A Brief Comparison of Expansionism and Imperialism
Other explanations of European expansion .. Imperial relationships may be further classified according to the way control is exercised over subject peoples. games, which may have consumed a quarter of imperial economic output by the. Both expansionism and imperialism are interlinked and project that gained diplomatic relations and trade possibilities between the two. and did enter this game and it could be played in any geographical setting. informal imperialism became the vehicle of expansion where it did; why formal empire was exploding into a 'general crisis' of Europe's relations with Afro-Asia.
But the spread of European rivalries changed the pattern of international politics. As extra-European powers such as Japan, the United States, and China became increasingly involved, European dominance gave way to world politics in the true sense of the term.
Others have explained European imperialism less in terms of intra-European conflict than as a culmination of a great number of local conflicts. Detailed historical research of particular imperialist adventures has revealed the operation of a great variety of forces in each instance.
Sheer power play, diplomatic maneuvering, strategic and geopolitical concerns, humanitarian interests and racial ideologies, economic drives and cultural expansionism have often intermingled without a priori dominance of any single factor. Outside powers got entangled in indigenous warfare and disputes, while the inevitable instability of unsettled borders and the feared action by rival groups and governments often led to improvised interventions.
Hence, new imperialist actions often resulted from past imperial commitments India being a prime example. They have focused on longer-term technological, political, and social developments. Some have thus singled out the effects of the great changes in world communications which started when improved weaponry and navigation technology basically altered the relations of power between Europe and the rest of the world.
To explain the upsurge of imperial expansion in the nineteenth century, they have stressed the impact of the change from wooden ships to steamers, which revolutionized the entire scale of international trade, affected the traditional dominance of the British navy, and led to a demand for coaling stations and for safeguards and control over international arteries like the Bosporus, the Suez Canaland the Panama Canal.
This view logically extends to the later strategic concern with oil supplies. Railways posed similar strategic issues and facilitated the penetration of hitherto practically untouched inland areas.
The advent of the telegraph immeasurably speeded the flow of information and held out the tempting prospect of direct rule over outlying lands, but again demanded safeguards for cables and cable stations. Of even greater influence was the simultaneous growth of a world press, which, coupled with the growing literacy rate in Europe and the United States, created mass publics that were often violently jingoistic.
But while this was to a large extent feasible and successful in the Americas, in the Ottoman Empirein north Africa, and in China—and could even be accompanied by a withdrawal of imperial controls in Canada, Australasia, and South Africa —it broke down increasingly in Afro-Asia after through the corrosive political and commercial effects that European policies had upon key African and Asian governments.
The political and financial collapse of these governments brought European interests into play and led to a process of direct competitive annexations. European imperialism, in this view, is therefore a long-standing process in which, in Afro—Asia at least, extending imperialist activity was the result of the preceding activities of informal penetration and the protonational reactions that they eventually provoked.
Thus, on the one hand European expansion after is regarded as part of an almost self-evident process through which European power, enterprise, and culture spread over land and sea by formal as well as informal methods.
On the other hand, exact study of this process leads to increasingly complex interpretations of the forces behind actual events and incidents. The wider meanings of imperialism The view of imperialism as a general and age-old phenomenon which predates and postdates the period of European overseas expansion whether dated from the fifteenth or from the nineteenth century poses new theoretical complications. On the one hand, there is a tendency to regard as imperialism any form of more or less sustained aggressive action of one political system toward another.
Thus defined, the term gets easily lost in vague generalities.
Theoretical interpretation loses contact with concrete social and historical situations and is inevitably reduced to overgeneral explanations, attributing the phenomenon to postulated universal behavior traits of man i. Imperialism has thus been explained by such presumably universal human emotions as fear, the will to power, pride, prestige, pugnacity, predacity, etc. On the other hand, the attempt to narrow the definition of imperialism so as to make it suitable for more specific analyses has led other theorists into a tautological trap.
They have found only those factors significant in the explanation of imperialism which their own definition has already singled out as determining or important. Thus some authors have spoken of imperialism only in the case of expansion by certain countries, or by states with a specific social system, or by particular groups within states.
Some have restricted the word to specific types of aggressive policies, reserving the term for cases of overseas expansion but not for extension of power over contiguous land areas, or regarding as imperialism only the annexation of tropical or agrarian countries or territories with particular raw materials.
Others have restricted the word to certain expansionist goals, e. Still others have thought of imperialism only when certain conditions are fulfilled as to methods and duration of control, demanding as a criterion direct occupation but not indirect mechanisms like bribery, economic intervention, or military threats.
Finally, certain authors have limited imperialism to attempts by states to reverse an existing status quo; imperialist policies are those which aim at acquiring new power dynamic imperialism to othersbut not those which seek to maintain an existing empire which others call static imperialism.
Such restrictive definitions often prejudge explanations of actual power relations and may be motivated by the political desire to defend or attack the policies of particular states. Many theorists of international relations have therefore dropped the term, as useless for theoretical analysis. Other authors have preferred to speak of imperialisms in the plural following Schumpeter Imperialist goals Expansionist political systems have historically pursued one or more of the following goals.
Throughout history forceful appropriation of material benefits has been a powerful factor in imperialist policies. Gains have consisted both of booty e. Conquest of foreign lands was often motivated by the desire to augment political power. This could be in a direct sense, for instance, when foreign manpower was used to reinforce the armed strength of the imperialist nations, or when strategic raw materials were monopolized, or when areas of a strategic nature were occupied.
It could also be indirect, as when foreign dominion brought added prestige and increased bargaining power for the imperialist state or for leading persons and groups within it. Frequently imperialist ideologies have been merely convenient cloaks to cover other drives. Diversion of domestic unrest.
Aggressive action abroad has often been believed capable of deflecting domestic tension. Once set in motion, however, this mechanism has frequently gone beyond its original purpose. Other writers have suggested that totalitarian regimes are particularly prone to expansionist policies.
Since internal rule cannot be maintained unless the system is insulated from foreign influences, totalitarian countries tend to show the twin reactions of isolation and expansion in order to avoid or destroy threatening foreign forces Feier-abend Methods of control Imperial relationships may be further classified according to the way control is exercised over subject peoples.
Types of pressure exerted. Pressure can range from relatively peaceful practices normal financial and economic transactions, cultural activities, diplomatic argument through more forceful measures bribery, economic sanctions, military intimidation to outright violence varying from a temporary show of arms to actual conquest and permanent repression.
International law contains a great variety of instruments that can be used to exercise control: Following Hans Kohnp. Activating forces Different kinds of imperialism, as well as theories about imperialism, may be distinguished according to whether particular individuals, special social groups, a particular condition of nations, or the general characteristics of the international system are thought to constitute the core of imperialist action.
Individuals as the main agents of imperialism. Imperialist policies can stem mainly from the special ambitions of, or the particular psychological pressures working on, people in positions of effective political influence. This influence can result either from their formal or informal political roles at home or from their strategic importance in connection with particular diplomatic constellations abroad e. This category would also include those theories which attribute imperialism to the parallel but individual psychological reactions of people which sustain group aggression.
Usually, however, both the role and the reactions of individuals can be explained satisfactorily only on the basis of particular social conditions and relationships.
Social groups as the carriers of imperialism. Nearly every kind of social group has been held responsible for imperialist actions: But closer analysis usually reveals the inadequacy of single-group explanations, partly because their postulated unity is proved false by detailed historical inquiry and partly because the special importance of certain groups can itself be accounted for only by other factors.
Expansionism - Wikipedia
Imperialism as an extension of nationalism. Whereas older sociologists saw the roots of imperialism in racial struggle, more modern thinkers have pointed particularly to the forces behind assertive nationalism. These, in turn, they have explained as the inevitable outcome of particular communication processes which constantly reinforce nationalist cohesion at the expense of international interaction; as a deflection of widespread insecurity itself a product of manifold social changes toward alleged enemies at home and abroad; as the inevitable result of the distortions or stereotypes in the perception of other groups and nations; or as the product of new ideologies that ascribe to particular nations special rights in the assumed international struggle for survival.
Such theories have the merit of wide applicability, but they fail to account for the lack of expansionist policies on the part of some nations, as well as for the occurrence of imperialism long before nationalism developed as a dominant factor in world politics. Imperialism as the natural consequence of international power relations.
Colonizing the Wilderness Another way that FPSs portray and reinforce imperialism is by conveying that the environment is as hostile as the enemies.
The Impact of Imperialism on the Region – Keys to Understanding the Middle East
In Far Cry 3, the player is threatened not just by the savage natives but also by predatory animals like tigers and wild boars who are native to the forests of the island. Likewise, many other shooters set in alien worlds, like Doom 3, Unreal Epic Games,System Shock 2 Looking Glass Studios,and Half Life Valve, represent a hostile environment through rooms filled with poisonous gases and traps.
The indigenous people of these game worlds are immune to these dangerous environments while the player is left susceptible, thus reinforcing the hostility of the environment towards the imperialist player and associating the savagery of the landscape with the savagery of the uncolonized indigenous populations. The hostility of the environment is also used as a justification of the violent acts that the imperialist player is asked to perform.
Many shooters formalize elements of hostile environment into gameplay mechanics, reproducing yet another procedural dimension of imperialism. Far Cry 2 Ubisoft Montreal, conveys the hostility of the environment through the Malaria status effect. Here, the player character contracts a randomly intensifying malaria in the opening cutscene of the game that directly affects their vision and reflexes.
Though real-world malaria is mosquito-borne, the game characterizes the disease as an atmospheric condition of the landscape.
The game equates the constant and violent political strife in Africa with the plague of malaria—the game implies that they both reduce people to primal beasts. Similarly, the choice of setting in the world also helps to further imperialist narratives. For instance, the frequency with which the Middle East is used as a setting in military shooters can be seen as a reaction to political events in recent decades.
Both Far Cry 2 and Battlefield 3 absolve the imperialist player of guilt by making their violence a necessary response to an innately dangerous space. Far Cry 2 uses malaria as a metaphor for violence in Africa, while military shooters like Battlefield 3 use the recurring frequency with which the Middle East is used as a setting to imply that these problems are inherent with the regions themselves.
I argue that these games reinforce the imperialist idea that foreign lands are inherently hostile and need to be tamed by civilization Hunt, In order to fully understand the influence of such problematic narratives associated with specific geopolitical struggles within a modern context, it is important to interrogate the role of the military-entertainment complex on the FPS genre.
The Role of Military-Entertainment Complex For many critics, the primary concern with such military-centered FPSs is their lack of critical awareness of the role played by the military-entertainment complex in the evolution of the genre, and the medium of videogames more generally.
For the former it has provided publishers the technology with which to market more products and for the latter it has provided an entry-point into the mainstream culture to perpetuate its narratives. If videogames today form an important component of Western culture, then the military-entertainment complex can be seen as a way through which imperial narratives continue to circulate.
To provide a small example to illustrate how closely the history of the FPS genre was influenced by the role of U. S Military and reflect its history of intervention in global affairs, we need not look beyond Battlezone Atari Games,one of the first FPS games Wolf Atari was approached by U. Army to make an alternate version of Battlezone called The Bradley Trainer meant for targeting training gunners.
If we come back to the Far Cry series, we can see how American military narratives have seeped into different aspects of the games. In Far Cry 3, one of the chief enemy factions called Privateers are a group of mercenaries who are led by drug and weapons militia and a former CIA agent.
They are among the most well-equipped enemies the player comes across in the game, suited in body armor and high-grade military weapons.
As it has been claimed by many reports, US military aid to countries particularly in Africa in the form of the weapons trade has only fuelled the geo-political conflict in some countries particularly in Africa.
These are the weapons used by the Privateers in Far Cry 3 and it is also reflected in Far Cry 2, where the player is cast as a mercenary who is affiliated with characters involved in the weapons trade. Military, particularly after the Second World War as pursuing an imperialist agenda. These go beyond mere geographical occupation. It also follows the path of providing military aid to countries involved in a geo-political conflict, and also through culture in the form of military-entertainment complex.
By acknowledging the role of the military-entertainment complex in the production of games and the adoption of contexts of historical U. Analyzing this rhetoric, built into the game worlds and mechanics, helps to further understand the depoliticized narratives found in military FPSs like Battlefield 3 and Medal of Honor that we see today.
This helps to contextualize the significance of American military aid in fueling the geopolitical conflict through the weapons trade in Far Cry 2 and equipping the hostile mercenaries aiming to subjugate the local Rakyats in Far Cry 3. Through their game worlds and mechanics, these games provide convincing arguments in support of the imperialist project. Subverting the Imperialist Narrative Even as they work to depoliticize and conceal the imperialist rhetoric embedded within their game worlds and mechanics, FPS games can be seen as problematic, uncritical portrayals of imperialist narratives and tropes.
Some of these issues partly arise from the lack of a critical perspective at the role of the military-entertainment complex in the evolution of the genre, the normalization of violence, and the game mechanics structured around the subjugation of indigenous peoples and acquisition of territories and resources. However, running alongside these trends to conceal imperialist rhetoric, there is a trend in some games, including Far Cry 2, Far Cry 3, and Spec Ops: The Line Yager,to self-consciously engage with some of these issues.
Both of these games provide a critical perspective about the prevalence of imperialist tropes and problematize them by directly affecting the experience of the player either through their narrative or specific scripted events in Spec Ops: The Line and through the mechanics and environment in Far Cry 2.
In their attempts to be critical while implementing conventional aspects of the genre, they produce a mesh of conflicting rhetoric within the design of the game world and mechanics.
Foreign ammunition and weapons are smuggled into these regions by foreign traders, which fuel the further spread of the civil strife throughout these regions. Every mission the player gets in Far Cry 2 is destructive in nature and generally ends up with the player destroying a base or a convoy.
In doing so, Far Cry 2 unapologetically positions the imperialist player as the carrier of the plague of violence, responsible for spreading violence and civil unrest. The game also problematizes the success of the imperial project, by showing its inherent limitations. By depicting the imperial project as an ongoing and indeterminate process, rather than as singular moment of imperial domination, Far Cry 2, avoids reinforcing some of the problematic aspects of imperialist narrative.
- A Brief Comparison of Expansionism and Imperialism
- The Impact of Imperialism on the Region
Far Cry 2 depicts the African landscape as hostile, but instead of justifying player violence, it calls into question the feasibility of the imperial project.
The outposts and camps in Far Cry 2 cannot be permanently captured. Even if the player neutralizes hostile enemies in a camp, the territory still belongs to the natives. Thus, the game can be seen to critically engage with the notion of imperial conquest as decisive event. By implicating the player as a metaphorical carrier of a violent plague that only intensifies local conflict and showing the limitations of the imperial project itself, Far Cry 2 critiques the problematic aspects of territorial conquest and white savior complex, which are often blindly embraced by FPS games.
As we saw with the contrast and similarities between Far Cry 2 and Far Cry 3, their attempts at self-awareness as well as the lack of it in their adoption of imperial narratives reflected the confluence of tensions inherent in the genre. Some of these are wholeheartedly embraced to the point of self-parody in the expansion Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon Ubisoft Montreal, Made as a stand-alone expansion of Far Cry 3, Blood Dragon explicitly parodies a variety of conventions of the FPS, from in-game tutorials having the player character explicitly ridicule them to loading screen hints that are sarcastic and generally obvious or outright unhelpful in nature.
It both alludes to and parodies earlier FPSs. Among its targets, the military-entertainment complex remains a focal point. It sometimes even mocks conventional aspects of the Far Cry franchise through the aforementioned means of tutorials and hints being delivered with a generous dosage of snark and thus the players' expectations of it.
It perhaps leans more toward irreverent parody than self-critical, but it shows a wide range of rhetorics embedded within the different games in the Far Cry franchise. It indicates the potential of how games within the same franchise need not reflect a singular, consistent ideology across all the games.
As Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon showcases, self-referential parodying could be a possible means of criticizing the imperialist rhetoric reflected in many conventions of the genre that the series adopts. Image adapted from "The 'Horror' of Spec Ops: Along a continuum of games critical of imperialist rhetoric, Spec Ops: The Line Yager, goes further by subverting the popular conventions of military shooters.
Brendan Keoghtalking about Spec Ops, wrote: Combined, these conventional subversions attempt to make the player conscious of their complicity in the military-entertainment complex whenever they play a military shooter.