Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Imperialism 101"

Michael Parenti's article focuses on the true definition of imperialism and not it's false counterpart. Parenti clearly states that imperialism is the, "carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations". Often this definition is either ignored, or completely changed to suit the needs of those who are invading and 'carving' these lands.

This article is briefs its readers on imperialism across "the entire globe" in order to retrospectively place this concept that has been often misconstrued. Parenti moves forward by stating, "Imperialism is older than capitalism" and explains how this is so, and by comparing the two concepts. Capitalism can exist without Imperialism and he speaks more about this under the heading entitled, "not necessary, just compelling". Parenti goes on to discuss the ideas and definitions associated with the Western world, "underdeveloped" in relation to the third world countries. This term sets up prejudices and allows people to assume that places like Asia, Africa, and Latin America are unable to produce their own goods, or are lacking the natural resources to do so. However, this is not the case for the most part, and Parenti has no problem discussing the truth of the matter. This relates to the "development theory" that people in the past created, and is incorrect. Most people learn about this concept in grade 12 geography and current event courses, like I have, but it is a valid point that continuously needs to be made. Lastly, Parenti diverges into Neo-imperialism.

This article is a wonderful resource for anyone who wants to learn the basics on Imperialism and the falsehoods that are tied to this term. If you are looking for the true definition both back in history and today then check out this article!

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