Soft Power Is The Ultimate Power

Recently, I read about a rather prompting phenomena; a relatively unknown power that surprisingly many countries can potentially possess. No, it is not some new element in the periodic table that manufactures a deadly bomb. It is called Soft Power. Many people would be muddled; soft does not necessarily go with a word like power, in fact it seems to be completely out of its ambit. However, that is simply the face value of the word. Soft power is the power of a country to spread cultural influence and be persuasive internationally.

It functions on the mere principle of persuasion. It can attract people and make them behave in desirable ways. Nations are made of people and controlling people to behave in a wanted manner for national growth is true power. If thought about on a larger scale, there is no saying to what it cannot achieve. With the influence of soft power, hard power would not be required to be used so regularly. Even when hard power is exercised, soft power would be more important; for a leader or even a dictator cannot be completely indifferent from the views of the people.

You can manufacture as many weapons as you want but you cannot make a soldier press the trigger. For that, your power needs to be more cognitive, more convincing than brutal.

I believe behaviour is the core of actions. It is tough to know all the nuances of something as unpredictable as humans. Ask psychologists like Ivan Pavlov or Burrhus Frederic Skinner who tried to unravel this complicated aspect in both humans and animals by conducting research on different types of learning patterns like classical and operant conditioning.

But, think of it this way, exercising soft power gives a considerable control over it. Did not all leaders rise from the power of attraction and coercion? From Gandhi, to Hitler, Mussolini, to Li Xiannian; to even present day, Narendra Modi, all these individuals used their persuasive skills to gain public support, also known as power. If individuals can practice it, what is stopping an entire nation from doing the same? But like any other form of power, it has faced a fair amount of laceration. Before cemented steps can be taken, this philosophy needs to undergird a nation’s growth into something more powerful indeed.

Hard Power is simply used as a threat but Soft Power allows the formation of people who comply, not rebel. Power is not physical. We’ve been brainwashed to think so. The truth, however, lies in this example:

If we were to leave a man alone in a forest with bears; he might choose to either harm them or, somehow gain their trust and persuade them not to attack. If he used the forceful method, it would be a temporary fix, till more bears attack him and he injures himself or dies. But in the other case, by persuading them he has not only gained the power to make them follow him in other matters, but has solved the problem of the bear threat permanently; for they are somehow under his influence.

Therefore, soft power is a quiet subtle yet an effective way to allure people’s choices.

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Tarasha Arora
Tarasha Arora
2 years ago

this is so good!!

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