Sunday, March 17, 2013

Social Imperialism

Social Imperialism takes many forms and comes from many sources. The book The Constant Gardner is about British Imperialism in the developing nations of Africa, partnering with private industry (in this case, big pharma) to make tons of money and maintain socio-political control while the population is victimized as lab rats. Social Imperialism is the idea that a powerful outside force creates a need and then fills that need as a means of control and concentrating power.

As we begin to learn more about the new Pope, whose past has been spent serving the poor and destitute, it is worth noting that such work often comes as a result of those same institutions and their previous impact.

The Catholic Church is a great example. Their resistance to birth control in the Third World has not only contributed to the spread of AIDS in Africa, but has also done nothing to help with overpopulation and resource shortages. These types of decisions lead to situations where these countries must rely more and more heavily on the aid of organizations that directly contributed to their inability to support themselves.

Social Imperialism exists in the US as well. The cycle of cutting social programs, relegating spending to individuals, and stagnation of wages creates situations where those people most effected have nowhere to turn but private lending companies or privatized social programs, who in turn back the politicians that created those situations in the first place. Dependency is the currency of Imperialism, and power is it's wealth. With Dependency comes power, and with more power, more dependency is inevitable.

Social Imperialism is about more than just exploiting a situation, but creating a situation to exploit. There is enough food in the world to feed everyone, enough energy and technology that we no longer need fossil fuels, enough money to fully fund all of the infrastructure and health care plans we could ever want, but none of that is done. Why? Because there is no Power or Dependency to be gained from giving people a measure of control over their own lives. Great, powerful companies, wealthy and well-connected, control these systems, through government or not, to create a system of dependence on their product or service, so that they might gain more power over the people. That is the goal of Social Imperialism.

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