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6-10-2015, 16:58

Introduction

1.  The attitude of the Soviet leadership toward its East European satellites is illustrated by Leonid Brezhnev’s accusation during the negotiations following the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet troops that the arrested first secretary of the Czech Communist Party, Alexander Dubcek, did not show Moscow the drafts of his political reports. According to the Czech authorities, approximately 30 percent of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Czechoslovakia worked for the KGB. Cf. K. Dawisha, The Kremlin and the Prague Spring (University of California Press, 1984), pp. 6, 53.

2.  Komsomol’skaia Pravda, January 19, 2004.

3.  A. Prokhanov, Gospodin Geksogen [Mister Hexogen] (Moscow: Ad Marginem Press, 2002), p. 426.

4.  A. Dugin, Osnovy geopolitiki [Bases of Geopolitics] (Moscow: Ark-tsentr, 2000), p. 195.

5.  See, for example, R. Staryer, Why Did the Soviet Union Collapse? Understanding Historical Change (New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1998). The authoritative Russian political analyst I. Yakovenko writes: “Beginning with the era of Ivan the Terrible, the Moscow kingdom existed as an empire. At first the imperial idea inspired the Muscovy elite that had created a state. Later, in the course of four centuries, Russian society created an empire, lived in it, received the benefits, and bore the burdens of imperial existence. The imperial consciousness entered the body of the society, penetrated all levels of culture, and impressed itself on the psychology of the masses. By itself, empire is neither good nor bad. It is a special method of political integration of large expanses, consistent with a certain level of historical development. On our Russian expanses, in the given historical era, it has exhausted itself. But that statement is a dry, analytical judgment. For people of a traditional bent, who grew up in the framework of an imperial lifestyle, the empire is an entire cosmos, way of life, and system of worldview and world perception. The cosmos is organic; they do not know any other and will not accept any other. The traditional person tends to perceive the stable as eternal and unalterable, especially since the state ideology told him the USSR was eternal and indestructible. From that point of view the collapse of the empire is an accident, an unnatural course of events, the result of a conspiracy of hostile elements that found support inside ‘our’ society.” See I. Yakovenko, “Ukraina i Rossiia: suzhety sootnesennosti” [Ukraine and Russia: Topics of Interrelationships], Vestnik Evropy XVI: 64.

6.  Address of President of the Russian Federation V. Putin to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, April 15, 2005 (Http://president. kremlin. ru/ text/appears/2005/04/87049.shtml).

7.  M. Von Hagen, “Writing the History of Russia as Empire: The Perspective of Federalism,” in Kazan, Moscow, St. Petersburg: Multiple Faces of the Russian Empire (Moscow: O. G.I., 1997), p. 393.

8.  V. I. Dal, Tolkovyi slovar’ zhivogo velikorusskogo yazyka [Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Russian Language] (Moscow: Russkii yazyk, 1989), vol. 2, p. 42.

9.  S. I. Ozhegov, Slovar’ russkogo yazyka [Dictionary of the Russian Language], AN SSSR, Institut russkogo yazyka (Moscow: Russkii yazyk, 1991), vol. 1, p. 662.

10.  Slovar’ russkogo yazyka v4-x t [Dictionary of the Russian Language in 4 vols.], AN SSSR, Institut russkogo yazyka (Moscow: Russkii yazyk, 1981), p. 248.

11.  It is more accurate to speak of colonial empires with overseas territories (as is done above), but the term “overseas empires” has become entrenched, and I use it in this work.

12.  G. Arnold, Britain since 1945: Choice, Conflict, and Change (London: Bland-ford, 1989), pp. 41-49.

13.  M. Broszat, Hitler and the Collapse of Weimar Germany (New York: Berg, 1987), p. 45.

14.  Ibid., pp. 55, 56.

15.  These materials were published by the German historian F. Fischer only in the 1960s. In the 1920s the Social-Democratic government spent great financial resources to propagandize the thesis of Germany’s innocence at the start of World War I. See S. Delmer, Weimar Germany: Democracy on Trial (New York: Macdonald, 1972), p. 52.

16.  About how a swift and unexpected collapse of an empire is perceived as a catastrophe, but one that can be overcome, see B. Podvintsev, “Postimperskaia adaptatsiia konservativnogo soznaniia: blagopriiatstvuiushchie factory” [Postimperial Adaptation of the Conservative Consciousness: Beneficial Factors], POLIS 3, no. 623 (2001): 25-33.

17.  On the dangers to the stability of democratic institutions inherent in radical nationalism born of the post-imperial syndrome, see A. Gerschenkron, Bread and Democracy in Germany (University of California Press, 1943). On the link between pro-imperial policies and authoritarian tendencies in contemporary Russia, see also “Overcoming Postimperial Syndrome,” transcript of a discussion on April 21, 2005, as part of the “After the Empire” project of the Liberal Mission Foundation (www. liberal. ru/sitan. asp? Num=549).

18.  Yakovenko, “Ukraina i Rossiia,” pp. 65, 66.

19.  Chapter 8 provides more detail on these events.

20.  In May 1926, President P. Hindenburg decreed that both the flag of the republic and the imperial flag would hang over German diplomatic representations abroad.

21.  W. Gutmann and P. Meehan, The Great Inflation: Germany 1919-1923 (London: Gordon and Gremonesi, 1975), p. 237.

22.  W. Brustein, The Logic of Evil: The Social Origins of the Nazi Party, 1925-1933 (Yale University Press, 1996).

23.  A significant part of Russian society perceives the Russian Federation as a temporary, transitional formation that will either expand or collapse over time. Only 28.4 percent of those polled by sociologists in 2006 believe that “Russia must remain an independent state, not unifying with anyone.” See Yu. Solozobov, “Rossiia v postimperskii period: primenim li postkolonial’nyi opyt Velikobritanii?” [Russia in the Postimperial Period: Is the Post-Colonial Experience of Great Britain Applicable?] (Www. ukpolitics. ru/rus/members/9/09.doc).

24.  L. Gudkov, “Pamiat’ o voine i massosvaia identichnost’ rossiian” [Memory of the War and the Mass Identity of Russians], Neprikosnovennyizapas 40-41 (2005): 45-57.



 

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