CYCLE OF CONFERENCES ON COLONIALISM and NEOCOLONIALISM
"Colonization, Decolonization and Neocolonialism"
From Justice and the common good
The colonization of territories has a preponderant historical significance in the 16th century. The European metropolises advance on the new lands, submit them militarily and politically and begin a progressive and uninterrupted process of material plunder. Then, in the 19th and 20th centuries, there was a new and dizzying wave of colonization, with different characteristics and new protagonists, but with the constant objective of extracting wealth.
The peoples subjected in the processes of colonial domination, endured cultural, social, political and economic mutations. Most of them the product of a violent and genocidal domination. Forced labor, slavery, territorial displacement and the appropriation of natural resources were a constant currency of the colonizers.
Colonization also supposed the replacement of the original social models by models conceived in an exogenous way, which legitimized the dominations and dominations under various arguments.
they created new axiological paradigms according to their own need. The racial superiority, the supposed civilization and the religiosity, were some of the arguments used to consolidate the advance of the colonial practices.
The native institutions were annihilated and together with them all the thought and the ancestral tradition that supposed particular balances between the towns and their environmental surroundings.
The ideas of justice and the common good that reigned in the occupied territories prior to the conquests were suppressed and replaced by the “enlightened” ideas of the central powers. To this end, each and every one of the socialization channels was co-opted. Education and establishment culture denigrated pre-existing forms of thought and, under the guise of their barbarism, banished them from the new prevailing thought.
The decolonization processes that began with the independencies of the 19th century and culminated with the last emancipatory events of the mid-20th century, did not imply a reversal of domination by any means. Under a change in formats, in which the dominated acquire new nominal status, reality shows that material plunder, political subjugation and cultural colonization are still very much in force today.
Neocolonialism, today twinned with neoliberalism, has been prolix and implacable when it comes to consolidating results for global centrality. The formerly colonized peripheral countries today have the international political status of free regions, but in most cases they are subject to new paradigms of economy and culture. The wealth of
colonizers is a necessary cause and consequence of the poverty of the colonized.
Justice and the common good were and are traversed by these processes of colonization, decolonization and neocolonialism. Thinking the institutions of America and Africa through that historical prism and understanding the current dynamics of domination and submission, will be able to shed some light on the contemporary tragedy of hunger, war, displacement, and human discarding referenced by Pope Francis. in his famous encyclical Laudato Si '.
Recently, the Holy Father ratified his specific concern on the subject, stating that “Many countries of the American continent share, with an important group of countries of the African continent, a common historical past of plunder, domination, control and also having been brutally subjected to the dictates of world-economic centrality. Both continents suffer high rates of poverty and marked unemployment rates: land, shelter and work are pending issues for most of the populations of those nations. It is very important that the difficulties find you united in the need for a shared characterization of the current state and judicial role, and in the analysis of external influences in the not always correct choice of political and social models. *
* Words of the Holy Father Francis on the occasion of the Summit of African Judges in the Vatican (12-13-19)