• Sat
  • Dec 27, 2014
  • Updated: 2:46pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 April, 2013, 2:04am

Young should take real risks before fighting for democracy

You know why we are always rounding on our government? It's not just because it's undemocratic. Are we unfree and oppressed? Actually, we are freer and richer than most full democracies.

What we don't admit is that we have come to rely too much on the government and expect it to fix every problem for us, right now! That's the sense of entitlement and instant gratification of the iPhone-pan-democrat generation. Parallel traders blocking MTR traffic? It's the government's fault. The economy taking a dive? Also its fault. No milk powder? The government's fault. Flats too expensive … Everything is the stupid government's responsibility and therefore it can never do anything right. The more activist a government, the less likely it will get many things right.

This, by the way, is why many people have this terribly mistaken notion that the colonial Brits were superior governors. I lived at least 25 years of my life under their rule and I can tell you they weren't all that competent. They were, however, far less responsive to popular demands. When your subjects had low expectations of you, it was easy to meet them.

Native entrepreneurship was what made Hong Kong great. Its disappearance will spell the city's decline. Because you couldn't rely on the Brits to take care of you, you had to take care of yourself. That was how Hong Kong got rich - entrepreneurship - thanks to enterprising Chinese, Indian, Pakistani and other risk-takers.

Today, the word entrepreneurship is conspicuously absent in public discourse. In its place, democracy has taken hold. Yet I don't know any truly freer person than an entrepreneur, who is in control of her own destiny.

Instead of starting a business in a burst of entrepreneurial creativity à la Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, many young people either want to join big corporations or the government on a fast track to senior management - and/or protest for democracy. What they all have in common is that they take no risk. Our young democracy fighters may fantasise about June 4, but no PLA tanks will ever run over them.

Young man and woman, take real risks! Travel the world, read widely, strike out on your own, start a business (in another city with low rents). Then come back and fight for democracy.


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This article is now closed to comments

Land is killing Hk I agree. There is no incentive for any existing or startup biz in Hk as land is too expensive. If you own a old shop say wan ton noodle you will close it due to hi rent or better cash in if u own the property. Even for conglomerates, they raised billions during dot com, remember? They basically not doing any tech but just put the money into property related projects.
On another note, the culture in Hk is very hard to encourage risk taking. If u look at the top few success in Hitech such as Jobs, Gate, Larry Ellison, and Mark Z, they are all college drop out from Harvard and stanford alike. there were many drop outs tried doing something similar but failed and not reported for sure. Have u ever heard of a hku drop out building his biz successfully? I've not heard off. Our culture and parents won't allow this happening.
If u look at Mark Z u will see his mentality is different. He is from a middle class family father is a dentist and mom is a lawyer if I am not mistaken. He could have asked the money from his parents when he started Facebook but he didn't. Before Facebook IPO already someone offering us$2 B to buy it but he refused. I don't think there is such a culture or mentality here in our young generation or even in my generation. I think we have a lot of smart people here but I'm sure there is no such a mentality of Mark Z alike. That's why we don't have Mark Z, Jobs, etc but we have Mr. Li type of biz man.
I agree with you. It's so easy to blame on someone else, rather than ourselves. When we have no individuals to blame, we blame the government. Rather than nagging away, we should be more self-reliance, self-reflecting and support the community and the country to move forward. Blaming doesn't help anyone to move forward.
Nowadays, I talk to the youngs. I seldom hear about opening a business, be an entrepreneur, stand on their own feet. Instead, I hear "I want to work for multi-nationals XYZ", "Get my degree and look for a job". On one occasion, when I ask them: "Well, if everyone starts looking for a job, who create those jobs ????". And they kept silent, embarassed, trying to look away, trying to avoid continuing with the topic.
"Some dumb readers in this column may not realize being jailed is the most definitive measure for violation of human rights."
What absolute nonsense. This comment classically illustrates the old point that,"A little learning is a dangerous thing."
Obviously it would be stupid to use raw data for numbers imprisoned as a measure of how well a society upholds human rights; it depends entirely what they're in prison for. A society that incarcerates so many of its citizens and disproportionately high numbers of certain racial groups, clearly has serious problems. But it is facile to suggest that it is more oppressive than an state that routinely imprisons people for criticising the government.
If you want to define human rights, look at the Universal Declaration adopted by the UN in 1948. Article 21 states:
"(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures."
You read it all here. ****www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml
hard times !
Undoubtedly,even an average secondary student in the territory,his /her English will definitely and certainly,I dare say, much better than this so-called,'whymak'---a nickname of a group of hired 'writers'---the cheapest and poorest guys here in this Comment column to beat /attack anyone who are outspoken enough to support the universal suffrage in 2017 to be a geniune one instead of a faked one----with so-called a screening mechanism or a 'primary poll' or the pre-conditions set by Old GuyQiao (the so-called self-taught legal expert who hasn't got the basic law perceptions of law ABC according to international standard !) that our candidates competing for the top post should be one 'loving the country(the Party ?) and Hong Kong ( of course !) and not 'confrontational towards the Beijing authorities---demanding an end of the one-party rule on Mainland: practising democracy there.Elections is definitely an internal affair of Hong Kong itself and is not related to either defence or diplomacy at all ! This 'whymak ' team should meet Marx the earlier the better instead of misleading our dear readers here while polluting this precious Comment column, I think.
hard times !
he-he-he-he,ha-ha-ha-ha ? How can such lousy English be allowed in this respectable long-standing local newspaper which is never a mouthpiece of the authorities even during the reign of the British colonial era ? Now this nasty guy nicknamed 'whymak '(who claimed to have taught (maybe kindergarten only due to his/her level in English) might be the name of a team sent here from the North to monitor the local media (including this Comment column which is an open one) and carries the duties to attack/strike at those views which are different from theirs or opposing the policies of the Central government or the SAR administration !' whymak' is never a single person's name but the team name of a group---hired 'writers' of the poorest type to beat any dissidents here in the Comment column. I hope I have guessed it wrong ! May God curse them for their ignorance and arrogance not to say bad taste and impoliteness shown towards other Comment writers ! amen.
X-men, Insect repellant, Quiet American,
SCMP readers should express heartfelt thanks for the Theological Trinity's lecture on pre-Hellenistic democracy and most importantly, the logic therein.
You give us the ironclad truth: The majority is always right. That’s why the God of Abraham religions now command a majority following of the world population.
Unlike the Blessed Trifecta who have mastered thoroughly their Form 1 history course, I stagnated over “A Child's Bible History” at Primary 4. Thanks to your lesson on logic, I am now being drawn toward God of Abraham and Democracy.
God created Adam and Eve. He commanded them to be fruitful and to multiply. After Cain killed Abel, his other brothers and sisters married one another and procreated just as God ordered. When God destroyed everyone on earth but spared Noah, his children committed incest to perpetuate the human race.
Incest is good. As the Trifecta Logic points out, man practiced it more than 6,000 years ago.
Chinese are atheists. They don’t like incest, religion and democracy, which are now universal human values. Remember the belief of the majority. Except for the enlightened few like the super-intellectual trio in the global Democratic and Christian majority, the Chinese are now toast.
Behold, the yellow horde’s last days will be worse than Sodom and Gomorrah. X-men gives them 20 years. His prophesy is right on the money.
X-men, Insect repellant, Quiet American,
He-he-he-he! Ha-ha-ha-ha! Let all readers of this column have a good laugh! These monikers are likely the same person. All exhibit exactly the same level of illiteracy.
Three dogs marking scent – defecating on SCMP’s lawn – turn out to be the same beast. This is funnier, though more messy, than all TV situation comedies. Please don’t quit, we really enjoy this gig.
What's in a name? An imbecile 4-legged by any other name smells just as malodorous.
Thanks for sharing your personal attainment with the humble readers of this column. Indeed, if you didn’t remind us, few would know that you had reached the incredibly exalted Form 1 level. Your regurgitation of Form 1 textbook material without a nanosecond of thought is perfect testimony of your credentials. That’s why SCMP readers have overwhelmingly voted you in for the Manchurian Candidate Gold Medal. Beijing tyrants and authoritarians are now shaking in their boots by this brilliant triumvirate Western implant.
Incidentally, from what I heard from Mr. Lo's grapevine, you have been selected to be a keynote speaker by the US House of Representatives for the "China Bashing & Demonizing Conference." Could this be confirmed by you? If true, our belated congratulations.
Keep your good stuff coming! We keep no dunce caps in Mr. Lo’s column.
hard times !
any normal forum writer won't wirte/express his/her views at 4:17 a.m.early in the morning to attack other Comment writers for their words or views uttered which are allowed in this society which practises and observes freedom of expression and speech.This whymak might probably be one of the team members of a group sent here from the North to oppress any disloyal or dissient views especially those concern our upcoming Universal Suffrage in 2017. I wish I have guessed it wrongly.But the bitter truth is:my prediction /guess might turn out to be exactly true-----we Hongkongers are now closely being monitored for our words and acts by the Big Brother's Eyes /men sent here either in the media or on social websites plus at public gatherings ! Beware of your danger close at hand ! Regards !
hard times !
in today's history book of form one in our secondary schools (e.g.the local government secondary schools) ,there is a chapter named: Ancient Greco-Roman Civilizations.In it there is a description of the democratic polical system in ancient Greek state:Athens which was known for its open-air theatres, literature and temples besides the first western nation to practise democracy------all male citizens aged 20 or above got the right to vote for the government posts, not to say their leader.They got the right to be voted too.That explains why Athens is honoured as the birthplace of western democracy which is copied by many democratic countries around the world in 21st century except a small bunch of autocratic countries which are struggling with their non-democractic rules which are detested and will soon be abandoned by their people within this century or even earlier, say,within 20 years the most.




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