Historically, the development of the world was accompanied by the wide disparity between advanced civilizations and poorly developed countries, which suffered from technological, political and socioeconomic backwardness. In this respect, the mid-20th century could become a turning point in the history of the world because it was the end of the imperialist era. It is in the mid-20th century the emergence of new, independent states marked the end of the imperialism and start of a totally new epoch, the epoch when all countries seem to have equal opportunities because they were independent to conduct their own policies and define their own future, regardless of the position of developed countries, which used to play the dominant role in the world. However, the high expectations associated with the larger opportunities developing countries have got after gaining independence have failed to come true because the second half of the 20th century was marked by the rise of a new, neo-imperialist era, when the inequality between countries did not only persist but even grew wider and wider. Today, the gap between leading, developed countries of the world and underdeveloped countries of the third world is enormous.
In this respect, it is important to underline the fact that gaining independence by ex-colonies of developed countries, being a significant historical event, proved to be inefficient because the independence of developing countries was a highly controversial issue. To put it more precisely, the independence of developing countries was rather nominal, formal, than real. In fact, they got political independence, but they did not have experience of building up independent states. As a result, they could not develop as independent, democratic countries. Instead, many developing countries faced a problem of the limited access of people to political power and economic opportunities.
What is meant here is the fact that masses of people in developing countries were deprived of an opportunity to get private property, they could not elect their authorities, human rights and liberties were widely violated. As a result, a limited number of people got all the power in developed countries. Often the ruling elite established a dictatorial regime to facilitate the exploitation of masses of people. Obviously, in such a situation, developing countries could not improve their socioeconomic position. In stark contrast, internal conflicts and the struggle for power between elites resulted in the economic stagnation and further deterioration of socioeconomic situation in developing countries.
Moreover, the situation was deteriorated consistently by the ongoing economic dependence of developing countries from developed ones. In other words, developed countries gave their colonies independence, but economically they kept dominating in the world. As a result, developing countries could rely mainly on the export of natural resources, which made their economies very sensitive to the situation in international markets, while developed countries could benefit from use of cheap raw materials and natural resources imported from developing countries and enter international markets with their own products without facing any resistance from the part of local companies, based in developing countries.
In such a situation, developing countries attempted to protect national economies by means of fiscal barriers which were elected to stimulated the development of local companies, which were protected from expansion of foreign competitors by lower fiscal pressure compared to foreign rivals. However, the process of globalization accelerated neo-imperialist trends in the world.
The process of globalization has defined the development of the world in the second half of the 20th century and plays the determinant role in the contemporary world. On the one hand, globalization has accelerated the economic cooperation and integration, stimulating economic progress worldwide, while, on the other hand, it has widen the gap between rich and poor and contributed to the emergence of civil wars and disparity of wealth, especially after the end of the Cold War.
Basically, the process of globalization produces a dubious effect on the world. At first glance, globalization has a positive impact on the well-being of people worldwide since the progress of economic cooperation leads to the growing investments into the developing economies and free movement of capital from developed countries to developing countries, where new jobs are created and, therefore, the local population should prosper.
However, in actuality, the process of globalization is the process of the economic expansion of developed countries into developing countries. To put it more precisely, developing countries are just new markets for companies based in developed countries. The elimination of fiscal barriers and progress of free trade made markets of developing countries practically defenseless in face of companies from developed countries. Moreover, foreign investments in economies of developing countries are consistently lower compared to mutual investments of developed countries.
At the same time, developing countries have only one dominating industry, while developed countries generate new technologies, introduce innovations and use cheap labor force and material resources of developing countries and supply markets of developing countries with their expensive, technologically sophisticated products and services.
As a result, globalization contributes to the growing disparity since rich get richer while poor get poorer that provokes social instability, civil wars, and terrorism. Thus, the wealth and power are concentrated in hands of developed countries. Naturally, developing countries cannot oppose the growing pressure from the part of such superpower as the USA. In this respect, it is necessary to understand that the ruling elite of developing countries can benefit consistently from the process of globalization, while peoples of developing countries become practically enslaved by the modern socioeconomic system, since the price of the labor force in developing countries is extremely low, while rights of employees are either poorly protected or not protected at all. In contrast, the ruling elite controls the major exporting industry of developing countries. As a result, the elimination of fiscal barriers increases benefits of the ruling elite because it can increase export and maximize its profits due to elimination of fiscal barriers and free trade agreements. Moreover, the ruling elite of developing countries can invest safely in economies of developed countries, while the national economy is viewed by the ruling elite of developing countries as a source of natural resources which are exported to developed countries to enrich the ruling elite.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the new-imperialist era is progressing fast and this new era of the involvement of developed countries into the developing world is marked by the ongoing exploitation of developing countries by developed ones. In actuality, the process of globalization, which is a characteristic of neo-imperialist era, widens the gap between rich and poor countries leading to the enrichment of the most developed countries and total degradation of the least developed ones.