Ben Norton on the rise of BRICS

11 Jan

It’s not just Ukraine, Taiwan and Gaza. From tensions in the Horn of Africa to echoes of Baltic sabotage in the Black Sea – and from Sahel through Bangladesh to repression in Latin America – it is not reductive to say that no major conflict today, hot or cold, can be fully understood outside the context of a shift from US hegemony, and Washington’s efforts to counter the same.

Currency swaps weaken dollar hegemony (abridged)

The US ruling class, and those of the West at large, have burned their bridges over four decades of deindustrialisation. With no way back to industrial pre-eminence their only viable course is to continue to exploit the labour and natural wealth of the global south within an imperialist world order characterised by North to South export of monopoly capital, and South to North repatriation of profits. And to recycle those profits through rent-seeking monopolies in their own non productive – nay, anti-productive  economies. Both are premised on the dollar retaining world reserve currency status, and the power to dictate business terms to the global south. And both have been undermined not in spite but because of Washington’s Greek-tragedian attempts to avert that outcome.

Footnote to The USA has played a losing hand badly

IMF conditionality makes development loans (to bring recipient states into the global value chain as semi-colonies) subject to ‘market reforms’ which open up nationalised sectors to foreign investors. The rise of a multipolar world, led for now by a China which looks to a different model, offers a ray of hope to the global south.

The whataboutery of Simon Tisdall (abridged)

I couldn’t have written any of the above without the major input to my thinking given by the US political economist, debt specialist and Sinophile, Michael Hudson. But not everyone, even if aware of how ill served we in the West are by corporate media, can do what my retired status allows. They can’t pour scores of hours each week into learning how, once the illusion of liberal democracy is set aside for the chimera it truly is, our world actually works.

That’s where a Ben Norton comes in. With young men and women of his intellect, comms savvy and commitment to truth, fairness and sanity, silver-heads like Professor Hudson and me can bow out – only when good and ready, mind! – with a modicum of hope for those we leave behind.

Here in eighteen-minutes-thirty is Ben on the rise of BRICS, and the decline of dollar hegemony:

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