Total Posts:18|Showing Posts:1-18
Jump to topic:

How powerful is soft power?

Indophile
Posts: 1,414
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2011 2:15:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
We all know that the US is the most militarily advanced nation at present. If it wants, it can "conquer" half the world easily.

But we all know that it's neither economically feasible, nor practical and will create more problems than benefits.

However, don't you think that the best way to "conquer" a nation (culture) is to supplant its culture with yours? You don't need to fire a single bullet or sustain any human casualties. All you need are a number of your population willing to go to that nation and just live (and not integrate, if possible). By and by, in some generations, if those people can grow "powerful", they will then bend the native culture to side more with them.

I hardly think this would guarantee any returns, but still, we know that soft power exists.

My question is, which nation has the most soft power? And could you imagine that nation "taking over" another nation using it?
You will say that I don't really know you
And it will be true.
Fabian_CH
Posts: 232
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2011 2:43:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Oh, I think as long as the US is still a beacon of freedom and liberty in the world, it will have the most "soft" or convincing-power easily. It doesn't even require people to move to other countries. The exports of a superior culture supplant the native culture naturally as people get to see its products (physical products, ideas, freedom generally...) and increasingly demand them at home. Part of this is through free trade; giving others access to the material rewards of a free society will make them (or eventually a majority of them, atleast) want it more and more. Other parts are more cultural, such as movies and the arts in general. Nevertheless, as long as they're superior, people will want them.

Yes, I do regard American culture as superior to most others (including European). If that seems offensive or snobbish (well, that would be hard to argue, since I'm not American myself), then that's either because I'm wrong (in which case whatever other culture is superior will establish itself if we just let it), or because you're trapped in the idea that cultures are abstracts that are above morality (in which case I'd emphatically disagree with you).

The important part there is, of course, that America remain a beacon of freedom and liberty. That's the hard part :)

I suppose perhaps I'm thinking in slightly different ways of it than you meant.
"What are we doing? Do we want to feed a starved humanity in order to let it live? Or do we want to strangle its life in order to feed it?"
- Andrei Taganov, We The Living (Ayn Rand)
Indophile
Posts: 1,414
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2011 3:11:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/10/2011 2:43:57 PM, Fabian_CH wrote:
Oh, I think as long as the US is still a beacon of freedom and liberty in the world, it will have the most "soft" or convincing-power easily. It doesn't even require people to move to other countries. The exports of a superior culture supplant the native culture naturally as people get to see its products (physical products, ideas, freedom generally...) and increasingly demand them at home. Part of this is through free trade; giving others access to the material rewards of a free society will make them (or eventually a majority of them, atleast) want it more and more. Other parts are more cultural, such as movies and the arts in general. Nevertheless, as long as they're superior, people will want them.

Yes, I do regard American culture as superior to most others (including European). If that seems offensive or snobbish (well, that would be hard to argue, since I'm not American myself), then that's either because I'm wrong (in which case whatever other culture is superior will establish itself if we just let it), or because you're trapped in the idea that cultures are abstracts that are above morality (in which case I'd emphatically disagree with you).

The important part there is, of course, that America remain a beacon of freedom and liberty. That's the hard part :)

I suppose perhaps I'm thinking in slightly different ways of it than you meant.

Well, it's said that America has no culture :)

But I get what you are saying. Although I still have some doubts about what you said. By freedom, I understand that you mean the way of living. Not everybody would like living one way.

For example, the way people live in the US is quite different from the way people live in Japan, although both can be said to be quite free societies. Why would you think a Japanese would want to live like an American?

Regarding products, it's becoming more and more difficult to say where products are specifically coming from.

The only things you can pinpoint is food, movies (and such stuff), sports, etc.

I can say with great confidence that American food sucks :)

Hollywood seems to have browbeaten most other regional cinema, except in India.

American sports seem to not capture the world's attention and vice-versa! Soccer, cricket, field-hockey are the top 3 popular team sports.

So what is the US left with, in terms of soft power?
You will say that I don't really know you
And it will be true.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2011 3:41:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/10/2011 2:15:59 PM, Indophile wrote:
We all know that the US is the most militarily advanced nation at present. If it wants, it can "conquer" half the world easily.

But we all know that it's neither economically feasible, nor practical and will create more problems than benefits.

However, don't you think that the best way to "conquer" a nation (culture) is to supplant its culture with yours? You don't need to fire a single bullet or sustain any human casualties. All you need are a number of your population willing to go to that nation and just live (and not integrate, if possible). By and by, in some generations, if those people can grow "powerful", they will then bend the native culture to side more with them.

I hardly think this would guarantee any returns, but still, we know that soft power exists.

My question is, which nation has the most soft power? And could you imagine that nation "taking over" another nation using it?

That would be far more expensive. If we are talking about actively doing this, that means that the government is going to have to find hundreds of thousands of people to move into the country (possibly millions, pending on how big the country is), and likely have to pay them to do it, for generations. Even if we only pay the people $20,000 a year to do it (hardly worth it pending the nation moving to) and they move 400,000 people, that will be $8 billion a year. Doesn't sound like much, but when it is planning on taking 3 generations (90 years), it adds up.

Plus, you run the high risk of people changing (especially after a generation or two) and thus comprimising the mission. And really, all it is going to do is pump huge amounts of money into that "enemy" economy and help the enemy grow.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
innomen
Posts: 10,052
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2011 3:42:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/10/2011 3:11:37 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 5/10/2011 2:43:57 PM, Fabian_CH wrote:
Oh, I think as long as the US is still a beacon of freedom and liberty in the world, it will have the most "soft" or convincing-power easily. It doesn't even require people to move to other countries. The exports of a superior culture supplant the native culture naturally as people get to see its products (physical products, ideas, freedom generally...) and increasingly demand them at home. Part of this is through free trade; giving others access to the material rewards of a free society will make them (or eventually a majority of them, atleast) want it more and more. Other parts are more cultural, such as movies and the arts in general. Nevertheless, as long as they're superior, people will want them.

Yes, I do regard American culture as superior to most others (including European). If that seems offensive or snobbish (well, that would be hard to argue, since I'm not American myself), then that's either because I'm wrong (in which case whatever other culture is superior will establish itself if we just let it), or because you're trapped in the idea that cultures are abstracts that are above morality (in which case I'd emphatically disagree with you).

The important part there is, of course, that America remain a beacon of freedom and liberty. That's the hard part :)

I suppose perhaps I'm thinking in slightly different ways of it than you meant.

Well, it's said that America has no culture :)

But I get what you are saying. Although I still have some doubts about what you said. By freedom, I understand that you mean the way of living. Not everybody would like living one way.

For example, the way people live in the US is quite different from the way people live in Japan, although both can be said to be quite free societies. Why would you think a Japanese would want to live like an American?

Regarding products, it's becoming more and more difficult to say where products are specifically coming from.

The only things you can pinpoint is food, movies (and such stuff), sports, etc.

I can say with great confidence that American food sucks :)

Hollywood seems to have browbeaten most other regional cinema, except in India.

American sports seem to not capture the world's attention and vice-versa! Soccer, cricket, field-hockey are the top 3 popular team sports.

So what is the US left with, in terms of soft power?

$
Indophile
Posts: 1,414
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2011 3:44:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/10/2011 3:42:18 PM, innomen wrote:
At 5/10/2011 3:11:37 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 5/10/2011 2:43:57 PM, Fabian_CH wrote:
Oh, I think as long as the US is still a beacon of freedom and liberty in the world, it will have the most "soft" or convincing-power easily. It doesn't even require people to move to other countries. The exports of a superior culture supplant the native culture naturally as people get to see its products (physical products, ideas, freedom generally...) and increasingly demand them at home. Part of this is through free trade; giving others access to the material rewards of a free society will make them (or eventually a majority of them, atleast) want it more and more. Other parts are more cultural, such as movies and the arts in general. Nevertheless, as long as they're superior, people will want them.

Yes, I do regard American culture as superior to most others (including European). If that seems offensive or snobbish (well, that would be hard to argue, since I'm not American myself), then that's either because I'm wrong (in which case whatever other culture is superior will establish itself if we just let it), or because you're trapped in the idea that cultures are abstracts that are above morality (in which case I'd emphatically disagree with you).

The important part there is, of course, that America remain a beacon of freedom and liberty. That's the hard part :)

I suppose perhaps I'm thinking in slightly different ways of it than you meant.

Well, it's said that America has no culture :)

But I get what you are saying. Although I still have some doubts about what you said. By freedom, I understand that you mean the way of living. Not everybody would like living one way.

For example, the way people live in the US is quite different from the way people live in Japan, although both can be said to be quite free societies. Why would you think a Japanese would want to live like an American?

Regarding products, it's becoming more and more difficult to say where products are specifically coming from.

The only things you can pinpoint is food, movies (and such stuff), sports, etc.

I can say with great confidence that American food sucks :)

Hollywood seems to have browbeaten most other regional cinema, except in India.

American sports seem to not capture the world's attention and vice-versa! Soccer, cricket, field-hockey are the top 3 popular team sports.

So what is the US left with, in terms of soft power?

$

That is not soft power :)
You will say that I don't really know you
And it will be true.
Indophile
Posts: 1,414
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2011 3:48:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/10/2011 3:41:38 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 5/10/2011 2:15:59 PM, Indophile wrote:
We all know that the US is the most militarily advanced nation at present. If it wants, it can "conquer" half the world easily.

But we all know that it's neither economically feasible, nor practical and will create more problems than benefits.

However, don't you think that the best way to "conquer" a nation (culture) is to supplant its culture with yours? You don't need to fire a single bullet or sustain any human casualties. All you need are a number of your population willing to go to that nation and just live (and not integrate, if possible). By and by, in some generations, if those people can grow "powerful", they will then bend the native culture to side more with them.

I hardly think this would guarantee any returns, but still, we know that soft power exists.

My question is, which nation has the most soft power? And could you imagine that nation "taking over" another nation using it?

That would be far more expensive. If we are talking about actively doing this, that means that the government is going to have to find hundreds of thousands of people to move into the country (possibly millions, pending on how big the country is), and likely have to pay them to do it, for generations. Even if we only pay the people $20,000 a year to do it (hardly worth it pending the nation moving to) and they move 400,000 people, that will be $8 billion a year. Doesn't sound like much, but when it is planning on taking 3 generations (90 years), it adds up.

Plus, you run the high risk of people changing (especially after a generation or two) and thus comprimising the mission. And really, all it is going to do is pump huge amounts of money into that "enemy" economy and help the enemy grow.

No. You don't need to pay them at all. How many Chinese in the US? Did China pay them to go to the US? How long have they been here? Are they influencing the culture here? Do they still have their own identity?

Also, I don't think any nation will actually use this option. It's too risky and results are not guaranteed, as you said.

What I meant to say (if I didn't in my post) is that the "invaded" nation has no way to "defend" itself. It just happens.
You will say that I don't really know you
And it will be true.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2011 3:51:21 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/10/2011 3:44:53 PM, badger wrote:
ye couldn't conquer sh1t.

Some truth to that. We might be able to beat the crap out of people, but i don't think we could conquer much tbh. Maybe Canada, but that's not much, and who would really want it?
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2011 3:51:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/10/2011 3:48:16 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 5/10/2011 3:41:38 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 5/10/2011 2:15:59 PM, Indophile wrote:
We all know that the US is the most militarily advanced nation at present. If it wants, it can "conquer" half the world easily.

But we all know that it's neither economically feasible, nor practical and will create more problems than benefits.

However, don't you think that the best way to "conquer" a nation (culture) is to supplant its culture with yours? You don't need to fire a single bullet or sustain any human casualties. All you need are a number of your population willing to go to that nation and just live (and not integrate, if possible). By and by, in some generations, if those people can grow "powerful", they will then bend the native culture to side more with them.

I hardly think this would guarantee any returns, but still, we know that soft power exists.

My question is, which nation has the most soft power? And could you imagine that nation "taking over" another nation using it?

That would be far more expensive. If we are talking about actively doing this, that means that the government is going to have to find hundreds of thousands of people to move into the country (possibly millions, pending on how big the country is), and likely have to pay them to do it, for generations. Even if we only pay the people $20,000 a year to do it (hardly worth it pending the nation moving to) and they move 400,000 people, that will be $8 billion a year. Doesn't sound like much, but when it is planning on taking 3 generations (90 years), it adds up.

Plus, you run the high risk of people changing (especially after a generation or two) and thus comprimising the mission. And really, all it is going to do is pump huge amounts of money into that "enemy" economy and help the enemy grow.

No. You don't need to pay them at all. How many Chinese in the US? Did China pay them to go to the US? How long have they been here? Are they influencing the culture here? Do they still have their own identity?

China is not planting them here. If China were to plant people here for the purpose of taking over us, then they would likely have to pay. Since the only people that would go along with that are the uber China supporters, and they likely would not want to spend the next 60 years in some non-China nation.


Also, I don't think any nation will actually use this option. It's too risky and results are not guaranteed, as you said.

What I meant to say (if I didn't in my post) is that the "invaded" nation has no way to "defend" itself. It just happens.

Close borders or limit imigration. We had no problem with sending Jews back to Germany just before WW2.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Fabian_CH
Posts: 232
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2011 4:27:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/10/2011 3:44:45 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 5/10/2011 3:42:18 PM, innomen wrote:
$

That is not soft power :)
Oh, but it is :) As I said above, trade does a whole lot to change mistaken notions and traditions in people's cultures (and you can be sure there will be those who resent that very fact; eeeevil globalization is destroying so many cultures!)
"What are we doing? Do we want to feed a starved humanity in order to let it live? Or do we want to strangle its life in order to feed it?"
- Andrei Taganov, We The Living (Ayn Rand)
Solomon_Kane
Posts: 29
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2011 5:08:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/10/2011 2:43:57 PM, Fabian_CH wrote:
Oh, I think as long as the US is still a beacon of freedom and liberty in the world, it will have the most "soft" or convincing-power easily. It doesn't even require people to move to other countries. The exports of a superior culture supplant the native culture naturally as people get to see its products (physical products, ideas, freedom generally...) and increasingly demand them at home. Part of this is through free trade; giving others access to the material rewards of a free society will make them (or eventually a majority of them, atleast) want it more and more. Other parts are more cultural, such as movies and the arts in general. Nevertheless, as long as they're superior, people will want them.

Yes, I do regard American culture as superior to most others (including European). If that seems offensive or snobbish (well, that would be hard to argue, since I'm not American myself), then that's either because I'm wrong (in which case whatever other culture is superior will establish itself if we just let it), or because you're trapped in the idea that cultures are abstracts that are above morality (in which case I'd emphatically disagree with you).

The important part there is, of course, that America remain a beacon of freedom and liberty. That's the hard part :)

I suppose perhaps I'm thinking in slightly different ways of it than you meant.

If this some not-so-shrewd preamble to an Islamophobic rant, I'm gonna be real disappointed.
Fabian_CH
Posts: 232
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2011 5:31:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/10/2011 5:08:39 PM, Solomon_Kane wrote:
If this some not-so-shrewd preamble to an Islamophobic rant, I'm gonna be real disappointed.
Hahaha, no, it is definitely not. There are problems with Islam, of course, but what are there no problems with? No, I was actually thinking more of the European "we are so much better than America, I mean, we ("we"), like, built stuff that stands around and looks pretty, and it's, like, so cultur-y; but in America everything has an actual commercal purpose; that's, like, so barbaric and uncultured" snobbism :)
"What are we doing? Do we want to feed a starved humanity in order to let it live? Or do we want to strangle its life in order to feed it?"
- Andrei Taganov, We The Living (Ayn Rand)
Indophile
Posts: 1,414
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2011 5:51:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/10/2011 4:27:32 PM, Fabian_CH wrote:
At 5/10/2011 3:44:45 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 5/10/2011 3:42:18 PM, innomen wrote:
$

That is not soft power :)
Oh, but it is :) As I said above, trade does a whole lot to change mistaken notions and traditions in people's cultures (and you can be sure there will be those who resent that very fact; eeeevil globalization is destroying so many cultures!)

Well, the $ sign, I thought meant money. I didn't know it stood for trade as well. Hard power is the use of coercion and payment, according to Wikipedia.
You will say that I don't really know you
And it will be true.
Indophile
Posts: 1,414
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2011 5:56:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/10/2011 3:51:36 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 5/10/2011 3:48:16 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 5/10/2011 3:41:38 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 5/10/2011 2:15:59 PM, Indophile wrote:
We all know that the US is the most militarily advanced nation at present. If it wants, it can "conquer" half the world easily.

But we all know that it's neither economically feasible, nor practical and will create more problems than benefits.

However, don't you think that the best way to "conquer" a nation (culture) is to supplant its culture with yours? You don't need to fire a single bullet or sustain any human casualties. All you need are a number of your population willing to go to that nation and just live (and not integrate, if possible). By and by, in some generations, if those people can grow "powerful", they will then bend the native culture to side more with them.

I hardly think this would guarantee any returns, but still, we know that soft power exists.

My question is, which nation has the most soft power? And could you imagine that nation "taking over" another nation using it?

That would be far more expensive. If we are talking about actively doing this, that means that the government is going to have to find hundreds of thousands of people to move into the country (possibly millions, pending on how big the country is), and likely have to pay them to do it, for generations. Even if we only pay the people $20,000 a year to do it (hardly worth it pending the nation moving to) and they move 400,000 people, that will be $8 billion a year. Doesn't sound like much, but when it is planning on taking 3 generations (90 years), it adds up.

Plus, you run the high risk of people changing (especially after a generation or two) and thus comprimising the mission. And really, all it is going to do is pump huge amounts of money into that "enemy" economy and help the enemy grow.

No. You don't need to pay them at all. How many Chinese in the US? Did China pay them to go to the US? How long have they been here? Are they influencing the culture here? Do they still have their own identity?

China is not planting them here. If China were to plant people here for the purpose of taking over us, then they would likely have to pay. Since the only people that would go along with that are the uber China supporters, and they likely would not want to spend the next 60 years in some non-China nation.

Of course China is not planting them here. But do you believe that those Chinese have not had any influence in American culture? What about the recent influx of Indians? Don't they have any effect? Have you been to New Jersey lately, esp. on the New York border? It's more Indian now :)


Also, I don't think any nation will actually use this option. It's too risky and results are not guaranteed, as you said.

What I meant to say (if I didn't in my post) is that the "invaded" nation has no way to "defend" itself. It just happens.

Close borders or limit imigration. We had no problem with sending Jews back to Germany just before WW2.

True. You would have to stop immigration. But would it be too late by then? I'm just trying to extrapolate what the situation will be. If the immigration levels have reached to such a point, they would obviously have some political voice. Would this not be an issue?
You will say that I don't really know you
And it will be true.
Indophile
Posts: 1,414
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/10/2011 5:57:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/10/2011 3:51:21 PM, innomen wrote:
At 5/10/2011 3:44:53 PM, badger wrote:
ye couldn't conquer sh1t.

Some truth to that. We might be able to beat the crap out of people, but i don't think we could conquer much tbh. Maybe Canada, but that's not much, and who would really want it?

Indonesia. Culturally supplanted just by trade :)
You will say that I don't really know you
And it will be true.
Fabian_CH
Posts: 232
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/11/2011 12:22:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/10/2011 5:51:11 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 5/10/2011 4:27:32 PM, Fabian_CH wrote:
At 5/10/2011 3:44:45 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 5/10/2011 3:42:18 PM, innomen wrote:
$

That is not soft power :)
Oh, but it is :) As I said above, trade does a whole lot to change mistaken notions and traditions in people's cultures (and you can be sure there will be those who resent that very fact; eeeevil globalization is destroying so many cultures!)

Well, the $ sign, I thought meant money. I didn't know it stood for trade as well. Hard power is the use of coercion and payment, according to Wikipedia.
Well, if you make a dichotomy between money and trade, then yes, of course. But I don't see how you can make that distinction.

Unless by money you mean the actual currency of the dollar, of course - in which case we're just not talking about the same thing :)
"What are we doing? Do we want to feed a starved humanity in order to let it live? Or do we want to strangle its life in order to feed it?"
- Andrei Taganov, We The Living (Ayn Rand)
Indophile
Posts: 1,414
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/11/2011 12:32:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/11/2011 12:22:09 PM, Fabian_CH wrote:
At 5/10/2011 5:51:11 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 5/10/2011 4:27:32 PM, Fabian_CH wrote:
At 5/10/2011 3:44:45 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 5/10/2011 3:42:18 PM, innomen wrote:
$

That is not soft power :)
Oh, but it is :) As I said above, trade does a whole lot to change mistaken notions and traditions in people's cultures (and you can be sure there will be those who resent that very fact; eeeevil globalization is destroying so many cultures!)

Well, the $ sign, I thought meant money. I didn't know it stood for trade as well. Hard power is the use of coercion and payment, according to Wikipedia.
Well, if you make a dichotomy between money and trade, then yes, of course. But I don't see how you can make that distinction.
Say you had x amount in dollars. What use is it if nobody's willing to sell you anything? That's why having lots of money does not equate to soft power. It's useless by itself. But having money might be hard power. You can pay somebody else to take it from them.

Soft power is, I think, "enforced" usually by something you have that others want. Money is just a substitute. Inherently valueless.

Unless by money you mean the actual currency of the dollar, of course - in which case we're just not talking about the same thing :)

Currency is irrelevant.
You will say that I don't really know you
And it will be true.