Hard Power and Soft Power

The concept of power is essentially a means of control in civic area.

Power, as it usually manifests, is divided into two categories. Hard power, and soft power.

Hard power, is by utilizing oppression and physical forces in order to make others do as you say.

Soft power, on the other hand, is usually agreements. Unlike hard power being mostly oppression, soft power utilizes general consent.

The nuanced difference is that, you may find a second way and circumvent the soft power imposed on you. However, you can’t find any other way than obey to the hard power imposed on you.

The law enforcement, such as police, is hard power from the government, a means to control anything that breaks the wishes of government.

Electricity, water and any other state-supplied necessities can be deemed as hard power. You can’t live without water, as well as electricity, Internet etc.

A boss commands his employees. This is soft power, by the definition that employees have the leeway to disobey the boss’s orders, since they can use contract to negotiate or plainly find another vacancy else where.

Generally, employees follow an employer’s commands, since the employer usually controls a major necessity for his employees, income. However, this sort of superior and subordinate relationship is based on an agreement, or consent. And the agreement is visualized in a contract.

Hard power is usually what all rulers chase after, they want absolute control, not control with a bit of leeway, or that others can have a say in their decisions.

Usually, in civic area, most of the power is soft power. Typically in democratic societies, decision making consists of soft power most of the time, as people would generally reach agreements in order to execute something.

And the relationship dissolves once the agreement breaks. If one side agrees to do something and the other side disagrees, soft power can not be achieved. It relies solely on the consent from both sides.

What we see often times is that hard power is frequently utilized in dictatorship countries, and soft power in democratic countries.

For the level of complications, soft power is generally much easier to achieve, so long as both sides have some degree of honor and credibility to not easily break the contract.

Hard power on the other hand, is either oppression, or threats. Hard power usually develops into this myriad of perplexities, since everyone inside the hierarchy is contending for superior spots and setting their own rules. The system quickly becomes a giant mess and perplexities for everyone to cross through, hence we call this “bureaucracy”.

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