite all the rhetoric to the contrary – and humanity is its host and subject. Capitalism and humanism are mutually exclusive domains.

The answer to your question – what is to be done – becomes exactly the opposite of what all Capitalist Realist architectures and institutions want us to do. They want us to be blindsighted in consensus with them. But we can see, if we want to. And we can go our own way: by rejecting all capitalist authoritarianism. Its not about personalities: all Capitalist Realist visions are wrong. The elite obsession with eternal growth will kill us all: unless we reject it. If in doubt: ask an Amazonian and ignore Andre.

Jen
Jen

Two uncles of mine also visited Hong Kong very recently and saw no violence. They stayed in hotels in Kowloon.

That’s not to say though that there has been no violence: much of it in recent works has occurred on the MRT system with protesters vandalising ticket booths and turnstiles, fighting with commuters and throwing rocks and poles onto train lines in front of trains. (I have seen videos of these incidents.) There has been recent news of train derailments caused by track problems, with sabotage not being ruled out; the last time a serious derailment occurred on a train line in HK was back in 1994.

I’m well aware that there has been a lot of street violence in Northpoint district (where my elderly uncle used to live with three generations of his family in a tiny flat) which is 500 metres away from Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Connaught Road in Central HK. I’m not sure that without binoculars, in an urban environment where smog can be common and neon and traffic lights are distractions, the naked human eye can see much activity by black-shirted individuals fighting police at 500 metres away.

BigB
BigB

Yes: I get that. And you have the advantage that you know HK. I also get that there were incidents away from the main demonstration: including at the airport …which meant my friend had to take a later flight.

So everyone – including Andre – agrees that there was a relatively respectful and peaceful main demonstration …with outlying violent confrontations. And the focus and leverage has been on the incidents of violence – when the rather restrained HK police have responded – even, on at least two occasions, firing their sidearms into the air. And we all know an American cop would just fired into the crowd.

So there is room for a nuanced appraisal of this: of the authentic and inauthentic motives on display. But the article is set out from the start to delimit nuance to binary black/white reductionist judgementalism. “HK protestors: hooligans or heroes” – to which the answer appears to be both. But the article leads the commentors to conclude that if there were some black shirted anarchists causing damage – the whole protest is deemed illigitimate and declared a fomented ‘colour revolution’. Which is at best only a partial truth. Andre said so himself: indicated in this key passage:

But the demonstration was not where ‘the action’ really was and I knew it, intuitively.

The flag-waving march was a big staged event for the Western mass media.

There, ‘pro-democracy’ slogans were chanted in an orderly manner. Nothing was burned, vandalized or dismantled wherever Western press cameras were present!

A few blocks away, however, I witnessed monstrous vandalizing, of one of the entrances to the Central subway (MTR) station. Hooligans who call themselves ‘protesters’ were ruining public property, a transportation system used by millions of citizens every day

Which confirms what we both are saying. Only: who are these self-proclaimed ‘protestors’ vandalising the MTR? Are they anything to do with the pro-democracy protest at all? Are they paid agitators – or are they autonomous HK anarchists – the sort that seem to mar any legitimate protest anywhere in the world? The USUK flags are provocative, no doubt, but hoe representative are they? The article and BTL comments are all founded on huge generalised and abstract assumptions – that seem to replace rationality and fact.

As an adjunct: perhaps you could comment on what else I was told. That certain elements of the Chinese in HK are not well liked. This is anecdotal: and I definitely would not extend it to a spurious “all Chinese” stereotyping – but my friend had been working his vacation in HK. He had a chance to integrate with all sorts of groups (its a very cosmopolitan place, as you know) but the Chinese he had contact with were very cliquey: and did not integrate well. I am not reading too much into this; as it was one persons experience. But he came away with the socialised impression that not everyone in HK wants to part of China. So can one want autonomy without being associated with the CIA, Soros, NED, colour revolutions?

Not according to the ATL and BTL prevalent attitude. Which in turn rests on the huge assumptiveness of Andre’s prevalent pro-Eastern cognitive bias. It seems to me, from a distance, that the narrative is a lot mor subtle and nuanced than is indicated here: ATL and BTL. There were plausibly paid provocateurs: there always are. And that is where a lot of the attention gets focused. Behind this: there was a largely peaceful protest: “orchestrated for the West” …perhaps? A wholly delegitimised and inauthentic staged occurence? This, I question. Nearly everyone else seems to have jumped to their own pre-disposed conclusions …following Andre’s own personal bias. And as I have commented under nearly all of his articles: it is economically illiterate to imagine and East and West for modern capital. Which puts the whole generalised assumptiveness on shaky epistemological grounds.

At least some people in HK – I have it on second-hand authority from a trusted source – want independent autonomy for HK. Whether this is any sort of prevalent attitude: I have no way of knowing. But it makes me question that all sides are leveraging this event for their own purpose. Does that purpose align in a neat reductionist binary – hooligans or heroes – I very much doubt that indeed. As often occurs: shifting greyscale landscapes get ‘Hollywoodised’ into binary ‘hooligans or heroes’ black and white worldviews by editing out the nuance.

There is a great deal to be said about *why* HK is so strategically important to both ‘East’ and ‘West’ which has been ommited in the foregoing discussion. Inclusion of the fact that HK (and Macau) are the offshore interface of capital integration and a much bigger ‘spiders web’ that centres in London. But to admit China needs dollars – US and HK – is an economic realism that destroys Andre’s spurious East/West dichotomy. If he wanted to do a real expose: expose the HSBC connectionism with the City of London. But that blurs the binary boundaries of the neat dichotomous independence of East and West. The East is rising and the West falling. This is almost childlike in its apprehension and economic illitirealism …a pre-linguistic visceral impression that is undermined by just about five minutes of adult research. But it makes for a good story. Beyond that: I am not sure what real world relevance it has. Billions of dollars pass through HK everyday. In bi-directional flows to the mainland. No one wants to talk about that. It spoils a good story of the rising East and Falling West. Have a look at the Yuan trading against the Dollar. Brute economic reality shows that the relative value is trading the other way. But let’s not let that spoil a ripping yarn about the CIA.

https://www.macrotrends.net/2575/us-dollar-yuan-exchange-rate-historical-chart

[This historic chart shows the yuan being pegged to the dollar 1994-2005 – at a near constant rate of 8.2 – the flatline. Bear in mind the chart is inverted. The Yuan then rises (falls on the chart) to 6.1 in around 2013 – whenabouts China stopped building. It has since fluctuated on a general downward trend (rising on the chart) to present – trading around 7.1 to the dollar. This economic literacy shows that it is the dollar that is rising. A nuanced discussion of this is beyond scope: but Andre’s underlying thesis of a rising East is imaginary. He just makes up an imaginary economic landscape – devoid of reality and real world application – and constructs a narrative to suit. Informativeness of pseudo-narrative that passes muster for most: but not this commentator.]

Jen
Jen

My own family’s experience of visiting Hong Kong has been that speaking English and/or Standard Cantonese gets you good service, but speaking Taishanese (our native language: it is to Standard Cantonese what Brum and Scouse are to RP English) gets you the cold shoulder.

As for whether the pro-democracy protesters have been fighting ordinary people or engaging in vandalism, you can watch this 10-minute video of an incident at Prince Edward MTR station that occurred on 31 August 2019 and make up your mind.

There have been stories (not confirmed, I’m afraid) that many of the protesters are Vietnamese, descended from people who fled Vietnam in the 1970s and ended up as refugees in HK. From what I understand, Vietnamese refugees were badly treated in HK up until 1997 and thousands were forcibly repatriated.

vexarb
vexarb

Interesting parallel in Strategic Culture — civil war wrecked the peace and prosperity of Belfast:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/09/14/why-protestors-hong-kong-destroying-prosperity-their-country/

“The Civil War in Northern Ireland raged from 1968 to the landmark Good Friday Agreement of 1998. My old, dear friend, British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Marjorie “Mo” Mowlam was the key figure driving the negotiations. She undermined her health doing so. Then a host of political parasites from Bill Clinton to Tony Blair were eager to hog all the credit as Mo lay dying from a brain tumor.

The protestors of Hong Kong too now need to take a step back, suck in a deep breath and pause to think long and hard before they charge down that same doomed and awful path.”

Ben Trovata
Ben Trovata

vexarb,Concerning Martin Sieff’s article,I didn’t like it!I didn’t trust his account of what he seemed to imagine,was a generally-shared prosperity;nor of the shipbuilding industry’s trajectory! But by far the worst comparison was the greater famine of the 19th century! The considerably lesser famine [See Jonathan Swift: A Modest Proposal( 1729)”] — would’ve been a gross exaggeration!

vexarb
vexarb

Ben, I did not entirely agree with Sieff’s story (industrial decline in Britain was not limited to Northern Ireland, and Irish unrest under English occupation is not due to Nudelman cookies but native to the ancient Britons) so the parallel between Belfast and Ukraine is not exact; but the moral was worth considering: those who sacrifice security for freedom often land up with neither security nor freedom.

Ben Trovata
Ben Trovata

vexarb,voila,(I was distracted by Sieff’s fractured history),thanks.

mark
mark

If these people are worried about HK police brutality, they should take a trip to Barcelona and watch Madrid’s Fascist thugs smashing up polling stations and clubbing down old people waiting quietly in line to vote. Or Macron’s Fascist Boot Boys blinding and maiming yellow vest protestors. If you tried invading and smashing up the US Congress, or JFK airport, or Central Station, you had better make sure your life insurance is fully paid up. If you’re lucky you’ll just be clubbed and tasered and tossed into Gitmo for a spot of waterboarding. Unless you’re black, in which case you just get shot down like a dog.

This is all clearly paid for and orchestrated from the outset by Soros and the regime change merchants of the NED. It is all part of a destabilisation campaign of exactly the same pattern we have seen in Ukraine, Georgia, Serbia and so many other places. It is linked to the trade war, the INF Treaty, the South China Sea, and support for Uighur terrorists. The aim is for this to spread and foment disorder throughout the country to destabilise China.

No concessions whatsoever should be made to these thugs, traitors, rioters and terrorists. To do so is just to encourage them further and produce a further series of impossible demands. They should be suppressed with exemplary force and taught a salutary lesson they won’t forget in a hurry. These snowflake Antifa types like to dish it out but run home to mummy when they are repaid in their own coin.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher

I wonder how these protestors would get on if they were involved in a similar demonstrations in the US, UK or Europe? They surely must realize that they’d be met with police with very similar powers and equipment and (based on experience) those police won’t be anything like as restrained as the HK police have been. Trying to curry favor by pretending they’re fighting oppression isn’t going to get them anywhere — if they could bring the government down Maidan Square style they might get a bit more help (and Green Cards for the leaders when it goes pear shaped) but this crew have nothing to offer the western governments.

As you travel the world you realize just how pervasive the imagery of the West is in global marketing. The brands sell the lifestyle. To anyone who lives in this imagery it washes over you, it has very little in common with the lives of most people. So if these protestors were magically transported from HK to, say, New York they’d find the same crowded, expensive, conditions, the same mad scramble to make a living — and they’d rarely even catch a glimpse of 5th Avenue or Broadway. (…and they’d be distinctly second class being a) immigrants and b) Chinese)

Stephen Morrell
Stephen Morrell

Thanks Andre for on-the-ground information. I hope you can publish your photos and footage.

What’s amazing is that some who call themselves left, ‘Trotskyist’ no less, support this ‘movement’ by and large (eg, WSWS). The only decent analytical article from a Marxist perspective on the whole China-Hong Kong situation, with comparison of these riots with Tiananmen Square, is:

https://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/1160/hong_kong.html

A. Scott Buch

I am still wondering if the situation in HK is really as simple as just the instance of another color revolution, or if the majority of those engaged in political actions there actually have legitimate grievances?

Jen
Jen

Their grievances have included a demand for the withdrawal of a proposed extradition agreement that would allowed Hong Kong to extradite a HK national wanted by police for murdering his pregnant girlfriend to Taiwan; a demand to the HK government to investigate HK police actions against them (the protesters); a demand that they be recognised as “protesters” and not as “rioters”; a demand for Carrie Lam to resign as HK Chief Executive; and a demand for universal suffrage.

So far the protesters have not requested that the HK government deal with the crippling housing shortage by nationalising land that is currently unused (and which apparently is owned by some billionaires to minimise their taxation obligations) so it can be turned into public housing estates. This might have the effect of lowering the astronomical property prices which the HK business community abhors. I doubt that Carrie Lam would dare to antagonise the HK financial industry since she (and previous Chief Executives before her) was elected by a 1,200-member electoral college of which about half the members come from the industrial, commercial and financial industries and the professions that support these industries.

Housing and property prices are the most serious problems faced by the general public for Hong Kong to deal with, together perhaps with a taxation regime that effectively makes HK a tax haven. Surely if there is an issue to protest to the HK government about, housing and real estate prices are it.

By way of comparison, Luxembourg is also a tax haven and – perhaps unsurprisingly – also has a severe housing shortage and extremely pricey real estate.

Jen
Jen

A couple of corrections:

1/ “Their grievances have included a demand for the withdrawal of a proposed extradition agreement that would allowed Hong Kong to extradite a HK national wanted by police for murdering his pregnant girlfriend to Taiwan …” should read “Their grievances have included a demand for the withdrawal of a proposed extradition agreement that would allowed Hong Kong to extradite a HK national wanted by Taiwanese police for murdering his pregnant girlfriend to Taiwan …”

2/” …from the industrial, commercial and financial industries …” should read “… from the industrial, commercial and financial sectors …”

Joe
Joe

Read the article, Einstein.

A. Scott Buch

I did. It left me wondering whether the political climate within the People’s Republic of China was one that was open to dissenting voices; or, if the concerns of a politically dissident Hong Konger, perhaps that they might face political persecution if the extradition bill went through, was warranted?

Jen
Jen

Beijing observes the “One Country, Two Systems” principle so politically dissident Hong Kong people would not face extradition to China, if their activities were confined to Hong Kong, in the event that the extradition bill had been allowed to pass.

A. Scott Buch

But what is this I hear about certain politically minded booksellers getting disappeared in HK, in despite of the “One Country, Two Systems” policy. Is it not something that already tends to occur, extralegally?

PuLi
PuLi

One was caught red handed in their warehouse in Shenzhen having jumped the bay, as thousands do every night, to bring in proscribed goods. Obviously no stamp in his passport, Western Press says ‘abducted.’

He says he was visiting his girlfriend and wanted to keep everything quiet. Western Press says ‘co-erced confession.

That story is a classic example of the NED in action, cooperating with Reuters.

A. Scott Buch

You are saying that Hong Kong dissidents don’t get disappeared, or mainland dissidents for that matter; that the entire idea is nothing more than disinformation? I do wish that someone would answer my question, of whether or not Beijing is tolerant of dissident voices; or, if perhaps dissident Hong Kongers, and indeed dissidents on the mainland, as well, might have their reasons for protesting.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

In these pages, we’re more concerned with the freedom of dissident voices like, Julian Assange !

Jeeeezus wept, do you mind if I ask how old you are ?

Coz’ you certainly seem to have lost the plot on what has happened and what is happening in this world, or you were always oblivious, if younger ? ! 🙂 rather, identically like a typical young dumbed down Guardian reader & receiver of censored news & hugely grotesque reporting OMISSIONS …
& tainted emissions.

https://www.cato.org/economic-freedom-world

A. Scott Buch

I wasn’t aware that you could boil down everything that is and has ever happened in the world to a single plot.

PuLi
PuLi

There is constant dissent all over social media on the mainland. There are something like 250,000 spontaneous public protests every year. Weibo is full of dissent as is WeChat.

However, the red line is forming a mob and attempting to organise. This is when people vanish. It’s not as though they weren’t forewarned. Read up on Peter Dahlin. Not the MSM, but his background.

A. Scott Buch

I mean, I think it’s telling that you equate “attempting to organize” with “forming a mob.” Where do you draw the line? Of course there is power in being the one who gets to decide whether or not a political demonstration gets labeled as a “protest” or a “riot.” Similar to the way various states take to separating out “terrorists” from “freedom fighters,” no?

A. Scott Buch

I am wondering if the situation in HK is really as simple as just the instance of another color revolution, or if the majority of those engaged in political actions there actually have legitimate grievances?

BigB
BigB

A. Scott Buch

You are absolutely right to wonder, though I doubt you will get a fair hearing here.

As anecdotal evidence: my friend just returned from HK. He was billeted in the very hotel mentioned, and watched the riots every weekend, confined to his room. That much is true. Come Sunday evening: everyone packs up and Monday morning …everyone goes back to work on time.

There were conversations at work: and it was my friends opinion that anti-Chinese sentiment is real. Not everyone sees China as the land of milk and honey. I have no doubt the leaders and a faction of the crowd are American agitators: but the whole crowd in the thrall of the CIA …as some seem to think? That is a naive oversimplification to provide a plot point to hang an even more oversimplified worldview on.

Think of America’s colour revolution efforts in Iran. You can only agitate a people where their is genuine sentiment. Trying to foment anti-Chinese feeling where their is none is a none starter. Like the Iranian colour revolution.

As usual: the truth is probably more nuanced and does not fit neatly into the China v the Empire imaginary worldview. I have no way of ascertaining relative percentages: but at least some of the protesters are absolutely authentic. Very possibly the majority – with a few wrong ‘uns making themselves most visible. But that does not easily fit the anti-Empire imaginary. How can anyone ascertain the motivations of an entire mass of protesters? Do they all meet the reductionist oversimplified binary worldview criteria? Or is their a plurality of worldviews that happen to converge for the weekend?

*Mens rea* intentionality (not necessarily criminal) is nearly impossible to prove for even the individual: but it is easy to imagine for the masses …categorising everything to neatly meet the East v West imagined geographical worldview.

Are they all of one mind? No: there is authentic feeling on display – which America and the UK are trying to leverage. The people are pawns in the grand geopolitical strategies of others. There is no easy narrative: but that will not stop people projecting there own favourite fantasy and calling it real.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

I am wondering if you have forgotten your name & title? perhaps, in a vein hope of a financial recovery at the Guardian:- ?

A Scott (Trust) Buch(-haltung) Pension Fund Aktien-cry for positions, in agony… maybe ?

FYI: Let me put you out of your misery: The Guardian’s credibility is finished already and highly likely almost assuredly, forever … & 100% certainly, until Laws change.

Have you any awareness, of Hong Kong, China, I mean directly, personally, first hand experience ? Better still speak Mandarin or Cantonese ? and are you aware of Cato’s (& Inspector Clouseau’s) opinion on their Index of freest places in the world to live, from a socio-economic perspective >>> I mean do you know that Hong Kong Is Number ONE, Topcat, way above Germany & the USA consistently for well over a decade … ? !
And above UK ! ! !
Let that sink in & WONDER ! ! !

https://www.cato.org/economic-freedom-world

vexarb
vexarb

Tim, from your Link it seems the protestors in (currently prosperous) Hong Kong may be in a smashing rage over relatively “Seidene Sorge” (Silken Worries) — same as the protestors in (formerly prosperous) Belfast and (formerly prosperous) Ukraine.

“Hong Kong and Singapore retain the top two positions with a score of 8.91 and 8.71 out of 10, respectively, followed by New Zealand, Switzerland, United States, Ireland, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Mauritius.

The rankings of other large economies are Japan (17th), Germany (20th), Italy (46th), France (50th), Mexico (76th), Russia (85th), India (79th), China (113th), and Brazil (120th).

The 10 lowest-rated countries are: Iraq, Republic of Congo, Egypt, Syria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Algeria, Sudan, Libya, and lastly Venezuela.

Nations in the top quartile of economic freedom had an average per capita GDP of US$36,770 in 2017, compared to $6,140 for bottom quartile nations. Life expectancy is 79.4 years in the top quartile compared to 65.2 years in the bottom quartile, and political and civil liberties are considerably higher”.

When is it worth trashing your environment — and possibly losing some freedom — for the sake of some other freedom?

bevin
bevin

The majority of people everywhere have legitimate grievances. And Hong Kong is no exception. But what they are being persuaded to do, by agents of the Empire, is not likely to solve their problems.
Self harm may be an attractive response to frustration and neglect but it is not a solution. The core problem is that the leadership of the protests has no intention of seeking to solve the problems of the poor-indeed, being wealthy capitalists, they have caused them- but of removing the stifling hand of government interference in society from their turbo fueled neo-liberal ambitions. The Freedom for which they are calling, the freedom that the Stars and Stripes and Union Jack signify is the freedom to use labour and capital without restraint.
Not for the first time a significant minority in the population have been tricked into demanding that their throats be cut.
The only people in Hong Kong who lost anything, in the way of freedom, after 1997 were the compradors and the other collaborators with foreign power.

A. Scott Buch

You seem to take it as a given though, that the majority of political agitators, or some guiding hand behind them, are neoliberal capitalists. I am questioning whether or not that is accurate.

vexarb
vexarb

Jen has listed their demands at 12.07 above.

“So far the protesters have _not_ requested that the HK government deal with the crippling housing shortage by nationalising land that is currently unused (and which apparently is owned by some billionaires to minimise their taxation obligations) so it can be turned into public housing estates.
Housing and property prices are the most serious problems faced by the general public for Hong Kong to deal with, together perhaps with a taxation regime that effectively makes HK a tax haven. Surely if there is an issue to protest to the HK government about, housing and real estate prices are it.”

So, their demands do not upset billionaire landowners. Nor do they trash luxury real estate — only public services.

Does this help settle your questioning, Buch?

A. Scott Buch

It is certainly food for thought. I have to contend that Jen has a point there. But, just so I get this right, what you are saying is that the protesters are trashing only public property, while deliberately leaving luxury real estate untouched?

vexarb
vexarb

Yes. Buch, the Nudelman cookie cookoos of Hong Kong are deliberately trashing public property while leaving luxury real estate untouched.

The exact opposite to Les Gilets Jaunes in Paris, who are a genuinely popular revolt brutally suppressed with teargas, handgrenades, rubber bullets and live ammunition by Rothschild employee, President Macron; see report by Ramin Mazaheri of Gilets Jaunes trashing swank shops in Place de l’Etoile.

vexarb
vexarb

PS re what happens when young people swallow Nudelman cookies:

“Amaan BTL Saker Vineyard

“if you strip your own culture of the few things that actually made you strong: rip away God, ethics, common sense, rip away personal responsibility, civility, hard work, respect for rules, honestly, accountability, honor, self sacrifice, unity, etc. respect for women, respect for men, respect for the elderly and love of children. And socially re-engineer a society to become selfish (,each individual must only pursue their self interest), disunited (get women to hate men, men to hate and distrust women, promote gays at the expense of people of normal sexual orientation, and at the expense of children, promote racial hatred by promoting white-victimhood (Fox News) and black victimhood (CNN), etc.), have perverted sexual values, immorality, amorality (especially amorality!), Promote superficiality, duplicity, shallow behavior, worshipping of fame, arrogance and bling, make obvious lying acceptable and call it public relations, where ass-kissing is desirable…. Do all of that to your population and you are finished and your society will rapidly circle the drain.

This is how the liberal plutocrats of the West and their increasingly stupid inheritors have undermined and corroded their own power. Power in the hands of dysfunctional billionaire families spreading their own sick twisted degenerate dysfunction and warped values to the rest of society.”

A. Scott Buch

That’s pretty rad. However surely you must be deluded to think that every single person involved in these protests has swallowed these, uh, cookies you speak of–

vexarb
vexarb

And you, Buch, must be even more “deluded” to think that I thought what you thought I thought while I was writing nothing of the sort that you thought I “must be” thinking at the time I wrote what I actually wrote.

A. Scott Buch

I’m not trying to misinterpret you. Did you not say that “cookoos of Hong Kong are deliberately trashing public property while leaving luxury real estate untouched”? What I am asking is, do you really believe that is the defining ethos of the entire protest?

Ieuan Einion
Ieuan Einion

This all looks so familiar, feckless middle-class youths with expensive trainers battling the authorities in HK, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ukraine etc. at the behest of NGOs and other imperialist 5th columnists. Living in France, it’s quite remarkable to witness the extraordinary tolerance of the HK police. Yellow Vests protests these days are more than likely to be protesting the significant amount of dead, deformed and handicapped protestors/poor people who are the collateral damage of Macron’s brutal crackdown on dissent.

RobG

Acte 44 last weekend saw most of the police violence in Nantes and Toulouse (and many of these ‘police’ are brought in from other EU countries). Central Paris is now all but a no go zone for the gilets jaunes. A very large number of protestors have been arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned on minor charges. People are afraid.

Ain’t the EU great.

RobG

From what I can make out, to begin with the Hong Kong protests were genuine. I agree, though, with Andre, in that these protests have been hijacked by the usual colour revolution rollocks (and who cares how many people get killed).

It shouldn’t be forgotten in all this that the PRC is a very authoritarian state.

USUK are trying hard to catch up.

bevin
bevin

It would not be surprising if the PRC were an extremely authoritarian state. It has been at war, essentially, since its foundation, and war, as Engels knew, necessitates authoritarian measures.
Right now China is under intense pressure, openly applied, from the imperialist states which ripped it apart and looted it within the memory of living men. No genuine popular movement would dream of lobbying the CP government singing silly British songs and flying the despicable rag with fifty stars on it.

RobG

Bevin, WW3 has now started, it’s just not a hot war at the moment (although tell that to the huge number of people who are dying as a result of sanctions).

I agree with what you say about China, but that does not excuse the fact that it’s a totalitarian state.

Both you and Andre appear to excuse this fact in your (quite right) opposition to western imperialism?

bevin
bevin

I’ve never really worked out what Totalitarian means so I wouldn’t call China that. In fact I suspect that there is a lot more dissent, and much more variety in the world views entertained, in China than in the US or UK. This has much to do with the history of the state which, in modern terms, was re-born only 70 years ago. Ideology in the ‘west” is much more generally accepted than it is on China or ever was in Russia. Everyone there knows that the media is aligned with the state and cannot be trusted on matters of political importance. That insight is something still denied in our countries where, despite everything, the newspapers and TV bulletins are still accepted, by intellectuals, as authoritative.
Most ordinary people, like most ordinary Chinese and Russians, I suspect, understand that their rulers tell lies and pick their pockets; it takes a lot of education to get people to believe otherwise. Or that up is down, black is white and Jeremy Corbyn is a danger.

BigB
BigB

Bevin

China as a modern state is younger than that. The modern ‘neoliberal with Chinese characteristics’ state [Harvey] was born of Deng’s reforms. Which amounted to the biggest social engineering and mass internal displacement in history …by far, and then some [Harvey]. Which was a tsunami of primitive accumulation …yep, Harvey again.

But what catalysed this social engineering project seems to have been memory-holed: surplus American capital restructuring global manufacturing to suit itself: not humanity. The dollar redrew the global map of labour and distributed the class system North to South. In waves of surplus capital, primitive, and accumulation by disppossesion. The South was made dependent and excluded – except for resource extraction. And the imperial core, semi-periphery, and periphery were concretised by tributary dependency, exploitation, dehumanisation and alienation [Wallerstein; Harvey; and the rest of my book collection].

What appears to be key to this was Kissinger/Nixon’s China policy. Remember: in 1970 – when Kissinger flew to China – America was still engaged in a costly war to contain China …and the spurious Communist ‘Domino Theory’. If Vietnam fell; the whole damned world would quickly become Communist. Kissinger/Nixon dumped this theory; abandoned Vietnam – which promptly fell but did not set off a chain of dominoes – and pivoted to China – the great enemy for whom so many died to prevent their rise. Later in the decade America’s industrial heartland began arriving in the Pearl River Delta and other specially set up Special Economic Zones. Essentially, sovereign territorial industrialised United States colonised China’s littoral zone.

That is how China’s economic miracle started. By becoming the manufacturing base for American Walmart shit. America’s middle class wealth was transferred overseas. China did quite well, thank you very much. And now America wants its missing prosperity back.

Everyone knows this: but memory holes it to create an East/West dichotomy where none ever existed. The Yuan and Dollar are pegged and share the same fate to this very day. HK is China’s access point to the dollar markets offshore. It is absolutely crucial to China’s development that it remains this way. All this goes by the by in the East/West imaginary. The Dollar and Yuan are inextricably linked. That China was colonised by the dollar – along its littoral zone at least – seems to have been conveniently memory-holed in favour of a ripping yarn about East and West. It is a good story: but it is only a story.

China needs dollars. And dollars need China. Their value is synchronous and interlinked. The one time recently that China let their currency depreciate: it broke the PBoC set trading band and fell to pre-GFC levels. Where it remains. A weak Yuan v a relatively ‘strong’ dollar as an intentional ploy means that the Yuan supports the Dollar. This has been policy since 1997. This link alone – which anyone can verify right now with a click – destroys the East/West imaginary construct and internet meme economics. China manipulates its currency all right – to the benefit of the dollar. If it did not: the markets collapse – which is internecine.

Oh, and Trade War? China offering 51% ownership to America [Rasmus]. Beneath the headlines and Andre’s obfuscation: there is only one Empire. And China is part of it: a big part. But let’s not spoil a good narrative by letting brute economic fact and history get in the way.

bevin
bevin

Thank you for your summary of events.
You are however, in my view, wrong in your economic determinism. China is, manifestly, not ‘part of the Empire” nor is Russia. They are revolting against it, not because it is capitalist but because it is American.
The US hegemonic view has been that to be part of the capitalist system states have to submit and be parts of the tributary Empire. What we have seen in recent years is that this is unacceptable-nationalism has reared its head again- and state after state has indicated that it wishes to redefine its relationship with the United States. De Gaulle did it. For a period it was an object of the “European project” (in many eyes it still is and they remain in a state of denial) . Then Brics… etc.
Harvey does not understand this, he is a geographer rather than a historian. But what is happening is that the national capitalist classes have re-discovered that in order to jolly along the workers, reconcile the people to the routine emptiness and other horrors of capitalism, they have to sell their sacrifices as ‘for the nation’. For the greater good. For society.
The great thing about the current situation in the UK is that this nationalist impulse is married to the cause of socialist reform and the reversing of neo-liberalism. If it succeeds, in the sense of becoming the programme of government, it is likely to spread very quickly and become the central policy of anti-imperialism.
It is a long and winding road to Socialism and in the circumstances that we inherited-from the wrong decision of 1946 to accept the Lend Lease ‘debt’ and join with the United States in its bid for global hegemony- after three quarters of a wasted century, we are back at the point where we can choose an alternative to Empire in self development.

BigB
BigB

“China wants globalisation”. These are the actual words of President Xi. Words he has repeated since WEF 2017, and again at SPIEF 2019. In a recent interview with the FT: VVP repeatedly defended globalisation (a fact not lost on the Editor who picked up on it). China and Russia want, and are driving globalisation.

What is globalisation: if not liberalisation and privatisation. The old mantra still holds. I am not going to here: but I did recently provide a potted history of globalisation. As a precis: globalisation started in London and fanned out from there in waves of accumulation. London still is the capital of globalisation. The engine of globalisation is the ‘offshore’ Eurobond markets. And 70% of Eurobonds trade over the counter in London [Shaxson.]

China and Russia are extending globalisation: from which the City and Wall St still profit. The power of Wall St grew from the relocation of all of its major financial institutions to the City – to take advantage of the unregulated nature of the Euromarkets. The world is awash with dollars that have never seen the inside of the Fed: let alone come under SEC scrutiny. Tax? Tax be damned. Which is what makes speculators turn offshore. Offshore derivative and shadow (high return) banking that has money invested at the rate of 73.5:1. That means for every dollar invested in tangible assets: 73.5 are invested in nothing. Nothing tangible: just incalculable derivative risk and debt.

And who is the greatest asset bubble – grown out of nothing in not much more than ten years? It is not all propaganda: the claims of China’s ‘hidden debt bomb’.

There is only one globalisation: and it is centred in London. China offers no alternative. Every time they speak: VVP and Xi kotow to the Wahington Consensus. Every time: people ignore what they say.

Chinese-Russian rapprochement. Of course, we assess the current global developments; our positions coincide on a number of matters on the current global agenda, including our attitude towards compliance with generally accepted rules in trade, the international financial system, payments and settlements.

The G20 has accomplished a lot by advocating quota changes at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Both Russia and China share this approach. Considering the major increase in the global economic share of emerging markets, this is fair and right, and we have been voicing this position from the very beginning. And we are glad that this continues to develop and to proceed in line with changes in global trade.

Over the past 25 years or so (25, I believe), the share of G7 countries in the global GDP has declined from 58 percent to 40 percent. This should also be reflected in international institutions in some way. That is the common position of Russia and China. This is fair, and there is nothing special about this.

These are some relevant passages from the FT interview. That’s allegiance to the ‘rules’ of the WTO; the ‘finance’ of the IMF/WB/BIS; and the payment of SWIFT. The alternative to neoliberalism is green neoliberalism with pseudo-sovereigntist characteristics. This is ‘neoliberalism 4.0’ that is to replace the Classic Liberal neoliberalism.

Neoliberalism, or just plain old capitalism – American or Chinese – run contra humanity. If socialism runs with them: then socialism too runs contra to humanity. At this rate; humanity will not survive either. Russia wants to be ”number one”; China wants to be ”number one”. Both want to double their economies. The earth cannot afford this. There can be only one number one: the planet. And please do not take any of the current green neoliberal rhetoric as ecological. There is only one ecological imperative: to end capitalism. Before it ends us.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE

The law of the jungle on Wall Street was cultivated by the same ecological imperative with the credo being ‘kill or be killed’ and bears eat & bulls eat but pigs get slaughtered.

Neoliberals are merely following Darwinian Evolution where man has been pitted against every facet of the environment & ecological sphere whereby thousands of species are dying off at a rapid rate and heading for the same six sigma crash events as Late Stage Ponzi Capitalism is.

Welcome to the Hegelian Death Spiral & New World Disorder, plus the ZOMBIE Apocalypse all coming to theater, bank, & grocery store near you.

Propping the unregulated dark pool derivatives universe up to check Wall Street marquee Bank Holding Companies with more frenzied volumes of derivatives bets seems to be limitless only in the eyes of the poker players that are addicted to the outsized returns. Eventually, they will all realize that they are money junkies and addicted to Federal Reserve Monetary Heroin infused at fixed & variable rate drip feeds based upon their last dosage level of infused Monetary Heroin.

Powell is threatening to make the junkies of Wall Street go cold turkey and Orange Jesus Cheeto-head-in-cheese is playing Dr. Feelgood.

Probability of this ending in another thirty years of some stupid son of a bitch nicknamed ‘Maestro’ leading the pack is p = 0. A powerless Federal Reserve mired in negative interest rates is not going to facilitate the worn out old dogmatic & refuted system of neoliberalism merely because the Americans want to offshore to tax havens that have been the life blood of The City in the past simply via access negotiated.

Neoliberal Economics has destroyed the entire Western Banking System and all of the superstructures of Western economic orthodoxy. Centrality in the banking system has proven to be detriment to flow of money throughout all economies writ large across the world.

Sclerotic blockages system wide lead to fat tail breakdowns and six sigma distributional crashes system wide too. The Hegelian Death Spiral to the bottom of finance is here with our intractable debt system wide.

Think Jim Morrison singing ‘this is the end, my friend’.

MOU

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE

In Canada’s Parliamentary system we weed out any & all politicians that lie or cheat the system. Canadians don’t tolerate lying or cheating in any way whatsoever. Many politicians in Canada get run out of town on a rail when they transgress even a bit. Canadians have absolutely no tolerance whatsoever for politicians that lie. We have no rulers other than Parliament. The Queen of England is mere figurehead for our currency and the Governor General is the Queen’s mouthpiece for election writs & signatories.

Participatory democracy is the ruler if one knows how to participate.

MOU

Jen
Jen

I see your lot still hasn’t got rid of Chrystia Freeland.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE

I’m a Grumpy Marxist, Jen. I support all women in politics and especially MPs in the Liberal Party of Canada. MP Freeland is an absolute dynamo politician & political tactician. She is a stellar leader in Canada and in Parliament. We in Canada are all very appreciative of her professionalism and experience in myriad areas of bureaucracy.
Freeland is wholly representative of our best in politics and all Canadians back her fully even though some in opposition would like her job she is still admired by all.

Parliamentarians and Canadians all will regret the day she decides to move on to private industry as all with superior talent like her end up being enticed to go into private industry.

I think you will find that most Marxists are also very supportive of the Feminists too.

MOU

BigB
BigB

“Monetary heroin” just about encapsulates the ethos. But it is all a social construction – concretised and absolutised – as objective, natural, natural order, the way it is is the way we are. Its just mass hysteria and cultural conditioning. Economic reality encodes us: but it is not who we are.

We are culturally and economically encoded – and culture is economism or Capitalist Realism – as ‘independent self-optimising rational economic agents’ …which our own cognitive neuroscience and behavioural economics have proved we are not. But we have not updated the cultural programming – except at an elite economic level; to make even more money out of our “predictable unpredictability”. The underlying empathy, altruism, and integrated cooperative mutualism is still being suppressed.

Perhaps humanity is on the cusp of a pro-evolutionary cognitive revolution? Perhaps it is on the cusp of chaos and collapse? Perhaps both? One thing has been clear to me all my life. There can be no more progress under capitalism – whatever guise of form it currently takes.

For that, my friend, demands we go into rehap and try and manage our monetised cold turkey. It can be done: if the social will is present. But it is going to be brutal. Only, definitely less brutal that the unconscionable brutality and final failure entailed in the capitalist way of Thanatocide.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE

Professor Emeritus Sigmund Freud was certainly spot on when he gave us the death instinct acting at a cultural level of Thanatocide as you so accurately point out theoretically with regard to perspective. I fully agree wholeheartedly and I majored in Personality Theory for my degree in Experimental Psychology.

Cheers, MOU

Jen
Jen

If Canadians don’t tolerate lying or cheating in their politicians, then why is Chrystia Freeland still in Federal politics?

Freeland has known for a long time that her maternal grandfather Michael Chomiak willingly worked for the Nazi German government during World War II as an editor of a newspaper using equipment the Nazis had stolen from a Jewish printer who, along with his family, ended up in a concentration camp. She has claimed though that Chomiak, his wife and children fled Nazi persecution, though she’s yet to explain how they wound up in a Bavarian camp at the end of the war.

Freeland has also lied about meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin. It’s a wonder Justin Bieber Trudeau didn’t demote her for telling such a whopper, considering he got rid of Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould for refusing to intervene in a corruption case against SNC-Lavalin.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE

Non-prosecution Agreements are standard fare in the USA & EU, but you seem to think that Canada’s administration should adhere to Rule of Law as envisaged pre-NPA times before Too-BIG-to-fail. Moreover, JWR was not a team player vis-a-vis arbitrage proposed by the PM and caucus directive. In brief, when the PM asks the Liberally appointed Justice Minister to find avenues of arbitrage in a milieu of Too-BIG-to-fail it is incumbent upon the minister to facilitate the request without going rouge on the PM’s reputation & political agenda.

JWR acted ethically via rule of law and autonomy of the position appointed to her but when that same minister challenges authority of the PM one can conclude accurately that the minister is not reliable for the objective of management.

I would have done the same thing as Trudeau & Butts did so I will not pretend that I would not have acted the same way given the same situation.

As for Freeland being racist I, for one, think that is quite off the mark and behaviourally inaccurate in the extreme.
You are obviously a Republican adherent with an axe to grind on my Liberal Party of Canada.

I respect your perspective, Jen. Unfortunately, I have my own perspective and I am not influenced whatsoever by the ad hominem you inflict on my PM or Liberal Party of Canada. Sniping for Trudeau is standard fare of late as everyone is engaged in partisan zealotry with respect to their favored political camp.

You support the old boys club of Republicanism. I am a Marxist.

MOU

Jen
Jen

Poor MOU, unable to reconcile the script he was given etched on tablets of stone to read about Chrystia Freeland and to believe fervently in, with the real woman: a liar and moreover, a warmonger who puts the interests of the US before the interests of the country she is supposed to serve.

Keep trolling!

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE

Jen, I am very well educated. You are projecting.
Moreover, you are not Hanoi Jane or even remotely adept at propaganda if you think that you can play with someone like me.

MOU

TOby McCrossin
TOby McCrossin

The people living in mainland China are very happy with their political system as found by American polling company Edelman. Fully 76% of Chinese people have high trust in their government. How does that square with your view that the Chinese government is totalitarian? Do you know better than the Chinese people how their society should be run? 8500,000,000 people pulled out of poverty, the building of trillion dollar infrastructure projects to link developing countries in win-win trade partnerships? Perhaps it’s time to check your ideological presumptions at the door and give the Chinese people a bit of credit where it’s due?

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2017-10/27/content_33762163.htm

https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/china-lifting-800-million-people-out-of-poverty-is-historic-world-bank-117101300027_1.html

RopeResearch
RopeResearch

“President Trump, Please Liberate Us”

But this ‘liberator’ Trump, the US president, was awaiting a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, and called out in a loud voice:

‘Where’s my favorite dictator?’

Hallucination describes the rioters’ behaviour accurately.

mark
mark

Trump is too busy helping his chum Bonesaw Bin Salman to turn his country into a model of human rights and liberal democracy.

eddie
eddie

Macau, the 2nd wealthiest city in the world, and number one in gaming profit, is much more vital to Beijing. From 05:00 until 23:00, a constant mob of mainlanders & tourists fight their way in..
Hong Kong might be symbolic, but hardly worth more than the token effort Beijing is displaying in restoring order. Any of the five-eyes countries would have pulverized the hooligans from the beginning..
Where did the CIA dig up this nerdy punk-ass bitch Wong?

nottheonly1
nottheonly1

Since You asked, I like to answer Your question:

Hooligans.

Because a Hero, or Heroine at that, is a person that puts his/her own well being into harms way to save another being (at times also non-human beings), or ultimately sacrifices his/her own life to save that of another – without monetary considerations, or the hope to become a media star, or to receive a green card of sorts.

A hero/heroine acts out of empathy and compassion. Without any hesitation.

The people depicted in the Hong Kong riots and especially those carrying U.S. flags are the opposite of heroes and heroines. They are the scum on top of a boiling pot that is fanned by Western regimes. It only surprises that these people don’t carry a swastika – even though the U.S./UK flags are pretty close to that nowadays.

Should China be given advise in regards to how to treat these people, by showing them footage of OWS and the Gillet Jaunes? Even though, both of these movements were/are not rioting, paid-for terrorists and thus can not be compared to the violent HK ‘moderate rebels’.

I will reiterate my proposition to load them on a cruise ship and send them off to the UK and the U.S. Them they can experience first hand how their praised lands will treat them.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE

The title alone signifies that the author gives the reader a choice between either referencing the protestors as ‘hooligans’ or ‘heroes’ when in fact they are useful idiots that are being used by Orange Jesus Cheeto-head-in-cheese & the Whore House legal counsel for purposes of micromanaging China.
The Democrats did the same God damned thing to the people of Ukraine when they were pissed at Putin and the Russian Federation capture of Ukraine.

The protestors in Hong Kong are merely useful idiots that have been programmed by the same type of limited propaganda that the author of this article utilizes for propaganda purposes.

Manchester United fascist behaviour involved in sport is not analogous to the useful idiots that Orange Jesus Cheeto-head-in-cheese is utilizing unless someone can pinpoint Steve Bannon in the crowd exhibited in the above photograph.

P.S. No ‘heroes’ exist in the world. Hero mythology is always utilized for purposes of propaganda only.
Please read Jacques Ellul’s _Propaganda_.

MOU

bevin
bevin

There is not the slightest doubt that what is occurring in Hong Kong is a colour revolution closely
co-ordinated with military, commercial and diplomatic moves to weaken China and directly strengthen the forces which in Latin America and the Middle East wipe out democracy demonstrators before they can be mustered.
Those supporting the protests in Hong Kong are lining up with the snipers shooting kids in Gaza, the Death squads in Colombia and the massacres of shi’ites in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Not to mention the White Helmets in Syria and the Nazis in Ukraine.
Or did you think that working class people with real problems in China know the words of Rule Britannia or have forgotten the long list of aggressions against them by the United States?
In the declining years of the Global Hegemonic Empire you are either with the imperialists or against them. We just have to ensure that before it fades away into its tomb the Empire doesn’t succeed in confusing people to the extent that they cannot tell the difference between genuine striving for freedom and attempts to ensure that freedom is banished from the future by fascist imperialism. For that last is what the US is hoping to achieve by crippling Eurasian powers resisting its rule.

Ben Trovata
Ben Trovata

Yes!A color revolution[ Ecru?! ],advancing behind a corporate media shield.

RobG

I agree with what you say.

I’m very out of touch with Russia and China thesedays, but I was very fortunate to spend many weeks traveling across Russia and China in 1990; this, just as the old Soviet Union was collapsing and China was just starting to open up to the western world.

My take on it all, back then, was that people are people (and you can’t find nicer people than in Russia and China) and politics is total bullshit that follows the old divide and rule principle.

Antonym
Antonym

We all need more “Beijing” – 1984, starting with China’s periphery like Hong Kong, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Russia etc. so we will end up with a uniform materialistic ‘paradise’ full of empty clones, micromanaged by the big Egos who know best for all.

RopeResearch
RopeResearch

‘Support to Resistance’ from the ‘liberators’ themselves, is a must-read for every protestor.

The US supported the Tibetans, not to fight for freedom, but to impede and harass the Chinese Communists by getting the Tibetans and Chinese to fight and kill each other.

See page 48 for details about the CIA program in Tibet:
https://jsou.libguides.com/ld.php?content_id=48094050

Publication: Support to Resistance – Joint Special Operations University.

kevin morris
kevin morris

The wilful ignorance of the left on the situation in China and its resorting to such dog whistle terms as ‘CIA’ is really depressing. Tibet was a de facto independent country with its own language, legal system, currency and system of taxation up to when the so called People’s Liberation Invaded Tibet in 1951 and forced the Dalai Lama to sign the so called Thirteen Point Agreement’. The CIA most certainly did fund the mostly Khampa guerrillas who were based in Mustang in northern Nepal. However, following US China rapprochment in the early 1970s US support ended and many of those brave Khampa guerrillas committed suicide.

The Chinese treatment of Tibet has three times been described as genocide by the International Commission of Jurists. We shouldn’t be surprised because the Han have a track record of appalling treatment of its minorities. In Eastern Turkestan it is estimated that a million Uighurs are imprisoned where they are subjected to daily injections of chemical coshes which render them incapable of judjement. They are told that they are Chinese and punished for speaking in their own tongue.

If you really wished to understand why a million Hong Kongers have been willing to go out onto the street in order to defend the position awarded them under the ‘one country two systems’ agreement with London prior to the UK handover of Hong Kong in 1997, you would do well to investigate what happened to the 50 million practitioners of Falun Gong, many of them middle ranking Party officials, who had erstwhile been described as practising exercises that fostered ‘socialist wellbeing’ but who ended imprisoned with an estimated million of them subjected to enforced organ donations at the profit of the Chinese Communist Party. The China Tribunal, chaired by QC SIr Geoffrey Nice says,

‘ Very many people have died indescribably hideous deaths for no reason’,

But stories such as this one never mention Falun Gong or the 30 million who died during the Great Leap Forward, or the suicides of Tibetans in despair at their treatment by the colonialist Communist Party.

The truth is that many in China do protest their treatment under Socialism with Chinese characteristics, but most know all too well the dangers of doing so. I do wonder how those who have the freedom to bray about the CIA would feel if the boot was on the other foot.

RopeResearch
RopeResearch

“The Chinese treatment of Tibet has three times been described as genocide”

Nevertheless, the US government celebrated the fighting (between CIA trained Tibetan guerillas and the Chinese forces) and were very excited with killing of the Tibetan fighters and declared their (STR) programs are working very well. And so, they extended funding for the Support to Resistance (STR) to exacerbate the situation and have more people annihilated.

Jen
Jen

Perhaps if the CIA hadn’t funded Tibetan opposition to Beijing, the Chinese Communist government might not have treated Tibetans as badly as it did from the 1950s onwards to more recent times.

A quotation by Gyalo Thondup, elder brother of the 14th Dalai Lama, from Anne F Thurston’s book “The Noodle Maker of Kalimpong”:

In all my life, I have only one regret: my involvement with the CIA. Initially, I genuinely believed that the Americans wanted to help us fight for our independence. Eventually, I realised that was not true. It was misguided and wishful thinking on my part. The CIA’s goal was never independence for Tibet. In fact, I do not think that the Americans ever really wanted to help. They just wanted to stir up trouble, using the Tibetans to create misunderstandings and discord between China and India. Eventually they were successful in that. The 1962 Sino-Indian border war was one tragic result.

bevin
bevin

“In Eastern Turkestan it is estimated that a million Uighurs are imprisoned where they are subjected to daily injections of chemical coshes which render them incapable of judgement.”
Estimated by whom? A million Uighurs being heavily drugged daily sounds most unlikely, extremely expensive. And just the sort of nonsense that a paid propagandist would come up with.
It is peculiar that a person of your obvious intelligence would give such claims and credence.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee

Whatever the grievances of the HongKong protestors encouraging outside powers to interfere in this imbroglio must be clearly unacceptable. What is going on is a gross violation of national sovereignty. Funny how when the massacres in East Timor took place the Western media was conspicuous by its absence. To all intents looks like an archetypal colour revolution. And it will end the same way. The country in question will be worse off than it started with. Just take a look at Ukraine the prototype.

Jen
Jen

Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo are known to have passed through Hong Kong in June earlier this year and to have met with at least one supporter of the “protest movement”, the media tycoon Jimmy Lai, who has also been photographed with former US national security advisor John Bolton. A photograph taken of Joshua Wong and other Demosisto Party leaders conferring with US consular official Julie Eadeh (political chief at the US consulate in HK) has been doing the rounds of the Internet. So right from the start the US had a hand in fomenting and escalating the protests from what originally was a protest against a proposed extradition bill (to enable the extradition of a HK national wanted for murder in Taiwan; the fellow is currently in jail in HK on related charges but will be released in October this year) into a demands for universal suffrage, an investigation into supposed HK police violence and brutality and for the current HK Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, to resign.