Thursday, April 14, 2011
Hong Kong and Jerusalem
Hong Kong is an amazing city. What's most amazing about it is the fact that it seems immune to the political earthquakes that convulse America and the Middle East. No Tea Part here and no jihadists. When people ask me why I like China, my answer is: because it is the only truly secular civilization in the world. Europe's secularism is the result of exhaustion. China's is inborn. The Chinese have superstitions, gods, and demons. But it is a people living in this world, committed to its pleasures and pains, rather than seeking an otherworldly justification. If the future belongs to China, as they say, then it'll be a civilized future. Otherwise history will be once again the arena of religious wars between radical Islam and fundamentalist Christianity (our own ultra-Orthodox fortunately have no power to inflict permanent damage on anybody except ourselves). Humanity has tried for two thousand years to build a Heavenly City and has built various kinds of hell instead. The time has come for earthly cities. and you could do much worse than Hong Kong.