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Softpower, Soccer, Supremacy

The Chinese Dream


Edited By J.A. Mangan, Peter Horton and Christian Tagsold

Xi Jinping’s "Soccer Revolution" is unique: the most extensive politicization and geo-politicization of the Global Game. His purpose is to extend the global softpower projection of "the Middle Kingdom": an ancient Western imperial mantra ("bread and circuses") has been replaced by a modern Eastern "imperial" mantra ("rice and pitches"). The Asian Football Federation shares this "allopathic" vision of East Asian soccer: the future is Asia and it starts in China! Soccer is a talisman for a New Asia in a New Era. For China soccer is a hubristic instrument of softpower projection. Softpower, Soccer, Supremacy: The Chinese Dream makes this point forcefully. In East Asia soccer in now "much more than a game"!

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Xi’s Chinese Dream: “Rice and Pitches” (米饭和球场)—Imperial Strategy (J.A. Mangan)


Xi’s Chinese Dream: “Rice and Pitches” (米饭和球场)—Imperial Strategy

J.A. Mangan

Power, History, and Dominance

… power at its core is not a material but a psychological force. It represents the vital desire of individuals or communities to prevail, to impose change on others while remaining unchanged, to dominate rather than be dominated, whether by violence or by the subtler arts of peace and always in the compelling contests of invidious comparisons. Viewed in this manner, power is foremost a concern of human consciousness: … All analyses of power—or all power-orientated studies of history—must therefore begin with human perception (culturally conditioned perception, to be sure). The material aspects of power originates in the mind, in human ingenuity, in the desire to be less vulnerable.1

Mega-Events, Metonyms, and Metamorphosis

A modern equation: money equals modern mega events. The West gets poorer [relatively]; the East gets richer (relatively). Tokyo 1964, Seoul 1988, Beijing 2008 are metonyms for Asian economic metamorphosis. … the world has witnessed a shift in its geo-political axis—from West to East. Asian ‘Otherness’ has been redefined; the mantra is no longer faded esoteric Asian promise but blooming modernistic Asian achievement. Asia is no longer the object of the complacent, but rather the apprehensive, Western gaze. Tokyo 1964, Seoul 1988, and above all, Beijing 2008 are metaphors for a deeper and wider modernity.2

Reorientation, Realignment, and Readjustment

What we are seeing … is a geopolitical shift...

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