Figure 1.--

With the demise of the Eurpean empires a new issue has emerged. First the Communists and than others have charged that America and Europe maintain a neo-colonial world system which dominates and exploits developing countries. One author writes, "NATO and US are trying to take over the world through the slow erosion of indigenous cultures. Economic groups such as the World Bank and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) are used to undermine local governments." This is a charge whih has been widely adopted in the Islamic world.

European Colonialism

European colonialism at it's heighth in the late 19th century dominated much of Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The coloninization of the Americas (16th-17th century) and India (18th century) was followed in the 19th century with creation of colonia enclaves in China, the Scramble for Africa, and gunboat diplomacy. The actual colonial regimes varied from country to country. Perhaps the most pernicious was the Belgian rule of the Congo. But the desire to exploit the colonies economically and te prevalent doctrines of religious intolerance, social Darwinism, and white superority created situations in which great harm was done to colonial peoples. The colonial regimes were often justified by paternalistic Victoriam morality, but rarely did pious good intentions result in imrovements in regimes benfitting native people. Many third world countries continue to blame imperialism for their current difficulties. Some of these charge are valid, in many other instances they are used to mask varing levels of corruption, ineptitude, and venile behavior. Despite the exploitative nature of imperialism, the overall impact is more complicated than often depicted. Imperialism did speed the spred of modern technology and medicine to Aia and Africa. As critical as Indians were of the British, the heritage of British law, democracy, and English law are crutical elements of modern India. Another still unsettled question is whether the colonies really returned mote than the military and admistrative cost of maintainung them. Here economists are deeply divided. Some charge is that colonial peoples suffered because the colonial power dumped inferior goods on protectedcolonial markets. This was not the case for the British Empire which except for relatively brief periods (such as the Depression) was a free market empire. One not well understood aspect of European colonial rule was the class structure introduced there.

Cold War

One of the battlegrounds of the Cold war was the developing countries of the Third World. The Soviets made extensive use of the charge of neo-colonialism, especially after most European colonies achieved their independence in the 1950s and 60s. Many elietes in these countries were influenced by the socilistic economics and charges that America and Europe exploited colonies and subsequently independent third world countries. The result was one economic disater after another. The greatest economic disasters were in countries most hostile to the West and totally free of Western economic influence, the Communist countries like China, Korea, and Vietnam which became some of the poorest countries in the world. Similar economic failures occurred in India and Africa where elites attempted to introduce state controlled economies. There were success stories during this era, but they were all in countries most fully involved with trade with America and other Western countries. Consideable success was achieved in Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. In recent economic with the end of the Cold War, economic success has been achieved in India and China as these two counties began to introduce Free Market reforms and expand trade with America and the West.

American Satellites

The Soviets during the Cold War others, especially the Islamo-Fascists, today refer to American satellites. We know that the Soviets during the Cold War did have satellites meaning countries they completelly controlled. They essentially selected the proxy leaders, exploited the local economies, and directed domestic and foreign policies. This is not a mater of seious controversy, but quite easy to demonstrate. Two of the most obvious is that 1) Soviet satellites voted in lock step with the Soiviet Union in the United Nations and 2) the Soviets intervened militarily in each country where Soviet control was threatened. Islamo-Fascists today use the term satellite to describe any country which cooperates with the United States. Now there is no doubt that the United States is influential im many countries. There are no countries, however, which vote in lock step with the United States. The economic relationships between the United States and Third World countries are also interesting. Two countries often used as examples of American satellites are Taiwan and South Korea. South Korea adopted highly protectionistic trade policies and until the 1990s economic crisis, foreign including American companies were largely excluded from the Korean economy. Both Taiwan and Korea developed vibrant economies, economies that have becun to successfully compete with american companies--hardly the behavior of satellite countries.

Leftist Ideology

A typical lefitist charge rins as follows. "NATO and US are trying to take over the world through the slow erosion of indigenous cultures. Economic groups such as the World Bank and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) are used to undermine local governments. But this is just the top of the iceberg. As a child, I would hear people talking about the United States. In most my toys I could read: ¨MADE IN USA¨. Somehow life brought me up and little by little I had to open my eyes. And although it had forever been my ilussion to go to the country of FREEDOM and PEACE, I realised about the truth and my whole world came tumbling down... I learnt of imperialism, I learnt of war, I learnt of abuse... I learnt of black people dying, I learnt the word ¨racism¨, I heard the echoes of American ignorance. And the worst thing I had to learn, was that the people on that country called themselves ¨Americans¨... so, the rest of the people who live in Argentina, Mexico, Canada, Cuba... aren't they Americans? Throughout these pages I wish to offer you the chance to learn about some topics we are usually prevented from reaching. THIS IS NOT AN ANTI-AMERICAN PAGE. I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST AMERICANS. I DO PROTEST AGAINST THEIR GOVERNMENT, BUT NEVER AGAINST THE PEOPLE. THE WORLD MUST UNDERSTAND THAT ALTHOUGH THE U.S. GOVERNMENT SHALL BE OVERTHROWNED, THE CITIZENS OF THE U.S. SHALL NOT BE DAMAGED. I WISH TO MAKE AMERICANS WAKE UP FROM THEIR "FANTASY WORLD" SO WE CAN ALL SHARE OUR PLANET." [USSR Comrade]


USSR Comrade. "The TRUE United States of America - Neocolonialism and legal terrorism," website accessed June 6, 2004.


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Created: June 6, 2004
Last updated: June 6, 2004