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Soft Power of the Digital Age


With the setting up of the ‘Modern World”- including the ‘Postmodern’- super-heroes are being shaped in flesh and bonds. Even though we may not watch them in films or read in novels, they have already become a part of all aspects of our lives ranging from clothing to food given their universes surpassing the media tools. Within the sphere of influence of the soft power, being hand in hand with the dominant marketing mechanisms under the monitoring of the Hollywood industry, they are in the process of transforming the whole world into figures playing their assigned roles within the context of the dreams of clans  – which actually has been existing from far in the past- (the newer name being the American Dream).

In the current arenas of struggle against the cultural imperialism, we may think to fight with our own super-heroes from our cultures in order to establish a vision for a free future to be shared with all the humanity.

As one can easily see, the old generation of super-heroes is being craved for the new ones. The old ones were still white American, yet at least the good ones were good and the bad ones bad. Later on, more realistic super-heroes who fought against themselves emerged (everything about him is surreal, yet the inner struggle is real so that one may identify himself with it). Yet, on the surface, goodness still winned. Nowadays, it is also ambigious.

There are also these statements in between the lines; “super powers can also be gained without being good.” These super powers already exist in the anti-heroes of the species. For instance, the blessing of ‘witchcraft’-(extraordinary states shown by the heathens again with the permission yet non-consent of the Creator) which is held equal to the gifts granted by the Creator to its saints that are assumed to be a “miracle”.

Moreover, the films about the witchcraft whose heroes are sympathetic role models are also on the increase. Now, apart from vampires, wolf men, Frankenstein that are to be loved, there are also helpful aliens, artificial intelligent-beings or robots that seek their rights. Our minds get baffled; the difference between goodness and evil almost disappeared.

Whether we recognize it or not, there is a market of “Oneness” at the background. Caution! Limbo is being presented as Oneness. It is easy to deceive those who take it easy, the unconscious minds are happy at the moment, therefore those free-riders who gets fed from their backs, we are watching with a case in point…

Now, let’s leave the historical super-heroes aside for a while although we have a fair amount of examples in the film and comics industry in this area, let’s also separate the semi-super heroes, those superheroes living in today’s or future world left the stage to the Hollywood characters almost completely, we are too weak. Yet, towards the end of 60’s and during the 70’s there have been several national productions. Yet, almost all of these superheroes are wannabes and those national movies that have been produced  did not go beyond being a ‘trash movie’ on an international scale.

While we are in the stage of discovering our authentic identity and getting into a period of embracing our history and culture again on a contemporary scale given the technological opportunities, let’s make another progress in visual storytelling and let’s create and present the worlds of superheros which display our world vision as well as our heritage of wisdom traditions unless we are determined to get rid of the world of fake images.

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Ayse Kok
Ayse completed her masters and doctorate degrees at both University of Oxford (UK) and University of Cambridge (UK). She participated in various projects in partnership with international organizations such as UN, NATO, and the EU. She also served as an adjunct faculty member at Bosphorus University in her home town Turkey. Furthermore, she is the editor of several international journals, including those for Springer, Wiley and Elsevier Science. She attended various international conferences as a speaker and published over 100 articles in both peer-reviewed journals and academic books. Having published 3 books in the field of technology & policy, Ayse is a member of the IEEE Communications Society, member of the IEEE Technical Committee on Security & Privacy, member of the IEEE IoT Community and member of the IEEE Cybersecurity Community. She also acts as a policy analyst for Global Foundation for Cyber Studies and Research. Currently, she lives with her family in Silicon Valley where she worked as a researcher for companies like Facebook and Google.


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