Hong Kong shoppers patronize "yellow" stores that support the uprising; while "blue" businesses that support the mainland are vandalized

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/01/16/pepe-reinvented.html

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Better watch those moms and pops don’t take early retirement on the mainland and their businesses become nationalized.

What is really the end game for the Hong Kong protestors? I’ve been thinking a lot about the 1989 revolutions due to their recent 30th anniversary, and they worked (with the obvious exception of China) because the ruling classes in Eastern Europe no longer believed in their own ideology and knew deep down that they were failures compared to the West. This sense wasn’t true in China in 1989 and even less so now. I just don’t see any ending other than 1) the protests eventually peter out due to lack of interest or 2) China actually cracks down with force.

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I don’t find that too weird, but I’m a dinosaur who perfers to shoehorn everything into a left right spectrum, unlike more woke people who prefer to shoehorn everything in an authoritarian/anti-autoritarian dimension.

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Tiananmen Square was not the same as the Eastern European revolutions. The student protestors were communists who believed that the Chinese government were betraying the revolution.


I don’t think that’s particularly true. Yes, currently in the PRC there’s a small dissident movement that (selectively) quotes Mao and presents themselves as being truer to the revolution than the money-obsessed leaders of today’s China, but the 1989 student protesters there were very much of the same pro-democracy wave that was in Eastern Europe at the time – they were calling for not a return to Maoism but for a multi-party democracy to be established. But my point was that in 1989 the protestors saw themselves as opposing weak regimes that could be toppled. What do the Hong Kong protestors hope to accomplish? Yes, originally it was about the extradition law, and they won on that point. But now?

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“If the boot is coming down anyway, we might as well be standing rather than lying”?

… though maybe they’d workshop their rhetoric a bit longer than I did


That goddamned frog. Couldn’t they pick a better mascot?

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Hmm. For now. maybe.

I suspect that if it does not peter out China WILL eventually crack down directly and hard. Fear of excessive damage to Hong Kong’s economy and implications for China’s may be all that is stopping them right now, but that fear will subside when the interests of party control become uppermost.

HK’s protestors, I believe, see their future within China’s social media control programme and see what is happening to any difference, let alone dissent, with respect to the Uighers, and they know they will not be allowed to be different in the long term once HK gets absorbed so are getting their retaliation in first, so to speak. They are unlikely to win until/unless mainland citizens also revolt en masse. Unlikely.

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Opposing Maoism and the dictatorship is not necessarily the same as opposing communism. M-L may have been the dominant form of communism in the 20th century, but it is far from the only kind. The students at Tiananmen Square in 1989 would regularly sing The Internationale, which would be extremely unlikely if they were anti-communist.

But as you point out, I’m going off topic and a long discussion about the various forms of communism and socialism probably isn’t useful at this time.


What is the alternative? To be quiet and go on living under an oppressive regime? Doing this despite the low odds of success and high odds of severe punishment is what makes it so brave.

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