Hong Kong’s Rawlsian Activists


Over breakfast at a sandwich place in Kowloon Tong, three of Hong Kong’s most famous student activists are talking about their roles in Occupy Central. Like all students, Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Agnes Chow Ting, both 18, and Alex Chow Yong-kang, 23, talk about problems within the government and the need for greater social justice. They draw on philosophical arguments as justification, but unlike their counterparts in the West, who might quote left-wing thinkers like Noam Chomsky and Slavoj Zizek, these students openly admire John Rawls…

The South China Morning Post has a story on the importance of Rawls to Hong Kong’s young political activists, as they contemplate the rule of law and civil disobedience.

UPDATE: An opinion piece on civil disobedience in Taiwan (in Thinking Taiwan) cites a number of contemporary philosophers. (via Sam Liao)

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