Hong Kong.

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tatpurusa
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by tatpurusa » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:33 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:26 pm
Tatpurusa, you've gone from suggesting that the Hong Kong protests are some plot orchestrated by the US government to arguing that the people of Hong Kong should just accept the hopelessness of their protests and submit to Beijing's will because they're Chinese, and after a century, they'll be just fine.

In the end, its clear that you're just advocating some sort of Chinese nationalism and are chagrined that the people of Hong Kong won't just get along with your desires.
Did I miss anything?
Yes. Actually you missed everything. This is so much the case, that I begin suspecting it is somehow intentional.

tatpurusa
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by tatpurusa » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:17 pm

In other words, we could say:
Let's send those useful idiots of HK into the meat mincer so that we have one more irrefutable proof that the "universally recognized evil regime" of China is even more evil than we ever had imagined.
This universal recognition would certainly be well worth the lives of those stupid heroes ...

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:31 pm

Like any imperial power, the US sometimes lends support to causes which are actually worthy, even if it's reasons for doing so are completely based on simply securing it's own position.

The Solidarnosc movement in Poland was a good example, it was a legitimate labor movement, supported by the Vatican and the US. We could argue about the corrupting influence etc., but in this case I really don't see how these people are in the wrong, just because the US support is not entirely genuine.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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tobes
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by tobes » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:04 pm

tatpurusa wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:10 pm
My point is:
It is all about geopolitics played out between superpowers. The rest is propaganda.
The same way the US has for example deluded Hungary and let them down against the Soviet Union in 1956; the same way they deluded and let down the Kurds.
This why I say HongKongers should be realistic. They have no chance against China. The US is only deluding them but they will never (hopefully) risk a nuclear world war in order to enforce their independence. The result of this could be thousands of dead HonKongers because of the false hopes the US is giving.
US politicians don't give a shit about the life of others. See Iraq, Libya, Syria as the most recent examples. They only care about their geopolitical, financial and other interests.
This is a fallacy: yes there is always a geopolitical element, and yes it contains hard power, and yes this shapes events very strongly, and yes geopolitics is dominated (mostly) by national self-interest and yes it is fundamentally about power.

But: this is not the only causal factor in politics. You totally deny individual agency in this analysis, and the way individual agency may coalesce into more collective agency. You speak as if the Hong Kongers are mere puppets in a game, without any ability to shape that game through their thoughts and actions.

Think about civil rights in USA, Gandhi in India, and many other examples where individuals on the micro level coalesced together and ultimately produced radical changes on the macro level. Modern China is itself an expression of this: what was Mao before the revolution but a peasant boy disappointed by the system?

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Queequeg
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by Queequeg » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:05 pm

tatpurusa wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:17 pm
In other words, we could say:
Let's send those useful idiots of HK into the meat mincer so that we have one more irrefutable proof that the "universally recognized evil regime" of China is even more evil than we ever had imagined.
This universal recognition would certainly be well worth the lives of those stupid heroes ...
I'm simply not seeing the evidence that the US is somehow orchestrating the protests in Hong Kong, which you assume to be the case.

I think plenty of people wish that the US government had so much influence over people.

Edit: Tobes nails it:
tobes wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:04 pm
You totally deny individual agency in this analysis, and the way individual agency may coalesce into more collective agency. You speak as if the Hong Kongers are mere puppets in a game, without any ability to shape that game through their thoughts and actions.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

humble.student
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by humble.student » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:51 am

tobes wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:04 pm
Modern China is itself an expression of this: what was Mao before the revolution but a peasant boy disappointed by the system?
This is so outrageous as to be laughable, were it not tragic.

PeterC
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by PeterC » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:27 am

tobes wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:04 pm
Modern China is itself an expression of this: what was Mao before the revolution but a peasant boy disappointed by the system?
Out of curiosity - have you spent much time living in China? Know many (Chinese) people there well? You speak with a lot of confidence on this topic, is that based in first-hand experience?

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tobes
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by tobes » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:17 am

humble.student wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:51 am
tobes wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:04 pm
Modern China is itself an expression of this: what was Mao before the revolution but a peasant boy disappointed by the system?
This is so outrageous as to be laughable, were it not tragic.
How is this in any way controversial? Mao spearheaded the revolution of which the sovereign structure of modern China was born and endures. He was of a humble background. Please be clear: I am in no way asserting that 21st century China has not changed! Nor am I making even the slightest normative claim about it.

The historical facts are that the modern Chinese state was born from a peoples revolt.

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tobes
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by tobes » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:27 am

PeterC wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:27 am
tobes wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:04 pm
Modern China is itself an expression of this: what was Mao before the revolution but a peasant boy disappointed by the system?
Out of curiosity - have you spent much time living in China? Know many (Chinese) people there well? You speak with a lot of confidence on this topic, is that based in first-hand experience?
1. I do not speak with a lot confidence; I'm like everyone else, trying to make sense of rather an unstable situation in Hong Kong, with very inadequate information.
2. I do have some Chinese friends from Shanghai and a wonderful mentor from the States who has good knowledge about China (i.e. speaks Mandarin, knows Chinese history etc) - but sure, I grant you my ignorance if that is what you seek. It is a vast, vast ignorance.
3. The statements I've made on this thread are more grounded in political philosophy, and this is a relevant basis for making assertions about the relationship between the geopolitical and micro political. In fact, all I've really said there is that there is a relationship. And frankly, denying this is far more controversial than asserting it.

Bristollad
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by Bristollad » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:19 am

tatpurusa wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:44 pm
Caoimhghín wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:20 pm
I think so. You'll notice that Canada's transition from British rule was actually rather gradual and peaceful, perhaps because of a more patient temperament on both sides, and we remain a Commonwealth country to this day.
More patient temperament ... so what about the Malvinas? (Falkland Islands if you know them; google their history) What about Northern Ireland?
What about the massacre of Amritsar?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jallianwala_Bagh_massacre
What about the Falkland Islands? Maybe you should read some facts:

https://www.falklands.gov.fk/assets/Fal ... GLISH-.pdf

What about Northern Ireland? There is a complicated history spanning hundreds of years. Presently, the majority of the population wishes to remain part of the United Kingdom. As per the Good Friday Agreement, if that ceases to be the case and the majority wishes to join the Republic of Ireland, then they will do so.

As for the Massacre of Amritsar - it was atrocious, awful and is a stain on the history of Britain.

Simon E.
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by Simon E. » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:41 am

It would be interesting to ask the H K population if they would like to 1) remain as they are 2) Be adsorbed fully into the PRC, or 3) revert to U.K. protectorate status. I suspect that they would choose the first option.
If they were given only the choice of 2 or 3? That’s when it would get interesting... :smile:
Of course they won’t be given the choice. Which is why if they were, they would go for..
“ When the demon is at your door, in the morning it won’t be there no more
Any major dude will tell you”.

Simon E.
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by Simon E. » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:44 am

Bristollad wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:19 am
tatpurusa wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:44 pm
Caoimhghín wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:20 pm
I think so. You'll notice that Canada's transition from British rule was actually rather gradual and peaceful, perhaps because of a more patient temperament on both sides, and we remain a Commonwealth country to this day.
More patient temperament ... so what about the Malvinas? (Falkland Islands if you know them; google their history) What about Northern Ireland?
What about the massacre of Amritsar?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jallianwala_Bagh_massacre
What about the Falkland Islands? Maybe you should read some facts:

https://www.falklands.gov.fk/assets/Fal ... GLISH-.pdf

What about Northern Ireland? There is a complicated history spanning hundreds of years. Presently, the majority of the population wishes to remain part of the United Kingdom. As per the Good Friday Agreement, if that ceases to be the case and the majority wishes to join the Republic of Ireland, then they will do so.

As for the Massacre of Amritsar - it was atrocious, awful and is a stain on the history of Britain.
The POPULATION of The Falklands has made it clear they want to remain British..overwhelmingly.
As far as I know the Islands themselves have expressed no preference.
“ When the demon is at your door, in the morning it won’t be there no more
Any major dude will tell you”.

PeterC
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by PeterC » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:03 am

Simon E. wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:44 am
Bristollad wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:19 am
tatpurusa wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:44 pm


More patient temperament ... so what about the Malvinas? (Falkland Islands if you know them; google their history) What about Northern Ireland?
What about the massacre of Amritsar?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jallianwala_Bagh_massacre
What about the Falkland Islands? Maybe you should read some facts:

https://www.falklands.gov.fk/assets/Fal ... GLISH-.pdf

What about Northern Ireland? There is a complicated history spanning hundreds of years. Presently, the majority of the population wishes to remain part of the United Kingdom. As per the Good Friday Agreement, if that ceases to be the case and the majority wishes to join the Republic of Ireland, then they will do so.

As for the Massacre of Amritsar - it was atrocious, awful and is a stain on the history of Britain.
The POPULATION of The Falklands has made it clear they want to remain British..overwhelmingly.
As far as I know the Islands themselves have expressed no preference.
Prior to the Falklands war the UK government had been quietly negotiating for some time with Argentina about the possibility of them taking over the Falklands in some form - since it was an annoyance for the UK to administrate, too far away, etc etc. The then Argentinian government, in a spectacular display of bad judgement, thought they could drum up domestic support by taking them pre-emptively and assumed that the UK would do nothing. And the rest, as they say, is history - it was the perfect setup for the next general election, and a final hurrah for the british navy before they continued their decline into irrelevance.

As you say, the Falklands' population would never have voted to join Argentina, whose economy seemed to blow up every 5-10 years in those days.

humble.student
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by humble.student » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:37 am

tobes wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:17 am
humble.student wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:51 am
tobes wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:04 pm
Modern China is itself an expression of this: what was Mao before the revolution but a peasant boy disappointed by the system?
This is so outrageous as to be laughable, were it not tragic.
How is this in any way controversial? Mao spearheaded the revolution of which the sovereign structure of modern China was born and endures. He was of a humble background. Please be clear: I am in no way asserting that 21st century China has not changed! Nor am I making even the slightest normative claim about it.

The historical facts are that the modern Chinese state was born from a peoples revolt.
There is a large amount of naivety and lack of historical judgment here. To be begin with, your characterisation of Mao as a poor peasant lad disappointed by the system. Firstly, he wasn't that poor, if you care to check even the notorious Wikipedia, never mind serious sources; secondly, attributing motives to his actions is also problematic. As to the rest, read up on historiography before going on about "historical facts."

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tobes
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by tobes » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:06 pm

humble.student wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:37 am
tobes wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:17 am
humble.student wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:51 am


This is so outrageous as to be laughable, were it not tragic.
How is this in any way controversial? Mao spearheaded the revolution of which the sovereign structure of modern China was born and endures. He was of a humble background. Please be clear: I am in no way asserting that 21st century China has not changed! Nor am I making even the slightest normative claim about it.

The historical facts are that the modern Chinese state was born from a peoples revolt.
There is a large amount of naivety and lack of historical judgment here. To be begin with, your characterisation of Mao as a poor peasant lad disappointed by the system. Firstly, he wasn't that poor, if you care to check even the notorious Wikipedia, never mind serious sources; secondly, attributing motives to his actions is also problematic. As to the rest, read up on historiography before going on about "historical facts."
So are you arguing that: modern China has no real relationship to its revolutionary past? Or what? That the revolution wasn't actually a revolution?? Or that most of the people involved in this revolution were not agrarian working class?? Or that Mao was able to act without having motives?

What exactly are you so outraged about here?

(I have studied this before btw. History is always contested, but who is seriously contesting any of those claims??)

humble.student
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by humble.student » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:36 am

tobes wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:06 pm
humble.student wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:37 am
tobes wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:17 am


How is this in any way controversial? Mao spearheaded the revolution of which the sovereign structure of modern China was born and endures. He was of a humble background. Please be clear: I am in no way asserting that 21st century China has not changed! Nor am I making even the slightest normative claim about it.

The historical facts are that the modern Chinese state was born from a peoples revolt.
There is a large amount of naivety and lack of historical judgment here. To be begin with, your characterisation of Mao as a poor peasant lad disappointed by the system. Firstly, he wasn't that poor, if you care to check even the notorious Wikipedia, never mind serious sources; secondly, attributing motives to his actions is also problematic. As to the rest, read up on historiography before going on about "historical facts."
So are you arguing that: modern China has no real relationship to its revolutionary past? Or what? That the revolution wasn't actually a revolution?? Or that most of the people involved in this revolution were not agrarian working class?? Or that Mao was able to act without having motives?

What exactly are you so outraged about here?

(I have studied this before btw. History is always contested, but who is seriously contesting any of those claims??)
I am not too sure where to begin to address your posts, since like Mao, you seem to have a certain fondness for contradictions. You tell us that you don’t speak with confidence, but that is clearly what you are doing when you tell us that X interpretation of history is uncontroversial or uncontested.

You are also imputing positions I have not expressed. I did not say that Mao had no motives, not at all, but I would disagree that they were altruistic, which is what you seem to imply.

As for “people’s revolution,” we would have to define the terms carefully: as far as I can tell, Mao successfully instrumentalised agrarian and rural discontent. Is that the same as what you are suggesting?

And as for “people involved,” there is a big difference - crucial even - between being a semi-educated, cynical demagogue, and a disenfranchised, illiterate peasant, wouldn’t you agree?

Since you read history, one place to begin with would be to consider why the author of the once-standard work, “Origins of the Chinese Revolution, 1915-1949,” Lucien Blanco, felt obliged to refute his own book, some 30 years later, in view of the “facts” that had since emerged. History is not as fixed as you might think.

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tobes
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by tobes » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:22 am

I don't think history is fixed and I certainly agree that it is contested. And I am a very long way from having good - proper - historical knowledge of recent Chinese history.

You and Peter C want to go for the jugular for my ignorance on these matters: please be my guests. I have nothing to defend on this front. I am indeed manifestly ignorant of what is a vast and unruly topic. All history is vast and unruly.

But: this is a Buddhist forum, not a Chinese history forum and I've uttered barely more than a statement or two.

Whatever it is you're so attached to here - I have no idea what this is: you don't like Mao?? - you can have. I have in no way implied that Mao's motives were altruistic. You're reading normative values in my posts that simply aren't there.

The only thing I'm really saying is that the modern 21st century Chinese state is genealogically rooted in the revolution. If we can't agree on that, no problem, let's agree to disagree.

PeterC
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by PeterC » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:25 am

tobes wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:22 am
You and Peter C want to go for the jugular for my ignorance on these matters
Not at all. We're all friends here. You just projected a lot of confidence in your statements and I was wondering what the support for that was
The only thing I'm really saying is that the modern 21st century Chinese state is genealogically rooted in the revolution.
Of course it is, the Xinhai revolution, whose instigators were the intelligentsia :) Textbook history of the PRC draws a direct line from that to the 1949 revolution

humble.student
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by humble.student » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:33 am

tobes wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:22 am
I don't think history is fixed and I certainly agree that it is contested. And I am a very long way from having good - proper - historical knowledge of recent Chinese history.

You and Peter C want to go for the jugular for my ignorance on these matters: please be my guests. I have nothing to defend on this front. I am indeed manifestly ignorant of what is a vast and unruly topic. All history is vast and unruly.

But: this is a Buddhist forum, not a Chinese history forum and I've uttered barely more than a statement or two.

Whatever it is you're so attached to here - I have no idea what this is: you don't like Mao?? - you can have. I have in no way implied that Mao's motives were altruistic. You're reading normative values in my posts that simply aren't there.

The only thing I'm really saying is that the modern 21st century Chinese state is genealogically rooted in the revolution. If we can't agree on that, no problem, let's agree to disagree.
Hi Tobes, I am sorry if the tone of my answers came across as unduly harsh, but if you look at your own statements they come across as rather categoric.

But you are right, this is a Buddhist forum for relaxed discussion, and not a forum on Chinese history. That said, sources and reasoning are often demanded in the other (Buddhist) discussions, and that is a good thing. I think we might have been talking across each other, perhaps I did not make my points clear.

Peter rightly points out the intellectual ferment of the 1911 revolution, but we could go back even further, and since you like history, I can suggest Thomas Taylor Meadows’ “The Chinese and their Rebellions,” 19th century to be sure, but certainly insightful, and to get back to the original topic, relevant too, in a way, if one considers the author’s “real” job.

PeterC
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Re: Hong Kong.

Post by PeterC » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:39 am

humble.student wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:33 am
Peter rightly points out the intellectual ferment of the 1911 revolution, but we could go back even further
indeed - I didn’t mean to simplify. The late Qing modernizers like Kang Youwei were clearly important in planting the seeds. My point was really that the idea of peasant farmers rising up is not a fair representation of how the 1949 revolution really came about - it relied on the ‘incomplete’ revolution of 1911 and the preceding political movements, which were motivated by elite intellectuals far more than the working classes

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