How many times have you heard that one simple statement?
Who is the mastermind behind that statement?
Is it really true? Is the pen mightier than the sword?
“The pen is mightier than the sword.” This widely used saying, which originated in an 1839 play about Cardinal Richelieu written by novelist and playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton, has become so common as to border on platitude. And yet, these simple words reflect a clear and enduring principle: writing, and by association information, is more influential than military might.
To wield the power of the pen effectively one must have power behind it. That power can be in the form of military might but, does not have to be. And as the most powerful nation in the world—not just militarily, but economically, in terms of political influence, soft power, and by virtually any metric—the United States should be in a position to capitalize by wielding information in the service of US national interests. And yet, we’re not very good at it, objectively or compared to other governments. Why?
What say you?