Hong Kong violent protest reveals the dark side of 'Western democracy'
Andrew Korybko

Editor's note: Andrew Korybko is a Moscow-based American political analyst. The article reflects the author's opinion, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

The Hong Kong violent protests have been misleadingly described as a "pro-democracy" movement by the mainstream Western media, but this isn't true in any factual sense. 

There is no doubt that many countries have their own forms of democracy, but it's only the model practiced in Western ones that aggressively imposes itself onto others and refuses to accept any alternative of managing the society, even going as far as to back violence to advance its goals. The ongoing unrest in Hong Kong therefore perfectly reveals such a hidden side of democracy, namely, the darkest side of "Western democracy".

What originally started out as protests against the now-suspended fugitive bill has exploded into a riotous anti-government movement that's since crippled the city's transportation network and even temporarily shut down its airport, all in an effort to force the rest of Hong Kong's majority-peaceful citizens to comply with the radical political demands of the foreign-backed organizers behind this chaos.

Instead of compromising with the authorities and respecting that the fugitive bill was suspended in response to the earlier protests, those driving the latest developments demanded more, with some even supporting a return to colonial status.

When the government fulfilled its duty in defending law and order, the radical protesters sought to provoke the police into skirmishes that they then attempted to distort as the use of "disproportionate force against peaceful protesters" in order to discredit the city's law enforcement officers. 

There is nothing "democratic" about what they're doing, yet those radicals still receive considerable diplomatic, media, and even perhaps on-the-ground organizational support from foreign actors who are intent on meddling in the domestic affairs of China, proving beyond a doubt that the latest turn of events isn't part of a "grassroots struggle".

People take part in a rally to denounce violence and support police at Victoria Park in Hong Kong, China, Aug. 3, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

People take part in a rally to denounce violence and support police at Victoria Park in Hong Kong, China, Aug. 3, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

Therein lays the relevancy to the darkest side of Western democracy, which aggressively imposes its ideological paradigm on others even if the vast majority of those who would be affected by it are totally against it happening. The wars in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, among many others, speak to the terrible consequences that accompany the militant spread of Western democracy.

Hong Kong's violent protesters never have any popular support at all, and that is why they've taken to hide behind peaceful protesters, using them as de-facto human shields when provoking the police. That also explains why they rely on foreign backing instead. They hope that other countries will become more directly involved in supporting them by putting pressure on China's central government; they anticipate that they can continue with their disturbances until they eventually get all of what they want, even might it be a return to colonial status given that some of them have shamelessly flown flags from that era during the unrest.

Instead of de-legitimizing the authorities, however, these violent protesters are only further de-legitimizing themselves and increasing grassroots opposition to their radical activities. 

The darkest side of Western democracy is that those supporting its spread abroad never take no for an answer. That's why some radicals are escalating violence in a desperate last-ditch attempt to achieve a breakthrough before they lose all relevance. 

It is a mistake to believe that the radical protests and foreign pressure would force China into making political concessions, but some lessons are learned the hard way, as those breaking the law are increasingly finding out.

However, the greatest irony is that those in the West cheering on the Hong Kong chaos wouldn't accept such violent activities taking place in their countries, as their own governments rightly classify such actions as illegal, especially when participants injure innocent civilians, vandalize public and private property, and shut down public transportation systems. 

That, however, also interestingly embodies another of the dark sides of Western democracy, namely its double standard, in which criminal acts abroad are celebrated as "democratic" so long as they advance Western geopolitical goals, yet those same criminal acts are cracked down on at home.

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