Mandarins

Many of the recent short posts here have been inter-connected by the topic of international ‘soft power‘ tensions. Somewhat ironically, this is a subject that is peculiarly prone to failures of insight. No cultural formation is disposed to a self-understanding that would expose itself as something inherently threatening.

The reactions of Western academic, media, entertainment, and ancillary cultural powers to Chinese resistances and counter-actions are characterized by a remarkable uniformity, and systematic refusal of reflection. Doesn’t any obstruction of — or non-compliance with — these highly-internationalized forces of communication indicate simple fear of the truth? That is overwhelmingly the core assumption, when such matters are discussed by those very organs of trans-cultural agency which should be in question, but which manage very successfully not to be. The ‘conversation’ is almost wholly controlled by those who would be the topic of the conversation, if the conversation were permitted to happen.

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