Friday, October 10, 2014

Hong Kong's citizens know best

In the “you think it’s bad here?” department I give you a quote, courtesy of Monday’s Wall Street Journal article “Hong Kong Pops the China Bubble,” by Bret Stephens.  The quote describes the desire of China’s most affluent and advantaged young people to flee that country in favor of ours:

“While the [Communist] party touts the economic success of the ‘Chinese model,’ many of its poster children are headed for the exits,” reported the Journal’s Jeremy Page in 2012. “They are in search of things money can’t buy in China: Cleaner air, safer food, better education for their children. Some also express concern about government corruption and the safety of their assets.”

The conventional wisdom is that Americans are money hungry polluters with a failing educational system.  It is good to see that our country actually is great, even greater than places like China where an “economic miracle” has supposedly occurred.

Stephens proceeds to compare the protesting citizens of Hong Kong to those “credulous columnists” of the west who romanticize the Chinese model .  Needless to say Hong Kong’s people, who want nothing more than to not have to live like mainland Chinese people, are the real experts on the Chinese model:

Where the real dream lies is in the minds of China’s cheerleaders in the West. These are people with the souls of technocrats. They look to Beijing now—as they did to Moscow in the 1960s—as a model of government in which wisdom comes from the top, national energies are put in the service of gigantic projects, and autocratic consensus replaces democratic fissiparousness. They seek life (and politics) without contradictions. Five or 10 years from now, when the China bubble has burst, they’ll be making a fetish of some other promising technocracy.  
Meanwhile, pay attention to the people of Hong Kong. They have reminded us again that China is a dream only to credulous columnists, and that the lamp of the West still shines brightly in Asia.

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