Infinity: The Views of a Dreamer
The New Imperialism
Written by Aaron Peterson
Traditionally European colonial projects use the language of civilizing in attempts of justify their actions at the expensive of the indigenous population of the land. In the grab for Africa when European colonialism was at it’s height, the Belgians attempted to use this language in order to justify it’s conquest of the Congo and the division of the Congo people into artificially created groupings. Scientific racism and pseudo-intellectual works were used to forward the plot, in line with mass slaughter of the Congolese people and direct resource theft by the Belgian colonialists. The conquest project of the traditional colonial type continued throughout Africa with European powers, notably the British Empire, France and Portugal attempting to carve their own piece out of Africa in order to exploit the material resources and in the end, profit at the expense of the people of the African land. The traditional colonial project was carried out to the advent of modern imperialism, which had made the traditional actions of colonialism, more so obsolete than anything.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, the markets of the United States and Britain had quickly recovered from the conflict, as had those of Western Europe. The gains made following the war especially in the case of the United States allowed for a level of global imperialism unforeseen even during the times of the Roman Empire. With the idea of two global wars, it became foreseeable for the dominant Western powers with the United States at the frontline to wage a global war in order to expand it’s own influence. Even with the de-colonial struggle at it’s height throughout the 1950’s and the 1960’s, the Western bloc vehemently used it’s might in an attempt to marginalize revolutions that had set the people of the formerly colonial nations in the drivers set of their future. The direct threat of course was that, if the African, Asian or Latin American masses had gained the ability to oust the former landlords and compradors of colonialism, the threat would be that the masses led by representatives of a national level would be capable of controlling the resources and labor power of the nation in the interests of the people. With this, what could be classed as the global anti-imperialist movement began.
With the winding down of the 1960’s and the traditional anti-colonial movements, the new imperialism was put in forefront. The new imperialism, unlike the colonialism of the past had a more developed sense of behavior. It was in all respects, the fully developed and realized nature of capital which needed to expand in order to exploit export prices. While it used many of the strategies of traditional European colonialism, it embraced numerous grey areas of siding with ruling cliques of nations that would in exchange for a blind eye, act not as traditional victims of European colonial dominance but as partners in the imperialist project. The new leaders owed their allegiance foremost to the blocs which had installed them into power through financial backing and in many cases military backing foremost and with this in respect, they began to serve the cause of hegemony as a partner within it. In their own ideas, it was their own interests at the front, in belief that they were permanent figures to be respected by the same entities which began to use their ability to maintain hold of the situation in their given countries and ensure the flow of political influence, foreign capital and exportation of material resources at a lower than market value.
The new imperialist doctrine in it’s ‘greatness’ was completed as a method of planning and action in the early 1970’s with the work of United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. No more would the plan be the direct militarist interference which marked the Vietnam conflict and ultimately led to the demise of the United States led position due to the enemy having been seen as direct and foreign from the land of Vietnam… It instead, wished to return to the roots of European divide and conquer except with amendments being made. In a method of last resort, the new imperialism would put boots on the ground if needed to ultimately secure it’s political hegemony but alas it would attempt to at all costs use the financial bomb first and foremost.
The financial bomb being the attempt to fund groupings on the basis of perceived gains for foreign influence whether national or sub-national. The first portion of the financial bomb, in this sense has presented itself popularly throughout modern history, from the funding of the Contra death squads in order to serve US policy of destroying perceived ‘Soviet influence’ in Latin America to the most modern use of exiled political groupings that had laid in wait as cells to be propped up to power, such was the case of Iraq in 2003 and of Libya in 2011. Of course, the financial bomb has more than one use… The other use are those of sanctions, the financial bomb lays sanctions as landmines in order to destroy soft targets in order to either bend the will of disobedient national groupings or otherwise to destroy them for the first portion to take a true hold. In Iraq, during the 1990’s and up to the US invasion and occupation following 2003… The second half of the financial bomb was used in order to destroy Iraqi industry and food supplies, in order to make an ease of an invasion, which could be summed up in such a sense as a modern day blitzkrieg with Baghdad having been captured in an unbelievable time and with compared to the situations of the past in Korea or Vietnam little material losses.
Of course, the financial bomb is not alone in the arsenal. The newest weapon is the weapon of peace, it is a weapon that creates a humanitarian mythology, as did traditional European colonialism in order to justify direct military actions. The weapon of peace time after time again, has been used as it is a weapon that the people of the nations engaging in aggression can find themselves safely behind. As, it is a harder attempt to question with the emergence of exiled government groupings and the use of propaganda and PR to paint a savage enemy, the legitimacy of attempted interventions. The common form of this portion of doctrine is the “No Fly Zone”, it was famously used in Iraq during the 1990’s in order to surround the nation of Iraq and to secure power for the US backed Kurdish Regional Government (Iraqi Kurdistan). Iraqi Kurdistan, which would be the primary base of operations of safety for the United States military and coalition troops to engage in the occupation of Iraq from 2003-2011. In Libya, it was used in order to propel the rebels with great amounts of PR and NATO bombs against the government of Muammar Gadaffi under the guise of bombing for human rights against the brutality of the Gadaffi regime.
It should be recognized, that while the traditional forms of colonialism still plague the logic, argumentation and direct actions of this new imperialism, it relies on new techniques. As such, with it’s new language and new techniques, it is important to realize these new techniques and strategies. Without the recognition of the new techniques and strategy, it cannot be properly addressed and resulting from this opposed in a truly firm sense.
Infinity: The Views of a Dreamer
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