Modern Imperialism and Former Colonies

Words: 1744
Topic: Politics & Government

When colonization of most African and Asian countries ended, the ruling regimes or mother countries did not fully exit; thus, giving rise to neocolonialism. However, while imperialism existed during the colonization era, the current society has coined the word into modern imperialism to fit the current strong economic, social and political influence from the West.

Although most states are autonomous, the United States of America and European nations are the main countries, which practice modern imperialism. Consequently, due to modern imperialism former West colonies refrain from economic globalization.

Economic globalization is an aspect whereby different countries depend on each other in activities like trade, communication, and technological development among others. Modern imperialism has intertwined with economic dominance forcing countries to fear economic globalization in the current century.

Economic globalization focuses on economic prosperity for all involved nations. However, there is an imbalance in the benefits incurred during economic globalization because of modern imperialism. The origin of imperialism dates back in the colonial times whereby the negative effect of the ideology outweighed the positive effect.

Besides the building of the transport systems and opening up of trade along the coast, according to Marks Roberts, the effect of colonialism experienced in late 19th Century and early 20th century still lingers on today (40). For instance, during industrialization most African and Asian states served as sources of cheap raw materials and labor for Americans and most countries in central Europe.

Similarly, the same problem is still experienced today whereby the export of raw materials to industrialized nations is cheaper than the importation of the processed product. Eventually, the African, Asians and some of the South American states fear economic globalization.

Furthermore, according to political analysts like Anthony McGrew and Paul Lewis, globalization has raised the essence of competitiveness in nearly all participating nations (50). Globalization affects the production of goods and services, provision of labor and even the diversion of technology. Consequently, the physical and human capital come into play thus, affecting productivity and effectiveness of currency, services, and goods offered.

Therefore, when modern imperialism creeps into economic globalization, only the nations with a strong currency, high GDP and latest technological development have the power to control the world economies. Due to this effect, modern imperialism has affected the upward growth of world economic globalization.

Only a few selected countries like the United States of America and some from Central Europe take charge or manage world development programs because of their ability to fund economic activities.

The fear of competition especially among the third world countries is an aspect that has partly been contributed by modern imperialism. Due to imperialism, the problem of percentage gain and equitable sharing of the resources at the international level has raised fear in developing countries and more so, the Asian people.

Professor Michael intriligator of California University says, “Indeed many of the gains have been going to the rich nations or individuals, creating greater inequalities and leading to potential conflicts nationally and internationally (Roland 11).

Intuitively, the so-called rich nations are the former colonizers of the developing countries who have embarked on practicing imperialism but in a modern manner where there is no employment of force or military power. Due to imperialism, the gap between the poor and the rich nations is on the rise.

Similarly, the poor people are growing poorer while the rich become richer; thus, sending a shiver in the practice of economic globalization especially by the developing and the underdeveloped countries. Although there are few countries in East Asia that have recorded tremendous growth, the poor countries are yet to reap the fruits of economic globalization; thus, de-motivating them from economic globalization.

International conflicts have also come up especially due to the marginalization of the poor countries by the rich countries, which now are collaborating up with the giants of East Asia. The question is why are these nations in Africa, Asia, and Central America lagging in economic growth despite their interconnection with the super nations?

The aspects of inequality, superiority, and inequity as portrayed by modern imperialism have de-motivated these nations. The major challenge is sharing, which has led to dissatisfaction and disparity of the poor nations despite contributing to the world economy. Poor nations cite exploitation by the rich nations as the major factor contributing to their nature of the state; thus, the element of modern imperialism again crops up.

Since independence, most of the poor nations have been collaborating with their former regimes to grow politically and economically. However, besides political deterioration, the economy of most of these states has quickly disintegrated while compared to their rulers. Therefore, the wide difference experienced has contributed to fear in economic globalization.

The leadership, control, and management of international bodies and especially those concerning economic growth lie in the hands of the rich and powerful countries. Poor nations helplessly watch as the super-rich nations indirectly control their markets exports and imports.

For instance, while the poor nations readily accept any junk especially technological equipment from the international market the rich nations, their exports have to undergo scrutinized thoroughly for quality.

For example, according to the standard media group, in February 2013, Kenya fresh produce destined to Europe failed to take off mainly because of the strict and thorough quality assurance process. Thus, the poor attitude, continuous dissatisfaction, and extreme imperialism have led to political outrage thus discouraging these nations from economic globalization.

The superiority of the American and European culture, religion and condemnation of the African state’s culture are some of the factors that have contributed to the slow connection of these nations. Eventually, this affects economic globalization because the developing countries are under force to view the Americans and other European states as superior (Fernandez-Armesto 100).

The procedure of globalization has contributed to the loss of sovereignty of various nations. For instance, currently the United States dollar trades at around 86 Kenyan shilling while the sterling pound trades at 105 Kenyan shillings; therefore, the difference in the influence of the currency affects the Kenyan economic growth. The lending rates from international bodies come with stringent rules.

Besides, the West taking charge of the funds, the lending rates from the international monetary fund and world banks are at higher rates. Thus, most developing and underdeveloped countries are operating debts.

Comparatively, if the world economy is to rise to the same level, then the rich nations should establish subsidized loans to poor economies to ensure establish rapid growth. However, due to imperialism none of the rich countries is ready to alleviate the inequality problem

Similarly, due to imperialism when any of the superpowers or rich nation experience conflict or economic depression all, these experience affects all other nations in the world. The food prices rise up and therefore, the poor countries, which are more poor experience health and social problems like disease outbreaks and hunger.

In the same way, industrialization and collaboration of the world have led to a global crisis like global warming and environmental hazards. Unfortunately, when disasters like floods, droughts, and landslides hit the world, the most affected nations are the poor ones. Besides, lacking funds to manage the disasters, the rich countries only assist when the problem becomes severe, yet they boast of sophisticated equipment to arrest some of these problems.

These factors discourage developing or underdeveloped countries from taking part in the economic globalization process. The economic stability of various nations depends on the stability of the world economy hence the slow or the fear of the economic globalization. Therefore, the rich nations are yet to convince the poor nations why they should cooperate in the process of economic globalization.

The interference of the superpowers in the control of the political arena and leadership of the developing and underdeveloped countries has led to fear of economic globalization. Zimbabwe is one of the nations, which has destabilized because of political interference.

Besides experiencing international sanctions, the country has deteriorated in both economic and social development. The political leadership fear the loss of sovereignty and eventually the economy. However, international cooperation should assist such countries to rise gradually and not continuously deteriorate.

On the other hand, the investment process has seen that only multinational enterprises from the developed countries establish themselves in the developing countries and not the other way round. Some of these enterprises include MacDonald restaurants, Barclay’s bank, standard chartered bank among others.

Therefore, while the developed countries gain from developing poor countries are yet to benefit from them. Eventually, this practice has made them develop cold feet especially in terms of economic globalization.

The clearest type of modern imperialism is the American imperialism that is currently experienced in most developing countries. As a superpower, America has established military bases all over the world. However, it is involvement in nations where there are both political and civil wars has not led to peace.

For instance, the American military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan has seen objections while the late Venezuelan president, Hague Chavez resisted cooperation with the West with the fear of oil exploitation, however, this move is due to modern imperialism that has led to a slow down in economic globalization.

In conclusion, although the practice of imperialism seemed to stop when most countries attained their independence, the problem has again cropped up in modern society. According to Robert Marks, the establishment of international markets, international organizations and agreements have contributed to the interconnections of various countries (20).

Technological development has played a great role in turning the world into a global village. However, the continued domination of the western countries, which control the social, economic and political arena of the world, has made the third world countries to distance themselves from economic globalization.

While globalization seems to be playing a role in the development of the world the superiority of the world superpowers has de-moralized the participation of some countries because of fear of losing sovereignty. Finally, unless inequity, inequality, and reduction in disparity especially in resource distribution end economic globalization will not come by easily.

Works cited

Fernandez-Armesto, Felipe. The World: A History, Combined Volume. New York: Pearson publishers, 2010. Print.

Marks, Robert. The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-first Century (World Social Change). New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006. Print.

McGrew, Anthony and Lewis, Paul. Global Politics: Globalization and the Nation-State. Oxford, Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers, 1992.Print.

Roland, Robertson. Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture. London: Sage Publishers,1992. Print.