‘Systematic cultivation’ for kids

As part of a revamp of the humanities curriculum, Hong Kong primary school students will have their national sentiments and sense of national identity ‘systematically cultivated’ from the age of eight or nine…

The new subject, which will replace the current General Studies, would require primary three pupils to have a basic knowledge of the Beijing-enacted security legislation, the Hong Kong People’s Liberation Army garrison and national defence, the bureau announced on Thursday, local media reported.

‘Affection for the Chinese people’ is in the mix, too. 

If this doesn’t convince people to have kids and/or not emigrate, what will?

Civil servants who don’t vote in next month’s District Council elections will not be punished.

[Chief Secretary Eric] Chan also said if those who weren’t previously counted as a patriot show remorse to the government’s satisfaction, they can be approved by authorities to stand in the election again in the future. “Never say never,” he added. 

He also rules out making voting compulsory for everyone else…

“[Even if] you compel people to vote, you can’t control who they’re voting for,” Chan said.

Aren’t the patriots-only ballots designed to control who you can vote for? By way of a reminder, a Twitter thread on the DC election campaign in 2019 by former DC member Michael Mo – now in the UK. ‘Good old days, which, I believe, will never come back.’ (Guess he won’t be tempted by Cathay’s slightly desperate-sounding come-back-to-vote tickets.)

Some weekend reading and viewing…

Press awards in China stress ‘Xi Jinping Thought on Culture’…

A permutation of Xi’s legitimizing grand concept (the eponymous “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”), this phrase now packs together a set of political and ideological obligations for culture, the foremost being the CCP’s unquestioned leadership of ideology. 

National Interest on why TikTok is a national security threat.

Something different – a video on how to read Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow. The first part of the novel set loosely around the Nazis’ V2 project is set in wartime London and is amazing in its detail, considering the author was born in New York State in the late 1930s and must have researched everything while writing the book before it was published in the early 1970s. I wandered off around the time halfway through when Germany’s regiment of Africans takes the stage. ’Paranoia in book form’, the guy says. The video gets so dense you’re tempted to give the book another go. Maybe that’s the point.

On a lighter note. When Motown came to Britain – documentary on the Black American invasion of the early-mid 60s.

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23 Responses to ‘Systematic cultivation’ for kids

  1. Royalist says:

    To be fair, I was made from that age to sing God Save the Queen and led to believe that colonialism and the British Empire were forces for good. I believed most of that shit until I landed in Bombay in 1985. So hopefully those undergoing the patriotic edicashun will emerge with a similar set of beliefs to question as they get older.

  2. Stanley Lieber says:

    The British Empire WAS a force for good, for goodness’ sake.

  3. Lo Wu Vuitton says:

    Hong Kong kiddos will swallow the patriotic education in the same way they swallow every other subject: rote learn the text for the test and forget about it as soon as they hand in the paper.

  4. Mark Bradley says:

    “The British Empire WAS a force for good, for goodness’ sake.”

    Certainly better than Leninist shitholes and the legal system is decent compared to alternatives that don’t tell you what completely non violent innocent action is a crime.

  5. Reactor #4 says:

    Talking about getting to them early. The USA begins processing its brats into good little patriots from a very early age. By the time they reach adolescence, almost all are insufferable shysters.

  6. Reactor #4 says:

    @Mark Bradley

    As far as I am aware, Lenism has its roots in the ideas of Marx. Notably, Volume 1 of Marx’s key work was published in 1867 after he’d spent nearly two decades living in London. Arguably, the crap he saw people having to put up with in the very heart of the British Empire resulted in the modern-day “Leninist shitholes” you seem not too keen on. I for one find this rather amusing.

  7. HKJC Regular says:

    @Royalist – At least we were permitted to question that view of Empire when we became articulate enough. There’s scant hope of them being allowed to question this ideology

  8. Stanley Lieber says:

    Millions of Chinese immigrants walked, crawled, ran, swam and stowed away to escape the tender mercies of their glorious motherland to reach the safety and decency of the British Empire in Hong Kong. Few of them ever went back.

    As for most other former British colonies, with the exception of the US, Canada, Australia & NZ, their overall social, political and economic trajectories have been pretty awful since the British decamped.

    There really is no argument at all. QED

  9. Young Winston says:

    “Millions of Chinese immigrants walked, crawled, ran, swam and stowed away to escape the tender mercies of their glorious motherland to reach the safety and decency of the British Empire in Hong Kong.”

    …and all around the globe. Pretty much every former British Empire capital has a long-established Chinatown. They couldn’t get enough of it.

  10. justsayin says:

    Gravity’s Rainbow is a good read… worth it to get to the end tho it will mess with your head – a good book for retirement as it’s the sort of book that requires a fair bit of concentration

  11. Low Profile says:

    @Stanley Lieber – as compared with most other colonial powers of the time (with Belgium probably the worst offender), Britain’s imperial presence was relatively benign. Just overlook a few blips like the slave trade, the Boer War concentration camps, and the Amritsar Massacre, and you could almost believe the empire was established to benefit the natives rather than to plunder their resources. Almost…

  12. steve says:

    Defending colonialist exploitation and endemic racism. Yikes.

    Britain uber alles, y’all.

  13. HK-Cynic says:

    If I’m a civil servant (I am not), I’d be voting – “just in case”. But at the same time, the vote counters would see one more blank/spoiled ballot. They’d know I had voted, but not how I had voted. No downside to showing up and depositing an unmarked ballot.

  14. Young Winston says:

    @ Low Profile – the British Empire wasn’t ‘established’. It developed gradually over several centuries, largely through private enterprise rather than official planning or policy. But yes, looking at what the Belgians, French, Dutch, Portuguese, etc left behind, it was as good for its subjects any empire has ever been, and is still appreciated by most of its former members, who seem happy to remain in the Commonwealth.

  15. Stanley Lieber says:

    @Low Profile

    So, the British Empire wasn’t perfect. Quelle surprise!

    Nevertheless, the balance sheet is overwhelmingly positive, including for almost all of the colonised peoples throughout the Empire’s existence.

    Objectively, it’s delusional to think otherwise.

  16. Stanley Lieber says:

    As for the slave trade, it was dismantled by the Royal Navy, which captured 1,600 slave ships and freed more than 150,000 enslaved Africans from 1810-1860, with thousands of Royal Navy crewmen losing their lives in the process.

  17. Knownot says:

    Father and Daughter

    Although I try to stay informed
    On things that matter,
    A task remains to be performed
    By my daughter.

    I may not understand in full
    National Security,
    But – lucky girl! – she tastes at school
    Its core, its purity.

    Its truth, its essence, and its beauty
    May not quite reach me.
    Never mind! My little cutie
    Will teach me.

    If I appeared to doubt a bit
    She might report me.
    No! I’d learn the holy writ
    My dear girl taught me.

  18. Reactor #4 says:

    @Young Winston: From what I’ve read, I still prefer the Romans over the Brits. They seemed pretty good at infrastructure. However, I have to acknowledge the Victorians, particularly for installing much of the UK’s sewerage and the railway stuff etc. – the nation’s army of NIMBYs would ensure that none off it could ever be built it today.

  19. John Oliver says:


    You should really watch the John Oliver segment on the royal family. It’s a complete and utter bullshit to talk about the Navy’s role in ending the slaves trade without also talking about how they absolutely enabled it

    Also millions of Indians who died during the famines would like a word

  20. Stanley Lieber says:

    @John Oliver

    The famines that occurred in India during British rule exist on a timeline of famine on the subcontinent that dates back to 200 B.C. and extends to the 1970s, long after Mountbatten had gone home.

    The role of the British in abolishing the slave trade is an undisputed historical fact.

  21. Reactor #4 says:

    @Stanley Lieber: “The role of the British in abolishing the slave trade is an undisputed historical fact.”

    I agree. Once they had established themselves as the arguably the best slave-trading nation there has ever been, the view was “been there, done that”, and they were soon keen to wind things down. Also, once they’d stocked America with a suitable number of big, strong brown people there was little need to ship in more as they could then meet demand through in situ breeding.

  22. tim hamlett says:

    Knownot: nice verses.

  23. Stanley Lieber says:

    @Reactor #4

    According to Henry Gates, an estimated 12 million African slaves were shipped to the New World. He estimates 388,000 of them went to North America. My math is not so good, but that looks like about 3% of the total.

    The British were up to their necks in the slave trade, mainly to the Caribbean to harvest sugar, but the Portuguese were even more prolific, and the French were not pikers, either.

    It was the way of the world back then. It was the Brits wot put an end to it.

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