Over the centuries, repressive regimes the world over have learned the same lesson: Once accustomed to freedom and participatory democracy, people will cling to it with a grip that cannot be broken.
A heartening reminder of that fact comes from Hong Kong, where, despite the overbearing communist government in Beijings best efforts to paint the pro-democracy resistance as illegitimate, violent revolutionaries, district council elections yielded a resounding win for the good guys (and girls).
A 25-year-old who crowdfunded his campaign took down the vice-chairman of the main pro-Beijing party. A 23-year-old reformer beat a three-time incumbent. As turnout surged, the defenders of Hong Kongs independence and special history of freedom took 17 of 18 districts, and 80% of all council seats, compared to just 30% before.