Colonialism is the extension of a nation's sovereignty over territory and people outside its own boundaries, often to facilitate economic domination over their resources, labor, and often markets. The term also refers to a set of beliefs used to legitimize or promote this system, especially the belief that the mores of the colonizer are superior to those of the colonized.
Advocates of colonialism argue that colonial rule benefits the colonized by developing the economic and political infrastructure necessary for modernization and democracy. They point to such former colonies as the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore as examples of post-colonial success. These nations do not, however, represent the normal course of colonialism in that they are either settler societies , or tradepost cities .
Dependency theorists such as Andre Gunder Frank, however, argue that colonialism actually leads to the net transfer of wealth from the colonized to the colonizer, and inhibits successful economic development.
Post-colonialist critics such as Franz Fanon argue that colonialism does political, psychological, and moral damage to the colonized as well.
Indian writer and political activist Arundhati Roy said that debating the pros and cons of colonialism/imperialism "is a bit like debating the pros and cons of rape".
Critics of neocolonialism see neocolonialism as the continuation of the domination and exploitation of the same countries with different (and often the same) means.
Last updated: 09-03-2005 18:37:12