Imperialism is one of the most universally hated things, on both sides of the aisles, and critiques on imperialism vary vastly across the globe based on class, historical accounts, and cultures. In some parts of the world, such as Hong Kong, British imperialism is seen as a good thing, while in other parts of the world like Vietnam, French imperialism is seen as a bad thing. Imperialism, at the end of the day, is subject to differences in opinion based on who benefits from it and who loses from it. Imperialism, like any other concept that has existed in the real world, rather than just in the biased and binary minds of people, has given us both benefits and atrocities. While pseudo-Marxists and liberals typically despise imperialism, seeing it as an incredibly destructive force that obliterates native cultures and enslaves people, DMSG sees imperialism as a great tool for implementing accelerationism. While most people idolize nature and natural living as utopian, in a setting where people simply forage and hunt for food, DMSG sees such a lifestyle as absolute impoverishment. Because of the fact that European colonialism essentially uplifted people across the world within a few centuries, introducing technologies that many of them would’ve never had access to otherwise, developing infrastructure to support the building of nations, DMSG is quite fond of early imperialism.
Without the trade networks set up by imperialism, that ferried people and resources across continents and seas, industrial society would’ve never have been able to be born, a post-scarcity society would always be seen as utopian, and everyone today would be living in absolute poverty still. Given the fact that modern technologies contain so many intricate components, sourced from all over the world, made using chemicals collected and refined all across the world, the fact stands that if Europe had never engaged in imperialism, we would’ve never reached the industrial age. When we look at the Banana Republics, which were countries that US fruit companies dominated the political landscape of, we see that although the wages were low and working conditions were brutal, those same US fruit companies took these countries out of the dark age. In Banana Republics, roads were built, electrical utilities were created, and infrastructure was set up across these countries to support the economic activities of the fruit companies. Had United Fruit Company, along with its rivals, never touched the countries that they operated in, these countries today would be far less developed, far more miserable, and at an even larger disadvantage on the world stage. Imperialism, as controversial as this sounds, has benefitted both sides of the issue, from the colonizer to the colonized enormously. The refusal to look at it from this angle reeks of ethnocentrism.
If another people had managed to engage in imperialism before the Europeans, chances are it would’ve looked exactly the same for the people subjugated by them, if not worse due to the lack of a Christian morality. While DMSG is composed of atheists, we do respect the values seen in Judaism and Christianity to a large degree, as they’ve given us the freest, most advanced, egalitarian, humane, and peaceful countries ever seen in the world to date. Unlike the Golden Horde of Mongolia, which sought to just slash, rape, and burn its way across all of the Old World, European imperialism greatly developed the parts of the world it touched and made everyone materially richer. By forming the bedrocks for industrial society and setting up infrastructure, Europeans gave everyone a chance to enjoy civilization and modern luxuries, that in the past would’ve been too absurd to even dream about. Because material conditions determine social and spiritual conditions, the conditions that led to European colonialism weren’t sufficient to give rise to any similar system anywhere else before them. If European imperialism had never happened, chances are that the people who hate it so much would be far poorer, would know far less, and would live in conditions that people today would never want. The world isn’t fair, but the beauty of imperialism is that the brutality of it has largely passed, and the toll to live in a civilized, industrial society has already been paid for by all of our ancestors. People that complain about the injustices of imperialism today are just ungrateful or self-hating racists, because the people that had valid complaints are long gone and only the living are reaping the benefits. As economies develop and new technologies are acquired, living standards generally get better over time.
Banana Republics, and other imperialist puppet states, operated under a state capitalism that allowed countries to smoothly develop in order to better service the foreign corporations that dominated their economies. While income inequality was severe, as was corruption inside the governments of these states, the top-down, repressive political systems were able to hold back the countless culture shocks that come with imperialism, that would’ve toppled more democratic institutions easily. Because material conditions determine social conditions, the social effects caused by the technological uplifting that European civilization performed through imperialism are insane to think about, and luckily, they weren’t a problem because of the brutal puppet states in place. Looking at the hysteria and political turmoil caused by simple things like the COVID-19 faux-vaccines, it’s hard to imagine just how much a person today would have their lives changed by the introduction of technologies created thousands of years from now in the future, and that’s what imperialized peoples had to deal with materially, socially, and spiritually. The truth of the matter is that while imperialism did lead to atrocities, a temporary reduction in living standards, and corrupt puppet states, it also liberated people from the poverty that is the natural state of being and brought them up to speed. Lenin and Mao hated imperialism, seeing it as the “highest form of capitalism,” – whatever that means -, but Karl Marx himself may have actually loved what imperialism has led to.
In places where imperialism was fought off through force, the countries never benefitted economically, and when we look at China’s example, things only really sprang to life there economically when they started engaging in business with the Western imperialists again. Because of the economic incentive behind capitalist imperialism, the means of production are always being developed or rearranged to accommodate the desires of the global marketplace, and countries with lower costs of living and wages are always benefitting from this. The idea that economic transformation of backwards places could’ve happened any other way is debatable, as we see in the classic examples of North Korea. North Korea was more industrialized than South Korea shortly after the Korean war and received subsidies from the USSR that led to it being a relatively fine place to live – we are talking about North Korea here, so “relative” is emphasized -, but because there was no material incentive for the developers to develop, it never did. After the collapse of the USSR, the subsidies that North Korea received vanished, and the country went through a decade of awful famines and shortages throughout the 1990’s and has never fully recovered to this day. The idea that everyone could’ve benefitted from modernity in any other way, without the brutal imperialism that built up the world’s industrial bases, is wrong. When we look at Africa today, one of its primary problems is that donations from America and Europe in terms of goods have flatlined many domestic industries there, as people can literally get higher-quality, Western things for free that they’d have to pay for otherwise. Stunting the development of nations in this way, to the point that their own citizens engaging in economic activity is pointless in some industries, is worse in the long run and prevents us from reaching post-scarcity conditions.
Marx believed that capitalism would develop the means of production, to the point that we’d eventually enter a post-scarcity world where class and property became unnecessary. Imperialism, by introducing new technologies and developing the means of production across the world, made socialism possible. Across the world, numerous revolts against imperialists have sprung up, often heavily supported by Blanquist-“Leninist” regimes, and these revolutionaries have seized the means of production, only to find themselves in charge of a resource economy that no longer had any global clients besides other poor countries. One thing that is never really talked about is that the countries that didn’t buck the imperialists are far wealthier than their socialist counterparts, ironically far closer to achieving post-scarcity, and thus far closer to attaining what Marx could only dream of. The thing that most present-day communists do not get is that most of them will never live to see the ideal material conditions, for communism to arise and thrive in, come about, because we simply aren’t there yet on the dialectical materialist timeline. Imperialism, in accelerating the world so much, is the best thing for humanity since the discovery of fire. It has its downsides and many resource economies today still exist under corporate control and would benefit from their surpluses being reinvested in education and other industries, but the overall point is that imperialism rocks and is worth every growing pain it comes with. People that complain about imperialism are simply sick children who complain about the taste of cough syrup.