The Chinese fascist Communist government is at it again. Opponents of dictatorship are protesting in Hong Kong, and the Chinese government does not like it one bit.
News outlets like Time.com and CNN.com refer to the protestors as “Occupy Hong Kong.” The implication is that they’re the same as the anti-capitalist, anti-business Occupy Wall Street protestors who made a mess in America’s cities a couple of years back.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The Occupy Wall Street people see private ownership of the means of production as dictatorship. Their alternative to private ownership is government control. We already have unprecedented government control, regulation and taxation of the private sector in the United States. It’s not enough for Occupy Wall Street types, and it never will be. They’re not angry at the government so much as with reality itself. The reality is that we wouldn’t have the level of goods and services we enjoy in America, if it weren’t for private property and the profit motive. To rebel against these things is to rebel against the only means possible of production.
China, in contrast, is a Communist country. Communism is the exact opposite of capitalism. It refers to an economic system where everything is publicly owned, i.e. controlled by the government. In recent decades, China has moved away from public ownership to fascist, government controlled enterprises. This isn’t capitalism. Government still calls the shots. Under fascism, the government officials might allow a certain amount of profit to be made; but ultimately all property and ownership belong to the government. Think of it as Obamacare on heroin, applied to the entire realm of business, not only medical care.
More than that, China is still a bonafide dictatorship. There is no freedom of speech, no freedom of protest against the government, and there are, for all practical purposes, no individual rights at all.
To compare protestors in Hong Kong and China with the ranting, unbathed and intellectually/willfully uninformed brats of Occupy Wall Street is as unjust as it is inaccurate. The two could not be further apart.
There are legitimate things to protest in the United States. Our economic system is moving towards a fascist-like collection of state-run enterprises like they have in China. Religious fanatics on the right (example: Rick Santorum) and politically correct fanatics on the left — virtually all of the Democratic Party — would all like to impose some form of censorship on the nation, whether it’s through merging church and state using tax funds to support religious schools and programs; or whether it’s using campaign finance laws to restrict campaign donations in ways that silence opponents of Obama-type policies and provide more political clout to those who support them. These are backdoor methods of censorship, not direct imposition; but if allowed to take hold or expand, will result in the same thing.
America could use a protest movement more like Occupy Hong Kong than Occupy Wall Street. CNN, Time and other media outlets refer to these protestors as “pro-democracy” movements. That may be what they’re calling for, but democracy does not name the essence of what they’re after, or what they need. China needs — in heavy doses — what America used to have in heavy doses, and is systematically losing: individual rights. Individual rights refer to the right to be left alone, i.e. free from the imposition of force. This means to have your property protected, your body kept free from the initiation of force, and your mind left alone to think for itself and act on those judgments, so long as not imposing force or fraud on another.
Government has no more right to violate individual rights than do criminals. When government does so, it’s even worse than a criminal, because it does so in the name of unearned legitimacy. This is what the Chinese student protestors are trying to rise up against. They face the very real imposition of a dictatorship, not the imagined dictatorship of privately owned enterprise that led Occupy Wall Street organizers to such a rage.
China is a dictatorship. America is not — not yet. I define a dictatorship as a context where government totally controls the economy and also imposes censorship. (Once the economy is controlled, censorship is only a matter of time.)
After jarring clashes between pro-democracy protesters and opponents in Hong Kong’s densely populated Mong Kok district Friday, student leaders called off talks with the government, accusing police of allowing the violence to happen.
“The path of conversation should be put aside now. The government is not honoring its promise and it should be held accountable first,” the Hong Kong Federation of Students said in a statement.
Pro-democracy activists accuse Beijing of exerting too much influence on Hong Kong and are demanding the right to directly choose candidates for elected office and other reforms.
But protest leader Edward Tsoi said that after some student protesters had been beaten and others sexually molested as police stood by and watched, protesters had lost all faith in government officials.
The issue here is accountability. The Chinese Communist government is a monopoly. It survives on coercion, and is accountable to nobody. It has the final word on all the activities of any Chinese citizen. People act only with the consent of the government. This is the essence of dictatorship. It’s the precise opposite of the original American concept of government: Government only acts with the consent of the governed.
Free elections are important, but don’t get to the core of what make people free. The reason people are free is because they’re shielded from force — from the force of literal criminals, or the force of legalized criminals, such as the Chinese government.
At present, America is moving in the direction of China. If that course does not reverse decisively and soon, we may someday have Occupy Hong Kong, and not Occupy Wall Street, on the streets of Manhattan, Chicago and our other great cities. And we may have a federal government in Washington D.C. every bit as unaccountable as the one presently in Beijing.
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