Neo-Colonialism refers to the use of political, economic, cultural values of a country to strong arm other countries especially former dependencies. This can fairly be said as another side of the bad old days of the colonial rule being continued in a new form. The negative outcome of neo-colonialism is evident in the way the developed countries use their financial capital in underdeveloped countries for exploitation, not development. The new face of colonialism has shown itself in a wide variety of places around the world. Investments made under such policies widen the gap between rich and poor, impoverishing the less developed. Neo-Colonialism was defined also as the intervention of strong Western countries into the African and South Asian countries during the early Nineteenth Century.
Dependency theory is the theoretical description of economic colonialism which proposes that the global economic system comprises of wealthy countries at centre and the poorer countries at the periphery. The developed countries take advantage of the less developed nations by baiting them in various policies which promise to provide financial aid to the underprivileged in exchange of natural resources, labour and such. Instead of providing the financial aid or other help, the developed nations make full use of natural/human resources of the less developed. The same scenario was evident during the colonial times where either natural resources or the human capital of the underdeveloped countries or both, were mercilessly exploited. The only suggestive difference now is that such exploitation in the less developed countries now are carried not by rules and laws mandated by their masters but, in fact, by their own politicians and businessmen. In the modern era, the developed nations rule the underdeveloped as proxy rulers to further the political, military and economic interests of these developed nations. The underdeveloped are lured into signing such Memorandum of Understandings by their superior counterparts on the pretext of providing development whereas the exact opposite takes place, resulting in the loss of resources in the underdeveloped nations. As always, the political scenarios are the biggest determinant whether an underdeveloped nation is exploited by the developed nations. Most developed nations use the political instability of such nations to exploit these underdogs with impunity.
One of the prime examples of Neo-Colonialism is the Sino – African relations. To this day, more than one million Chinese are African residents, and Chinese investment in Africa exceeds 40 billion dollars. The Chinese have spread their money and culture throughout the continent, and are now trading in excess of 166 billion dollars per year with Africa; securing 50 billion in minerals. Africa receives goods in return, and most of these goods support further resource extraction and industrial development. While this relationship was once seen as quite exploitive, views are changing as China fosters goodwill in these nations with more equitable agreements (Africa and China). Similar Chinese examples of economic neo-colonialism have been identified all over the world, from Canada to Ecuador.
The tools employed by those countries to this end are varied, ranging from economics to education. Modern colonialism benefits countries that spread their culture throughout the world. As beneficiaries of the financial, military, diplomatic, and resource stability that comes from having nations culturally assimilated to them, there seems to be no reason for powerful core nations to cease in their neo-colonial activities.
Another fine example of neo-colonialism in the modern age is the South Korean Land Acquisitions. To ensure a reliable, long-term supply of food, the South Korean government and powerful Korean multinationals bought farming rights to millions of hectares of agricultural land in under-developed countries. In these lands, they have started the growth of maize and crops for biofuels, corn and installed food processing plants.
An evaluation of the current scenarios clearly indicates that the end of colonial rule eventually gave birth to a new type of colonisation. In this type, the means of exploitation are friendlier but eventually end up compromising the needs of the underdeveloped nations. The powerful have always preyed upon the weak and that is how they became powerful, and not much has changed since those time gone by.
– by Prateek Gupta