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Imperialistic mentality has always been a feature of the West European mindset. The idea of ethnical and cultural superiority along with the need for rapid development of industry has led Europeans to seek labor force for their metropolises outside their own territory.
The colonial expansion of Asia and Africa was not a historical accident, but rather a thoughtful act to supply the interests of Western empires. It is accepted to believe that Great Britain was the pioneer of global colonization. \ It first started to invade lands of central Asia and Africa and turn their population into slaves which were transported over the sea to the ‘New World.”
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Eventually, this process of colonization became an object of denouncement and criticism in the eyes of modern society. But despite the predominance of liberal and humanistic values in the modern world, many of the leading countries continue to display their imperialistic nature toward less developed countries.
While a couple centuries ago the metropolises did not quite need a justification for their actions, nowadays such policy in its initial form is impossible. In the age of television, internet, social protests and universal reason for imperialism as a model of international relations reshaped and acquired much more sophisticated features. Though, the essence of it remains the same and lays in maintaining worldwide power and establishing one’s own order.
Today we live in the unipolar world with one leader on the international arena – the USA. Unipolarity implies no counterbalance of political forces, thus, provides less limitation as to the sphere of influence. Since the beginning of the “Cold War”, the government of the United States has formed the total mechanism of cultural, informational and educational institutes for fulfilling the influence on political directions of foreign countries. The image of this process (worldwide realization of democratic and liberal reforms) is meant to partly justify the expansive actions of metropolis toward the other countries. In this context there is no wonder that the Middle East has become its prime target.
One of the sub concepts of imperialism is so-called “cultural imperialism”, a practice of more veiled nature. It is a long-term instrument of establishing influence in foreign states. The essence of it is manifested in promotion and artificial infusion of one society’s culture into another and lays in global dominance of one value paradigm, exported by the government and private corporations. Since culture in every way is a powerful mechanism of influence, its methods are widely used by leading countries of the West, especially the USA. The metropolitan followers of this idea suggest that the culture and values they are providing are more worthy and appropriate than other people’s value system. Thus, they justify this kind of impact on societies of other countries and claim it to be peacemaking and humanitarian. In truth, this is no more than a struggle for the spheres of interests and has very little to do with good will.
As to the nature of imperialism, such terms as “fair” and “unfair” should not be considered valid, since they relate to the matter of perspective. From the metropolitan point of view its actions are acceptable. It acts in its own interests and is eager to supply its own needs, thus, raises the quality of life of its citizens at the cost of the colonies. Colonized countries, on the contrary, do not find it fair to invade their lands, establish foreigner’s order and make people work for foreign usurpers. The fact is that metropolises have never brought prosperity to their colonies – it is in their interest to do otherwise and keep colonies in less developed state for more effective controllability.
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However that may be, it is naïve to believe that the compulsory nature of such expansions would bring more benefit to the imperialized countries than it would bring destruction and terror to its citizens.
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