From ProleWiki, the proletarian encyclopedia

Neocolonialism is the control of another country through economic means. This typically involves giving loans and such to a country in need, in exchange for things such as cuts to social services as well as forcing them to open their markets. Then, the debt from the loan is leveraged to maintain control over the country, forcing it to bend to the will of an imperialist power. This is mostly how modern imperialism is done; institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are prominent examples of this method. Although countries have been recolonized in the past (as in the case of Egypt in 1922), this became unfeasible after the post-war anti-colonial upsurge. Imperialism needed to conceal itself further and needed the facade of self-government to be maintained.

In the 1963 document "Apologists Of Neo-Colonialism" by the Editorial Departments of People's Daily and Red Flag, the authors explain the post-WWII international situation and the mechanisms of neocolonialism and stress that it is even more "pernicious and sinister" than the older form of colonial rule:

The facts are clear. After World War II the imperialists have certainly not given up colonialism, but have merely adopted a new form, neo-colonialism. An important characteristic of such neo-colonialism is that the imperialists have been forced to change their old style of direct colonial rule in some areas and to adopt a new style of colonial rule and exploitation by relying on the agents they have selected and trained. The imperialists headed by the United States enslave or control the colonial countries and countries which have already declared their independence by organizing military blocs, setting up military bases, establishing “federations” or “communities”, and fostering puppet regimes. By means of economic “aid” or other forms, they retain these countries as markets for their goods, sources of raw material and outlets for their export of capital, plunder the riches and suck the blood of the people of these countries. Moreover, they use the United Nations as an important tool for interfering in the internal affairs of such countries and for subjecting them to military, economic and cultural aggression. When they are unable to continue their rule over these countries by “peaceful” means, they engineer military coups d’etat, carry out subversion or even resort to direct armed intervention and aggression.[1]

The authors of the piece point out that the United States in particular is a notable promoter of neo-colonialism, with U.S. imperialists "trying hard to grab the colonies and spheres of influence of other imperialists and to establish world domination." The authors also state that the peoples of Asia and Africa are "seriously menaced by the tentacles of neo-colonialism, represented by U. S. imperialism" and they quote the Second Havana Declaration as saying that "Latin America today is under a more ferocious imperialism, more powerful and ruthless than the Spanish colonial empire."


  1. “Apologists of Neo-Colonialism.” Editorial Departments of Renmin Ribao (People’s Daily) and Hongqi (Red Flag), Foreign Languages Press, Peking 1963. Archived 2022-04-17.