Espreso. Global
OPINION

Peripheral independence spells doom for Russia

31 March, 2024 Sunday
15:48

"Why Empires Fall" redefines decline, places focus on periphery dynamics, challenges Gibbon's thesis. Its relevance to events today suggests that regional success can accelerate the empire's demise

I started reading the book “Why Empires Fall” by Cambridge economist John Rapley and historian from the Royal College of London Peter Heather. The book positions itself as a revolution in our understanding of imperial decline.

The main thesis proclaimed from the very first pages is that the decline of empires is primarily caused by processes unfolding on the peripheries, rather than within the metropolises.

Well, we knew this in the 20th century as national liberation movements, but the authors apply the same thesis to the Roman Empire, using data from archaeological research of the last half-century to debunk Gibbon's classical thesis that Rome declined economically over a long period of time and eventually collapsed definitively.

Shortly before its collapse, the authors argue, Rome was at the peak of its economic growth. The causes of decline were on the periphery: local elites became much more autonomous than the imperial center desired.

"Applying this model to the present-day Russian Empire and Ukraine as its recently independent colonies suggests that our economic and political success spells the demise of the empire, even when the newly revitalized Ukraine does not pose a direct threat to Russia (such as in terms of market competition, etc.)."

The Russian invasion aims to delay an inevitable process. They believe time can be halted and reversed. But we know they've learned history poorly.

That's why our task is not just to survive but to become successful. It's the death of Koshchey. I'll write about Koshchey another time.

Furthermore, it's crucial for the Caucasus, Volga region, and Siberia to move forward. The independence of Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, Ingushetia, Sakha-Yakutia, and other capable republics will spell the end of the empire. Then, a different history will begin. Medieval kingdoms and early modern cities were not descendants of the Roman Empire; it was a completely different story.

We can wait for it to happen, or we can accelerate this process. We can significantly accelerate this process. The choice is ours.

Source

About the author. Valeriy Pekar, lecturer at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the authors of the blogs.

Tags:
Read also:
  • News
2024, Friday
19 April
21:50
Review
Victorious news of 786th day of war: Ukraine’s Air Force shoots down Russian Tu-22M3, German drone manufacturer opens factory in Ukraine
21:35
Russian army attacks Ukrainian positions in Kherson region 7 times with little success — General Staff
21:15
Kherson Art Museum identifies more than 100 paintings stolen by Russia
20:57
Exclusive
Putin will continue war until it becomes clear who is next in White House — political analyst
20:36
Exclusive
What parameters should F-16 have to effectively fight Russia: aviation expert explains
20:15
Ukrainian navy explains why Russian forces rarely use Kalibr missiles
19:49
Russia will not cease fire even if talks with Ukraine start - Lavrov
19:26
Exclusive
What could have shot down Russian Tu-22M bomber: military expert suggests
19:13
Updated
Poland detains Russian agent planning assassination attempt on Zelenskyy
19:05
Exclusive
"Ukraine has weapons to shoot down Russian aircraft": Air Force comments on Tu-22M3 downing
18:46
Updated
Slovaks raise €2 million for shells for Ukraine as government fails to back Czech initiative
18:45
G7 pledges to strengthen Ukraine's air defense
18:25
G7 defines specific steps to help Ukraine, says FM Kuleba
18:00
Review
General election in India: Relations with Ukraine and why role of Asian player shouldn't be underestimated
17:40
20 Days in Mariupol team brings Oscar to Ukraine
17:19
OPINION
War will end when world understands its causes and consequences - Ukrainian diplomat
16:57
Ukraine returns 17-year-old girl deported to Russia
16:35
Exclusive
Ukrainian resistance in occupied territories helps army
16:13
Exclusive
Russian army redeploys aviation to Bakhmut sector, Ukrainian forces lack air defenses
15:50
Russia attacks Bilopillya in Sumy region, severely injuring three people
15:30
Ukraine's top diplomat discusses strengthening of air defense with Italian counterpart
15:08
Russia cancels Victory Day parade in Crimea on May 9
14:48
Ukraine needs deeply echeloned air defense system - Ukrainian Air Force
14:27
Updated
Russia attacks Ukraine, killing and injuring civilians in Dnipro and region, including children
13:58
OPINION
Everything is to be decided in Europe and by Europe
13:38
"Situation is critical": Poland's PM says coming weeks could decide fate of war in Ukraine
13:18
Both U.S. congressional parties back bill to aid Ukraine — Ukraine’s PM following meetings with US officials
12:58
Review
Ukraine's dependence on US assistance. Technological solutions and frontline update. Serhiy Zgurets's column
12:38
Explosions heard in occupied Mariupol, Russian military base hit - Advisor to Mariupol Mayor
12:17
Ukrainian photojournalist Yulia Kochetova among winners of World Press Photo-2024 Global Stage
11:57
Ukraine downs Tu-22M3 aircraft in Russia used to launch Kh-22/Kh-32 missiles at Ukraine
11:35
Russians raid and mobilize Muslims in Crimea during Eid al-Fitr holiday
11:15
Russia steps up mobilization ahead of possible summer offensive: ISW names problems that Russia may face
10:55
Air defense systems belong in cities under attack, not warehouses - Zelenskyy on massive Russian attack on Dnipro
10:35
Russia loses 870 soldiers, 9 tanks and 21 artillery systems in one day in Ukraine - General Staff
09:55
"We have no plan B": Ukraine's Foreign Minister comments on expectations from US Congress vote
2024, Thursday
18 April
21:59
Review
Victorious news of 785th day of war: Ukraine has drones able to hit targets in Siberia, Germany will supply more air defense systems
21:38
97% of Russian attacks target civilian infrastructure - Ukraine in OSCE
21:18
Ukraine may get seven more Patriot systems from Germany and partners - Scholz
21:00
Ukraine develops drones capable of 3,000 kilometers range, reaching Siberia — The Economist
More news