Image of the week? No contest: the masked young people in Hong Kong felling a tower and smashing the surveillance camera on top of it. That camera could sweep a crowd of hundreds of thousands and pick out a single wanted face. To smash it was a brave deed in a dark world.
I have written before about surveillance cameras and I'm sorry to bang on but they are evil things. To see one swivel on its fixing and scan a crowd is to feel the shiver of tyranny. Yet they proliferate around the world and the reason is not far to seek.
Authorities everywhere are terrified of the people they sit in power over. Authorities know they are corrupt and they fear the insurrection they deserve. Cameras give them control.
Macbeth would have loved them. He murdered his way to the throne and kept murdering to stay there. He sensed a threat round every corner. "There is not one of them," he said of his subjects, "but in his house I keep a servant fee'd." In other words he paid spies to watch his enemies. Cameras would have been cheaper.
We have words for watchers of others. Peeping Toms we call them. Voyeurs. We consider them creeps. But when they're in power they're worse than creeps. Once at a port in China I was allowed to play with the monitoring system in a control tower high above the wharf.
I could zoom in on any of the workers down below without them knowing. I could see that a man half a mile away had not shaved that morning. And I could feel my inner tyrant stirring and taking a nasty interest. I was Big Brother and I was watching.
The old argument of course is that if you're doing nothing wrong you have nothing to fear. But that depends on how you define wrong. And the people who do the defining are always the people who own the cameras.
Consider Hong Kong. The youngsters smashing the camera want one simple thing. They want the right to choose their leaders, and to unchoose them when they go bad. It's the simplest form of liberty for the people.
But the people who own the cameras won't give it to them, because that would threaten their own power. And if the protesters continue to protest who will they send in? They will send in the People's Liberation Army. The irony could hardly be richer. The People's Liberation Army will prevent the people's liberation.
The word Orwellian is overused, but here it fits. For Orwell observed the inversion of language that came with the corruption of power. In his 1984 the Ministry of Peace waged war, the Ministry of Plenty imposed rationing. Objective truth was no longer inherent in words. The truth was what you were told was the truth.
Orwell wrote of totalitarian regimes, but you can see a chaotic version of the same thing happening in the world's richest democracy right now. Trump has no notion of truth. He lies incessantly. He lies about big things and small things.
When asked why he wasn't attending a G7 meeting on climate change he said it was still to happen. When that lie was exposed, his aides said he'd been having bilateral meetings with Merkel and Modi at the time of the meeting. When it was revealed that Merkel and Modi had been at the climate change meeting, Trump and his enablers lied again.
Trump is the template of every tyrant: infantile, craven, greedy, cruel, a walking pathology. And we haven't seen the worst of him yet. He lives in terror. He won't be able to cope with humiliation and exposure, with defeat.
When it comes he'll lash out. He'll have tantrums. A tantrum in a 4-year-old can silence a supermarket. A tantrum in a 72-year-old with nuclear weapons is a threat to us all.
And this in the world's largest and richest democracy. Nowhere is safe from tyranny, yea not even here where the grass is green and snakeless and the weather kind. We must be on the alert and we must not allow the apparatus of control to proliferate. If a few burglars get away with their burglaries then so be it.
And as for the brave Hong-Kongese how will they fare? Will the democracies of the world side with them? Will our government say even a few mild words of protest? Will Australia? Will Europe? Will they hell. They are all too scared of China's power.
The youngsters are on their own and their cause is probably doomed. But oh the heroism, felling those towers, smashing those cameras.