, 11 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
1/ Hi Clifford, thank you for your polite and thoughtful question. It is indeed one worth asking. I don’t think the term imperialism applies to modern day Russia or China. This is not a defense of their foreign, economic or military polices, its just a dispute over terminology.
2/ Imperialism is a structured relationship to transfer value from a poor country’s economy to a rich country’s economy, or to restructure power in a way that serves the rich country, and it’s usually enforced through military force.
3/ China’s economic policies in parts of Asia and Africa may be problematic and unfair but they are not enforced by its global military might or its control over the global currency.
4/ Russian involvement is much closer to home, it largely stays in its back yard or near abroad w/ the exception of Syria where its strategic ally, the government in Damascus, invited Russian forces to support Syrian forces & prevent state collapse due to an islamist insurgency.
5/ In addition, I see the US actively trying to undermine governments or overthrow them, causing massive instability and destruction. Russia and China seem to generally avoid this.
6/ And even if you believe the worst about Russian influence in the US elections then the most you can say is that they tried to influence voters through some tweets and facebook posts that nobody watched.
7/ This does not mean I view Russia and China as benevolent forces in the world or as benevolent governments to their own populations. They pursue their interests just as cynically and brutally as any other state might.
8/ But destroying entire countries through sanctions and war seems to be a unique American pastime from which we never get bored. Russia and China are simply not wealthy or powerful enough to be imperialist.
9/ As a result of my concern over America's rapacious hegemony and blundering militarism, I am at least grateful that there is a multi polarity which limits the damage America can do.
10/ So while Russia & China do not offer models of governance or foreign policy that I necessarily admire, at least they act as obstacles to dangerous US imperialism. The Russian intervention in Syria to prevent that state's collapse to US backed Islamist insurgence, is 1 example
11/ With regard to Islamic imperialism, I don’t that has been a thing since long before the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
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