Ni Kuang passed away: If not for the Chinese Communist Party’s misrule, he could have made a name for himself in Hollywood.
The recent passing of Ni Kuang has garnered mourning from many intellectuals and literati. Although I have only read a small number of Ni Kuang’s works, I greatly admire his creative talent, which can rival that of Hollywood’s top screenwriters. It’s regrettable that since the Communist Party seized power, they have been more focused on internal power struggles and haven’t seriously worked to establish workers’ democracy. If the Chinese cultural reputation had not been tainted by the Communist Party, Ni Kuang might have become a pioneer in breaking into Hollywood, gaining international recognition.
Ni Kuang passed away: Why DSE candidates aiming for good Chinese essays should read Ni Kuang’s novels
For the younger generation, Ni Kuang may be a relatively unfamiliar author. However, if you aspire to excel in the DSE Chinese essay writing exam, you might consider reading and analyzing Ni Kuang’s Wisely Series. Ni Kuang, with his background in scriptwriting, possesses a deep understanding of storytelling structures and techniques – when to start, when to reach the climax, how to develop characters, and how to arrange plotlines. By reading his novels and with the guidance of a competent teacher, you can acquire a set of storytelling skills to handle DSE’s descriptive and narrative essays.
Indeed, the techniques that determine high or low scores in the DSE Chinese essay, particularly for descriptive and narrative essays, share similarities with the storytelling techniques found in Mr. Ni Kuang’s novels. It’s regrettable that many Chinese teachers in Hong Kong are predominantly focused on evaluating works and don’t emphasize teaching story writing with the use of scriptwriting techniques. As a result, many students are misled, struggling to write ineffective DSE Chinese essays, and sometimes end up with unsatisfactory Chinese results, causing them disappointment during university applications.
Ni Kuang passed away: For DSE candidates aiming to excel in Chinese essay writing, it’s essential not to blindly adopt one of Ni Kuang’s techniques.
Of course, you should avoid having an overly peculiar ending, such as Mr. Ni Kuang attributing all causes to extraterrestrial beings. Endings should be logical and reasonable to achieve a 5** score in DSE Chinese descriptive and narrative essays. (Note: In fact, Mr. Ni Kuang’s use of an extraterrestrial conclusion is a violation of a significant scriptwriting principle: the “deus ex machina” flaw, which can lead to poorly concluded and unsatisfactory essays. If you’re interested, you can ask me what “deus ex machina” means.)
With that said, as Confucius stated, “In three people, there must be my teacher.” We should acknowledge Mr. Ni Kuang’s contributions to the democracy movement while also kindly pointing out his shortcomings, enabling the democracy movement to reach its full potential.
Ni Kuang passed away: His Insights on the Chinese Communist Party
Mr. Ni Kuang pointed out the Chinese Communist Party’s repeated breaches of promises and their lack of commitment to democracy, which is a rare insight. Without widespread democratic movements and pressure, the CCP would never relinquish its power to exploit the impoverished masses. One of the shortcomings of the Hong Kong democracy movement is the mistaken belief among pan-democrats that waiting would lead the CCP to grant democracy to Hong Kong. This lack of emphasis on developing grassroots power has resulted in a significant power imbalance and failures in confrontations.
Mr. Ni Kuang also observed that high-ranking CCP officials have abandoned the ideals of socialism, with their ultimate concern being making money and sending their children abroad. This perspective is more realistic compared to some Western leftists who still naively believe that the CCP represents a socialist utopia.
Ni Kuang passed away: Did Ni Kuang and Jin Yong Both Distrust the Masses?
However, Mr. Ni Kuang’s contribution to the democracy movement stops there. Some Hong Kong localists on the right or local fascists like Lewis Loud like to draw an extreme contrast between Jin Yong and Ni Kuang. They believe that Jin Yong was a scholar seeking the favor of the “saintly ruler” (the CCP), waiting to be recruited and realizing his dream of becoming a national teacher, while Ni Kuang staunchly supported democracy and localism. But I dare to offer a dissenting opinion – in reality, Jin Yong and Ni Kuang were two sides of the same coin, and they both seemed to doubt the potential of the masses to develop the democracy movement.
As an analogy, in today’s Hong Kong, which resembles the era of the Qing dynasty, Jin Yong represented the scholars who spent their days and nights studying for the imperial examinations, aspiring to enter the government, and become officials. Meanwhile, figures like Huang Zongxi, who wrote “Waiting for the Dawn,” fiercely criticizing autocratic rule, could be seen as like Ni Kuang. However, neither Jin Yong nor Ni Kuang dared to entrust the development of democracy to the masses. To them, the masses might have been mere puppets used to promote the slogan of democracy, and they might not have been willing to embark on the path of democracy alongside the masses.
Ni Kuang passed away: Ni Kuang’s Lack of Focus on Workers’ Rights
While Ni Kuang’s anti-communist stance is evident, he did not offer a clear answer regarding whether the leadership of anti-communism should come from the general populace. For example, some netizens criticize Ni Kuang’s performance on the talk show “今夜不設防” in the early 1990s. He appeared to be deeply concerned about how the affluent middle class, among others, saw their comfortable lives deteriorate under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) following the handover. However, he spoke relatively infrequently in public about the harsh conditions faced by the working class in the colonial era, such as wage arrears (many factory owners intentionally withheld wages before closing their businesses), low wages, long working hours, lack of collective bargaining rights, and mistreatment by unscrupulous employers.
Addressing issues like raising wages, reducing working hours, and improving worker benefits, coupled with democratic education from the opposition, could have helped workers and the general public understand how the Special Administrative Region and the CCP were acting against their interests. This could have encouraged them to join the democracy movement. However, it’s challenging to find any public statements from Ni Kuang criticizing the poor state of workers’ rights in Hong Kong or how capitalists were exploiting the people, which would have provided valuable insights into the importance of democracy.
It’s possible that I couldn’t find any relevant comments on this matter, or perhaps they are not readily available. I also attempted a Google search using the keywords “職工盟” (Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions) and “倪匡” (Ni Kuang), but I couldn’t find any news articles or statements from Mr. Ni Kuang supporting workers’ rights. It appears that Ni Kuang did not place much emphasis on the method of improving people’s livelihoods to promote the democracy movement, and his perception of the role of the general public within the democracy movement remains unclear.
Ni Kuang passed away: Did Class Determine Ni Kuang’s Perspective?
It’s essential to recognize that the narratives in Wisely novels likely contain many scenes describing the hardships of the grassroots population. However, Ni Kuang, despite his background as a member of the working class, did not seem to use his public platform to advocate for workers’ rights, including issues like minimum wage, standard working hours, or collective bargaining rights. He also didn’t appear to emphasize the idea that democracy should be controlled by the general public in both the political and economic spheres. One might wonder if his class background determined the content of his statements, with a harsher interpretation being that his personal interests influenced his perspective.
This raises the question of whether Ni Kuang’s anti-communist stance and pursuit of democracy were primarily about preserving the privileged lifestyle of the wealthy class. How did he view the livelihood and rights of the grassroots population? Unfortunately, with his passing, this becomes a question that remains unanswered and open to interpretation.
Ni Kuang passed away: Ni Kuang Exploited by Local Right-Wing and Fascist Movements
It’s essential not to make baseless claims about Ni Kuang’s stance on grassroots democracy. However, it is evident that his public discourse lacked a strong emphasis on grassroots democracy, raising questions about whether he, like Jin Yong, had reservations about the role of the general public in the democracy movement. The absence of strong advocacy for grassroots democracy has been exploited by Hong Kong local right-wing and local fascist movements, including figures like Lewis Loud, to portray Ni Kuang as a local anti-communist writer, setting him in opposition to Jin Yong.
These shallow fascists assert that the CCP is the sole enemy in Hong Kong and believe that by removing the CCP and appointing someone of Hong Kong descent as the Chief Executive while maintaining the existing political and economic system, all problems will be solved. Concurrently, Ni Kuang’s limited interest in grassroots organizing provides local right-wing and fascist groups with an excuse to promote a belief that the democracy movement requires only racial hatred and violent uprisings, without the need for effective organizational efforts.
At the same time, it’s essential for those from the grassroots to carefully consider whether Ni Kuang’s anti-communism and advocacy for democracy genuinely benefit the general population or merely maintain the existing political and economic oppression. Even if democracy succeeds, would the grassroots still be sacrificed?
Given this perspective, it’s crucial to boldly advocate that the future of Hong Kong’s democracy movement should transcend Ni Kuang’s anti-communist framework. It should prioritize universal democracy, place the grassroots people at the forefront, and champion bottom-up democracy. This approach should uphold the principles of universal suffrage, pre-distribution and post-distribution of wealth, and social justice.