Globalisation – the ‘New Imperial Age’ and Africa By Udo W. Froese Johannesburg, South Africa – On Good Friday Pope Benedict XVI bluntly criticised modern society and its evils. According to Catholic World News, he compared the church in today’s world to “a boat about to sink, taking on water on every side”. The Holy Father condemned ‘modern society’ as “immoral and selfish”, focusing on a form of permanent self-flagellation, “today’s people devising their own punishment by creating a life with their own anxieties and unhappiness”. Pope Benedict XVI further identified and criticized the evils of contemporary life: “Today a slick campaign of propaganda is spreading an inane apologia of evil, a senseless cult of Satan, a mindless desire for transgression, a dishonest and frivolous freedom, exalting impulsiveness, immorality and selfishness as if they were new heights of sophistication”, he said on Good Friday. He continued: “Our affluence is making us less human, our entertainment has become a drug, a source of alienation and our society’s incessant and tedious message is an invitation to die of selfishness. Free us from our decadent narcissism.” He then addressed the trendy attacks on traditional family life, describing it as “a kind of anti-Genesis, a counter-plan, a diabolical pride which seeks to modify the very grammar of life as planned and willed by God”. The Holy Father further asked, “Why don’t we realise that the poor can help the rich?” He angrily criticised the ever-widening gap between rich and poor, haves and have-nots. Finally, Pope Benedict XVI bemoaned the absence of respect of people for “their bodies”, asking when they will realise that “without purity, the body can neither be alive nor life-giving?” Pope Benedict XVI addressed today’s globalisation’s “culture of death”. Definitions to assist with the understanding of ‘globalisation’ First, allow the imported Oxford dictionary to explain, or to define (i) sophistication, (ii) decadence, (iii) conspiracy, (iv) capitalism, (v) democracy, (vi) imperialism and (vii) propaganda. (i) sophistication: worldliness, urbanity, culture, civilization, polish, refinement – a positive; (ii) decadence: degeneracy, debauchery, corruption, depravity, vice, sin, moral decay, immorality, deterioration, degradation, retrogression – a negative; (iii) conspiracy: scheme, plan, machination, ploy, trick, informal racket, a covert, secret plan by a group to do something harmful, unlawful to further selfish, criminal aims and goals – a negative; (iv) capitalism: an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state (a form of privatisation for profit) – can be both, positive and negative; (v) democracy: elective government, constitutional government, self-government, autonomy, republic, commonwealth – generally positive; (vi) imperialism: policy of extending a country’s power (into another country) and influence through colonisation, use of military (and/or economic) force, or other means – unacceptably negative; (vii) propaganda: agitprop, disinformation, counter-information, the big lie, promotion, advertising, publicity, information especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view – generally negative. Aforementioned scene setter is very much part of today’s reality and might assist with explaining the expose on ‘globalisation’ and the ‘new economic world order’, the ‘new imperial age’ and Africa’s and the Third World’s position in it. The invisible powers In his book, Understanding Power, author Prof. Noam Chomsky raises an important point. “Policy is insulated from politics.” Prof. Chomsky is Institute Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT, Boston, USA. He is also a member of the Academy of Science, also in the United States of America. He explains, “No matter what games are played in the political arena, policy’s going to go on exactly the way it is: … we (the US/UK/EU/Japan/Russia, G-8 countries) control the international currencies, we’re the only ones who can give them loans, we can destroy their economies if we want to, there’s nothing they can do. As long as ‘policy remains insulated from politics’.” “In recent years a completely new form of government is being pioneered, one designed to serve the developing needs of this ‘new international corporate ruling class’ – at times being called an “emerging de facto world government”. ” Prof Chomsky outlines it further, “That is what all of the new international trade agreements are about, North Atlantic Trade Association for the Americas (NAFTA); the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT); the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); the World Bank-International Monetary Fund (IMF). (Those are US-Bretton Woods agreements dating back to 1944.) (Here one can add the World Trade Organisation, WTO, the Lome’ Convention and even the United Nations Organisation, UNO.) To the above, the author adds the international financial organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank, the European Development Bank and so on. The G-8 countries own and control all of them. In fact, they control policy in most parts of the world, particularly in Third World Countries, including Africa. Secret “intelligence networks and their operations” and “organized crime and their dealings” are an integral part of “globalisation” and the “new world economic order”. They seem to be the uglier side of the invisible control mechanisms. Those channels have been established to manipulate control through destabilization. It actually means that the “general populations of the world have no role in decision-making whatsoever”. In fact, they “have no knowledge, or understanding, or input, therefore, have no idea about decisions being made, affecting their lives. The general population would not be able to influence those decisions. According to Chomsky, the World Bank has its own term for that structure. They call it “technocratic insulation”. “Technocratic insulation” seems important for the World Bank. The international business media describe that “democracy” based on the World Bank’s “technocratic insulation” openly as “The New Imperial Age”. Prof. Noam Chomsky analyses above structures, “What we are seeing now is a profound revival of pure old-fashioned racist imperialism, with regard to the entire Third World. You see it in articles by British journalists in the New York Times Magazine (and throughout the European print and electronic media) about how the best thing we can do for Africa is to re-colonise it; it shows up at the economic level in structural adjustment programmes, which are a big part of how we siphon off the wealth of the Third World to the rich countries; the anti-immigrant campaigns in the US and Europe are part of it; this programme for the Palestinians is another part of it – and one could go on and on”. Interestingly, Chomsky also observes, “countries that have developed economically are those which were not colonized by the (international) West; every country that was colonised by the (international) West is a total wreck”. As Chomsky writes further, one only needs to look at Washington’s declassified government documents to find it all “frankly and explicitly” explained – details, the media and their mercenary armchair academics will never allow the public to know, thus will never publish: “The main commitment of the United States, internationally in the Third World, must be to prevent the rise of nationalist regimes (and populists as their leaders) which are responsive to pressures from the masses of the population for improvement in low living standards and diversification of production; the reason is, we (the US and its allies in imperialism) have to maintain a climate that is conducive to investment, and to ensure conditions which allow for adequate repatriation of profits to the West.” This is the invisible government with its network of policy control systems throughout particularly the Third World. Both, “globalisation” and “new world economic order” were developed during the reign of Britain’s Margaret Thatcher and America’s Ronald Reagan in cooperation with Germany’s Helmut Schmidt and the former Soviet Union’s Mikhail Gorbachev. Their strategic advisory teams were led by the likes of Henry Kissinger, the late Zbigniew Brzezinski, Lord Carrington, Lord James Callaghan of Cardiff, Lord Roy Jenkins of Hillhead and many more big names in that industry. Two influential Anglo-American institutions made their contributions to those “new” global structures. The Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA) in the UK and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in the US have a special relationship since 1921. Their concept of “globalisation” seems to be a British creation, whereas the “new world economic order” an American one.
11.5 ° C