GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Imperialism what is it good for?


Vladimir Putin has announced a new imperialist re-division of the world has begun.

RT has called this new imperialist re-division of the world the end of the Old World Order.

Following on from his speech last week where Putin compared himself to the Russian emperor Peter the Great, who expanded the Russian empire by military might.

RT claims that what they say is Vladimir Putin’s first major speech since the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine is a “Key Address”.

RT claims that Putin has buried the old world.
Rather than buried the ‘Old World’, Putin has dug up the old decomposed corpse of imperialist world wars and mass slaughters of the 20th century repackaged for the 21st Century.

The old world is over….

Russian leader has buried the old world order and outlined his view on Russia’s and the world’s future, in a key address

RT 17 Jun, 2022 18:20

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Analysing Putin’s “Key Address” clause by clause:

1: The old world order is gone with the wind

….the US declared victory in the Cold War,….

…. Putin told the audience at SPIEF. New centers of power have since emerged, and have the right to protect their own systems, economic models and sovereignty.

The situation described by Putin of new emerging centres of power ,is analogous of the situation after the defeat of the Central Powers after the First World War, After WWI, new emerging centres of power in Germany, Italy and Japan also declared their right to protect their own systems, economic models and sovereignty. Code words for projecting their power in the World. Italy colonised Abyssinia, Japan moved to colonise Manchuria. Germany invaded Poland.


2. Anti-Russian sanctions backfired on the West

When the US and its allies launched the campaign to “cancel” Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, they hoped to crash and undermine the Russian economy and society. The sanctions have instead boomeranged on their creators, aggravating social and economic problems, driving up the cost of food, electricity and fuel, and hurting the quality of life across the West, but especially in Europe.

“The European Union has completely lost its political sovereignty, and its bureaucratic elites are dancing to someone else’s tune, accepting whatever they are told from above, causing harm to their own population and their own economy,” Putin said.

EU citizens will pay the price for “decisions divorced from reality and taken contrary to common sense,” he added, as direct losses from the sanctions alone could exceed $400 billion in a year.

Putin pushes a conspiracy theory that the US and its allies have conspired to crash and undermine the Russian economy. This is almost analogous of the German Nazis conspiracy theory of a global cabal of Jewish elites trying to crash the German economy. Blaming outside forces as an excuse for going to war is an old nationalistic and imperialist tactic.

The truth is the Russian economy was in recession before the war, long before the Western Sanctions were put in place.

Putin then repeats his main theme that Europe is a colony of the US, that Europe’s nations are without sovereignty, dancing to someone else’s [the US] tune. Which gives Russia the legitimate right to de-colonise/colonise Ukraine, (and probably other countries as well), to ‘liberate’ them from US colonialist/imperialist oppression.

Despite what Putin claims, the cause of this war are not in external forces outside Russia, but the internal forces of a growth economy, especially a growth economy constrained by its rival’s domination of world markets. Growth economies are either expanding or contracting. If you accept,( as Putin does), that bigger existing imperialist powers constrain the emerging centres of power through domination of global markets and spheres of influence, then. conflict between what Putin calls the new emerging centres of power and the old world order are inevitable.


3. Energy prices and inflation are self-inflicted

Blaming the high energy prices and inflation in the West on Russia – “Putin’s price hike,” as the White House put it – is a “stupidity” and “designed for people who can’t read or write,” the Russian president said.

“Don’t blame us, blame yourselves,” Putin said.

The EU “blindly believing in renewable sources” and abandoning long-term natural gas contracts with Russia led to the spike in energy prices last year, according to the Russian leader. Meanwhile, both the US and the EU addressed the Covid-19 pandemic by printing trillions of dollars and euros.

The Russian leader condemns the switch to renewable resources and away from Russian supplied fossil fuels. The reveals a deep commitment to the existing growth economic model based on non-renewables, pollution, waste, social inequality, and endless growth economic model, that is leading the world headlong into economic and environmental collapse and war.


4. ‘Elite change’ awaits the West

Policies undertaken by EU and US leaders are exacerbating inequalities and divisions in their societies, not just in terms of welfare but in terms of values and orientations of various groups, Putin said.

“Such a detachment from reality, from the demands of society, will inevitably lead to a surge of populism and the growth of radical movements, to serious social and economic changes, to degradation and, in the near future, to a change of elites,” the Russian leader said.

As the capitalist system appears to be slipping into another world wide economic recession, and the rise of far right populists like Donald Trump, Putin may have a point here. But realistically ‘Elite change’ is just as, or even more likely, in Russia itself. Putin may like to compare himself to Peter the Great who defeated Sweden to increase the Russian empire, but a better comparison might be to Tsar Nicholas who was defeated by Japan. A defeat which inevitably led to a surge of populism and the the growth of radical movements in Russia.

It is more than likely that defeat for Russia in Ukraine will have the same result for Putin that it had for Tsar Nicholas.


5. If there’s a famine, it won’t be Russia’s fault

US and EU sanctions against Russia – in particular fertilizer and grain exports – are one of the reasons for growing global food insecurity, Putin pointed out. If there is famine in the world’s poorest countries, “this will be entirely on the conscience of the US administration and the European bureaucracy.”

Troubles with food supply have arisen over the past several years – not months – due to the “short-sighted actions of those who are accustomed to solving their problems at someone else’s expense,” distorting the trade flows by printing money in a sort of “predatory colonial policy,” Putin said.

Russia is ready to send food to Africa and the Middle East, where the threat of famine is most acute, but faces “logistical, financial, transport” obstacles imposed by the West, he said.

Putin’s self serving apology for war and famine.

It is all someone else’s fault.

Putin claims the threat of famine is not the result of Russia’s invasion, and war it is a fault of the West, or in a circular argument, the threat of famine is a result of the war, but it, the war, is the fault of the West.

If there is a famine due to the war it is all someone else’s fault. Nothing to do with Russia. Especially nothing to do with Russia blockading Ukraine ports.


6. Reasons for the Ukraine conflict

Russia sent troops into Ukraine in February because the West refused to abide by its obligations, and it was “simply impossible to reach any new agreements with them,” Putin said. The decision was “forced, but necessary,” as Russia had every right as a sovereign country to defend its security and protect its citizens and residents of Donbass from “genocide by the Kiev regime and neo-Nazis who received the full protection of the West.”

The West spent years turning Ukraine into an “anti-Russia” state and pumping it with weapons and military advisers, Putin said, pointing out they “did not give a damn” about Ukraine’s economy or the lives of its people, but “spared no expense to create a NATO foothold in the east, directed against Russia, to cultivate aggression, hatred and Russophobia.”

“All the objectives of the special military operation will be unconditionally achieved,” Putin said.

Vladimir Putin gave a speech last week explaining the invasion of Ukraine in pure imperialist terms, comparing the war in Ukraine to Peter the Great’s war to seize territory from Sweden. Not once in that speech did Vladimir Putin mention neo-nazis or Nato as the cause for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Putin’s claim that all the objectives of the ‘special military operation’ will be unconditionally achieved, is another lie, Russia has failed to realise its war aims. Putin’s further attempts to realise this lie, will only result in more pointless destruction and death.

The ghost of Tsar Nicholas;

From Wikipedia;

Although Russia suffered a number of defeats, Emperor Nicholas II remained convinced that Russia could still win if it fought on; he chose to remain engaged in the war and await the outcomes of key naval battles. As hope of victory dissipated, he continued the war to preserve the dignity of Russia by averting a “humiliating peace”….


7. Economic development is an expression of sovereignty

…..Russia will “never follow the path of self-isolation and autarky,” but will expand interactions with anyone who wishes to trade, Putin said, adding there are “many such countries.” Moscow will also support private enterprise, build and repair its transportation infrastructure, seek to reduce social inequality, and ensure its key technologies are not dependent on foreign imports.

“Truly sovereign states are always committed to equal partnerships,” while “those who are weak and dependent, as a rule, are busy looking for enemies, planting xenophobia, or finally losing their originality, independence, blindly following the overlord,” he said.
While accusing other countries of imperialism and colonialism, Putin praises expansionist policies, while echoing the US imperialist’s denunciation of isolationist policies.
(not that the US has ever been isolationist).

Imperialism what is it good for?



  1. Why do people who just apply “facts and analysis” based on other Western orientalist facts and analysis think they have something unique and read-worthy to offer? A critically aware person would have stopped themselves from writing this realising “I have absolutely nothing meaningful to add to the debate.”

    A far more interesting read, and exercise for anyone who considers themself “expert” enough to comment (never heard of a Pat O’Dea) is to use Putin’s assertion and treat them as if they are CORRECT to critically assess our own assertions and assumptions.

    • Your opinion that “I have absolutely nothing meaningful to add to the debate.” Is wrong, because, evidently, I have contributed something.

      When Putin says that since the end of the Cold War. “New centers of power have since emerged, and have the right to protect their own systems, economic models and sovereignty.”

      I don’t accept that Russia has any right to impose its own systems and economic models on other sovereign nations.

      You quite obviously don’t agree with my analysis that the motive behind Russia’s invasion and war in Ukraine are capitalist/imperialist motives. But rather than putting up any counter argument, (and not being able to censor my argument), you suggest that I should self censor. “A critically aware person would have stopped themselves from writing this…..”

      You say you have never heard of me. So what? I have never heard of you.
      But because I haven’t heard of you, doesn’t mean that I think you have no right to express your opinion, and I welcome you to take this opportunity to do so.

      You say, Magician, that I should, “use Putin’s assertion and treat them as if they are CORRECT.”

      I have one question for you Magician


      (Pull that rabbit out of your hat if you can).

    • John White June 20, 2022 at 9:11 am
      Cry more. The liberation of the world from American beasts is coming.


      World War III for a new imperialist re-division of the world is coming.

      1914 – 1918 The First global imperial conflict between the superpowers of the time over the imperialist division of the world cost 18 million lives,

      1939 -1945 The second global imperial conflict between the superpowers of the time for the imperialist division of the world cost 63 million lives.

      The third global imperial conflict between the superpowers for the imperialist division of the world promises to be much more deadly

      The liberation of the world from American imperialism will not come from another imperialism.

    • Think about that John…..if for some reason America disappeared…how long do you think it would take for a foreign military force to decide to look at New Zealand and say “ I’ll have that” …might come in handy for growing protein products…they can’t defend themselves…let’s get in quick before someone else gets there..sound familiar…I don’t think the Russians or Chinese , or whoever , will be getting us to sign a treaty…Putin is a mafia boss…simple as that…a thug….the only reason he has got to where he is today is by being the most brutal thug….He thought Ukraine was low hanging fruit..expand into new turf as mafia do if they see a weakness and a chance to make more money….but he has upset other mafia….watch this space….it will be brutal…

  2. Pat, you really are an unreconstructed old Marxist, which I suspect you are proud of. Thats too big and argument which I wont go off subject with but it shows in your worldview.

    Couple of points.
    I don’t accept that Russia has any right to impose its own systems and economic models on other sovereign nations.
    So where is the Bear threatening to or running around imposing political and economic systems? Its not their stated aim in Ukraine, and you’d have to ask what’s in it for them? The cost of propping up the economic basket cases of the Soviet empire, the Baltics, Poland, the Balkans, was that not a lesson learned?

    World War III for a new imperialist re-division of the world is coming
    Really? I’d hardly describe Russia as imperialist or expansive, Putin has been pushing a multi polar world as has China. I’d agree to imperialist economic ambitions from the Leninist CCP, who’d have guessed something that has its origins between Marx’s ears would become imperialist. That said they too recognise an emerging multipolar world that excludes the old empire.

    • “So where is the Bear threatening to or running around imposing political and economic systems? Its not their stated aim in Ukraine… Nick J

      That is exactly their aim in Ukraine.
      The stated aim of Russia’s invasion and war was to de-nazify Ukraine, which is the Kremlin’s code phrase for regime change. The Kremlin did not like the political and economic system in Ukraine and labeled it “Nazi”. And then set out to change it by force. If that is not imposing political and economic systems on other countries, then what the hell is it?

      …”you’d have to ask what’s in it for them? The cost of propping up the economic basket cases of the Soviet empire, the Baltics, Poland, the Balkans, was that not a lesson learned?”

      The Russian Burden eh Nick?

      Nick you ask what’s in it for them? You might as well ask, Nick, what was in it for the British Empire or any other imperialist nation. The apologists for British imperialism claimed that the countries they invaded and conquered and enslaved were being done a favour, ‘The White Man’s Burden’ they called it., where in reality the British Empire was extracting trillions from its colonies, turning once previous self sufficient countries into, to use your term, Nick, ‘basket cases’.

      What’s in it for them? For Russia oil prices have never been as high, Russia the world’s biggest grain exporter has just knocked its biggest competitor out of the world market.

      Then there is the direct looting of Ukraine cultural treasures and artworks, and and agricultural and manufactured goods, by the Russian Federation.

      Another bonus for the Putin regime, is the suppression of all internal dissent in Russia under emergency war powers.

      All in all Imperialism is very good for the Russian Federation. And it will be even better if they ever manage to get full control of all of Ukraine’s grain fields and factories.

      It ain’t gonna happen.

  3. Putin says the west don’t give a damn about Ukraines economy or it’s people…….as he lays waste to Ukrainian cities and shells indiscriminately. His version of giving a damn leaves a fair bit to be desired

  4. Pat, I am sure it has not escaped you that the situation of Ukraine vis a vis Russia is very similar to that of Ireland vis a vis England in the early twentieth century. A lot of shared history, much of it bitter, and a lot of shared language and culture, about which the Irish side had a degree of ambivalence, and a population deeply divided between nationalists and unionists.
    Certain Irish nationalists made Zelensky’s error when they decided to join forces with Imperial Germany against Britain. The end result was bloody repression and a partitioned country. There is a strong moral case to be made against NATO and the way it has exploited the suffering of Ukrainians to “weaken Russia” but there is also a very practical argument which says that for Ukraine to ally itself with NATO was a fatal error of judgement which will set the cause of Ukrainian nationalism back by decades. If Ireland had gone with Germany in 1939 there would be no independent state of Eire today. Neutrality was the only policy that made sense for Ireland, and it is the only policy which would have made sense for Ukraine.
    Partition is now the best that Ukraine can hope for, and the western world should stop heaping misery on a people who have suffered too much already.

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