View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Tuesday, July 01, 2003

The guys over at Powerline note a massive protest in Hong Kong against the legal Trojan Horse known as Article 23. Here's the text of the Article:

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People's Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organizations or bodies from conducting political activities in the Region, and to prohibit political organizations or bodies of the Region from establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies.

Two thoughts. First, it's obvious that the Chinese are mindful of the role that outside forces, in particular the Church and American labor unions, played in bringing down Communism in the USSR and Europe. Sadly, I doubt that today's AFL-CIO is capable of the same vigorous, principled action. Secondly, Britain has something called the Official Secrets Act. It lead to the censorship of a book, Spycatcher, back in the 80s, and the absurd sight of grown men reading books in the tube with brown paper covers. But in the hands of a liberal democracy, with strong institutions and sense of liberty, the Act hasn't led to any sort of political repression. I wouldn't make the same bet about this law.

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