Never Forget


To receive a free full-text email of The Zeitgeist whenever we publish to the website, please sign up here. You’ll get two or three of these emails every week, and your email will not be shared with anyone. Ever.

Tiananmen Square, June 4, 1989

With Hong Kong’s Tiananmen Square Vigil Canceled, ‘The Fire Is Flickering’ (Wall Street Journal)

HONG KONG—Most years for the past three decades, the Rev. Youngman Chan has gathered with thousands of others in a Hong Kong park on June 4 to commemorate the students who died in 1989 while demanding democracy in China. …

This year, the vigil has been canceled. Police refused permission, citing a coronavirus-control rule limiting social gatherings to eight people, and threatened anyone who defies the ban with arrest. …

The vigil’s attendance has been a barometer of the city’s political mood, typically swelling in years of particularly unpopular decisions from Beijing. Last year’s crowd exceeded 180,000, organizers said, equaling the record.

For a period of some weeks in 1989, more than 200,000 Chinese citizens gathered in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to protest the authoritarian and non-representative rule of the Chinese Communist Party. On June 4th, the Deng Xiaoping government ordered the military to clear the square and prevent the crowd from regathering. This military operation was carried out, as Sen. Tom Cotton is advocating for similar measures in the US, with “no quarter”. We’ll never know how many Chinese citizens were killed that day, but secret British diplomatic cables released in 2017 put the number at more than 10,000.

Since that day, the Chinese government has gone to enormous lengths to whitewash any record of that massacre from public consumption. Even today – more than 30 years after the fact – June 4th is colloquially referred to as “Internet maintenance day” on the mainland, and even a passing social media reference to June 4th and its historical meaning will earn you a knock on the door – or much worse – from the Chinese security services.

For the past 30 years, however, June 4th has been commemorated in Hong Kong with vigils and mass remembrances of that tragic day. Last year, more than 180,000 Hong Kong residents gathered together on June 4th to stand witness against the violent tyranny of the Chinese state and its efforts to erase history.

This year, Hong Kong authorities refused permission for the June 4th vigil, and threatened to arrest any crowd that gathered for this purpose.

Next year, under the “national security laws” that Beijing will soon impose on Hong Kong, not only will the congregation of such a crowd be illegal (and simple arrest will be the least of the consequences for any protesters), but also social media or Internet remembrances of the June 4th massacre in Tiananmen Square will be punishable by fine and arrest.

Hong Kong, 1997

Washington DC, 2020

Can a Tiananmen Square massacre happen in the United States?

I doubt it. Although the possibility becomes both real and non-trivial if Tom Cotton and Donald Trump get their way and use the Insurrection Act to “put down” protests with regular US military troops or with paramilitary squads dragooned from federal prisons and the like.

Whatever your views on the validity or lack thereof for the protests themselves, if you don’t think it matters whether Lafayette Park is cleared by DC Police or cleared by these guys, you’re wrong. In fact, for the preservation of liberty and the Constitution of the United States, it’s really the ONLY thing that matters.

Can a Tiananmen Square rewriting of history happen in the United States?

Absolutely. It already is.

And not just in the appropriation of imagery and symbol, like Trump’s misbegotten St. John’s photo-op the other day. That’s trivial. That’s just silly.

No, the REAL rewriting of history is done by both the Democrats AND the Republicans, by both Fox AND CNN. The real rewriting of history is the creation of channeling narratives that tell you how to think about George Floyd and his murder in ways that fit THEIR interests, not yours!

The broad-daylight mass political protests are growing. Some police departments are doing a good job reacting to this. More will.

The dead-of-night mass criminal lootings are shrinking. A few police departments are doing a good job reacting to this. More will.

Over the next few days, hundreds of thousands of pissed-off Americans will protest a broken system of political representation and individual justice in cities and towns all across the country. And they won’t break a thing except the complacency and narratives of a corrupt two-party system and its crony capitalist supporters.

This isn’t a threat to democracy. This IS democracy.

Never forget.


To receive a free full-text email of The Zeitgeist whenever we publish to the website, please sign up here. You'll get two or three of these emails every week, and your email will not be shared with anyone. Ever. It's our effort to spread the word about what we're doing, and allow you to read more Epsilon Theory!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bob Jacksha
7 months ago

YES! “This IS democracy.”

7 months ago

It’s all well and good when the “Brave people of Hong Kong” stand up to oppression, the Senate fast tracks legislation that will erase the $90 billion a year surplus we have, among other things. Here, there a numerous infiltrators of the peaceful marchers by Proud Bois, Antifa, and others, all meant to stir the pot and incite violence against the police and damage property as well. The current occupant calls the marchers “Thugs” as his dog whistle and buses in people who are armed, no name tags or trained in crowd control to blast his way over to a church. He took a page from Putin’s playbook by using irregulars and “volunteers” in the “People’s Republic of Donetsk and Luhansk” in the ongoing war in Donbass.

Jonathan Matthews
7 months ago

“And they won’t break a thing except the complacency and narratives of a corrupt two-party system and its crony capitalist supporters.”

Please, you can’t be this naive. The riots in the US are an embodiment of the two party system. They are being manufactured by the globalists that run both parties as a way to introduce totalitarian globalist government to the US. “Pissed-off Americans” aren’t putting bricks in strategic spots around cities and paying people to riot. It’s offensive and degrading to the people that died in the struggle against communism to group them with the pawns of authoritarianism that are rioting in the US right now.

7 months ago

Civil disobedience can take many forms and we have seen the videos of non pissed-off Americans placing bricks, breaking windows and spreading chaos with other malicious acts. That’s a side effect of the protests. But the protests are the same thing here and in China. They are a critical mass of the people that get to a point where they want to be heard by a system that actively “ain’t tryna hear” their grievances.

In my small, rural hometown, several hundred protesters gathered on Tuesday to make themselves heard. No riots, no looting, no windows broken. My kids were there, a handful of the only people of color in the group, probably less than 1%, and I was very proud of them. It is not naive to think that these uprisings are the only thing that can effect change.

Ward Good
7 months ago

The closest thing I saw to para-military goons in Richmond were black hooded Antifa people directing the mobs to parked SUVs without license plates filled with bricks and Molotov cocktails. I remember the efforts of many Soviet apologists during the cold war who like to draw moral equivalence between us and them. It makes me sad to see you potentially going there. I am angry about a lot Hong Kong is especially bad. Trump has not shown leadership to say the least but the CCP is having a ball make the situations out to be the same.

7 months ago

“Everybody likes sausage, nobody wants to see how it’s made.” I’m a glass half-full guy, who has been pretty pessimistic about getting any real change. This weekend, progress, however small, was made. And it was from the ground up.

7 months ago

Ben, you hit the nail on the head here. Your reply to the comment below reinforces The Point. Government has a Monopoly on Violent Enforcement. We need to renegotiate that relationship AS A CULTURE.
Does ANYONE feel safer interacting with Police?
Knowing they can kill you with NO RECOURSE?
Local Police killed two middle class white people suffering mental illness in the last few years.
They received a paid vacation and a medal.
After a few months of having the knee of the World Health Organization on our necks watching Police use violence to enforce social distancing, don’t we all feel the threat of EVEN MORE VIOLENCE?
Yes, we also had busloads of well dressed (in black, of course) Antifa arrive to wreck and burn a small part of Eugene, OR after a day of Super Peaceful Protests.
Certainly expecting the Maidan Playbook when snipers start shooting protesters and police alike. But not the looters, no, they seem to be protected more than anything.
I weep for my Country.

The Daily Zeitgeist

“Suicide Bomber” vs suicide bomber

By Ben Hunt | December 29, 2020 | 19 Comments

On Christmas Day, Nashville was attacked by a suicide bomber terrorist. But not by a “Suicide Bomber”. Not by a “Terrorist”.

Why not? Because his terrorist goals didn’t fit neatly into a useful political narrative like “Antifa!” or “Proud Boys!”

Here’s what this looks like in the Narrative Machine.

Read more

Russian Nesting Deals

By Rusty Guinn | December 3, 2020 | 4 Comments

Sometimes complicated is complicated because it has to be. But this nesting doll of a SPAC deal with Dyal (Neuberger Berman) IS weird and worthy of more than usual scrutiny, especially if you are an LP in one of these funds.

Read more

Ten Times Faster Than The Sun’s Beams

By Ben Hunt | November 25, 2020 | 10 Comments

The Wall Street narrative machine is in overdrive to create a “Yay, Value!” rally here at year-end.

Like any effective advertising campaign, it will work. I’m not saying this rally isn’t real.

I’m saying that you should reconsider what “real” means.

Read more

You Can’t Handle The Lie

By Rusty Guinn | November 6, 2020 | 35 Comments

Any news outlet that won’t let you see a lie does not work for you.

Read more

We are all MMTers (Still)

By Rusty Guinn | October 22, 2020 | 10 Comments

Stimulus is dominating market news, and even with an election coming up is playing an outsized role in political news. So what is the current fiscal stimulus really about?

Maybe more importantly, what is it absolutely, definitely NOT about?

Read more

How It Started. How It’s Going.

By Ben Hunt | October 20, 2020 | 10 Comments

Once Daryl Morey’s new idea became the common knowledge of the NBA – once everyone knows that everyone knows that the way to win NBA games is to maximize 3-point shots and lay-ups – then it became a permanent feature of the way professional basketball is played. It became an equilibrium.

It’s exactly the same with politics.

Read more


This commentary is being provided to you as general information only and should not be taken as investment advice. The opinions expressed in these materials represent the personal views of the author(s). It is not investment research or a research recommendation, as it does not constitute substantive research or analysis. Any action that you take as a result of information contained in this document is ultimately your responsibility. Epsilon Theory will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information. Consult your investment advisor before making any investment decisions. It must be noted, that no one can accurately predict the future of the market with certainty or guarantee future investment performance. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Statements in this communication are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements and other views expressed herein are as of the date of this publication. Actual future results or occurrences may differ significantly from those anticipated in any forward-looking statements, and there is no guarantee that any predictions will come to pass. The views expressed herein are subject to change at any time, due to numerous market and other factors. Epsilon Theory disclaims any obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or views expressed herein. This information is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of any offer to buy any securities. This commentary has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. Epsilon Theory recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a financial advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives.