John Ikerd, August 3rd, 2017, In These Times
“The sense of impotence and dread in rural America is a consequence of decades of economic extraction and exploitation carried out in the guise of rural economic development. Rural areas are suffering the consequences of prolonged “economic colonization”—a term typically used in reference to neoliberal economic development in nations previously colonized politically. Rather than being colonized by national governments, most economic colonization today in rural America, and indeed in rural communities around the world, is carried out by multinational corporations.
Much like colonial empires of the past, transnational corporations have been extending their economic sovereignty over the affairs of people in rural places all around the globe. Rural people are losing their sovereignty, as corporations use their economic power to dominate local economies and gain control of local governments. Irreplaceable precious rural resources, including rural people and cultures, are being exploited—not to benefit rural people but to increase the wealth of corporate investors. These corporations are purely economic entities with no capacity for commitment to the future of rural communities. Their only interest is in extracting the remaining economic wealth from rural areas. This is classic economic colonialism.”
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