Although major world powers have always claimed to be working to alleviate the other struggling countries from being overwhelmed by poverty, health care, and other challenges, many of the strategies used are imperialistic. Imperialist practices of the major world powers have had a great impact on the politics and the economies throughout the world. Imperialism is the practice, advocacy or policy of extending dominion and power of a nation by either territorial acquisitions or indirect control over the economic or political life of other countries. Imperialism involves the use of power either in the form of military force or indirect domination and imposing issues. Primarily, it is considered morally unacceptable and reprehensible because it disadvantages the less powerful nations. This study seeks to find out how imperialist practices of world powers have impacted economies and politics around the globe. The focus will be on the one world power namely, the United States of America.
Most of the political and economic rules governing the world are made by powerful countries such as G8 countries to ensure that they remain the most powerful and wealthy (Marks 2). G8 refers to eight countries that have seven leading advanced economies according to International Monetary Fund (IMF). They include Russia, Italy, France, Germany, Britain, United States, Japan, and China. G8 organizes summits to deal with international trade, macroeconomic management and relations with developing countries. Depending on the summit, other issues are also discussed including employment, crime and drugs, information highway, transnational issues like the environment, and political-security issues. The summit also meet during the sudden crisis to give direction that is to be followed by the international community by defining new problems, setting priorities and guiding international organizations that have been established (Marks 1).
United States is a dominant member of the G8 countries with powerful influence both in G8 and other world institutions. Although most of the power is exercised through global financial and trade organizations such as IMF and World Trade Organizations (WTO), it is backed by the military power wielded by the United States, G8 members or North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) (Marks 50). The military force is meant to enforce either financial or political decision that may not be achieved through consensus or have been faced by résistance during implementation. The G8 countries meet and plan the rules in which the financial institutions should follow without considering or consulting from other nations to make come up with an inclusive global economic and political arrangement.
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According to Perkins (1) the World Bank and powerful United States corporations lies and spread their tentacles throughout the world promising payoffs and loans to the leaders of less powerful countries like Third World countries. Such loans or payoffs make such nations remain impoverished and enslaved by these debts because they are paid with interest and for an extended period of time. If the elite leaders of the target countries object, they are assassinated or flamed as corrupt leaders who do not deserve to rule. Assassination and other cases of deceit are planned by the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (Perkins 10). The carefully planned secret systems are designed by both the United States and other powerful countries throughout the world to attack the foundations of democracy and the world’s life support systems (Parenti n.p). Some of the mechanisms that are used to undermine prosperity and drive imperialism include threats, false economics, bribes, debt, coups, extortion, deception and unbridled military power. For instance, world powers hold that financing infrastructure through World Bank debt would pull developing countries to out of poverty and free them from communism (Perkins 12). Experts from USAID which is also one of the financing organizations based in the United States and other agencies reinforce such proposals.
United States overseas expansion is driven by both natural resources cheaper labor markets. Parenti (93) observed that The United States foreign investment in corporate companies grew by 84 % from 1985 to 1990. Such growth is attributed to the ability to obtain cheap-labor countries like South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and Singapore. The loan obtained from the World Bank or international monetary fund would be used to hire United States Company to build infrastructure projects (Parenti n.p). The money that would be used to fund education, healthcare and other social services is diverted toward paying loans. If any government leader refuses to sign such a contract they are to executed or overthrowing by use of a coup. For instance, The CIA facilitated toppled Iranian president referred to as Mosaddegh in 1953 who was succeed by Shah, a ruthless pro-Western ruler who betrayed Iran to foreign oil companies (Perkins 12). Shah was overthrown by a firm leader namely Ayatollah Khomeini during 1979 coup prompting huge disagreement with United States citizens that culminated to the hijacking of 52 United States diplomats and citizens.
Broken relationship with the United States and major European powers initiated sanctions against Iran whose debates continue to this day. Few individuals who sign the deal are highly rewarded and thus becoming few wealthy and master controllers of the planet’s vast natural resources (Bookstore n.p). Through the imperialistic activities, poor citizens of the countries where resources have been taken continue being underprivileged and have poor health, education, social welfare and broken institutions. Correspondingly, a series of violent demonstration and riots are organized to create and impressions that the leaders who refuse to sign the proposed deals are inept, unpopular and corrupt (Perkins 30). International Monetary Fund agents force government officials to award contracts to oil companies from the United States and privatize major companies. The oil companies mine oil in unsustainable ways such as use of cheap labor and environment unfriendly techniques without considering the consequences to the host country and the entire globe (Parenti 56). The mined oil is exported to the United States thus improving the economy at the expense of the countries where oil has been produced. Cheap labor, low taxes, weak labor unions, poor work benefits and lack of environmental and occupational laws further weaken poor nations and benefit the United States. The United States corporate profit in the Third World countries is 50 % more than that of developed countries (Parenti n.p). The money offered as loans is transferred from IMF offices to contracted companies in the United States leaving the company with massive loans to pay. According to Perkins (31), IMF is primarily funded by the Government of the United States and other powerful government in Europe and thus it must serve their interest at all cost.
The United States government uses its agents to promote its corporate and foreign policy interest while promising them that they are out to deter communism from destroying target countries (Bookstore n.p). United States desire and greed drive states agents at the expense of the interest of citizens of the developing countries. Currently, 400 transnational companies control nearly 80 % of the capital assets in the world free market and have continued to extend their grip into the countries that were formally communist in the Eastern Europe (Parenti n.p). These investments are driven by cheap labor, vital natural resources and desire to have political influence in ex-communist countries. If corporations were to lose their Third World investments, many of them argue that they could still survive on their North American and European markets (Parenti 87). Consequently, it is prudent to argue that companies can be able to survive without imperialism (Perkins 145).
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By promoting capitalism, the United States government supports systems that are more or less medieval feudal societies. Establishing the business relationship with the target country ensured that the United States is a primary partner and thus would influence political decisions that are made by the target state (Bookstore n.p). For instance, through imperialism United States continues to influence political decisions and foreign policy of various countries such as Cuba and Nicaragua and other countries of the world. Such influence is made possible by controlling the country’s wealth, including their mines, tobacco, sugar, tourism industries and other chief exports and imports. Unite States then use the opportunity to carry out the deceptive economic forecast of strategic development projects in the affected country (Bookstore n.p). Such projects are financed by the IMF or World Bank through loans which the country will have to pay for an extended period.
European and North American corporations have attained control of about three-fourths of all the mineral resources of Latin America, Africa and Asia (Parenti n.p). Some banks such as Citibank, one of the largest banks in United States firms, earn nearly 75 % of the profits from the overseas operations while sometimes struggling to report viable margins at home. Correspondingly, the oceans rising and glaciers continue to melt. 5% of the of the entire world population is found in the united states, yet it consumes nearly 30% of the full world resources while more than half the world’s population continue to live in pathetic conditions and poverty (Bookstore n.p). According to Parenti (35), the United States government spent about $11 trillion in the military between the year1948 and 1994 which is more than the cumulative amount that citizens made within the same period. Increased in military spending especially by being involved in actual combat in other countries meant that the United States spent the enormous amount of money facilitating their imperialistic expansion to the emerging nations of the world (Bookstore n.p).
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- Bookstore, Strand “New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” Online video clip. YouTube, 9, Mar, 2016.
- Marks, Robert. The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-First Century. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007. Print.
- Parenti, Michael. Against Empire. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1995. Print.
- Parenti, Michael. Imperialism 101. 22, June 2011
- Perkins, John. The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man., 2016. Print.