Understanding Russian imperialism

The international Macro economy of each era is defined by the base of its economy.

The base of the economy in 15th to early 20th century Europe was imperialism. Small countries, like the U.K., Belgium, Portugal, Spain and Germany, controlled vast areas of the globe which they used their superior technology to control. (cf. “Guns, Germs and Steel.”) These imperialistic powers garnered tremendous wealth from their empires, far more than the home country itself could have produced.

After World War 2 the great empires collapsed as the colonies demanded independence. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries the world order has apparently abandoned imperialism.

The great exception to this is Vladimir Putin, who wants to recreate the old Russian Empire. Note the expansion into Ukraine and Poland.

The Problem With Russia Is Russia

By Oksana Zabuzhko, The New York Times, Feb. 20, 2023

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Chechnya was one of the two autonomous republics of the newly independent Russian Federation that claimed independence. (The other one was Tatarstan.) But world leaders were by then quite fed up with the discovery that all those union republics that they had for decades regarded simply as administrative units of Russia — Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan and others, still harder to pronounce — appeared to be real things. The West’s shock at this new geography meant that independent Ichkeria [Chechnya] had not the slimmest chance of recognition…

Russia will not become a democracy until it falls apart. That’s because Russia is not really a nation-state but the same premodern multiethnic empire living on geographic expansion and resource looting as 300 years ago — and is thus doomed to reproduce, again and again, under whatever ideological cover, the same prison-ward-like political structure that alone keeps it together.

One intellectual holdover from the imperialistic 19th century is the idea that preserving the Russian empire would be less catastrophic, in terms of humanitarian consequences, than recognizing the right to life of dozens of peoples whose lot under Moscow’s rule was never anything other than dogged survival, under the threat of extinction. This prejudice helped the empire to survive twice in the 20th century, in 1921 and in 1991. It is high time to rethink it…[end quote]

It’s no wonder that Putin is maintaining a propaganda stranglehold over the Russian media’s coverage of his invasion of Ukraine. Russia could face dismemberment if all its ethnic minorities rose to demand independence like Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Poland is acutely aware that it will be next on the menu if Ukraine falls. Since Poland is a NATO member, that could bring on World War 3.

A nuclear war could spoil anyone’s Macroeconomic day.

We should not imagine that the concept of imperialism is dead and left in the dust of the 20th century. It’s alive and dangerous today.



With Bretton Woods empire builders recognized that trade was more productive than conquest. The destruction of empires started with the Great War…

World War I destroyed four empires - German, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, and Romanov - and touched off colonial revolts in the Middle East and Vietnam. WWI shattered Americans’ faith in reform and moral crusades. WWI carried far-reaching consequences for the home front, including prohibition, women’s suffrage, and a bitter debate over civil liberties.


The Captain


Poland will not be the first on the list if Ukraine falls. First on the Russian list are the Baltic countries and Finland because of their closeness to Москва и Санкт-Петербург.



Wouldn’t Moldova be the first after the Ukraine?



That’s my bet, because Moldova is not a member of NATO, and already has a “breakaway” area with a Russian garrison.

After that, I think Hungary, because Orban is so kissyface with Putin. That would give Putin access to Serbia.



Moldova is not a threat to Russia. It is only another place for Russia to stir up problems.

Putin makes his own threats wherever he goes.


Yup. First: define a secret goal. Second: create an excuse acceptable to the mob, like, for instance, a “yellow cake letter”.