China Loses the Mandate of Heaven in Hong Kong

The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are an unprecedented and unmitigated disaster for the rulers of China; a disaster whose magnitude cannot be appreciated by Westerners who are not familiar with the concept of the Mandate of Heaven.

The Mandate of Heaven is not identical to the West's divine right of kings, which says God appoints the ruler who is then accountable only to God and his own conscience. The ruler is emphatically not accountable to his subjects or other stakeholders although, in practice the nobles who controlled the means of violence could overthrow a king who did not meet their needs. The Mandate of Heaven says, on the other hand, that the king has the right to rule only as long as he does so for the benefit of the realm. The king (and his dynasty) lose the Mandate of Heaven through unsuccessful wars and, in the past, even natural disasters. The underlying principle carries over into Western societies as well where, for example, the President is given blame or credit for the economy regardless of his actual role in its performance.

The Mandate of Heaven does not require the king to be of noble birth, but he does have to meet the needs of his people. More to the point is the Chinese principle that a leader who "lacks virtue" loses the Mandate of Heaven and therefore the right to rule. The concept spread from China throughout the East Asian Confucian sphere.

The Mandate of Heaven (or "Aspect of Respectability") has not merely abandoned China's rulers in Hong Kong, it has found its way to the United States. This Daily Mail article includes a video of Hong Kong demonstrators with an abundance of United States flags and a sign, "President Trump; Let's Make Hong Kong Great Again" and "President Trump, Please Liberate Hong Kong." Pay close attention; the people of Hong Kong look to Donald Trump, and not Xi Jinping, to make their city great again. You can't say "Loss of the Mandate of Heaven" more clearly than that.

Some pro-democracy demonstrators even dressed up as Donald Trump, and one sign portrays him in a heroic pose on top of a tank with an American flag. The demonstrators also give credit to Congress, noting that Democrats and Republicans both enacted  the Human Rights and Democracy Act with no opposing votes whatsoever. Here is a picture of a demonstrator dressed as our Statue of Liberty.

The Daily Mail article also features black-clad Stormtroopers, sorry, Hong Kong police, attacking demonstrators. Rulers who have to turn their army and/or police against their own people have lost any remnant of the Mandate of Heaven. Just ask Tsar Nicholas II, whose army fired on his own subjects in 1905. The same goes for King George III, whose Redcoats tried to take away the rights of British subjects in North America. It is far too early to predict how far China's rulers will go to subjugate Hong Kong, but their obvious option of invasion would alienate the entire Free World while proving (again) that they have totally lost the Mandate.

Hong Kong Chinese and the Second Amendment

The Democrat Left and its hangers-on in the United States (Andrew Cuomo, D-NY, Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, Joe "Hairy Legs" Biden, D-DE, Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, and Michael Bloomberg, D-NY are but a few examples) are doing their best to attack the Second Amendment. The people of Hong Kong are meanwhile in desperate need of weapons with which to defend themselves against being packed into trains for possible shipment to Mainland China. We know what happened during the 1940s when another totalitarian regime packed its own citizens into trains for "relocation." Beijing's rulers are also quite capable of turning their army against their own people as happened in Tiananmen Square, although they might be a bit more hesitant to unleash their tanks in Hong Kong for fear of antagonizing their trading partners.

Hong Kong has exactly the kind of gun laws the United Nations and the extreme Democrat Left want, so its people have to literally go medieval to defend themselves with bows, arrows, catapults, and anti-vehicle caltrops. Even gasoline bombs like those used by the Hungarians in 1956 are little more than advanced versions of the firepots and burning oil that medieval soldiers once threw at their enemies. These resistance fighters would probably give everything they have to obtain even one firearm that is given up in a voluntary gun buyback program in the United States, or a mandatory one in New Zealand or Australia whose citizens have thrown away their hereditary liberties the way a wastrel squanders his inheritance.

It is also noteworthy that, after the United Kingdom mostly disarmed its own citizens in 1920, it got on its collective knees to beg the "gun-crazy" United States to "Send a Gun to Defend a British Home" as orchestrated by the National Rifle Association in 1940. "Due to policies of civilian disarmament, the British people were stripped of their guns by their own government policies, arms needed to defend themselves against potential Nazi invasion."

John Bull had to beg Uncle Sam for small arms because he threw away his legacy from the woman who saved Britain from the Spanish Inquisition in 1588. "We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit our selves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear." Elizabeth I's approximate contemporary Takeda Shingen added similarly, "My castle, my stonewall, and my moat are in the hearts of my people." Governments that hold the Mandate of Heaven need not fear weapons in the hands of their people and can in fact look to them as a secondary defense against foreign enemies. The people of Hong Kong seem to know far more about this than many Americans, Britons, Australians, and New Zealanders.

Civis Americanus is the pen name of an American Thinker contributor who remembers the lessons of history, and wants to ensure that our country never needs to learn those lessons again the hard way.

The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are an unprecedented and unmitigated disaster for the rulers of China; a disaster whose magnitude cannot be appreciated by Westerners who are not familiar with the concept of the Mandate of Heaven.

The Mandate of Heaven is not identical to the West's divine right of kings, which says God appoints the ruler who is then accountable only to God and his own conscience. The ruler is emphatically not accountable to his subjects or other stakeholders although, in practice the nobles who controlled the means of violence could overthrow a king who did not meet their needs. The Mandate of Heaven says, on the other hand, that the king has the right to rule only as long as he does so for the benefit of the realm. The king (and his dynasty) lose the Mandate of Heaven through unsuccessful wars and, in the past, even natural disasters. The underlying principle carries over into Western societies as well where, for example, the President is given blame or credit for the economy regardless of his actual role in its performance.

The Mandate of Heaven does not require the king to be of noble birth, but he does have to meet the needs of his people. More to the point is the Chinese principle that a leader who "lacks virtue" loses the Mandate of Heaven and therefore the right to rule. The concept spread from China throughout the East Asian Confucian sphere.

The Mandate of Heaven (or "Aspect of Respectability") has not merely abandoned China's rulers in Hong Kong, it has found its way to the United States. This Daily Mail article includes a video of Hong Kong demonstrators with an abundance of United States flags and a sign, "President Trump; Let's Make Hong Kong Great Again" and "President Trump, Please Liberate Hong Kong." Pay close attention; the people of Hong Kong look to Donald Trump, and not Xi Jinping, to make their city great again. You can't say "Loss of the Mandate of Heaven" more clearly than that.

Some pro-democracy demonstrators even dressed up as Donald Trump, and one sign portrays him in a heroic pose on top of a tank with an American flag. The demonstrators also give credit to Congress, noting that Democrats and Republicans both enacted  the Human Rights and Democracy Act with no opposing votes whatsoever. Here is a picture of a demonstrator dressed as our Statue of Liberty.

The Daily Mail article also features black-clad Stormtroopers, sorry, Hong Kong police, attacking demonstrators. Rulers who have to turn their army and/or police against their own people have lost any remnant of the Mandate of Heaven. Just ask Tsar Nicholas II, whose army fired on his own subjects in 1905. The same goes for King George III, whose Redcoats tried to take away the rights of British subjects in North America. It is far too early to predict how far China's rulers will go to subjugate Hong Kong, but their obvious option of invasion would alienate the entire Free World while proving (again) that they have totally lost the Mandate.

Hong Kong Chinese and the Second Amendment

The Democrat Left and its hangers-on in the United States (Andrew Cuomo, D-NY, Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, Joe "Hairy Legs" Biden, D-DE, Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, and Michael Bloomberg, D-NY are but a few examples) are doing their best to attack the Second Amendment. The people of Hong Kong are meanwhile in desperate need of weapons with which to defend themselves against being packed into trains for possible shipment to Mainland China. We know what happened during the 1940s when another totalitarian regime packed its own citizens into trains for "relocation." Beijing's rulers are also quite capable of turning their army against their own people as happened in Tiananmen Square, although they might be a bit more hesitant to unleash their tanks in Hong Kong for fear of antagonizing their trading partners.

Hong Kong has exactly the kind of gun laws the United Nations and the extreme Democrat Left want, so its people have to literally go medieval to defend themselves with bows, arrows, catapults, and anti-vehicle caltrops. Even gasoline bombs like those used by the Hungarians in 1956 are little more than advanced versions of the firepots and burning oil that medieval soldiers once threw at their enemies. These resistance fighters would probably give everything they have to obtain even one firearm that is given up in a voluntary gun buyback program in the United States, or a mandatory one in New Zealand or Australia whose citizens have thrown away their hereditary liberties the way a wastrel squanders his inheritance.

It is also noteworthy that, after the United Kingdom mostly disarmed its own citizens in 1920, it got on its collective knees to beg the "gun-crazy" United States to "Send a Gun to Defend a British Home" as orchestrated by the National Rifle Association in 1940. "Due to policies of civilian disarmament, the British people were stripped of their guns by their own government policies, arms needed to defend themselves against potential Nazi invasion."

John Bull had to beg Uncle Sam for small arms because he threw away his legacy from the woman who saved Britain from the Spanish Inquisition in 1588. "We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit our selves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear." Elizabeth I's approximate contemporary Takeda Shingen added similarly, "My castle, my stonewall, and my moat are in the hearts of my people." Governments that hold the Mandate of Heaven need not fear weapons in the hands of their people and can in fact look to them as a secondary defense against foreign enemies. The people of Hong Kong seem to know far more about this than many Americans, Britons, Australians, and New Zealanders.

Civis Americanus is the pen name of an American Thinker contributor who remembers the lessons of history, and wants to ensure that our country never needs to learn those lessons again the hard way.