Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
A Critique of Postcolonial Reason. Toward a History of the Vanishing Past (1999)
Let me offer an explanation from an earlier conjuncture, by a person whose work had not yet been invaginated by the local as it confronts the global. (63) This chapter is, after all, one woman teetering on the socle mouvant of the history of the vanishing present, running after "culture" on the run, failure guaranteed. In parentheses, I have indicated how this earlier version can be updated, for the moment.
The period of capitalist territorial colonialism and imperialism, which began at the end of the eighteenth century, supposedly ended in the mid-forties, when neo-colonialism began. During that earlier period, a class was produced of indigenous fimctionary-intelligentsia who were not-quite-not-white and acted as buffers between the foreign rulers and the native ruled. This is the most accessible and abstract account of the making of the so-called colonial subiect. It is the narrative that supports the master narrative of the dominant European subject.
As we thus stalk the postcolonial briskly, we may indeed ask: what was the cultural-political fate of this indigenous elite as the great territorial imperialisms began to be dismantled, and the period of decolonization began? In the new nations, they had a strong hand in fashioning a new cultural identity. This did not always dovetail with the cultural-political Situation in the metropolis. For the indigenous elite did not have an established new informant Position. They did not gain a foothold in the inception of "national" cultural studies in Britain in the '60s, for that movement was working-class-based and oriented toward migrant culture almost from the start. The area studies disciplines that sprang up during the Cold War years and gave support to the American self-representation as the custodian of decolonization absorbed some members of this class. It was not until the '70s and the computerization of the great stock exchanges and the dismantling of nationally based capital that a benevolent third-worldist cultural studies impulse began to infect the US. academy. (64)
This impulse, with its immense Potential for crisis Management through production of knowledge, housed the colonial subject as post colonial turned informant. This position is generally so beleagured by the pervasive hostility of the traditional humanist authorities toward any disturbance of the Euramerican canon that its own cultural-political provenance can hardly be discussed without the uneasy feeling of divided loyalties. There is so much room for real misunderstanding here that I must also hasten to add that I am not speaking about the slow change from colonial to postcolonial in the "new" nation. (65) I am only trying to account for the sudden prominence of the postcolonial informant on the stage of U.S. English studies.
The postcolonial informant has rather little to say about the oppressed minorities in the decolonized nation as such, except, at best, as especially well-prepared investigator. Yet the aura of identification with those distant objects of oppression clings to these informants as, again at best, they identify with the other racial and ethnic minorities in metropolitan space. At worst, they take advantage of the aura and play the native informant uncontaminated by disavowed involvement with the machinery of the production of knowledge. Thus this last group either undermines the struggle by simulating an effect of a new third world, by piecing together great legitimizing narratives of cultural and ethnic specificity and continuity, and of national identity-a species of "retrospective hallucination." (66) Or, and more recently, the more stellar level predicates upward class-mobility as resistance, confining the destabilization of the Metropole merely to the changes in the ethnic composition of the Population. The continuous and varied product of this dissimulation is an "other" or "ground level activity," "emergent discourses" for postmodemity, a kind of built-in critical moment. Both the racial underclass and the subaltern South step back into the penumbra.
This activity generates a kind of formula: colonialism was modernization/ism :: postcolonialism is resistance to postmodernism; or, the true" postmodernism; now, only the postmodern postcolonialist is the triumphalist self-declared hybrid. The actual postcolonial areas have a class-specific and internationally controlled limited access to a telematic society of information command, which is often also the indigenous contact-point or source of the discourse of cultural specificity and difference. My suggestion is that academic assertions of this difference, supporting the simulated specificity of a radical position, often dissimulate the implicit collaboration of the postcolonial in the service of neo-colonialism. (Today this has been displaced into hybridist postnational talk, celebrating globalization as Americanization.) This simulationdissimulation two-step can take the discourse of feminism on board. As Kalpana Bardhan writes, in postcoloniality "women hardly constitute a collectivity with shared interests and needs. They are [as] stratified as men are.... In such a context, gender politics can hardly be a surrogate for class politics.... If the wage-and-access differentiale follow the lines of traditional privilege, then attention gets conveniently deflected from the adaptive dexterity of capitalist exploitation process to the stubbornness of feudal values [national-cultural-ethnic specificity?] when it is actually a symbiotic relationship between the two." (67)
(Today UN-style universalist feminism simulates a women's collectivity, unwittingly, one hopes, to use the needs of the needy in the interests of the greedy, so to speak. The gendered "postcolonial" plays rather an important role here.) I prefer to call this relationship complicitous (folded together) rather than syrnbiotic (living on/off one another). Folded together, we live on/off whatever lies on the other side, in the minute particulars of our living as in the broadest structures of policy. My own text could not have been written or read without that folding together. It is an absurd denial of history simply to ask for its Prohibition. A caution, a vigilance, a persistent taking of distance always out of step with total involvement, a desire for permanent parabasis, is all that responsible academic criticism can aspire to. Any bigger claim within the academic enclosure is a trick. (68)
It was the eruption of Hindu nationalism in India in December 1992, resulting in the destruction of a mosque in Ayodhya, that taught us a lesson about the failure of decolonization in India, the remote motor of the exodus of those of us who became the globe-trotting postcolonials, ready for entanglements in new global complicities.
For it is not only the political power brokers on the right in the nation who mobilized the forces of filndamentalism in the name of historically authoritative national identity; there is an isolationist counter-nationalism among the ideologues of the left parties as well. Some professed anti-nationalists of the diasporic left, taking a passionate stand against religious nationalism in the country of origin, betrayed the power of the reactive nationalism of the ex-patriate. Nationalism, like culture, is a moving base-a socle mouvant (to quote Foucault again) -of differences, as dangerous as it is powerful, always ahead or deferred by definitions, pro or contra, upon which it relies. Against this, globality or post-nationalist talk-is a representation both as Darstellung or theatre and as Vertretung or delegation as functionary-of the financialization of the grobe, or globalization. What I had earlier seen as the upwardly class-mobile metropolitan ruse of recoding mimicry as resistance, comes into its own in this dispensation. (69) Fundamentalist nationalism arises in the loosened hyphen between nation and state as the latter is mortgaged further and further by the forces of financialization, although the deterininations are never clear. The first items in the following couples are fuzzy, the second abstract: nation-state, subject-agency (institutionally validated action), identitycitizenship. Much Manipulation, maneuvering, and mobilization can take place in the interest of the latter in the name of its fuzzy partner. (70) Experience gained in the interim suggested another way of conjuring with nationalism, in the name not of the grobe but of a global girdling.
Globality is invoked in the interest of the financialization of the grobe, or globalization. To think globality is to think the politics of thinking globality. How are the loose outlines of popular politics inscribed? Marshall McLuhan is rather a minor example of a "watershed intellectual." Yet his Global Village does provide something like deep background for the history of our present, for the backlash of underclass multiculturalism. (71) " I couple McLuhan's book with Jean-Francois Lyotard's The Postmodern Condition, which offers a different though related riff on Jameson's topic, and has had something like a watershed effect in those very sections of the academy that spawn "theory." (72) Although McLuhan belongs to the mad scientist Phase of the '60s, and Lyotard leans on the critique of the paradigms of modernist science produced by philosophers of science such as Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, Roy Bhaskar, Nancy Cartwright, and the like, the two share a common and stated presupposition. (73) Namely, that the advances in electronic technology have made it possible for "the West" (McLuhan) or "telematic society" (Lyotard) to go back to the possibility of precapitalist spiritual riches without their attendant discomforts. This will turn out to be a legimitation of the only apparently decentered postfordist postmodern capitalism, and global telecommunication. McLuhan launches the argument in terms of the activities of the left brain-rational and visual-that the West has so far been engaged in-over against the activities of the right brain-holistic and acoustic-that the West is graduating to, thanks to electronic technology. To prove this he proposes to rewrite the history of scientific discoveries through the rationalist model of the tetrad, which he Passes off as no more than a metaphor. (74)
According to McLuhan, although the Third World has so far operated through the holistic right brain, it is now coming more and more towards the left side. How McLuhan manages to draw this absurd conclusion from the hegemonic Moorish, Arabic, Persian, Indian, Korean, Chinese, and japanese traditions is alas, only too easily explained, but would involve analytical polemics that have no place here. The point is that "certainly by the tum of the century, the Third World will implode upon itself for different reasons: too many people and too little food ... the tetrad of the cancer cell reveals, in small, the immediate hereafter of the world: cancer enhances cell reproduction, retrieves primitive cell evolution, and transforms itself into self-consumption. The new technologic man ... must become his brother's keeper, in spite of himself ... Ecology shifts the "White Man's Burden" on to the shoulders of the "Man-in-the-Street". (75)
So much for Tradition and modernity-Enlightenment and communitarianism. This offers a general justification for "Development," the civihzing (modernizing/democratizing) mission of the new Imperialism. "The West" is now the New World, we must take the old New World upon our shoulders. And what is going to be the model?
"EFTS (Electronic Funds Transfer System) ... may be considered the working prototype of all ... planetary data bases.... When an organization becomes the largest economic grouping in the nation, it is the social structure" (GV 108, 124). And, we might add, such financialization is the secret of globalization, and it can proceed unimpeded in the post-Soviet era. The rest of the book is an impassioned song of praise for the Bell Telephone System and AT&T. (76) We are not surprised that the book ends on a particular nationalist/imperialist note: "Canadians and Americans share something very precious: a sense of the last frontier. The Canadian North has replaced the American West" (GV 147).
Of course Lyotard doesn't mess with theories of right brain consciousness. The entire argument is muted in his book. He advances the idea that each (social? historical? libidinal?-all of the above, perhaps) "condition" offers or is produced by-one cannot be sure-language games used for legitimization. He suggests that in the telematic or electronic world, neither the narrative of social justice (Marx), nor the narrative of development (capital), provides legitimation. (77) Now legitimacy is offered according to a model that generates forms-Otherwise identified as short tales-without an end in view: morphogenetic, innovative, but non-teleological. Although there is no unsophisticated faith in a raised consciousness here, the acquisition of a new language-game to match the telematic or electronic condition shows a naive faith (that many share) that minds change collectively at the same speed as world structures.
Lyotard gets bis model of Legitimation by short tale from the oral formulaic epic Tradition. The argument is itself a hidden great narrative that might go like this: under the pressure of the slow historical movement that finally led to modernity, the great oral epics such as the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Mababharata, the Ramayana, and, of course, the epics of the Nordic Tradition, received narrative closure. They became long stories with beginnings, middles, and ends. When the pre-modern singer of tales actually performed the epics, however, bis legitimization came from how many new episodes or tales he could spin, through bis memory of the oral formula. We fully telematic societies, with our vast impersonal "virtual" memories, are supposed to have acceded to the pre-modern pre-capitalist condition, with none of its problems, and we can now proceed like the old singer of tales. Lyotard's model is the singer of tales from the Native American ethnic group Kashinahua. Incidentally, the old episodic epic Tradition, through long historical transmogrification, is alive and well not only among the Aboriginal subaltern, but also-appropriated and re-constellated-in counter global revolutionary theater (indeed it is the most stylized end of all politics of counter-discourse, which is theater for political mobilization), not necessarily in the hegemonic language, owing little or nothing to the European novelistic Tradition, about which Benedict Anderson et al. go on endlessly. (78) This phenomenon falls out of benevolent definitions of World Literature, produced in the North. Cultural politics.
It is not surprising that both Lyotard and McLuhan end on the pious note that "what knowledge there is will [McLuhan] or should [Lyotardl be available to all." Hail to thee, pax electronica. On the way to the "level playing field" of the World Trade Organization through the distribution of "free telecommunication" to all. The USAID logo for the Global Knowledge 1997 conference was an African woman, wearing cloth, holding a cell phone to her ear. (79)
It is also no surprise that, in the hot peace following the Cold War, it is in fact the great LN conferences that legitimate themselves, mostly in the name of woman, innovatively and morphogenetically, proliferating bureaucratic forms that seem international activism to women who will forever remain protected from subaltern pouvoir/savoir. But Lyotard may be wrong also in estimating that the ancient singer of tales legitimized himself by a simple and acknowledged absence of the teleologic. The thinking of the binary Opposition between "linear" and "layered" or "cyclical" time is peculiarly "modern." Another version of that same uncritical assumption: that the collective subject is isomorphic with social structures of cultural explanation. (80) These self-legitimizing moderni(ization) conferences are in fact non-teleological only in terms of the telos that they so abundantly proclaim: the End of Woman as the End of Man.
For the great narrative of Development is not dead. The cultural politics of books like Global Village and Postmodern Condition and the wellmeaning raps upon raps upon the global electronic future that we often hear is to provide the narrative of development(globalization)-democratization (U.S. Mission) an alibi. My Generation in India, born before Independence, realizes only too well that many of the functionaries of the civilizing Mission of imperialism were well-meaning. (81) The point here is not personal accusations. And in fact what these functionaries gave was often what I call an enabling violation-a rape that produces a healthy child, whose existence cannot be advanced as a justification for the rape. Imperialism cannot be justified by the fact that India has railways and I speak English well. Many of the functionaries of the civilizing mission were well-meaning; but alas, you can do good with contempt or paternal-maternal-sororal benevolence in your heart. And today, you can knife the poor nation in the back and offer band-aids for a photo opportunity. Scapegoating colonialism in the direst possible way shields the new imperialism of exploitation as development.
A crude theory of national identity-we were asked by Indians, we were asked by the Somalis, we were asked by Africans-is used to legitimize this narrative and silence opposition. (82) Alternative development collectives, national-local health care, ecology, and literacy collectives have been in place for a long time, and play a critical role at the grassroots level. Why are they seldom heard? These oppositional structures are indigenous NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations). The govemments of developing nations are, with the disappearance of the possibility of nonalignment in the post-Soviet world, heavily mortgaged to international development organizations. The relationship between the government and the spectrum of indigenous non-governmental organizations is at least as ambiguous and complex as the glibly invoked "identity of the nation." (83) The NGOs that surface at the "NGO Forum"s of the UN conferences have been so thoroughly vetted by the donor countries, and the content of their presentations so organized by categories furnished by the UN, that neither subject nor object bears much resemblance to the "real thing," if you will pardon the expression.
The main funding and co-ordinating agency of the great narrative of development is the World Bank. The phrase "sustainable development" has entered the discourse of all the bodies that manage globality. Development to sustain what? The general ideology of global develoment is racist paternalism (and alas, increasingly, sororalism); its general economics capital-intensive investrnent; its broad politics the silencing of resistance and of the subaltern as the rhetoric of their protest is constantly appropriated. Certain European cultural and educational organizations seem in the grip of academic "postcolonialism" on the U.S. model. Its condition and effect are the general social refusal to the waves of asylum-seeking economic migrants. I choose Sweden because I spoke a version of the last few pages there, at a conference on the global village. it seems particularly apposite for considerations of the history of the present because Sweden is a generally "enlightened" donor country; responsible in the context of globality and global postcoloniality. it is in its domestic treatment of the great waves of migration generated by the so-called end of the Cold War that its enlightenment begins to crumble: postcolonial migrancy. This book forages in the crease between global postcoloniality and postcolonial migrancy. Thus it is important for us to note that although whenever we were cornered in arguments by liberals of the right who brought up Cuba, Sweden was cited as the model for the Sandinista; and whatever its image in the field of global aid, the Swedish state was closing off welfare for the detritus of globality. it seemed to be the final demise of Second International Socialism. I say final because we used to think it died in 1914 when the German Social Democrats voted in war credits. As Immanuel Wallerstein and others have pointed out, the benefits of the Second International can, however, be felt in the state structures of Northwestern European countries. it was these benefits that were being regulated and withdrawn by way of a 1976 amendment to the Aliens Act that introduce(4 special reasons for denial." Under pressure of economic restructuring and the New World Order, socialism in one country was crumbling in the North as well.
As I have imagined, in the New World Order-or bot peace-the hyphen between nation and state comes looser than usual; and that in that gap fundamentalisms fester. Even Sweden could offer an example of this. In that dreadful winter of mosque-breaking, I mused upon lendu nationalism: India too used to be a "socialist country with a mixed economy." We have our King Rama (the mythic Hindu king who is the hero of the Hindu nationalists), and Sweden, it turned out, had Karl XII. (84) Swedish protest against the outrage of November 30, 1992 (when a group of young Swedish racists marched under the banner of the King), was strong. Yet, unless one believed (and many do) that faith in human equality is simply a natural characteristic of the Swedish nation (it is against such convictions that underclass multiculturalism fights) I am obliged to point out that we non-sectarian Hindus had thought, until the massacre of December 6, 1992, "it can't happen here."
Although we must work to elect public officials who must soldier to shore up the benefits of the Welfare State, that alone is not the kingpin of the global future.
Let us now place cultural studies at the academic end of a spectrum that, traversing the political, vanishes at last into the necessary impossibility of the ethical. (85) Thus: cultural studies; "radical" art; mainstreaming; globegirdling movements. I explain each of the first three by way of somewhat singular cases in order to get to the last. I repeat: I remain a literary critic by training; disciplinarizing the singular. Perhaps this is also the problem with all radical interventions within firmly established conventions-academy or art-insufficiently canny not only about globality but also about their own unwitting place and role in globalization. Part of what I include in the next few pages is an extract from a speech addressed to Indian cultural studies academics a week before the conference in Sweden (see IM, xxiii-xxxi). I mention this because my elite involvement in the history of the present is as an itinerant subject of the new "Conference Culture," and I am still scratching at the rift between global postcoloniality and metropolitan migrancy. (86) Jameson's immense influence in Taiwan and China, combined with bis typically U.S. Konfusion between China and "China"-as in bis reading of Bob Perelman's poem, which I discuss above-similarly figures the trajectory of contemporary cultural studies exchange. (87)
The initial attempt in the Bandung conference (1955), to establish a third way, neither with the Eastern nor within the Western bloc in the World-System, in response to the seemingly New World Order established after World War 2, was not accompanied by commensurate intellectual effort. The only idioms deployed for the nurturing of that nascent Third World in the cultural field belonged to positions emerging from resistance within the supposedly Old World Order, antiimperialism, and/or nationalism. The idioms that are coming in to fill that space in this New World Order ascertain perhaps that the cultural lobby be once again of no help in producing a transnationally literate actor. These idioms are: national origin, subnationalism, nationalism, cultural-nativism or relativism, religion, and/or-in Northern radical chic-hybridism, postnationalism. it is this last group that produces most of the cultural studies talk. Speaking to this Indian audience, full of many people who are finished in the United States as in a finishing school, I quoted Antonio Gramsci. Necessarily without a detailed awareness of the rich history of the African-American struggle, Gramsci was somewhat off the mark when he presented the hypothesis that American expansionism would use African-Americans to conquer the African market and the extension of American civilization (although the case of South Africa and the use of African-Americans in U.S. military Aggression seem to support Gramsci). (88) But if bis hypothesis is applied to the New Immigrant intellectuals and their countries of national origin, it seems particularly apposite today. The partners are of course, cultural studies, liberal multiculturalism, post-Fordist transnational capitalism in aid of export-based foreign capital invest:inent, and socalled Free Trade. Globalization deconstructs the difference between this set and Development as such. (The newest entrant, the financializing female diasporic, was not to be found in the activist/academic audience in Hyderabad. She is in Cairo, in Beijing, in Women's World Banking. Madeleine Albright, weeping in Prague as she pushes NATO, one sentence in Czech and one in English, speaking as a diasporic come home at last, on July 14, 1997, dislodges the Bastille Day party at the French Embassy.)
Perhaps because of the partnership in globalization, the same students in the United States spend much time and money (fellowships abroad, reconunendation letters, etc.) to get hegemonic languages just right to catch Lacan or Negri-not to mention Heidegger or Marxbut think a proposal to learn the language of a migrant group elitist. Whereas international affairs, development economics, business administration merrily traffic in transnationality, cultural studies-talking interdisciplinary, even postdisciplinary talk, will not walk the walk for transnational literacy (not expertise); too intimidating (89) against such a tough group, what I say below may seem peculiarly fragile. But, although every victory is a warning, we cannot afford to forget that the people did push the World Bank out of the Narmada Valley in India in March 1993.
In the interest of transnational literacy, then, the writer of this chapter circulates. Southern nationalism, Northern welfare state. Let us now move to the old master in his (her) benevolent mode: a site-specific art show on a migrant community in London. Unexamined culturalism represented by a roving solidaritarian artist often representing Amnesty International. When I proposed that we show evidence of the fact that ethnic entrepreneurs were pimping for the transnationals and selling their women into sweated labor (lowering wages without legal control), that collaborating artist's response was that he did not want to show sexist exploitation within the community. He wanted to show just white racism. Cultural politics. Abdication of responsibility. The migrant is all good. The whites are all bad. Legitimation by reversal. Reverse racism.
Rather than continue to celebrate the essentializing moralism of Colonizer/Colonized, White/Black, it had seemed necessary to me to make visible to the viewing public what the activists in the field knew. That the keeping apart of migrancy and development allowed the setting of thousands of unskilled female Bangladeshi homeworkers in London's East End in unwitting competition with thousands of unskilled female workers in the export-based garment industry in Bangladesh proper. The latter were "winning" because they cost £500 less per head a year and could bear witness to "women in development." (We are now approaching the women who disappear as we celebrate the hybrid feminist/individualist designer [see page 352].) Ethnicization of female super-exploitation is a global story, an episode in the same largescale story that generates our demand for cross-culturalism: successful pimping requires it. In the event, the ignorance of artist and Journalist in the pages of the Guardian were written up as deconstruction waylaying political art, because I had used the word "invisible" for women's sweated labor.
This kind of competition-among located women without agencyis part of the broad competition between Northern and Southern trades union as well as Northern and Southern industry in the New World Order that is an obstacle to any nonhyphenated international solidarity, cultural or economic, indeed on any front. Here is an example, but they can be indefinitely multiplied, on diverse and discontinuous levels: "In applying preferential liberalizing measures to Bangladesh, Canada may have to extend similar facilities to all other LDCs [Least Developed Countriesl, including Vietnam and Haiti. Vietnam in particular is a potentially serious threat to Bangladesh, though currently its privileges are restrained by the on-going trade embargo, thereby giving Bangladesh a short head-start in rationalizing its garment export activities." (90) This is what is usually described as "the free market." The World Bank and the World Trade Organization are major manipulators of such competition. (91) And you cannot work to undo the aporia between migrancy"inracism and Development with a capital D if you are not transnationally hterate, if you do not take forced competition into account. it seems interesting that the same artist now has a show called "a cemetery of images" on Rwanda (schere he spent twelve days recently), which celebrates international NGOs as the only correct access route to the images of Rwandan suffering. I do not doubt the seriousness of his shock, or the sophistication of his innovations within modernist aesthetic conventions. But history is larger than personal goodwill, and we must learn to be responsible as we must study to be political. "The world has abandoned Africa," the artist said to The Chicago Tribune (19 Feb. 1995, p. 27). Such would not have been his feeling if he had attended one of the seminars at my university, or read the regular World Bank bulletins, on "emergent" stock markets. In the absence of global analysis, sensationalism ostentatiously withheld-his photographs were in sealed boxes, a technique I have already seen copied-repeats the tongue-clucking horror of sensationalism abundantly purveyed. (92)
From our academic or "cultural work" niches, we can supplement the globe-girdfing movements with "mainstreaning," somewhere between moonlighting and educating public opinion. My example is an economics Professor, so the Intervention might seem too cut and dried. It is not without significance, I think, that a literary or artistic example of global mainstreaming (neither romantic anticapitalism, nor grandiose antiimperialism) is hard to find. Aesthetics and politics? Think it through, although nostalgic U.S. nationalism does not. My example for the moment is Amartya Sen, whose defense of support for higher education in the South, in the face of the World Bank's insistence that higher education in the developing countries should be de-emphasized because it is unproductive, is a case in point. (93) At the same time, my own university has won a competition, and opened a program funded by the World Bank, where the eligible students are middle-level bureaucrats from developing countries. High-level indoctrination in Columbia University, but no higher education in Dhaka or Delhi.
In the contemporary context, when the world is broadly divided simply into North and South, the World Bank and other international agencies can divide the world into maps that make visible the irreducibly abstract quality of geography. One of the guiding principles of geography -"nation"-being inextricably tangled with the mysterious phenomena of language (synthesis with the absolute other) and birth (susceptible to both species-life [gestation] and species-being [Law]) both discloses and effaces this abstract character. (94) But the boundaries crosshatching these new maps or "Information systems" are hardly ever national or "natural." They are investment boundaries that change constandy because the dynamics of international capital are fast-moving. One of the not inconsiderable motive forces in the drawing up of These maps is the appropriation of the Fourth World's ecosystems in the name of Development. You wheel now to the "native informant" as such, increasingly appropriated in globalization.
The pre-national is now globalized, after an uneven insertion into the nation form of appearance. A kinship in exploitation may be mobilized through the land-grabbing' and reforestation practiced against the First Nations of the Americas, the destruction of the reindeer forests of the Suomis of Scandinavia, Finland, and Russia, the tree-felling and the large-scale eucalyptus planting against the original nations in India, and the so-called Flood Action Plan against the fisher folk and landless peasants of Bangladesh, honorary Fourth Worlders. Indeed such a kinship exists potentially between all the early civilizations that have been pushed back and away to make way for more traditional geographical elements of the map and the world today.
Upon the body of this North/South world, and to maintain the fantastic cartography of the World Bank map, yet another kind of unification is being practiced. As I have mentioned earlier, the barriers between fragile national economies and international capital are being removed, the possibility of social redistribution in the so-called developing states, uncertain at best, are disappearing even further. What we have to notice here is that the developing national states are not only linked by the common thread of profound ecological loss, the loss of forest and river as foundation of life, but also plagued by the complicity, however apparently remote, of the power lines of local developers with the forces of global capital. That this complicity is, at best, unknown to the glib theorists of globality-talk or those who still whinge on about old-style imperialism is no secret to the initiative for a global movement for non-Eurocentric ecological justice.
Why non-Eurocentric? Theorists who used to define New Social Movements as anti-systemic now say that the future lies with these movements. (95) But they are skeptical because, taking the European Economic Community as model, they see these movements as wanting state power. But if the focus is shifted from the EEC, the predicament of the developing state, in spite of the fact that it negotiates with nationalism and is still the site of justice and redistribution, is such that it is no longer the main theater for These movements that must aspire to global reach. These globe-girdling movements have to stand behind the state, plagued as it is from the inside by the forces of intemal colonization and the local bourgeoisie and plagued from the outside by these increasingly orthodox economic constraints under global economic re-structuring. Therefore, there is no interest in grabbing state power as a main program in the non-Eurocentric global movement for ecological justice. Indeed, the electoral left parties often see them as insufficiently political. This instrumentality of what can only be called nationalism or even nationalist localism in the interior of a strategydriven rather than crisis-driven globalization is certainly beyond the benevolent study of "other cultures" in the North. Upon this ground, it is easy to cultivate "postnationalism" in the interest of global financialization by way of the "international ci-vil society" of private business, bypassing the individual states, where powerful non-governmental organizations (NG0s) collaborate with the Bretton Woods organizations with the mediation of the new UN.
And here a strong connection, indeed a complicity, between the bourgeoisie of the Third World and migrants in the First cannot be ignored. However important it is to acknowledge the affective subspace in which migrants, especially the underclass, must endure racism, if we are talking globality, it is one of the painful imperatives of the impossible within the ethical Situation that we have to admit that the interest of the migrant, however remote, is in dominant global capital. The migrant is in First World space. I am altogether in support of metropolitan activism against the race- gender-class-exploitation of the migrant underclass, but we are talking globality here. There are some severe lessons that one must learn. We have to keep this particularly in mind because this is also the export/import line from religious national parties in the South to cultural studies folk in the North. (The division is further exacerbated by the Trade Union movement in the North being asked to circumvent even the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade by invoking "human rights violations" at the same time as, as part of economic restructuring, the World Bank demands privatization and the decimation of trade unions in the South-unions that can otherwise agitate for more humane labor laws. More about this later.)
Having seen the powerful and risky role played by Christian liberation theology, some of us have dreamed of animist liberation theologies to girdle the perhaps impossible vision of an ecologically just world.(96) Indeed, the name theology is alien to this thinking. Nature is also super-nature in this way of thinking and knowing. (Please be sure that I am not positing some generalized tribal mind.) Even super, as in supernatural, is out of the way. For nature, the sacred other of the human community, is in this thinking also bound by the structure of ethical responsibility. No individual transcendence theology, of being just in this world in view of the next, however the next is underplayed, can bring us to this.
Indeed, it is my conviction that the internationality of ecological justice in that impossible, undivided world of which one must dream, in view of the impossibility of which one must work, obsessively, cannot be reached by invoking any of the so-called great religions of the world because the history of their greatness is too deeply imbricated in the narrative of the ebb and flow of power. In the case of Hindu India, a phrase as terrifying to us as "Christian Europe," no amount of reinventing the nature poetry of the Rg-Veda will in this view suffice to undo that history. I have no doubt that we must learn to leam from the original practical ecological philosophies of the world. Again, I am not romanticizing, liberation theology does not romanticize every Christian. We are talking about using the strongest mobilizing discourse in the world in a certain way, for the grobe, not merely for Fourth World uplift. I say this again because it is so easy to dismiss this as quixotic moralism. This learning can only be attempted through the supplementation of collective effort by love. What deserves the name of love is an effort-over which one has no control yet at which one must not strain-which is slow, attentive on both sides-how does one win the attention of the subaltern without coercion or crisis-mindchanging on both sides, at the possibility of an unascertainable ethical singularity that is not ever a sustainable condition. The necessary collective efforts are to change laws, relations of production, systems of education, and health care. But without the mind-changing one-on-one responsible contact, nothing will stick." (97)
One word on ethical singularity, not a fancy name for mass contact or for Engagement with the common sense of the people. it is something that may be described by way of the following Situation, as long as we keep in mind that we are (a) phenomenalizing figures and (b) not speaking of radical alterity:
We all know that when we engage profoundly with one person, the responses-the answers-come from both sides. Let us call this responsibility, as well as "answer"ability or accountability. We also know, and if we don't we have been unfortunate, that in such Engagements, we want to reveal and reveal, conceal nothing. Yet on both sides, there is always a sense that something has not got across. This is what we call the secret, not something that one wants to conceal, but something that one wants desperately to reveal in this relationship of singularity and responsibility and accountability. (It would be more philosophical to say that "secret" is the name lent to the fact or possibility that everything does not go across. Never mind.) In this sense, ethical singularity can be called a secret encounter. (Please note that I am not talking about meeting in secret.)" (98)
63. In 1989, for example, I was on well-meaning metropolitan lists of good feminist users of postmodernism, grouped with people whose work is in some cases absurdly different from nine: "It would be reckless not to cite the central role of Feminist writings for a reading of postmodernism.... In Art after Modernism, for example, there are three contributions in the section titled 'Gender/Difference/Power.' Laura Mulvey's 'Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,' Constance Penley's "'A Certain Refusal of Difference": Feminist Film Theory,' and Kate Linker's 'Representation and Sexuality.' Yet there are powerful contributions besides these: Jacqueline Rose's Sexuality in the Field of Vision; Roszika Parker and Griselda Pollock's Framing Feminism; Abigail Solomon-Godeau's essay in Sexual Difference: Both Sides of the Camera; the essays that appear in the joumal Camera Obscura (by Constance Penley, Jane Weinstock, Meaghan Morris, and others); Annette Kuhn's The Power of the Image: Essays on Representation and Sexuality; Gayatri Spivak's In Other Worlds; and, more recently, Meaghan Morris's The Pirate's Fiancee Feminism, Reading Postmodernism. All these essays contribute integrally to the continuing discussion of the postmodern as a struggle to value otherness" (Timothy Druckery, "Reading Postmodernism," Camerawork 16.1 [Spring 1989]: 20-21).
64.For areh studies see Carl Pletsch, "The Three Worlds."
65.Geeta Kapur, "When Was Modernism in Indian / Third World Art?" South Atlantic Quarterly 92.3 (Summer 1993): 473-514, tabulates this change in the context of the periodization of Indian art.
66. Jean Baudrillard, "The Precession of Simulacra," in Simulations, Paul Foss et al. (New York: Semiotext(e), 1983), p. 22.
67. Bardhan, "Women, Work," pp. 3, 5.
68. Both metropolitan postcolonialist and Southern academic critics of postcolonialism have objected to my call for vigilance (Robert Young, Review of Spivak, Outside, in Textual Practice 10.1 [Spring 1996]; and Harish Trivedi in Trivedi and Meenakshee Mukherjee, Interrogating Postcolonialism: Theory, Text and Context [Shin-da: Indian Institute of Advanced Study, 1996], p. 240.) I generally quote Farhad Mazhar, as knowledgable in the textuality of literature as in the textuality of "activism," differentty. He writes ironically about what kind of "Third World Literature" is rewarded internationally. He rages at the complicity between capitalism and religion:
"Okay, Notebook. Are you going to get the Philipps Prize this time?
Try, try, Allah is your hope.
Achtung. Take care. Be vigilant. Watch it.
I am copying down the crawhng of the grass.
I am taking down the paw of the jaguar.
I am slipping. My foot is losing its hold.
I am taking down with my heel the problems of my footing.
Watch it. Watch it. Attention.
In the old days you had to fight on the other side of the barbed wire,
A suggestion, I think of the national liberation struggle, of frontiers and jails. But in postcoloniality, in the failure of decolonization-
Now on both sides: right and left, above and below, in water and dry land.
Go to the crocodile and get your teeth fixed.
From the snake, a rubber spine,
Go to the bat and suckle yourself
My Chum, my untimely Notebook, these are very bad times.
Watch your step on all sides, my friend
And then the last words, in English but in Bengali script:
("Ashomoyer Noteboi," in Ashomoyer Noteboi [Dhaka: Protipokkho, 1994], p. 42; translation mine)
One cannot read a poem like a manifesto, of course. But the poem does urge vigilance because, in postcoloniality, you can't recognize your friends anyinore. (It is of course "true" that the counting of friends as any collectivity is fraught. "How many are we?" Derrida asks, as he iterates Montaigne iterating Aristotle: "O my friends, there is no friend" (Derrida, The Politics of Friendship, tr. George Collins [New York: Verso, 1997], p. x and passim). Yet the friend must be addressed, and even that seems perilous today when we move out of the NGO or the classroom.) This poem is written after the elections, after various summits and various UN conferences. Its writer runs a large ecological agricalture collective and therefore does independent practical research on the exploitation of biodiversity. The question of globalization, clinched by cultural writers in terms of the outlines of domestic justice for underclass Eurocentric migration, quite often not even touching the narcissism of the well-placed, so-called postcolonial intellectuals who then identify themselves as precisely afigned with that underclass, bypasses the fact that the local in the South directly engages global greed. Once again, then, a glimpse of the sources of my feeling for the need to be vigilant. The unpopular position, then, is not just a single consensus breaker's position but rather reflects what this writer learns from her contact with workers in counterglobalist resistance.
69. See, for example, Arjun Appadurai, "Patriotism and Its Futures," Public Culture 5.3 (Spring 1993): 411-429.
70. Information on the progressive mortgaging of the South to the forces of financialization is ceaselessly proliferating on all fronts. For a brief introduction to the principle, see Cheryl Payer, Lent and Lost. Foreign Credit and Third World Development (London: Zed, 1991). An interesting development is to be found in Roger C. Altinan, "The Nuke of the 90's," Sunday New York Times Magazine, 8 .Mar. 1998, pp. 34-35. The author, as the Magazine informs us, is "an investrnent banker, [who] served in the United States Treasury Department under Presidents Carter and Clinton." As for agency, when the poor are thoroughly disenfranchised, such ancient "institutions" as religion and gendering, reducible to seeming formulaic abstractions, kick in their validating mechanism.
71. Marshall McLuhan, The Global Village: Transformations in World Life Media in the 21st Century (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1989); hereafter GV.
72. Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, tr. Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumo (Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1984).
73. Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1970); Paul K. Feyerabend, Against Method. Outline ofan Anarchistic theory of Knowledge (New York: Schocken, 1978); Roy Bhaskar, A Realist Theoiy of Science (Hassocks, Sussex: Harvester, 1978); and Nancy Cartwright, How the Laws of Pbysics Lie (Oxford: Clarendon, 1983).
74. To read this move would involve us in the history of the interested differentiation between concept and metaphor, for which there is no time. I refer you to Derrida's essays "Vvhite Mythology"- white does also mean "white people" in the essay, White Mythology being reason-and "The Retreat of the Metaphor" ("White Mythology: Metaphor in the Text of Philosophy," in Margins, pp. 207-271; "The Retrait of Metaphor," Enclitic 2.2 : 5-33.) McLuhan's initiative is also a profound denial of language, which, assuming this model of the brain to be correct, an assumption by no means unquestioned, negotiates the gap between the so-called two sides of the brain in diversified ways that might as well be called "cultural."
75. GV 110, 93. The same sort of Western cultural supremacist Position, supporting globalization, produces the opposite argument today: "Thanks to the interconnected world which the West has created. . . . slowing the diffusion of technology to other civilizations is increasingly difficult.... The diffusion of technology and the economic development of non-Westem societies in the second half of the twentieth century are now producing a return to the historical pattern.... [B]y the middle of the twenty-first century, if not before, the distribution of economic product and manufactaring output among the leading civilizations is likely to resemble that of 1800 [China as the world's largest economyl. The twohundred-year Western 'blip' on the world economy will be over" (Huntington, Clasb, pp. 87-88).
76. In the previous footnote, we have remarked that, in thirty years, the Western supremacist prophets of technology are making the opposite prediction, implicitly in support of not merely an economic but a political ("cultural") globalization: "[T]hese [Non-Western] societies sbould adopt recent Western ways by, for example, abandoning slavery, practicing religious toleration, educating women, permitting mixed marriages, tolerating homosexuality and conscientious objection to war, and so on. As a loyal Westemer, I think they should indeed do all these things. I agree with Rawls about what it takes to count as reasonable, and about what kind of societies we Westerners should accept as members of a global moral community. But I think the rhetoric we Westerners use in trying to get everybody to be more like us would be improved if we were more frankly ethnocentric" (Rorty, "justice," emphasis author's). One is obliged to point out that this Passage, which we have already quoted once, can undoubtedly offer an even more convenient excuse for military activity and exploitation than are argument from universalist rationality. Let us give McLuhan the benefit of the doubt as well, but nonetheless point out that bis predictions about the global benevolence of AT&T have misfired. it was in response precisely to the exceptionally massive downsizing at AT&T that the former U.S. Secretary of Labor uttered the words that I quote on page 392. On the age-old binary principle that truth may be stranger than fiction, let us recall here an incident that will be lost in the annals of coincidences. At the 1995 Atlanta Olympics, celebrated on television with a nationalist triumphalism whose imagery and rhetoric strongly resembled National Sociafist monumental triumphalism, and close upon the downsizng at AT&T, it was precisely the hi-tech communications compound of AT&T, predictably christened "The Global Village," that was bombed. Rorty and Huntington's new hotpeace (rather than Cold War) move would, by contrast, scrap the civilizing-mission-cum-global-villagizing alibi altogether, short-circuit the global secessionist community of high-tech managers as Macaulay's colonial subjects come fall circle. To note this no longer anticipates my argament in this chapter. it transforms books such as this one, narrative footnotes and all, into the memorabilia of a previous conjuncture, attempting to catch a vanishing present.
77.The narrative of Lyotard's own poignant but thoroughly Westem European disaffection from Marxism is laid out in "A Memorial of Maxism: for Pierre Souyri," Peregrinations. Law, Form, Event (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1988), pp. 45-75. Incidentally, a rather astute remark about bourgeois national liberation movements and the attendant failure of decolonization is to be found on p. 27 of that book.
78. Anderson, Imagined Communities, pp. 28-40. The conservative and liberal, literary and political, influence of this received idea is vast in its range and scope and far pre-dates Anderson. Margaret Doody's compendious effort at breaking this modernist parochialism in The True Story of the Novel (New Brunswick: Rutgers Univ. Press, 1996) gives me hope that similar research can be undertaken for other great ancient traditions. There are disciplinary-historical, indeed disciplinary-his-toriographical, determinants why such research has not been forthcoming. In the absence of sufficient consideration of counter-examples, there is surely a degree of question-begging in the transformation into scholarly premise of what is otherwise a cliche it must, however, be added that such scholarly investigation may soon be dismissed as "nationalist," "parochial." In the Indian case, a recent "Indian" issue of the New Yorker (23 and 30 June 1997), firmly founded on what I have defined as "sanctioned ignorance," has dismissed all Indian regional literatures, some with millerinial histories and active contemporary scenes-Jacques Derrida opened the 1997 Calcutta Bock Fair, where most of the books presented were in Bengali and other Indian languages-as a mere curiosity. I understand that The Vintage Book of Indian Writing, edited by Salman Rushdie, devotes itself entirely to Indian writing in English. It is sadly evident that, in the global village, the same system of (linguistic) exchange must operate; it must complete the work of imperialism. The wellknown words bear repeating: "I have no knowledge of either Sanscrit or Arabic ... I have never found one among them [the Orientalists] who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia.... In India, English is the language spoken by the ruling class. it is spoken by the higher class of natives at the seats of Government. It is likely to become the language of commerce throughout the seas of the East. It is the language of two great European communities which are rising, the one in the south of Africa, the other in Australasia.... We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govem; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect" (Thomas Babington Macaulay, "Minute on Indian Education," in John Clive and Thomas Pinney, eds., Selected Writings [Chicago: Univ. of Cicago Press, 1972], pp. 241, 242, 249). This regrettable politics of the production of dominant "history," dominant "knowledge," is matched by the passage from the Encyclopedia of Life Suppon Systems projected by UNESCO that I have quoted in the Preface, which "defines" the Aboriginal period of human history as the "timescale of the far past ... associated with inactive approaches in which there is no concern for environmental degradation and sustainability" (Encyclopedia of life Support Systems. Conceptual Framework Whitstable: Oyster Press, 1997], p. 13). I think the argument that I merely advanced in the Preface is worth repeating here, for the text will give it substance. It was of course as impossible for the Aboriginal to think sustainability as it was for Aristotle to "decipher ... the secret of the expression of value," because of "the historical limitation inherent in the society in which [they] lived" (Marx, Capital. A Critique of Political Economy, tr. Ben Fowkes, vol. 1 [New York: Vintage, 1976], p. 152). Yet the practical philosophy of living in the rhythm of the ecobiome is hardly to be dismissed as "no concem"! In the age of informatics, the Native Informant, abandoned by the Postcolonial Subject, is being reconstituted for (epistemic) exploitation.
79. For a compelling account of the workings of the scam, see Najma Sadeque, How "They" Run the World (Lahore: Shirkat Gah, 1996), pp. 28-30. My only objection to this brilliant pamphlet is that it does not emphasize the production of the colonial subject imperialism and thus cannot emphasize our complicity, which we must acknowledge in order to act.
80. "What if there was no other concept of time than the one that Heidegger calls "vulgar'" asks the Derrida from whom I learn. However people theorized time,the idea that the theory reflected a naturalized mindset may be a modernist mistake. As much as it is for us, for them too, a theory of time may have been a site of conflict with the "vulgar" experience of time. "What if the exoteric aporia therefore remained in a certain way irreducible, calling for an endurance, or shall we rather say an expezience other than that consisting in opposing, from both sides of an indivisible line, an other concept, a nonvulgar concept, to the so-called vulgar concept?" (Derrida, Aporias, tr. Thomas Dutoit [Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1993], p. 14).
81. "The hearts of innumerable men and women responded with idealistic fervor to [Cecil Rhodes's] clarion, because it went without saying that it would be good for Africa, or for anywhere else, to be made British. At this point it might be useful to wonder which of the idealisms that make our hearts beat faster will seem wrong-headed to people a hundred years from now" (Doris Lessing, African Laughter.- Four Visits to Zimbabve [New York: Harper, 1992], p. 3).
82. This monolithic notion of identity quite ignores the critical diversity mithin a country. I will tax your patience with a single and random example: the "Telecom Revolution" issue of Seminar 404 (Apr. 1993), a Delhi-based joumal. (All references m this note are from this issue of Seminar.) The edotrial politics of the journal are critical of "Development." Yet in this issue, as in others, the journal allows all sides to speak around a topic. The industry-affiliated and management-affiliated "Indians" were of course in favor of versions of the "Development" perspective. One writer, arguing for gradual privatization, writes: "one aspect of the socialistic pattem ethos was the tendency to make a sacred cow of distributive justice and the needs of the poor rural populace.... Even when sincere, it was the wrong priority. The rural and urban poor need food, shelter, drinking water, literacy, health care and many other basic things before they need a Telephone" (M. B. Athreya, "Managing Telecoms," p. 35). Another invokes the "global village" and recommends out-and-out "foreign ... direct ... large-scale investment" on the model of Indonesia (N. Vittal, "Shaping a New Future," p. 39). One sole voice, from Applied Electronics Research at the Indian Institute of Technology, points at the rise of paper consumption (contrary to all predictions), to infoglut, to the fact that "the market by itself is likely to worsen rather than improve certain grievous distortions in our economy," and diagnoses "the real worry today" to be "the distortion caused by the large rent-seeking opportunities offered by technology imports" (P. K. Indiresan, "Social and Economic Implications," pp. 14, 17). Will the "real Indian" please stand up? He will be called a "consensus breaker."
83. Feminists know that every generalization is set askew if you bring in the question of woman. Two of this twist: There is a comparatively innocent pastime in a poor country of wrenching a salary-structure from international funds by establishing an NGO. Even in such cases, there is a difference between the men in, say, the large village or small town, who actually put together this local NGO, and the far less well-paid selfless rural woman workers, who often use this structure to break out of family restriction and work in the countryside.
84. A footnote for non-Swedish readers: Karl XII (1682-1718) is the national hero for romantic Swedish nationalists. The last of the absolutist kings, this young militarist, masculist, charismatic monarch fought for eighteen years-valiantly, tragically, and in vain-to hold together the extensive Swedish empire. Defeated and bereft, he rode back with one companion over a thousand miles in three days to continue fighting on the home front and was mysteriously shot while inspecting the military Situation from the ramparts. It may seem surprising that the man who lost the empire should be a national hero. But identity politics often attempts to renegotiate the state in the name of the nation by way of a promise of the return of the glorious repressed of history. For such "wild" psychoanalyses of the "discontent" of a "nation," an object lost can produce much more politico-ideological momentum. it should perhaps be recalled that in the narrativization of the career of King Rama in the epic Ramayana, it is his filial, martial, and racist heroism in unjust banishment that feeds the "national" imaginary; his actual reign is not foregrounded. Indeed, the Sanskrit denomination for India chosen for "contemporary" designation is Bharata, the kingdom of Bharata, Rama's younger stepbrother, who governed "in his name." "Carrying on Charles XII's task," or "re-establishing a nation to govem in Rama's name," are better projects for psychological mobilization.
85. I have written at length of the ethical moment and the secret encounter in IM 197-205. Friends have asked me what I meant by writing: "'Culture's an alibi for Development, which is an alibi for the financialization of the grobe. The new subject of 'culture' is the witting or unwitting spokesperson for economic restructuring" (Travesia 3.1-2 :286). I suppose this section is an indirect amplification of that idea.
86. "Setting to Work (Transnational Ccultural Studies)," in Peter Osbome, ed., A Critical Sense: Interviews with Intellectuals (New York: Routledge, 1996), pp. 170-172.
87. See Zhang Longxi, "Western Theory and Chinese Reality," Ciitical Inquiry (Autu.rnn 1992):108-109; Yiaobing Tang, "Orientalism and the Question of Universality:The Language of Contemporary Chinese Literary Theory,"positions 1.2 (1993): 410, n. 2; and Jing Wang, High Culture Fever. Politics, Aesthetics, and Ideology in Deng's China (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1996), p. 245. I am grateful to Steven Venturino for bringing these to my attention.
88. Antonio Gramsci, "The Intellectuals," in Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith, tr., Selections from the Prison Notebooks (New York: Intemational Publishers, 1971), p. 21.
89. For pedagogic suggestions see: Spivak, "Teaching for the Times," in Jan Nederveen Pieterse, ed., Decolonizing the Imagination (London: Zed, 1995), pp.177-202.
90. "Impact Stady of the Multi-Fibre Arrangement (MFA) on Bangladesh" (unpublished document prepared by Econolynx Intemational, Ltd., Nepean, Ont., 1992), p. i.
91.For a fascinating prehistory of this conflict, see: Colleen Lye, "Model Modemity:Writing the Far East" (Columbia Univ. dissertation in progress), chap. 1.
92.There seems to be an attempt at singularizing a statistic in his most recent work, focusing on the eyes of a woman witnessing horror (although for this viewer there was too much time to read the artist's pathetic text, too fittle time to make eye contact, the first gesture of the ethical face to face. Over against it is Rwanda Not So Innocent: When Women Become Killers (London: African Rights, 1995), arguing large-scale women's involvement in the genocide. I have heard the latter discredited on the argument that Rakiya Omaar, one of the co-directors of African Rights, is a Tutsi sympathizer. It is difficult to step from transnational literacy to a perusal of "assigned subject-positions." I thank Mahmood Mamdani for providing the material for a historical assessment in Citizen and Subject, and then continuing on to present an account in "From Conquest to Consent as the Basis of State Formation: Reflections on Rwanda," New Left Review 216 (Mar./Apr. 1996): 3-36.
93. For the defense, see: Education and Training in the 1990s. Developing Countries Needs and Strategies (New York: UN Development Program, 1989). For the World Bank argument, see George Psacharopoulos, Higher Education in Developing Counthes. A Cost-Benefit Analysis, World Bank Staff Working Paper 440 (Washington: World Bank, 1980); and Educationfor Development. An Analysis of Investment Choices (New York: Oxford Univ. Press for the World Bank, 1985).
94. See Spivak, Outside, p. 69.
95. lf the former secretary of state Lawrence Eagleburger is a representative exainple, U. S. policymakers do not even know the term. On March 21, Secretary Eagleburger specified correctly that the policy areas for the twenty-first century were weapons of mass destruction, the environment, and global finance; if the United States did not develop real policy in these areas, it would soon have to be the reluctant and embarrassed policeman of the world. Is it heartening that he did not know of the detail-oriented persistent resistance of the non-Eurocentric New Social Movements? On the same occasion, the editor of Foreign Affairs - a South Asian diasporic-made the suggestion mentioned in note 10. He certainly knew of the e)dstence of these movements and showed the appropriate contempt.
96. For a critique of the risks of Latin American liberation theologies, see Ofelia Schutte, Cultural Identity and Social Liberation in Latin American Thought (Albany: State Utiiv. Of New York Press, 1993), pp. 175-205.
97. After I spoke of the destruction of a centuries-old ecological culture in Bangladesh through the transformation of common property and the substitution of learning by Information command and the subsequent transformation of the country into the raw material for maps of investrnent, Andrew Steer, deputy director of the Departrnent of Environment at the World Bank, remarked that I had been "giving a sermon" (European Parliament, 28 Apr. 1993). And yet, under the new intellectual capital agreements of the GATT, it is precisely the traditional knowledge of indigenous and rural peoples of the South that is being appropriated, patented, and "sold" back to them by the South, without any attempt at learning the attendant biorhythms that persistently deconstruct the Opposition between human and natural. I am not "responsible" enough in a sacrificial Tradition to be able to guess, without anthropologistic contamination, how this transfers to human/animal. it is because Derrida is not "responsible" on this terrain that his "New International" is so pretentious and feeble (see Spivak, "Ghostwriting," for extended discusssion), and he writes on aimance (loveness? "loveance" seems comical) in so obscure and proa a way that it remains forever protected from setting to work (Derrida, Politics of Friendship, p. 8).UN conferences provide alibis for derailing these efforts in the interest of capital rather than the social in the name of an ethics about the achievement of which they know little. The worst offenders, precisely because they dare to witness, are so-called U.S. feminists whose "activism" is merely organizing these conferences with a ferocious leadership complex and an insatiable hunger for publicity. I use these violent adjectives advisedly, to warn against every achievement-of-solidarity claim coming from these quarters, to work at the screen" of the production of the attendant images. I understand that there are plans at the United Nations for setting up a body to oversee the protection of indigenous rights to intellectual property. Such a project, now perhaps necessary, comes into being in the violence of a violation of the originary "communism" of the Aboriginal, and yoking her/him into an object of imperial protection.
98. This discussion is indebted to Derrida's scattered writings on responsibility, my understanding of which I have tried to set to work in "Responsibility." The theme of the secret is my vulgarization of a moment in Derrida, "Passions," in David Wood, ed., Derrida: A Critical Reader (Cambridge: Blackwell, 1992).
In Nairs latest film, Kama Sutra - a Tale o Love, her objective is to be an iconoclast. Nair believes that the Kama Sutra is severely misunderstood both in India and in the West and she asserts that her film has much more to do with sexual politics than with sexual positions - it is not simply a sex manual but about how to handle love - the philosophical, the spiritual and the skill aspect, too. Kama and Sutra mean lessons of love and my film is about the many faces of love from a time ( the 16th century ( when sexuality was not taboo. (quoted in HOT TICKETS, Evening Standard, 19 June 1997:12). But there is at least one thread which links Kama Sutra - A Tale of Love with Nairs earlier films: the story is about women who, in the course of navigating this territory of existing for mens pleasure, actually empower themselves.