Finding themselves economically poor, industrially backward, politically weak, the new nations began to come nearer one another.
The meeting called by Nehru at New Delhi in January, 1949 with a view to presenting united voice of these countries far the freedom of Indonesia was the first sign they showed in their struggle for establishing themselves on the international scene.
The Bandung Conference held in 1955 was also an expression of the same sentiment bringing together the nations of Asia and Africa on a common platform to face collectively the world and reiterate their opposition to colonialism and racialism.
The convening of such a Conference that showed their urge to seek each other’s company was largely based on the fact that they shared a common memory of sufferings and exploitation under the colonial powers.
It also showed their determination to keep aloof from the Cold-war that was imposed upon them by the super-powers. They evolved the concept of non-alignment with a view to containing the big powers and keeping aloof from their rivalry.
However, we find that in spite of the best of their efforts, these new or smaller nations have foiled to cut ice. All events up to-date on the international scene show their helplessness or little capacity to influence the world events. They are, in fact, just like hostages in enmity between the two super-power alliances.
Their complaints have been ignored because their military, economical and political weakness. The big powers have managed through various means to continue their dominance over the smaller and new nations as discussed under.
1. Alliance System:
In spite of the fact that the new nations developed the concept of non-alignment with a view to maintaining their independence of judgment and action on international issues, the big powers lured a number of Third World countries into the alliance system by economic and military and programmes and also to promote their internal settings.
Pakistan was lured into entering the CENTO (Central Treaty Organisation) and the SEATO (South East Asia Treaty Organisation). CENTO included countries such as Iran and Turkey while SEATO included countries of South East Asia.
Still, most of the Third World countries did not join these alliances and stained every nerve to make non-alignment a success. The very criterion of joining non-alignment movement was that the country concerned should not be a member of any alliance floated by the super-power with a view to promoting cold-war.
With the passage of time, however, the alliance system got disrepute as was Pakistan condemned everywhere in Asian and Arab Conferences. She was considered as an agent of Western imperialism. Moreover, alliances died their own death as the very purpose for which they were formed was defeated in the changed circumstances.
Countries like Pakistan which was a member of such aimed at containing Chinese Communism, went more near China. The purpose of Pakistan seeking military support in conflict against India also did not meterialise. The U.S.A. pleaded that these pacts were aimed against Communist expansion and not India.
In the meantime, the United States was also obliged to seek a hand of friendship of Communist China. What we find is that these alliances became meaningless and fell into disuse. They were officially declared as finished.
2. Disruption in the Non-aligned Movement:
The growing popularity non-alignment, lured the big powers to create divisions in this very movement which they disliked. To begin with, non-alignment aroused the worth of the U.S.A. and the West, the suspicion of Stalin’s Russia Powerlessness and Limited Capacity of Small States and the disapproval of Mao’s China.
In fact, there has never been complete solidarity within the non:aligned movement, and the cause of absence of solidarity among the non-aligned countries lies at the instance of the big powers who the smaller powers by many inducements.
They have worked for its destruction from the very beginning. With the passage of time, as non-alignment gained credibility, it became all the more important for the big powers to win allies in the non-aligned.
Fidel Castro of Cuba, who is considered to be close ally of Soviet Russia, made a controversial speech .and questioned anti-bloc tendency of the non-aligned at the Algiers Conference held in 1973.
So, for the first time it was at Algiers Conference that it was discussed if non-alignment is a product of cold-war or anti-colonial struggle.
The contention of Castro was that Soviet Russia has given persistent and consistent support to he goals and objectives of non-alignment.
She is, therefore, a close ally of non-alignment. Sukarno and Nasser retorted by saying that non-alignment should continue in the tradition of Bandung and remain primarily an Afro-Asian movement.’
It was the Colombo Conference held in 1976 that Cuba’s role in Angola came under sharp criticism.
President Gadaffi warned that Egypt was opposed to the rights of Palestinians as it wanted to settle with Israel.
Singapore along with some Asian countries strongly objected to terms such as ‘genuine independence’ and ‘neo-colonialism\ The South East Asian countries, they said, had themselves chosen the path of development through industrialization by invitation. They hoped to transform their economies by inviting foreign capital and creating free trade zone.
It was by the time the Havana Summit was to be held that Soviet Russia, U.S.A. and China involved themselves very much in the affairs of non-alignment. Their involvement brought about an unprecedented crisis in the non-aligned movement.
Soviet Russia had already an ally in Fidel Castro who was playing for her. U.S.A. found an ally in Egypt and wanted the Camp David Accord to come out victorious. China was interested in retaining the seat for Pol Pot regime in the movement.
Soviet Russia and the United States played their role in dividing non-aligned movement from its very beginning. But China entered this field from the time the Colombo Summit (1976) was held. ‘China was anxious to retain its image as the world power and at one time enjoyed a high reputation in Africa as supporter of liberation movement.
But as the Sino-Soviet conflict accelerated and the friendship between United States and China increased, China found herself increasingly on the side of the opponents of the non-aligned movement.
China criticised Vietnam and Cuba as puppets.of Soviet Union. Cuba was playing the role of a liberator in South Africa and Latin America. On the other hand, China found itself allied with the Pinochet regime in Latin America and with NATO in Europe, with the Pol Pot regime in Kampuchea, and finally with the opponents of Angola in South Africa.
Chinese policy enjoyed the distinction of having joined Israel and South Africa in attacking the non-aligned nations militarily. China had previously engaged in military skirmish with India and had also entered the Vietnamese territory to teach that country a lesson.
(For details, go through ‘Crisis in Non-aligned Movement’ as given in the previous questions.)
3. Capitalist International Economic System:
The newly born countries are faced with international economic system that encourages their dependence upon the big powers who are highly developed countries of the world. For development they need capital and technology and in return provide raw-materials to the developed countries.
This system has worked to the benefit of the big powers in many ways. Firstly, the terms of trade between the big and smaller countries are designed in such a way as to benefit the advanced countries.
The finished and consumable goods produced by the developed nations are priced at a very high rate. In contrast, the prices of the raw-materials exported by the developing countries are very low creating high imbalance in trade relations.
Even the amount of foreign aid given by the industrialised nations to the countries of the Third World is neutralised by this element of imbalance.
In simple words the aid given by the developed nations is swallowed back in the shape of trade deficits and gap of balance of payments. Consequently, the nations of the northern hemisphere (developed nations) are becoming richer while those of southern hemisphere becoming poorer.
Secondly, the only institution to help development is the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. But this has also worked to the advantage of the developed countries which have a high rate of economic growth and a high level of employment.
The aid received by the developing countries, instead of being of any help, becomes a burden upon them due to a very low rate of growth in these countries. It becomes difficult for them to repay the loans. Not to say of loans, it becomes difficult even to pay the interest due to be paid on the previous amount of loan received.
Thirdly, the General Agreement on Trade and Tariff concluded mostly among the developed countries has displayed a tendency of Protectionism under which the trade interests of the member nations are protected against the countries of the Third World.
Fourthly, certain preferential trade blocs such as the European Economic Community, COMECON etc have been created by the developed countries under which not only protection at home is granted to the member nations but a large overseas market is also sheltered against competition from the Third World countries. The discrimination so made among nations is known as the “most favoured-nation treatment
Consequently the international economic system based on exchange depreciation, protectionism, preferential trade blocs and discriminatory restrictive devices has virtually brought about a destruction of the economies of the developing countries. The problem of balance of payment of the Third World is getting difficult.
Their industries are not in a position to hold in competition with the well-established industries of the developed countries.
Certain changes in the Articles of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariff, the working practices of the International Monetary Fund, and in the lending practices of the World Bank have been made from time to time to ease the problem. Still the gap between the incomes of the Third World and developed countries is becoming wider.
The oil producing countries formed an Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries with a view to increasing the prices of their products.
They have raised their price-four-fold by now. And this has hit hard the economy of the developed countries. But at the same time, it has shattered economies of the Third World countries themselves, most of which do not produce oil.
4. Domination through Multi-national Corporations:
Tie United States has developed a new technique in the shape of multinational Corporations to dominate politics and economies of the developing countries, multi-national Corporations are those firms which originate from a common centre in the imperialist country but operate in different developing countries by merging in themselves certain firms of the countries in which they operate.
In this way, capital in the developing countries is also getting concentrated in those Multi-national Corporations which have their centre of origin in the imperialist countries.
It is on this account that certain analysis have observed that by this policy of widespread mergers within the country of origin and across national frontiers, the three hundred giant International Corporations will determine the economies of the principal non-Communist countries of the world by 1985.
These Multi-national Corporations are establishing monopolies by exporting the resources of the developing countries. According to estimates of foreign experts, almost 40 percent of the export of the developing countries are made up of products manufactured by these very firms.
As noted in the widely known reports given by the U.N. exports, namely, Multi-national Corporations in World Development, the Multi-national Corporations, not content with their dominant role in the export of products from the extracting countries of youth States “are in general playing increasingly important part in export of manufactures from developing countries.”
Pursuing a ‘policy of neo-colonialism, the Multinational Corporations infringe upon the sovereignty of the Third World countries, seek to gain control over their natural resources, impose unequal agreements upon them, and impede the development of their independent national economies.
These Corporations have given rise to a big question mark whether political freedom will continue to exist when economic power getting more and more concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. This tendency of creating Multinationals has grown in various other countries of Europe also after the pattern set up by the U.S.A.
These multinationals are in this v,ay playing a role in the developing countries that goes against their economy and in the final analysis political independence of the country concerned. They dominate economic life of the developing countries through investment of huge capital and manufacture of important goods.
They get raw-materials from the developing country, were they operate, at cheaper rates but sell the manufactured goods at a very high rate. In this way, the exploit the developing countries under the excuse of developing different manufacturing units in the developing state itself.
In addition, they absorb in to themselves, the firms or companies in the developing countries that are working or have potential in the respective field. Having larger shares of the Corporation in the country of its origin, a major portion of profits so earned are remitted to the parent country, thus draining the resources of the developing countries.
Their activities do not remain confined to the economic sphere alone. They indulge in political activities also. On the basis of the economic power wielded by them, they try to influence the decision-making process of the country in which they operate.
They lobby for a particular interest. They finance individual members of a political party for election and the parties themselves. In these days, funds play a major role in elections. Any party that can manipulate funds, has better chances of victory. Naturally, the big powers through these Multinational Corporations, get political control of the developing countries also.
The great powers do not refrain indulging in intervention in countries where they find their interest at stake. Intervention is a continuing phenomenon which differ in intensity and effect in different countries depending upon the internal and international circumstances at a particular moment. Intervention by invitation is the latest manifestation of this phenomenon to which the client (that is smaller state) affords legal sanction to the interested great power to come to its assistance to keep away internal and external threats to its security.
It is under the Treaty of Friendship,. Co-operation and Mutual Assistance Afghanistan signed with Soviet Russia that the latter has sent troops in Afghanistan in December, 1979. The western world and a large number of non-aligned countries regard it as a clear intervention in the internal affairs of Afghanistan with a view to establishing Soviet domination.
Soviet Russia, on the other hand, pleads that she has only fulfilled the treaty obligations by sending troops on requests made by the government of that country to safeguard against foreign subversion. This request, according to Soviet Russia, was made both by the Amin and Babrak Karmal governments.
China counters this plea on the ground as to how could Amin invite Russian troops to get himself slain. Moreover, at the time Amin was slain, Karmal was not in Afghanistan. He was imported into Afghanistan after the revolution was staged.
It may be mentioned here that it is within a short period of two years that three governments have changed in Afghanistan. King Daud was assassinated Noor Mohd. Taraki. Taraki was overthrown by Hafizullah Amin who was in turn overthrown by Karmal in December, 1979. And all this happened at the instance of foreign power.
It is thus clear from the above discussion that all the new nations in spite of their having made strenuous efforts to assert themselves on the international stage, have failed to make a mark.
The highly developed countries have found ways and means to curb their aspirations in a way that they do not have any effective voice in international affairs.
In addition to the points already discussed, the nuclear non-proliferation treaty is also an effort at containing the development of new nations so that they do not possess nuclear technology. The big nations deem it in their interest to maintain their position of superiority and excellence.