We all are very well aware of what imperialism is. Still, for those who do not know, imperialism can be characterized as a notion, political strategy, practice, state policy, or advocacy that entails the expansion of the political and economic authority of one state over the other state or territory. But the main question here is; Has the age of imperialism ended? And the answer is No; it has not.

The contemporary world is still imperialized but in a new way called neo-imperialism; through the economic policies of financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank.

Globalization is the root cause of such a level of economic interdependence; it was believed that the more the world would become economically interdependent, the more it would become peaceful. But what happened is somewhat the opposite; there are no weaponry wars, but that does not mean that the peace has been sustained; in fact, the world has jumped into a new kind of war known as “Trade War,” and its consequences are no less than the weaponry war, endured by none but the poor peripheral states.

Globalization: The root cause of neo imperialistic world

Discussing how globalization has resulted in this, there were two vital consequences: Firstly, it extended the Third World Model to industrial countries. In the Third World, there are two-tiered societies- a sector of extreme wealth and privilege and a sector of enormous misery and despair among useless, extra people. And this division is deepened by the policies dictated by the West. It imposes a neo-liberal “free market” system that directs resources to the wealthy and foreign investors, with the idea that something will trickle down by magic sometime after the Messiah comes.

The second consequence is governing structures; throughout history, governmental structures have tended to merge with other forms of power. In modern times, primarily around economic power. So, when you have national economies, you have federal states. And this whole structure of decision-making is answerable to transnational corporations, international banks, etc. It is also an effective blow against democracy. All these structures raise decision-making to the executive level, leaving a “democratic deficit”– parliaments and populations with less influence.

The general population doesn’t even know what is happening, and it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know! One of the factors is a kind of alienation from the institutions and their policies.

IMF and World Bank: instruments of neo-imperialism

Countries such as Pakistan do sign agreements with IMF for loans, but the financial policy reforms they imposed in return never let the state take advantage of the loan in the best possible way; the more they become dependent upon IMF, the more they suffer.  Various critiques have been raised against the IMF over time, most of which have centered on the terms of its loans. The IMF has also come under fire for its lack of transparency and propensity to provide loans to nations with a track record of violating human rights. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has faced criticism for its conditions of loans, which are conditional on implementing specific economic policies. These policies include reducing government borrowing, raising interest rates, allowing failing firms to go bankrupt, and promoting structural adjustment through privatization, deregulation, and reducing corruption. However, these policies can worsen economic situations, such as the Asian crisis 1997, which forced countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand to pursue tight monetary and fiscal policies. Critics argue that these policies fail to understand the dynamics of the countries they are dealing with and insist on blanket reforms.

The IMF has also faced criticism for allowing inflationary devaluations and neo-liberal policies like privatization, which can lead to private monopolies exploiting consumers.

Critics argue that the IMF is too interventionist and that bailing out countries with large debt creates moral hazard. Additionally, the IMF has been accused of lacking transparency and involvement, imposing policies without consultation with affected countries, and supporting military dictatorships.

Likewise, the World Bank is criticized for using structural adjustment loans as a coercive tool to compel nations to adopt neo-liberal- free-market principles. Whatever their other qualities, countries in a debt crisis accept the bank’s judicial and economic reforms package, and the bank agrees to lend them money. To be eligible for an adjustment loan, Argentina, Ecuador, and India changed their land laws or lowered their labor regulations. According to reports, 20 significant pieces of law have been altered in India.

Trade War and American Imperialism:

All these policies have favored the core– the global economies of the world, mainly the US as the economic reforms implemented by the countries following IMF and World Bank tend no one else but the US to compete with the semi-periphery- China, leading to Trade War that has at the end again effected the edge in the worst possible way by causing their exports to the respective countries, again leading towards the economic distress, making the periphery more dependent upon IMF and World Bank and the cycle continues.

Therefore, we can conclude that the world, specifically the dependent economies, has become neo-imperialized due to damaging policies of the IMF and World Bank, making the periphery more dependent on the core and semi-periphery, already indulged in a trade war.

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