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... every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

In order to project a non-hostile, non-threatening image, all of the following must be true:

  • Actual, objective policy towards the rest of the world must be non-hostile and non-threatening. Good PR can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but if you're holding a loaded gun to their head, you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

  • The political institutions must be able to articulate their policy in terms that do not carry associations to previous hostility. Having a nitwit like Tory Bliar saying that he's proud of the British Empire is not helpful, regardless of actual policy and his influence on it.

  • The parts of civil society that interact with the rest of the world - engineers stationed abroad, businessmen attending conferences, producers of cultural products that can be expected to find their way across borders, even simple tourists - must meet the rest of the world with an attitude that does not carry associations to arrogant colonial overlords.

If any of these fails signally and consistently, projection of soft power fails.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 03:10:08 AM EST
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