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totalitarianism?’ (Patten, 2006). He then continues, ‘The political romantic in me hopes that the answer is both. I keep my fingers crossed that China will change without turmoil. But if that doesnot happen, then for any liberal pluralist the comparative performances of India and China in thefuture will be a test of the correctness of our political philosophy’ (ibid.).Their underlying assumptions about China are based on faulty methods of threat construction – at: “we are not containment though”Seng, 2(Head of Research for Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, Singapore. PhD Tan See, What Fear Hath Wrought: Missile Hysteria and The Writing of “America”, July 2002, )In Kyle’s discourse we encounter, first, the partisan criticism levelled against the previous administration for its evidently erroneousbelief that China could be “reformed” by the “civilizing influence of the West.” That this statement proceeds immediately from thereto demonstrate why “this theory hasn’t proven out” is not to imply that the senator from Arizona therefore thinks that the entiretyof the Clinton Administration’s purported logic is thereby flawed. Indeed, his discourse enacts precisely the same exclusionarypractice, present in the logic that he has just criticized, so as to position China as a “lesser subject,” so to speak, relative to the US.Again, Butler’s thoughts are helpful here: “This exclusionary matrix by which subjects are formed thus requires the simultaneousproduction of a domain of abject beings, those who are not yet ‘subjects,’ but who form the constitutive outside to the domain of
the subject.”75 I would suggest that Butler’s “abject beings…who are not yet ‘subjects’” may possibly be construed as what I havetermed “lesser subjects.” Hence, in much the same way that colonial or Orientalist discourses produced subalternsubjects in order to be known, domesticated, disciplined, conquered, governed, and of course civilized,76 thefiguration of “China”in Kyle’s discourse, evoking a genre of Otherness most moderns prefer to think has disappeared with thepassing of colonialism, is that of an uncivilized barbaric nationand people. The previous Democratic administration,according to Kyle, erred in believing that the Chinese can be reformed and civilized, but no such hope – and it is, after all, a liberalhope – need be entertained by conservatives who know better than to even attempt to civilize “the natives.” Thisrepresentation allows for the simultaneous production of the properly constitutedsubject,“America,” where human rights, the rule of law, democracy, and a track record of good neighbourlinessare fully embracedalong with capitalism. Here we may note that although this inventory of criteria has long been associatedwith how Americans perceive themselves – and, to be sure, how the world perceives America, positively as well as negatively – theirown national history, however, is littered with as many spectacular failures as there have been successes in these very areas. Further,