This article contributes to a theoretical formulation of techno-nationalism as the cultural logic of infrastructural capitalism by revisiting Debord and Situationist International’s discussion of Spectacle and digital struggles. We deconstruct the concept of techno-nationalism into three interlocking but contradictory media events: techno-nationalism as the “integrated Spectacle,” signifying the power of the state and capital; the disintegrative forces of media spectacles that highlight the ruptures and contradictions of global infrastructural capitalism; and digital resistance through the creation of “cyber-situations.” The case of Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou exemplifies how techno-nationalism emerges as an integrated ideological Spectacle with the help of media spectacles and yet undergoes a disintegration process due to inescapable contradictions and labor conflicts. This research not only analyses China as a case to understand the tactical deployment of the cultural logic of techno-nationalism with a focus on both domestic and international dimensions as political economic and social forces but also on the inherent contradictions and digital struggles in global infrastructural capitalism.
Bibliographical noteThis work was supported by GRF funding (Ref No. 13607123).
© 2023 The Centre for Chinese Media and Comparative Communication Research, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
- Chinese nationalism
- online nationalism