Friday, April 22, 2011

Getting to three

Go from the mainland to Hong Kong and you go through immigration and exchange currencies.  This is part of the odd post-1997-fifty-year arrangement called one-country-two-systems.  At the end fifty years, which side will have evolved to be more like the other?

On the Hong Kong side, there is also internet policing.  I could not buy via Kindle.  I cannot link to my blog.

This morning's International Herald Tribune includes "Confucius vanishes from square ...  'When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them,' Confucius once said.  Apparently, someone extremely powerful has taken that saying to heart, having decided that a 9.4-meter ... bronze statue of the ancient Chinese sage that was unveiled four months ago did not belong on the nation's most hallowed slice of real estate.  The sudden disappearance of Confucius which took place under cover of darkness early Thursday morning, has stoked outrage among the philosopher's descendants, glee among devoted Maoists and much conjecture among analysts who try decipher the intricacies of the Chinese leadership's decision decision-making ..."

I am greatly enjoying Francis Fukuyama's The Origins of Political Order.  He tries to make sense of all this, noting that of the three categories of institutions he writes about -- the state, the rule of law, accountable government -- many places only manage to get two of the three.  How do you get to three?  If you have all three, how do you keep them?