Since some people didn’t quite understand what I meant when I compared Ancient Egypt to Russia, I’ll make a post for clarification. What’s important to understand is that Russia isn’t simply a country. It’s a society. It’s a civilization, like Ancient Egypt was a civilization. Ancient Egypt had Ancient Egyptian culture. Russia has Russian culture. The territory of Russian civilization is what went into the Russian Empire, before it collapsed in 1918. First of all, for those who are interested in this history and for those who want to know what I’m talking about, reading Carroll Quigley’s book ‘The Evolution of Civilizations: An Introduction to Historical Analysis’ (1961) is a must.
Since every civilization goes through seven stages, which are explained in Quigley’s book, I will first list how the seven stages applied to Ancient Egypt. The history of Ancient Egypt can be divided as follows:
- Mixture – 5,500 BC to 4,000 BC
- Gestation – 4,000 BC to 3,500 BC (Prehistoric Egypt)
- Expansion – 3,500 BC to 2,200 BC (Early Dynastic Period and Old Kingdom)
- First Conflict Period – 2,200 BC to 2,050 BC (1st Intermediate Period)
- First Post-Expansion Empire – 2,050 BC to 1,650 BC (Middle Kingdom)
- Second Conflict Period – 1,650 BC to 1,550 BC (2nd Intermediate Period)
- Second Post-Expansion Empire – 1,550 BC to 1,100 BC (New Kingdom)
- Decay – 1,000 BC to 350 BC (3rd Intermediate Period)
- Invasion – 350 BC to 300 BC (Late Period and Macedonian and Ptolemaic Egypt)
As you can see, the age of expansion of Egyptian civilization lasted for about 1,300 years. What’s important to point out is that the “instrument of expansion” of this civilization was the state. What this means is that the state dominated Ancient Egyptian society. It was the state that invested its surplus wealth in the period of expansion, when there was growth of territory, population, production, and knowledge in Ancient Egypt. The head of the state (the pharaoh) was a divine, absolute monarch. After a period of instability and conflict (2,200 BC to 2,050 BC), which began after the period of expansion came to an end, Ancient Egypt was united by Pharaoh Mentuhotep II, who was from the north of Egypt. Mentuhotep II created the Middle Kingdom, which was the first military (post-expansion) empire of Ancient Egypt. For a time, the Middle Kingdom brought stability and prosperity to Ancient Egypt, just like any other post-expansion empire in any other civilization. After the collapse of the Middle Kingdom, Ancient Egypt was thrown into a second period of instability and conflict that lasted from 1,650 BC to 1,550 BC. This period of conflict came to an end with the creation of the New Kingdom of Egypt, which was the second, and final, post-expansion empire of Ancient Egypt. The New Kingdom was created by Pharaoh Ahmose I, who expelled the Hyksos from Egypt. The most famous pharaoh of the New Kingdom was, of course, Ramesses II. Since the New Kingdom was the last post-expansion empire of Egyptian civilization, this means that it was the universal empire of this civilization. What this also means is that Egyptian civilization had only two post-expansion empires. For example, Chinese civilization, which existed from 400 AD to 1930 AD, had four post-expansion empires. Anyway, when the New Kingdom entered into decay and depression, Egyptian civilization began dying. This civilization and its culture were finished off in 300 BC by the invading Greeks under the leadership of Alexander the Great.
Now let’s look at Russian civilization. The core of Russian civilization (where Russian culture was born) is the Northern Flatlands. Russian culture is heavily influenced by the culture of Classical civilization, which existed from 1,200 BC to 500 AD. The history of Russia can be divided as follows:
- Mixture – 500 AD to 1,300 AD (period of the Russian principalities)
- Gestation – 1,300 AD to 1,500 AD (period of Mongol domination)
- Expansion – 1,500 AD to 1,900 AD (Tsardom of Russia and Imperial Russia)
- First Conflict Period – 1,900 AD to 1,920 AD
- First Post-Expansion Empire – 1,920 AD to 1,985 AD (Soviet Union)
- Second Conflict Period – 1,985 AD – ?
Now, a few conclusions have to be made about Russian history so far because very few people understand what happened in Russia, especially in the 20th century, because of all the distortions and lies. First of all, Russian culture was borrowed mostly from Byzantine civilization. This culture has its roots in Classical civilization. Russian culture was born on the territory of a part of present-day European Russia and a part of present-day Ukraine. The “instrument of expansion” of Russian civilization was the state, just like in Egyptian civilization. The period of expansion of Russian civilization lasted from about 1,500 AD to about 1,900 AD (the so-called imperial period of the tsars). The state formed as the “instrument of expansion” in the Grand Duchy of Moscow, while the Russian principalities were under the so-called Mongol yoke. After the collapse of the Golden Horde, the state of Moscow began fighting for independence from the Mongols. After this independence, the state began investing the surplus that accumulated in its hands on a large scale and Russian civilization entered its period of expansion (which lasted for about 400 years). During this period of expansion, the Russians moved eastward (toward the Pacific Ocean), southward (toward the Black Sea), and westward (toward Poland and Scandinavia). The Russian Empire, which was created in the course of expansion of Russian civilization, collapsed in 1918. This brings us to the 20th century and to some serious changes in Russian civilization. Important points are as follows:
- The Russian Empire represented the age of expansion of Russian civilization. Therefore, this period, which lasted from 1,500 AD to 1,900 AD, can be considered as the most stable and prosperous in Russian history.
- The so-called Russian Civil War, which began in 1918, was only a part of the first period of conflict of Russian civilization. This period of conflict began in 1900, when the state became a structure of vested interests during the rule of Tsar Nicholas II, to 1920, when the Russian Civil War came to an end.
- In the course of several years, the Bolsheviks, who managed to seize power in the north of European Russia, defeated other political units on the territory of Russian civilization. The Bolsheviks managed to remain in power by defeating their opponents in Russia. Some of these opponents, who represented the White movement, were supported by some Western imperialist powers. This process of conflict and conquest, which is always quite bloody, occurs several times in the life of every civilization, and, therefore, this means that the Bolsheviks fought not because they were Jews or because they were communists but because they had to do this in order to remain in power. In 1922, the Bolsheviks created the Soviet Union, which was the first post-expansion empire of Russian civilization. The Soviet period was, for a time, a period of stability and prosperity.
- The social-economic system of the Soviet Union was not communism (communism, as described by Karl Marx, hasn’t existed anywhere in the world so far). It was the Russian state system with a planned economy, which was not radically different from the one that existed under the tsars. Capitalism and other forms of accumulation of surplus existed in the Russian Empire, but the state (the tsar, the princes, the government officials) ruled the Russian Empire, and the state was responsible for the growth of Russia. In the Soviet Union, the state system, which was controlled by the communist party, performed almost all economic functions for a time out of necessity, from the abandonment of the NEP in 1928 to the beginning of Perestroika in 1985. When the massive spending that’s associated with the creation of a post-expansion empire began to come to an end after the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953, other forms of accumulation of surplus began to grow in importance (examples are “shadow economy” or “black market”).
- Some people say that the Soviet Union is different from the Russian Empire. I say, “Of course, it is. What’s surprising about this?” The Russian Empire represented the age of expansion of Russian civilization. But the Soviet Union was the first military (post-expansion) empire of Russian civilization. This means that the Soviet Union behaved according to the rules of post-expansion empires. The post-expansion empire that Western people are most familiar with is the Roman Empire, which was the last post-expansion empire of Classical civilization. Therefore, the Bolsheviks ended up conquering most of the territory of Russian civilization, like the Romans conquered the territory of Classical civilization. The military played an important role in the Soviet Union, like it did in the Roman Empire. The Soviets built many statues and monuments, like the Romans did. The Soviets built roads, dams, and power plants, like the Romans built roads and aquaducts. Political infighting and assassination attempts often happened in the Soviet Union, like in the Roman Empire. Soviet leaders behaved, and even dressed, similar to Roman emperors. The Soviets held military parades, like the Romans did. Even the Soviet state emblem looks similar to the Roman emblem. And, finally, because of its fast, turbulent rise and successes, the Soviet Union is, like many other post-expansion empires, historically very interesting. By the way, I don’t know why historians in Russia and in the West don’t see these obvious similarities between the Soviet Union and the Roman Empire. I know that history in the West is heavily politicized and falsified, and that it’s used for propaganda purposes, but these similarities should be obvious to anyone with a good knowledge of history.
- Carroll Quigley did make a mistake when he tried to predict the future of Russian civilization in his books. He wrote that the Soviet Union represents the second age of expansion of Russian civilization. Now that the Soviet Union is gone, it is safe to say that Quigley was wrong, although Quigley did point out that he wasn’t entirely sure about what stage Russian civilization is in. I suppose that Quigley considered the Soviet period to be the second age of expansion of Russian civilization because of the impressive technological and scientific achievements of the Soviet Union. There was also a growth of population, of production, and of knowledge in the Soviet Union. But this isn’t really surprising. Many post-expansion empires are progressive and strong while they’re growing.
- The Soviet Union “collapsed” earlier than it should have because it was quickly undermined by the USA and the rest of the West when it began going into decline and depression in 1965. Incompetent, uninformed, and treacherous Soviet leaders like Mikhail Gorbachev appeared. They lacked strategy and they cared mostly about their class interests. The West made use of them and managed to quickly break up the Soviet Union while George H. W. Bush was the president of the USA. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West managed to take advantage of the disorder on the territory of Russian civilization and to plunder Russia and other post-Soviet republics. This plundering of former Soviet republics allowed the capitalist ruling class of the West to soften the economic crisis of capitalism until 2008.
- After the Soviet Union collapsed, Russian civilization entered its second period of conflict and instability. The role of the state, which was the provider and enabler of economic growth in the Soviet Union, was reduced to a minimum in almost all post-Soviet republics in the 1990s. Soviet assets (mainly the natural resources and the industrial companies) were divided among new pro-Western monopoly capitalists (the oligarchs) in the 1990s. These petty, colonial capitalists now form a part of the ruling class in former Soviet republics, and they are not beneficial for the society because they don’t invest their surplus or they invest very little of it. In other words, serious economic growth can’t come from these capitalists or from the weakened state system that appeared in the Russian Federation after 1985. In addition, some of these capitalists pretty much act like agents of the USA and the West.
- The Russian Federation is not a successor to the Soviet Union. The Russian Federation is, like other post-Soviet republics, simply a leftover from the Soviet Union. It’s important to remember that many of the people who made up the late-Soviet ruling class then began to make up the ruling classes of post-Soviet republics in the 1990s. What this means is that there was no revolution or revival in Russia in 1991. There was only a collapse and the beginning of a severe crisis. It’s worth pointing out that the crisis was softened for a time after Vladimir Putin became the president of Russia in 2000. The reason why this happened is because of Putin’s more independent economic course, a growth of the state sector, and a growth of the energy sector. The growth of state power under Putin brought some stability and economic growth to Russia, and there has been something of a move away from dependency on the West, though Russia very much remains an economic and cultural colony of the West. Because of this, and because of Putin’s more independent foreign policy, Putin has become a demon in the eyes of American imperialists. Hence, there’s all of the anti-Putin and anti-Russian propaganda in the West. This anti-Russian propaganda is considerably more offensive and absurd than the anti-Russian propaganda that existed during the Cold War. This can be explained by the fact that Western civilization is also in a crisis. The American-dominated order has been shaking since the 1960s.
- Some propagandists in the USA (the American Empire) and other Western propagandists are now openly gloating about how they allegedly defeated the Soviet Union and plunged Russians into poverty, which is something that they’ve done to many other nations too. Some of them even go as far as saying that the Soviet Union was like Ancient Carthage and the United States like the Roman Republic. Um, no. Sorry, guys. I’ll have to disagree. New post-expansion empires will appear on the territory of Russian civilization in the future. They will be similar to the Soviet Union in structure, if not in ideology. The destruction of the Soviet Union did not mean the destruction of Russia and Russian culture. The current period of conflict in Russian civilization will likely last a long time. Probably a century or more. But some political unit will eventually conquer the territory of Russian civilization and create the second post-expansion empire (the Soviet Union was the first).