As I was watching Sheena Iyengar's TED talk on choice, I wasn't sure how to quite make of her ideas that choice are not always a good thing, that one must be prepared to handle the abundance of choices. I couldn't help but to think of the current political situation in Hong Kong, where hundreds of thousands have been on the streets to fight for a choice that was promised to them, but have seen been taken away. Long story short: Hong Kong was promised to receive universal suffrage where they can elect their own leader in 2017, and now they are promised everyone will have one vote, but the candidates are going to be pre-approved by a committee that is supposedly representative of its people, but with only 1200 members and most of which are more loyal to China than Hong Kong, how do we know whose best interests this is for? The reasoning behind the Chinese and Hong Kong governments' decision is that Hong Kong is not 'mature' enough for a genuine democracy, and the governments know better than its people to make the right choice. Essentially, they are trying to justify stripping away the rights of a city's citizens by telling them "you don't know what is the best choice for you, so we helped you out by screening the right people for you first." The current leader of Hong Kong even said on record that the problem of allowing an open vote would mean the majority of people who on average makes $1800/month, aka the poorer half of society, would thus become the majority and be allowed to have a voice in governance.
There are certainly plenty of people in Hong Kong who believe that by protesting on a mass scale, as is the case in Hong Knog, it is a terrible choice as there is little chance anything can be achieved by standing up to a government which is much more powerful than this small city, and is not known to be forgiving to anyone who disagrees with the choices they have made. They do believe that the elite (who not surprisingly many of such pro-government supporters belong to) know better than the people who are not. But whose interests are they really representing? How do we know they are going to make good choices for people who might not be of the same social standing? So, I am not sure all choices are good, but I do believe that it is better for people to have a choice or a say in decisions that would affect their lives than have people tell them what is best for them.