Today I was introduced to the idea of Soft Power, and the term alone caused so many things to instantly click in my head. Soft Power is a clear paradox to Hard Power, and once you grasp the simple concept, so much will make sense. It’s the reason you always feel like you’re offending someone, or that if you disagree with someone, you’re anathema to the cultural tide.
For example, take the Koreas as embodiments of the two notions. North Korea has nuclear weaponry aimed at the soil of the world, hovering her finger above the launch button if someone pries too closely. Hard Power. The bully with the bigger muscles and the baseball bat.
By contrast, South Korea is a rising star in the music scene with numerous breakout boy bands which my students are obsessed with. K-Pop is infecting radio waves alongside the behemoth of entertainment which is the United States. Soft power is far more subliminal, but perhaps even more powerful than the opposite. South Korea, with its intellectual Soft Power, is growing the ability to influence fans however they want. Of course, this is slow and over time rather than blatant like North Korea’s nukes.
The reason this is so important is because we in the West are far more in danger of giving in to Soft Power than Hard.
For instance, look no further than the third chapter of Genesis. Does the serpent come to Eve with a crossbow and tell her to eat the fruit “or else…”?
No, of course not! He slips subtle lies into her mind. He makes her question things she was once so sure of. Before long, she has given in and doomed the progeny of the world to death and toil.
I would wager that most of us are not threatened with AK-47’s or barbed wire clubs on the daily, but we face a far more insidious power. We face another term to which I was introduced today: Intellectual Colonialism.
What is Colonialism? It’s the invasion of Western culture into indigenous lands. It was the white man coming in and saying that they’re doing things wrong and they should be done like THIS (to put it lightly).
Without realizing it, Christians living in the West have become slaves to the machine of Intellectual Colonialism. We have been told that the way we have been thinking is wrong and we need to do it like THEM. We need to be sexually liberated (as long as it’s safe and consensual), and we need to be tolerant of every belief, simply because someone feels that it’s true.
Problem is, feelings turn out not to be great dictators of truth.
Just today, someone commented on a YouTube video of mine saying that I shouldn’t be so hard on Christians who may believe something the Bible doesn’t teach. “If they believe it strongly, then it can be true for them.”
That phrase, in addition to being one of the most ridiculous and ignorant things a human can say, was disproven in the 300s B.C. Something cannot be simultaneously true and false depending on who feels what way about it. No matter how hard I feel that the winter should be sunny and 75, reality is going to keep dumping snow on me.
But now I’m off track.