Sociology Index


Imperialism, Colonialism, Cultural Colonialism, Cultural Imperialism

"As long as imperialism exists it will, by definition, exert its domination over other countries. Today that domination is called neocolonialism." Che Guevara, Marxist revolutionary, 1965. The term neocolonialism is used by post-colonial critics of developed countries' involvement in the developing world. Neocolonialism critics argue that existing or past international economic arrangements created by former colonial powers were or are used to maintain control of their former colonies and dependencies. Critics of neocolonialism contend that multinational corporations continue to exploit the resources of post-colonial states, and that this economic control inherent to neocolonialism is akin to the classical, European colonialism practiced from the 16th to the 20th centuries.

Neocolonialism may simply refer to the involvement of powerful countries in the affairs of less powerful countries, especially in modern Latin America. Neocolonialism implies a form of contemporary, economic imperialism: that powerful nations behave like colonial powers of imperialism.

Neo-Colonialism, the Last Stage of Imperialism (1965) is self-defined as an extension of Lenin's Imperialism, the Last Stage of Capitalism (1916), in which Lenin argues that 19th century imperialism is predicated upon the needs of the capitalist system.

"In place of colonialism as the main instrument of imperialism we have today neo-colonialism. [...] Neo-colonialism, like colonialism, is an attempt to export the social conflicts of the capitalist countries."

"The result of neo-colonialism is that foreign capital is used for the exploitation rather than for the development of the less developed parts of the world. Investment under neo-colonialism increases rather than decreases the gap between the rich and the poor countries of the world. The struggle against neo-colonialism is not aimed at excluding the capital of the developed world from operating in less developed countries. It is aimed at preventing the financial power of the developed countries being used in such a way as to impoverish the less developed." - Kwame Nkrumah. Neo-Colonialism, The Last Stage of Imperialism. Thomas Nelson & Sons, Ltd., London (1965). International Publishers Co., Inc., USA (1966).

South Korean multinational Daewoo Logistics secured 1.3 million hectares of farmland in 2008 in Madagascar, half the size of Belgium, to grow maize and crops for biofuels. Roughly half of the country's arable land, as well as rainforests of rich and unique biodiversity, were to be converted into palm and corn monocultures, producing food for export from a country where a third of the population and 50 percent of children under 5 are malnourished, using workers imported from South Africa instead of locals. Those living on the land were never consulted or informed, despite being dependent on the land for food and income. The controversial deal played a major part in prolonged anti-government protests on the island that resulted in over a hundred deaths. - Dave Durbach, Korea Times Correspondent.