One of the greatest theorists, analysts and critics of colonialism was the late Martinican psychiatrist, Frantz Fanon. But Dr. Fanon’s work dwelled on the crises of colonialism in Africa.
We like to think that colonialism was a problem of yesteryear—the ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s. It’s history—right?
Well, what really matters isn’t what we think, but what others in those countries think. We should also note that things change—sometimes in form but not in essence.
Earlier this year, a group of Pakistani intellectuals, activists, lawyers and political leaders produced a brief but collective report detailing the problems facing the nation. The 12-page report, entitled, “Making Pakistan a Tenable State,” lists 185 points of concern. Among them is the following, point 14, which states:
“Today, Pakistan finds itself fully trapped in the whirl of liberalization, globalization, privatization and the so-called war on terror. The economic agreements and covenants bind Pakistan to follow policies dictated from the outside. Similarly, the strategies and covenants bind Pakistan to defend itself against foreign aggression are hugely dependent upon the defense related agreements signed with the United States. Frequent visits to Pakistan of the officials of the departments of state and defense are indicative of the advices of the superpower we are obliged to follow. Small wonder, Pakistan is recognized all over the world as a client state of the United States.”
Client state? It’s like the 21st century version of colony. For if a nation can’t freely make its own foreign policy, and must abide by the will of another, client is but a polite term.
The report1 covers Pakistan’s colonial history, when it was part of India, when it was once known as East and West Pakistan divided by a vast expanse of Indian Territory, and the control of the political elites by the moneyed classes.
When we speak of such states as “democracies” we are hardly being honest.
They are democracies in name only—client-states of the superpower.
—PrisonRadio.org, November 13, 2009
1 “Independent Planning Commission of Pakistan, Making Pakistan a Tenable State,” (Lahore, Pakistan: Ferozsons Ltd., 2009).