Lecture by Gordon Mathews
Professor of anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong
Who are we? Today two contradictory discourses shape our cultural identities, those of the state and of the market. The state tells us that we should love our country, while the market tells us that we should love money and choice. Both of these forces are based on lies, but because we are immersed in these discourses, we cannot easily see this. Hong Kong is unusual in the world, in that it has long been based not on the discourse of the state, but only on that of the market.
This accounts for some of the political turmoil in Hong Kong in recent years. Are Hong Kong people, in their inability or refusal to follow the discourse of the state, blind as the rest of the world is not, or are they seers in a world that is blind?