Most, if not all of us are aware that Malta has been repeatedly invaded, conquered and colonised by a magnitude of European nations. Obviously, we weren’t alone at suffering from this fate, as other non-European ethnicities and a few Mediterranean Islands found themselves under the same boot. Thankfully this oppression dwindled post-decolonisation, and since then Europe strived to become more advanced in human rights and development. These new ideals have lead to many citizens resenting their nation’s past. However, one must ask, is this still in the past? Or is it still happening today? I’m not simply talking about the effects of colonialism (which include European-made borders, discrimination, civil wars etc.), this is about colonisation as a whole.
Developed nations have stricter laws than developing nations regarding greenhouse emissions, which is undeniably good. However, this has lead to many European and American companies expand their production to these developing nations.
In some ways this does help the poorer countries, as they are more able to invest in their own development, infrastructure and people, however, it has the downside of making their economy dependent on western nations. It also creates a hypocritical image of the many developed nations who, within their territory, enact and enforce laws to keep emissions and environmental damage low, which does little to stop the exportation of the damage done from harmful production from one side to the other of the same planet. This means that not only are workers in developing countries earning barely enough to survive but their health is compromised due to excess greenhouse gases.
An example of this lies in West African countries such as Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Mauritania. Up till the end of the 1970s, the economy of these countries was based on fishing before the ECSC (predecessor of the EU) negotiated fishing contracts with the governments of these countries. While foreign fleets provided an income for the governments of these poverty-stricken nations, it didn’t take long for overfishing to become a problem, causing unemployment and migration.
Along with the dependence of many countries on European and American investment for development, this situation creates a new form of colonialism. That is to say, that little has changed in the previous 100 years aside for how developed nations colonise the developing.
Though several developing nations have improved significantly since the 1990s, some even considered developed nowadays, there is still the case of mental colonisation. Many people consider a country developed if it functions and acts like Western countries, basically treating local customs, laws and mentalities as backwards if get do not comply with western ideologies. This undoubtedly is forcing a western mentality towards developing countries, therefore treating mental colonisation as a form of progress. East and South East Asia, for example, have different diets than that of the west, as it includes insects and arachnids. However, many people seem to refer to them as pigs or as people that would eat anything. Without realising, many people are probably feeling the same way about the west, so why should that mentality be forced on others rather than accept their difference?
Written by: Daniel Pavia Livori