Sesame Street today was brought to you by the words ‘abusive emulation’. It means putting a nice liberal-democratic label on something that is authoritarian. Our example is declaring the Kowloon high-speed rail terminus ‘co-location’ arrangement to be equivalent to pre-clearance by US immigration in Canada. Full explanation here. Be prepared for some ‘isomorphic mimicry’ along the way. Here’s the author.
Many Hong Kong policies are presented this way. The national anthem law is sort-of just like those in other countries. It’s crazy that we don’t have an extradition agreement with the Mainland when other countries do.
Indeed, much of Hong Kong’s visible, ostensible political process is abusive emulation. The Chief Executive ‘election’ is simply the formal announcement of Beijing’s appointee – a charade involving a supposed campaign and policy platform, and 1,200 schmucks pretending to cast ballots.
All those things we see, and which the South China Morning Post subjects to lengthy straight-faced analysis – Legislative (increasingly) and Executive Council meetings, the budget and policy addresses, public consultations – are empty ceremony and ritual given names borrowed from open and democratic systems. The way Mainlandization is going, judges’ famous wigs and robes are no doubt destined to end up as ‘abusive emulation’. Other phrases for it would be ‘insulting your intelligence’, or ‘lying’.