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Needless to say, this dynamic underlay the Brexit vote as well. Hence, there is no surprise that some of the main World War II rivals, USA, Germany and Japan as well as other European nations are so prosperous, while the former colonial countries are still so poor; the economic booms of those wealthy nations have been at the expense of most people around the world. This system has worked as global financial crisis essay The World Wars were about rival powers fighting amongst themselves to the spoils of the rest of the world; maintaining their empires and influence over the terms of world trade, commerce and, ultimately, global financial crisis essay, power. Vladimir Putin ethnographic essay unpopular among more educated voters in big cities such as St Petersburg and Moscow, but has a huge support base in the rest of the country.

In fact, as J. The wealth of the ancient city-states of Venice and Genoa was based on their powerful navies, and treaties with other great powers to control trade. This evolved into nations designing their trade policies to intercept the wealth of others mercantilism. Occasionally one powerful country would overwhelm another through interception of its wealth though a trade war, covert war, or hot war; but the weaker, less developed countries usually lose in these exchanges.

It is the military power of the more developed countries that permits them to dictate the terms of trade and maintain unequal relationships. As European and American economies grew, they needed to continue expansion to maintain the high standards of living that some elites were attaining in those days. This required holding on to, and expanding colonial territories in order to gain further access to the raw materials and resources, as well exploiting cheap labor.

Those who resisted were often met with brutal repression or military interventions. This is not a controversial perception. President Woodrow Wilson recognized this in the early part of the 20th century: Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his nation must follow him, and the doors of the nations which are closed against him must be battered down.

Concessions obtained by financiers must be safeguarded by ministers of state, even if the sovereignty of unwilling nations be outraged in the process. Colonies must be obtained or planted, in order that no useful corner of the world may be overlooked or left unused.

Richard Robbins, Professor of Anthropology and author of Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism is also worth quoting at length: The Great Global Depression of that lasted essentially until was the first great manifestation of the capitalist business crisis. The depression was not the first economic crisis [as there had been many for thousands of years] but the financial collapse of revealed the degree of global economic integration, and how economic events in one part of the globe could reverberate in others.

Given this situation, if you were an American or European investor in , where would you look for economic expansion? The obvious answer was to expand European and American power overseas, particularly into areas that remained relatively untouched by capitalist expansion — Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.

Colonialism had become, in fact, a recognized solution to the need to expand markets, increase opportunities for investors, and ensure the supply of raw material. In Rhodes said: I was in the East End of London yesterday and attended a meeting of the unemployed.

I listened to the wild speeches, which were just a cry for bread , bread, and on my way home I pondered over the scene and I became more than ever convinced of the importance of imperialism.

The Empire, as I have always said, is a bread and butter question. If you want to avoid civil war, you must become imperialist. As a result of this cry for imperialist expansion, people all over the world were converted into producers of export crops as millions of subsistence farmers were forced to become wage laborers producing for the market and required to purchase from European and American merchants and industrialists, rather than supply for themselves, their basic needs.

World War II was another such battle, perhaps the ultimate one. However, the former imperial nations realized that to fight like this is not the way, and became more cooperative instead. The Soviet attempt of an independent path to development flawed that it was, because of its centralized, paranoid and totalitarian perspectives , was a threat to these centers of capital because their own colonies might get the wrong idea and also try for an independent path to their development.

Because World War II left the empires weak, the colonized countries started to break free. In some places, where countries had the potential to bring more democratic processes into place and maybe even provide an example for their neighbors to follow it threatened multinational corporations and their imperial or former imperial states for example, by reducing access to cheap resources.

As a result, their influence, power and control was also threatened. Often then, military actions were sanctioned. To the home populations, the fear of communism was touted, even if it was not the case, in order to gain support.

From Colonization to Globalization, Ocean Press, , p. Hence, there is no surprise that some of the main World War II rivals, USA, Germany and Japan as well as other European nations are so prosperous, while the former colonial countries are still so poor; the economic booms of those wealthy nations have been at the expense of most people around the world.

Thus, to ensure this unequal success, power, and advantage globalization was backed up with military might and still is. Hence, even with what seemed like the end of imperialism and colonialism at the end of World War II, and the promotion of Adam Smith free trade and free markets, mercantilist policies still continued.

Adam Smith exposed the previous system as mercantilist and unjust. He then proposed free market capitalism as the alternative. More about this in the next section on this site. And so, a belief system had to accompany the political objectives: When the blatant injustices of mercantilist imperialism became too embarrassing, a belief system was imposed that mercantilism had been abandoned and true free trade was in place.

In reality the same wealth confiscation went on, deeply buried within complex systems of monopolies and unequal trade hiding under the cover of free trade. Many explanations were given for wars between the imperial nations when there was really one common thread: Who will control resources and trade and the wealth produced through inequalities in trade?

Structural Adjustment policies were used to open up economies of poorer countries so that big businesses from the rich countries could own or access many resources cheaply.

So, from a small, unpopular sect with virtually no influence, neo-liberalism has become the major world religion with its dogmatic doctrine, its priesthood, its law-giving institutions and perhaps most important of all, its hell for heathen and sinners who dare to contest the revealed truth. Oskar Lafontaine, the ex-German Finance Minister who the Financial Times called an unreconstructed Keynesian has just been consigned to that hell because he dared to propose higher taxes on corporations and tax cuts for ordinary and less well-off families.

The Iron Lady was herself a disciple of Friedrich von Hayek, she was a social Darwinist and had no qualms about expressing her convictions. Competition is central because it separates the sheep from the goats, the men from the boys, the fit from the unfit. It is supposed to allocate all resources, whether physical, natural, human or financial with the greatest possible efficiency.

Above all, do not compete. The only actors in the neo-liberal world who seem to have taken his advice are the largest actors of all, the Transnational Corporations.

The principle of competition scarcely applies to them; they prefer to practice what we could call Alliance Capitalism. Because in this model there is no need for government — that is, free, unfettered, liberal markets work perfectly — the Washington Consensus policies are sometimes referred to as neo-liberal, based on market fundamentalism, a resuscitation of the laissez-faire policies that were popular in some circles in the nineteenth century.

In the aftermath of the Great Depression and the recognition of other failings of the market system, from massive inequality to unlivable cities marred by pollution and decay, these free market policies have been widely rejected in the more advanced industrial countries, though within these countries there remains an active debate about the appropriate balance between government and markets.

Economists Sanford Grossman and Joseph Stiglitz demonstrated this in , and hundreds of subsequent studies have pointed out quite how unrealistic the hypothesis is, some of the most influential of which were written by Eugene Fama himself [who first formulated the idea as a a Ph. Markets can behave irrationally—investors can herd behind a stock, pushing its value up in ways entirely unrelated to the stock being traded. Despite ample economic evidence to suggest it was false, the idea of efficient markets ran riot through governments.

The World Wars were about rival powers fighting amongst themselves to the spoils of the rest of the world; maintaining their empires and influence over the terms of world trade, commerce and, ultimately, power.

Throughout the Cold War, we contained a global threat to market democracies: John Gray, mentioned above, notes that the same processes to force the peasantry off their lands and into waged labor, and to socially engineer a transformation to free markets is also taking place today in the third world: The achievement of a similar transformation [as in mid-nineteenth century England] is the overriding objective today of transnational organizations such as the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The thinkers of the Enlightenment, such as Thomas Jefferson, Tom Paine, John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx never doubted that the future for every nation in the world was to accept some version of western institutions and values.

A diversity of cultures was not a permanent condition of human life. It was a stage on the way to a universal civilization, in which the varied traditions and culture of the past were superseded by a new, universal community founded on reason. John Gray, False Dawn: Ironically then, using terms like Enlightenment.

Music, Film, TV and Political News Coverage. The Value of Nothing, Raj Patel, July 28, Flawed assumptions about the underlying economic systems contributed to this problem and had been building up for a long time, the current financial crisis being one of its eventualities.

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