When did we start valuing 'stability' over 'freedom'?

By Vin Suprynowicz
web posted August 1997

Did anyone else watch in disbelief the televised "celebration" of the humiliating surrender of the free city of Hong Kong to a bloodthirsty, totalitarian slave state on June the 30th?

As the fireworks exploded over his head, Tom Brokaw of NBC smilingly announced "The People's Republic of China has reclaimed a great city, and put a lot of money in its bank account with one stroke."

Only if the state owns and controls the assets of the private sector, Tom. Otherwise, all they've "taken over" are a lot of roads and harbor facilities, which will constitute a net drain in continuing maintenance. Right?

Or do you mean the government actually owns all my property, and the taxes I pay are just ... rent?

And that's leaving side the interesting choice of the word "reclaimed." The "People's Republic of China" was founded "at the muzzle of a rifle" in 1950. Hong Kong has been British since about 1841. Taiwan would have a reclaim" the city than the never-elected junta who have succeeded Mao Tse-Tung, one of the two great mass murderers of our century (Hitler ranking a poor third.)

Mr. Brokaw reported there is widespread hope that Hong Kong will retain its greatest attribute, "stability."

No, Tom. There's not much doubt there will be stability. The great attribute which now lies heavily shadowed is "freedom."

In fact, in all the coverage I watched, the word "freedom" was never used once ... ranking right up there with another unheard word, "Communist."

I swear to you, despite multiple respectful references to the "People's Liberation Army" (which appeared to have suited up in powder blue uniforms, like extras in a James Bond film, for the occasion) there was not one use of the word "Red" or "Communist." I was actually starting to picture an NBC news anchor in Hungary in 1956 smilingly reporting, "A great sigh of relief is being heard here as the People's Liberation tanks return, guaranteeing at least another decade of 'stability'."

I mean to say the American newscasters never used the word "freedom." At least Prince Charles, making a good show of it, told us his mum the queen was "proud of the rights and freedoms which the Hong Kong people enjoy," as well as "the British institutions which have formed the framework" of their success.

In the end, as the flags were lowered and the old tea services stored away, Mr. Brokaw did bring himself to observe "There are so many questions left to be resolved ... about individual liberty."

Not really. As the communist APCs rolled across the bridge, I fear that question was (start ital)already(end ital) pretty well resolved, Tom. A news clip gave us the city's new Red party boss, the day before, being asked whether the new regime would tolerate demonstrations and freedom of speech.

"We may tolerate some freedom of speech," he said in his kindly, avuncular way, "depending on what they try to say."

Now there's a definition of freedom to warm the hearts of Roberta Achtenburg, Janet Reno, and Louis Freeh.

A query:

Since a fairly large group of legionnaires and junior reprobates now take it upon themselves to read and circulate this column, and since no perusal of the wires seems to bring up much data -- has anyone out there seen an educated guess on how many people ... and how much capital ...fled Hong Kong in the past three years?

I know there are now thriving communities of Hong Kong immigrants in Vancouver and Toronto, most of whom weren't there a few years ago.

Just how large a migration of freedom-seeking refugees have our established news outlets chosen to not cover, for fear of offending our newpartners in trade and tyranny, the bloodsoaked syphilites of Beijing?

Of course, the Brits could have withstood a mainland assault for, oh, about 40 minutes had word leaked out they planned to honor their treaty obligations by turning over Hong Kong on July 1 to the Chinese ... in Taipei. Thus, Taiwan didn't offer much of a viable option, though it still seems to me the residents of Hong Kong should have been given the choice ... and the arms necessary to make a fight of it, if they wished.

Speaking of which, are the civilian residents of Hong Kong now about as well armed as their opposite numbers in the British isles? If so, Englishmen now soundly abed, dozing in confidence that victim disarmament leaves everyone safe, might want to watch closely what happens to political dissidents in Hong Kong over the next couple months.

My favorite Englishman, Sean Gabb (old.whig@virgin.net), writes this week: "In the past 1 500 years of English history, I can think of no public act more disgraceful than the handing over of five million of the Queen's subjects to a totalitarian slave state."

If the British empire had a few thousand left like him, it might be worth saving.

Vin Suprynowicz is the assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Readers may contact him via e-mail at vin@lvrj.com. The web site for the Suprynowicz column is at http://www.nguworld.com/vindex/.

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