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Non-violent resistance is an option, but it requires very tough attitude.

If people would just take the beating and lay down, like Gandhi-led resistance against Brits did, it could break down the violent strategy.




May not work these days. The British were half decent and still they killed thousands of people before they left India. If the protestors continue non-violently, we'll simply see them shot with rubber bullets and carted off, or barricaded and starved out. Countries these days are willing to escalate into violence since every major country has more than enough blood on its hands and prefers tacitly looking the other way unless there is something in it for them.


It may not work, but if the government is willing to escalate without limit other strategies don't work either.


One wonders if the British were even half decent when you consider their long history of colonial and imperial oppression. One might conclude they were fully indecent, in fact.


The key is that they believed themselves to be decent, whether they actually were is hardly relevant to the effectiveness of the tactic. The genius of Indian resistance against British rule is that it forced the British to confront the gap between their stated values and what it took to maintain imperial control over India.


Do you think these protests would be happening if the British had kept hold of their former colony HK?

Do you think it's strange that some of the HK protestors have been waving the flag of their former colonial masters?



Half decent? Has the GP heard of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, or how Churchill starved 3m in Bengal?


Becoming shamed requires some amount of decency.

Amritsar caused outrage in Britain and changed the whole narrative. It took time, but within a decade British government had lost all moral ground and British attitudes had shifted.


I don't think the point was about half decent vs. a quarter decent.

As evil/bad as the situation was; non-violence only helps if someone loses more than they gain by just killing you. In this case it was by losing the moral high-ground that was valued by some British people at least. Sure it probably wasn't decent people among the perpetrators, but the pearl clutchers back home.


How is this even related to the discussion?? You dont think there are some decent Chinese somewhere?


Mainly just clarifying to the parent what Santosh83 meant. I think it's not about x% decent but rather x% decent able to sway ruling class decisions based on the optics of attacking non-violent dissidents.


Yep, “fully”. There are no shades of grey around these parts. Just the bucket of countries that contain people and then the bucket that doesn’t.


Brits were half decent? Hmmm thats breaking news to me knowing their history.


That only works against a semi-principled oppressor. Won't work in China; won't work in the current USA. The British were already weary of the overwhelming India-ness of India, and so when confronted with the reality that India was going to do India no matter who was nominally in charge, they decided to just let India do India all over itself, and not be responsible for it any more.

China (PRC), on the other hand, loves nothing more than to do China everywhere China is, or was, or will be. They can't stand it when somewhere that should be China isn't doing China hard enough. So when Hong Kong goes around saying "a little less China, please; we'd like to still be a little Hong Kong" then China retorts "how dare you not be all-the-way China!" They will gleefully beat more China into Hong Kong if given a flimsy, contrived excuse to do so. It's the same as it was in Tibet, except Tibet did not have the leverage of being so important to international trade. China very much wants to erase the historic embarrassment it suffered from the UK in the Opium Wars, and as long as Hong Kong doesn't want to be more Chinese, the wound stays open. Macau isn't facing the same mainland attitudes, probably because it wasn't taken by force.

But on the other hand, violent resistance definitely won't work, either. China won't kill everyone, but they will kill, imprison, or hospitalize enough people that the others learn what kinds of things can get you vanished, erased, or exampled.

The only winning strategy against China in Hong Kong/Macau is to get out, and with one's money, if possible. Expand businesses into Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and/or Australia, de-emphasize the Hong Kong facilities, and move people and households elsewhere. And that works fine for China, too. It makes Hong Kong more PRC-Chinese at the same time it is making other places more ethnically-Chinese, and they get to keep all the capital that was left behind.

Anecdotally, everyone I know from Hong Kong already moved to Vancouver.


Gandhi was hardly the sole arbiter of Indian resistance. In fact their success in fighting colonial rule was dependent on the reality that there were people like Bhagat Singh who were willing to and did use militant tactics.


OTM. The history of the Indian independence movement is a lot more complicated than the simple image of Ghandi and non-violence that most people receive through popular culture.


Classic good cop bad cop. In America you can have MLK’s vision or Malcolm X’s vision.


It takes a lot of stamina and courage to resist the provocation. Have people beaten on the streets or rounded up and still give up violence and pray for your oppressors.


Yes. Pacifism requires extreme courage.

Gandhi quote:

>My non-violence does not admit of running away from danger and leaving dear ones unprotected. Between violence and cowardly flight, I can only prefer violence to cowardice. I can no more preach non-violence to a coward than I can tempt a blind man to enjoy healthy scenes. Non-violence is the summit of bravery. And in my own experience, I have had no difficulty in demonstrating to men trained in the school of violence the superiority of non-violence. As a coward, which I was for years, I harboured violence. I began to prize non-violence only when I began to shed cowardice.


The last time people took the beating and laid down in China, thousands died and the event was erased from public memory.


Yeah, I think people forget that the majority of those who died in Tienanmen were non-violent.


Can you provide a reference for such a statement? It is, as stated, counter to my recollection.


I don't think proof of this could exist, since you can't look at a corpse and determine whether it belongs to a violent or non-violent protester. Individual eyewitnesses can only establish that some non-violent protesters were killed, but not what the ratio of violent to non-violent protesters among the victims was.

If the Hong Kong protesters want to avoid a repeat of 1989, they'd do well to study the tactics that were tried back then, among which establishing friendly relations with the soldiers appears to have been particularly effective: "Contact with protesters and residents of Beijing sapped the will of the troops to follow their orders, and the food and water offered to them, in lieu of their absent army rations, further diminished their will to act against the protesters." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insubordination_in_the_PLA_dur...


It could if you are dealing with a government and people who got sick of the violence. Gandhi's tactics work against the the Brits at the time he used them. I rather double Gandhi's tactics would work against 2019 China, Stalin, or a WWII Germany.




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