….No doubt foreign journalists could – and some did – cover the Tea Party as a ‘pro-democracy’ movement based on their slogans and rhetoric, but only without asking, “Democracy for who? Freedom for who?” These words are meaningless divorced from context since they mean different things to different classes. Anytime we see protests like those in Hong Kong, we have to ask: What is their class character? Whose interests does this serve?
When the corporate media heaps praise on protesters in countries like Venezuela or China while demonizing mass movements here in the U.S., something else is going on….
While many liberals and progressives in the U.S. who back the Hong Kong protests do so from a place of genuine misunderstanding, others should know better. We’ve seen this movie already – whether in Libya, Ukraine, Syria, Nicaragua or most recently in Venezuela. The U.S. instigates and uses these mass protests to destabilize nations they want to dominate. Segments of the left twist themselves into knots trying to explain how protests dominated by right-wingers and monopoly capital are actually progressive, usually singling out one or two marginal ‘left-wing’ participants as evidence. For all their calls to support ‘the people’ or the ‘revolution’ in these situations, somehow it always ends with either the right-wing in power or utter chaos.
As the growing socialist movement in the U.S. grapples with events like the Hong Kong protests, it’s important to remember we are part of a worldwide fight. Too many times, parts of the U.S. left gets roped into supporting our own ruling class’ agenda in the name of abstract ideals – democracy, rule of law, independence, due process, take your pick.
Drill down to the material root of those buzzwords and it becomes a lot less tricky to see what side of the class war the Hong Kong protesters are on.