過去關於港人價值觀的論述一般認為華人難民社群有「功利家庭主義」的非政治化取向 (Lau)、殖民政治強化「固有的保守和怯懦心理」(曾31)、「港人(主要是年青一代)普遍都表現了十分內向與退卻心理…… 極端的物慾主義、享樂主義或消極意念」(曾35)。雖然貧富懸殊嚴重，但直至本世紀初以前，「多數居民都相信有能力肯苦幹就有機會出頭」；「法律觀念深入民心」，所以「個人和家庭利益放在集體利益的前面」(李41) ；八十年代後是「利益團體政治」及伴隨而來的「公民權利」及「社區意識」興起，「歸屬感政治」轉變至「權益政治」(黃偉邦 184) ° 戰後出身的一代因為並未經歷中國內戰所以較為「理想主義」(張炳良58) ，大多「出身低下家庭」，「故對社會公義問題特別敏感」(張炳良59)，普遍認同「民主自由、公義平等」原則；不是「福利派」，「要求其本階級利益獲得一定的注重」(張炳良61)，「重視自我奮鬥，強調獨立」(張炳良63) ，要求機會平等而不是均等主義 (Lau and Khan 66; 呂1998b : 203) °「競爭性資本主義」環境提供的「雙軌發展」社會流動機能鼓勵沒受過專上教育的透過「搏殺」來晉升中產階級 (呂1998b : 98) ° 即使看到資本主義「有不平等」，但仍然接受「競爭性的制度」; 九七後的焦慮是害怕失去「一個個人自由得到尊重、個人高度的自由活動空間和依法行事的制度」，導致「自身利益受損」，「毋須因政治理由而委屈、妥協」，面對「強權的、家長式的環境」(呂 1998b : 203-206)。
以上大概描述了上世紀八十年代及以後的港人主流價值觀，經常被統稱為「獅子山下精神」的。過去學者一般傾向把香港本土意識的崛起，「獅子山下精神」(《獅子山下 》為1974-1994年間，香港電台製作的一套電視劇) 的形塑 追塑至七十年代 。六十年代末至七十年代是香港經濟結構急劇轉型期 (如1969-1972年間就有三家證券交易所成立：1969年遠東交易所、1971年金銀證券交易所及1972年九龍證卷交易所)，而五十至六十年代中則通常被指為南來人口無法或企圖適應香港、心懷祖國的過渡期。本文借爬梳五十年代的流行電 影文化來闡述當時社會-我認為同樣是「紮根」香港，以香港作為想像共同體 - 深入民心的價值觀跟「獅子山下精神」的不盡相同甚至矛盾，從而企圖重新想像香港文化中的一些被歷史斷裂化了、地下化了的聲音，如何被有系統地排除在「香港本土」的界定以外。 我追溯這過程作為在香港被「競爭性資本主義」全盤洗禮之前，經歷了的一項去（舊）道德，同時也是去政治化工程。而把「香港本土意識」定性於在七十年代才出現這種說法，是把香港人對殖民資本主義的認同作為香港成為想像共同體的條件，這也是香港最新自由主義化的「本土性」。
Present discourse on Hongkongers' value systems considers this community of Chinese refugees as having an apolitical "utilitarian familism" (Lau); that colonial politics reinforced “an existing psychology of conservatism and timidity” (Tsang 31); that "Hongkongers (mainly its younger generations) express generally a very inward-looking and regressive mentality… an extreme materialism, hedonism and negativity.” (Tsang, 35) Despite a severe gap between the rich and poor, until the 21st century “most residents believed that the opportunity would be theirs if they were capable and if they worked hard.” “Concepts of the law were deeply embedded in the population”; “the interests of the individual and his family were placed before those of the collective.” (Li 41) After the 1980s, the emergence of “civil rights” and “community consciousness” accompanied the rise of “interest-group politics”; a shift took place between “the politics of belongingness” to “the politics of rights”. (Wong Wai-pong 184) According to Cheung Ping-leung, the post-war generation, mostly “from lower-class families”, is relatively “idealist” for not having experienced the Chinese civil war (58), “and are thus particularly sensitive to the problems of social justice.” (59) While they are “welfarists”, they generally identify with values of “democracy, freedom, justice and equality” and “demand certain regard to the rights of their proper classes.” (61) “Autonomy and hard work is valued high.” (63) They demand equal opportunity, and not egalitarianism. (Lau and Khan 66; Lui 1998b : 203) Lui Tai-lok (1998b: 98) believes that the “double-track development” mechanism of social ascension provided by a “competitive capitalist” environment has encouraged those who have not received higher education to elevate themselves to middle class status by “engaging in the combat of life”, so much so that even though Hongkong people could see that capitalism “has its inequalities”, they still accepted “a competitive system”. Major anxiety raised by the Chinese handover was/is that they would lose “a system where personal liberty is respected, and where the rule of law ensures a high degree of autonomy of individual activity”, resulting in “a loss of one’s interests”, and fear that their days of “not having to compromise for political reasons” in the face of an “authoritarian, paternalistic environment” would soon be over. (Lui 1998b : 203-206)
The above should have approximately outlined the mainstream value system of Hong Kong people since the 1980s, commonly known as the “Under the Lion Rock spirit”19. Hong Kong witnessed rapid economic shifts at the end of 1960s to early 1970s (three stock exchanges were founded: Far East Exchange 1969; Kam Ngan 1971; Kowloon 1972), and the 1950s were usually sidelined as the transitional period where the newcomers from China were unable or struggling to adapt themselves to the colony with their hearts still in the Mainland. This paper seeks to map some of the values as represented in the 1950s popular Hong Kong cinema and their distinctiveness from those of the “Under the Lion Rock spirit,” while I would argue that these are no less “rooted” in a social identification with Hong Kong and having it as an imagined community. Rather, the discourse of Hongkongness as a 1970s invention has redefined the Hong Kong ethnic identity in such a way that it, more often than not, assumes a collective identification with the colonial capitalist project––a moral and affectual development that did not become dominant until post-1967––as a required condition for such identity. This alone, I would say, is one of the most neoliberalized conditions of Hong Kong. Through uncovering a systemic project of ostracizing / demonizing some long repressed moral tales and of replacing them with success narratives on “upward class mobility” under a “competitive capitalist” system, I hope to examine the beginning of remaking/reengineering the Hong Kong ethic via a process of colonial depoliticization as well as to further problematize the historical construction of Hong Kong ethnicity.