Economic Assassination and Financial Imperialism by States
The United State of America’s founding philosophy is based on the republican ideology that emphasizes individual freedom and liberty and rejects monarchy. The republican principle is contradictory with imperialism which endorses the idea of taking control through military power. Economic Assassination and Financial Imperialism by States is such a vital topic to discuss.
So how did a country deviate from its principle so much that it adopted an entirely opposite practice? The answer lies in the history of events that led to the U.S.A’s current stance on imperialism.
A flashback to the historical events
Let’s go into the flashback to 1890, when the U.S.A was the most powerful economy in the world. After the deadliest war; the Civil War, till the 1860s, most Americans weren’t interested in territorial expansion and the only war they were fighting was against the Native Americans. The U.S.A had a small army whose primary job was to defend the borders from Native Americans’ attacks and the country’s major efforts were directed towards industrial advances.
George Washington initiated the non-interventionist policy which opposed the U.S.A’s alliances with any foreign nations to avoid being dragged into wars and proposed the country’s neutral stance for countries in conflict. It also emphasized maintaining friendly relations with all the countries for commerce.
On the other hand, imperialism and military invasions were at a peak in Europe and most of Africa and Asia was colonized by the European powers. This shifted the direction of American politics as the Americans considered it a threat to their economic power because if half the world was colonized, the international market for trade and commerce would collapse.
A shift from the non-interventionist policy
The U.S.A gave up its non-interventionist policy when the U.S.A intervened in Cuba’s war of independence against Spain. The U.S.A had already established a significant business in Cuba and it feared losing its economic stakes if the peace in Latin America came under threat of the European powers. In the aftermath, Spain signed the Treaty of Paris that gave the U.S.A temporary control over Cuba and ceded the control of Puerto Rico, Philippines, and Guam to the U.S.A which emerged with new interests in international politics.
The United States continued to interfere in the Cuban affairs and established a military base to retain its power. By that time, the U.S.A was a major trading partner for Cuba and other Latin American countries as their economies depended on the foreign trade with the U.S.A and other big economies of that time.
The Latin American countries were under heavy debt that they had taken from the U.S.A at high-interest rates to build their infrastructure after the post-colonization era. The U.S.A used force when these countries failed to repay their debt which gave rise to economic imperialism, also called economic colonialism in Latin America – effects of which continue today as the debt is passed down from one generation to another.
Fast forward to World War II
Fast forward to 1939 when World War II began. Germany declared war on Poland, Great Britain, and France declared war on Germany, China, and Japan were already at a war. The U.S.A avoided being directly involved in the war but supported its allies by selling the arms and aircraft. Japan launched a military strike on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and in its response, the U.S.A declared war on Japan. The U.S.A was among the last standing powers after World War II ended in 1945 and became the permanent member in the Security Council at the United Nations.
After World War II, political tensions rose between the U.S.A and the Soviet Union leading to the Cold War. Despite losing a significant proportion of its GDP in World War II, the U.S. emerged as an important actor in the global economy but the focus had shifted to defence production, atomic energy, and expansion of military budget to preparing for a possible nuclear war against the Soviet Union in the 1950s. The U.S. poured in more money into manufacturing weaponry and built universities to conduct dedicated research on defence.
The American Exceptionalism
A strong economy in post-war era backed by the newfound imperialism and the republican principle resulted in American exceptionalism, a belief that the U.S.A is better than all other countries and is responsible to spread democracy and liberty across the world. The U.S. continued its military operations by joining North Korea in the Korean War, fighting an undeclared war in Vietnam, and invading Panama. The U.S.A’s involvement in a number of wars and initiation of its war gave it a prominent position in the global landscape.
The American economic imperialism; domestic and international
The U.S.A’s economic imperialism has two sides; domestic and international. Let’s look at the international aspect first.
The U.S. has the largest economy and the most powerful military in the world with a military budget of $686 billion. It operates 800 military bases in 70 countries; largest in the world. Just imagine the power it has in the global economy!
Today, the imperialism doesn’t necessarily have to involve force but can be practiced by just having a powerful position in the politician and economic landscape which the U.S.A has achieved successfully. Even without directly intervening, it has the power to control the global trade because of the value of the U.S. dollar and its presence in the world through the military.
The U.S.A’s perceived role in restoring peace has its traces in history, take an example of The Fourteen Points and The Marshall Plan that aimed to foster prosperity in Europe or the United State’s war on terrorism to save the planet from atrocities of terrorism. But the U.S.A’s attempts to become the saviour of the world has done more harm than good to not only different countries but to its own people. Its War on Afghanistan and Iraq left the countries to ruins, destroyed the economies and regional peace forever without achieving its goals. The war on terrorism resulted in $5.6 trillion of debt to the American tax-payers, most of whom didn’t even want the war.
The U.S.A’s agenda is simple; attack a country or wait for a natural disaster like drought or flood, attempt to save the country by launching development projects, export goods to it at subsidized taxes rates, put them in debt, buy raw materials at low prices – hence destroy the country’s capability to become self-sufficient; a modern definition of economic imperialism!
At a domestic level, the U.S.A has levied aggressive taxes on its citizens’ income to cover the trillion-dollar deficit and destroyed the essence of a free society because people no longer have freedom on how they’re spending their money. It has also resulted in reduced privacy because the government has access to every piece of information to track how people find legal ways of reducing the tax burden.
The U.S.A’s economic imperialism is not only costing underdeveloped and developing countries their national sovereignty and a chance of sustaining a healthy economy but is also an attack on its citizens’ basic rights to freedom and privacy.
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