In the War of Ideas, our Society has surrendered


What is “soft power”?


Not long ago, the National Geographic Society was a
global showcase of soft power and Western values:


But all that has changed:

Chris Johns and Terry Adamson celebrate the launch of National Geographic’s Arabic edition in 2010. What a far cry this is from the National Geographic Society that once gave maps to Gen. Eisenhower to help Allied forces defeat the Nazis.

Does this mean National Geographic is responsible
for the resurgence of terrorist groups like al-Qaeda?
Of course not.
But does it mean that National Geographic has surrendered
in what The Economist calls the “most important battle of all, that of ideas”?
It sure does.

  • bob

    It seems to me that publishing a U.S.-based magazine that has an international concern would be some small help in creating better ties between reasonable Americans and Arabs. I don’t see any evidence to your “argument” (in quotes because you have simply slapped a photo and caption on the Web; if you could shorten the caption you could just circulate it as a meme.)

    • Bob – Thanks for your comment. Although I didn’t provide “evidence” here, my general argument — that NGM has abandoned its Western worldview as it runs to become a global media brand — is the thread that runs through this entire site. Or so I like to think.

      This video I cobbled together echoes the point:

      • bob

        Jan. 2013 NGM – Ecuador’s Yasuni Park, Genetics, Microbes.
        Feb. 2013 – Libya, Afghanistan, and Soccer in Africa.
        Mar.2013 – China, Fracking.
        April 2013 – Tribal Europe, Peru’s Mahogany.
        May 2013 – Zimbabwe, Global fertilizer use, China’s Grand Canal.
        June 2013 – First Australians, Mozambique.
        July 2013 – Songbird hunting in Europe, Transylvania.
        Aug.2013 – Maya and India.
        Sept.2013 – Kinshasa.
        Oct.2013 – North Korea, U.S. Changing Faces.

        All typical NGM articles. What am I missing?

        • How do these stories reflect National Geographic’s display of “soft power”?

NO NEW POSTS will be published here after February 6, 2014. THIS IS WHY.