UK And Hong Kong: Mutually Reinforced Ignorance
Above photo: From the author.
Anti-racism uprisings: HK youth’s lessons on the West.
Three years ago, I visited Old Supreme Court Building in Hong Kong, also known as The Court of Final Appeal, together with my friend, an Afghan-British lawyer, who was on a personal mission of ‘re-discovering Asia.’
Coming from a prominent, highly educated family in Afghanistan, my friend was extremely well aware that both the United States and the United Kingdom thoroughly destroyed her country during the recent occupation. In fact, under the NATO boots, Afghanistan became the poorest country in Asia, with the lowest life expectancy.
But after the long journey through Asia, somehow, she became nostalgically attached to Hong Kong. It looked familiar. As she studied and practiced law in the U.K., The Court of Final Appeal Building looked familiar and reassuring to her.
As it happened to be a working day, she found people to talk to and cracked conversations with the clerks. Immediately, they all managed to find a common language. Of different races and different backgrounds, they were clearly ‘on the same page,’ united by the British way of thinking, doing things as well as analyzing and judging the world.
‘Britishness’ was uniting them. Both my friend and the employees inside the old courthouse in Hong Kong were from the countries that used to be or still were brutally occupied, ransacked, and tortured by the West in general and by the U.K. in particular. But common experience and shared ‘cultural elements’ made them understand each other, and to be able to communicate flawlessly.
In 2019 and 2020, I have been covering ‘events’ in SAR, in-depth, and passionately. It is because what has been taking place there is extremely important and symbolic, to the world and to me, too, personally. To some extent, young people conditioned by the Western propaganda were reminding me of my own childhood and youth, when I used to be growing up in Eastern Europe. We were also conditioned by Western propaganda. And we, too, betrayed.
In Hong Kong, the ideological combat has been that of the epic proportions. The battle has been over the most populous country on Earth – China. And not only China the country, but also its system, political, economic, and social, which I have been studying for decades, and which I greatly admire. On many occasions, I wrote, passionately, what I believe: if the socialism with the Chinese characteristics would be destroyed, our human race could lose all hopes for surviving, or at least for a better future.
Understanding ‘where they are coming from,’ comprehending what had been done to them, I grasp how the young rioters think and feel. I want to shake them, shout at them to stop. I want to share with them all that I learned in some 160 countries of the world that I have covered. At times, I am tremendously outraged by their behavior. But I also know that they are not only some ninja-style vandals, they are also the victims of the circumstances, particularly of Western brainwashing.
Same as my Afghan friend, same as those clerks working in a courthouse in Hong Kong, rioters are part of that ‘common sphere’ of the British influence.
If you go to an average English pub, not in central London, but a suburb, or in a provincial city, you will quickly realize that even the British citizens themselves are ‘victims’ of their own British propaganda. At least in the old Soviet Union, people were challenging the official story, which, actually, looking ‘from a distance,’ was often quite a correct story (as the official stories coming from the PRC are). In an English pup, most of the people are trusting the official line of their government and the mass media. At least when it comes to foreign affairs, and their Empire’s history.
Now (or at least before the COVID-19 travel restrictions), British tourists, as well as British journalists, were coming to Hong Kong, bringing their ignorance with them. They met their Hong Kong counterparts, people who are often educated, or should we say, conditioned, on the same outdated, racist (against themselves) British curriculum. And they all gathered, they talked and exchanged ‘ideas,’ which were based on the same roots. Those roots did not grow spontaneously; they were planted and groomed by the British imperialist regime, in order to justify, to both the British citizens and to the colonized nations, all those horrors, injustices, and crimes committed in virtually all corners of the world.
Victims and victimizers talk. They understand each other. They even sympathize with each other. That is how the system was designed. No serious issues are addressed. While the U.K. is, once again, involved in the project of destroying China, this is never pronounced.
As long as the mutual ignorance is upheld, there is no ‘danger’ that the young rioters and their foreign backers would ever change the course of their actions.
But are foreigners who are creating chaos in Hong Kong really so ‘naïve’? Are they truly so ignorant about the evilness which they are spreading?
Yes and no. In a way, their ‘ignorance’ resembles a religious indoctrination. In fact, it is almost a fundamentalist belief: in the superiority of the Western culture, in the preeminence of the Western political system.
Many in Hong Kong adopted this frame of mind. Or, using religious vocabulary: they were converted.
All this, while the Mainland China, one of the oldest civilizations on earth, is observing, with shock, how many people in SAR are jerking their bodies and souls in some insane ritual dances choreographed by the former colonizers.
All this may soon end, now that the statues of former slaveowners and conquerors are being thrown into the rivers all over the U.S and U.K.
With the anti-racist uprisings in both the United States and Europe, new winds are blowing, and soon they may reach Asia.
Maybe these events could finally awaken most of the Hong Kong youth.
Then, perhaps, they will understand that they have been fooled, that they are fighting for the system and culture, which even many Westerners do not desire anymore.
And maybe, just maybe, the mutual ignorance could end. And with them, the riots. And unnecessary pain.
If this would happen, if more and more British citizens will manage to wake up from slumber, young English rebels could come and teach young Hong Kong rioters about the crimes which the British Empire committed in China. It would be, paradoxically, the same story that Beijing was telling them for decades.
This way, mutual ignorance could be converted into mutual awakening.
First Published by China Daily Hong Kong.
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Six of his latest books are “New Capital of Indonesia”, “China Belt and Road Initiative”, “China and Ecological Civilization” with John B. Cobb, Jr., “Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism”, a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and Latin America, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website, his Twitter and his Patreon.