Kasarinlan: Philippine Journal of Third World Studies, Vol 25, No 1-2 (2010)

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The Battlefields Chosen by Contemporary Imperialism: Conditions for an Effective Response from the South

Samir Amin

Abstract


In the art of war, each belligerent chooses the terrain it considers the most advantageous for its offensive and tries to impose that terrain on its adversary. Put the latter on the defensive. The same goes for politics, both at the national level and in the geopolitical struggles. For the last thirty years or so, the powers forming the triad of collective imperialism—the United States, Western Europe and Japan—have been defining two battlefields, which are still apposite: “democracy” and “the environment.” This paper aims first to examine the concepts and substance in the definitions of each of these two themes selected by the triad powers and to make a critical analysis of them from the viewpoint of the interests of the peoples, nations and states, at which they are targeted: the countries of the South, after those of the former East. It then looks at the role of all the instruments brought into play by the strategies of imperialism to wage its battles: “liberal” globalization, with its accompanying ideology (conventional economics), the militarization of globalization, “good governance,” “aid,” the “war on terrorism” and preventive warfare, as well as their accompanying ideologies (cultural postmodernism). All throughout, the paper highlights the conditions for an effective response from the peoples and states of the South to the challenge of the restructuring of the Triad’s imperialism.

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