Political Science Professor Nzito says that gangsters are adept at convincing you of your binding need for their protection, to guard against impending peril, largely of their own creation.
He says that the fee for this unsolicited service is that it must be reimbursed in recurrent fashion and this mobster tactic has become the preferred model of economic relationships between imperial financial institutions and the developing world. I fully agree that it is a strategy that is at once an original and bizarre model of economics, or the now familiar neoliberal rabid tactics employed in the lopsided imperial economic relationships with developing nations. Regardless of the origins of the strategy, imperial and settler governments have employed that tactic of protection racketeering and plunder along with recurrent fees, as indispensable for the economic success of their hegemonic undertakings.
Shockingly in this sad state of affairs, the very organ that should hold imperialist governments to account, the mainstream version of the Fourth Estate (media) is often at the frontline cheerleading the twin acts of theft and mass murder in distant lands committed in the name of their citizens and lies cloaked as honourable principles. They are the flag bearers of a formidable propaganda front in the service of Empire, one that effectively mesmerises its constituents into accepting a fictional munificence and a deceptive nobility of the imperial cause. What is omitted from this façade is that it is intended to benefit a minuscule economic elite and corporations for whom the state apparatus now shamelessly serves. Current imperial ventures of modern times can be usefully analysed within the mobster framework. The two entities imperialism and gangsterism as Nzito asserts, share a common precept: gangsters thrive on protection rackets.
On the other hand, colonial subjects deemed inferior have an imagined, inherent need to be protected from themselves, giving rise to protection rackets that co-evolved with colonialism, later in the case of the US, “alliances” for or against a variety of causes prescribed by the imperial metropolis. In essence it is a guise for unrestrained capitalism, wanton theft and murder firmly rooted in exceptionalism. It befitted the civilised barbarians of Europe to embark on a self-styled salvation project for the colonised. On occasion, colonial rulers recruited the colonised to fight their wars as occurred amongst many colonial subjects during WWII.
The recurrent protection payoff is unlimited access to the vast natural resources and virtually free labour in colonised lands for the express purpose of enriching the colonisers who then quickly return to their colonial possessions to peddle their processed and repackaged merchandise at exorbitant profits and to be paid in colonial or imperial currencies, courtesy of savages unworthy of such blessings. Imperial mafia dons are also known to confer with each other from time to time in solemn meetings when turf and merchandise wars spin out of control. These meetings would reach agreement on territorial delineations and merchandise distribution to usher in an interlude of peace until the next war erupts. In true Mafia style, European colonial gangsters held their infamous meeting in Berlin in 1884-85 convened by the then German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. This gathering was prompted by mounting rivalries between European powers; Britain and France were at each others throats at about that time. Respective countries carved out their chosen African lands in conference halls in Berlin, naturally in the absence of Africans themselves. The meeting drew haphazard boundaries of coveted colonies with no regard to local and cultural demarcations that represented many indigenous languages, cultures and regions. The meeting for the Scramble for Africa was to formalise a process that had already been set in motion.
The result: the random creation of some 50 countries with muddled results. African countries along with their internal incongruities fashioned by colonial powers survive to this day, often enduring costly secession and civil wars or bitter ethnic rivalries in which winner-take-all constitutes an overriding economic blueprint. The French invented an even shrewder model of gangster colonialism, (assimilation). On paper, this approach ostensibly drew inspiration from the French revolution, freedom, equality and fraternity, one that should apply to anyone who was rendered French, regardless of race or colour. The reality was quite different. The French assimilation was based on notions of French superiority and whose duty it was to civilise the barbarians they encountered and turn them into Frenchmen. A blatantly Mafiasque extortionist plan for her former African colonies was concocted by France; it was designed to keep them enslaved and impoverished while enriching France: charging colonial tax to 14 African countries.
This tax continues to be imposed as compensation for the benefits of French colonial rule. The gangster analogies get even more apt. Those that opt out of this egregious practice by declaring independence from France, as did Guinea under Ahmed Sékou Touré in 1958, were left completely rundown. Former French colonies that showed the slightest signs of restlessness would invite direct military intervention, assassination of heads of state, or furtive coup de tats engineered, election rigging and the business of French extortion put back on track. Over $500 billion of these impoverished nations funds would end up in French coffers.
A former president of France Jacques Chiraq once stated that without this involuntary largesse from Africa, Frances economy would be no different from that of many third world countries. In fact, absent theft of African natural resources by capitalist sharks protected by Western governments, African economies would be quite robust.
The unstated fact is that contrary to popularly held beliefs that Africans depend on Western handouts for their subsistence and survival, it is African involuntary aid that continues to keep the economies of many former European colonial powers afloat.