As a Hongkonger, I’m wondering what it means to us here in Hong Kong and other parts of the world with Donald Trump running for the presidential election in the US.
Do his racist, sexist and crazy ideas and comments sound familiar to us? To certain extent, I also see the similar sentiments against nonlocals here in Hong Kong.
Localism can be presented in a good way as an effort to preserve locals’ interest and culture as much as like protectionism in economics. However, it’s difficult to draw the line between protecting local interest and discrimination.
Fear of going to extremes and being labelled as radicals, most people choose to stay “neutral” or prefer to be “moderate”.
As extremism is becoming popular in many societies, how can we continue persuading others to engage in negotiation to resolve our differences when power and resources are so unbalanced?
It’s obviously a big challenge. But I don’t think anything is impossible. One thing is sure. Ridicule never helps to build trust and communication, which is fundamental to engaging in negotiation.
Without naming any particular regimes and without initiating an academic discussion on the concepts and the principles of The Rule of Law and The Rule by Law, I would like to invite an non-academic and non-philosophical discussion on whether these two broad issues are mutually exclusive from real experiences.
For instance, if we say that The Rule of Law can still be realized in an authoritarian regime by developing training programmes for legal professionals like judges, prosecutors and lawyers, are we assuming that such legal professionals would eventually or gradually or practically or automatically transform the judicial and political system into a system of The Rule of Law? If yes, how we be so sure? What contributing factors can we identify? If not, what are the negative factors affecting the potential development?
If a regime reinforces its control by enacting and amending more laws to justify and legitimize its rule, are such actions developing draconian laws or can be claimed to be promoting The Rule by Law? As such, by helping to legitimize the regime to develop more such laws and helping the regime to divert public attention and discussion on other possible elements to develop a real Rule of Law system, how can that still be claimed to be developing some programmes to promote The Rule of Law in that country?
Or, should we simply change our understanding of what it means by The Rule of Law and The Rule by Law? Does it sound a reasonable question or in fact, it is after all only a question of “pragmatism” and “the protection of the interests of certain groups or individuals”?
I would be very much interested in learning more about what this would mean, if it would indeed be considered an important issue that we should address, but not avoid.