Friday, January 15, 2010


Psychology of Imperialism:

Imperialism is nothing but using power & force, and ensuring their stability & continued use. Power creates a special type of psychology. There are two sides to this psychology. One side is related to the ruler and the other to the ruled. A special type of psychology is created in the ruled people (or nation). The ruler or the imperialistic power has a distinct ideology. Authors like Octave Mannoni, Frantz Fanon, and Albert Memmi have explained the psychology that gets created due to imperialism and neo-colonialism.

Structured Violence:

Structured Violence is deeply rooted in the psychology of Imperialism. The colonies are a ground to execute violence. Frantz Fanon unveiling this psychology of Imperial power describes colony as “a place where an experience of violence and upheaval is lived, where violence is built into structure and institutions. It is implemented by persons of flesh and bone, such as the soldier, the administrator, the police officer, and the native chief. It is sustained by an imaginary - that is, an interrelated set of signs that present themselves, in every instance, as an indisputable and undisputed meaning. The violence insinuates itself into the economy, domestic life, language, consciousness.”

Frantz argues that “spirit of violence” is omnipresent, exposing the very psychology of imperial power. The imperial regime uses all legitimized means to extend violence.

Control over difference of opinion:

This is a primary psychology of power, and imperialism is incomplete without this. Critics and those having difference of opinion on imperial policies are taken into control by a particular methodology, and are kept in it directly or indirectly. This is the primary and the strongest specialty of imperialistic psychology. On the other hand those interpreters and policy makers who can be useful in the accomplishment imperialistic ideas are given opportunities. The primary function of imperial psychology is to decrease the difference of opinion in the field of politics, and to prove criticism and conflicts (with imperialism) meaningless.

Humiliation of the conquered nation:

This is the second prominent psychology of political imperialism. The imperial powers think that it’s their political right to humiliate the conquered nation. Different methods of humiliation of the conquered nations are fundamental to imperialistic psychology. By this humiliation they want to justify their rule; and the “growth” of oppressed is not possible without imperial support and aid. Orientalism developed as a science of study for this political project only.

Greed and Power: Weapon of Imperialists

Imperialist forces have always used greed and power to fulfill their ambitions. Psychologies evolve due to greed and power. As a result of force and power, the fear is imbibed in the seized nation. When this feeling of fear and greed makes space into the minds of the enslaved nation, it serves as a milestone towards the triumph of imperialist forces. To develop this feeling of fear, the concept of “terrorism” came into existence. In this way the terrorism is a political issue that came into being through imperialist ideology. So, the objective of the imperialist forces is to devise various policies to pull common man into fear and greed. For imperialist objectives, the force is used unsparingly irrespective of whether that is against our own people or not. Under this condition, it can be said that the nation has become imperialist.

New social order

The clear ideology of political imperialism is to, in the society where they wish to rule, devise an order for achievement of political aims. Sometimes this order contains division of the countries or religions, or sometimes to form the different worlds for rich and for poor. New social order is devised under the light of political aims and the idea, of dipping the groups into themselves so deep that they don’t remember each other, is not forgotten. No link between rich and poor is maintained. So, new social order is originated from imperialist ideology, and its real objective is the fulfillment of political aims

Awareness and philosophical enslavement

The last type of imperialist ideology is very obvious and also interesting. Imperialist ideology tries to enslave the awareness and ideology of the nation or community being ruled. It is done so that they never reach their consciousness and never feel that they are being subdued by others.

The other aspect of imperialism is emergence of the idea that force is the only source of victory: by adopting their education, science, culture and political policy can the suppressed ones develop. By using every source, the imperialist forces try to inculcate this thought or idea into the suppressed nations.

Now let me draw your attention towards a very important point. Imperialist ideologies and imperialist psychology are the two basic things which give rise to imperialism. The roots of imperialist nature, imperialist policy, imperialist culture, imperialist methodologies and imperialist exploitation are hidden in aforesaid two things. The deeper understanding we have on the above said two points, the more powerfully can we oppose them. Next important thing is that, for teaching and propagating imperialist ideas and psychologies, all the possible sources are used; therefore our literature, our art and our media are spent for this establishment. In the next chapter when we analyze imperialism in India the above said two points come to fore. On this basis we can form a view that to wage a war against imperialism, deeper understanding of imperialist ideas and psychology is indispensable.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


(This is first half of the chapter of my book on imperialism)

"The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much." – Joseph Conrad

Political Imperialism: an Introduction

For the pioneering of one’s power and expansion of rule, new methods were employed in all ages. There always stands an Ideology behind these methods. Imperialism and Neo-colonialism is also such a method which blushed in the 19th century in Europe. Imperialism and Neo-colonialism were inherently inevitable post the Age of Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution in Europe. Jules Ferry, prime minister of France in 1884 said: “In the area of economics, I am placing before you, with the support of some statistics, the considerations that justify the policy of colonial expansion, as seen from the perspective of a need, felt more and more urgently by the industrialized population of Europe and especially the people of our rich and hardworking country of France: the need for outlets [for exports]. Is this a fantasy? Is this a concern [that can wait] for the future? Or is this not a pressing need, one may say a crying need, of our industrial population?”

History is evident of the fact that war campaigns are not something new employed for the expansion of a nation. But the Age of Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution gave new ways, new direction, new ideology and new approach to it. Hence, the expansions and war campaigns post Industrial Revolution are very different from the expansions before. This difference is because of the evolution of terminologies “Neo-colonialism” and “Imperialism”.

Neo-colonialism and Imperialism are terms generally used in lieu of each other. But there are two basic differences between them. Firstly, neo-colonialism is confined to economic exploitation whereas imperialism compasses political, economic, social and cultural exploitation. Secondly, imperialism possesses an ideological background which drives neo-colonialism. According to Edward Said, “neo-colonialism is the necessary outcome of imperialism”. Imperialism is the expansion of one’s authority and using of power across the boundaries of one’s geographical limits. It is making captive, as by force and gain control of them.

Eckert writes, “Imperialism is a type of politics which remains active in order to expand its nation, and economical, political and ideological ideas of its culture. This expansion is not limited to the political boundaries.”

Oxford Dictionary defines imperialism as “a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through colonization, use of military force, or other means”

Schumpeter says, “Imperialism is objectless expansion, a pattern simply learned from the behavior of other nations and institutionalized into the domestic political processes of a state by a "warrior" class. This warrior class is created because of the need for defense, but, over time, the class will manufacture reasons to perpetuate its existence, usually through manipulation of crises”

Ideology of Political Imperialism:

Imperialistic policies and determination always remain in search of ideologies, ideologies which are helpful in the achievement of imperialistic objectives. Hence, imperialism possesses some ideologies within it or imports ideologies for the achievement of its objectives. This results in imperialism, simultaneously possessing policies of conflict and confrontation, and adopting any one of these according to the requirement.

Gibbon writes, “For every war a motive of safety or revenge, of honor or zeal, of right or convenience may be readily found in the jurisprudence of conquerors.”

The real motive of political imperialism is hidden in the expansion of empire, continued reign of power and exploitation of conquered nations for the benefit of the imperialistic nation. This is the basic principle of any power. The ways of achieving the stated motives may change but the basic principle remains the same:

1 Expansion of Empire

2 Stability & Expansion of power

3 Exploitation of conquered nations

These objectives are achieved through various means. War is a direct way of entry. Sometimes the entry is made taking the excuse of trade and business, some other times the excuse is for ‘imparting culture to the barbaric nations.’

An imperialistic power frames more ideologies in the light of the basic ideologies for making the accomplishment of its basic ideologies possible, thus ideology is created for achievement of (basic) ideology.

Thus framed ideologies are used for the fulfillment of core ideologies.

History and study show that the imperialistic powers usually use three framed ideologies in order to achieve their basic ideologies.

1 Framed Jargons

2 Ethical Reasoning

3 Enemy of imperialism

Framed Jargons:

The imperialistic powers of every time invent jargons in order to achieve its ulterior motives. These jargons are combined with meaning and philosophy and are presented as if these jargons are the divine solutions. Other nations are taught that these philosophies are the only solution for the humanity. Behind these jargons, imperialism continues its functions.

There are many jargons used in this modern era as well. A complete list of these jargons can be made. “Human Rights” is one of these jargons behind which is hidden the excruciating history of human exploitation. Similar is the jargon “New World Order,” whose world order is this? And for what?

Similar is the jargon “Failed or Rogue Nations.”

In the same way the jargon “Balance of Power” is used whose (apparent) objective is to create a ‘balance’ in the imperialistic power’s territory and to conquer the territory and to use it for their benefit.

The modern imperialistic are ruling the underdeveloped nations by fetching these nations into this jungle of jargons which have been created by them.

Ethical Reasoning:

The second framed ideology is based on ‘Morals’ or ‘ethics’. The imperialistic powers use them in order to show the world that it is their moral responsibility to concentrate on improving the current situation. Under this moral screen they execute army attacks, search for a political reason and strengthen basic ideologies.

This moral reasoning has been used by imperialistic powers of all times in their way.

Europeans imperialistic powers came to conquer Asia and Africa on the grounds of “teaching culture” and on these very grounds they have ruled those nations.

Somervell explains this truth as, “Imperialism was a sentiment rather than a policy; its foundations were moral rather than intellectual.”

Few years ago when US attacked Iraq, its main reason was stated as, it’s the moral duty of US to free the people of Iraq from the cruelty of Saddam Hussain.

Hence, the imperialistic powers use moral reasons like these, under the ideological framework in order to advance their imperialism.

Disguise as Enemy of Imperialism:

This third ideological reason is the most dangerous of all. In this the imperialism camouflages itself as the enemy of imperialism. It apparently comes to rescue the people from evil force. This face of imperialism is very famous even today. Therefore, after the Second World War America and other powers got imperialistic reason from this ideology. In the name of freeing nations from fascism they have accomplished their military, political and imperialistic plans.

Besides presenting the moral reasons, George Bush has even taken the support of this ‘enemy of imperialism’ ideology for the invasion of Iraq stating that Saddam’s imperialistic aspirations and operations have affected many sections of the society, like Kurd’s got enough of their rights etc. This type ideology of seems to be most effective in the history of American Imperialism.

So this is clear that under the screen of political imperialism many ideologies are working away and to achieve these ideologies these ideologies are created so as to provide reasons. Now we would discuss the psychologies of imperialism.