In recent times the scientific and technological progress brought about unprecedented development in every aspect of human life. Natural and human resources were explored to a very high degree and it brought the fruits of development to the doorsteps of a large number of common men. But there has been lack of corresponding progress in the field of human morals. This resulted in distressing moral downfall. Selfishness, greed, racism, and a tendency to subjugate and exploit weaker nations got ascendance.
The 20th century saw two great World Wars which caused widespread death and destruction. As if the lessons of two World Wars were not enough, the scourge of wars continued throughout the 20th century which devoured millions and millions of human souls. Twenty-first century also has been ominously inaugurated with wars in Afghanistan and Iraq by the unipolar super power, America. The tragedy in those two countries appears to be a long drawn out tale of destruction.
In the 19th century industrial and agricultural development had given birth to Capitalism which divided the humanity into the exploiters and the exploited. This paved the way for appearance of Communism which asserted the rights of workers and peasants. But it is an irony of highest magnitude that Communism became the worst embodiment of authoritarianism and oppression. It is estimated that about 12 crore human beings lost their lives because of wars, conflicts and famines brought by Communism. At last, in the last decade of 20th century, owing to its anti-human nature, Communism died under its own weight.
Now there is much talk of liberty, equality, fraternity, justice, human dignity and human rights all over the world. But in practice large sections of humanity are deprived of these blessings which are so essential for survival and progress of mankind. The widening gap between the haves and have-nots and the powerful and the enfeebled is a matter of grave concern from the angle of future of humanity.
In the past imperialist countries used military power to expand their territories and control the nations. Now modern imperialists are using science, technology, media, education and corporate power for expanding their sphere of influence. In addition to this, sophisticated arms and military power also are being utilised to subjugate large sections of humanity.
Imperialism has reappeared in new and attractive clothes. It displays a human face, has captivating manners and uses charmful language. It has many shades and its dark shadows are lengthening and deepening on human life. No aspect of individual or collective life is free from its ill effects. America, which has 5 per cent of world’s population, consumes 30 per cent of its resources. It is leading this march of imperialism. The western civilisation consists of only 20 per cent of human population but through its industries and economies consumes 80 per cent of natural resources and in return gives pollution and causes ecological destruction.
“Imperialism: Shades and Shadows” is our humble attempt to draw the world’s attention to the onslaught of this old enemy of humanity. We hope the human conscience would awaken and needful will be done to catch the bull by horns so that the humanity may be saved from the evil consequences of new imperialism.