"In politics (and particularly in international politics), soft power is the ability to attract and co-opt, rather than coerce (contrast hard power). In other words, soft power involves shaping the preferences of others through appeal and attraction."

I remember when I was in Egypt, practically every storefront was covered in an American brand even when it didn't make any sense. The USA is a brand, and that's the source of a lot of our power internationally. China doesn't even really have much hard power capabilities but they're already setting themselves up to become a major rival to the United States through their economic influence.

In a broader sense, I think that if we want to move past societies based on force, we need to master soft power. People want to belong in communities, and will sacrifice a whole lot to feel accepted in those communities. Extreme examples that come to mind for me are gangsters willing to take life in prison to spare their comrades, or samurai willing to commit ritual suicide to save face in front of their peers.

My belief is that by building very broad and accepting communities, it will be easier to employ certain values like social justice. Right now, people in certain cultural groups feel like social justice is some foreign ideology trying to denigrate their way of life, and they're resistant to it even if they don't have clear reasoning as to why. Somebody left a comment earlier calling me a "shill" which is very odd on the surface, but makes sense if you imagine that person doesn't know anyone with these viewpoints.

We're already seeing a large degree of success with the soft power of the LGBTQ+ community for example. Donald Trump and Mike Pence may have their own opinion of queer people, but they understand it's political suicide to dehumanize them at this point so they are obligated to at least pay lip service to how much they support the gay community and so on. It's still frustrating when they try to pass legislation undermining trans people and so on, but it's a pretty massive step up from Stonewall.

Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.

Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.