Putin: standing up to the Empire

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

For the lack of creativity (in this case) and also for its completeness, I borrow Frontline Magazine’s headline for Putin i.e. standing up to the Empire. Much has already been written about American empire’s history, present and future, with authors like Prem Shankar Jha from India arguing about the extinction of the ‘nation-state’ under the current globalised order and the further strengthening of American power. (Jha’s book (Twilight of the Nation-State) won him a foreword by Eric Hobsbawn! Who was surprised and also happy to see such an insightful book coming from a country which is bound to play an important role in the 21st century.

However, recent events as that of America’s failure to invade Syria and the ever-confusing events in Ukraine-Crimea point to a paradigm shift in the way power (strictly in the political sense) is exercised, by the ‘Empire’. The Empire seems to be losing its absolute grip on the world, and as things would naturally (even scientifically) flow in a vaccum is, giving way to other power contenders, Russia in this case, as was evident in Syria and Crimea.

Now, let’s try and examine the emergence of Russia as a challenger to the Empire, strictly in descriptive terms and not in prescriptive terms i.e. what is rather than what ought to be. The main points highlighted by the news media (as it is the only ‘manufacturer’ of content due to its monopoly), global and local (information flowing downwards) are:

1. Russia is power hungry and is indulging in Cold-War like actions to undermine the USA, and its allies, of course!

2. Russia is supporting the ‘bad guys’ like Assad and Yanukovich.

3. If not contained, Russia could be a threat to the world security, especially to the Eastern and European region.

As a student of political science I would find this very naïve; anyone who is of the opinion that ‘power’ can be dissolved and buried forever, and also that it is an essential per-condition for the world to live in peace. Power is an inevitable outcome and the ultimate game-changer, and the clues to this could be find in Marx’s phrase, ‘the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle’ (for control over power) and also in Social Contract theorist Rousseau, who highlighted on the inevitable process of ‘power generation’ when humans come together to live as a whole and also emphasized on the need to ‘consolidate and control’ power i.e. of the Sovereign against the individual.

If this is so, then wouldn’t there be a tussle among different Sovereigns to control power and exercise it for the benefit of its own class? Why does Russia’s action gets so fiercely criticized and not the Empire’s, by the mainstream media primarily, and why should the Empire’s claim to power be taken as absolute (it is not in many cases, though)?

What evil it is if smaller countries (how much ever evil back home) like Syria and Ukraine are getting saved from ‘humanitarian intervention’?

The benefits of it to Russia are a totally different matter all together and are not the concern here. We are simply concerned about the shift in global power.

The Empire didn’t cry foul when former the USSR under Stalin defeated the Nazi Army and saved the world history from taking a different and even an undesirable turn? The same USSR against which the Empire was trying to save the worls throughout the 20th Century. Isn’t it all about Empire’s convenience?

Putin (Russia) has dared to contain the Empire as it has already done many times back in the past, unlike other countries which have become Empire’s satellite, turning blind eye towards the repercussions of its power. My support for Putin is not absolute and is strictly issue based. Providing Edward Snowden (a modern day hero no less than the Marxist revolutionaries of the 20th century, I would say!) with asylum is one such issue.

To talk of the Ukrainian matter, I would simply draw attention to India.

Did India not intervene in the Bangladesh War in 1971? For reasons well known and even unknown.

The reason for the Russian paranoia is West’s own prejudices against the Russians, which is further strengthen by cultural ‘hegemony’ through global media empires and the eternal and inevitable struggle for power which will keep giving rise to such events!

Read more on American Propaganda manufacturing:

The strangelove effect:- or how we are hookwinked into accepting a new world war

Unbearable Bears: Media’s cliched portrayal of Russia

Post-scriptum: Power is never neutral, it tilts.


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