In recent years, we've had all kinds of new "diplomacies," ranging from "panda diplomacy" to "helium diplomacy."
And now, lo and behold, the Director of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, Professor/Doctor Philip Seib (who, to the best of my knowledge, has never actually practiced "public diplomacy" on behalf of the USG or any other government), has come up with a new (by no means viral, but mentioned) term: "intellectual diplomacy."
Well, I do not intend to be ill-mannered, but how can one not be but somewhat concerned by the apparently anti-intellectual declaration in the above-cited Seib article, which states: "The United States must become more adept at diplomacy grounded in strategic intellectual competitiveness."
"Strategic intellectual competitiveness?" What does that jaw-breaker have to do with the pleasures of the mind -- or, indeed, with our new supposedly collaborative, interconnected new world of the 21st century?
I suggest Professor Seib read Montaigne, who had
Evidently homo ludens is not part of Professor Seib's mythology. Just take a look at his "I'm-so-macho" "A Strategy for Cultural Diplomacy." Such a piece, in my modest opinion, belongs in the KGB archives, given, as it suggests, that culture should propagandize power.
Could the good professor be -- although, perhaps, that is not his intention -- talking about a centralized USG uber-organized realpolitik crude propaganda establishment exploiting the intellect for narrow "national security" interests?
P.S. Persons interested in this posting might wish to read about "la trahison des clercs."