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Socialist Democracy July - August 2003 Index


By Victor Osakwe

The recent war waged against and subsequent occupation of Iraq by two of the most powerful imperialist countries of the world i.e. USA and Great Britain is an example of the method by which imperialist nations dominate and exploit weaker nations. While these imperialist countries give impression that the reason for the war was that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction that can endanger countries around it and that Saddam Hussein was a ruthless dictator that should be overthrown, they allowed equally ruthless dictators to exist elsewhere. The real truth behind the war and occupation is that Iraq and its neighbours possess more than 70% of the proven oil reserves of the world and important raw material for the world capitalist economy. It is therefore necessary to remove the Iraqi dictator so as to have direct control over the oil resources of Iraq and the entire Middle East. This was the method used to impose colonial governments on the third world nations towards the end of the 19th century.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the more advanced capitalist countries of the world mostly the European states led by Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, USA, etc had already divided the world according to their whims and caprices. The other less developed states of the world were directly under the control of these advanced capitalist countries both economically and politically.

As the industrial world needed markets and raw materials, there was the need to get these things from the weaker and less developed parts of the world. The industrial world which wanted to dominate these markets and sources of raw materials decided to turn the other nations into their protectorates i.e. areas which will be under their direct political and military control. These were the first attempts at direct colonialism. Eventually, after conquering all the markets available on earth, the imperialist states waged wars amongst themselves over the division and re-division of the conquered markets. This led to the first major world war (World War I) between Great Britain, France, USA and their allies on one hand and Germany, Japan, Italy, Austria and their allies on the other hand between 1914-1918. These imperialist rivalries also led to World War 2 between 1939-1945.

After the Second World War, many of the colonial states rose to break the yoke of direct colonialism. They openly revolted against their domination by these imperialist powers leading to their independence i.e. cutting of direct political control from the imperialist states. However, the cutting of political control from these imperialist states did not mean breaking the economic domination. This meant that those imperialist multinationals still control the economies of these new "independent" states that were created from the former colonial markets of the imperialist states.




As a result of the domination by the imperialist states of the world economy by the economic domination of weaker or less advanced states by the stronger nations, the world has now been divided into the rich industrialised nations and the poor or less industrialised nations. These rich industrialised nations dominates world trade and economy and are responsible for the supply of industrial goods to the less advanced nations of the world while the poor nations are made to supply only raw materials to the more advanced countries.

These raw materials are turned into finished industrial goods in the advanced countries and then resold to third world nations at very high cost. The third world or former colonial countries are therefore forced to borrow huge sums of money to be able to buy these industrial goods from the same rich countries that are responsible for their impoverishment. These has led to the formation of the World Bank and the IMF which are institutions dominated by the major industrial countries and saddled with the task of giving out these loans and also retrieving them. The World Bank and IMF most of the time prescribe solution to the debt problem by making sure that the domination of the poorer nation are increased further and make sure that their economies opened up for further penetration.




The term globalisation has been banded about in several quarters as the new direction, which is being followed by the world to a new economic eldorado that will soon engulf the earth. Those who fail to implement those policies of globalisation we are made to believe will sooner or later miss the economic boom that will follow. However, to third world countries like Nigeria and all other poor countries of the world, globalisation means increased exploitation of them by the advanced industrialised nations. Globalisation has tenets which include: (a) trade liberalisation (b) privatisation and commercialisation of public utilities (c) removal of subsidies on all products (d) open competition, etc. All these policies are meant to deliberately open up the markets of weaker economies to further domination by the more powerful industrial capitalist countries. It is meant to make sure that local industries, which cannot stand the effect of global competition should die out leaving such countries at the mercy of multinational corporations in the world market.




Imperialism is very strong and powerful in the world today. It will require concerted effort by the world's workings class both in the advanced capitalist nations and the third world nations to change the present domination and exploitation of the world by a few multinational companies backed by their imperialist countries. Socialism, the system which will guarantee equality both nationally and internationally of all peoples of the world, is the only system by which exploitation and domination will end in the world.

If the world is to enjoy a genuine democracy and real prosperity, it must do away with the capitalist system of government that is presently responsible for the existence of imperialism on the planet today. Wars, dictatorship, poverty, disease, etc, will end only after the triumph of socialism world-wide.





Socialist Democracy July - August 2003 Index