The Horrors of Neo-Liberal Imperialism

I accidentally found this article by Robert Cooper, a senior advisor to Tony Blair, in which he calls for a new liberal imperialism that evokes the most horrid days of colonialism. This shows that the kind of ideas that inspired Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness are pretty much alive.

In this horrid essay, which The Observer claims “offers a rare and candid unofficial insight into the thinking behind British strategy on Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond,” Cooper says,

“The challenge to the postmodern world is to get used to the idea of double standards. Among ourselves, we operate on the basis of laws and open cooperative security. But when dealing with more old-fashioned kinds of states outside the postmodern continent of Europe, we need to revert to the rougher methods of an earlier era – force, pre-emptive attack, deception, whatever is necessary to deal with those who still live in the nineteenth century world of every state for itself. Among ourselves, we keep the law but when we are operating in the jungle, we must also use the laws of the jungle.”

There’s little doubt that the ideas of the likes of Cooper have infiltrated the body and soul of European and North American politics. However, what Cooper does not account for in his rash arguments is that in the ‘modern’ era the colonial powers pushed their devilish projects with the the so-called ‘orientals’ being ignorant of the kind of misery they were being dragged into. In the 21st century, with the free flow of information, the ‘oriental’ world has its eyes wide open. In response to this new imperial project there will be a strong anti-imperial force, one that is organic, energetic and forceful, recognizes no boundaries of state or religion and pursues one purpose from the Middle East to Africa to Latin America to Asia and finally to all the poor and underprivileged at the heart of the imperial power: resistance.

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One response to “The Horrors of Neo-Liberal Imperialism

  1. Great Post! This guy Robert Cooper fits the classic self-defined “orientalist”.

    The word, rather the concept behind the word “orientalist” stems from the world power nations of Europe and North America that the East or Orient was an opposite to the West.

    Indeed the birth of the orientalist is really the birth of the self-defined Western world; accordingly, a seperate and distinct part of the world that strives for dominance and for the priviledge to will the exploitation of the Orient by virtue of force and by virtue of being Western; i.e., by the notion that the they who define themselves as Western are inherently superior to the others, the orientals.

    Eward W. Said wrote about this “orientalism” in the eponymously titled book, Orientalism. If you have not read it I strongly recommend it.

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