The March Philosophy Book of the Month is Final Notice by Van Fleisher. Discuss Final Notice now.

The April Philosophy Book of the Month is The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight. Discuss The Unbound Soul Now

The May Philosophy Book of the Month is Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler.

U S Support on Hongkong in Turmoil

Have philosophical discussions about politics, law, and government.
Featured Article: Definition of Freedom - What Freedom Means to Me
Post Reply
gad-fly
Posts: 22
Joined: October 23rd, 2019, 4:48 pm

U S Support on Hongkong in Turmoil

Post by gad-fly » November 30th, 2019, 12:40 am

What impact U. S. support can have on Hong Kong in its present turmoil? Protesters in the Liberation Movement can be seen openly celebrating the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act signed into law, with such placards as "President Trump, please liberate Hong Kong." Other residents longing for the return of law and order would be less enthusiastic, fearing that such support may heighten and prolong the turmoil instead.

In the jacket of 'Diplomacy', "Kissinger shows how Americans, from the very beginning, sought a distinctive foreign policy based on idealism." Is Congress passing the act also based on idealism? Between self-interest and idealism, I think it is substantially based on idealism, if not very much so. If I was American, I would be proud.

Does Great Britain have any obligation to follow suit with some moral equivalent of the Act? No stirring can be sensed on the horizon. Some may argue that the present British Government should show more concern on its ex-colony, the sovereignty of which has been signed away in the Joint Declaration to China. Perhaps Hong Kong must wait until Brexit is resolved.

Steve3007
Posts: 6053
Joined: June 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Eratosthenes
Location: UK

Re: U S Support on Hongkong in Turmoil

Post by Steve3007 » December 5th, 2019, 8:00 am

gad-fly wrote:Does Great Britain have any obligation to follow suit with some moral equivalent of the Act?
I think more in terms of practical efficacy and realpolitik than obligation. i.e. what can actually be achieved? As such, in the specific case of Hong Kong, I don't think condemnations from the ex colonial master are of much use, given the historical reasons why Britain chose to be the colonial master in the first place (drug pushing). Such condemnations can too easily be portrayed as the old colonialists lamenting the loss of their empire. I think there's more potential traction if the judgements come from a country which can spin a narrative of having thrown off the yoke of imperialism itself.

Also, the UK by itself is a small country with limited economic and military powers of persuasion. And we decided, by a slim majority, in 2016, that being in a union and thereby magnifying that power was not for us.

Steve3007
Posts: 6053
Joined: June 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Eratosthenes
Location: UK

Re: U S Support on Hongkong in Turmoil

Post by Steve3007 » December 5th, 2019, 8:14 am

Perhaps Hong Kong must wait until Brexit is resolved.
As a small country with limited economic powers of persuasion, which now has the task of re-negotiating trade agreements that we decided to discard by leaving the EU, I doubt whether we will have the luxury of being able to try to influence the internal behaviour of a large country like China.

gad-fly
Posts: 22
Joined: October 23rd, 2019, 4:48 pm

Re: U S Support on Hongkong in Turmoil

Post by gad-fly » December 5th, 2019, 11:16 pm

I refer to obligation like: if you owe me, you have an obligation to pay me back. Can you now afford to or not? That is not the issue, or rather, it is another question.

After signing the Joint Declaration, Great Britain has more obligation than any other country in the world community, where the Joint Declaration has been registered, not just between two countries. Small size is no excuse. Influence is not necessarily proportional to size. Showing obligation may not influence development. Fine. I believe the two U S laws on Hongkong can serve no more than moral support, but the U S has served a good example. The world cannot be ruled by the laws of the jungle.

gad-fly
Posts: 22
Joined: October 23rd, 2019, 4:48 pm

Re: U S Support on Hongkong in Turmoil

Post by gad-fly » December 6th, 2019, 4:52 pm

It appears not that many are proud of being American. Some, like the N B A, must have reason to stay on the sideline. If you are an American there, don't be surprised if you are invited to lead one of those protest marches, with the Stars and Stripes in tow, together with the banner of "Thank you, America". Fortunately or unfortunately for me, I am not qualified, with the added reason that I am sensitive to tear-gas.

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 8255
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: U S Support on Hongkong in Turmoil

Post by Greta » December 6th, 2019, 5:18 pm

Gad-fly- I question the notion of national pride per se. Come to think of it, I question the notion of pride. We are all just small parts of much larger things - communities, regions, countries, continents, a species, phylum and genus ... the Earth and Sun ...

Certainly those in the Anglosphere who love rational thought are dismayed with the current tendency towards what is looking like an authoritarian theocracy. Then we look at China, which is at least rational, but to the point of ruthless control, and it looks at least as bad.

So, we in the west are increasingly sandwiched between a rock and a hard place. All we can do is hope that our politicians will eventually put the same effort into strategising and organising the long-term wellbeing of their countries as they put into short-term politicking. Sadly, I suspect that democracy will have to die for that to happen. Politicians have found that greatest political success comes, not from sound policy, but from being in perennial election mode, only planning in three or four year stretches.

gad-fly
Posts: 22
Joined: October 23rd, 2019, 4:48 pm

Re: U S Support on Hongkong in Turmoil

Post by gad-fly » December 6th, 2019, 7:33 pm

dictionary: pride is a feeling of honor and self-respect. It is not arrogance, self-aggrandizement, or exclusive rejection. Pride is feeling good. Don't you like to feel good? But let us stay focused on the present issue: Hongkong in Turmoil. Let us move away from comparing China with other regimes. Let us focus on the present plight of the people in Hongkong. American pride is only a sideline, which perhaps I should not mention in the first place as it can be distracting. Should the rest of the world does more, or less, than what Congress has done? Should it show moral or physical support, sympathy, understanding, or the simple charity of funding victims in the struggle, like the girl blinded in the eye fearing of arrest if she goes to hospital?

I have heard it said: The only good German is a dead German. I hope not: The only peaceful Hongkong is a muffled Hongkong.

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 8255
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: U S Support on Hongkong in Turmoil

Post by Greta » December 6th, 2019, 9:18 pm

What you say looks more like politics than philosophy to me.

People are suffering. People are suffering in so many places in so many ways it's impossible to comprehend its reality. With all due respect, what is special about the struggles of those in Hong Kong as compared with those Syria, Yemen, Zambia, Venezuela, Niger, Sudan, Cambodia, Haiti, Somalia, Maldives, Tuvalu ... and are a million people being kept in camps in northern China?

Each would be worthy of a thread, and are also worthy of sympathy, given their existential threats. There's too many people, making for a troubled world and it seems to me that what can be done about HK's woes is being done. However, China knows it is more powerful than any but the US.

gad-fly
Posts: 22
Joined: October 23rd, 2019, 4:48 pm

Re: U S Support on Hongkong in Turmoil

Post by gad-fly » Yesterday, 12:38 am

Agreed, Greta. What I say is philosophy of politics, or rather, analytical thoughts on politics, which I am glad to share with you.

What is so special about Hongkong? Like Syria, etc., each case is special in its own specific manner. It is possible to comprehend its reality if you try hard enough. If not, just skip it, or drop it to the bottom of your priority list. Too many people, too many cases? That is not an excuse. China being the most powerful after the US? So what? You call the thoughts in your head, and you do what you deem fit. Nothing more can be done about Hongkong? Fine. You may stay and listen more, or you may take a break. You are always welcomed.

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 8255
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: U S Support on Hongkong in Turmoil

Post by Greta » Yesterday, 6:36 am

Yes Gad-Fly, too many cases is absolutely an excuse. I - like pretty well everyone else - only have so much sympathy and support to give, and mostly I have to reserve that for those closest to me.

I have at least as much (or little) sympathy for the non-human lives being decimated - and there are too many tragedies going on in the wild and in inhumane feedlots to comprehend too. Dismissive human attitudes towards other species disturb me. I find such attitudes directly reflect of how they feel about other people whom they deem to be "lesser".

The world is filled with unimaginable amounts of tragedy (and much joy too, though far less).

Pick your cause/s.

Post Reply