Friday, January 21, 2011

An Insane Anarchy in Hong Kong

A writer feeds off of inspiration. Every writer should explore, be adventurous, learn, and eventually come to the same conclusion: the world is an incredible place.

I was almost giddy when I heard there was an anarchic city in Hong Kong only thirty years ago. (I have a soft spot for anarchy.) Kowloon, The Walled City, was densely populated and completely ungoverned. It was once a military base on the border between the British Territories and Hong Kong, but after it was evacuated, squatters went there to flee from communism, the law, debt, or whatever else made it impossible for them to live in normal society.

This city was insane. There were 33,000 people in a 6.5 acre area. They built buildings on top of buildings until the streets were covered in homes. There’s no light inside.

This video is a fascinating documentary. People actually went inside and interviewed the residents before the city was demolished in 1987.

I like anarchy purely for religious reasons. You see, if God were on earth with us, it would only make sense to make him the ruler of all governments because he’s perfect. Since he’s not here and we’re all imperfect beings, democracy makes the most sense. When we go to heaven we’ll all be perfected beings, so the government that makes the most sense is anarchy.

I leapt at the chance to watch this video because I adore Utopian and Dystopian literature, and I always wanted to write a fictional book about radical government. How cool would it be if my book was actually non-fiction? I was disappointed, though, because the city’s system didn’t function well at all. There were diseases, drugs, prostitution, poverty… It was a pretty sucky place to live. No revolutionary material there. Why can’t anyone come up with an anarchy that actually works?

It would be cool, though, to turn this history into a historical fiction that follows all the patterns of Dystopian literature. It could actually read like a fictional book and it would be shelved with other Dystopian fictions, except wait… this really happened. I seriously considered it, but it’s not really my style.


  1. That picture is just MIND BLOWING. Wow. Can you imagine what it would have been like to live in there?

  2. I think it was Nathan Bransford that posted this video a month or so ago. My mind was blown! The night after I had seen the video, I had a dream that I was living in a society like this, but it was controlled by some unknown figure authority. It was pretty intense and I'm definitely dedicating one of my future WriMos to it. I guess I'll see if my writing style permits me to accomplish an anarchical story...


  3. I found the video on Nathan Bransford's blog, and I just had to share it. I'm glad you're going to do a WriMo for it, because I really want this story to be told. I hate it when I come up with ideas I have no intention of writing.


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