Globalization as an Extension of Colonialism

Globalization as a Continuance of Colonialism

Colonialism is considered to be the expansion of European ideals through policy or practice by acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and effects of capitalismexploiting it economically. With the description of colonialism, globalization has seemed to produce similar effects. Globalized policies ultimately represent ideals contingent on capitalism and in a way has directly become the mobilizing force of capitalist development. The origins of Capitalism and its development can be traced to Europe. In this sense by promoting globalized developmental practices that are based on the ideals of capitalism, the ideals of Europe are continually being enforced in all countries in the same way that it was done in early colonization.

Globalization has also shown instances in which core capitalist countries have had considerable control over the economic dependency of third world countries. For example in Haiti, aid provided by the World Bank was suspended in the late 90s and the early 2000s because core capitalist countries such as the United States and Europe opposed the newly elected political figures (Dupuy 2005; Pg. 44).  The issue in this lies in the fact that the World Bank had provided aid throughout the duration of two dictators before the newly elected government and ultimately ignored the level of corruption throughout that dictatorship. Ultimately the World Bank refused to provide aid to a governmental system who supported a community based economy and limited their enforcement of neoliberal policies. A political system that governed outside the limitations of capitalism, thus refusing to conform to the false perspective of globalization and the ideals of core capitalist countries. Core capitalist countries in this sense have a considerable amount of influence over what countries receive aid from non-governmental organizations by promoting the enforcement of capitalism and neoliberalism over alternative forms of governing and economic structuring.

US Marines marching in Haiti in 1934. Bettmann / CORBIS
US Marines marching in Haiti in 1934. Bettmann / CORBIS

Many of these core capitalist countries have even occupied developing countries with military coups as a way to maintain the enforcement of neoliberalism in the same way that early European settlers occupied indigenous lands as a way to exploit the natural resources of these lands. In the year 1915 for examples, The United States invaded and informally occupied Haiti as a way to “Restore order and maintain political and economic stability in Haiti” (Higman 2011: Pg. 265). Throughout this period there were call for annexation, which the leaders of Cuba called for the United Nations to intervene due to the United States intent to occupy rather than to assist. In addition, during his 1992 presidential candidacy, Bill Clinton promised to increase pressure on the military coup that overthrew Jean-Bertrand Aristide by tightening economic sanctions on Haiti until Aristride was reinstated as president. Due to the increase in civic unrest the United Nations intervened an established a level of reasoning between the military coup and Aristride, but when the Haitian military under Aristride began backing out of the established provisions the United States continued to dispatch the USS Harlan County with 200 U.S. and Canadian engineers and military police on board to prepare for the return of Aristide (Higman 2011: Pg. 264). Ultimately the United States ignored the corruption that existed and remained within the Aristride governance for the sake of maintaining the enforcement of Neoliberal economic practices while also using this opportunity to occupy Haiti and ensure that Aristride remained in power.