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How to make people care about geopolitics and international affairs in peacetime?

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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković May 27, 2022
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Geopolitics and international affairs are the field of politics that can make the biggest differences in the lives of the masses, yet they are rarely in focus in society until it’s already too late.
Then, all discussions are conducted with an emotional charge and under the heavy influence of ramped-up propaganda. While the internet is filled with videos of people being laughably bad at elementary geography, the basic building block of geopolitical knowledge. All a recipe for nonsense takes.
Recently a former important ambassador had a rare up blunt moment about aspects of diplomacy.
So how do we get more people to get interested in geopolitics in peacetime? Make them focus on the most important political matters, and make them understand it better? Even when the mass media is overlooking these types of questions and have them overshadowed by trivial cosmetic stuff that barely affects a small portion of society.
From my experience, video games, books, movies, and board games were usually the starting points for why people get interested. But it's usually set at a pretty young age. Rarely a person gets interested in it out of the blue later in life.
What actions can be taken on an individual and group level to wake up people's motivation to learn about geography, history, and international relations?
*Note that this is not a place for commenting on the current geopolitical situations across the world.
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This is not productive

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Mikhail Korsanov
Mikhail Korsanov May 29, 2022
If you use time of people for interest to geopolitics, this is not productive, since no people can influence the real situation. Democracy is a screen that hides the real things. Rather, it is productive to create sufficient protection mechanisms in politics and big business from doing wrong things hurting many people.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikola3 months ago
I think the power of the mass is underestimated. If people know geopolitics and understand the situation, they express emotion. Emotion drives the news and news spread awareness. This creates pressure in politics and big businesses to act in the interest of the people. The same happens when people don't understand laws and their consequences. Only when you have a huge number of people understanding the harmful consequences of, for example, a general increase in the number of local governmental units, only then you can expect them to protest, news to talk about it and the situation to become clearer. Understanding and public pressure reduce the number of wrong moves made by politicians.
Therefore, I wouldn't call raising the people's awareness unproductive. I would call it a protection mechanism, which needs to be precisely guided and regulated since people can also do horrible things.
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Mikhail Korsanov
Mikhail Korsanov3 months ago
J. Nikola It is too time consuming to make everyone aware of everything in the scale of society. Most people will stay uninformed and unconscious if compared with the best informed and smart people anyway. So the best informed and smart ones will manipulate the masses anyway. The farther, the better are methods of manipulation. The methods are so good that they allow to manipulate while people believe they are free to choose! The only viable variant is to ensure somehow that the smartest ones will not use their smartness against the society.
As for emotions, yes, but what's more: media uses our emotions to manage our opinions and behaviors.
Most often, education is used as a measure of PR to control population. Yes, you can come up with some efficient private and candid educational campaigns. But they are not the mainstream.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikola3 months ago
Mikhail Korsanov I agree with the most you said. Emotions are a tool and a weak point. Now it only depends on what we want to accept and what we feel more comfortable with. I believe we are the strong driving force, but unfortunately, we are what we eat (no matter if it's food or information). The key, as you highlighted, should be to feed people with proper knowledge and information.
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Reverse role movie remakes

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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković May 30, 2022
A remake of movies but with opposing characters. Like a Chinese Rambo freeing captive Chinese soldiers from the rural USA.
I know sometimes Chinese movies make Americans as the bad guys, but these movies never reach anyone in the States.
It would be great for a provocateur artist to make these reverse movies in the USA, even as short films or YouTube comedy clips. This could do a good job of illustrating to people that geopolitics are not black and white and might interest them.
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RTS game where you switch sides with your opponent

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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković May 30, 2022
A real-time strategy (birds' eye view, command multiple units, construct buildings...) video game in which you randomly switch roles with the opponent mid-game might help grasp the story of each side. You take command of their forces, they of yours, you don't know when the switch occurs and how many times will it do in the middle of a match.
Old RTS games used to do that well with campaign modes as you would get presented with motives of opposing sides and live them out from the first view. Even the terrorists.
This shifting of the sides could work with a Civilization type turn-based game too. I do believe that this is a great new take on a genre that would add a strategical level that could make the game go viral. Because now you have to time the build-up of your forces with the possibility of you ending up on the receiving end of it. Timing is paramount.
It also somewhat illustrates just what the big powers do sometimes - arm the smaller country only to have war with them in the future.
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Promote sports, tourism, science and international exchange in general

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Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain May 27, 2022
My personal experience has been that whenever I travel to a new place, my preconceptions about the place are challenged and I am forced to think in new terms with the updated first-hand experiential information. Hence, one way I can think of to make people more aware of larger geopolitical scenarios is just to promote international exchange at the individual and institutional levels. Sporting events like the Olympics are a good way to engage people in mass to have dialogues directly with each other and learn about perspectives of the other side. Tourism and scientific exchanges can serve the same purposes. International conflicts directly affect tourism and science: a war or similar tension will influence the logistics and equipment availability, and this can open up the geopolitical dialogue between people. Just like after the pandemic everyone at least became aware of what a virus is and what the PCR does, such geopolitical tensions can be temporal landmarks to aware the population about existing geopolitical landscape.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikola3 months ago
I want to add to the topic here. I participated in Erasmus+ projects more than once. Once I went to study abroad for 6 months, while a few times I went on a 10-day project somewhere abroad to deal with the issues of their local community (migrants, social inclusion of ethnic groups, technology overtaking, cultural heritage, ...). While studying abroad was a cool movie-like experience, these short projects helped me realize the issues of the, for example, a central Bulgarian village or a Norvegian problem of social inclusion of ethnic groups. From this first-hand experience, you start to think twice the next time you hear something on the news.
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