BRICS Alignment and the Empire

Arrangements in the pre-sent US-dominated world order face a bolder threat as BRICS gains momentum. The Johannesburg II Declaration that the BRICS summit in the South African city has espoused tells those days of “either with me the Empire or ‘go to hell’” are gone. The geopolitics-geostrategy that the Empire pursues now stumbles.

The world’s largest collective of the developing economies–BRICS– has declared its position: Comprehensively reform the UN; make it more democratic, representative, effective; there should be wider representation of the developing economies in the UN Security Council; stick to multilateralism, international law, and non-selective and non-double standard approach; reform the WTO and the Bretton Woods institutions with equitable, transparent, rules-based multilateral trading system, and with leadership positions of the emerging economies in these institutions; a fairer international order; and strengthening of the Global South’s voice in the G20 agenda.

These demands are a strong challenge to the structure the Empire has built up since the WWII. Even, in the Cold War-days, the Empire and its subordinate western allies did not hear such voice.

The initiatives that the BRICS is encouraging–use of local currencies in international trade, financial transactions and banking settlements, strengthening of banking network within the collective–are much threatening to the Empire’s mechanism for dominance.

The emerging Global South-Global East bloc, increasingly manifested in the BRICS, is now specifically telling: No to weaponisation of major reserve currencies and financial and payment systems for the Empire’s geopolitical conquests, no to economic coercion.

None, but the Empire itself has triggered the process of pushing others to move against the Empire’s economic-financial weapon. The triggering act was imposition of unprecedented sanctions against Russia as part of America’s proxy war in Ukraine, and subjecting Europe as its province. While the economically advanced continent of Europe is increasingly submitting itself to the Uncle Sam, the BRICS is increasingly moving against the Empire’s hegemony–a two-way process. The Pentagon’s Ukraine War is steaming this process, one contrary to the other. The BRICS’ gradually widening moves are in the perspective of a crisis created by the Empire in the war fields of Ukraine. BRICS has undermined the White House’s strategy on Ukraine by countering the western use of sanctions on Russia. Economically, it has sought to chip away at US dominance by weakening the dollar’s role as the world’s default currency. Washington tried to sabotage the BRICS. It coerced countries tilting towards the BRICS.

But, the emerging collective approach will turn bolder, as it’ll increase economic cooperation. This sphere of cooperation includes widening of de-dollarisation, enhanced use of national currencies in mutual transactions, increased role of the New Development Bank, the bank that was primarily known as the BRICS Bank, improvement in interconnectivity of supply chains, and going for fair transfer of technology. The BRICS countries produce one-third of global food production. With the aim of having food security, the BRICS, now covering 46 percent of global population, plans to increase cooperation among its members in the area of agriculture.

These steps favour the Global South-Global East. Furtherance of these measures will make the BRICS a force standing opposed to the empire-led system in the imperialist world order.

Significant is the promise of the BRICS to strengthen strategic partnership among member states, and that’s for, as the summit document said, the benefit of peoples in these countries. It plans to increase cooperation in the areas of political, security, economic, financial, cultural and people-to-people relationship.

The promised strategic partnership, if it moves in real term, will create a heavy headache for the America-led defence grouping across the world. As BRICS turns ‘bloc like’ US global interests are at stake.

If the planned people-to-people cooperation materialises in its actual sense, not under control of coterie having sole motive of profit, will give peoples in member countries a better opportunity to build up a democratic, dignified life, as a real people-to-people cooperation requires people’s participation in many areas.

Capitals and markets outside of the BRICS will be impacted by the emerging collective striving for a multi-polar world. Its chain reaction on investment and competition will be felt in the North. The Empire will find it difficult to favourably contain the march of BRICS. This will have long-term impact if the process related to capitals and markets sustains. No doubt the recently concluded BRICS summit showed seeds of these possibilities.


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Vol 56, No. 11, Sep 10 - 16, 2023