In 1920 Lenin redefined imperialism to mean the division of the world into “oppressor” and “oppressed” nations, with the former exploiting the latter, which comprises 70 percent of the world’s population – a clear reference to Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
This raises the question of how nations exploit nations, which was largely by taxation, indemnity payments, and slave rents, NOT by “exporting capital” to them, which was primarily how Britain developed its settler-colonies like Australia.
The irony is that Ukraine was formed out of Lenin’s theory of imperialism, which accused the Russian empire of being a “prison house of nations” that Russified the nations that it conquered and suppressed their national languages.
From this Bolshevik feeling of Russian imperial guilt, internal borders were drawn inside the former Russian empire so that nations could exercise self-determination. The reason Putin hates Lenin and Stalin is because they drew these borders, so that after the Soviet collapse, large Russian populations found themselves outside Russia’s borders.
Was the USSR imperialist in the Leninist sense? Even the Soviet-hating Trotskyite Tony Cliff who called the USSR “imperialist” explicitly denied that the USSR underdeveloped any of its internal republics or Warsaw pact allies.
If imperialism equals national exploitation, then inter-imperialist rivalry refers to multiple empires, each internally divided along national lines between exploiting and exploited nations. It follows that inter-imperialist rivalry ended after WW2 because the countries that fought each other other in WW1 when Lenin was writing, lost control of their enslaved colonies, which liberated themselves with assistance from the USSR.
Inter-imperialist rivalry was how Lenin characterised the geopolitical realities of his day, however, he died in 1924, which means that if you want to be true to Lenin, then you must take his definition, and apply it to the geopolitical realities of the post-WW2 era.
After WW2, the world was divided into camps: a) the US-led alliance of former empires and ex-fascist states that constitute NATO and that we call “the West”, b) the Soviet-led socialist camp, and c) the liberated post-colonial third world across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
My argument is that of these camps, only one of them, camp a), inherits an interest in maintaining the economic advantages historically established by violent conquest at the expense of camp c), and that Soviet/Russian camp b) has always undermined this specific interest of camp a).
Ukraine used to belong to camp b), and since 2014 has been trying to join camp a), but for NATO to feel comfortable about the loyalty of Ukraine, the pro-Russian population within Ukraine must be politically neutralised, if not ethnically cleansed, which explains why Russian-Ukrainians in the Donbas have tended towards separatism.
By wanting to join NATO, Ukraine wants to join the camp that has an inherited interest in keeping the rest of the world poor, and that has inflicted an endless holocaust against the third world since WW2 ended, which is why calling the Kiev regime “neo-Nazi” is accurate on a level greater than the mere aesthetics of swastika-waving militants.
The original Nazi geostrategy of Hitler was to convince Britain and the other ‘White’ empires that they should put aside their differences, and essentially enslave the non-White world together. NATO embodies the continuation of that geostrategy, which is to weaken Russia and the postcolonial world.
Objectively, camps b) and c) have an interest in preventing Ukraine from joining camp a).