Wednesday, March 6, 2024

g-f(2)2049 Lessons from History: Why Putin's New Russian Empire is Bound to Fail


genioux Fact post by Fernando Machuca and ChatGPT


In "The Inevitable Fall of Putin’s New Russian Empire," Alexander J. Motyl, a political science professor at Rutgers University-Newark, delves into the historical patterns of imperial decline to predict the eventual failure of Russia's attempts at re-imperialization under President Vladimir Putin's leadership.

genioux GK Nugget:

"History suggests that empires often decay over time until only the imperial center remains, with failed attempts at re-imperialization following sudden collapses." — Fernando Machuca and ChatGPT

genioux Foundational Fact:

Russia's trajectory of imperial decline mirrors that of past empires, with the collapse of the Soviet Union followed by economic chaos, delegitimization of democracy, and the rise of radical forces led by a strong leader seeking to revive imperial glory.

10 genioux Facts:

  1. The collapse of empires like the Byzantine, Ottoman, and European colonial powers illustrates the trend of imperial decay over time, with attempts at re-imperialization typically ending in failure.
  2. The success or failure of re-imperialization depends on the balance of power among the core, periphery, and intervening states, as demonstrated by the Bolsheviks' revival of the Russian Empire and the Nazis' failed attempt at re-expansion.
  3. Other empires, like Poland and Austria-Hungary, experienced similar trajectories of collapse and attempted re-imperialization, with varying degrees of success.
  4. Russia's imperial history dates back to the Grand Duchy of Moscow in the 14th century, reaching its peak with the Soviet Union's control over Central and Eastern Europe before declining in the aftermath of the Cold War.
  5. Empires often follow parabolic trajectories of rise, persistence, and fall, with rapid military success leading to crisis and eventual decline, as seen in the case of Alexander the Great's empire.
  6. Revived empires may experience temporary setbacks before regaining strength, as evidenced by Byzantium's resurgence after the Fourth Crusade.
  7. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 marked a significant turning point, but Russia's attempts at re-imperialization, particularly in Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine, indicate ongoing imperial ambitions.
  8. Necessary conditions for re-imperialization include a powerful military, a strong economy, effective governance, institutional ties, and an imperial ideology.
  9. Overextension and failure are likely outcomes if expansion is attempted without sufficient military and economic capabilities or effective governance, leading to regime change or state collapse.
  10. The question remains whether Putin's Russia can sustain its territorial gains and avoid the fate of overreach and collapse faced by other empires throughout history.


Motyl's analysis suggests that Russia's attempts at re-imperialization under Putin's leadership are likely to fail due to historical patterns of imperial decline and the challenges of maintaining military, economic, and governance capabilities necessary for sustained expansion.


The g-f GK Article

Alexander J. MotylThe Inevitable Fall of Putin’s New Russian EmpireForeign Policy (FP), November 5, 2023.

Alexander J. Motyl

Alexander John Motyl, born on October 21, 1953, is an American historian, political scientist, poet, writer, translator, and artist-painter¹. He is a professor of political science at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey, and is a specialist on Ukraine, Russia, and the Soviet Union¹⁴.

Motyl's parents emigrated as refugees from Western Ukraine after World War II, when the region was occupied by the Soviet Union¹. He was born in New York City and graduated from Columbia University with a BA in History in 1975 and a Ph.D. in Political Science in 1984¹.

Motyl has taught at several universities, including Columbia University, Lehigh University, the Ukrainian Free University, the Kyiv-Mohyla University, and Harvard University¹. He has written extensively on the Soviet Union, Ukraine, revolutions, nations and nationalism, and empires¹. His work is highly conceptual and theoretical, attempting to ground political science in a firm philosophical base¹.

In addition to his academic work, Motyl is also a poet, a writer of fiction, and a visual artist¹. His artwork is part of the permanent collections of the Ukrainian Museum in New York City and the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in Winnipeg¹.

Source: Conversation with Bing, 3/6/2024

(1) Alexander J. Motyl - Wikipedia.

(2) Alexander J. Motyl (Author of Imperial Ends) - Goodreads.

(3) Alexander Motyl | Rutgers SAS-Newark.

(4) Alexander J. Motyl - Wikiwand.

Copilot's Summary

The article "The Inevitable Fall of Putin’s New Russian Empire" by Alexander J. Motyl, a professor of political science at Rutgers University-Newark, discusses the historical patterns of empires and applies them to the current situation in Russia².

Motyl argues that the Russian Federation, like many empires before it, is attempting to re-imperialize and recreate as much of its former empire as it can². However, he predicts that this effort will ultimately fail, as most empires decay over time until all that is left is the imperial center².

He compares Russia's situation to other empires that have fallen apart suddenly and comprehensively, such as Imperial Russia, Wilhelmine Germany, and the Soviet Union². In these cases, the imperial ideology remained alive after the collapse, leading to attempts by the imperial center’s elites to recreate their former empires².

Motyl suggests that the success or failure of re-imperialization generally depends on the balance of power among the core, periphery, and any intervening states². He concludes that post-Soviet Russia's trajectory is highly similar to interwar Germany’s, with the sudden collapse followed by economic chaos, the delegitimization of a new democracy, and the rise of a strong leader who revitalizes the imperial ideology and promises to restore the empire².

Source: Conversation with Bing, 3/6/2024

(1) The Inevitable Fall of Putin’s New Russian Empire.

(2) Vladimir Putin Politics, Relations & Current Affairs - Foreign Policy.

(3) Putin’s plan for a new Russian Empire includes both Ukraine and Belarus.

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