Soft Power is the Alternative of Civilization.

Soft Power is the Alternative of Civilization.

Manahel Thabet
Manahel Thabet

In a previous article, I touched upon the importance of intellectual reclamation as a strategy to counter cognitive scarcity and address research backwardness. Soft power, within the same context, emerges as a potent alternative to fuel the cognitive economy. In this article, I delve into the intricate details of soft power, exploring its significance both at an individual and national level.

Soft power, whether applied individually or on a societal scale, can be elucidated through personal anecdotes. George Washington Carver’s profound statement serves as an exemplar: “No human being, no matter what can bring me down to the point where I hate him or hate him.” Despite facing adversity as an orphan of African-American descent without the opportunity for formal education, Carver’s cultivation of soft power catapulted him into becoming the founder of agricultural chemistry, pioneering industrial fiber, and a key contributor to the peanut industry in the United States.

This individual example underscores the transformative potential of soft power, defined by spiritual and moral influence through ideas, principles, and values. Soft power extends to support in human rights, infrastructure, culture, and art, inspiring respect and admiration that, in turn, influences others to follow suit.

Japan stands as a testament to the effectiveness of soft power in achieving post-war economic prowess within a mere 50 years. Despite religious pluralism, Japan strategically implemented legislation regarding education and population control, fostering a systematic plan for development and reform at all levels.

The concept of soft power gained momentum in Japan in the early 2000s, notably after the Academy Award recognition of Miyazaki Hayao’s animated film “Spirited Away.” This cinematic achievement was hailed as an embodiment of Japan’s soft power, as it exemplified the nation’s peaceful and war-renouncing values. The term soft power, coined by Harvard professor Joseph Nye, reflects the ability to persuade rather than coerce.

China harnessed soft power through its abundant and cost-effective labor force, propelling its economy to global prominence. Similarly, India utilized the soft power of yoga to make its mark on the world stage.

Historically, the Arab world wielded soft power through influential figures like Ibn Sina, Farhadi, and Al-Khwarizmi, whose contributions in various fields left an indelible mark on Europe.

A contemporary example of the effective application of soft power is the emirate of Dubai, led by the visionary Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. Dubai’s ascent to global prominence is attributed to strategic support for the knowledge economy, infrastructure development, human rights, culture, and the arts. The city’s commitment to principles and morals has positioned it as a paragon of sophistication and a civilized model for the world.

In essence, soft power manifests through supporting scientific research, nurturing talent, fostering cultural institutions, and upholding human rights. This multifaceted approach transforms individuals and nations into exemplars of refinement, paving the way for sustained growth and development in an ever-evolving world.

And to talk the rest

Author : Manahel Thabet

Al Bayan Newspaper

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Manahel Thabet Ph.D. – President participated in the first Economic Leadership Workshop
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