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The European Union as “Post-Modernist Empire”: The Views from Russia

Dmitry Shlapentokh

The collapse of the USSR led to the proliferation of various nationalistic theories in Russia. The proponents of these theories presented their plans for resurrecting the USSR. While pointing out that the USSR could be resurrected, they also declared that the USSR would not be an artificial state but a new type of empire that could enjoy a long life. They pointed to the European Union as a new type of USSR, what they called a "post-modernist empire.” This European “post-modernist empire” would be the model for the resurrected USSR.

According to their views, the “post-modernist empire” has no division between the metropolises and the colonies; and it is multicultural, multiethnic and multiracial in its very essence. In the case of the European Union, it could include not only the people of West and East Europe but could be an alliance, and. in a way, an ethnic/cultural intermingling, with Arabs, Iranians and African Blacks.

In the view of these Russian nationalists, the European Union would be an empire quite different from the U.S.A., which also includes people of various ethnic/racial groups. The American empire homogenizes all people, shaping them along one cultural mode. The European Union, the new “post-modernist empire,” would provide an opportunity for each cultural/ethnic/racial group—including Blacks, to preserve their cultural identity.

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