Friday, January 13, 2012

The angry people of Hong Kong

Why are the people of Hong Kong so angry?  Compared to 40 years ago, we are much better off.  The living standard is much higher.  We have much more food (probably too much).  We are wearing better clothes.  We can afford to travel much more.  Many more young people are receiving tertiary education. The police and other public servants are much less corrupt.  They are actually more courteous.  The streets are cleaner.  Yet we seem more angry - at the rich yet ineffectual government, at the filthily rich yet forevermore-greedy real estate developers, at the politically powerful yet uncaring pro-establishment, at the businesses that discriminate.  Why?  Why do we get more angry even as we get (seemingly) richer?

Was it because people around us then were as poor as we were, so we did not feel as bad?  Was it because the rich then were not as visible and not as ostentatious in flaunting their wealth?  Was it because the real estate developers were not as powerful and domineering?   Was it because there were still decent jobs for those who could not get into university, but not anymore?  Was it because we still felt that if we studied hard and worked hard, that we could improve our own station in life, but not any more?   Was it because we somehow meekly expected to be oppressed by the colonial British in power then, but do not feel we should accept being oppressed by our own fellow Chinese (presumably HongKongers) who are in power now?  

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