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”
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
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.
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.
A needful influence using rude methods of
cultural imperialism can be hardly have an affect, countries at which the cultural imperialism can be aimed have too
probable chance of maneuver. Cultural
diplomacy and cultural imperialism as a part of ideological war became a
strategic weapon using a subtle instruments of influence. Perhaps Chechen War
became one of the failures of cultural imperialism. Here should be mentioned
that religious factor has played an important part. It is one of the reason
that confirms impossibility of rude
influence can be applicable.
It may be supposed that a peace after the war
in Chechen, long-drawn-out Israel - Palestine conflict and Desert fox, is in
condition of sufficient fragile balance, that can be ground for conclusion that
cultural imperialism isn’t applicable at all, since it would directed at a
country playing an insignificant part in world politics, and would be
identified in time and met by opposite measures, consequences might be
On the contrary cultural diplomacy is the war
without victims. To avoid any impact
of cultural diplomacy a country can only in case of the isolation from foreign world is available
(Iraq, North Korea). Since that it is one of the sign of the totalitarian
state, but it’s not excluded that the regime will aim its powerful ideological
machine at its people. It’s all the same for the cultural imperialism but only
within the limits of one state. If one of the purposes of cultural imperialism
in foreign policy would be the spreading of a political regime, so in case of
totalitarian country the aim of propaganda, creation of myths, ideology became
in general the support of a regime. Too much energy must be spent for the
support of information units.
Supposedly that cultural imperialism as well as
cultural diplomacy is aimed by one country or a group of countries at other
country. Sometimes instruments of political influence are aimed at population
of the own state, for example at representatives of a large group of national
minority. In this case the use of aggressive methods of cultural imperialism
can not be acceptable, since in this way a serious national conflict can be
provoked and the chain of ones has flushed within the territory of the former USSR
in the beginning of 90-th years.
Real needs including economical reasons in regular spreading of the information have
occurred. Needs in instrument of selecting of this information have came. In
practice it could be realized together with the development of technique of
printing of books in XV - XVI centuries, when in Europe the first periodical press appeared. Journalism became a special type
of activity. Propaganda started its
development earlier: the method of influence upon the opponent, social
political instrument of classes. The “relationship between paper and reader was
this being changed from the ideal one of a tutorial and intellectual nature, to
one of a market character”. (A.J. Lee “The Origins of the Popular Press 1855 -
1914, London, 1976, p. 121).
Journalism may be non-connected with politics,
but propaganda can not. As a powerful
weapon propaganda always aspires to enlarge an
application of its instrument: the word was added by a
text in writing. (Pamphlets, leaflets of the time of the Peasant’s War in
Germany, Pugachyov’s letters).
Journalism perhaps from the moment of its birth
has grasped 3 functions. The first one is the selecting and lighting of the
facts of every day life, the second function is the spreading of appraisals and
minds and the third one is different shows.
The complication of relationship of such
definitions as journalism and propaganda is determined by that the journalism
is more special definition regarding to propaganda. The phenomenon of
journalism has many senses. The periodical press has wider sphere of interests
than propaganda. It includes every day informing about facts and actual events.
In this respect propaganda is a part of periodical presswork. From the other
side journalism is the complexity of technical means of circulation of
information messages and materials of propaganda (newspapers, TV, radio) and at
this way journalism is one of the instruments of propaganda machine. Propaganda
has its own distinguishing features in application of means and weapons of its
influence. In its arsenal there are placards, leaflets, photos, means of mass
media. Journalism addresses only a large auditorium and its activity can be
determined by system of means specially foreseen for circulation of its
publications. Propaganda is an ever-lasting companion of the periodical press;
therefore many journalists are propagandists as well. Even in the media there
are many propaganda materials or materials related to propaganda, are beyond
from periodical press. Newspapers are publishing official governmental
messages; TV canals are carrying out direct translations from meetings. This
propaganda can not be related to own creations of journalists, therefore for
calling of the propaganda, which is professional work of journalists, can be
used the term “Journalism propaganda”.
Periodical press has its an important
mobilizing influence upon people and stimulates social activity as well. It
seems that journalism is called as “literature made in a hurry” and in
comparison with classical fiction literature it (journalism) must have less
influence. A fiction literature uses more sharp, more bright and figurative
word. But journalism, probably because of effect of participation, has the
strongest “impulse” influence upon minds, directions and behavior of people.
Perhaps one of the secrets of this influence is the unique combination of
means, which are available for journalism. Reality of the fact which has been
taken from the present day plus magnetic strength of an idea plus understandable
word and representation. Disappearance of one of these three above-mentioned
means destroys a complex of the modern journalism. For periodical press a
conjunction of three components: energy, propaganda and publicity, - may be
compulsory, since it’s the strong factor of influence upon a social
Propaganda is closely bound with a science
ideology. The ideology partly is the method of thinking which taken from
without as well as propaganda serves for ideology can not contain such idealism
definitions as truth, objectivity, impartiality. According to its character
propaganda is tendentious but not objective.
Soviet theoretic scientists have been tried to
prove Scientific features of propaganda through the term “ the true of an idea
or a mind” recognizing by that the right of elite, making up socials myths and
ideology, to operate with human consciousness.
Though propaganda always brings to a man a
moral and directions ab extra. The question is at what degree a man can be
operated and how many different ideologies are aimed at a man, has a person the
opportunity of a choice in that - what illusion can be used?
should be mentioned that mass media at the
definite point must support political power as well as state structure.
So long as newspapers remain cure of political authority, they are beyond
criticism; once they challenge that authority, they suffer the full force of
its reaction” (R. Negrine “Politics and the Mass Media in Britain”. London.
1994. P. 47 - 48).
Is a hamburger the part of national politics?
Who is more popular: Uncle Sam or Mickey Mouse? Can Michael Jackson, for
example, to inculcate a love to American culture? These questions could be
analyzed through the theory of creation of myths.
It’ s necessary to mention that creation of
myths as well as ideology and propaganda comes sufficiently closely to
determination of cultural diplomacy. If the following interpretation of
creation of myths would available: as the process of constructing of the image
system with the subject presented as essential for a person social reality, in
this case the difference with the subject of cultural diplomacy is not so
large. In case of making the question more simply and to determine the aim of a
myth is to provide the opportunity of orientation, the difference with the
purposes of cultural diplomacy becomes less. The problem is as usual since in
context of political science (Ortega, Gasset) myth is bound closely with
political elite which is working out political myths spreading upon all around.
In myth there is not limits, but cultural diplomacy is aimed at determined real
subject. In this case myths making up by cultural diplomacy are concerning the
creation of myths as a part is related to whole object.
Returning to aforementioned it may be concluded
that a numerous industry of amusements or “pop industry” can not bring all load
of cultural diplomacy. Positive impressions of culture of a state must be
formed in development. The word “ diplomacy” supposes not impulses but a
process of thinking. The impulses are corresponding to mass industry and love
for popular music is going away so quickly as a feeling of satiety after eating
Besides that since cultural diplomacy is
leaning for the support of the elite and the influence must be extended to the
most intelligent and educated population therefore the instruments must be
delicate. For example the song of Elton John “Yellow Brick Road” never can
inculcate the love to England but if the sound track would be provided by
representation of the Big Ben, House of Parlament and other great creations of
British architecture, an excellent result might be achieved.
Thus for the cultural diplomacy it would be
more reasonable to sell the TV picture “Variety Fair” with damage than to
earn much on a pop-star concert.
It can be supposed that if the pop-industry is
always aimed at earning money, cultural diplomacy has to work with damage
for itself and able to make money only in indirect way. In general the
distinguishing feature of pop-industry is internationalism, for example, the
Disneyland is available not only in the USA but the Freedom Stature can be
seen only in the United States of
America. Instruments of cultural
diplomacy as well as cultural
imperialism must be unique.
Why the rude methods of cultural imperialism have not been refused
at all? Probably in this period these are more operative. In one of Eric
Berne’s book the following example was described: when grasshoppers were
offered to two groups of people and the first group was made to eat the insects up and the other
group was just offered to test them. In
result those people who were
made to eat the insects, in general, called the taste qualities of
grasshoppers as good. The other group
which just tested of its own free will said negatively about its tastes.
Eric Berne explained this case by one of the
quality of the human psychic: when something is imposed to a person our mind
makes us to love it. In any case for a some time. The other reaction when this
influence is finishing. In the time of “the cold war” many Western radio
programs can be heard in the USSR, such as “The Voice of America”, “Radio
Liberty”. After the disintegration of the USSR
very tendentious “The Voice of America” became non-interesting and lost its audience.
By the way it did not enlarge the sympathy to
the USA. It may be too simple illustration.
For example can be used a powerful agitation
USSR’s influence upon the former members of East system and what it
resulted in afterwards. All examples have one common feature: an action always
turns by opposite action. Even an action of political pressure such as Soviet
tanks in Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan and Chechen, American B 52 over Vietnam
and rackets Patriot over Baghdad. Regardless of that how many years or days
mankind has come without wars, the methods of rude influence will be continued
in future The question of effectiveness
of these measures is opened.
In the time of running of Napoleon the
newspapers of France started to describe this event beginning from the titles
such as “ the Blood-thirsty Tyrant Got away from a Cage” and this events were
finished in articles as “The Emperor is taking
his throne”. This particularity
of journalism has been available till present time.
However despite that which methods have been applied: mild or heavy, cultural politics must be
understood by them for whom it has been carried on. Therefore it’s hardly to
say about cultural imperialism, for example, provided by CNN in respect of
Russia or China, or Japan. There an English speech can not been understood. In
general, a large ethnic groups in respect of their language are very
conservative, feeling itself in its consciousness as a part of a huge language
group. In this connection one American
saying is very interesting: a person who speaks one language is a
citizen, a person streaking two languages is an immigrant, three languages is a
vagrant. When it’s known before that the words won’t be understood a statement
can be impressed by gestures (Khrushchov’s shoe in the session of UN) or by
understandable images (Iraq tanks in Kuwait).
military conflicts would be left , since
state and commence electronic mass media must lead determined
policy, because on the contrary (TV is a “heavily selected interpretation
of events” (R. Hoggart “Bad news”. London, 1976, p.x.)), and cultural
imperialism is becoming more and more active. In case of considering a
journalism as an important transmitter of state propaganda or ideology, in the
most powerful and developed countries the chain: government - journalist -
audience won’t be full because of principle of pluralism, equality of political
factors and institutions. Besides that since the competition fights for
audience the modern mass media lost
their opportunity for strategic planning. For instance even the USA has worked
at the image of its country shown the interrogation of the USA President. For
the politics of the USA this fact is not positive. But the modern regulation of
mass media played here their part.
Perhaps, the commerce protects people from any kinds of imperialism.
International bodies and international competitive pressures are having an
impact on the development of national structures of Broadcasting” (Negrine.
Op.cit. p. 210).
As a summary of this work several general
moments can be mentioned. At present time an opportunity of the manipulation
with human consciousness, is especially
real as never before since a spectator (listener) receives
a huge amount of information which can not
From the other side an opportunity of influence
became weaker because of the increasing opportunity for comparison, the
information became more assessable and the one of the particular feature of
foreign policy became taking part of almost all countries of the world.
Therefore a chance of the influence upon the more non-developed countries using
the powerful methods of the cultural imperialism are minimized.
The opportunity of defend of oneself from the
power influence has increased proportionally to increasing of the influence of the world community where all
countries take essential part.
In this work the statements interpreting the
conjunction between journalism and
propaganda (weapon of any foreign and inside influence). However at present
time journalists are being more
interested in sensations, show and dynamics of programs. Therefore means
of mass media which without doubt multi - level structures can exist for means
received from advertise sale: thus they
are less interested in social orders. In this situation commerce can protect
an audience from ideological
influence. Though “ for some observers the globalization of journalism
carries with it the threat of cultural imperialism - the dissemination across
the planet of a journalism dominated largely by North American (read CNN)
values, agendas, and ideological assumptions”. (Brian McNair “News and
Journalism in the UK”. London, 1994, p. 188.
Cultural diplomacy in contradistinction to
pressure influence of cultural imperialism, probably must influence upon elite
classes negatively. Since the educated people grasp rude propaganda methods at
once and in many cases able to separate information from ideology and
infotainment as well. Thus rude methods of industry will not work here.
For easier understanding it can be supposed
that well done programm on Discovery Canal about, for example, American Air
Forces of the World War II had more influence effect than the a direct
translation of CNN about bombardment of
In conclusion it ‘s desirable to impress a hope that
the rude methods has been finished at least in respect of actual
participants of the world community.
References Type of reference: Example of reference: Book A.J. Lee (1976) “The Origins of Popular Press. 1855 - 1914”, London, p. 121 Book R. Negrine (1994) “Politics and the Mass Media in Britain”, London, p. 47 - 48 Book R. Hoggart “Bad News”, (1976), London, p.x. Book Brian McNair (1994) “News and Journalism in the UK”, London, p. 188 Book A. Briggs, (1979) “Governing the BBC”, London, p. 211 Book R. Friedman (1992) “American Law”, Moscow