Modernity Is The Second Name Of Colonization

1715 words - 7 pages

[Muhammad Irbaz Khan]

Modernity is the second form of colonization

The direct colonial rule, which has been gradually vanished after the Second World War, seemed to produce heartening era. After suffering a period of colonization in which sovereignty and independence was no where in sight, colonized people can at last enjoyed the luxury of having own state. However, it did not take long to see that the decline of colonial empires does not always produce an independent nation. The former powers are still in charge. Existing in the more sophisticated form rather than disappeared, the 'mission of civilization' continues to be executed. The United States, acquiring the status of superpower after the European hegemony, turned to be a dominant actor in completing the mission. The more complex the method is, the more the effect will be thorough and holistic, and the less it is aware of.

The purpose of this essay is to prove that there are, despite some exceptions, solid reasons to hold the statement that modernity is the second form of colonization as being true. It will do that by firstly examining the common ideas and assumptions modernity, achieved through modernization process, shares with colonization. It will then trace the process and means which modernization and colonization use to achieve different ends, yet the similar goal is maintained, i.e. the superior status of the hegemonic superpower. Along with that the theory and frameworks arisen in the ongoing status will be considered. The term "modernity" and "modernization" is used here interchangeably, although the former suggests the status more than the process, yet its nature provides the appeal for me to think of modernity as an end as well as a mean in itself.

Being the end, the United States want so many countries to reach; modernity's ground is in linear, universalist assumptions. In another word, to be the same as the United States can be done by one and only way through the economic aid and political guidance given by the current dominating power. Judging that it has already reached the Promised Land, the United States started looking at the others to see what it can do to make them more on the same level of modernity. Only by accepting that they are inferior can they receive the aid. This assumption is startlingly resembles to that of the Enlightenment thinking of third world nations as immature children needing help or "sick". Therefore they are there to use their means of modernity to "cure" as Henry Luce said, "The sickness of the world is also our sickness." (Luce 1999, 160,165-66) It also contends that it is the one endowed with responsibility to take them of this situation. Even when the one world is hard to be achieved due to the polarization occurring later, the United States "was still responsible for the peace and well-being of the whole." (Fousek 2000, 124)

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