Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How America is a Neo-Colonial power

Neo-colonialism was a term coined by Kwame Nkrumah to refer to countries that, while not occupying other coutnries directly, exerts decisive influence over their economic and political life. Originally the term referred to ex-colonial powers using corporations and diplomacy to maintain control over their former possessions, but can be expanded to refer to countries that have never occupied the states that they're exerting influence over. Both the U.S. and the Soviet Union exhibited characteristics of neo-colonial powers, and looking at the Soviet Union's method sheds light on how the United States draws countries into their neo-colonial fold.

Back in the Cold War a country was said to be starting to come under Soviet influence when they took steps to change their economy to one resembling the Soviet Union. This usually went beyond some sort of general socialist policy into adopting central planning resembling that used in the Soviet Union. Then there'd be economic treaties between the two countries, then mutual defence assistance and foreign aid for economic development. Buying into a series of Soviet centric treaties and international organizations was kind of the last step before formally acknowledging the Soviet Union as a fraternal state.

Look at what the U.S. does with promoting neoliberalism. Neoliberalism as formulated in the United States, stemming from the Chicago school of economics headed by Milton Friedman, is very unique. It's something that leaves definite traces if a country adopts the sorts of policies they promote. So when a country liberalizes their economy through applying the ideas of the Chicago school they buy into the U.S.'s economic model, just as a specific type of central planning indicated buying into the Soviet Union's economic model. Then there come military bases, formal economic treaties, mutual defense agreements, then political decisionmaking pledged to harmony with the U.S.'s interests, with explicit endorsement of the U.S.'s policy view of the world.

Neoliberalism and the new "Global War on Terror", and countries responses to U.S. lead initiatives regarding them, provide many examples of how U.S influence percolates over countries, with certain states in Central Asia becoming somewhat virtual colonies of the U.S. in political terms while certain countries in South America and elsewhere, for instance Peru, where NAFTA is being expanded to, provide examples of the U.S. lead economic neocolonial influence.

The U.S. directs its empire from afar, not occupying countries in most cases, but an overseas empire forged thrugh virtual bonds of domination exists nonetheless.

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