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Day +9 Umbrella Revolution, 2014 October 9

Human nature, essentially changeable, as unstable as the dust, can endure no restraint; if it binds itself it soon begins to tear madly at its bonds, until it rends everything asunder, the wall, the bonds, and its very self. – Franz Kafka in ‘The Great Wall of China’

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46330420_p0_master1200

Alarm on the night bell once answered – it cannot be made good, not ever. – Franz Kafka

All too often men are betrayed by the word freedom. – Franz Kafka

46350401_p0_master1200Beyond a certain point there is no return. This point has to be reached. – Franz Kafka

 Day +8, +9, +10, +n: Kafka in the Umbrella Revolution

I

Give It Up! Give It Up!

It was very early in the morning, the streets clean and deserted, I was on my way to the station. As I compared the tower clock with my watch I realized it was much later than I had thought and that I had to hurry; the shock of this discovery made me feel uncertain of the way, I wasn’t very well acquainted with the town as yet; fortunately, there was a policeman at hand, I ran to him and breathlessly asked him the way. He smiled and said: “You asking me the way?” “Yes,” I said, “since I can’t find it myself.” “Give it up! Give it up!” said he, and turned with a sudden jerk, like someone who wants to be alone with his laughter.

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II

The Law: The high degree of autonomy of HKSAR is not an inherent power, but one that comes solely from the authorization by the central leadership. The high degree of autonomy of the HKSAR is not full autonomy, nor a decentralized power. It is the power to run local affairs as authorized by the central leadership.

Student of Hong Kong sits before the Law’s Doorkeeper C Y Leung. She bears a gift…

Before the Law

Before the Law stands a doorkeeper on guard. To this doorkeeper there comes a man from the country who begs for admittance to the Law. But the doorkeeper says that he cannot admit the man at the moment. The man, on reflection, asks if he will be allowed, then, to enter later. ‘It is possible,’ answers the doorkeeper, ‘but not at this moment.’ Since the door leading into the Law stands open as usual and the doorkeeper steps to one side, the man bends down to peer through the entrance. When the doorkeeper sees that, he laughs and says: ‘If you are so strongly tempted, try to get in without my permission. But note that I am powerful. And I am only the lowest doorkeeper. From hall to hall keepers stand at every door, one more powerful than the other. Even the third of these has an aspect that even I cannot bear to look at.’ These are difficulties which the man from the country has not expected to meet, the Law, he thinks, should be accessible to every man and at all times, but when he looks more closely at the doorkeeper in his furred robe, with his huge pointed nose and long, thin, Tartar beard, he decides that he had better wait until he gets permission to enter. The doorkeeper gives him a stool and lets him sit down at the side of the door. There he sits waiting for days and years. He makes many attempts to be allowed in and wearies the doorkeeper with his importunity. The doorkeeper often engages him in brief conversation, asking him about his home and about other matters, but the questions are put quite impersonally, as great men put questions, and always conclude with the statement that the man cannot be allowed to enter yet.

…[A]t the beginning of the story we are told that the door leading into the Law stands always open, and if it stands open always, that is to say, at all times, without reference to the life or death of the man, then the doorkeeper is incapable of closing it. There is some difference of opinions about the motive behind the doorkeeper’s statement, whether he said he was going to close the door merely for the sake of giving an answer, or to emphasize his devotion to duty, or to bring the man into a state of grief and regret in his last moments. But there is no lack of agreement that the doorkeeper will not be able to shut the door. Many indeed profess to find that he is subordinate to the man even in wisdom, towards the end, at least, for the man sees the radiance that issues from the door of the Law while the doorkeeper in his official position must stand with his back to the door, nor does he say anything to show that he has perceived the change.”

Whatever he may seem to us, he is yet a servant of the Law; that is, he belongs to the Law and as such is set beyond human judgment. In that case one dare not believe that the doorkeeper is subordinate to the man. Bound as he is by his service, even at the door of the Law, he is incomparably freer than anyone at large in the world. The man is only seeking the Law, the doorkeeper is already attached to it. It is the Law that has placed him at his post; to doubt his integrity is to doubt the Law itself.”

“I don’t agree with that point of view,” said K. shaking his head, “for if one accepts it, one must accept as true everything the doorkeeper says. But you yourself have sufficiently proved how impossible it is to do that.”

“No,” said the priest, “it is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary.”

“A melancholy conclusion,” said K. “It turns lying into a universal principle.”

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III

Session 1: The constitutional basis of the constitutional development.

[In Session, Friday, 4:01 pm. 2014, October 10]

Comrade Lam: In Hong Kong, the channels of communication are wide open. Anyone who disagrees with the stance taken by the Standing Committee is more than welcome to use normal, sensible channels of appeal. To communicate, one ought not resort to extremes like “Occupy Central.” This is not communication, it is confrontation.

Student A: With respect, Madame, you play with words, and so well, too, like a fiddler and so with our lives.

Student B: There is perhaps no people more faithful to the Emperor than ours in the south, but the Emperor derives no advantage from our fidelity. True, the sacred dragon stands on the little column at the end of the village, and ever since the beginning of human memory it has breathed out its fiery breath in the direction of Peking in token of homage–but Peking itself is far stranger to the people in our village than the next world.

Comrade Lau: During this extraordinary moment, the people of Hong Kong should unite in supporting the law of the Special Administrative Region’s government and the firm decisions of its police force, and quickly restore public order. They should act in accordance with Hong Kong Basic Law and the provisions set out in the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, in order to push for the development of a democratic system that suits the realities on the ground in Hong Kong.

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Session 2: The legal requirement of the constitutional development.

[In Session, Saturday, 4:01 pm. 2014, October 11]

Comrade Lam: All comrades in the party and the people throughout the country must soberly recognize the fact that our country will have no peaceful days if this disturbance is not checked resolutely. This struggle concerns the success or failure of the reform and opening up, the program of the four modernizations, and the future of our state and nation.

Student A: The government has no sincerity.

Student B: We have a message to the government. Face the demands of the people!

Comrade Lau:  We should all follow the Basic Law, which was promulgated 27 years ago. We should work within the framework of the decision of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC). Only do we follow the provisions of the Basic Law and the decisions of the NPCSC can we have universal suffrage in 2017.

Student C: One should not waste our time here. We’ll waste it at your door. Where, by the way, is your Doorkeeper?

Comrade Lam: Insolence gets you nowhere. One man, the real power, we all know, resides only in the highest court, which is totally inaccessible to you and me and everyone else. We don’t know what things look like up there, and incidentally, we don’t want to know.

Day +6: Hong Kong versus the Rest of China

How China’s Central People’s Government cheated on politics, cheated Hong Kong, and cheated its own people. In other words, they are why Hong Kong protested: a revolution to bring back a status quo.


China is a danger to itself — thence to Hong Kong. China keep out. 

The Umbrella Revolution in three words:

zheng = strive. 改 gai = change.  變 bian = different.

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Strive. Change. Be Different.

The Umbrella Revolution is different from other revolutions in that it does not seek upheaval nor to bring down anyone since there is no status quo to change. On the contrary, it is seeking precisely the opposite — for a return to a status quo, which is to keep Chinese mainland life out of Hong Kong. And that is for a good reason, we shall return to.

The Hong Kong government crackdown on dissent in particular on September 28 and 29 rests on two primary justifications: (a) its responsibility towards social order and (b) unlawfulness of the protests.

The Beijing government adds one more, foreign interference in China’s internal affairs, a problem easily dealt with through a cease and desist order on the Filipino maids and their men hangers-on not to participate in the demonstration and then to be deported, Pinoys fuck off! Forthwith. Beijing wants to forget that it was the people of Hong Kong and political parties like the Democratic Party that rose up in street demonstrations to denounce the Philippines for killing eight Hong Kong people for no reason other than that they were on tourism holiday in Manila. The killings followed, incredulously, by a Pinoy government apology for the murderer, a cop. It was pure, unadulterated Pinoy racism and this hasn’t stopped. Philippines today routinely round up Chinese fishermen then parade them to their media for incursion into Philippine waters which one could never tell where it begins and ends. All the while, Beijing’s only response is to give speeches — they and their apologists like Global Times are so good at it.

If the problem is social disorder, then Confucius might well ask, who and what had created it in the first place? If the problem is one of legality, what then is the law?

Answers to those questions will have to go backwards, specifically one month.

Orwell and the NPC Paper

Dated 2014 August 31, a paper released by China’s parliament the National People’s Congress (NPC) had sparked three major groups within Hong Kong into unprecedented protests, which were to seize then occupy the government offices of Hong Kong for an indefinite period. The groups are (1) students, (2) the Anglophiles and (3) political parties. Although it gets the widest media publicity, the Anglophone Occupy Central, comprised mostly of English speaking professors and the Church that is sponsoring them, is the least important of the groups. It is the students who are at the front line, taking the bulk of the police abuse while the professors give speeches — in English — after the tear gas has cleared. The political parties meanwhile resign themselves to issuing press releases.

Now to the NPC paper. It has an Orwellian, Big Brother style language in its subtitle which reads — now don’t pause if are to get through it in one breath:

Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Issues Relating to the Selection of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by Universal Suffrage and on the Method for Forming the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in the Year 2016.

Break it up and the paper boils down to two bullet points, although these are called ‘issues':

  • Election of the Chief Executive (CE) of Hong Kong, and
  • Formation of the Hong Kong Legislative Council in 2016.

Place your attention on the CE. Before that, some background explanation which, for the sake of brevity, will be made to revolve around three core matters:

  • (a) the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s ultimate legal authority,
  • (b) a promise by the Central People’s Government (CPG) to Hong Kong running up to the 1997 handover, and
  • (c) election timetable.

There was never actually a timetable written anywhere but if Hong Kong’s autonomy has 50 years to run then that could only be meaningful if elections for both the legislature (Dewan Negri) and the Chief Executive (Mentri Besar) were held before the expiry date. In the beginning the Opposition parties pushed for 2007 to elect the CE, ten years after handover, then 2012. All those came to nothing until most recently when they got 2017 for the CE, by which time there was just 30 years left. Legislature elections are in 2016.

Now, in the NPC paper, the CPGovernment agreed to both dates, thereby giving specificity and concreteness to the promise made under Deng Xiaoping that states, fundamentally, only ‘Hong Kong people shall administer Hong Kong’. It is a promise later to be enshrined in the policy principle of One Country, Two Systems and given legal weight in the Basic Law (Art. 22) which states inter alia that nothing under CPG, that is, Beijing’s jurisdiction, may ‘interfere’ in Hong Kong affairs.

Day +4 street scene in Hong Kong.

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Broken promises. Broken deals.

It is at this juncture that things begin to unravel over the problem of non-interference and, hence, Beijing’s promise under Deng. Unraveling starts with the paper. Go to the last page, Page Three, and it is here that a methodological framework for the CE election is spelled out in some detail. These are reproduced below for concision:

  • First, the CE is elected by ‘universal suffrage’, whatever that means, but it is to say, by a direct vote.
  • Second, for the purpose of nominating candidates for the CE election, there shall be a ‘broadly representative nominating committee’.
  • Three, the nominating committee in turn nominates ‘two to three’ candidates to contest in the CE elections. Nomination is by way of ‘more than half’ the committee vote, that is, n+1 where n is any number constituting the committee members.
  • Four, only one candidate is elected to the CE by a direct vote.
  • Five, after which, the candidate is ‘appointed’ by the CPG.

Article 48 of the Basic Law lays out the duties of the CE who, although accountable to the CPG and the legislature, has presidential powers as if this is America, a state within a state. It’s unprecedented in the history of any modern state and so it is to China’s credit and Beijing as well to let Hong Kong go this far, like saying that New York can cut itself off from the rest of America, elect its own president, adopt socialism, print its own money, and essentially do what it likes except in matters foreign affairs and national defence.

Given those concessions, why aren’t Hong Kong people satisfied?

There was never any need by Hong Kong politicians, the democratic side in particular, to agree with a new CE even one who is approved by Beijing. Legislative Council (LegCo in short) politicians have powers the CE doesn’t, such as the control of finance, so that it is within their purview to make hell out of the life of any CE.

But to do that democrats (as opposed to pro-Beijing politicians) must have enough of its people inside LegCo. But they don’t. It is this minority status that leaves the political life of the democrats in abeyance: the more they shout against Beijing, the more likely they will alienate themselves from the mainstream population, hobbled in their political future and never able to expand beyond their anti-Beijing electorate base.

This explains why parties like the Democratic Party have been exceptionally quiet in these days, preferring to leave the protest to students who have no political ambitions and very little to loose. Occupy Central organizers, although they shout the loudest, were non-starters. Comprised of university professors and church goers and kitchen maids, they have little competence in politics beyond their platitudes of peace and love; and most, if push come to shove, would throw you under the bus if only to save their skins.

All this leave the students very much alone… But so be it.

In their attacks on Hong Kong dissension, Beijing apologists (in the English Global Times lead the pack, Hidden Harmonies is next) repeatedly make two points: (a) those Hong Kong ingrates never had anything remotely like this during British administration and (b) that the CE is also accountable to China and not just Hong Kong alone. But if they are right — and being right is not merely a matter of historical or legal veracity, but of ethical exactitude — why then is it you can find holes in the NPC (above) formula that are as large as CY Leung’s nostrils?

Crime going up? Wrong. Journalists, a strange lot, read the graph upside down: Prosecutions have gone up, but the wrong type.

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Thou shall have no other God but China.

Much of the NPC paper’s discourse and its pronouncement on election methods are not new; they are regurgitated from the Basic Law, most pertinently Annex I: “Method for the Selection of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region”. It is what the apologists (Hidden Harmonies) left out that have stung Hong Kong the most:

(a) The NPC, or CPG by another name, has limited the EC contest to ‘two to three’ candidates. This limitation not only went against the spirit of the Basic Law, it also broke the promise of what has been so far an unwritten, hands-off policy. Worse for it, the NPC decision was also unconstitutional (Art. 25 and 26) when all are equal before the law, with the same right to vote and stand for elections.

(b) A far more ominous case of interference was in setting the standards for determining the appointment of the CE. Recall that the CPG appoints the CE-elect, a case akin to the ceremonial monarch who appoints the prime minister, as in the experiences of Commonwealth countries. There is a difference however. In the NPC paper the CE-elect is defined as somebody who ‘loves the country and loves Hong Kong’ and then it goes into platitudes about why this ‘love’ is a necessary requisite for appointment: national sovereignty and so on. It is as if a monotheist religion has crept into politics, a certain religiosity, indeed a western, Christian feel to the requirement: Love thy China. Thou shall acknowledge no other God other than China.

Nobody had heard of such a principle until then. How had this absurd messianic idea come about? From what? Whence? Why presume your nationals are out to sell your country? How had Xi Jinping, to take one official among others, proven his love credentials? That such a condition should be thrown up so suddenly, so arbitrarily, out of the blue, reflects CPG’s distrust of Hong Kong people, themselves Chinese who they had wish to see Chinese integrated with the mainland.

In their media reports western journalists tended to impute that Hong Kong people distrust China, hence the politics and the protests. They are wrong. It’s the other way around. In Beijing’s power corridors, they often presumed the worse in people, Hobbesian rulers (to who life is short, nasty and brutish) scheming up ideas and then dressing them up as laws and principles that invariably put lives into straightjackets.

A legacy of a western conservative ideological thought, raised without any ethical compunction, they see no other way to regulate behavior other than to rely on an apparatus of regulations and rules. In short they are a bunch of bananas, yellow outside, white inside. They are the precise opposite of the Confucian code of conduct of internally, self driven volition and discipline seen everywhere in Hong Kong and are seen exercised by its protestors. They are as un-Chinese as they come.

China is such a regulated society that in the days of the Qing dynasty there was a law requiring mourning to last for three years. Now, one mourns a once great civilization reduced to a hedonist life, below.

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Mao Yeye from 1 Yuan Up

China is today a highly regulated society — far more regulated than say, America — in part because the Chinese can be an ungovernable lot. But the more the regulations, the more they produced cases of cheating, giving rise to precisely the opposite effect of laws’ intent: more corruption.

Why the CPG should cheat on Hong Kong is like asking why China cheats at all. It is today an every day story, a norm: business contracts are nothing more than pieces of paper fit for the toilet. Nine of every ten persons you meet have a sordid tale of being cheated by family, by relatives, by friends, by taxi drivers, by business associates, by communist party officers, by some buzhang (部长) or some lingdao (领导) personnel, even by some casual acquaintances one meets in a train station or over QQ or Taobao that have become facilitating agents for widespread fraud. Always the cheat gets away with it and this, in its turn, engenders more cheating.

Why should the Central People’s Government be any different from the rest of China? They had been raised the same way after all and their only moral compass is the state exhortation to get rich: trust nobody other than Mao yeye, the man who appears in all the currency notes from 1 yuan up. Hong Kong people had seen this state of affairs from up close and sees no reason why they should be a part of such a society — the farther it is from the mainland the better for Hong Kong. This has to start at the top — the Chief Executive.

Stn01_20140731In the station above, diesel and petrol are smuggled in from Burma then sold from storage tanks placed above ground (pic below), illegal on both counts. But, as in many things Chinese, and with God dead, everything is permissible at the right price; an entire corp of lingdao bought off.

Tank03_20140731

 ‘Revolution is not a dinner party.’ — Anonymous; sometimes attributed to Mao Zedong.

Day +4

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How the Umbrella Revolution is pro-Chinese whereas Beijing and the Hong Kong Government are Western creatures and anti-Chinese. The ingredients of a revolution…

RAISON D’ETRE: At home, be your own master.

To catch the nuances of the Umbrella Revolution which, ostensibly, centers on electoral politics, you must go to its fringe to find the deeper and broader narratives. One is freedom (in hanyu ziyou 自由) and, because of its Christian overuse (democracy, freedom of assembly, etc.) especially in liberal, western media propaganda, it is often the most maligned term and invariably misunderstood.

Go now to the top photo. See the protestor with the headband? It doesn’t say freedom, ziyou. On it is instead inscribed the script 人民作主 renmin zuozhu, literal translation ‘people decide’, the meaning from which comes from the idiom 当家作主 dangjia zuozhu, literal translation ‘at home, decide'; meaning translation, ‘in your own affairs, be the master’. This has its Confucian philosophical beginnings in that the individual is the beginning of the world, immediately flowing from whom is the family. Hong Kong is simply the amalgamation of numerous, domestic households and Beijing’s central authority, with the thinking of white people, purports to work for the interest of social harmony and Chinese unity. But both have been — and are — one of the greatest opponents of classical Confucianism, the soul of the Chinese.

Freedom stems not from the individual because — and think about it — how can a person, individually, absent of everybody else has any meaningful existence alone and outside of reality of other persons, the world? Alone in an uninhabited island, a man is completely free but the freedom is meaningless. Freedom is, hence, being master of one’s fate, starting with the family, so that in the headband script jia 家, or family, is replaced by two characters renmin 人民, people. In Hong Kong, master your own destiny.

(Side note: it’s a pity that no English word accurately encapsulates the Chinese concept of freedom. In their ignorance and naivety, the western media — Reuters/photographer Carlos Barria — that took the photo above simply couldn’t see the script’s significance; they saw only a headband. It’s also no accident that a chief organizer and thinker behind the Umbrella Revolution is a Chinese literature undergraduate of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Joshua Wong, who the western media bandies about as Christian and leader, has his uses. He is a white man’s poster boy.)

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OBJECTIVES: Preserving Chinese traditions

Once the reason for being exists, it is a small step to defining the immediate objectives which are two-fold: (a) CY Leung steps down and (b) Beijing rescinds its August decision to have any say or influence in the nomination of candidates for the top Hong Kong Chief Executive officer. True, no man chooses his father, but who says outsiders can do likewise? Let it therefore come as naturally as the sun rises.

But such objectives are merely surface manifestations. They can have permanent meaning and deeper values only if they help drive forward the intent in jia zuozhu 家作主 and this is, Hong Kong’s value system.

The western media is susceptible to its own indoctrination, making their own assumptions for the real. They imagine that the Umbrella Revolution seeks to preserve: (a) a liberal political culture (elections, free speech), from which flows the next thing, (b) economic wealth. That is also to say, rather plainly, from freedom comes wealth. But they are wrong.

Decades of communist and Soviet-style indoctrination have today produced in China, societies and their population not only different from Hong Kong but nearly unrecognizable in its beginning Confucian culture. In them is a materialist preoccupation with jobs, money, sex, Louis Vuitton, a self-indulgence that will make even the American narcissist squirm and shaming America as being parochial. No country in the world, including America, is more free-wheeling and individualistic than China — doing whatever pleases you — and this is no exaggeration.

But if these are indeed the social and cultural values Hong Kong seeks, then there is no need for a revolution. Anson Chan, the Anglophile and colonial apologist was right in one respect when she said in London to the western media about the protests: “What is at stake is our core values and our way of life.

Our core values? Way of life? Grand words, but what are they, exactly? By ‘our’, Chan probably has in mind Anglo-Saxon, Protestant ethics, free expression, materialism, and so on. If Chan’s definition is right, then China provides that in abundance (see photo and caption below). If, on the other hand, the Umbrella Revolution is not about protecting modern liberalism and but preserving something else then, what could it be? One answer is provided by a protestor: “Our fathers and grandfathers came here and gave us our freedom. We must act now for the sake of our children.

The statement loops back to the revolution’s raison d’etre, back to the two ingredients of values: freedom and family. In another word, preserving the  old. Outside of Taiwan and Macau, Hong Kong, in spite of British rule, was the last bastion of Chinese-Confucian culture and this remained so even long after China surrendered its communism, returning it to the Marxists and Russians.

Carlos Barria, representative of western (and Reuters) thinking, believe that in China and elsewhere freedom is materialism, (“They’re not scared of you,” Barria said, quoting. “They’re scared of what you represent to them — freedom.“). In the case above, freedom is acting hot anyway you want it. In the photo from Barria he thinks, stupid boy, that freedom is a Harley Davidson and girl in leather hot pants and boots. But, if such are the attributes of freedom, China actually grants them to the mainland Chinese. That being so, what has Hong Kong to bitch about? Because of the vote? Why bother with it if, in the end, you can still live any way you desire which westerners such as Barria say Hong Kong already has anyway and is no danger of losing their hot pant girls, not at all. Poor Barria, so typical in western thought, befuddled by their own contradictions.

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ORGANIZATION: Road is made by people walking.

Western journalists and their local hangers-on in Hong Kong complained recently: they didn’t know who to call. It wasn’t good enough they have lots of photographs, smoke wafting in the air, people dodging, some dragged by the collar. They want a story with strategy, a grand design, better yet something laid out in linear progression so that they can follow the path and see where it leads to, answering the question, what’s next?

They find it incredulous that people can actually organize without an organization, that people are willing to answer a distress call on Facebook for no reason other than the other person sending out the text is another human, another student, that ‘leaders’ exist to take orders and not the other way around.

A revolution is not a dinner party, but the upheaval and the pain need not be accompanied by death and mayhem, actions which are contradictory and suicidal. In coming to this thinking, recent days have seen civic action on an unprecedented scale. It is a revolution which, according to the Thai definition by Thanon Khanthong, is not a revolution. He has two conditions for a revolution: ‘bring(ing) down the government and caus(ing) radical political change’. In Khanthong’s argument, there may be radical change but without bringing down the government, it isn’t a revolution. “So the Hong Kong mass protest is,” he adds, “an exercise in daydreaming.” Such is Khanthong-Thai logicism: a rose is only a rose after it has bloomed; anything else before the event, that is, the flowering, is futility. You can’t even call it a rose.

Foreigners are beginning to pour scorn on Hong Kong and its revolution and for good reason: the stock market is down by 7 percent and that means losing a paper value of about USD 7 billion. Then there is shopping: the mainland tourists are not around to buy the Armani and the Chanel. They can’t believe so much damage, all by a bunch of kids, ‘rudderless’ as they say, without direction. How that’s possible they wonder.

They must think we are to a stupid lot because in the liberal’s concept of revolution, it is the following: white man, beer cans in hand, middle finger, police one side, white people the other shouting ‘fuck you’, cars burning in the background.  Here’s a white man’s assessment: “The drunken aggression displayed by the foreigners is a marked contrast to the largely peaceful tactics of the Chinese.”

Now, if a thing is peaceful then organization would be minimal, would it not? It is only in war one needs machinery. In this revolution, one needs only people: A road is made by people walking.

Afterword: For a text summary into the Umbrella Revolution, the Wiki post 2014 Hong Kong protests is still the best so far yet in the English.

2014 October 4. Day +3. The Art of the Revolution

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Carrying On

Carry on? Like this…

Or this?

If only the cops do their job, like this…

The Umbrella Revolution was and still is a model revolution. Yes, carry on…

Never mind the provocation.

Students carry on, hanging on to their tents that mobsters in Mongkok (below) tried to tear down.

October 4, day and night, they carried on to march, sit and to blockade (above and below), Captain America notwithstanding.

They cleaned up, recycling the trash.

They carried on with their class lessons at the protest site.

They studied.

They carried on, sitting. Open the damn gates, the protest says.

And they carried on talking, still looking good … until the next rain and gas.

They also have their umbrellas.

Will Master J. Wong return this to its owner? Please?

The Instagrams pictures they blocked:

Hong Kong protestors are entirely unlike the ones most others imagine, burning and tearing down people’s property, or the way zhongyang imagines (the word is Beijing central government, not China, because China, as idiot western reporters say it, would be contradictory since Hong Kong is also China and China is also Taiwan and also Shenzhen…): they clean up, pick up the trash left behind, scrub out the graffiti and, in the case above, at Causeway, they apologized to have to close the subway entry/exit and then suggest the closest alternative entry – straight on, take a left, behind Sogo.

It didn’t rain last night. Remember the night before? It was worse then: flash thunder, storm winds, sheets of rain. We were on the street outside the building; you know, the PLA building not far from Admiralty? The upper floors were lighted. They were probably inside, looking down at us, seeing the wind and rain as if nature would wash us away. They must be thinking, even tian, heaven, is not on our side. Maybe so. But they forgot: we brought umbrellas. So late and they’re still around. Maybe, Wong added, they are planning something.

One person came by with homemade gas masks which, it must be said, were good chemical-lab quality. Ten dollars (About 4 ringgit). Some mainland compatriots were caught in the standoff, and one says she doesn’t understand what this is all about. She has a problem: not able to go anywhere because there’s no traffic. Her solution was simply, really: find the nearest bingguan and stay there until her scheduled holiday ends. Better yet, for us, she can join us: it’s called Revolution Tour. But, the hypocritical ones are the Filipino maids and their men. They say they can’t join us because they’re afraid of deportation and this is fine by us because who wants them? In the Philippines they pick on the Chinese and have killed many of us. Indeed, they shouldn’t join us: this, a Chinese internal affair, is none of their business. We are perfectly capable on our own.

If CY doesn’t step down — today is deadline; he has not many hours left to decide — then we move in. After which, we’ll see.

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