‘Colonialism’ is one of the dirtiest of dirty words nowadays, bringing to mind images of Belgian Congolese getting their hands chopped off for failing to meet the day’s rubber quota. The problem with this simple sentiment, as this essay will explore, is that colonialism is still going strong. We used to plunder the world for its natural capital – now we plunder the world for its human capital.
Back in the Age of Discovery, there were great riches to be had from despoiling the world of its reserves of gold and silver. There was the minor problem of the people who lived on top of these gold and silver reserves, but in most cases they could either be driven off the land or enslaved to help mine it.
This didn’t stop once we ran out of gold and silver – we simply switched to Africa and plundered them of diamonds, slaves, rubber, more gold, cocoa, coffee etc. By the end of World War II, and in the aftermath of this great slaughter, we had come to realise that this course of behaviour was wrong, and we were very sorry – or at least pretended to be.
Since about 1960, the economic equation of production had permanently changed. No longer were the fattest profits in raping developing countries of their natural resources. We had moved from manufacturing economies to service economies, and that meant the fattest profits were now in raping developing countries of their human resources. This we do through the immigration system, and it’s the new colonialism.
It costs a lot of money, time and effort to raise a small child to the point where they can make a meaningful economic contribution to society. From kindergarten to the end of a Bachelor’s degree is usually 16 years of education, and for a professional degree even more than this. Every year requires, at a minimum, teachers and school infrastructure. The total cost is inevitably in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
With the new form of colonialism, we don’t send troops to developing countries and force the locals to build mines and collect rubber. As mentioned above, human capital is now more valuable than natural capital. Instead, we just let the developing countries stagnate – or cause them to – making it much harder for them to keep hold of the talented individuals who naturally arise among the population. Then the capital comes to us.
Proof that the new colonialism is no less nasty than the old comes from observing the actions that the West takes to cause those developing countries to stagnate. It’s common for Western countries to offer massive “loans” to developing countries, supposedly out of goodwill. Inevitably, the loan money gets stolen by local elites, and the country remains indebted with no way to pay the loans back. The Western countries who offered the loans then try to bargain this debt for influence.
In other words, developing countries are now enslaved by debts instead of by force of arms. Chains of iron have simply been replaced with chains of silver. One of the men who was employed to do this, a John Perkins, described his occupation as “Economic Hit Man“. This enslavement naturally leads to those with the greatest human capital trying to escape so as to get the best return.
When they do escape (usually to the West), they bring their human capital with them, depriving their home nations of the benefits of it. They also grant the West all the benefits of that human capital, despite that the West paid nothing to produce it.
Of course, it is spun as if we are generously granting rights to these unusually productive people. The propaganda tells a story of draconian immigration restrictions holding these people back from being able to make a real contribution to the world, and that we’re doing a great and moral thing by allowing them to emigrate and to work in the West.
The reality is that the nations of the West are impoverishing the developing world by sucking out its human capital. This means that the developing world now lacks the human capital that it needs to develop its own means of production and become wealthy themselves. This locks them in a vicious cycle of poverty.
Ironically, the West usually ends up getting a two-for-one deal from all this. Because we take in the most productive people from these countries, they are often left without the engineers, physicists and chemists that they need to develop their own natural resources. As a consequence, those resources often sit undeveloped until a Western company comes in to exploit them.
Desmond Morris makes an extremely insightful point in The Human Zoo. He writes that the moral values of any time and in any place are always dictated by the ruling classes to serve their own interests. In every time and place, the people tend to believe that their moral values are an expression of themselves, or the result of some process of moral development, but this is an illusion.
Many of today’s moral values have, likewise, been forced on us to suit the wishes of the ruling class, the new colonialists.
The reason why we are being encouraged to accept diversity is not because we realised that it’s the morally correct thing to do. It’s because accepting diversity makes divesting the developing world of its prime human capital a smoother process. There’s no need for blackbirding when you can induce the labour to voluntarily emigrate to the West instead.
Colonialism never went away – it simply changed form. In the same way that slavery still lives on in the private prison system and in people being paid less than they can live on for a full day’s work, so too does colonialism live on, in the rape of the human resources of the developing world. Much like colonialism was in the 19th century, this new colonialism is spun to us as being the morally correct thing to do. The lie is exposed by the fact that the new colonialists are the same people as the old ones.
If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.