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Cultural imperialism and cultural diplomacy

Cultural imperialism and cultural diplomacy
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Cultural imperialism and cultural diplomacy


Perhaps, “cultural imperialism” and “cultural diplomacy” are sufficiently young, but it concerns only word combinations. Mankind always tries to chose definitions to different phenomena, in particular in sphere of politics, in such way the words “ideology”, “myth”, “propaganda” have appeared.

Cultural imperialism and cultural diplomacy can be considered just as more or less aggressive method of propaganda activity.

The process of clearance of relationship between journalism and propaganda is as two instruments of cultural diplomacy and cultural imperialism.

What is the aim of cultural diplomacy and cultural imperialism: forming of political regimes, decision of some economical problems or something else? A large use of considering definitions makes doubts that the aim of spreading ideas can be contain in one word. Most probably it is a complex of aims. But what politics is more successful? “Whip” politics or “cake” politics?

New epoch, epoch of globalization, epoch of powerful mass media has opened new opportunities for propaganda. A man is grasped from TV every day; the material chosen by journalists has turned out in a stream of huge amount of information. “It is [TV] the crucial source of information about the outside world”. (Negrine op. Cit., ibid., p. 100). Naturally that if even journalists have no enough time for interpretation of the information, what hopes may be for average spectator to interpret this information correctly. “TV is a “heavily selected interpretation of events” (R. Hoggart “Bad news”. London, 1976, p.x.). In the stream of the information a spectator managed by own prejudices and moral brought from without is building from the information knots a picture of his own world. People received the opportunity to know so many things without learning anything. At the sense level a person understands that he is manipulated (probably because of that spectator’s appreciation of journalists are so low). From the other side the information containing burning topics of the day, sharply and easily for understanding given, wakes up in a person so powerful impulse which it’s very difficult not to be obeyed. As never before a man has become such unprotected against foreign influence, the question is what ideology will be more correct key for this or that country. From the other side despite that a man has learned to get over large distances for a short time, people have not became closer one another. It may be called “the theory of unknown people”. Unknown people are making clothes for us, selling foods, unknown people are defending us as a Police, unknown people are teaching our children, building our houses. When we are traveling by bus or by plane our lives are in the hands of unknown people. Why not to let these unknown people to take possessions of our minds (through TV and sound speakers)?

May be supposed that this space being free from critical interpretation in human consciousness offers the opportunity for enforcing of culture (in context of cultural imperialism). But aforementioned statement has reverse side as well. Since the borders between that as supposed is personal and private and that is not so, have no the same sense as were before, people have worked out the immunity against information aggressiveness.

The opportunity of comparison may have its influence; access to large amount of information let people to compare thrusting ideas with the reality. Thus the slogan “Dreamland is good because it is wonderful” is not working any more.

Before the World War II in world politics only 10 countries played essential part. After the War practically all countries began to play their parts in the world politics. Economical and political reasons have come to the situation when the ideology has become the well developed science. Cultural imperialism as well as cultural diplomacy have appeared in the result of development of ideology and propaganda. Differentiation of ideology, foundation of politics-ideological complexes, access of scientists to practical politics (J. Kennedy, T. Kissinger) and taking part of scientists in creation of ideological systems as well as organization of expert centers in this field - all these resulted in foundation of whole system of measures on foreign policy, particularly in cultural diplomacy.

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