Friday, August 09, 2019

Albert Chen Hung-yee 陳弘毅 (Hong Kong U.) on the Situation in Hong Kong Part 2: 一國兩制的博弈 ["The Game of One Country Two Systems"]

Last week Albert Chen Hung-yee 陳弘毅 posted the first of a two part essay, 理性溝通的困境 ["The Dilemma of Rational Communication"] first appeared on 2 August in the Ming Newspaper supplements [發表於《明報》副刊] which I posted here

Today, Professor Chen posted the second part of the essay, 一國兩制的博弈 ["The Game of One Country Two Systems"]. It also originally appeared in the Ming Newspaper on 9 August 2019. 

In the first essay Professor Chen assumed the voice of the classical Greek chorus delivering the parados or entry song, in this case an an elegy to discourse, and to the tragedy that is working its way to climax in Hong Kong.

In the Second essay, 一國兩制的博弈 ["The Game of One Country Two Systems"], the tone shifts. It retains its distance from the central characters in the drama, but now uses the mechanics of the modern oracle--game theory, and classical economic theory of behavior--to both make a prediction and to urge at least one side in the current situation in Hong Kong to reconsider the path some of its members have chosen to attain goals which only partly overlap with that of the government camp. Here one enters the realm of the role of the chorus in Sophocles's Antigone. Here Professor Chen introduces key thematic or emotional elements essential to the unfolding of the inevitable course of the tragedy. Here, as well, Professor Chen lays out the elements of the tragedy that principle begot in a context whose course was set in motion years ago and by others.
Thou hast rushed forward to the utmost verge of daring; and against that throne where justice sits on high thou hast fallen, my daughter, with a grievous fall. But in this ordeal thou art paying, haply, for thy father's sin. . . Reverent action claims a certain praise for reverence; but an offense against power cannot be brooked by him who hath power in his keeping. Thy self-willed temper hath wrought thy ruin. (Sophocles, Antigone, Chorus).
For these and other reasons, apparent to those who study it, Professor Chen's essay, 一國兩制的博弈 ["The Game of One Country Two Systems"], is worth reading.  The essay follows below in English  以及原始的中文版本

Cross posted (in Italian also) in Albert Chen: Il Gioco di Un Paese, Due Sistemi | 一國兩制的博弈 | The Game of One Country Two Systems, with thanks to Flora Sapio.

Albert Chen Hung-yee 陳弘毅



理性假設的一個應用便是成本效益的計算: 如果不同選項,我會考慮每選項的成本和效益, 務求以最低成本獲取最大效益。





The game of one country, two systems
Albert Chen Hung-yee 陳弘毅 

(published in Ming Pao, August 9, 2019)

Economics assumes that an individual is rational in choosing how to act, that is, that he understands what results are good for him or what his goals are. He will choose one among the different options in order to maximize his or her goals or achieve the best return.

One application of the rational actor hypothesis is the cost-effective calculation: In the face of different options, I will consider the cost and benefit of each option, in order to get the maximum benefit at the lowest cost. Another application of rational hypothesis is game theory, which deals with the interaction of two or more parties. Each party's behavior may affect the behavior of the other party. When each party chooses how to act, that party must use the information it has (for example, about Information on how the other party will act), in order to maximize the interests of the parties in the process of interaction or to achieve their goals to the greatest extent possible. The concepts of “zero-sum game”, “win-win” and “double lose” come from game theory.

Game theory can be used to analyze the behavior and possible outcomes of all parties under one country and two systems. We can consider the interests of all parties or the goals they wish to achieve, as well as the options for their actions. For example, the central government and the SAR government's goal is to maintain Hong Kong's prosperity and stability while safeguarding the interests of "one country." Those in the pro-government camp all basically agree with this goal. The non-government camp hope that Hong Kong can achieve universal suffrage to protect the human rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people and encourage the government to hold Hong Kong people accountable through democratic elections.

However, the non-government camp members also hope that Hong Kong can maintain prosperity and stability. Therefore, if they are rational, they should not agree to use violent resistance as a means to achieve their goals, because such resistance may endanger Hong Kong's ability to successfully achieve prosperity and stability. The chances of attaining its other goal are quite slim. Therefore, it is irrational to choose violent protests in Hong Kong.

(two of two)

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