The Enemy is Imperialism, Wherever It Exists

David Nwa'eze
2 min readJul 4, 2022

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In the wake of Russia’s War in Ukraine, talk of decolonization has become a talking point within broader circles.

On June 23rd, the Helsinki Commission hosted a panel discussion on Decolonizing Russia. During the discussion, a comment by Casey Michel — author of American Kleptocracy — stood out to me:

“Russia remains the only remaining European empire that has never come close to fully reckoning with its colonial history.”

The point I think Michel was trying to convey was framed more thoroughly later in the discussion by Dr. Erica Marat. She explained the dramatic contrast between the Western debate over the damage caused by colonial and imperial histories and the utter absence of this debate in Russia.

Fair enough. But it bears remembering that plenty of centuries-old imperial powers still control a great deal of territory acquired under the auspices of the imperial ambitions of over a century ago. This is as true of Russia as it is of France, The United Kingdom, China, the United States, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, or Spain.

While I agree with the assessment of the Helsinki commission panelists regarding Russian decolonization, I believe it is essential to interrogate the persistence of imperialism wherever it remains. To that end, I want to take a moment to highlight some of the more prominent traces of imperial authority that remain in place today.

This is an incomplete list:

United Kingdom:

  • Northern Ireland
  • Anguilla
  • Bermuda
  • The British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Falkland Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Monserat
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno Islands
  • Saint Helena, ascansion and Tristan da Cunha
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia
  • Turks and Caicos Islands

Technically independent states where Queen Elizabeth II remains head of state:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Saint Kits and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tuvalu

Denmark

  • The Faroe Islands
  • Greenland

The Netherlands

  • Aruba
  • Curaçao
  • Sint Maarten

France

  • Corsica
  • Réunion
  • Guadeloupe
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • Martinique
  • Mayotte
  • New Caledonia
  • Saint Barthélemy
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Wallis and Futuna

Japan

  • Hokkaido
  • Okinawa

United States

  • Indigenous tribal nations
  • Hawai’i
  • Puerto Rico
  • Guam
  • American Samoa
  • The U.S. Virgin Islands

Russia

  • Siberia
  • Buryatia
  • Tatarstan
  • Chuvashia
  • Karelia
  • Chechnya
  • Circassia

China

  • East Turkestan
  • Manchukuo
  • Inner Mongolia
  • Tibet

Spain

  • The Plazas de Soberanía
  • Ceuta
  • Melilla

While I try to make it a point not to advocate for or against any specific separatist movement, I have a difficult time not showing my affinities when it comes to anti-colonial movements.

Yes, let’s talk of Russian decolonization, but let’s not forget that imperialism didn’t just end simply because it can now be discussed publically in some countries.

Originally published at https://davidnwaeze.substack.com on July 3, 2022.

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David Nwa'eze

I write about independence aspirants within rich & developed states. Mostly posting random observations on here. Socials: linktr.ee/SecessioPopuli