Saturday, July 15, 2023

Russia’s Administrative Collapse More Worrisome Prospect than Even a Military Defeat, El Murid Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 12 – Empires collapse and relatively quickly in historical perspective either from external defeat or internal administrative collapse, Anatoly Nesmiyan who blogs under the screen name El Murid says. The first cause is more often discussed, as now in the case of the war in Ukraine; but it is likely to be far less profound than the second.

            He continues: “an empire as is well known is an organized form of state construction of a military stratum;” and as such, it “is always an unstable formation and always ends with a catastrophe that occurs in historical terms very quickly” precisely because its extensive development makes internal chaos more likely (

            Military exhaustion, of course, “makes further territorial expansion impossible;” and the further those in power at the center seek to promote that expansion, the more rapidly they put in place the likelihood that they won’t be able to maintain the situation, especially since the system will “cease to be able to deal even with the territories it already has.”

            According to El Murid, “it is obvious that Russia today is in a state of the classical collapse of the imperial history of its existence” both because of its efforts to expand its holdings and because of the inadequacy of its administration of the territories and peoples already within its borders,” two processes which reinforce one another and hasten their consequences.

            “As far as one can judge,” he suggests, “military defeat will appear less traumatic for the country, people, and the surrounding space since military fear means a catastrophe which is relatively controlled from the outside with the introduction of external administration through the procedure of capitulation” as in the case of Germany and Japan in 1945.

            At the same time, “A catastrophe as a result of the loss of administrative control is much more dangerous since it leads to the destruction of the front and the return home of enormous masses of armed people,” as happened in Russia at the end of World War I and which led to the outbreak of a civil war.”

            It is impossible to predict exactly how things will work out for Russia, but “the possibility of a controlled exit from the imperial state is almost excluded since it with a high degree of probability will lead to the loss of administrative control.” And that in turn means that Russia is likely to suffer far more from that than from a simple military defeat.

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