New Economic Colonialism
Yet while the effects of communism
still remain, with the fall of Communist Europe its power is waning
before a new form of colonialism. The old economic colonialism has
taken a new turn in the media age and has become the main force of a
new Western cultural expansion. Colonialism is no longer propelled
by Western armies but by multinational corporations centered or
originated in the West. It does not assume the guise of religious or
intellectual upliftment for its justification but that of economic
liberalization, which has become the new moral excuse for spreading
a wasteful consumer culture all over the planet.
Economic liberalization is hardly a
spiritual or cultural liberalization, freedom or renaissance. It
promotes what is primarily a low level and vulgar culture of fast
food, fast living, and a sensate media - an outer shallow way of
life that destroys any deeper or contemplative traditions. Yet
should anyone protest against the evils of economic liberalization
in Asia, they are criticized as being against economic development
and therefore culturally backward and probably castist as well!
Coca Cola, McDonalds and Kentucky
Fried Chicken are nothing but new incarnations of the East India
Company and other colonial corporations. While Western intellectuals
commonly criticize such commercialism in their own countries, the
intellectuals of the East are quite hesitant to do so in order not
to encourage their countries to remain backward and so as not to
encourage any revival of their traditional culture that they
perceive as backward.
The colonialism of the media is
perhaps the most invasive form of the economic colonialism because
it enters directly into the homes and minds of the masses. Through
the subtle influence of advertisement, it implants an alien mindset
and new desires into people, making them unhappy with their
traditional lives, families and cultures.