Imperialism the big brother of Colonialism or is it the other way around? It’s seems like the chicken or the egg question and researchers are not agreeing on this point yet. What we do know is that empires have existed in ancient times as well as today and also colonies have been set up throughout time. We could say that Colonialism started off with curiosity for other parts of the world, the adventure of finding new land and foods. Once seeing these countries, full of resources that didn’t belong to them, the colonist were stimulated to take that which didn’t belong to them. So they colonialized these countries in order to have a say in these resources. The imperialist also took land that didn’t belong to them to enlarge their imperium, with or without resources. Whereas todays Imperialism is more about gaining control over other areas in the world by influencing groups of people. This can be done in various ways, where we see today that Imperialism is not only an act of countries suppressing other countries, it’s as well an act of influencing people worldwide by corporations. Marxist once said that Imperialism is the ultimate form of Capitalism, which can be understood when people in developed countries are measured by the brands they wear and use. They breath Capitalism.
When we have a look at the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of Imperialism we see the following explanation:
a policy or practise by which a country increases its power by gaining control over other areas of the world.
the effect that a powerful country or group of countries has in changing or influencing the way people live in other, poorer countries.
These explanations lay out the basics of Imperialism, but there is more to it. There are various ways of Imperialism such as Cultural Imperialism, Political Imperialism, Economic Imperialism, Corporate Imperialism etc.
Cultural Imperialism and its problems:
Is forcing our cultural values and preferences upon another minority such as American and European pop music being in the charts of a developing society. As well as making American and European artwork into Art and that of African artist into craftsmanship. In both examples we are speaking about the domination of another group of people that we as developed countries determine as less. The problem is that we as developed countries force them into this position in which they will never become more than their oppressors.
Political Imperialism and its problems:
Is forcing political control over another country and replacing their government with a puppet government is not new and at the same time it’s not at all threatened by extinction yet. We’ve seen this happening in the Cold War on both sides with the United States and the Soviet Union. Also in Iraq and Africa we’ve seen how Political Imperialism played out. Almost in every case it looked good and noble when these empires took over the local regime, though it always ended up in a bigger nightmare for its native inhabitants. Once the imperialists had what they wanted, resources or land, there was no interest in the native inhabitants left whatsoever.
In Libya the American empire murdered Gaddafi after he had organized a society where all could benefit. Afterwards the entire country has fallen in disrepair and up until today citizens are fleeing the country to Europe. Here we can see that Imperialism has contributed to the massive problems of illegal immigration and people dying on boats on the ocean.
Economic Imperialism and its problems:
Is forcing countries into cheap labour for the empires while lying through their teeth about the real intensions when they offer these companies and countries work. Even organizations as the World Bank have to make this scam look valid and legal, while they are robbing these countries through unfair contracts. There is no way developing countries will get upon their own two feet when the developed countries do not stop dominating them. In India we’ve seen many farmers commit suicide after they’d taken a microcredit of the imperialists.
Corporate Imperialism and its problems:
Is forcing to break the national spirit of a country and its only concern is how to maximize profit. It has nothing to do with bringing civilization to developing countries; it’s about robbing a nation of its resources, whether that is natural or human resources. We could see that for instance in the Iraq war a corporation such as Halliburton was practicing Corporate Imperialism where public resources were allocated to reconstruction while they profited from it. Here we could see the slogan of Imperialism, destroy, rebuild, occupy and exploit in the flesh.
So what is it exactly what we’re looking at here besides another ISM. With Capitalism we already saw that greed was a big influence, also with Imperialism greed is a big motivator. Though when we dig a bit deeper we can also see that in the foundation Imperialism is the lack of the ability to share. If one is satisfied with oneself and ones situation, there is no need to expand in a material way and keeping it all for oneself. Imperialism is imbedded in our developed country genes. There are enough resources to feed the entire planet, yet some have food and some have not. The question we could ask is: when is enough enough? What makes people from developed countries so unwilling to share? Maybe once they’ve tasted from the imperialistic elixir they were hooked?
Sharing is an act of self-honestly taking unconditionally all that you need, while considering as well the needs of others.
When we look at the construct of sharing and how that is pre-programmed within us and modelled by the living examples that we call parents, we can see that sharing comes naturally when the living examples in our lives have that same tendency. So if we see the empire as a child and their toy is crude oil, then we can see that some children see their toy as a part of themselves, an extension as you will. So the empire sees crude oil as their possession and a part of who they are. The empire uses up litres or gallons of oil, because that’s the way they live. So here we can see how important the genes of the child are, its personality and its environment. The empire is used taking all that there is for its pleasure, it has a personality of glamour and spending and its environment is breathing crude oil. We can say that the empire has a projected attachment to crude oil, which means that it has a strong connection with it and that it identifies itself with it.
Since a parent of a child has a big influence over the way the child is going to perceive sharing. So who the is the parent of an empire? That must be the emperor himself, or the one that is directing the empire. When the parent has to have a certain item so badly we see this same urge within the child playing out in different situations. So when the emperor wants crude oil so badly because he believes strongly that all oil is his own, the empire will use a lot of gasoline in their cars, because they believe they’re entitled to have freedom and go wherever they want to go. So after many many decades the empire doesn’t even grasp the point that crude oil is off the earth, through their possessive urge that is bigger than themselves they feel all oil is already theirs and they are entitled to take it no matter what.
So the empire’s mind tells it that it needs crude oil and thus they will justify anything to get to the crude oil. Ultimately it’s the pre-programming of the survival of the fittest, with an underlying current of the fear of not having, missing out and the fear of loss. So by taking and not sharing, the empire starts feeling completed and more than anything else around it. And that’s where the war machines come in, to take all it can take, simply because it can.
Due to the polarized nature of this unequal way of sharing it would have been as easy to share and live equally. George Orwell said it already in his famous book Animal Farm: “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” That’s the entire construct of the personality of an empire; I am more equal than you and I have the right to screw with you.
It is obvious that Imperialism is not going to do any good for our planet and all life on it. Yet we still have to deal with the physical consequences of it on a daily base and more consequences are still produced. A Dutch organization started an Urban mining project in Africa and collects cell phones, pay people money for it and ship it back to the developed countries. In those countries they perform the mining in a safe way and collect metals and minerals from the cell phones. When this mining is done in Africa on dumping grounds, they simply burn the materials and do not get all minerals out and cause major health problems in the youngsters who do this work. So for the coming years we will have to be creative about how to deal with the consequences of Imperialism/old school Capitalism and at the same time think about how to organize our world in such a way that sharing becomes natural to all.
Many alternatives are already in place, people that like to base entire societies on sharing alone, or paying with your heart. Which is all right within a small community, but at this stage in time not yet a way to reorganize globally. Lets use fair pricing first where all parties who collaborate in making a product get their fair share, where no one gets exploited by imperialistic urges.
Many countries have these special courses for foreigners that want to apply for a citizenship. Native citizens never have to take a test. Wouldn’t it be fair to test the waters of all your inhabitants as a country to see if they are content and confident in the future of their country they live in. Ask the people what they see as solutions for certain problems, make it automated and form groups that can address the problems and solutions and really interact with the inhabitants native or by choice. When we make happy citizens we make a happy country. The same as in parenting, when the child is happy the parent is happy. And with happy we do not mean creating an society with no responsibility that’s hunting for freedom no matter what the consequences are. Its good to know what sucks according to a countries inhabitants, when a country gives them self-responsibility to come up with solutions the inhabitants feel respected and validated and ready to participate. As now a days discontent of citizens ends up in activism or verbal diarrhea on social media. Give people the tools to become constructive beings and share their knowledge, since sharing is caring.
Within the Living Income Guaranteed we give people the opportunity to think along and share their experience and knowledge to build an economic system that is best for all and that doesn’t need an empire to move itself. So care and share and help building your own future and that of your children and children’s children. Connect yourself with LIG.