Financial Imperialism 
Advanced nations understand that economies are best sustained by the cycle of production and destruction, and they do everything to keep this going for their countries. They are conscious of their material superiority and they work for retaining it by protecting own wealth and by acquiring that of the others. They are not very pleased with the attrition of their imperial and colonial strength of the past. To sustain this supremacy they adopt a two-pronged strategy; self-protection by innovative satellite based defence systems, and muscle flexing by deploying highly mobile lethal weapon systems at strategic locations all around the world.
Prolonged deliberations and experimentation has given them an innovative gear, the financial imperialism, which is the technique for acquiring wealth from the developing countries without physically occupying their land. Financial imperialism is steered by turning the wheel of international trade in their favour. It comprises sale of high cost weapon systems, currency control, monopolistic trade practices, import of low cost labour forces etc.
The conventional wars of the past are now out of vogue and possibly obsolete. In any case, it is expensive, cumbersome and dangerous to operate in that manner. Colonialism is not an option any more. Even peacekeeping is a risky bet. Financial imperialism is the answer. Adam Smith’s magnum opus, ‘the wealth of nations’ needs to be rewritten now with the title as ‘the wealth of other nations’.
This reincarnated form of imperialism operates through financial and political processes and uses cultural imperialism as its ally. Unlike in the physical colonisation, the subjugated citizens would perhaps never awaken to demand freedom from financial imperialism; instead, they would wither in its slavery.
This mechanism operates on the economy of the victimised country by manipulating the mindset of its political leadership and citizens. It uses political acumen to exploit the greed for money and power of political leaders. Economic experts may call financial imperialism as simple mercantilism, but they forget that there is much more politics involved in financial imperialism than in mercantilism. Financial imperialism incorporates itself by three distinct mechanisms
- Firstly, it incorporates favourable clauses in international trade agreements by the consent of the political leadership of the victim country. The local financial systems and institutions then automatically fall into place.
- Secondly, it creates a hostile environment with the bordering countries. Different forms of conflict are introduced using political connections in both of the countries, the victim and its neighbour. Cross border terrorism, is the easiest of them to inculcate. This gives the politicians of both the sides, a plausible excuse to overstate imminent threats from across the border and the need to acquire weapons and systems of cutting-edge technologies. Super-high cost weapon systems are then procured surreptitiously by both the vulnerable countries.
- Thirdly, use is made of cultural imperialism. Soft targets such as the teenagers are subjected to specially prepared soap operas that highlight the fashion and living style, which needs products produced in the advanced countries. Elderly audiences are barraged with discussions and coverage that highlight the usefulness of health or wellness products produced in the advanced countries. Travelogue is deployed highlighting even the ordinary tourist spots. In this way, the citizens are conditioned and encouraged to shop for foreign goods and services. They are enslaved voluntarily. It takes years before the citizens become aware that they are being exploited, but then it is too late to weed it out of the system. It is also too late for the domestic industry to recover from the reduced demand of their products.
This new paradigm of operations is not violent therefore; financial imperialism should be an easy battlefield to repel even with the docile nature of the Indian citizens. What use the creative, innovative and versatile mind of the Indians is if it cannot convert from being recipients of imperialism to manipulators of that game. Our advantage is that we have a large domestic consumer market, something that the others are seeking to target. One cannot direct the winds, but one can adjust one’s sails. Of course, all the systems of wealth generation ie agriculture, industry and trade must first be upgraded to high standard for this to happen.
 Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is ‘the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural and territorial relationship, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination.’ The term imperialism should not be confused with colonialism as it often is. Imperialism involves ‘the practice, the theory and the attitudes of a dominating metropolitan centre ruling a distant territory’. Colonialism refers to the ‘implanting of settlements on a distant territory’.