Globalization is the New Colonialism

How Western globalization is creating a new form of colonialism that affects Third World people

Western globalization negatively affects people in Third World countries because their resources and bodies are exploited. Women in particular are taken advantage of in Third World countries by large Western corporations such as, H&M, Gap, and Adidas. Women and girls make up 70 percent of the world’s poor and the majority of the world’s refugees. Mostly poor women are exploited by Western companies who use them to make their products in Third World countries. Western corporations also take resources from other countries and patent them for their own privatized use. Neoliberalism and laissez-faire are huge contributors to globalization because neoliberalism revolves around the commodity production and the exploitation of labor of the poor by the rich people. While laissez-faire allows Western companies to invade the Third World and take resources without being punished or held accountable for compensating those countries with money.

In Chandra Mohanty’s Under Western Eyes Revisited she says a problem with globalization is that the West wants to privatize everything and not allow indigenous people or anyone to profit off of their property that was basically given to them by the indigenous people. An example of privatizing something from a Third World is the rosy periwinkle plant that is native to Madagascar. Indigenous people have been using the plant’s medicinal properties to help with disease, but when Western corporations discovered the plant after hearing from indigenous people about the medicinal properties the West discovered that it could help fight cancer. Third world people’s knowledge of this plant was patented by Eli and Lilly & Co., a pharmaceutical company who patented the use of the rosy periwinkle in their drugs for cancer. The company roughly makes $200 million in revenue a year and none of that money is seen or heard of by the indigenous people of Madagascar. Patents cause resources like the rosy periwinkle plant to be made into something and then used and sold only by the corporation who owns the patent. Patents also disallow the indigenous people from being able to buy the products that their resources are used to make because they cannot afford it. Eli and Lilly & Co. went into another country (colonialism) and took a plant to create a cancer fighting drug and then patented it for their private use is globalization that hurts Third World people because of its negative side effects.

Neoliberalism and laissez-faire are related because neoliberalism allows deregulation to corporations and laissez-faire allows those companies to exploit resources and people. H&M for example makes its clothing in Cambodia. H&M only pays its mostly women and young girls about 50 cents per hour and then sell a hoodie for $25. Clothes are an essential part of living comfortably according to Western society, but people in the Third World who make our clothes can’t even afford them with the money they are given to make the clothes. It would take someone 50 hours to make $25 in Cambodia to afford a hoodie and that would be without all the other necessary items that the people have to buy to live like food and water. In a sense this is colonialism, in order for there to be globalization there will be colonialism because it affects the people in the Third World the most and the West believes it is their duty to make their lives better, but they’re really making their lives worse.

Globalization was meant to help women and Third World people, but instead it creates war and increased militarism. The divide between rich and poor is even greater than before. Rather than environmental protection, globalization has created privatization and destruction of natural resources. Instead of eliminating racism and sexist walls, globalization has led to a hostile system to women and the Third World.