From Colonial Past to Global Reality
New Horizons in Competition Law and Economics series
Chapter 5: Industrialization and continuity of monopolistic structures
If colonialism introduces the monopoly system in the colonies, making it the main internal production structure, it is from industrialization that these economic structures began to determine the course of the economic and political life of the countries. This fact is not accidental nor a natural evolution. It is a transformation, conceived over a century in some regions (Latin America) and for more than 150 years in others (mostly Asia), and has not only economic but also political reasons. Decolonization was, in fact, in most countries, carefully crafted so as not to upset the balance of economic forces that supported the old colonial state. In almost all countries, it was a process of independence in politics but not of economic transformation. With rare exceptions, there really was no revolutionary process in the independence of the colonies, at least in terms of transformation of internal power relations. In most cases, power remained with the groups that held or were entitled with monopolies, granted or awarded by metropoles, which replaced one another. Obviously, within the leading economic group, there was dissension and even fratricidal struggles, but invariably the group with greater economic power ended up dominating, which was, even throughout the nineteenth century in the colonies or former colonies, the one connected to the most significant export interest in each specific period. This relation of near symbiosis between state power and monopoly was actually a natural consequence of the relations that were constitutive of the colonies themselves as national states.
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