Approach to Imperialism and Capitalism

Published 19 Jan 2017

Most people interchange the ideology behind imperialism and capitalism. Both are economic systems that are still used by different countries today. Ideally, imperialism and capitalism contradict each other but these two thoughts are used in a much different way that they now complement each other by using imperialism under the pretense of capitalism or vice versa.

Imperialism is, simply put, the domination of stronger countries over the weaker countries like predator and prey, criminal and victim. Although, this domination can be done in various ways each according on what urges the stronger nations to take on the weaker nations. It can be economically, politically, ideologically and reactively aggravated. Either way, the idea is still the same: the tough over the weak. Still, there are some dominant nations that influences weaker countries for the sole reason of developing and supporting such nations because of instability, threatening economic interests of dominant nations.

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Capitalism on the other hand, concerned itself with the production and distribution of commodities and services by the capitalists (business firms, entrepreneurs) and buyers. The so-called Free Trade where land and resources are private and activity in economy is well organized and happens mostly in markets and firms. Though, as time pass by, certain changes are made due to difference in use and style of each economic system and yet still retained the original concept.

Now, in modern age, imperialism and capitalism is now used hand in hand by most of the power countries, although much less informally than before. This kind of act, also known as “Modern Economic Imperialism” is more experienced by third world countries that can either be both productive and disparaging for them. Productive in a way those poorer nations may develop their economy through the help and influence of more powerful nations and Disparaging if they (third world countries) will just be exploited by dominant nations. Since capitalism, in a simpler way of saying it, involves buying, selling, expenses and profit, sellers will gain more profit if their resources or capital comes in low price and their price for selling their goods are higher.

Imperialist countries will get their capital or raw materials in a much lower value and trade the processed goods in a much higher value. This can be done through exerting their (dominating countries) certain influences on the weaker nations. These influences can either be in the form of economics, politics, etc such as importing of raw goods from poorer but more endowed with natural resources, countries and exporting processed goods with a higher value saying that it is their “right”. By means of “rights” is clearly an exertion of influence and thus becoming a statement of imperialism. The concepts of capitalism and imperialism certainly contradict each other but still the usage of these two different ideas as one makes their contradiction ineffectual and they are now interconnected. Using a word is how you give meaning to it.

Imperialism as a word and its ideology is still widely used and exercised even now in modern age by dominant nations in unofficial way, still it plays a large part on everyday life on people through their nation’s economy and politics that is affected by imperialism. At present, imperialism may be the reason for both the stagnation of third world countries and as well as their continuing development of their economics and politics. Even though imperialist and their colonies is not evident until after the World War II, it is still generally applied by most of the power countries over the third nations thus maintaining its being as a main concept along hand with capitalism.

Imperialism and capitalism may be viewed and used positively or negatively, either way, they are only concepts and ideas that were made by man and can be replaced by man depending upon the necessity brought by needs and wants of man. Their interconnection can be both damaging and innovative for nations. Imperialism is still prevalent worldwide even though most countries’ economic system is capitalism by using the current trade system.

Works Cited

  • Mastanduno, Michael. “Imperialism” Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2007.06 December 2007
  • Peterson, Wallace C. “Capitalism” Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2007.06 December 2007
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