January 28, 2009

Culture threat to American Interests

Even today, American art, dance, film, and literature continue to inspire others who appreciate its culture and power. Such elements of global culture reflect American values, way of life, and serve as useful instruments of divine will, and triumph over evil, and for good or bad, globalization is delivering consumer products, brands and corporations’ to almost every corner of the globe. Think Coke, McDonalds, Viacom (MTV), Google, Apple, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, News Corp (Fox) and Time Warner (CNN) just to name a few. Even English, which is the language of choice in media and internet circles, owes much of its worldly presence to the U.S. One would think that this alone virtually guarantees the continued spread of American culture though things are changing.

Cultural Counterforce

A relatively new phenomenon now threatens American Interests and the battle of ideas; ideas on which American empire has traditionally rested are being subjected to a cultural counterforce that is resisting American influence. Even U.S. media interests are no longer the undisputed champions of cultural globalization as foreign corporations develop competing interests set to resist automatic acceptance of U.S. inspired alternatives even as the fusion of new and older cultures continues amidst the adaptation process.

Arab Broadcasting Networks: Al Jazeera is the chief broadcasters in the region expressing resentment about the U.S. and is now the most widely watched Television network in the Arab world. The U.S. had helped to launch a competing Arab language network, Al Hurrra, but has had little if any quantifiable success in defeating aversion to U.S. Middle East policies. To make matters worse, Al Jazeera has launched faculties broadcasting in the English language from Europe, Asia, and even America itself.

India: Bollywood’s presence and influence grows unabated while Hollywood only holds its own. Over a third of Bollywoods revenue results from foreign markets and outsourcing film production is enabling it to cause some concern in Hollywood. Call centers form another aspect of outsourcing that has added to cultural tensions over the past decade.

China: Restrictions on satellite broadcasting and the internet, in addition to quotas being placed on imported film show that China is fearful of cultural influence. China has also developed an effective soft power diplomacy or Charm Offensive that is gaining ground with Asian elites within university campuses in Asia.

Taliban: There is a degree of righteous cultural elements to America’s fight with the Taliban with a sense of Christian mission being a driving force of U.S. policy. This also applies in reverse, with long-established Qur’anic schools or Madrassas feeding Taliban fighters and students in general who develop an intolerant, prejudiced, and narrow-minded view of the world from an Anti-American base. As the continued fighting with the Taliban demonstrates, the two cultures are completely irreconcilable on faith and ideological grounds.

Ideas had always mattered to American Empire as a basis for furthering its own interests and promoting freedom thought-out the world, but other cultures are fighting back, challenging the normally automatic right of leadership that we have come to expect. Said the late, Samuel P. Huntington, “World politics is entering a new phase, in which the great divisions among humankind and dominating source or international conflict will be cultural.”

The United States must double its efforts to convey a positive image to those that resist it most through an effective public diplomacy program otherwise its status as an exemplar of modernity may one day erode.


Anonymous said...

Primacy of American Culture?

Tapline said...

AI, I would say that we have destroyed, or are destroying ourselves. We have been a nation asleep while the forces of evil have manifested itself throughout our system of government and private life. Kruschev, (sp) said it correctly when he said we will bury ourselves. He was right. destroyed without firing a shot.....I am totally at a loss as to how this tide of indifference can be halted. Our elected officials have long ago, stopped listening to their constitents. We have to wait until the next election to turn them out.,,,unfortunately, as you have seen in the past. It doesn't matter what they do or don't do, we keep sending them back....

Wishbone said...

What you say about the primacy of american culture is fascinating. I have been lately researching the development of American culture as implicitly tied into the changing nature of power in this country. Most recently, the power that we've come to rely on is a cultural power, supported by economic, military and diplomatic powers, etc. But now that we're in a depression, our military is overextended and unpopular and our government has some serious recovering to do, what chance does culture, does propaganda have on its own? It is just propaganda without the genuine nature of a superpower behind that culture.

Web Design Firm said...

American are doing pretty wrong in hiding the concept that they hate the fundamentalist ideology which they have from years old religions. Taliban can not be beaten unless Madrassas you that much of madrassas even schooling is kind of same in muslims countries.

Better end the reason which cause the birth of islamic fundamentalism.

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Web Design Firm