Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context.
3 May 2012
“Imperialism didn’t end. Now we call it international law.”
This is the headline over an article by commentator George Monbiot in the UK’s Guardian newspaper on 1 May 2012.
“A one-sided justice seeks weaker states punished as rich nations and giant corporations project their power across the world.”
According to Monbiot, “decolonisation did not did not take place until the former colonial powers and the empires of capital on whose behalf they operated had established other means of retaining control.”
He argues that global institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank and the International Criminal Court were specifically designed in such a way as to promote the particular interests of the great powers.
“If you run a small, weak nation, you may be subject to the full force of international law; if you run a powerful nation, you have nothing to fear.”
Alongside these nominally international but in reality pro-western institutions, the great powers have appropriated an additional global military and policing role that does not stop short of rendition (delivering opponents into the hands of brutal dictators so that they can be tortured with impunity).
Monbiot points out: “The bid for power, oil and spheres of influence that Bush and Blair launched in Mesopotamia, using the traditional camouflage of the civilising mission; the colonial war still being fought in Afghanistan, 199 years after the Great Game began; the global policing functions the great powers have arrogated to themselves; the one-sided justice dispensed by international law. All these suggest that imperialism never ended, but merely mutated into new forms.”
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
2. Das Vierte Reich/The Fourth Reich (6 Feb 2012)
3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
4. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
5. What would Gandhi have said? (30 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.