The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewJames Petras Archive
Imperialists’ Fear and Loathing. . . of Being Colonized
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks


For decades and longer, the United States and Europe lectured and encouraged countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia to welcome and accept foreign investment as the virtuous path to modernization, growth and prosperity.

With few notable exceptions western leaders and academics promoted unlimited flows of capital (and the outflows of profits). No section of the targeted economies was off-limits – agriculture, mining, manufacturers, utilities, transport and communication were to be ‘modernized’ through US and European ownership and control.

Third World leaders, whether generals, bankers or landowners who abided by the ‘open markets’doctrine and ‘invited’ foreign ownership, were praised, whether they were dictators or elected by hook or crook. Nationalism and nationalists were condemned as restricting the wheels of progress and blocking the March of History.

To be fair, the western regimes encouraged all countries to open their doors to capital flows – but of course only the imperial countries had the capital, technology and political power to do so.

Economists preached the doctrine of specialization in ‘comparative advantage’: the West to invest, profit and dominate markets and the South to accept low wages, junior partnerships and dependent industries.

This system worked very well for the West as long as they were the dominant power and shaped the markets, flows of capital and the terms of exchange.

Nationalist leaders were condemned, sanctioned, ousted and demonized throughout the time of Anglo-American ascendancy.

Through time and efforts, Third World countries followed another path – through revolutions or reforms, through state direction and national entrepreneurs, they invested, innovated, borrowed and transformed their economies. Over time, some like China, began to successfully compete with Western powers for markets, minerals and technology.

Role Reversal: Imperial Washington Denounces China for Colonizing the Economy

As the US Empire failed to out-compete China, not only in overseas markets, but in sectors of the domestic economy, local manufacturers relocated to China and Mexico or went bankrupt or merged or were acquired by foreign capital – notably China.

Nationalism replaced neo-liberalism and globalism among sectors of the ruling class especially among political ideologies grouped around President Trump.

The nationalists forged a national pluto-populist alliance, linking Wall Street, backward sectors of the capitalist class with displaced and under and unemployed workers under the umbrella of ‘protectionist rhetoric’: massive business tax cuts and tariffs, quotas and taxes on European, Asian and North American competitors. Gone were Washington lectures on free markets and the virtues of globalization and multi-lateral trade agreements.

The new protectionism echoed the rhetoric of 18th and 19th century America and the Great Depresion era Smoot-Hawley tariff. Earlier the US claimed tariffs were necessary to protect and foster so-called ‘infant’ industries; twenty-first century protectionism claims it is to protect ‘national security’ from cross oceanic rival (China) and cross border (Canada, Mexico)—-mortal military threats………..


President Trump adopted the ideology of Third World national liberation governments to undermine its—imperial competitors. Washington,s ersatz ‘nationalist’ empire builders were abated by their media allies, who spilled tons of ink attacking ‘imperial’ China’s overseas investments as ‘plundering’ Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Washington projected an image of the US surrounded by enemies everywhere, who were ‘taking advantage’ of their privileged position in order to exploit a ‘weak America’.

President Trump reverted the nationalist slogans of Third World liberation into imperialist calls to “Make Americas Empire Strong” “

Third World nationalism is an ideology to create domestic markets and industries in largely agro-mineral economies, through public-private investment and state ownership, oversight, regulation and subsidies.

Nationalism of declining empires is the ideology of authoritarian militarists and fascist regimes which no longer can compete in the market place.

Imperial countries in decline have several options.

  1. They can adapt to the new realities by upgrading their economies , reducing overseas military commitments, reallocating budgets and investments and educating their labor force to productive activity.
  2. They can form partnerships with emerging competitors via power sharing, innovations, joint ventures and multi-lateral trade agreements.
  3. They can engage in trade wars, overseas military conquests or encircle emerging rivals through sanctions, tariffs and protectionist fiats.

Nostalgia for the past ‘glory’ of unipolarity , economic supremacy and unquestioned ideological superiority, is a formula for losing wars and a Hobbesian world of all against the predator.


In the beginning a nationalist-populist revival can stimulate growth as rivals will appease the aggressor; the imperial classes will prosper through lower taxes; the ‘deplorables’ may glory in the rhetoric of nationalism and expectation of ‘great thing are coming’.

But tax gains mean bigger debts; appeaser nations in the face of permanent losses of vital exports will retaliate .. and succumb to the protectionist contagion. Imperial globalists will turn into nationalists.

Nationalist will replace impotent neo-liberal social democrats. Workers will turn to nationalists to recover their lost workplace and neighborhood solidarity; nationalists will exploit downward mobility and appeal to images of past prosperity.

National plutocrats will turn to authoritarians who speak to popular grievances in order to deflect class antagonism.Nationalists will gain a popular audience in the face of a left that avoids , dismisses or rejects the shared values of local communities. Liberal and progressive support of overseas wars which increase the flow of immigrants , alienates the working and middle class taxpayers

The declining empire will not die early.

The nationalist revival can revive imperial ‘last hurrah! The fear and loathing of being colonized is the driving force for the new imperial revival.The lies and hypocrisy accompanying the older imperial claims of conquest in the name of ‘defending western values’ no long works.

A consequential opposition can only emerge if it links class and nationalist appeals to community values and social solidarity.

Hide 4 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Issac says:

    Hypocrisy or not, normal westerners outside the political class (one you are much closer to than they) are upset by the costs of diversity being imposed upon them for the sins of you, the comfortable elite. The only class solidarity is between the political class and their only class interest appears to be smugly rubbing their social inferiors faces in the muck. May the plumber’s son cave in your smug grin soon.

  2. Anonymous [AKA "Joe Kowalski"] says: • Website

    I have no comment on what you have written, but to bring to your attention (if appropriate) an alternative to your “Imperial countries in decline have several options.”

    “Imperial countries in decline have several options.
    1. They can adapt to the new realities by upgrading their economies , reducing overseas military commitments, reallocating budgets and investments and educating their labor force to productive activity.
    2. They can form partnerships with emerging competitors via power sharing, innovations, joint ventures and multi-lateral trade agreements.
    3. They can engage in trade wars, overseas military conquests or encircle emerging rivals through sanctions, tariffs and protectionist fiats.”

    Rostislav Ishchenko in his post entitled Time Is Running Out For Pax Americana’s Apologists (November 12, 2015) in which he stated:

    “ A crisis erupts within any system when there is a discrepancy between its internal structure and the sum total of available resources (that is, those resources will eventually prove inadequate for the system to function normally and in the usual way).
    “There are at least three basic options for addressing this situation:
    1. Through reform, in which the system’s internal structure evolves in such a way as to better correspond to the available resources.
    2. Through the system’s collapse, in which the same result is achieved via revolution.
    3. Through preservation, in which the inputs threatening the system are eliminated by force, and the relationships within the system are carefully preserved on an inequitable relationship basis (whether between classes, social strata, castes, or nations).”
    Mr. Ischenko postulates that an imperial power usually gets in trouble because the resources it needs are not available to this power. The link to this article is:

  3. Anonymous [AKA "Corrine"] says: • Website

    Hi Joe Kowalski ,
    The extra charges of a government on the purchasing of property in the form of general country tax can be eliminate easily with in a seven days according to the rules and regulations of a government,If you write an application with the authentic reasons for a elimination of property tax and also attached a legal documents of a property tax pairs after that submitted in the government office by the tax layers which is helpful for you to approved the claim of your property tax in the seven days without any allegations of a government on the application of your property tax ,Remember don’t write any irreverent reasons in the applications of property tax you want to submit in the office of government and also don’t attached any illegal or extra document of property which increase the chances to refuse or neglect your claim application ,So keep it in your mind all the instructions and requirements given to you by the tax layer after concerning this kind of matter according to the current policy of government .

  4. Anonymous [AKA "O Olesen"] says:

    Usually I like and agree with much of what You write. But You must realize that the Do goodder Thirld World Mantra is a bit used.. overstretched to speak …to day.Traditional Colonialism is by now over 2 generations behind us . All these countries have had plenty of time to achieve something else than the OVERPOPULATED SHITHOLES .. they and their corrupt elites have succeeded in creating and which their indigenous populations try to escape from by any means . China .. may be extemption .. for which i … with no envy at all …congratulate China. But the remainder ? I know ..that Exploitation still is rampant .. especially by mainly Jewish controlled Multinational Corporations around the globe who hand in hand with corrupted indigenous ” Elites ” fleece their own populations. But to blame EUROPE or any other WHITE people for this is RIDICULOUS. We have nothing to do with it .. and we dont owe the socalled Thirld World .. anything. NADA ! …That IDEOLOGICALLY IMPOSED Altruistic and Suicidal Behaviour on OUR Part is PASSE ! There is no Justification for it .. any more .. and in a cruel Machiavellian World .. there never was . Which in reality .. everyone knows .. fully well . You too !

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All James Petras Comments via RSS