Connexions Resource Centre:
Focus Imperialism and Colonialism
Recent & Selected Articles
- This is a small sampling of articles related to international issues in the Connexions Online Library. For more articles, books, films, and other resources, check the Connexions Library Subject Index, especially under topics such as
human rights international,
- The military's carbon bootprint (January 30, 2020)
As the biggest single user of fossil fuels, why is the military exempt from the climate discussion?
- The World Must End The US' Illegal Economic War (January 14, 2020)
The United States is relying more heavily on illegal unilateral coercive measures (also known as economic sanctions) in place of war or as part of its build-up to war. In fact, economic sanctions are an act of war that kills tens of thousands of people each year through financial strangulation.
- Empires Are a Secret until They Start Falling (September 16, 2019)
Alfred McCoy says that it is only when empires are in decline that people begin to recognize they live in an empire and start to talk about it. While discussion of empire hasn't broken into the corporate media, it is certainly happening in the independent media. A concerted effort by a popular movement could bring it to the fore, just as Occupy changed the political dialogue about wealth inequality and the power of money. People in the US need to face some stark realities when it comes to declining US global power.
- US Foreign Policy Exposed (June 17, 2019)
Some recent events and information leaks have forced even the mainstream media to break the usual veneer over US foreign policy.
- The West Failed to Learn the Most Important Lessons From the Rise and Fall of ISIS (January 29, 2019)
The attempted coup in Venezuela today is an example of imperial overreach western governments displayed in the Middle East.
- It's Time for America to Reckon With the Staggering Death Toll of the Post-9/11 Wars (November 19, 2018)
Researchers strive to count the casualties of American wars but are faced by a lack of political and military accountability and a seemingly apathetic public.
- The Great British Empire Debate (January 26, 2018)
Malik discusses the complex issues of British colonialism, its many painful legacies and how it should be dealt with in such fields as academia and politics.
- Israel maintains robust arms trade with rogue regimes (October 23, 2017)
Israel's collusion with Myanmar's military is part of a pattern of military aid to rogue regimes that goes back decades, and reflects the importance of the arms trade to Israel's economy.
- Empire of Destruction (July 20, 2017)
A single word to summarize American war-making in this last decade and a half: rubble. It's been a painfully apt term since September 11, 2001. In addition, to catch the essence of such war in this century, two new words might be useful: rubblize and rubblization.
- Nuclear Weapons Ban? What Needs to be Banned Is U.S. Arrogance (June 16, 2017)
Nuclear disarmament will be possible only when leaders in Washington recognize that other peoples also have a right and a will to live.
- Empire Abroad, Empire At Home (April 26, 2017)
The institutions and ideas U.S. elites used to project "full spectrum dominance" onto the global stage have eventually become part of the political order in the U.S. It is empire -- most of all -- that dooms democracy. As corporations have an insatiable drive for profit, empires have an insatiable drive for power.
- America's Deceptive Model for Aggression (October 4, 2016)
Since NATO's 1999 war on Serbia, U.S. officials have followed a script demonizing targeted foreign leaders, calling ultimatums "diplomacy," lying about "war as a last resort" and selling aggression as humanitarianism.
- Containing the United States (September 9, 2016)
With Hillary Clinton about to be elected and some advanced cadres of the war party preparing to take charge, who is going to contain the United States? The U.S. political system has failed its populace and the world and has imposed no brakes on the war machine. The UN and EU are still too much under the U.S. thumb. Russia and China are too weak and with too flimsy an alliance system to threaten U.S. hegemony and do more than make direct U.S. aggression against themselves very costly.
- Global pitbulls: the US military mission to support corporate colonialism (April 22, 2016)
With its 800 bases in 80 countries, the US's global military domination is often seen as an altruistic exercise to ensure world peace and harmony. It is, of course, the opposite: the essential underpinning of the US's predatory economic power, always ready to strike down any challenge to the rights and privileges of its corporate conquerors and financial oligarchy.
- Digital Labour and Imperialism (January 30, 2016)
A century has now passed since Lenin's Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916) and Bukharin's Imperialism and World Economy (1915), as well as Rosa Luxemburg's 1913 Accumulation of Capital. All spoke of imperialism as a force and tool of capitalism. It was a time of world war, monopolies, antitrust laws, strikes for pay raises, Ford's development of the assembly line, the October Revolution, the Mexican Revolution, the failed German revolution, and much more. It was a time that saw the spread and deepening of global challenges to capitalism.
- American Nuremberg: Putting Washington's War Criminals on Trial - Book Review (2016)
Any honest review of the aggregating crimes of Americas political leaders gives rise to a nagging question: Isnt it time someone threw the book at them? Well, the wait is over. We now have the book.
- The Fog of Intelligence (October 15, 2015)
The phrase "the fog of war" stands in for the inability of commanders to truly grasp what's happening in the chaos that is any battlefield. Perhaps it's time to introduce a companion phrase: the fog of intelligence.
- A Short History of U.S. Bombing of Civilian Facilities (October 7, 2015)
The U.S. has repeatedly attacked civilian facilities in the past. This is a sampling of such incidents since the 1991 Gulf War.
- The Age of Imperialistic Wars (August 23, 2015)
There is no question that wars and military threats have replaced diplomacy, negotiations and democratic elections as the principal means of resolving political conflicts. Throughout the present year (2015) wars have spread across borders and escalated in intensity.
- The School Of The Americas Is Still Exporting Death Squads (April 22, 2015)
Although rebranded as WHINSEC, the School of the Americas uses the same brutal tactics to destabilize governments in Latin America.
- Russian aggression and the BBC's drums of nuclear war (January 30, 2015)
The drums of war are beating on the BBC and other mass media, writes Oliver Tickell -- naked propaganda about fictitious 'Russian aggression' intended to soften us up for a war that could wipe out life on Earth. We must refuse to fall for the endlessly repeated lies, and tell our politicians that our highest priority of all is peace.
- Global Warming's Unacknowledged Threat - The Pentagon (2015)
The Pentagon has admitted to burning 350,000 barrels of oil a day (only 35 countries in the world consume more) but that doesn't include oil burned by contractors and weapons suppliers. It does, however, include providing fuel for more than 28,000 armored vehicles, thousands of helicopters, hundreds of jet fighters and bombers and vast fleets of Navy vessels.
- War by media and the triumph of propaganda (December 5, 2014)
The world is facing the prospect of major war, perhaps nuclear war -- with the United States clearly determined to isolate and provoke Russia and eventually China. This truth is being turned upside down and inside out by journalists, including those who promoted the lies that led to the bloodbath in Iraq in 2003. The times we live in are so dangerous and so distorted in public perception that propaganda is no longer, as Edward Bernays called it, an "invisible government". It is the government. It rules directly without fear of contradiction and its principal aim is the conquest of us: our sense of the world, our ability to separate truth from lies.
Why are young journalists not taught to understand media agendas and to challenge the high claims and low purpose of fake objectivity? And why are they not taught that the essence of so much of what's called the mainstream media is not information, but power?
- The Forgotten Coup (March 17, 2014)
Washingtons role in the fascist putsch against an elected government in Ukraine will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore the historical record. Since 1945, dozens of governments, many of them democracies, have met a similar fate, usually with bloodshed.
- Postcolonial Thought's Blind Alley (2014)
Throughout the 20th century, the anchor for anti-colonial movements was, at least for the left, a belief that oppression was wrong wherever it was practised, because it was an affront to basic human needs for dignity, liberty, wellbeing. But now, in the name of anti-Eurocentrism, postcolonial theory has resurrected the cultural essentialism that progressives rightly viewed as the ideological justification for imperial domination. What better excuse to deny peoples their rights than to impugn the idea of rights, and universal interests, as culturally biased? No revival of an international and democratic left is possible unless we clear away these ideas, affirming the universalism of our common humanity, and of the threat to it from a universalising capitalism.
- UK Ordered Destruction Of 'Embarrassing' Colonial Papers (December 2, 2013)
Britain systematically destroyed documents in colonies that were about to gain independence, declassified Foreign Office files reveal. Operation Legacy saw sensitive documents secretly burnt or dumped to cover up traces of British activities.
- Overthrowing other people's governments: The Master List (February 1, 2013)
Instances of the United States overthrowing, or attempting to overthrow, a foreign government since the Second World War.
- Overwrought Empire (October 9, 2012)
Americans lived in a victory culture for much of the twentieth century. You could say that they experienced an almost 75-year stretch of triumphalism -- think of it as the real American Century -- from World War I to the end of the Cold War, with time off for a destructive stalemate in Korea and a defeat in Vietnam too shocking to absorb or shake off.
- A Marxist History of the World part 94: End of Empire? (September 24, 2012)
In spite of the imperialist powers' attempts to cling on to their colonies, formal empire was finished by the late 1970s. But this was not the end of imperialism.
- A Marxist History of the World part 64: What is Imperialism? (February 27, 2012)
Neil Faulkner looks at how the growth of giant monopolies and the fusing of industrial, bank, and state capital created global competition - and the roots of World War I.
- It Doesn't Matter to Them If It's Untrue. It's a Higher Truth. (November 2, 2011)
The lies used to justify the US/NATO attack on Libya.
- Connexions Archive Case Statement (September 24, 2011)
Working together to secure a future for the past
- Perpetual War (September 7, 2011)
A decade after the attentats of 9/11, the United States and its European allies are trapped in a quagmire. The events of that year were simply used as a pretext to remake the world and to punish those states that did not comply. And today the majority of Euro-American citizens flounder in a moral desert, now unhappy with the wars, now resigned, now propagandized into differentiating what is, in effect, an overarching imperial strategy into good/bad wars.
- Libya and the World We Live In (September 2, 2011)
The Holy Triumvirate The United States, NATO and the European Union recognizes no higher power and believes, literally, that it can do whatever it wants in the world, to whomever it wants, for as long as it wants, and call it whatever it wants, like humanitarian.
- Imperialism 101 (June 24, 2011)
Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders.
- Defining an American State of War (June 23, 2011)
Nine common terms associated with our present wars that probably don't mean what you think they mean.
- From Portugal to Egypt: a Cautionary Tale (February 4, 2011)
The events in Egypt cannot help but remind me of Portugal. Here, there, and everywhere, now and before, the United States of America, as always, is petrified of anything genuinely progressive or socialist, or even too democratic, for that carries the danger of allowing god-knows what kind of non-America-believer taking office.
- The Decline And Fall Of The American Empire (2010)
The demise of the United States as the global superpower could come far more quickly than anyone imagines. If Washington is dreaming of 2040 or 2050 as the end of the American Century, a more realistic assessment of domestic and global trends suggests that in 2025, just 15 years from now, it could all be over except for the shouting.
- Militarizing Latin America (August 30, 2009)
Establishing US military bases in Colombia is only one part of a much broader effort to restore Washington's capacity for military intervention. There has been a sharp increase in US military aid and training of Latin American officers, focusing on light infantry tactics to combat "radical populism" -- a concept that sends shivers up the spine in the Latin American context.
- General Perspectives on the Capitalist Development State and Class Struggle in East Asia (2009)
A discussion regarding the rise of the leftist movement in East Asia.
- Humanitarian Imperialism (September 1, 2008)
Chomsky considers "humanitarian intervention" and "the responsibility to protect" as new norms in international affairs by examining the institutional structures which produced the policies responsible for such developments.
- Great Game II (2008)
The US is playing the Great Game II from Estonia to Korea as a strategy to keep the Eurasian powers off balance and to preserve the ever-growing mass of nomad dollars from deflation and displacement.
- What If Iran Had Invaded Mexico? (April 5, 2007)
Noam Chomsky reverses roles and questions how America would respond if a threatening invader took over Canada or Mexico in a "liberation" attempt. Would America stand by quietly?
- Fictitious Capital for Beginners (2007)
Rosa Luxemburg's framework enabled her to see how capitalism could ultimately destroy society - barbarism, in her words, or the 'mutual destruction of the contending classes' as the Communist Manifesto put it in 1847 - by being required to turn more and more to primitive accumulation and non-reproduction, a prophecy we see materializing before our eyes today.
- 1973 Redux?: Continuity and Discontinuity in the Decline of Dollar-Centered World Accumulation (2006)
The world today is poised between the U.S. and East Asian centered phases of capitalist expansion.
- It's Imperialism, Stupid (2005)
Chomksy claims that when Bush proclaimed the presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction as the premise for invading Iraq, imperialism was, in fact, the genuine motivation.
- The Iraq Crisis in Context (March 12, 2003)
A rogue state, heavily armed with weapons of mass destruction, openly contempuous of international law and the United Nations, plunges the world into crisis.
- Moral Truisms, Empirical Evidence, and Foreign Policy (2003)
Noam Chomsky systematically discusses terrorism and "just war" in relationship to moral standards such as "what goes for others goes for us". He demonstrates that, according to US behavior in the past and this principle, other actors may be entitled to use terrorist strategy against the USA.
- Seattle: The First US Riot Against "Globalization"? (January 13, 2000)
The brief, ephemeral opening of the sense that "nothing will ever be the same" experienced by some in Seattle and in the wake of Seattle will close again quickly without a strategy for a real internationalism, an internationalism in which criticisms of slave labor in China or child labor in India are joined to, e.g. a practical critique of the mushroom-like proliferation of sweatshops and prison labor in the U.S.
- Multiculturalism or World Culture? (2000)
Post-modernists are profoundly bored by any questions of economics and technology which cannot be connected to cultural differences. The implicit agenda of the multiculturalists is to present the values associated with intensive capitalist accumulation as "white male", so "non-white" peoples such as Japanese or Koreans who currently embody those values with a greater fervour than most "whites" are ignored.
- A Century Later (1998)
The year 1898 was a turning point for the American Republic in terms of boundary and economic establishment. Chomsky moves through the next 100 years during which America increasingly became involved in affairs outside of its borders.
- International Liquidity and Class Struggle: A First Approximation (1998)
In my view, the current situation is merely the latest eruption of a crisis in accumulation that first surfaced ca. 1965 in the simultaneous recessions in the U.S., Germany and Japan, signaling that the postwar boom was running out of steam.
- Thinking About Self-Determination (1994)
Does that familiar canon of the left, 'the right to self-determination', actually mean anything, or is it an empty slogan whose main utility is that it relieves us of the trouble of thinking critically?
- The Pentagon Papers and U.S. Imperialism in South East Asia (1972)
Chomsky considers the imperial interests of the USA in South East Asia, claiming that these are revealed in the Pentagon Papers. Then, after a detailed account of the content, he suggests that mere anti-communist goals were not the sole motivation for moving into the region but it was rather the "perceived significance of Southeast Asia for the integrated global system that was to be organised by American power."
Selected Websites and Organizations
- This is a small sampling of organizations and websites concerned with international issues in the Connexions Directory. For more organizations and websites, check the Connexions Directory Subject Index, especially under topics such as
human rights international,
Books, Films and Periodicals
Selected Books and Book Reviews
- This is a small sampling of books related to international issues in the
Connexions Online Library. For more books and other resources, check the Connexions Library
Subject Index, especially under topics such as
human rights international,
- The Accumulation of Capital
Author: Luxemburg, Rosa
Rosa Luxemburg's analysis of the inherent contradictions of capitalist accumulation.
- Against His-story, Against Leviathan!
Author: Perlman, Fredy
How Civilization encroached on free peoples. On every continent scribes, traders and kings promoted division of labour, professional armies, social discipline, nationalist, ethnic and class fervour.
- The Age of Empire 1875 - 1914
Author: Hobsbawm, E.J.
Covers the rise of bourgeois society, the growth of free market capitalism and the expansion of European colonialism abroad.
- The Age of Imperialism
The Economics of U.S. Foreign Policy
Author: Magdoff, Harry
- The Cold War and the New Imperialism
A Global History, 1945-2005
Author: Heller, Henry
The Cold War is an account of global history since 1945, which ties together the narrative of the Cold War to that of neoliberalism and the new imperialism.Written for the general reader, it draws together scholarly research on a huge range of events, countries, and topics into an intelligible whole.
- Decolonization and Empire
Contesting the Rhetoric and Reality of Resubordination in Southern Africa and Beyond
Author: Saul, John
John Saul scrutinizes the subjects of empire and the new neocolonialist states of Southern Africa funded by the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization and World Bank. The gap between rich and poor continues to grow as the unequal opportunities and material outcomes of the free market entrench themselves. This hierarchy is in part self-creating and self-sustaining but also locked into place by these international institutions.
- Ecological Imperialism
The Biological Expansion in Europe, 900-1900
Author: Crosby, Alfred W
- The Economics of Imperialism
Author: Brown, Michael Barratt
Brown discusses different theories of the connection between capitalism and imperialism. His own position is derived from Rosa Luxemburg, holding that imperialism is a process of assimilation and transformation of economies into the sphere of competitive capital accumulation.
- Empire of Capital
Author: Wood, Ellen Meiksins
Capitalism makes possible a new form of domination by purely economic means, argues Ellen Meiksins Wood. So, surely, even the most seasoned White House hawk would prefer to exercise global hegemony in this way, without costly colonial entanglements. Yet, as the author powerfully demonstates, the economic empire of capital has also created a new and unlimited militarism.
- The End of Victory Culture: Cold War America and the Disillusioning of a Generation
Author: Engelhardt, Tom
Engelhardt explores how, in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the administration of younger George Bush brought "victory culture" roaring back as part of its Global War on Terror and its rush to invade Saddam Husseins's Iraq. Further, he analyzes how, from its "Mission Accomplished" moment on, its various stories of triumph crashed and burned in that land.
- The Face of Imperialism
Author: Parenti, Michael
Parenti redefines empire and imperialism to connect the current crisis in America to its own bad behavior worldwide.
- Five Centuries of Imperialism and Resistance
Vol. 8: 1492-1992
Author: Bourgeault, Ron et. al.
A collection of poems and essays giving various perspectives on resistance to imperialism and capitalism.
- Humanitarian Imperialism
Using Human Rights to Sell War
Author: Bricmont, Jean
Since the end of the Cold War, the idea of human rights has been made into a justification for intervention by the world's leading economic and military powers, above all, the United States, in countries that are vulnerable to their attacks.
- Imperialism and Global Political Economy
Author: Callinicos, Alex
Callinicos critically assesses the classical theories of imperialism developed in the era of the First World War by Marxists such as Lenin, Luxemburg, and Bukharin and by the Liberal economist J.A. Hobson. He then outlines a theory of the relationship between capitalism as an economic system and the international state system. He also traces the history of capitalist imperialism from the Dutch East India Company to the specific patterns of economic and geopolitical competition in the contemporary era of American decline and Chinese expansion. Imperialism, he concludes, is far from dead.
Author: Chomsky, Noam
Noam Chomsky says that the freedom to challenge power is not just an opportunity, it's a responsibility. Concise and fiercely argued, Interventions covers the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Bush presidency, Israel and Palestine, national security, the escalating threat of nuclear warfare, and more.
- Ireland and the Irish Question
Author: Marx, Karl; Engels, Friedrich
Brings together all of Marx's and Engels' writing on Ireland in one volume.
- Israel: A Colonial-Settler State?
Author: Rodinson, Maxine
Rodinson argues that Zionism fits into the general pattern of Western colonialism, and that Arab opposition to Israel is the opposition of a colonized people towards their colonizers.
- Killing Hope
U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II
Author: Blum, William
Is the United States a force for democracy? William Blum serves up a forensic overview of U.S. foreign policy spanning sixty years. For those who want the details on the U.S.'s most famous actions (Chile, Cuba, Vietnam, to name a few), and for those who want to learn about lesser-known efforts (France, China, Bolivia, Brazil, for example), this book provides a window on what U.S. foreign policy goals really are. "If you flip over the rock of American foreign policy of the past century, this is what crawls out
suppressing movements for social change
assassinating political leaders
manipulating labor unions
Its not a pretty picture. Its enough to give imperialism a bad name."
- Naked Imperialism
The U.S. Pursuit of Global Dominance
Author: Foster, John
Examines the important transformation in U.S. global policy and ideology, showing the political and economic roots of the new militarism and its consequences both in the global and local context.
- Open Veins of Latin America
Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent
Author: Galeano, Eduardo
A political economy, a social and cultural narrative, and a powerful description of primitive capital accumulation.
- Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - October 15, 2016
Lurching to War
Author: Diemer, Ulli (ed.)
The risk of nuclear war is as great now as it was at the height of the Cold War. From the time the Warsaw Pact dissolved itself and the Soviet Union collapsed, the United States has single-mindedly pursued a hyper-aggressive strategy of surrounding Russia with hostile military forces and missiles aimed at the Russian heartland.
- Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - May 7, 2016
Destabilization and Regime Change
Author: Diemer, Ulli (ed.)
When governments get too far out of line -- the most outrageous offence, from the point of view of imperial power, is pursuing policies that help ordinary people at the expense of transnational corporations and local elites -- then they have to be overthrown. The preferred method is a destabilization campaign followed by a coup. This issue of Other Voices focuses destabilization and regime change.
- Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - August 27, 2017
Author: Diemer, Ulli (ed.)
Why and how do some countries become 'enemies'? How and why do governments and media work in tandem to demonize official enemies? Who are the people who live in those countries, what are their lives like, and why should we consider them our enemies?
- Rogue State
A Guide to the World's Only Superpower
Author: Blum, William
A mini-encyclopedia of the numerous un-humanitarian acts perpetrated by the United States since the end of the Second World War.
- The Spanish-Cuban-American War and the Birth of American Imperialism, Vol. 1
Author: Foner, Philip
Argues that the Cuban nation was a central protagonist in the conflict - rather than a passive victim of a conflict between great powers.
- Tomorrow's Battlefield
U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa
Author: Turse, Nick
U.S. military is fighting shadow wars in Africa and claims that Africa is the "battlefield of tomorrow".
- The War on Democracy
Author: Pilger, John (director)
This film by John Pilger explores the current and past relationship of Washington with Latin American countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia and Chile.
Learning from our History
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