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Imperialism-Colonies Relationship, Ecological Approach

Imperialism-Colonies Relationship, Ecological Approach

By Jaime Nazar Riquelme

Matter and energy represent essentially the same thing: matter is energy "processed", "structured", "shaped" and maintained in space and time. Therefore, matter is created, wears out, degrades and "dies", is decomposed and recreated in a perpetual cycle.

Ecology, among its different definitions, contains what it considers to be the "Science that studies the structure, function and organization of natural and artificial systems."

The laws that govern systems, understood as the indissoluble entities that constitute living beings with the physical environment, are the same for all.


The human being, obviously, is part of these systems, but it is the only species that has developed intraspecific relations known as relations of production on the basis of which it has historically organized itself in different ways (slavery, feudalism, capitalism and, during the twentieth century, attempts at socialism).

Each of these modes of production constituted and constitutes a system, so they are perfectly susceptible to analysis with ecological criteria, bearing in mind the fundamental laws of thermodynamics (energy is not created, it is only transformed, and in each act of transformation experiences a loss of heat), as well as another concept, more recent, emerged with the advent of cybernetics, related to Information.

In ecology, the concept of information has a very broad connotation: it is, so to speak, every act, contact and / or relationship (with its corresponding influences) produced directly or indirectly between living beings and between them and the environment that surrounds. Being born, growing up, learning, playing, reproducing, eating or being eaten, getting sick, etc., dying, constitute each one or together, information transmitted.

The ecosystem is the unit, defined in space and time, of living organisms with the physical environment, in which a continuous cycle of materials is established thanks to the permanent flow of energy.

Matter and energy represent essentially the same thing: matter is energy "processed", "structured", "shaped" and maintained in space and time. Therefore, matter is created, wears out, degrades and "dies", is decomposed and recreated in a perpetual cycle.

Energy, on the other hand, flows through the ecosystem, so to speak, unidirectionally; there is no cycle: it is provided by the Sun, entering the ecosystem thanks to the chlorophyll of green vegetables, it flows through the community of life (all species, including ours) experiencing infinite qualitative changes (when organic matter is formed of the individuals of said community), with the corresponding losses in the form of heat through the general processes of respiration and excretion, or remaining outside the reach of the community (except for our species) in space and time as a relict fossil, for example, oil.

The community of life together with the physical environment form the structure of each ecosystem. Given that each member of the community, from the moment it exists, exercises activities that necessarily have an impact on others and / or on the environment, this structure works, that is, it is dynamic.

Structure and function merge, giving rise to their synthesis: the organization of the ecosystem, which in nature acquires a very wide variety (cold and warm deserts, steppes, meadows, parks, forests, jungles, lakes, rivers, seas, etc. ) according to the number of species and the number of individuals per species, reflecting not only the respective physiognomy but also the various degrees of complexity, on which the stability of the system in space and time depends. Complexity, stability and flexibility are positively correlated characters, because the more functions there are interrelated, the greater are the "replacement" possibilities or the alternatives for the energy to flow and be processed in the face of any injury arising from within or from outside the system. .

The use of energy within the life community of the ecosystem is nothing other than its permanent processing. It is the information: the greater the diversity of the community (greater complexity), the greater the processing; there is a greater capacity for use by individuals (called "ecological efficiency") in the formation of new individuals, structures and functions, all of which necessarily implies greater specialization in the vital functions of individuals, since all they, except partially us, depend on the solar energy entering the system. Man, thanks to his technological evolution, extracts additional energy from fossils and other alternative sources. All in all, the foregoing means higher singular productivities and higher global production but, at the same time, higher internal consumption, leaving less amount of gross or little-processed energy available to be used by other systems.

A simple ecosystem offers the opposite characteristics: given the lesser diversity of structures and functions and, therefore, of equilibrium mechanisms, the stability of the system is relatively precarious, and the possibilities of processing energy for its own benefit are limited. which translates into a lower internal consumption of yours, so less information is generated. Due to these circumstances, more raw or poorly processed energy is available to be exported to other systems.

It is for these reasons that, when exploiting nature, man always seeks to simplify ecosystems, thus obtaining the maximum yields from them: he reduces forests to one or two species at most; establish monocultures; organizes zootechnical activities generally with a single species for each productive unit.

In ecosystems there are two compartments: one mainly exercises the production functions, while the other, those of degradation and transformation of materials, these functions, which demand greater organizational complexity for the purposes of providing the final products of the production to the productive distribution. degradation of matter (minerals for plants) in a "dosed" manner, so that this last distribution always remains with a less complex organization. There is, therefore, a kind of relationship of "dominance", of "control" over the productive distribution ("simple" system) by the transforming distribution ("complex" system), in natural ecosystems.

In social systems the concepts mentioned so far have a similar meaning, although naturally they must be attributed only to our species. The concept of information is equally suitable: the actions of "eating and being eaten" (slave, feudal, capitalist production relations); communication in all its forms; All physical and intellectual human activities, whether carried out individually or through institutions, constitute, by interacting directly or indirectly, information flows.

Socially executed human work (political, productive, commercial, scientific, technical-industrial, cultural activities) is the informative process par excellence in constant progression, its most eloquent expression being surplus value.

In human society the complex system is represented by the developed countries. It is primarily transformative. It has characteristics quite similar to those of the complex natural ecosystem: large number and wide variety of organisms or structures, entities and productive, commercial, service functions forming exchange chains or networks; notable diversity of functions, because within each of these sectors there is a marked division of labor with different degrees of qualification and professionalism at the peasant, worker, middle management, professional and scientific levels.

All this necessarily implies an outstanding specialization of the functions, high technology, intense use or consumption of the energy that enters the system and, as a consequence, perfection and refinement in the information processing, which translates into high productivity and global production. of capital goods, consumer goods and services of a complex nature, but, above all, in the present historical phase, it translates into the production of technology that directly affects the processing of the information itself, that is, computing and telematics.


Such an intense rate of use of energy in the reticular process that transforms it into merchandise, accompanied by a similar intense internal consumption (and waste), demands high costs that force it to vitally require other simpler systems that provide it with energy. raw or little processed in large quantities and at low costs, to maintain its own level of organization.

These simple systems exist and are represented by the underdeveloped countries that, in the world as a whole, predominantly exercise the role of producers-exporters of raw materials or products that are scarcely processed or elaborated towards the system of developed countries.

As systems, they represent exactly the opposite of the previous one in all the above.
This is the objective situation between both (eco) systems. Here too the rule of control is repeated, of dominance by part of the complex system over the simple one, but there is still much more: there is dispossession, exploitation with the social damage that this entails; there is the submission of the simple system as well as the repression, when the populations of such systems try to escape this type of relationship.

Consequently, the general process of energy processing (raw materials) in order to create information (industrialization), remains more or less reduced depending on the type of dependence that each country suffers with world imperialism (complex system).

If its predominant relationship resides in a sector of the complex system that does not depend directly on raw materials, the simple system will have the "fortune" of being able to use a good part of its primary resources within it to create the information represented in the small or medium capital and / or consumer goods industry of which, a more or less consistent part, will still go to satisfy the needs of the complex system. Examples of this type can be Brazil, Mexico, India.

If, on the other hand, the relationship is found with those sectors of the complex system directly interested in raw materials to incorporate them into their own industrial transformation process, such countries of the simple system will be inexorably reduced to structures and functions that ensure the maximum amount of energy. exportable gross.

Examples of this type abound in the simple system. Africa and Latin America almost complete. With the Pinochet dictatorship, Cile lived through a brutal reductive process of its organizational variability; There were thousands of small and medium industries and estates that disappeared mainly from the sectors of capital goods and consumption oriented to satisfy the domestic market. On the other hand, the productive fabric related to the export of mineral raw materials, agricultural products (mainly fruits) and water products was favored. That is, energy, matter, raw or little processed information.

The countries of the system of "real socialism" of the Soviet area passed to the capitalist system under the influence of the complex system, and have begun to undergo structural and functional regression in a variable, although in any case accelerated way, towards the condition of producer-distributor. towards the complex system, typical of the simple system.

The complex system is not uniform. There are appreciable differences between its members, each of which has a precise ecological "niche" (place and function in the system as a whole) that interacts in a more or less contradictory way with each of the other members, but all looking for producers- raw or relatively processed energy dispensers in the simple system.
We said that the primordial characteristic of the intraspecific relationship of creation of "information" through the process of production and change carried out by socially performed work is surplus value, and we mentioned the various forms of organization or modes of production that man has given himself in its historical journey.

The current predominant mode is the capitalist one, characterized by the unequal distribution of such surplus value. Furthermore, the essential characteristic of this system resides in its accumulation and centralization, both processes that in the last fifty years have grown exponentially, for which reason it has had to find mechanisms that allow its reproduction more and more expeditiously. Thus, today we find ourselves with a surplus value converted into financial capital that in this process of geometric progression has reached the stage of self-reproduction, without the need to create capital and / or consumer goods (except weapons and drugs) until the point of entering into contradiction with the system that has given rise to it and in which it has begun to promote processes of auto-phagocytosis, that is, of structural, functional and organizational self-regression.
This brings about the intensification of internal tensions, because the structural and functional networks suffer "fraying" episodes that compromise the normal flow of energy and its material transformation, altering the correct and efficient functionality of the system, or of some of its parts. The homeostatic mechanism (of regulation) of the system, set in motion by the owners of the means of production and of the surplus value generated by the work socially executed in the aforementioned networks, as is known, is the reduction of costs by increasing unemployment and In recent times, almost a fad, the partial or total transfer of productive processes towards the simple system, which increases the tensions in its own bosom.

Furthermore, the sector that currently governs the complex system represented by the United States of America is closely linked to the main energy source that currently drives the entire planetary social system: oil. In the chain of transformation or elaboration of this energy, the war industry, the military-industrial complex, occupies a preeminent place, indispensable to resolve in its favor the inevitable future fractures that will appear not only with simple systems, but with the remaining members of the complex system. This inevitability is deduced from the process of systemic regression mentioned above and, obviously, from the simple verification of the aggressive expansion with which imperialism tries to ensure its structure, its functioning and its organization.

Some conclusions, although provisional:

1.- The capitalist system in which the human species is organized has begun its phase of exhaustion, of self-regression, due in large part to the law of accumulation and centralization of capital. At least today the predominance of forces whose immediate benefit favors such regression is evident.

2.- The social-democratic alternative, conceived as a systemic organization, lost its battle against the neo-liberalist forces that better favor the accumulation and centralization of the aforementioned speculative oligopolistic surplus value.

3.- A new model of colonialism is being outlined according to which financial capital enters more deeply into the simple system, also appropriating the structures generated by the processing of energy itself, from the generation of information itself: They buy the state companies that control vital rings such as telecommunications, transportation, energy sources with added value (electricity, gas, water), not to mention the damage caused by said financial capital in their adventures of ethereal or speculative self-reproduction.

4.- In situations in which the dominance relationship has been expressed violently, the expected reconstruction processes suffer long delays or are simply not verified. Examples are to be found in African countries, in the former Yugoslavia, in Afghanistan, and we will see what may happen in Iraq. It seems to be as if the current process of reproduction of monopoly-oligopolistic capital requires times to reproduce much shorter than before ...

5.- It is found that this process of auto-phagocytosis requires absolute mastery of information and communication.

6.- Consequently, healthy humanity and of good will must prepare to face a difficult and prolonged battle of ideas, arming itself with the most powerful instruments of mass communication, such as radio, TV and internet.

* Simple member of the human species.


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