On how Russian imperialism was overlooked

Volodymyr Yermolenko

a short thread on how Russian imperialism is overlooked by the global anti-imperialist scholarship. And why it is bad and dishonest. 1/6

20th century anti-imperialist thinkers like Edward Said and others did a good job in introducing critical approach to the Western colonialism. Its problem, however, is that by denouncing "West-centered" approach, it introduced another "West-centered" approach 2/6

Western 19th-20th century imperialism was saying that the West is the only good; today's anti-imperialist thinking is saying that the West is the only evil. It argues that this colonialism had monopoly on "good", now it has a monopoly on evil. "West-centrism", upside down. 3/6

In this perspective, other empires like Russia, were seen rather as poor "colonies", humiliated by the West etc. Today's discourse "it's all NATO's fault" goes in this direction. That's an "anti-imperialist" myopy towards one of the worse empires in history 4/6

the truth is that empires are multiple, evil is diverse, and if you denounce British or French 19th century colonialism, you should denounce Russian 19th, 20th, 21st century colonialism. Denounce even more, because it never admitted that it was in any aspect wrong or criminal 5/6

one can criticize the West's "orientalism" and look for "authentic" representation of the humiliated cultures, but the problem is that instead of deconstructing a power discourse, one sometimes reproduces ANOTHER power discourse, even more horrible. 6/6