Fifty thousand Hong Kong residents (the equivalent of 3 million Americans) have taken to the streets to protest the democracy that we have too. We should stand with them. This was the focus of my Zeitgeist talk early in the month (linked above). It was the subject of the talk Time wrote about this weekend. It is the frame that the Occupy movement needed. It is the recognition that should relaunch those protest again.
But this time, please, without the self-defeating trope that somehow this is a Right/Left issue. It is not. This is a Right/Wrong issue. It is wrong to allow a democracy to be captured by a tiny fraction of cronies. It is wrong here. It is wrong in Hong Kong. It is the democracy that Boss Tweed birthed (“I don’t care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating.”) Which is to say, is the latest stage of a fundamentally corrupted democracy.
We should all stand with the students who launched the Hong Kong protests. And we should pray that it doesn’t become hijacked by violence — since this is China (Tiananmen) and because it is only ever nonviolent social movements that achieve the critical mass of support needed to win (that’s the brilliant conclusion of Erica Chenoweth’s work).
If they can keep the peace, they will win this fight. And if they win the fight, that may be the inspiration that we need here.
You should too.