abstraction that makes unlike things alike on the basis of some third thing called the value-form (their “exchange value” or “general equivalent”), the relationship between this orientalism and global capitalism appears in sharper relief. Sinological-orientalism is in an important sense a capital-logic , just as historical capitalism betrays an orientalist one. As Said himself made clear (in at least my reading of him), orientalism and colonial discourse may precede the rise of capitalism, but in the modern era they are hand in glove . So, too, for the present moment, whereby Western investment and “constrainment” strategies are often rationalized on the basis of these being bene cial to the Chinese and their progression towards democracy and human rights (what- ever these mean), as well as helping “balance” and protect the rest of Asia from China’s rise. I further address the relationship between orientalist and capital logics in a nal chapter. My argument is a totalizing, “functionalist” one about the integral relationship between capitalism and orientalism. But then, so is the thing. The historical conditions of possibility for a global Sinological-orientalism are the momentous if not counter-revolutionary changes within China itself – its Dengist “era of reform and opening up” dating from 1979 – and the West’s economic, political, and discursive responses to this subsequent rise to global prominence . This paradoxical relationship is captured in the logic of becoming- sameness: China is still not “normal” (and has been tragically different), but is engaged in a “universal” process such that it will, and must, become the same as “us.” Whether it wants to or not . That is the present–future offered to China within this discourse, and – as anyone who watched the 2008 Olympics opening ceremonies knows (“one world, one dream”) – it is also one taken up within China itself. I turn to the question of Occidentalism below, and at other times make reference to Westernized/liberal views within China. But I only partially address the internalization of orientalism within China and the current Party state. That is surely an important matter worthy of its own book. But my focus here reflects in part my conviction that it is the Western – now fully global – dimensions and roots of orientalism that are the main problem underlying the often dysfunctional, neo-colonial relationship between China and the West . My concern is the production of knowledge about the P.R.C. outside of China and the cultural, ideological, and other politics that subtend this. One could write a different project focused on the representation of China from within the mainland; this would have to include 36
Orientalism K SDI 3-Week 2016 indigenous constructions and essentializations of China outside of, as well as prior to, foreign imperialism or orientalism. But the
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- Winter '16
- Jeff Hannan