'A Wounded Tiger'

Bharat Dogra

Silently and stealthily, unannounced and unheralded, imperialism may have already entered its most dangerous phase. Ironically this dangerous phase may not necessarily be linked to any definite evidence of increasing strength of imperialism. In fact the forces of imperialism have become so dangerous precisely because these are increasingly weaker and vulnerable in some respects, yet with more power of destruction. They have increasingly more powerful weapons in their hands, not just bombs but perhaps what is more important the means of securing control in critical sectors of food, farming, manufacturing, health, space, information, communication, others.

Technology may be increasingly the key word. The most clear way ahead for a better and more secure future is to create a world based on justice, equality, peace, environment protection and welfare of all forms of life. When technology is a means of helping in this then technology is a huge blessing. But when the path is mainly perpetuating, even accentuating injustice and oppression, then technology also becomes, to a large extent, the means of achieving this. No one can deny that humanity is making big breakthroughs (not progress) in technology but these are married to a destructive, disruptive path of development. So while imperialism may be growing weak in some important respects, at the same time imperialism has more powerful weapons at its disposal.

A wounded tiger is more dangerous, and this can be said of the weakened imperialism. But what if the weakened tiger somehow grows much sharper fangs? This is the more complete view of imperialism today. And this is precisely why imperialism may have entered its most dangerous phase now. Feeling insecure, yet possessing the most dangerous weapons not just of destruction but also of control.

People look at the heavy debts of some imperialist countries and the legal victories won from time to time against some of the biggest multinational corporations by citizens, and from this they derive a notion of the increasing weakness and vulnerability of imperialism. However this is at best a half-truth, and considering only half-truths can sometimes lead to entirely false conclusions. We should have no illusions and acknowledge that imperialism is a very important force today and perhaps now it is in a more menacing, destructive mood than ever before, also having the means of unleashing this destruction and disruption.

Hence there is clearly more need today than ever before for greater unity of people in resisting these dangerous possibilities. The challenges ahead are complex and difficult. The forces we seek to oppose have a tremendous capacity not just for suppression and oppression but perhaps even more so for confusion and co-option. The shrewd tiger has also developed the ability of keeping its sharpened fangs well-hidden.

So the resistance needs not just much broader unity but also a firm commitment to a path of peace and transparency. This is necessary to create essential conditions of reason based, transparent, highly creative resistance which are so important for securing the longer-term involvement of people from various walks of life. Resistance cannot succeed on just a negative agenda of merely opposing something. The alternative vision based on justice for all at many levels, much more equality, sense of urgency for environment protection and disarmament, peace at all levels and welfare of all forms of life must also be presented and practised by more and more people in highly creative ways.

Back to Home Page

Vol. 54, No. 5, Aug 1 - 7, 2021