BRICS is an international grouping that includes five countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It was established in 2006 by Brazil, Russia, India, and China; South Africa was added in 2010, with the aim of creating a political and economic coalition that stands up to the US-led and EU-backed western hegemony that seeks to control global economy. Then came the Russia Ukraine war and ensuing frantic efforts by the US and its European allies to boycott Russia politically and economically. This brought forward the urgent need to revisit the global unipolar order dominated and controlled by the US, and create instead a new bipolar or multipolar global order where leadership of the world would be based on new fair and balanced standards.
The BRICS group was well poised to assume the historic role of rebellion against the unipolar world superpower, the US, and to present a strategic, political and economic alternative that would lead the world to an era of more balance and harmony, and curb the arrogance and belligerence of the single superpower system.
During the last few months, matters took a positive turn; BRICS no longer limited itself to the five founding countries, but invited six countries that have unmistakable impact on global politics and economy to join its ranks. These countries are Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. Full membership takes effect on 1 January 2024.
The aim of that expansion has been declared to be part of a plan to build a multipolar world order that yields weight to the subdued voices of the Global South. The expanded BRICS is set to exert weightier global influence and to curb the current US-EU hegemony. I will here present comments by two western analysts in this regard.
Richard D. Wolff, Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Massachusetts said: “Now for the impact on China, Russia the so-called third world: Well the most dramatic emergence of the new blocs in the world is the Chinese bloc; China’s allies now include not just Russia … the Chinese have their own objectives and these include building a new global system with multiple blocs, one of which is grouped around China. And it now has the active partnership of India, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia … I could go on but it’s enough; the control of the global oil business, the control of the two largest countries by population in the world: China and India.. India has bought the oil and the gas that Russia can’t sell in western Europe, and other countries are doing the same. Sanctions and threats against other countries that are doing business with Russia and China have had very poor results; they just don’t care. China offers the world an alternative: you can disagree with the United States, you can fashion your own economic strategic plan, you can clash with the United States, because there is somewhere else to go: China, India, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the growing allies, the BRICS group and the new members of that coming down the pipe. It’s a new world; this war has exposed economic nationalism as the new ideological reality governing the world economic system. It has exposed the decline of the United States, and the development of an alternative reserve currency, the petroyuan. Saudi Arabia and China getting together, they’re developing their own alternative to the Swift system, a global payment system, a global currency system that simply doesn’t end around the United States. Yeah, it will take more time.. but it’s now underway. And the longer and the worse the war in Ukraine gets, the more determined the opponents of the United States’ shrinking position will be, the more clearly they will understand too well the need to develop an alternative because the United States is no longer the reliable governor of the world system.. Who will dare keep their reserves with the United States which could get its hands on them? Every country in the world is watching while the guardian of the world plays favourites.”
For his part, French leftist politician Jean-Luc Mélanchon said: “This grouping of countries called BRICS are once again expressing themselves in unison, opposing the universal dominion of the United States.. The decision taken is the complete opposite of the decision taken by Richard Nixon in 1971 when he decided that from then on, the dollar would no longer be based on any material value, which allowed him to spread immense sums of American money around the world, and therefore to dominate the world in all areas of commercial and industrial activity. BRICS decided that they were going to create a common currency which will once again be based on a gold standard. This common currency could be a currency of exchange between countries which no longer want to trade in dollars, a currency that cannot be dominated by anyone. This rather particular moment in political economy will change the face of the world.. Let me point out that BRICS today represents 35 per cent of the world GDP, while the G7 only represents 31 per cent.. We are therefore before big geopolitical change on the political, security, and monetary levels.”
8 September 2023