Neo-Colonialism and The Empire
The great Uruguayan journalist, writer and novelist Eduardo Galeano exposed the realities of neo-colonialism that Latin America lived under – and is still living under – where foreign corporations and big finance (Western Central Banks, Western Financial Institutions and the Wall Street) colluded with subservient Latin American states to carry on unprecedented exploitation of the region that continues to incite social, political and economic chaos.
What is happening now in Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina is an example of direct Western interference in the spheres of politics and economics that periodically ruptures different nations of Latin America.
Just like Galeano, Kenyan author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is one of the rare figures of our times who hasn’t abjured one’s responsibility of being a public intellectual. He is one of the few authors of our times who don’t wish to make literature impotent by remaining servile to power, and doesn’t support oppression and injustice by remaining silent about the critical issues stemming from economics, politics and religion.
Thiong’o has recently published – via Seagull Books – a book of essays titled Secure The Base. He was here in Kolkata few months ago where he spoke about the pressing issues of our times which actually matter, unlike many authors of our times who have mastered the art of three essential things: to quickly fall in line with the mainstream corporate media narratives of the Anglophone West, omit the issues which will be critical towards/expose Western establishments and talk gravely about most banal things of no serious consequence.
Just like journalism, literature has been de-fanged in our times and the serious role of the author in a society has been diluted, as a consequence. There cannot be a greater tragedy in a society where those ‘who can see, understand and speak’ don’t do so because of self-interest, fear and cowardice.
In the Kolkata event at the Victoria Memorial, Thiong’o wasn’t crippled by the impulse to self-censor oneself. The sincerity in his voice was sensed by the audience because his mind was aligned with his conscience. Amongst many topics he spoke about, he also severely criticised Neoliberalism that he calls ‘Capitalist Fundamentalism’.
When I was reading his book later, I discovered that in one of the essays – Privatise or Be Damned – Thiong’o outlined how privatisation in Africa has led to depredations which continue to make resource-rich continent suffer from ‘broken roads, broken schools, broken hospitals, broken houses for the many while a few wallow in luxuries and indulge in shopping sprees to Western capitals’.
From Galeano’s works about Latin America and Thiong’o’s works about Africa, we can clearly see and understand how Neoliberalism has become the tool of neo-colonialism that is depriving states of sovereignty, corrupting political parties and transferring wealth and resources from Latin America and Africa to the shadowy controllers of Big Finance and the War Economy – what President Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell address on January 17, 1961 described as pernicious ‘Military Industrial Complex’ that has now expanded in the 21st century to become Military-Industrial-Surveillance-Intelligence-Media Complex.
One American friend of mine – a progressive who supported Bernie Sanders and opposed both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton – is of the opinion that the last ‘independent’ President of USA was John F Kennedy who issued US Currency notes to replace the dollar owned by the private Federal Reserve, criticised secret societies and wanted to ‘splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds’. After his assassination all his major initiatives were reversed and the successive US Presidents have been under the influence of ‘the Shadow Government of the Deep State’.
He says that President Trump – who was the first US President to acknowledge and use the term the Deep State – is fighting the ‘liberal globalist faction’ of the Western Deep State while actually being aligned with the ‘conservative nationalist faction’ of the ‘same pro-ultra-rich pro-imperial pro-Zionist entity’.
He recommends two books to get an introduction to the terms he often uses ‘The Shadow Government’ and ‘The Deep State’. The books are, The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government by Mike Lofgren and The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy by John Mearshiemer.
After doing my own research, I am compelled to agree with my American friend when he says, ‘Without understanding the Deep State, New World Order and the Globalist Banking Cartel, and without knowing how much power is exerted by organisations such as “Council On Foreign Relations”, “Bilderberg Group”, “Trilateral Commission” and other privatised think-tanks and secret societies – such as Scottish Rite Free Mason and P2 Free Mason Lodge – one will fail to understand the happenings of our world.’
I believe it is a mistake to call the declining Western hegemonic power ‘US Empire’ when USA as a country has been cannibalised by the forces of the Empire: a 2014 study by Princeton University Prof Maryin Gilens and Northwestern University Prof Benjamin Page concluded that US is an oligarchy, not a democracy, where ‘policymaking is dominated by powerful business organisations and a small number of affluent Americans’; the bankrupt USA now has a debt of over 20 trillion dollars and requires over 1 trillion dollars of new debt every year to pay the bills; the citizens have lost a lot of civil rights due to the imposition of acts which were devised as an excuse to the ‘global war against terror ‘ and gave birth to the ‘surveillance state’ and Israel trained ‘military police’, 61% of the US citizens don’t have enough savings to cover a $1000 emergency and a MIT economist Peter Temin concluded in his book ‘The Vanishing Middle Class’ that 80% of the population is burdened by debt and US has regressed to developing nation status.
So USA – being the largest economy and military power in the world – hasn’t been able to transfer the fruits of the Empire to its people and has weakened internally as a nation due to the policies of its own establishment. This paradox lies at the heart of the battle between conservative ‘Nationalism’ and liberal ‘Globalism’ that we are witnessing right now in the US.
So the Empire cannot be described as the US Empire, even though ‘American Exceptionalism’ is a dominant aspect of the Empire, just as the interest of the Jewish State of Zionist Likud Party’s Israel is the prime aspect/controller of the Empire.
The best of the independent political analysts, journalists and commentators of the West calls the post-World War II hegemonic power ‘US-centralised Empire’ (Caitlin Johnstone), ‘AngloZionist Empire’ (The Saker) and ‘Global Deep System’ (Nafeez Ahmed) that simply means the ‘Western Deep State’ where a group of unelected Western super-elites – the controllers of Big Finance and the Military-Industrial-Surveillance-Intelligence-Media Complex – are in virtual control of all the important economic and geopolitical policies of the West where democracy itself has been subverted and privatised.
In response to the anti-democratic realities, a pan-European political movement was launched in 2015 by former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and Croatian philosopher Srećko Horvat: The Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 or DIEM25 that intends to democratise Europe by the year 2025.
The Neoliberal ideology has become a tool of 21st century neo-colonialism on behalf of private corporations and private finance.
So the real empire is not a country. It is a ‘transnational privatised feudal entity’ comprising of the ‘owners and controllers’ of the central banks, the financial institutions, Wall Street companies especially the Big Three – Black Rock, Vanguard and State Street (that ‘are the largest single shareholder in almost 90% of S&P 500 firms, including Apple, Microsoft, Exxon Mobil, General electric and Coca-Cola’ – Business Insider 2017) and the corporations aligned with the Military-Industrial-Surveillance-Intelligence-Media Complex that I prefer to call the Western Deep State (WDS).
The Empire or the WDS – unilateral hegemonic power for over 70 years – has now been confronted by the multi-polar challenge of a resurgent Russia-China axis and the prospect of Eurasian integration by the New Silk Routes: China’s Belt and Road Initiative and emergence of petro-yuan that challenges the petro-dollar and the dollar-based financial system.
It is this battle for the 21st century between the unilateral US-centralised Empire/the Western Deep State and the multi-lateral Eurasian Resistance that will affect, transform and determine the future of our world.
Hence, we are seeing the pro-war western corporate media’s hysteria against the ‘enemies’ of the Western Deep State: Russia, China, Iran, independent journalists, whistleblowers, the progressive left movements, Jeremy Corbyn, Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and so on.
In recent times, we are also witnessing weaponisation of the dollar, currency wars, economic threats, tariffs and sanctions whose essential goal is to contain the rise of Russia and China, and put brakes on the Eurasia integration project.
However, in spite of the ‘hybrid measures’ being taken by Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ cause, one of the sharpest American analysts Paul Craig Roberts thinks that the period of American dominance has passed.
In his latest book America: The Farewell Tour, the Pulitzer winning journalist Chris Hedges highlights the ‘familiar pathologies of any diseased culture as it collapses’ and predicts an imminent catastrophic crisis in the future of the USA.
Noted historian and author Alfred McCoy says ‘The American Century, proclaimed so triumphantly at the start of World War II, may already be tattered and fading by 2025 and, except for the finger pointing, could be over by 2030.’
How the effect of Eurasia integration will be a death blow to Bretton Woods and Neoliberalism, has been explained by the cracking geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar of Asia Times in this in-depth reference-worthy piece written for Consortium News.
The ‘big picture’ in global geopolitics, the changing economic realities and the world power structures are required to be understood in order to realise how things are shaping up for India.
India is a prominent node of the global geopolitical and geoeconomic web; and the web needs to be kept in view, because, like we will see in the next section of this essay, what is happening in India is not happening in isolation, but is happening as an extension of the policies of the Western Deep State, or the US-centralised Empire.
We, the Subjects of the Empire, Once Again.
There is a ‘war on reality’ that is being raged by vested interests to deceive, manufacture consent and propagandise the public. But truth still flashes through the simulacra, if one is paying enough attention, and a clear narrative can be formed from the fragments which break out.
The ‘news behind the news’ is dismal. As we see a renewal of criticism of the Empire of old or the British Raj, India is quietly becoming a victim of neoliberal neo-colonisation project of the Western Deep State.
Ironically, when India is under the charge of self-proclaimed chest-thumping ‘religious nationalists’, it is turning into a colony of the US-centralised Empire or a subservient vassal, and losing its sovereignty to choose its own economic and foreign policies.
My evidence-based-hypothesis is divided under four heads: Aadhaar, Demonetisation, Neoliberalism and the Military Pact with the USA.
In an article titled ‘Foreign Company Has Source Code of Aadhaar Project; It Has Access To Citizens’ Information : Certain Worrying Findings By Justice Chandrachud’ published on Live Law, Manu Sebastian has revealed a startling discovery from certain findings in the dissenting judgment of Justice D Y Chandrachud in regard to the Aadhaar project.
‘It has been found in his judgment that neither the Central Government nor the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has the source code for the de-duplication technology which is at the heart of the programme. The source code belongs to a foreign corporation. UIDAI is merely a licensee. Biometric database in the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) is accessible to third-party vendors providing biometric search and de-duplication algorithms. Prior to the enactment of Aadhaar Act in 2016, the UIDAI contracted with L-1 Identity Solutions (an American entity which provided the source code for biometric storage) to provide to it any personal information related to any resident of India. The citizens enrolled in the program without being aware of that and handed over their biometrics to the UIDAI without informed consent.’
‘Under the Contract, L-1 Identity Solutions retains the ownership of the biometric software. It has also been provided that L-1 Identity Solutions can be given access to the database of UIDAI and the personal information of any individual.’
In another investigative article – also quoted by Wiki Leaks – titled Foreign Firms Given Access To Your Unencrypted Aadhaar Data published by GGI News we get to know more about L-1 Identity Solutions:
“The RTI reply showed that the nature of the contracts contradicted UIDAI’s statements that no private entity had access to unencrypted Aadhaar data. The contract with one of the biometric service providers (BSPs), L-1 Identity Solutions Operating Co Pvt Ltd, headquartered in US, says that the company was given Aadhaar data access “as part of its job”. (L-1 has been taken over by French transnational Safran Group) Morpho and Accenture Services Pvt Ltd are two other firms that were given identical contracts with two year (2010 to 2012) Aadhaar data access.”
“One of the directors of L1 Identity, the company contracted by UIDAI for Aadhaar, was George Tenet, director of the CIA. After leaving the CIA Tenet joined L1 Identity. One of L1s client’s was also the CIA. Apart from Tenet, Loius Freeh, former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Admiral Loy, who was the acting director of US Homeland Security were/are also members of L1’s board of directors.”
The dissenting judgment of Justice D Y Chandrachud validated the investigative article published by GGI News that the CIA-linked US private firm L-1 Solutions has access to all the confidential biometric data of Indian citizens. A fact that is seemingly unacceptable to any semblance of common sense, justice and propriety.
‘Data is the New Oil’, data mining for corporate profits, centralisation of data for surveillance, collection of biometric data of citizens, profiling of citizens to propagandise them on behalf of vested interests and many other ways of misuse are the ideas of the Western Deep State which are being implemented worldwide.
India fell into the trap of all the above under the guise of the Aadhaar Project that has handed out the biometric data of Indian citizens to a foreign corporation with links to Western Intelligence agencies.
If this is not unconstitutional, then what is?
In my essay about Demonetisation, the role of the USA to forge a ‘cashless economy’ in India, just prior to Demonetisation, has been shown and explained, along with the collaboration of the Modi regime with the US-Aid funded organisation ‘Cashless Catalyst’ to forge a digital eco-system in India.
Demonetization gave a catalyst to ‘cashless society’, private Fintech companies, banking sector, financial surveillance and technocratic digitalization which are all ideas promoted by the Western Deep State to boost Fintech corporations and allied IT firms and enhance banking profits ever since the Financial Crisis of 2008.
The battle between capitalism and communism is long over. In the 21st century, it is the battle between Neoliberalism and ‘Democratic Socialism in a Market Economy’ that will define for us our collective future.
Neoliberalism is the ideology that has colonised the globe. If the UPA had introduced soft Neoliberalism – without totally sacrificing the role of the welfare state, the NDA under PM Modi has unleashed the full spectrum of the ideology with all its toxic malignancy.
Neoliberalism is a virulent strain of ‘greed is good’ capitalism that was introduced by the conservative governments of Thatcher and Reagan. But soon it evolved into, what Thiong’o correctly calls ‘Capitalist Fundamentalism’ that funnels all resources and wealth into private hands of the 1%.
Neoliberalism is ‘far-right capitalism’ that also means ‘compassionate socialism for the 1% and brutal capitalism for the rest’.
Like a disease, it is known by its characteristics and the symptoms which include financialisation, digitalisation, technocracy, wholesale privatisation, creation of debt based society, high extractive taxation, deregulation, removal of welfare and subsidies, funnelling of resources and tax-payers’ money to private corporations via government contracts and dubious deals which go on to create imbalance in spending, increase inequalities, make education and healthcare unaffordable, increase cost of living, lower wages and centralises power in the hands of an unelected few who gain control over policies of elected governments.
Collusion of corporate power and big finance with political parties is an essential trait of Neoliberalism. Politicians begin to act as the middlemen of corporate power and Big Finance and impose policies which benefit their ‘sponsors’ and destroy the principles of democracy – as pointed out by Noam Chomsky who also described Neoliberalism as fascism.
Neoliberalism is the rule of the super-rich via political parties and politicians they control. It is a feudal plutocracy by the powerful to make them more powerful.
Neoliberalism is a disastrous ideology for a low income developing country like India where 86% of the population lives under 12000/- rupees a month, while India currently lacks 158th in ‘human capital’ score that assesses investments in education and health care; China is at 44th and US is ranked 27th.
Neoliberalism – a form of corporatocracy with totalitarian tools enabled by technology – will crush the poor and choke the middle class. It will funnel resources and taxpayers’ money to foreign firms, Big Finance and crony corporations, reduce civil liberties, centralise power, deny balanced spending for inclusive development, increase chronic inequality, rob all the chances of social justice and social mobility, and drastically decrease all human development indices, like it is doing so, ever since 2014.
Military Pact with the USA.
In his article published in the Scroll titled Why Donald Trump’s praise of India at the United Nations is a poisoned chalice, Girish Shahane pointed out how the Modi regime is shifting India into the orbit of USA.
The article pointed out that India has signed two agreements with the USA. The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) was signed in 2016. COMCASA, or the Communication Compatibility and Security Arrangements was signed in 2018. ‘The final step will be signing the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) for Geo-spatial Cooperation.’
Shahane explained, ‘Once the three agreements are sealed, India will be locked into a US-dominated military framework, and will divest itself of Russian weapons. It will be a lengthy process, given that India continues to purchase very sophisticated Russian arms like the S-400 missile, which is among the best anti-aircraft defence systems in the world, but will proceed inexorably.’
Strangely, India being a country of Eurasia, is aligning with the worldview of the US-centralized Empire, and is being adversarial to the Eurasia Integration Project that potentially can create the largest economic and military bloc that world has ever seen, when Asia – after several centuries of humiliation by colonialism – has already gained the largest share of the Global GDP and has gone ahead of Europe and North America.
Shahane also pointed out, ‘India’s shift into the US camp is taking place without generating any debate within the country, which is bewildering considering that the US-India Civilian Nuclear Agreement concluded exactly ten years ago nearly brought down the Manmohan Singh government on the charge of selling out the nation. There’s been more discussion in the Indian media about Pakistan moving into China’s orbit than about India jettisoning its long-stated commitment to non-alignment. But the nation will soon have to make very tough decisions, because being a US ally comes with real costs, one of them being pushed into partisan positions based on American perceptions of American self-interest. The costs will become very clear very soon, at which point we may finally see more commentators questioning the wisdom of getting quite so cosy with a nation that has a decades-long habit of waging unjust wars.’
Fifth Column is a term that is used to describe any group of people who undermine a larger group from within, usually in favour of an enemy or hostile group or nation.
Whether a fifth column exists in India who favours foreign imperial power is not the question, but the question is how large is the fifth column and how many are within the orbit of the Neoliberal Western Deep State?
We have a fifth column aligned with the mainstream Western Anglophone establishments – a group of politicians, corporates, journalists, economists, commentators, editors, activists and authors – who, knowingly or unknowingly, serve as the agents and useful idiots of the Empire, omit glaring truths and bury all news/analysis/ commentaries which are critical of the policies of the Western establishments or the US-centralised Empire.
I have seen pro-US liberal journalists in India propagating neoliberal ideas of corporate totalitarianism which are neither remotely liberal nor progressive. I have noticed how the narratives of the western corporate media are promoted by Indian journalists without any critical thinking and deeper assessment. I am surprised that even some of the independent Indian media align with the mainstream western corporate media, and don’t bring in the perspective of the western independent media into their news and analysis. I have seen Indian political commentators writing for foreign publications which are known Western Deep State mouth-pieces and peddling ideas like de-nationalisation or privatisation of the Indian banks, which conform to the interests of the globalist banking cartel. I have seen how the liberal Indian press has made so little noise about the foreign corporation that owns the Aadhaar source code and buried the pre-Demonetisation role of the USA in creating ‘cashless economy’ in India without bringing the topic to a larger public debate.
Empire Integrationists and Eurasian Sovereignists
Two opposing groups are likely to emerge in India when ‘what is happening’ is finally grasped and understood.
First, the group of ‘Empire Integrationists’ who will be fine with the integration of India with the US-centralised Empire and will accept the loss of sovereignty and imperial exploitation that this integration entails.
Second, the group of ‘Non-aligned Sovereignists’ who will oppose the servile integration with an imperial power and will actively seek to reverse it. This group is likely to transform into ‘Eurasia Integrationists’ and favour integration with Eurasia, as a visionary strategy to dent the influence of the declining exploitative Empire, and make way for the firm establishment of a ‘post-unilateral-multi-polar world’ that has already started to emerge, and will gain more ground in the next decade or two, as Eurasia grows more stronger economically.
What Lies Ahead For India
Aadhaar, Demonetisation and Neoliberalism haven’t worked for us and have caused – and will continue to cause – enormous damage. Even the Military Pact with the US will turn out truly to be a ‘poisoned chalice’ when India will be forced to act in line with aggressive US interests in Eurasia, rather than act in its own interest of peace, development, cooperation and growth.
History points out that aligning with an Empire in decline is fraught with dangers, because the falling Empire gets hijacked by psychopaths who commit impulsive unwise military adventurism to prove strength and prevent the inevitable erosion of power, and thereby tends to cause widespread violence, strife and turmoil, which ironically hastens its own decline.
Apart from the openly declared Military Pact with USA, the influence of the ‘foreign hand’ in all the other three – Aadhaar Project, Demonetisation and Neoliberalism – is rather obvious.
There is little doubt that India – especially under the regime of proud Hindutva ‘nationalists’ – is becoming a victim of neo-colonialism, transforming into a colony or a vassal of unilateral imperial power and surrendering sovereignty to the Western Deep State or the US-centralised Empire in the matters of economy, military and foreign affairs.
Even in regard to Iran, when the EU has stood up against the US bullying along with Russia and China, India is more likely to relent due to pressure from the Trump administration, and won’t be importing cheap sweet crude from Iran post-November 4, when the US sanctions on Iran kick in and cause a fresh round of turmoil for the Middle East and the world.
The easily frightened India has capitulated to the Western Deep State and the US administrations – both of President Obama and of President Trump, in spite of being aligned with the multilateral BRICS that seeks to counter-balance the unilateral Empire.
India’s integration with the US-centralised Empire/Western Deep State is neo-colonisation and we have more to lose than to gain. It is unconceivable, that a country that fought for independence from an imperial power, has succumbed so submissively to another imperial entity.
If this pernicious neo-colonisation isn’t understood and countered; if things don’t change, and if the fifth column doesn’t decrease with decolonisation of the western-mainstream-enamoured minds, what lies ahead is known to us through the works of Galeano and Thiong’o – transfer of Indian taxpayers’ money and national resources into the hands of a few: foreign firms, Big Finance and crony Indian corporations and denial of inclusive development, balanced spending and social justice to the people of our nation.
If an enough number of people of India don’t wake up to the dismal realities with a sense of true patriotism, conscience and concern, then the good – truth-justice-ethics – won’t be able to win against evil – deception-injustice-immorality.
If the course correction isn’t done and India fails to re-gain courage and full sovereignty, we will get more and more trapped and enslaved within the neoliberal technocratic labyrinth of foreign control, corporate greed, state tyranny, diluted democracy, de-fanged media, compromised intelligentsia, carefully manufactured distractive civil chaos of ‘us and them’, sinister social engineering programs, loss of civil liberties, endemic corruption, negligence, depredation, inequality, lack of infrastructure, poverty, injustice and a chronic spiritless fatigue of existence in a compassionless system that doesn’t care for its own people and keeps deceiving them, time and time again, year after year, election after election.
[The views expressed belong solely to the author, and may not reflect the opinions of the editorial team]