Thursday, January 09, 2014

Financial Imperialism

The European colonists conquered and plundered Africa because they had far superior technology. To this very day, European nations continue to plunder Africa because they posses advance weapon. This time the weapon of choice in the re-conquest of Africa is financial warfare; it is no longer military force. The end result is the same: Western corporations profit, whilst Africa remains underdeveloped and over-exploited. Financial imperialism is the system through which a dictatorship of Western capital exercises authoritarian control over African economies in order to perpetuate the exploitation of Africa, for the benefit of the West’s capitalist class.

Africa is spectacularly rich, yet the natural capital that is extracted from above and below continues to enrich, not Africans, but the people who facilitate Africa's impoverishment: Western capitalists. White minority governments, which ran dictatorships in African capitals, have now given way to white dictatorships directed from Western cities. European nations use debt as weapon against Africa. Debt exploits Africa by ensuring that funds are diverted from local developmental investment strategies towards interest payments into the banks. Africa spends more on debt interest payments to creditors in Europe than it does on investing in education and healthcare.

The West’s tactic is to use the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to load African economies, governments, companies and families with debt, siphon off their income as debt interest payments and then foreclose when African debtors lack the means to pay. Indebting African governments gives creditors a lever to pry away land, public infrastructure, and other property in the public domain. Indebting African companies enables creditors to seize employee pension savings. Profit is indifferent to human suffering.

The main weapon in the West’s arsenal of financial imperialism is the promotion of neoliberal economic policies through Western institutions, like the IMF and World Bank, as well as through local puppet political parties.  Neo-liberalism is the promotion of a combination of counter-developmental economic policies, such as privatization, austerity and structural adjustment that put the interests of foreign capital over local labour.

Corruption is often considered to be one of the greatest diseases plaguing Africa. Truth is, corruption and financial imperialism go hand in hand: corruption is the basis on which the comprador bourgeoisie can arise, prepared to sell the rights of their people to imperialism, provided they receive their cut. In short, financial imperialism fuels corruption just as much as corruption fuels financial imperialism.

Adapted from here

No comments: