As one of the world’s most unequal cities, why aren’t Hong Kong protesters angry at the rich and powerful? 香港貧富懸殊於世上名列前茅,為何示威者並未遷怒於權貴?

Jennifer Creery_Occupation of Sha Tin New Town Plaza_Monday 5 AUG 2019

By Toby CarrollCity University of Hong Kong

托比 • 卡羅爾著(香港城市大學)

There have been many explanations for the turmoil in Hong Kong, which is now heading toward its 16th weekend. However, the powerful links between the economic and political elites in the city and the grossly inadequate system of governance they preside over are too often ignored.
香港目前嘅動盪已經踏入第十六個周末,有人對此提出各種成因。不過,仲有兩方面的因素備受忽視,即本港政治精英同經濟精英之間的強大連繫,以及佢哋領導下千瘡百孔嘅管治系統。

In explaining the source of Hong Kong’s unrest, many leaders have predictably blamed the teaching of liberal studies in schools. The notion that students should gain a critical understanding of politics and society – not to mention actively participate in these – is simply too much for those who believe they must make the big decisions.
有唔少社會領袖,一如所料,把香港動盪歸咎於中學嘅通識科課程。通識教育嘅理念,係要培養學生對政治與社會嘅批判性理解。但領導階層覺得,所有重大嘅決定都必須由佢地來做,通識理念所鼓勵嘅批判精神,更遑論鼓勵學生積極參與政治社會活動,實在讓領導階層覺得難以接受。

On the other side, the ire of many protesters is overwhelmingly directed toward China and the Hong Kong government, particularly Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Lam’s actions – first disappearing and then reappearing with equal measures of bureaucratic steeliness and obstinacy – have only made matters worse, as have the actions of a police force once revered by many as “Asia’s finest” and the posturing of Chinese forces. Indeed, the sum total of these efforts has been a hardening localist identity that has become more apparent among the protesters as the unrest has continued.
對於支持呢次社會運動嘅人士,好多示威者嘅憤怒與不滿,針對嘅係中國内地同埋特區政府,尤其係行政長官林鄭月娥。返送中運動期間,佢先係消失咗好耐,到再次出現時,卻係以冰冷且冥頑不靈嘅官腔嚟回應市民。香港警察當年曾經被譽爲「亞洲最精良部隊」,但係本次示威中嘅所作所爲,再加上内地軍事演習,只係火上加油。上述種種行為實際上強化了香港人嘅本土身份,而呢種身份認同喺示威者當中越嚟越明顯。

Moreover, mutual animosity has grown to such an extent that backing down by either side would seem unlikely. Indeed, for the last few weeks it has been much easier to imagine escalation than the opposite.
再者,雙方嘅敵意已經擴大到一個程度,任何一方讓步嘅可能性看來都唔大。事實上,係過去幾個星期,想像暴力升級容易過想像情況得到改善。

Decline without hope 有衰退,無希望

However, the most likely explanation for the unrest lies not in the education curriculum or Beijing’s influence over the city, but rather the nature of Hong Kong government and society itself.
然而,呢次社會動盪最爲合理嘅成因,既非教育課程,亦非北京對香港嘅影響力,而在於香港政府及香港社會嘅本質。

Despite the way the Hong Kong government markets itself to the world – emphasising the rule of law and promoting the city’s high-quality business environment – the city has actually been in decay for decades.
儘管本港政府向國際社會推廣香港時,特別強調法治與其優質營商環境,但實際上,過去幾十年來,香港已逐漸衰退。

Firstly, Hong Kong has been subject to the “hollowing out” processes that have plagued many former industrial economies – a situation in which industry leaves and nothing replaces it.
首先,香港同好多前度工業型經濟體一樣, 深受「空洞化」過程之痛,即各種工業撤走以後,並未有其他經濟活動填補空白。

Importantly, this has been coupled with an inability of those at the top end of town to recognise the vast inequalities this has contributed towards. According to government statistics, Hong Kong’s wealth gap hit a historic high in 2017, with the wealthiest households earning 44 times the poorest.
與此同時,本港嘅最高領導層根本無法意識到,此「空洞化」過程帶來巨大嘅貧富差距。據政府統計,香港貧富差距於2017年錄得歷史新高,最富裕住戶嘅收入係低收入住戶嘅44倍。 Continue reading “As one of the world’s most unequal cities, why aren’t Hong Kong protesters angry at the rich and powerful? 香港貧富懸殊於世上名列前茅,為何示威者並未遷怒於權貴?”