Why should we break the BRICS?
10 Reasons to march on Sandton, July 26, 11am
1. The BRICS are five countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The BRICS have a big potential to change the world in positive ways. But this potential is not being realised as each country implements repressive, pro-capitalist, patriarchal, racist and eco-destructive domestic policies.
2. The problem is that the BRICS elite fit too snugly within – not against – Western imperialism. They cooperate with destructive multilateral agencies such as the G20, World Bank, World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
3. South Africa is the only African member of the G20, the most powerful imperialist body. South Africa plays the role of sell-out often taking the side of the imperialist countries and the BRICS against the interests of Africa e.g. promoting pro-capitalist mega-projects and the extraction of the continent’s raw materials with Africans benefitting little from this and leading to environment destruction.
4. The BRICS countries agreed to environmentally destructive climate policies at the UNFCCC meetings in Durban (2011) and Paris (2015). They agreed to make carbon emission targets non-binding and targets are set very low. They agreed to carbon trading. They agreed that imperialist countries must not pay reparations for destroying the environment, thus wiping off the climate debt that the imperialists and BRICS owe the former colonised people.
5. The BRICS set up the New Development Bank as an alternative to the World Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement as an alternative to the IMF. But it operates on the same principles as these hated Bretton Woods Institutions. It works with and applies the same standards for assessing countries seeking a loan as the IMF. They even share offices.
6. The rich are getting richer and the poor poorer in the BRICS countries. South Africa is the most unequal society in the world. In China and India there is a tremendous increase in the number of multi-millionaires while the masses remain poor.
7. There is less democracy and more repression in BRICS countries. In China, the Communist Party rules with an iron fist in its project of capitalist restoration. In South Africa, we have a new president Cyril Ramaphosa, the ‘Butcher of Marikana’. Vladimir Putin in Russia allows the assassination and murder of journalists, and won’t allow an election with his main democratic opponent. Narendra Modi in India is pushing a reactionary Hindu nationalism which leads to communal killings; the illegal occupation of Kashmir by India is a perfect example of sub-imperialism and colonialism. Brazil framed the former president Lula; the current president, Temer, took power in a parliamentary coup.
8. BRICS business deals in Africa are no different from those of the imperialist colonial companies. China was a supporter of Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean dictator who murdered more than 25 000 unarmed civilians in Matabeland-Mthwakazi during the Gukurahundi. In exchange, Chinese companies plundered the country’s diamonds. The Brazilian company Vale is plundering Mozambique’s coal reserves; they are responsible for the displacement of thousands of Mozambicans from their homes. Construction firm Odebrecht admits to bribing Angolan and Mozambican politicians. Brics will not lift a finger to support the oppressed people of the DRC nor stop the looting of the country’s natural resources. Elected dictators like Rwanda’s pro-capitalist Kagame find allies in Brics.
9. Indian companies exploit Africa. The Vedanta chief executive Anil Agarwal was caught boasting that he bought the continent’s largest copper mine (Konkola in Zambia) for just $25 million and takes home $500 million to $1 billion a year. He did this by lying to Zambia’s president Levy Mwanawasa about the value of the Zambian mine. Indian billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, owner of ArcelorMittal (former ISCOR), was accused of shady deals and stealing from the country by Rob Davies, SA Minister of Trade and Industry.
10. South African companies continue with Cecil Rhodes’ plundering and looting of African resources. MTN and Shanduka were found guilty of illegally removing funds from African countries to Mauritius when Cyril Ramaphosa was chair of MTN and owner of Shanduka. South African companies are ranked the most corrupt in the world by Price Waterhouse Cooper (money-laundering, bribery, procurement fraud, asset misappropriation, cybercrime). The phrase ‘state capure’ was invented in SA.