United Nations and World

Neocolonialism describes how, after World War II, colonial powers started using economics i. e. lending and interest rates, to control former colonies and cultivate new areas, thereby creating political, economic and social dependencies. Neocolonialism describes certain economic operations at the international level which have alleged similarities to the traditional colonialism of the 16th to the 20th centuries.

The contention is that governments have aimed to control other nations through indirect means; that in lieu of direct military-political control, neocolonialist powers employ economic, financial, and trade policies to dominate less powerful countries. Those who subscribe to the concept maintain this amounts to a de facto control over targeted nations Previous colonizing states, and other powerful economic states, contain a continuing presence in the economies, especially where it concerns raw materials, of former colonies.

After a hastened decolonization process of the Belgian Congo, Belgium continued to control, through The Societe Generale de Belgique, roughly 70% of the Congolese economy following the decolonization process. The most contested part was in the province of Katanga where the Union Miniere du Haut Katanga, part of the Societe, had control over the mineral and resource rich province. After a failed attempt to nationalize the mining industry in the 1960s, it was reopened to foreign investment.

Critics of neocolonialism portray the choice to grant or to refuse granting loans (particularly those financing otherwise unpayable Third World debt), especially by international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank, as a decisive form of control. They argue that in order to qualify for these loans (as well as other forms of economic aid), weaker nations are forced to take steps (structural adjustments) favourable to the financial interests of the IMF/WB, but detrimental to their own economies and often safety, increasing rather than alleviating their poverty.

Some critics emphasize that neocolonialism allows certain cartels of states, such as the World Bank, to control and exploit (usually) lesser developed countries (LDCs) by fostering debt. In effect, third world rulers give concessions and monopolies to foreign corporations in return for consolidation of power and monetary bribes. In most cases, much of the money loaned to these LDCs is returned to the favored foreign corporations. Thus, these foreign loans are, in effect, subsidies to crony corporations of the loaning state’s rulers. This collusion is sometimes referred to as “the corporatocracy.

” Organizations accused of participating in neo-imperialism include the World Bank, World Trade Organization and Group of Eight, and the World Economic Forum. Various “first world” states, notably the United States, are said to be involved. An insider’s first-hand description of the corporatocracy is described in the book Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins. Critics of neocolonialism also attempt to demonstrate that investment by multinational corporations enriches few in underdeveloped countries, and causes humanitarian (as well as environmental and ecological) devastation to the populations which inhabit ‘neocolonies.

‘ This, it is argued, results in unsustainable development and perpetual underdevelopment; a dependency which cultivates those countries as reservoirs of cheap labor and raw materials, while restricting their access to advanced production techniques to develop their own economies. By contrast, supporters of the concept of neocolonialism argue that, while the First World does profit from cheap labour and raw materials in underdeveloped nations, ultimately, it does serve as a positive modernizing force for development in the Third World.

ECONOMIC CONTROL The contention is that governments have aimed to control other nations through indirect means; that in lieu of direct military-political control, neocolonialist powers employ economic, financial, and trade policies to dominate less powerful countries. Those who subscribe to the concept maintain this amounts to a de facto control over targeted nations Previous colonizing states, and other powerful economic states, contain a continuing presence in the economies, especially where it concerns raw materials, of former colonies.

After a hastened decolonization process of the Belgian Congo, Belgium continued to control, through The Societe Generale de Belgique, roughly 70% of the Congolese economy following the decolonization process. The most contested part was in the province of Katanga where the Union Miniere du Haut Katanga, part of the Societe, had control over the mineral and resource rich province. After a failed attempt to nationalize the mining industry in the 1960s, it was reopened to foreign investment.

Critics of neocolonialism portray the choice to grant or to refuse granting loans (particularly those financing otherwise unpayable Third World debt), especially by international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank, as a decisive form of control. They argue that in order to qualify for these loans (as well as other forms of economic aid), weaker nations are forced to take steps (structural adjustments) favourable to the financial interests of the IMF/WB, but detrimental to their own economies and often safety, increasing rather than alleviating their poverty.

Some critics emphasize that neocolonialism allows certain cartels of states, such as the World Bank, to control and exploit (usually) lesser developed countries (LDCs) by fostering debt. In effect, third world rulers give concessions and monopolies to foreign corporations in return for consolidation of power and monetary bribes. In most cases, much of the money loaned to these LDCs is returned to the favored foreign corporations. Thus, these foreign loans are, in effect, subsidies to crony corporations of the loaning state’s rulers. This collusion is sometimes referred to as “the corporatocracy.

” Organizations accused of participating in neo-imperialism include the World Bank, World Trade Organization and Group of Eight, and the World Economic Forum. Various “first world” states, notably the United States, are said to be involved. An insider’s first-hand description of the corporatocracy is described in the book Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins. Critics of neocolonialism also attempt to demonstrate that investment by multinational corporations enriches few in underdeveloped countries, and causes humanitarian (as well as environmental and ecological) devastation to the populations which inhabit ‘neocolonies.

‘ This, it is argued, results in unsustainable development and perpetual underdevelopment; a dependency which cultivates those countries as reservoirs of cheap labor and raw materials, while restricting their access to advanced production techniques to develop their own economies. By contrast, supporters of the concept of neocolonialism argue that, while the First World does profit from cheap labour and raw materials in underdeveloped nations, ultimately, it does serve as a positive modernizing force for development in the Third World.

NEOCOLONIALISM: ORIGINS IN DECOLONIZATION The term neocolonialism first saw widespread use, particularly in reference to Africa, soon after the post-WWII process of decolonization which followed a struggle by many national independence movements in the colonies. Upon gaining independence, some national leaders and opposition groups argued that their countries were being subjected to a new form of colonialism, waged by the former colonial powers and other developed nations.

In Africa, the French played a prominent role in charges of conducting a neocolonialist policy, and that French troops in Africa were (and it is argued, still are) often involved in coups resulting in a regime acting in the interests of France but against its country’s own interests. Denunciations of neocolonialism also became popular with some national independence movements while they were still waging anti-colonial armed struggle.

During the 1970s, in the Portuguese colonies of Mozambique and Angola, for example, the rhetoric espoused by the Marxist movements FRELIMO and MPLA (respectively), which were to eventually assume power upon those nations’ independence, rejected both old colonialism and neocolonialism. NEOCOLONIALIST ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE IMF Those who argue that neocolonialism historically supplanted or supplemented colonialism, point to the fact that Africa today pays more money every year (in loan interest payments) to the IMF/WB than it receives in loans from them, thereby often depriving the inhabitants of those countries from actual necessities.

This dependency, they maintain, allows the IMF/WB to impose Structural Adjustment Plans upon these nations. Adjustments largely consisting of privatization programmes which they say result in deteriorating health, education, an inability to develop infrastructure, and in general, lower living standards. They also point to recent statements made by United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Economic Adviser, Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, who heatedly demanded that the entire African debt (~$200 billion) be forgiven outright and recommended that African nations simply stop paying if the WB/IMF do not reciprocate:

The time has come to end this charade. The debts are unaffordable. If they won’t cancel the debts I would suggest obstruction; you do it yourselves. Africa should say: ‘thank you very much but we need this money to meet the needs of children who are dying right now so we will put the debt servicing payments into urgent social investment in health, education, drinking water, control of AIDS and other needs. ‘ (Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Economic Advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan).

Critics of the IMF have conducted studies as to the effects of its policy which demands currency devaluations. They pose the argument that the IMF requires these devaluations as a condition for refinancing loans, while simultaneously insisting that the loan be repaid in dollars or other First World currencies against which the underdeveloped country’s currency had been devalued — this, they say, increases the respective debt by the same percentage of the currency being devalued, therefore amounting to a scheme for keeping Third World nations in perpetual indebtedness, impoverishment and neocolonial dependence.

Neo-colonialism refers to the dominance of some nations over others by means of unequal conditions of economic exchange. In other words, neo-colonialism exists when one nation is dependent upon another because the weaker nation is unable to survive economically in the modern world without the aid of the stronger nation, this dependence is only created by the stronger nations and is made to let the smaller nation feel that as if a favor is being done towards their kind.

Neo-colonialism, unlike earlier methods of imperialism (i. e., the old empire system), is not founded upon the direct imposition of political power by one society upon another. Instead, neo-colonialism uses the power of economics in the modern world as a way for richer countries to keep poorer countries from stepping outside of the roles that richer countries have defined for them.

NEO-COLONIALISM REDEFINED: Neo-colonialism exists in the world in many degrees today. The most obvious and straightforward example of neo-colonialism today is the relationship between industrialized societies and the Third World.

Third World nations are largely dependent upon the industrialized world for money with which to purchase food, shelter, and other essentials. Industrialized nations are willing to give this in terms of aid; in return, however, the Third World nations often have to go along with the foreign policies of the nations that aided them or face the prospect of the elimination of aid. Other, less obvious examples of neo- colonialism exist all over the globe. Any time an aid package is given from one nation to another, it could be considered an example of neo- colonialism.

Any time an intrusive foreign policy is allowed by a foreign entity, it could be considered an example of neo- colonialism. Neo- colonialism, as a general concept, throws a large shadow over modern economic and diplomatic policy in all nations because of the strongly global aspect of modern international dealings. It is the belief in the idea of neo- colonialism, particularly in the sense that it is merely an updated form of the old imperialistic system, which has caused many nations to openly dislike and oppose the United States; it is often apparent that the United States is the leader in developing neo-imperialistic relationships with other nations.

Many nations believe that this neo-imperialistic attitude that the United States often takes through strong foreign aid packages and an intrusive foreign policy add up to just a modern form of the old British Empire that many of them fought for years to throw off. This begs the question of whether or not neo-imperialism is morally right. On the one hand, without the large aid packages, the already-low standard of living in many Third World nations would be much worse than it already is.

On the other hand, however, it does give industrialized nations such as the United States a great deal of influence and power over these nations when it comes to foreign policy. It is a question that will have to be resolved in order for the modern world to be at peace. Cultural neo-imperialism is also a threat. When stronger nations give aid to weaker nations, quite often the culture of the stronger nation is accepted along with the aid. The result of this is often a strong cultural clash, as can be exhibited when people in Third World nations receiving aid are demonstrating symbols of the cultures of the industrialized world.

This can often result in the alteration of and destruction of cultures, another strong danger of neo-imperialism. Neo-imperialism is a very general way to view many of the new issues that are developing and will develop as our world grows smaller due to more effective communication and contact between foreign nations. In this new world, we all need to be very careful that we do not fall into the traps of the past and instead build new bridges into the future. “Wars are the inevitable accompaniment of imperialism”. -Georgi Dimitrov, Comintern Secretary-General, 1939

Vladimir Lenin saw imperialism as the highest form of capitalism. His interpretation of imperialism was the export of capital overseas. This was what Lenin called “imperialism”. There were many reasons why the imperialistic West wanted to seek overseas colonies. The example most people are familiar with the French occupation of Indochina, so we shall consider this. The three things a colony can provide its master with are – 1. Natural resources 2. Cheap labor to exploit these resources with and to work in other industry 3.

New markets for the master’s goods There is a primary economic reason why labor is so much cheaper in Asia and Africa, and it’s a matter of supply and demand. In countries which are mostly based on agriculture at a subsistence level, most workers in the country are engaged in this farming. They are usually very poor and have no alternative to this way of life, until foreign business arrives. Why is Nike able to pay their workers a fraction of what an equivalent worker in the West would receive? Because the supply of jobs is low and demand is high.

Nike know that the opportunity cost for their workers of taking the job is not being able to work in subsistence farming – if the jobs end up more profitable overall for the worker, even at such a low wage, then Nike can retain the worker at a very small cost. France subdued Indochina by force. Western businesses opened up in the cities and the French used forced labor to improve local infrastructure and work in heavy industry. This relationship was, in general, good for the French and bad for the Indochinese.

Eventually, Vietnam declared itself, independent and fought long and hard to achieve that dream. That was imperialism. So what exactly is neo-imperialism? After World War II, there was an upsurge of liberation movements throughout the World, and the West began to lose or cede control of its colonies. Those who use the term neo-imperialism are accusing (most likely rightfully so) the West of trying to retain shady control of their old colonies through economic or political manipulation. Neo-imperialism hence can take forms such as – 1.

Foreign aid. It is undeniable that foreign aid is a tool of international relations, there to serve some purpose to the country giving the aid. This purpose, it is claimed by those accusing the West of neo-imperialism, is to retain a sphere of influence over foreign countries by making them dependent on our support. “What’s that, North Korea, you’re developing nuclear weapons? Not if you want aid you’re not! ” 2. Cultural imperialism. When foreign aid is given, or companies set up abroad, they often take the culture of their homeland with them.

This, it is claimed, destroys the heterogeneous nature of the world and is in some indefinable way “evil”. Accusations of cultural imperialism range from American products being on sale in the United Kingdom to other countries adopting Western legal and government practices. 3. Western companies setting up abroad. While economic to the businesses for the reasons above, many advocates of the redistribution of wealth think that the foreign businesses should pay their African and Asian workers a lot more for moral reasons. This is a moral and economic minefield, and by any measure isn’t likely to happen soon.

Whatever conclusions are to be drawn from this, it is evident, neo-imperialism is the new capitalist way of the world and won’t change anytime soon. The newest attempt of neo-colonialism / neo-imperialism by the United States was the recent invasion of Iraq. Not too late after the invasion of Afghanistan. The United States continues it’s pursuit of neo-imperialism to strengthen it’s stronghold in the middle-east. While it is not enough that all of middle-east is already filled with American politics, they further seek dominance by the subjugation of the Iraqi nationals under the name of liberty and freedom from oppression.

The reason for this is not only to ‘bless’ Iraq with American multinationals but to establish a firm foothold on the abundant oil supply that Iraq has to offer. The puppet government currently installed by Bush and Rumsfeld ensures that once excavation of the vast oil deposits begins, America has first take on it. In the eye of world politics America is playing the brave hero who is risking billions of dollars a year in training soldiers and the redevelopment of Iraq after the war caused destruction. Apparently they have nothing to gain according to American leaders however the obvious needs not be expressed in so many words.

The redevelopment ensures that for the next several generations to come, Iraqi people are enslaved to the Americans in kind. While it has only been slightly in excess of three years since the invasion of Iraq, American (mostly Israel backed) multinationals are already popping up all over the Iraqi economic map. These include telecommunication giants, computer hardware and software companies, Nike, fashion giants and cosmetic companies. Hence benefits are already being reaped in lieu of the ‘liberation’ of Iraq.

The long term repayment will occur after the excavation of the oil fields begins sometime in the next couple of years, although it has already begun on a smaller scale. What the future holds for Iraq is uncertain, but it is definite that they’re going to play an important part in American economics and politics and will serve as very crucial step for the foothold America has established in the middle-east. The “hand over” of Iraq took place last year in January. This government is supposedly “sovereign”–meaning that it controls the country’s affairs and destiny. The new government held elections in January 2005.

The U. S. is also working behind the scenes to set precedents, pass laws, place advisers and pro-U. S. Iraqis throughout the state, and create institutions and levers of control so that it can continue to dominate Iraq’s future. Behind the smokescreen of “sovereignty,” the U. S. has been locking in decisions made during the occupation so that these “facts on the ground” cannot be changed by the new Iraqi government. Although the U. S. -appointed Iraqi Governing Council dissolved itself on June 1, this handpicked group of collaborators have appointed themselves seats in the new Interim National Council.

According to the Christian Science Monitor (June 24), this 100-member assembly “will have power to approve the 2005 budget, veto executive orders with a two-thirds majority, and appoint replacements to the presidency. ” And, according to the Monitor, “The former council also guaranteed itself seats on a head-spinning array of committees that will select other members of the new body. ” The June 15 UN resolution states that Allawi’s government must refrain “from taking any actions affecting Iraq’s destiny beyond the limited interim period until an elected Transitional Government of Iraq assumes office. ” The U. S.

has also been setting up mechanisms for control of Iraq’s economy. Bremer’s Order 39, enacted in September 2003, privatized state-owned enterprises, allowing for 100% foreign ownership of businesses in all sectors except oil and mineral extraction. The order also gives foreign corporations unrestricted ability to take profits made in Iraq out of the country, without taxes. None of the multi-million-dollar contracts that Bremer’s occupation authority signed with U. S. companies can be reviewed by the new government. According to a report by Chris Shumway on Antiwar. com (June 24), “A last minute spending spree by the U. S.

-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and language in the UN Security Council resolution setting the conditions for Iraqi sovereignty appear likely to limit the interim government’s ability to exercise meaningful control over the country’s oil revenues. According to documents posted on its own website, the CPA’s little-known Program Review Board (PRB) has quietly committed billions of dollars in Iraq’s oil revenues to new contracts that critics say will enrich U. S. and British corporations while limiting the amount of revenue Iraq’s new interim government will have at its disposal when it assumes authority from the CPA on June 30.

Of the PRB’s 12 voting members, all of whom were appointed by and report directly to CPA administrator Paul Bremer, only two represent Iraqi government ministries. The other voting members include one representative each from the Australian and British governments; a member of the Council for International Cooperation; a representative from USAID; and six representatives from various CPA divisions. ” Even as they attempt to tighten their grip over Iraq, the U. S. faces a raft of problems and deep contradictions in Iraq–especially the Iraqi people’s deep hatred for the

occupation. The first opinion poll after the revelation of the Abu Ghraib tortures, commissioned by the Coalition Provisional Authority, found that 80% of Iraqis have “no confidence” in either the U. S. or its rump government. The Associated Press called the poll results a “stark picture of anti-American sentiment. ” Statements quoted by London’s Independent (June 10) reflected sentiments that are widespread among the Iraqi people. An Iraqi computer salesman said, “I don’t believe there will be a transfer of power. It is just a show for the international community.

” A shopkeeper added, “We Iraqis are rejecting this decision because it will turn Iraq back to the British occupation period. At that time there was an Iraqi government but it was just a puppet. ” The armed resistance against the occupation continues to rage, and the U. S. is responding with brutal military campaigns. In Fallujah, the U. S. military declared they were conducting air strikes against Zarqawi–who the Bush administration claims, with little or no evidence, is a top al-Qaida operative. According to people in Fallujah, the U. S. bombings hit residential neighborhoods and killed many residents.

On June 24, just six days before the “handover,” resistance fighters launched a series of coordinated attacks against U. S. forces and Iraqi government targets in Baghdad, Mosul, Ramadi, and Baquba. The intense fighting forced the U. S. troops to pull out of Baquba, a small city 31 miles northeast of Baghdad. After this series of attacks, the Washington Post (June 25) reported, “The 1st Infantry Division soldiers who walked off the battlefield Thursday, exhausted by the frantic pace of combat and a baking summer sun, had seen nothing like it in their three months here.

In dawn-to-dusk fighting, more than 100 armed insurgents overran neighborhoods and occupied downtown buildings, using techniques that U. S. commanders said resembled those once employed by the Iraqi army. Well-equipped and highly coordinated, the insurgents demonstrated a new level of strength and tactical skill that alarmed the soldiers facing them. ” The U. S. and its allies still do not have full control of the cities of Fallujah or Najaf. The Coalition authorities were reportedly “stunned” by the collapse of the Iraqi Governing Council’s police and military units during the recent fighting in southern Iraq.

The Baltimore Sun (June 23) wrote that even with 158,000 troops, the U. S. Coalition “does not control Iraq’s borders, has taken substantial casualties along roads and highways, and avoids key cities such as Fallujah. ” Another major contradiction facing the U. S. is the weak, discredited, and fractious character of the forces it is relying upon in Iraq. These bourgeois and feudal forces, who seek to become a new pro-U. S. comprador ruling class, are so isolated from the Iraqi people that they dare not venture outside their U. S. -protected compound.

According to author Dilip Hiro, “two-thirds of the 36-member interim government carries foreign passports (chiefly British or American)” and “most of the former exiles of the Iraqi Governing Council didn’t even bring their families back to Iraq. ” Since the U. S. occupation began in April 2003, some 100 U. S. -appointed officials have been killed, including two members of the Governing Council. None of the forces the U. S. is relying upon to create a new government represent the genuine interests of the Iraqi masses, and none can transcend the country’s religious and national divisions.

This is why the competition and rivalry between these forces are in many ways increasing (even as all these forces remain overall dependent upon the U. S. as their sponsor and protector). Hence it is easy to see that the neo-colonial nature of this invasion is poisonous for Middle Eastern politics, namely because hatred for the Americans will only grow as time passes. The U. S. hopes to crush the Iraqi resistance and/or entice certain opposition elements to capitulate and join the U. S. -backed government. In recent weeks the Shi’a cleric Moqtada Sadr–whose militias had been carrying out armed actions against the U.

S. occupation forces and U. S. puppet forces in a number of areas–has offered to support the new government and even help maintain “security. ” President Bush has said that the U. S. might allow Sadr to participate in the U. S. -controlled political process. At the same time, the new Iraqi government is vowing to step up counter insurgency (which, of course, will be carried out under U. S. direction and command). And there are signs that the U. S. may be preparing to increase its own troops level after November’s election. The Baltimore Sun (June 23) reported that the U. S.

Central Command “has informally asked Army planners for up to five more brigades — about 25,000 troops — to augment the American force of 138,000 soldiers and Marines now in Iraq. ” Clearly the situation in Iraq remains highly volatile, and the possibility of a major U. S. reversal or defeat can’t be ruled out. As RCP Chairman Bob Avakian put it in his article “New Situations, Great Challenges,” the U. S. rulers’ grab for greater global power carries with it “the potential… for this to get wildly out of control… the imperialists have set things in motion that can’t be easily reversed, and may not be easily controlled.

” What this is paving the way for is a new continent, which I would like to call “America’s Middle East”- while the term may be nothing that hasn’t been already coined, I believe it clearly emphasizes the future of this part of the world. Where exactly will the American ambition of neo-imperialism end? Will the Hilary Clinton administration which comes into effect in 2008 (based on obvious observations and facts) be able to change anything that Bush has started? The flame which has been ignited in the Middle East is raging strongly and the Helm of the flame is in Iraq.

Will Iran be the next target for the U. S? While that may seem a bit outlandish, I don’t think its impossible. Although Iran has a very strong economy, they’re a united nation when it comes to politics. Their own people would never stand for anything like this, not that the Iraqi people wanted an American invasion but they did indeed feel anybody would be better than Saddam. America knows this fact well enough, an invasion of Iran would simply not be feasible and especially not during the time that Bush is on his way out. There would simply be too much clean up work involved when the next U.

S president assumes office. In conclusion, it’s obvious to see we are all victims of a reality that America is painting. The picture may be harsh and may not be harsh depending on who you are, but it certainly is harsh for those living in or near this critical zone (i. e. the Middle East). We are all wrapped in a cocoon created by the U. S where we are enslaved to their neo-imperialistic aims of world domination through economic weapons and politics. Can we escape this reality? It is hard to imagine that will happen considering the power that America has assumed.