Neocolonialism

Neocolonialism refers to the idea that without maintaining active settlements, it is still possible to exercise power in a colonial way. This occurs not just with military force or through geopolitical economic institutions like the IMF, but in the control of discourse. Lang helped us see that globalization could not be a primarily economic phenomena, because the constitutive integration of markets is a century older than globalization discourse. Globalization as a discourse and its universalizing rhetoric serve to erase the dissent of the colonized while exercising economic, political, and ecological power over them.

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“One’s loyalty to market principles allows one to be both a patriot defending American interests and a market globalist…the idea that nobody is in charge serves neoliberal political agenda of defending and expanding American global hegemony.” – Steger

A central theme of our class has been to recognize the specific cultural and historical meanings of apparently universal symbols. We have explored how a world map or picture of the Earth from outer space are intrinsically colonial. This week, we were confronted with the universalizing rhetoric of globalization, and concluded that it is global only in its own utopian imagination. The globalizing world is limited to few countries, and its processes serve the interests of the so-called global North.

“The Golden Straitjacket was made in America and Great Britain. The Electronic Herd is led by American Wall Street bulls. The most powerful agent pressuring other countries to open their markets for free trade and free investment is Uncle Sam, and America’s global armed forces keep these markets and sea lanes open for this era of globalization, just as the British navy did for the era of globalization in the nineteenth century.” – Thomas Friedman

“In return for supplying much needed loans to developing countries, the IMF and World Bank demand from their creditors the implementation of neoliberal policies that further the material interests of the global North.” – Steger (77)