The inexorable rise of polycentrism

by Atilio A. Borón, Argentinien

The expansion of the BRICS was surprising, not because it was not already in the organisation’s plans, but because it was only decided at the last minute at the Johannesburg Summit. It clearly shows that a significant change has taken place on the international geopolitical and economic chessboard. It is no longer an ongoing process that progressed hand in hand with the slow but undeniable decline of the global power of the United States.  In the economic sphere it manifested itself in the increasing loss of influence of the dollar in the world economy, in the military sphere in the ignominious withdrawal from Afghanistan after twenty years of war, to name but two examples. Instead, we are dealing with a process that has already come to an end and in which a new configuration of global power relations has emerged that has put an end to the unipolarism of the USA and the global supremacy of the West.
  The international scene today presents a very different picture than it did a decade ago: the BRICS form an organisation whose combined gross domestic product exceeds that of the G-7 countries; a tremendous advance in new information and communication technologies in countries like China and India (and to a lesser extent Iran), which surpass the United States and Europe in several areas; the decay of five centuries of Western domination over the rest of the world, which is evident in the challenges the countries face today that were plunged into backwardness and misery by England and its European accomplices, such as China through the two Opium Wars, or subjected to a colonial status, such as India, or marginalised as an expression of “Asian barbarism”, such as Russia; or the renewal of an anti-colonialist stance in several African countries, which Emmanuel Macron experienced first-hand during his recent visit to some countries in the region; Europe, which has become an unworthy American protectorate, lacking a minimum of influence on its own territory, let alone in the surrounding regions, and where NATO has replaced the European Union as the real European supranational organisation, run remotely from Washington. Examples of this posthegemonic reconstruction of the global power structure can be found in the most diverse areas of the international stage.
  The expansion of the BRICS has added six new countries, five of which are rich in energy resources (oil in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and gas in Argentina and Ethiopia), while the old-world economic elite of the G7 is characterised precisely by its dependence on oil and gas imports, although not all its members to the same extent.
  Hence the lament and criticism of imperial thinkers and strategists in the face of the enlarged BRICS. Argentina’s entry into this organisation could not have come at a more favourable time: It will diversify our foreign trade, provide access to new funds for infrastructure projects and industrial development, and be a valuable lever to put an end to the IMF’s shameful influence on our country’s internal affairs.
  As was to be expected, the right wing [of Argentine politics] spoke out flatly against BRICS membership and dropped a number of worn-out platitudes such as “our place is in the West” and the like.
  Given their status as mere representatives of the colonial powers, nothing else could be expected from them. Their proposals, one more retrograde and destructive than the other, will now face new obstacles in a country empowered by its membership of the BRICS and by its association with the great emerging economic and political powers that have already built a new polycentric and post-hegemonic international order.  •

Source: Página12 of 24 August 2023;

(Translation from the German Current Concerns)

The G-77 Summit: Global South calls for an end to the West-dominated international order

At the summit of the G77, the group of so-called developing and emerging countries, host Cuba called for a much stronger international influence of the Global South. Cuba’s leader said the Global South must “change the rules of the game” of the international order after centuries of wealthy Western nations putting their own interests first. President Miguel Díaz-Canel said developing countries are the main victims of a “multi-dimensional crisis” in todays world, ranging from “abusive unequal trade” to devastating climate change. The Cuban leader also lamented an “international architecture” that is “hostile” to the progress of the Global South.
  At the summit, UN Secretary-General António Guterres also called for a world order that is “more representative and more responsive to the needs of developing economies”. These are currently “caught in a tangle of global crises”.
  Cuba took over the rotating presidency of the G77 in January. The group was founded in 1964 by 77 countries of the Global South to better promote their interests internationally. Today, 134 countries belong to the group, which represents about 80 percent of the world’s population. China participates in the demands of the alliance, but does not consider itself a member.

of 16 September 2023

(Translation Current Concerns)

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