BRICS+: An Imperialist-Led Alliance

The expansion of BRICS reflects the rise of Chinese and Russian imperialism at the cost of their Western rivals

 

By Michael Pröbsting, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 29 August 2023, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

The expansion of BRICS – the acronym of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – by six new members was certainly the most important decision of the alliances’ 15th summit, hosted by South Africa. These new countries – Argentina, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates – will join the alliance by 1 January 2024.

 

In fact, the BRICS summit in Johannesburg was a turning point not only because of the decision to expand its membership to 11 countries but also because of the unprecedented attention and attraction the alliance has got. Some 65 heads of state and leaders attended the summit. [1] More than 40 countries have expressed interest in joining BRICS, and 23 formally applied to join the bloc. Furthermore, the BRICS bank – the Shanghai-based New Development Bank – is supposed to increase its membership. According to its head – former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff – the bank was considering 15 new member states. [2]

 

With its additional new members, the global weight of BRICS – which is now often called BRICS+ - will further increase. With about 3.6 billion people, its share of the world population will grow from 41.2% to 46.5%. Its share of global GDP is said to increase from 23% to about 29-30% (in current US-Dollar) respectively to 36-37% (at Purchasing Power Parity). Likewise, BRICS will account for 38.3% of the total world industrial production – the main sector of capitalist value production. Furthermore, the expansion will grow its share of global exports (merchandise trade) from 20.2% to 25.1%.

 

It is also noteworthy that BRICS’ position in several key economic sectors is substantially increasing. For example, its share of oil production will grow from 20.4% to 43-44%. Likewise, BRICS+ accounts for almost half of world food production (in 2021, 49% of wheat and 55% of rice). Likewise, the 11 BRICS countries control crucial areas of the world production of metals necessary for high technologies (e.g. 79% of aluminium production and 77% of palladium production). [3]

 

All this makes BRICS+ substantially larger than the Western G7 alliance (U.S., Germany, France, UK, Japan, Canada and Italy) not only in terms of population but also in terms of economic weight. The G7 have a combined share of 29.9% of global GDP (in PPP) and 30.5% of world industrial production.

 

 

 

What is the class character of BRICS+?

 

 

 

For Marxists, the starting point of a political assessment of BRICS+ has to be an analysis of its class character. Obviously, all member states are capitalist since currently all countries on the planet are capitalist. However, its necessary to determine if these countries belong to those which dominate world politics and economy or not, i.e. if these are imperialist or rather semi-colonial states. [4]

 

The majority of the 11 BRICS+ members are not imperialist states but rather semi-colonies. Of course, there are important differences between these semi-colonies. Some of these are advanced industrialised countries (like Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Iran, Egypt), some have peculiar features as wealthy oil and gas rich states (Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) or as a regional power (India), and in case of Ethiopia we have rather a poor semi-colony. [5]

 

However, the character of a political or economic institution is not determined by the majority of its member states but rather by those which dominate it. This is, by the way, why the United Nations is an imperialist-dominated institution – despite the fact that the five imperialist states with veto power constitute only a small minority among its 193 member states. Or, to give another example, this is why the Eurasian military alliance CSTO is has an imperialist character despite the fact that Russia is the only imperialist state among its six members.

 

In case of BRICS, it is China and Russia which belong to the small circle of leading imperialist Great Powers. Both are global political players which are permanent members of the UN Security Council with veto power. China has become the most important challenger of the U.S. – the long-standing hegemon. It is the leading economic power within BRICS and accounted for over 70% of the alliances’ combined GDP in 2021. [6] While this share will now decline to 63.4% because of the expansion of the bloc, it remains by far the dominating force. [7]

 

Russia is another political and economic key player within the BRICS alliance, albeit weaker than China. [8] However, it is a leading military power with a stockpile of 5,889 nuclear warheads – even larger than the U.S. [9]

 

It is these two Great Powers which put their stamp on the BRICS alliance. It is telling that the expansion of the bloc from 5 to 11 member states was initiated by Beijing and Moscow which massively pushed for it while the governments of the other three countries were rather reluctant. However, Xi and Putin are determined to expand BRICS as a political alliance since they need an effective counterweight to Western-dominated blocs like the G7.

 

In summary, we can say that while BRICS is composed mostly of semi-colonial countries of the Global South, it is dominated by two imperialist Great Powers – China and Russia. Hence, it is an imperialist-led alliance.

 

 

 

“A meaningless acronym”?

 

 

 

While some intelligent Western observers are worried about the expansion of BRICS, many others downplay the bloc’s significance. Bloomberg, a major news agency of American monopoly capital, published a silly commentary titled “BRICS shows it's little more than a meaningless acronym.” It claims that the “doings and sayings” of the alliances’ leaders at the Johannesburg summit “ranged from the semi-farcical to the meaningless”. [10] Such statements reflect arrogant complacency of Western powers which are incapable of recognising their own crisis and decline. Such a deluded approach reminds one to the foolish “Herrenmenschen” mentality of the German Nazis which refused bluntly to recognise even in 1944 that that the Slavic “Untermenschen” were about to defeat them.

 

It is, of course, true that BRICS is still in a process of formation in order to become a fully functioning political bloc – in contrast to an established alliance like the G7. It is also correct to point to various inner contradictions within the BRICS alliance. Some of member states still have more or less strong relations with U.S. imperialism and are not strongly committed to side with China and Russia against their Western rivals. Furthermore, there exist long-standing tensions between China and India which occasionally result in border clashes.

 

While all this is true, one must not ignore the fundamental tendencies behind the expansion of BRICS. As we have repeatedly analysed in our works, the old imperialist states of the West are in a long-term process of decline since the production of capitalist value is increasingly moving to other places (most importantly to China). As a result, the majority of the worlds’ industrial production and merchandise exports does no longer take place in Western countries. Furthermore, the U.S. has already been overtaken (or nearly overtaken) by China when it comes to key indicators like the number of global leading corporations or billionaires. [11]

 

In addition, one must not forget that the Western G7 alliance has also been repeatedly characterised by various contradictions. Think about the economic power struggle between the U.S. and Japan in the 1980s; think about Trump’s threats against Western European “allies” in 2017-20; or about Washington’s sabotage of the Nord Stream Pipelines in 2022.

 

Sure, currently the G7 are relatively united in their policy of sanctions against Russia (and, to a lesser degree, in their opposition against China). But, first, this could easily change with the next Presidential elections in the U.S. in November 2024 if Trump enters the White House again. Secondly, the relative unity of the G7 states is based on their shared interests to stop the rise of the new imperialist powers of the East.

 

However, the same, opposite, interests unite the BRICS members as well as those that wish to join this alliance: they are determined to break up the long-term hegemony of Western powers in global political and economic institutions. This is reflected in the BRICS demand for reforms of the WTO and the Bretton Woods institutions which would allow for a greater role for emerging markets and developing countries, including in leadership positions in the Bretton Woods institutions.[12]

 

More importantly, the BRICS states are determined to end to hegemony of the U.S. Dollar in global trade and financial institutions (like SWIFT). Such desire is reflected in the summits’ “Johannesburg II Declaration” where the alliance calls for the use of national currencies instead of the U.S. Dollar. (“We stress the importance of encouraging the use of local currencies in international trade and financial transactions between BRICS as well as their trading partners. We also encourage strengthening of correspondent banking networks between the BRICS countries and enabling settlements in the local currencies. We task our Finance Ministers and/or Central Bank Governors, as appropriate, to consider the issue of local currencies, payment instruments and platforms and report back to us by the next Summit.”) [13]

 

There is no doubt that such desire has been spurred even more by Western sanctions against Russia and the de facto seizure of hundreds of billions of Russia’s foreign currency reserves. [14]

 

In short, both alliances – the G7 as well as the BRICS – have their inner contradictions. However, they are equally united by shared interests. This does not mean that such inner contradictions could not lead to crisis and even a split by one or the other member of these alliances. While such regroupment would represent an important development, it does not alter the fundamental underlying process: the accelerating rivalry between the imperialist powers of West and East and the formation of political alliances around the respective leading rivals.

 

It is such inter-imperialist rivalry which has been the driving force in China’s and Russia’s determination to build BRICS as a political alliance. And it has been such rivalry which led to a certain reconsolidation of the G7. [15]

 

 

 

The reactionary program of the “multi-polar world order

 

 

 

It is only such a Marxist analysis of fundamental processes in the current world situation which allows for a correct understanding of the BRICS’ class character. Such an approach is diametrically opposed to the view of various Stalinist-Putinista parties or the populist and social democratic forces in the “Progressive International” (whose most prominent figures have been Sanders, Lula, Varoufakis and Corbyn). These forces either explicitly support “socialist” China and “anti-imperialist” Russia. Or they view Beijing and Moscow as “lesser evils” which supposedly play an objectively progressive role since they oppose the “American hegemon” as the sole representative of imperialism.

 

These forces advocate a “multi-polar world order”, i.e. a global situation which is characterised not by U.S. resp. Western domination but by the parallel existence of several Great Powers. In other words, they advocate a world order in which eastern Great Powers like China and Russia have an equal saying like the U.S., Western Europe or Japan.

 

We have characterised such a program as reactionary. A “multi-polar world order” in effect does not and can not mean equality for the countries of the Global South – it means, and can only mean, “equality” of a few new Great Powers with the old hegemon. It is a program advocating “multi-imperialism”, i.e. the parallel existence of several rivalling imperialist powers. As history has demonstrated since the late 19th century, such a situation inevitable leads to conflicts and, ultimately, world war. Objectively, advocacy of a “multi-polar world order” is the program of pro-Eastern social-imperialism as it supports the interests of China and Russia against those of the Western powers. [16]

 

In this context, we shall briefly add that the reactionary character of the BRICS alliance is also reflected in the fact that its extensive “Johannesburg II Declaration” (26 pages) does not utter a single word of sympathy with the Ukraine which has been invaded by Putin in February 2022 and which has been devastated by relentless Russian bombardment since then. [17] At the same time, the declaration states its sympathy for the Assad dictatorship (“We welcome the readmission of the Syrian Arab Republic to the League of Arab States.”) [18] This is particularly shameful as the Syrian Revolution currently experiences a dramatic revival with a new wave of mass protests calling for the downfall of the tyrannical regime! [19] So much for the “progressive” alternative to the Western imperialists!

 

 

 

No progressive alliance? Sure, but …

 

 

 

Finally, we shall briefly deal with the approach of an international Trotskyist organisation based in Latin America – the Fracción Trotskista (Trotskyist Faction”) led by the Argentinean PTS (FT/PTS).

 

In contrast to the previously mentioned Stalinist-Putinistas, populists and social democrats, the FT/PTS comrades correctly refuse to whitewash the BRICS alliance as some kind of progressive alliance. They warn that “the challenge that this bloc may pose to the great imperialist powers does not turn it into an ally of oppressed peoples. BRICS does not represent an alternative of “benign hegemony” in the international order.” They also emphasise: “BRICS sows illusions that relationships and shifts in alliances between bourgeois states can offer a path towards liberation for the working class.[20]

 

Naturally, we can not but strongly agree with such statements. However, the FT/PTS analysis is far from sufficient. They write: “Additionally, whatever challenge the BRICS alliance poses to U.S. and Western imperialist hegemony is a challenge made with a capitalist logic. The countries in the alliance aim not to develop the power of the working class in their countries, but instead to develop their own position within the international relations of capital.

 

Of course, it is correct to say that BRICS+ is a “capitalist alliance”. But this is a general truism with little meaningfulness. In fact, each and every alliance of states today is a “capitalist alliance” because since the restoration of capitalism in the former Stalinist states, there exist only capitalist countries in the world!

 

Hence, it is not sufficient to recognise the capitalist character of a state or an alliance of states. It is essential to analyse which kind of capitalist countries are we talking about – are these imperialist or semi-colonial states. As we did elaborate above, we consider BRICS+ as an imperialist-led alliance. The FT/PTS comrades do not share such an analysis. The reason for this is that – in contrast to the RCIT – they do not characterise China and Russia as imperialist Great Powers. [21] Hence, the comrades fail to go beyond a superficial characterisation of BRICS+ as being “capitalist” and “not progressive”.

 

 

 

Consequences for Marxist tactics

 

 

 

This is a highly relevant issue as we are not discussing about abstract differences. In fact, such characterisation of states resp. alliances of states has profound consequences for Marxist tactics. In a conflict between an imperialist state (or an alliance of states) and a semi-colony (or several semi-colonial countries), we usually side with the latter. Sure, both sides are capitalist, but the imperialist power belongs to the dominating forces within the capitalist world system while the semi-colonies are rather being dominated by the former. This is why we sided with Argentina against Britain in 1982, with Afghanistan and Iraq against the U.S. (in 2001 resp. 2003) or with Chechnya and Syria against Russia (in 1994-96 and 1999-2009 resp. since 2015). [22]

 

In contrast, Marxists do not take a side in conflicts between imperialist states since “both are worse”. In such conflicts we advocate a program of revolutionary defeatism against both ("dual defeatism"). This means strict opposition against both camps with the goal to advance the class struggle against each government. (There exist also conflicts with contradictory character, but we will not deal with this issue at this place and refer readers to an essay which we recently published. [23])

 

So which position should Marxists take in conflicts between Western and Easter imperialism, between G7 and BRICS? Currently, such conflicts are limited to sanctions, protectionism, military armament, etc. But sooner or later, such diplomatic and economic tensions will provoke military clashes and wars. Since the RCIT considers both camps/alliances as imperialist, we take a dual defeatist position in such conflicts.

 

But which position will those comrades take who refuse to consider China and Russia resp. the BRICS+ alliance as imperialist? As they characterise only the Western powers as imperialist but not China and Russia, would they side with the latter against the U.S. and its allies? The FT/PTS comrades don’t say so, but it is irritating that they refuse to characterise the Eastern Great Powers as imperialist in contrast to their Western rivals. Or will they take a dual defeatist position like us? But if this is the case, why don’t they express such an approach explicitly? In fact, they are completely silent on the consequences of their analysis when it comes to program and tactics.

 

It is an urgent task for all socialists to clarify their analysis of major developments in world politics like the expansion of BRICS and the rise of China and Russia as imperialist powers. Those who share an understanding of all Great Powers – those in the West as well as those in the East – are imperialist and that these need to be intransigently opposed by socialists, should join forces in order to build a consistent anti-imperialist resistance!

 



[1] Jevans Nyabiage: BRICS adds 6: new ‘heavyweights’ boast oil and deep pockets, while others help ‘future-proof’ the bloc, analysts say, South China Morning Post, 24 August 2023, https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3232153/brics-admit-6-new-members

[2] Philip Pilkington: An expanding BRICS should worry the West, 24 August 2023, https://unherd.com/thepost/an-expanding-BRICS-should-worry-the-west/

[3] For the figures see e.g. BRICS: Joint Statistical Publication 2023; BRICS: Joint Statistical Publication 2022; UNCTAD: BRICS Investment Report, 2023; Marcus Lu: Visualizing the BRICS Expansion in 4 Charts, 24 August 2023 https://www.visualcapitalist.com/visualizing-the-brics-expansion-in-4-charts/; BRICS Accounts for Almost 45% of Global Oil Reserves After Expansion, 25 August 2023, https://www.rogtecmagazine.com/brics-accounts-for-almost-45-of-global-oil-reserves-after-expansion/; Countercurrents Collective: BRICS Will Change The Power Balance In The Global Energy Market, 28 August 2023, https://countercurrents.org/2023/08/brics-will-change-the-power-balance-in-the-global-energy-market/

[4] Our most detailed works on the Marxist theory of imperialism are two books by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, Vienna 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-imperialism-in-the-age-of-great-power-rivalry/; The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, RCIT Books, 2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/great-robbery-of-the-south/

[5] For a discussion of semi-colonial countries which have certain peculiar features see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Semi-Colonial Intermediate Powers and the Theory of Sub-Imperialism. A contribution to an ongoing debate amongst Marxists and a proposal to tackle a theoretical problem, 1 August 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/semi-colonial-intermediate-powers-and-the-theory-of-sub-imperialism/.

[6] UNCTAD: BRICS Investment Report, 2023, p. 5

[7] For our analysis of capitalism in China and its transformation into a Great Power see e.g. the book by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, Vienna 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-imperialism-in-the-age-of-great-power-rivalry/; see also by the same author: “Chinese Imperialism and the World Economy”, an essay published in the second edition of The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism (edited by Immanuel Ness and Zak Cope), Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2020, https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007%2F978-3-319-91206-6_179-1; China: An Imperialist Power … Or Not Yet? A Theoretical Question with Very Practical Consequences! Continuing the Debate with Esteban Mercatante and the PTS/FT on China’s class character and consequences for the revolutionary strategy, 22 January 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-imperialist-power-or-not-yet/; China‘s transformation into an imperialist power. A study of the economic, political and military aspects of China as a Great Power (2012), in: Revolutionary Communism No. 4, http://www.thecommunists.net/publications/revcom-number-4; How is it possible that some Marxists still Doubt that China has Become Capitalist? (A Critique of the PTS/FT), An analysis of the capitalist character of China’s State-Owned Enterprises and its political consequences, 18 September 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/pts-ft-and-chinese-imperialism-2/; Unable to See the Wood for the Trees (PTS/FT and China). Eclectic empiricism and the failure of the PTS/FT to recognize the imperialist character of China, 13 August 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/pts-ft-and-chinese-imperialism/; China’s Emergence as an Imperialist Power (Article in the US journal 'New Politics'), in: “New Politics”, Summer 2014 (Vol:XV-1, Whole #: 57). See many more RCIT documents at a special sub-page on the RCIT’s website: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/.

[8] The RCIT has published numerous documents about capitalism in Russia and its rise to an imperialist power. The most important ones are several pamphlets by Michael Pröbsting: The Peculiar Features of Russian Imperialism. A Study of Russia’s Monopolies, Capital Export and Super-Exploitation in the Light of Marxist Theory, 10 August 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/the-peculiar-features-of-russian-imperialism/; by the same author: Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism and the Rise of Russia as a Great Power. On the Understanding and Misunderstanding of Today’s Inter-Imperialist Rivalry in the Light of Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism. Another Reply to Our Critics Who Deny Russia’s Imperialist Character, August 2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialism-theory-and-russia/; Russia as a Great Imperialist Power. The formation of Russian Monopoly Capital and its Empire – A Reply to our Critics, 18 March 2014 (this pamphlet contains a document written in 2001 in which we established for the first time our characterisation of Russia as imperialist), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialist-russia/; see also the following essays by the same author: 'Empire-ism' vs a Marxist analysis of imperialism: Continuing the debate with Argentinian economist Claudio Katz on Great Power rivalry, Russian imperialism and the Ukraine War, 3 March 2023, https://links.org.au/empire-ism-vs-marxist-analysis-imperialism-continuing-debate-argentinian-economist-claudio-katz; Russia: An Imperialist Power or a “Non-Hegemonic Empire in Gestation”? A reply to the Argentinean economist Claudio Katz, in: New Politics, 11 August 2022, at https://newpol.org/russia-an-imperialist-power-or-a-non-hegemonic-empire-in-gestation-a-reply-to-the-argentinean-economist-claudio-katz-an-essay-with-8-tables/; Russian Imperialism and Its Monopolies, in: New Politics Vol. XVIII No. 4, Whole Number 72, Winter 2022, https://newpol.org/issue_post/russian-imperialism-and-its-monopolies/; Once Again on Russian Imperialism (Reply to Critics). A rebuttal of a theory which claims that Russia is not an imperialist state but would be rather “comparable to Brazil and Iran”, 30 March 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/once-again-on-russian-imperialism-reply-to-critics/. See various other RCIT documents on this issue at a special sub-page on the RCIT’s website: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/.

[9] SIPRI Yearbook 2023: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security, p. 248

[10] Pankaj Mishra: BRICS shows it's little more than a meaningless acronym. The group seeks to counter US influence but mostly practices cynical expediency, Bloomberg, 25 August, 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2023-08-25/brics-shows-it-s-little-more-than-a-meaningless-acronym

[11] For a detailed discussion of the economic and military relation of forces between the Great Powers with numerous figures see e.g. chapter V to VIII in the above-mentioned book by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry.

[12] XV BRICS Summit Johannesburg II Declaration: BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism; Sandton, Gauteng, South Africa, 23 August 2023, p. 3

[13] XV BRICS Summit Johannesburg II Declaration, p. 14

[14] We have analysed this issue e.g. in Michael Pröbsting: Inter-imperialist rivalry and the specter of de-dollarization: On the decline of the US Dollar since the start of the Ukraine War, 12 May, 2023, https://links.org.au/inter-imperialist-rivalry-and-specter-de-dollarization-decline-us-dollar-start-ukraine-war

[15] The RCIT has dealt on numerous occasions with the inter-imperialist rivalry of the Great Powers. See e.g. RCIT: World Perspectives 2021-22: Entering a Pre-Revolutionary Global Situation, 22 August 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2021-22/; see also our book by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, Vienna 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-imperialism-in-the-age-of-great-power-rivalry/; see also the following works by the same author: “A Really Good Quarrel”. US-China Alaska Meeting: The Inter-Imperialist Cold War Continues, 23 March 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/us-china-alaska-meeting-shows-continuation-of-inter-imperialist-cold-war/; Servants of Two Masters. Stalinism and the New Cold War between Imperialist Great Powers in East and West, 10 July 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/servants-of-two-masters-stalinism-and-new-cold-war/; for more works on this issue see these sub-pages: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/ and https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/collection-of-articles-on-the-global-trade-war/.

[16] See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: “Multi-Polar World Order” = Multi-Imperialism. A Marxist Critique of a concept advocated by Putin, Xi, Stalinism and the “Progressive International” (Lula, Sanders, Varoufakis), International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 24 February 2023, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/multi-polar-world-order-is-multi-imperialism/

[17] We refer readers to a special page on our website where all RCIT documents on the Ukraine War and the current NATO-Russia conflict are compiled: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/compilation-of-documents-on-nato-russia-conflict/.

[18] XV BRICS Summit Johannesburg II Declaration, p. 5 resp. 6

[19] We refer readers to a special page on our website where all RCIT documents on the Syrian Revolution are compiled: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/.

[20] Esteban Mercatante and Santiago Montag: The Expansion of BRICS Doesn’t Change the Capitalist Framework of the Alliance. Six new countries are set to become full members of the BRICS alliance. But the bloc’s challenge to the imperialist powers does not turn it into an ally of oppressed peoples, 25 August 2023, https://www.leftvoice.org/the-expansion-of-brics-doesnt-change-the-capitalist-framework-of-the-alliance/

[21] For our discussion with the FT/PTS about the imperialist character of Russia and China see some works in the two footnotes above about RCIT documents on these two Great Powers.

[22] For an overview about our history of support for anti-imperialist struggles in the past four decades (with links to documents, pictures and videos) see e.g. an essay by Michael Pröbsting: The Struggle of Revolutionaries in Imperialist Heartlands against Wars of their “Own” Ruling Class. Examples from the history of the RCIT and its predecessor organisation in the last four decades, 2 September 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/the-struggle-of-revolutionaries-in-imperialist-heartlands-against-wars-of-their-own-ruling-class/

[23] See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Marxist Tactics in Wars with Contradictory Character. The Ukraine War and war threats in West Africa, the Middle East and East Asia show the necessity to understand the dual character of some conflicts, 23 August 2023, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/marxist-tactics-in-wars-with-contradictory-character/

 

BRICS+: una alianza liderada por los imperialistas

La expansión de los BRICS refleja el ascenso del imperialismo chino y ruso a costa de sus rivales occidentales

 

Por Michael Pröbsting, Corriente Comunista Revolucionaria Internacional (CCRI), 29 de agosto de 2023, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

La ampliación de los BRICS –acrónimo de Brasil, Rusia, India, China y Sudáfrica– a seis nuevos miembros fue sin duda la decisión más importante de la 15ª cumbre de las alianzas, organizada en Sudáfrica. Estos nuevos países (Argentina, Etiopía, Irán, Arabia Saudita, Egipto y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos) se unirán a la alianza el 1 de enero de 2024.

 

De hecho, la cumbre de los BRICS en Johannesburgo fue un punto de inflexión no sólo por la decisión de ampliar su membresía a 11 países sino también por la atención y atracción sin precedentes que ha recibido la alianza. A la cumbre asistieron unos 65 jefes de Estado y líderes. [1] Más de 40 países han expresado interés en unirse al BRICS, y 23 solicitaron formalmente unirse al bloque. Además, se supone que el banco BRICS –el Nuevo Banco de Desarrollo con sede en Shanghai– aumentará su número de miembros. Según su directora, la ex presidenta brasileña Dilma Rousseff, el banco estaba considerando 15 nuevos estados miembros. [2]

 

Con la incorporación de nuevos miembros, el peso global de los BRICS, que ahora se denominan a menudo BRICS+, aumentará aún más. Con alrededor de 3.600 millones de personas, su participación en la población mundial crecerá del 41,2% al 46,5%. Se dice que su participación en el PIB mundial aumentará del 23% a aproximadamente el 29-30% (en dólares estadounidenses actuales), respectivamente, al 36-37% (en paridad de poder adquisitivo). Asimismo, los BRICS representarán el 38,3% de la producción industrial mundial total, el principal sector de producción de valor capitalista. Además, la expansión aumentará su participación en las exportaciones globales (comercio de mercancías) del 20,2% al 25,1%.

 

También es digno de mención que la posición de los BRICS en varios sectores económicos clave está aumentando sustancialmente. Por ejemplo, su participación en la producción de petróleo crecerá del 20,4% al 43-44%. Asimismo, los BRICS+ representan casi la mitad de la producción mundial de alimentos (en 2021, el 49% del trigo y el 55% del arroz). Asimismo, los 11 países BRICS controlan áreas cruciales de la producción mundial de metales necesarios para las altas tecnologías (por ejemplo, el 79% de la producción de aluminio y el 77% de la producción de paladio). [3]

 

Todo esto hace que BRICS+ sea sustancialmente más grande que la alianza occidental del G7 (Estados Unidos, Alemania, Francia, Reino Unido, Japón, Canadá e Italia) no sólo en términos de población sino también en términos de peso económico. El G7 tiene una participación combinada del 29,9% del PIB mundial (en PPA) y el 30,5% de la producción industrial mundial.

 

 

 

¿Cuál es el carácter de clase de BRICS+?

 

 

 

Para los marxistas, el punto de partida de una evaluación política de BRICS+ tiene que ser un análisis de su carácter de clase. Evidentemente todos los estados miembros son capitalistas ya que actualmente todos los países del planeta son capitalistas. Sin embargo, es necesario determinar si estos países pertenecen o no a los que dominan la política y la economía mundial, es decir, si se trata de estados imperialistas o más bien semicoloniales. [4]

 

La mayoría de los 11 miembros del BRICS+ no son estados imperialistas sino más bien semicolonias. Por supuesto, existen diferencias importantes entre estas semicolonias. Algunos de ellos son países industrializados avanzados (como Brasil, Argentina, Sudáfrica, Irán, Egipto), otros tienen características peculiares como estados ricos en petróleo y gas (Arabia Saudita y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos) o como potencia regional (India), y en el caso de Etiopía tenemos una semicolonia bastante pobre. [5]

 

Sin embargo, el carácter de una institución política o económica no está determinado por la mayoría de sus estados miembros sino por aquellos que la dominan. Esta es, dicho sea de paso, la razón por la que las Naciones Unidas son una institución dominada por el imperialismo, a pesar de que los cinco estados imperialistas con poder de veto constituyen sólo una pequeña minoría entre sus 193 estados miembros. O, para dar otro ejemplo, esta es la razón por la cual la alianza militar euroasiática OTSC tiene un carácter imperialista a pesar de que Rusia es el único estado imperialista entre sus seis miembros.

 

En el caso de los BRICS, son China y Rusia las que pertenecen al pequeño círculo de las principales grandes potencias imperialistas. Ambos son actores políticos globales que son miembros permanentes del Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU con poder de veto. China se ha convertido en el rival más importante de Estados Unidos: la potencia hegemónica de larga data. Es la principal potencia económica dentro de los BRICS y representó más del 70% del PIB combinado de las alianzas en 2021. [6] Si bien esta proporción ahora disminuirá al 63,4% debido a la expansión del bloque, sigue siendo, con diferencia, la fuerza dominante. [7]

 

Rusia es otro actor político y económico clave dentro de la alianza BRICS, aunque más débil que China. [8] Sin embargo, es una potencia militar líder con un arsenal de 5.889 ojivas nucleares, incluso mayor que Estados Unidos. [9]

 

Son estas dos grandes potencias las que pusieron su sello en la alianza BRICS. Es revelador que la expansión del bloque de 5 a 11 estados miembros fue iniciada por Beijing y Moscú, que presionaron masivamente para lograrla, mientras que los gobiernos de los otros tres países se mostraron bastante reacios. Sin embargo, Xi y Putin están decididos a expandir los BRICS como alianza política, ya que necesitan un contrapeso eficaz a bloques dominados por Occidente como el G7.

 

En resumen, podemos decir que, si bien los BRICS están compuestos principalmente por países semicoloniales del Sur Global, están dominados por dos grandes potencias imperialistas: China y Rusia. Por lo tanto, es una alianza liderada por el imperialismo.

 

 

 

¿“Un acrónimo sin sentido”?

 

 

 

Mientras que algunos observadores occidentales inteligentes están preocupados por la expansión de los BRICS, muchos otros restan importancia a la importancia del bloque. Bloomberg, una importante agencia de noticias del capital monopolista estadounidense, publicó un comentario tonto titulado “El BRICS demuestra que es poco más que un acrónimo sin sentido”. Afirma que los “hechos y dichos” de los líderes de las alianzas en la cumbre de Johannesburgo “variaron desde lo semi-farsa hasta lo carente de sentido”. [10] Tales declaraciones reflejan la arrogante complacencia de las potencias occidentales que son incapaces de reconocer su propia crisis y decadencia. Un enfoque tan engañoso recuerda a los tontos “Herrenmenschen” mentalidad de los nazis alemanes que se negaron rotundamente a reconocer, incluso en 1944, que los “Untermenschen” eslavos estaban a punto de derrotarlos.

 

Por supuesto, es cierto que los BRICS todavía están en un proceso de formación para convertirse en un bloque político en pleno funcionamiento, en contraste con una alianza establecida como el G7. También es correcto señalar varias contradicciones internas dentro de la alianza BRICS. Algunos de los estados miembros todavía tienen relaciones más o menos fuertes con el imperialismo estadounidense y no están fuertemente comprometidos a ponerse del lado de China y Rusia contra sus rivales occidentales. Además, existen tensiones de larga data entre China e India que ocasionalmente resultan en enfrentamientos fronterizos.

 

Si bien todo esto es cierto, no se deben ignorar las tendencias fundamentales detrás de la expansión de los BRICS. Como hemos analizado repetidamente en nuestros trabajos, los viejos estados imperialistas de Occidente se encuentran en un proceso de decadencia a largo plazo, ya que la producción de valor capitalista se está trasladando cada vez más a otros lugares (sobre todo a China). Como resultado, la mayor parte de la producción industrial y las exportaciones de mercancías del mundo ya no se realizan en los países occidentales. Además, Estados Unidos ya ha sido superado (o casi superado) por China en lo que respecta a indicadores clave como el número de corporaciones líderes a nivel mundial o de multimillonarios. [11]

 

Además, no hay que olvidar que la alianza occidental del G7 también se ha caracterizado repetidamente por diversas contradicciones. Pensemos en la lucha por el poder económico entre Estados Unidos y Japón en los años 1980; piense en las amenazas de Trump contra los “aliados” de Europa occidental en 2017-2020; o sobre el sabotaje de Washington a los oleoductos Nord Stream en 2022.

 

Claro, actualmente el G7 está relativamente unido en su política de sanciones contra Rusia (y, en menor grado, en su oposición contra China). Pero, en primer lugar, esto podría cambiar fácilmente con las próximas elecciones presidenciales en Estados Unidos en noviembre de 2024 si Trump vuelve a entrar en la Casa Blanca. En segundo lugar, la relativa unidad de los estados del G7 se basa en sus intereses compartidos de detener el ascenso de las nuevas potencias imperialistas del Este.

 

Sin embargo, los mismos intereses opuestos unen a los miembros del BRICS, así como a aquellos que desean unirse a esta alianza: están decididos a romper la hegemonía de largo plazo de las potencias occidentales en las instituciones políticas y económicas globales. Esto se refleja en la demanda de los BRICS de reformas de la OMC y de las instituciones de Bretton Woods que permitirían “un papel más importante para los mercados emergentes y los países en desarrollo, incluso en posiciones de liderazgo en las instituciones de Bretton Woods”. [12]

 

Más importante aún, los estados BRICS están decididos a poner fin a la hegemonía del dólar estadounidense en el comercio mundial y en las instituciones financieras (como SWIFT). Tal deseo se refleja en la “Declaración de Johannesburgo II” de la cumbre, donde la alianza pide el uso de monedas nacionales en lugar del dólar estadounidense. (“Destacamos la importancia de fomentar el uso de monedas locales en el comercio internacional y las transacciones financieras entre los BRICS y sus socios comerciales. También alentamos el fortalecimiento de las redes bancarias corresponsales entre los países BRICS y la habilitación de liquidaciones en las monedas locales. Encomendamos a nuestros Ministros de Finanzas y/o Gobernadores de los Bancos Centrales, según corresponda, que consideren la cuestión de las monedas locales, los instrumentos de pago y las plataformas y nos informen antes de la próxima Cumbre.”) [13]

 

No hay duda de que ese deseo se ha visto estimulado aún más por las sanciones occidentales contra Rusia y la confiscación de facto de cientos de miles de millones de reservas de divisas extranjeras de Rusia. [14]

 

En resumen, ambas alianzas –tanto el G7 como los BRICS– tienen sus contradicciones internas. Sin embargo, están igualmente unidos por intereses compartidos. Esto no significa que tales contradicciones internas no puedan llevar a una crisis e incluso a una escisión por parte de uno u otro miembro de estas alianzas. Si bien tal reagrupamiento representaría un avance importante, no altera el proceso fundamental subyacente: la rivalidad cada vez mayor entre las potencias imperialistas de Occidente y Oriente y la formación de alianzas políticas en torno a los respectivos principales rivales.

 

Es esa rivalidad interimperialista la que ha sido la fuerza impulsora de la determinación de China y Rusia de construir los BRICS como una alianza política. Y ha sido esa rivalidad la que ha llevado a una cierta reconsolidación del G7. [15]

 

El programa reaccionario del “orden mundial multipolar

 

 

 

Sólo un análisis marxista de este tipo de los procesos fundamentales de la situación mundial actual permite una comprensión correcta del carácter de clase de los BRICS. Semejante enfoque es diametralmente opuesto a la visión de varios partidos estalinistas-putinistas o de las fuerzas populistas y socialdemócratas de la “Internacional Progresista” (cuyas figuras más destacadas han sido Sanders, Lula, Varoufakis y Corbyn). Estas fuerzas apoyan explícitamente a la China “socialista” o a la Rusia “antiimperialista”. O ven a Beijing y Moscú como “males menores” que supuestamente desempeñan un papel objetivamente progresista ya que se oponen al “hegemón estadounidense” como único representante del imperialismo.

 

Estas fuerzas abogan por un “orden mundial multipolar”, es decir, una situación global que no se caracterice por Estados Unidos o Estados Unidos. dominación occidental sino por la existencia paralela de varias grandes potencias. En otras palabras, abogan por un orden mundial en el que las grandes potencias orientales como China y Rusia tengan la misma voz que Estados Unidos, Europa occidental o Japón.

 

Hemos calificado tal programa de reaccionario. En efecto, un “orden mundial multipolar” no significa ni puede significar igualdad para los países del Sur Global; significa, y sólo puede significar, “igualdad” de unas pocas nuevas grandes potencias con la antigua potencia hegemónica. Es un programa que aboga por el “multiimperialismo”, es decir, la existencia paralela de varias potencias imperialistas rivales. Como lo ha demostrado la historia desde finales del siglo XIX, una situación así conduce inevitablemente a conflictos y, en última instancia, a una guerra mundial. Objetivamente, la defensa de un “orden mundial multipolar” es el programa del socialimperialismo prooriental, ya que apoya los intereses de China y Rusia frente a los de las potencias occidentales. [16]

 

En este contexto, añadiremos brevemente que el carácter reaccionario de la alianza BRICS también se refleja en el hecho de que su extensa “Declaración de Johannesburgo II” (26 páginas) no expresa una sola palabra de simpatía hacia Ucrania, que ha sido invadida por Putin en febrero de 2022 y que desde entonces ha sido devastada por los implacables bombardeos rusos. [17] Al mismo tiempo, la declaración expresa su simpatía por la dictadura de Assad (“Damos la bienvenida a la readmisión de la República Árabe Siria en la Liga de los Estados Árabes”). [18] Esto es particularmente vergonzoso en lo que actualmente vive la Revolución Siria. ¡Un resurgimiento dramático con una nueva ola de protestas masivas pidiendo la caída del régimen tiránico! [19] ¡Hasta aquí la alternativa “progresista” a los imperialistas occidentales!

 

 

 

¿Ninguna alianza progresista? Seguro, pero …

 

 

 

Finalmente, abordaremos brevemente el enfoque de una organización trotskista internacional con sede en América Latina: la “Fracción Trotskista” liderada por el PTS argentino (FT/PTS).

 

A diferencia de los estalinistas-putinistas, populistas y socialdemócratas antes mencionados, los camaradas del FT/PTS se niegan correctamente a encubrir la alianza BRICS como una especie de alianza progresista. Advierten que “el desafío que este bloque puede plantear a las grandes potencias imperialistas no lo convierte en un aliado de los pueblos oprimidos. Los BRICS no representan una alternativa de “hegemonía benigna” en el orden internacional. También enfatizan: “Los BRICS siembran ilusiones de que las relaciones y los cambios en las alianzas entre estados burgueses pueden ofrecer un camino hacia la liberación de la clase trabajadora.” [20]

 

Naturalmente, no podemos dejar de estar totalmente de acuerdo con tales afirmaciones. Sin embargo, el análisis FT/PTS está lejos de ser suficiente. Escriben: “Además, cualquier desafío que la alianza BRICS plantee a la hegemonía imperialista estadounidense y occidental es un desafío planteado con una lógica capitalista. Los países de la alianza no pretenden desarrollar el poder de la clase trabajadora en sus países, sino desarrollar su propia posición dentro de las relaciones internacionales del capital.”

 

Por supuesto, es correcto decir que BRICS+ es una “alianza capitalista”. Pero esto es una perogrullada general con poco significado. De hecho, todas y cada una de las alianzas de estados actuales son una “alianza capitalista” porque desde la restauración del capitalismo en los antiguos estados estalinistas, ¡sólo existen países capitalistas en el mundo!

 

Por tanto, no basta con reconocer el carácter capitalista de un Estado o de una alianza de Estados. Es esencial analizar de qué tipo de países capitalistas estamos hablando: si son estados imperialistas o semicoloniales. Como explicamos anteriormente, consideramos a BRICS+ como una alianza liderada por imperialistas. Los camaradas del FT/PTS no comparten tal análisis. La razón de esto es que –a diferencia de la CCRI– no caracterizan a China y Rusia como grandes potencias imperialistas. [21] Por lo tanto, los camaradas no logran ir más allá de una caracterización superficial de los BRICS+ como “capitalistas” y “no progresistas”.

 

 

 

Consecuencias para las tácticas marxistas

 

 

 

Este es un tema muy relevante ya que no estamos discutiendo sobre diferencias abstractas. De hecho, tal caracterización de los estados y las alianzas de estados tienen profundas consecuencias para las tácticas marxistas. En un conflicto entre un Estado imperialista (o una alianza de Estados) y una semicolonía (o varios países semicoloniales), normalmente nos ponemos del lado de este último. Claro, ambos lados son capitalistas, pero el poder imperialista pertenece a las fuerzas dominantes dentro del sistema mundial capitalista, mientras que las semicolonias están más bien dominadas por las primeras. Por eso nos pusimos del lado de Argentina contra Gran Bretaña en 1982, de Afganistán e Irak contra Estados Unidos (en 2001, respectivamente, 2003) o de Chechenia y Siria contra Rusia (en 1994-96 y de 1999-2009, respectivamente, desde 2015). [22]

 

Por el contrario, los marxistas no toman partido en los conflictos entre estados imperialistas porque “ambos son peores”. En tales conflictos defendemos un programa de derrotismo revolucionario contra ambos (“derrotismo dual”). Esto significa una oposición estricta contra ambos bandos con el objetivo de avanzar en la lucha de clases contra cada gobierno. (También existen conflictos de carácter contradictorio, pero no abordaremos este tema en este lugar y remitimos a los lectores a un ensayo que publicamos recientemente. [23])

 

Entonces, ¿qué posición deberían adoptar los marxistas en los conflictos entre el imperialismo occidental y el del Este, entre el G7 y los BRICS? Actualmente, esos conflictos se limitan a sanciones, proteccionismo, armamento militar, etc. Pero, tarde o temprano, esas tensiones diplomáticas y económicas provocarán enfrentamientos militares y guerras. Dado que la CCRI considera imperialistas a ambos bandos/alianzas, adoptamos una posición doblemente derrotista en tales conflictos.

 

Pero, ¿qué posición adoptarán aquellos camaradas que se niegan a considerar a China y Rusia respectivamente? ¿La alianza BRICS+ es imperialista? Como caracterizan sólo a las potencias occidentales como imperialistas, pero no a China y Rusia, ¿se pondrían del lado de esta última contra Estados Unidos y sus aliados? Los camaradas del FT/PTS no lo dicen, pero es irritante que se nieguen a caracterizar a las grandes potencias orientales como imperialistas en contraste con sus rivales occidentales. ¿O adoptarán una posición doblemente derrotista como la nuestra? Pero si este es el caso, ¿por qué no expresan explícitamente ese enfoque? De hecho, guardan completo silencio sobre las consecuencias de sus análisis en lo que respecta a programas y tácticas.

 

Es una tarea urgente para todos los socialistas aclarar su análisis de los principales acontecimientos en la política mundial, como la expansión de los BRICS y el ascenso de China y Rusia como potencias imperialistas. Aquellos que comparten una comprensión de todas las grandes potencias –tanto las de Occidente como las de Oriente– son imperialistas y necesitan que los socialistas se opongan intransigentemente a ellas, ¡deben unir fuerzas para construir una resistencia antiimperialista consistente!

 

 

 



[1] Jevans Nyabiage: BRICS adds 6: new ‘heavyweights’ boast oil and deep pockets, while others help ‘future-proof’ the bloc, analysts say, South China Morning Post, 24 August 2023, https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3232153/brics-admit-6-new-members

[2] Philip Pilkington: An expanding BRICS should worry the West, 24 August 2023, https://unherd.com/thepost/an-expanding-BRICS-should-worry-the-west/

[3] Para las cifras ver, p. BRICS: Joint Statistical Publication 2023; BRICS: Joint Statistical Publication 2022; UNCTAD: BRICS Investment Report, 2023; Marcus Lu: Visualizing the BRICS Expansion in 4 Charts, 24 August 2023 https://www.visualcapitalist.com/visualizing-the-brics-expansion-in-4-charts/; BRICS Accounts for Almost 45% of Global Oil Reserves After Expansion, 25 August 2023, https://www.rogtecmagazine.com/brics-accounts-for-almost-45-of-global-oil-reserves-after-expansion/; Countercurrents Collective: BRICS Will Change The Power Balance In The Global Energy Market, 28 August 2023, https://countercurrents.org/2023/08/brics-will-change-the-power-balance-in-the-global-energy-market/

[4] Nuestros trabajos más detallados sobre la teoría marxista del imperialismo son dos libros de Michael Pröbsting: Anti-imperialismo en la Era de la Rivalidad de las Grandes Potencias. Los factores detrás de la Rivalidad acelerada entre los E.U, China, Rusia, la U.E y Japón. Una crítica del análisis de la izquierda y una semblanza de la Perspectiva Marxista, RCIT Books, Viena, 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/home/espa%C3%B1ol/libro-anti-imperialismo-en-la-era-de-la-rivalidad-de-las-grandes-potencias/. The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, RCIT Books, 2013, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/great-robbery-of-the-south/

[5] Para un análisis de los países semicoloniales que tienen ciertas características peculiares, véase, por ejemplo, Michael Proebsting: Semi-Colonial Intermediate Powers and the Theory of Sub-Imperialism. A contribution to an ongoing debate amongst Marxists and a proposal to tackle a theoretical problem, 1 August 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/semi-colonial-intermediate-powers-and-the-theory-of-sub-imperialism/.

[6] UNCTAD: BRICS Investment Report, 2023, p. 5

[7] Para nuestro análisis del capitalismo en China y su transformación en una gran potencia, véase, por ejemplo, el libro de Michael Pröbsting: Anti-imperialismo en la Era de la Rivalidad de las Grandes Potencias. Los factores detrás de la Rivalidad acelerada entre los E.U, China, Rusia, la U.E y Japón. Una crítica del análisis de la izquierda y una semblanza de la Perspectiva Marxista, RCIT Books, Viena, 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/home/espa%C3%B1ol/libro-anti-imperialismo-en-la-era-de-la-rivalidad-de-las-grandes-potencias/; ver también del mismo autor: “Chinese Imperialism and the World Economy”, un ensayo publicado en la segunda edición de The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism (editado por Immanuel Ness y Zak Cope), Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2020, https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007%2F978-3-319-91206-6_179-1; China: una potencia imperialista… ¿o todavía no? ¡Una cuestión teórica con consecuencias muy prácticas! Continuando el Debate con Esteban Mercatante y el PTS/FT sobre el carácter de clase de China y sus consecuencias para la estrategia revolucionaria, 22 de enero de 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-imperialist-power-or-not-yet/#anker_1; China‘s transformation into an imperialist power. A study of the economic, political and military aspects of China as a Great Power (2012), in: Revolutionary Communism No. 4, http://www.thecommunists.net/publications/revcom-number-4; ¿Cómo es posible que algunos marxistas sigan dudando de que China se ha vuelto capitalista? (Una crítica del PTS/FT). Un análisis del carácter capitalista de las empresas estatales de China y sus consecuencias políticas, 18 de septiembre de 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/home/espa%C3%B1ol/pts-ft-y-imperialismo-chino-2/; Incapaces de ver el bosque por ver los árboles. El empirismo ecléctico y la falla del PTS/FT en reconocer el carácter imperialista de China, 13 de agosto de 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/home/espa%C3%B1ol/pts-ft-y-imperialismo-chino/; China’s Emergence as an Imperialist Power (Article in the US journal 'New Politics'), in: “New Politics”, Summer 2014 (Vol:XV-1, Whole #: 57). Vea muchos más documentos de la CCRI en una subpágina especial del sitio web de la CCRI: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/.

[8] La CCRI ha publicado numerosos documentos sobre el capitalismo en Rusia y su ascenso a potencia imperialista. Los más importantes son varios folletos de Michael Pröbsting: Las características peculiares del imperialismo ruso. Un estudio de los monopolios, la exportación de capital y la superexplotación de Rusia a la luz de la teoría marxista, 10 de agosto de 20201, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/the-peculiar-features-of-russian-imperialism/#anker_7; del mismo autor:  Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism and the Rise of Russia as a Great Power. On the Understanding and Misunderstanding of Today’s Inter-Imperialist Rivalry in the Light of Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism. Another Reply to Our Critics Who Deny Russia’s Imperialist Character, August 2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialism-theory-and-russia/; Russia as a Great Imperialist Power. The formation of Russian Monopoly Capital and its Empire – A Reply to our Critics, 18 March 2014 (this pamphlet contains a document written in 2001 in which we established for the first time our characterisation of Russia as imperialist), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialist-russia/; Véase también los siguientes ensayos del mismo autor: 'Empire-ism' vs a Marxist analysis of imperialism: Continuing the debate with Argentinian economist Claudio Katz on Great Power rivalry, Russian imperialism and the Ukraine War, 3 March 2023, https://links.org.au/empire-ism-vs-marxist-analysis-imperialism-continuing-debate-argentinian-economist-claudio-katz; Rusia: ¿Potencia imperialista o “imperio no hegemónico en gestación”? Una respuesta al economista argentino Claudio Katz, 20 de julio de 2022, https://periodistasunidos.com.mx/2022/10/rusia-potencia-imperialista-o-imperio-no-hegemonico-en-gestacion/; El imperialismo ruso y sus monopolios, 4 de septiembre de 2022, https://periodistasunidos.com.mx/2022/09/el-imperialismo-ruso-y-sus-monopolios/; Once Again on Russian Imperialism (Reply to Critics). A rebuttal of a theory which claims that Russia is not an imperialist state but would be rather “comparable to Brazil and Iran”, 30 March 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/once-again-on-russian-imperialism-reply-to-critics/. Consulte otros documentos de la CCRI sobre este tema en una subpágina especial del sitio web de la CCRI: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/

[9] SIPRI Yearbook 2023: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security, p. 248

[10] Pankaj Mishra: BRICS shows it's little more than a meaningless acronym. The group seeks to counter US influence but mostly practices cynical expediency, Bloomberg, 25 August, 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2023-08-25/brics-shows-it-s-little-more-than-a-meaningless-acronym

[11] Para una discusión detallada de la relación de fuerzas económica y militar entre las grandes potencias con numerosas cifras, véase, por ejemplo, capítulos V a VIII del libro antes mencionado de Michael Pröbsting: Antiimperialismo en la era de la rivalidad de las grandes potencias.

[12] XV BRICS Summit Johannesburg II Declaration: BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism; Sandton, Gauteng, South Africa, 23 August 2023, p. 3

[13]XV BRICS Summit Johannesburg II Declaration, p. 14

[14] Hemos analizado este tema, p.e. en Michael Pröbsting: Inter-imperialist rivalry and the specter of de-dollarization: On the decline of the US Dollar since the start of the Ukraine War, 12 May, 2023, https://links.org.au/inter-imperialist-rivalry-and-specter-de-dollarization-decline-us-dollar-start-ukraine-war

[15] La CCRI se ha ocupado en numerosas ocasiones de la rivalidad interimperialista de las grandes potencias. Véase, por ejemplo: Perspectivas mundiales 2021-22: Entrando en una situación global prerrevolucionaria, 22 de agosto de 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2021-22/#anker_1; vea también nuestro libro de Michael Pröbsting: Antiimperialismo en la era de la rivalidad de las grandes potencias. véanse también las siguientes obras del mismo autor: "Una pelea bastante buena". Encuentro EE.UU.-China en Alaska: Continúa la Guerra Fría Interimperialista, 23 de marzo de 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/home/espa%C3%B1ol/encuentro-ee-uu-china-en-alaska-continua-la-guerra-fr%C3%ADa-interimperialista/; Siervos de dos amos

El estalinismo y la nueva guerra fría entre las grandes potencias imperialistas de Oriente y Occidente, 10 de julio de 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/servants-of-two-masters-stalinism-and-new-cold-war/#anker_9; para más trabajos sobre este tema, consulte estas subpáginas: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/ y https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/collection-of-articles-on-the-global-trade-war/.

[16] Ver en esto, p. Michael Proebsting: “Orden Mundial Multipolar” = Multiimperialismo

Una crítica marxista a un concepto propugnado por Putin, Xi, el estalinismo y la “Internacional Progresista” (Lula, Sanders, Varoufakis), 24 de febrero de 2023, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/multi-polar-world-order-is-multi-imperialism/#anker_1;

[17] Remitimos a los lectores a una página especial en nuestro sitio web donde se compilan todos los documentos de la CCRI sobre la guerra de Ucrania y el actual conflicto OTAN-Rusia: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/compilation-of-documents-on-nato-russia-conflict/

[18] XV BRICS Summit Johannesburg II Declaration, p. 5 resp. 6

[19] Remitimos a los lectores a una página especial en nuestro sitio web donde se compilan todos los documentos de la CCRI sobre la revolución siria: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution

[20] Esteban Mercatante and Santiago Montag: The Expansion of BRICS Doesn’t Change the Capitalist Framework of the Alliance. Six new countries are set to become full members of the BRICS alliance. But the bloc’s challenge to the imperialist powers does not turn it into an ally of oppressed peoples, 25 August 2023, https://www.leftvoice.org/the-expansion-of-brics-doesnt-change-the-capitalist-framework-of-the-alliance/

[21] Para nuestro debate con el FT/PTS sobre el carácter imperialista de Rusia y China, véanse algunos trabajos en las dos notas a pie de página anteriores sobre documentos de la CCRI sobre estas dos grandes potencias.

[22] Para obtener una descripción general de nuestra historia de apoyo a las luchas antiimperialistas en las últimas cuatro décadas (con enlaces a documentos, fotografías y videos), consulte, por ejemplo. un ensayo de Michael Pröbsting: La lucha de los revolucionarios en el corazón imperialista contra las guerras de su “propia” clase dominante. Ejemplos de la historia de la CCRI y su organización predecesora en las últimas cuatro décadas, 2 de septiembre de 2022, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/the-struggle-of-revolutionaries-in-imperialist-heartlands-against-wars-of-their-own-ruling-class/#anker_1

[23] Ver en esto, p. Michael Proebsting: Tácticas marxistas en guerras de carácter contradictorio. La guerra de Ucrania y las amenazas de guerra en África occidental, Oriente Medio y Asia oriental muestran la necesidad de comprender el carácter dual de algunos conflictos, 23 de agosto de 2023, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/marxist-tactics-in-wars-with-contradictory-character/#anker_2

 

BRICS+: Uma aliança liderada pelo imperialismo

A expansão do BRICS reflete a ascensão do imperialismo chinês e russo à custa de seus rivais ocidentais

 

Por Michael Pröbsting, Corrente Comunista Revolucionária Internacional (CCRI/RCIT), 29 de agosto de 2023, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

A expansão do BRICS - acrônimo de Brasil, Rússia, Índia, China e África do Sul - com seis novos membros foi certamente a decisão mais importante da 15ª cúpula da aliança, realizada na África do Sul. Esses novos países - Argentina, Etiópia, Irã, Arábia Saudita, Egito e Emirados Árabes Unidos - se juntarão à aliança até 1º de janeiro de 2024.

 

Na verdade, a cúpula do BRICS em Johanesburgo foi um ponto de inflexão, não só por causa da decisão de ampliar o número de membros para 11 países, mas também pela atenção e atração sem precedentes que a aliança recebeu. Cerca de 65 chefes de Estado e líderes participaram da cúpula. [1] Mais de 40 países manifestaram interesse em se juntar ao BRICS e 23 solicitaram formalmente sua adesão ao bloco. Além disso, o banco do BRICS - o Novo Banco de Desenvolvimento, sediado em Xangai - deve aumentar seu número de membros. De acordo com sua diretora, a ex-presidente brasileira Dilma Rousseff, o banco estava considerando 15 novos países membros. [2]

 

Com seus novos membros adicionais, o peso global do BRICS - que agora é frequentemente chamado de BRICS+ - aumentará ainda mais. Com cerca de 3,6 bilhões de pessoas, sua participação na população mundial crescerá de 41,2% para 46,5%. Sua participação no PIB global deverá aumentar de 23% para cerca de 29-30% (em dólares americanos atuais), respectivamente, para 36-37% (em paridade de poder de compra). Da mesma forma, o BRICS responderá por 38,3% do total da produção industrial mundial - o principal setor de produção de valor capitalista. Além disso, a expansão aumentará sua participação nas exportações globais (comércio de mercadorias) de 20,2% para 25,1%.

 

Também é digno de nota que a posição do BRICS em vários setores econômicos importantes está aumentando substancialmente. Por exemplo, sua participação na produção de petróleo crescerá de 20,4% para 43-44%. Da mesma forma, o BRICS+ responde por quase metade da produção mundial de alimentos (em 2021, 49% do trigo e 55% do arroz). Da mesma forma, os 11 países do BRICS controlam áreas cruciais da produção mundial de metais necessários para altas tecnologias (por exemplo, 79% da produção de alumínio e 77% da produção de paládio). [3]

 

Tudo isso torna o BRICS+ substancialmente maior do que a aliança ocidental do G7 (EUA, Alemanha, França, Reino Unido, Japão, Canadá e Itália) não apenas em termos de população, mas também em termos de peso econômico. O G7 tem uma participação combinada de 29,9% do PIB global (em PPP) e 30,5% da produção industrial mundial.

 

 

 

Qual é o caráter de classe do BRICS+?

 

 

 

Para os marxistas, o ponto de partida de uma avaliação política do BRICS+ deve ser uma análise de seu caráter de classe. Obviamente, todos os Estados membros são capitalistas, pois atualmente todos os países do planeta são capitalistas. No entanto, é necessário determinar se esses países pertencem àqueles que dominam a política e a economia mundiais ou não, ou seja, se são Estados imperialistas ou semicoloniais. [4]

 

A maioria dos 11 membros do BRICS+ não são Estados imperialistas, mas sim semicolônias. É claro que há diferenças importantes entre essas semicolônias. Algumas delas são países industrializados avançados (como Brasil, Argentina, África do Sul, Irã e Egito), outras têm características peculiares como Estados ricos em petróleo e gás (Arábia Saudita e Emirados Árabes Unidos) ou como potência regional (Índia) e, no caso da Etiópia, temos uma semicolônia pobre. [5]

 

Entretanto, o caráter de uma instituição política ou econômica não é determinado pela maioria de seus estados-membros, mas sim por aqueles que a dominam. A propósito, é por isso que as Nações Unidas são uma instituição dominada pelo imperialismo, apesar do fato de que os cinco estados imperialistas com poder de veto constituem apenas uma pequena minoria entre seus 193 estados-membros. Ou, para dar outro exemplo, é por isso que a aliança militar eurasiana CSTO tem caráter imperialista, apesar de a Rússia ser o único Estado imperialista entre seus seis membros.

 

No caso do BRICS, são a China e a Rússia que pertencem ao pequeno círculo das principais grandes potências imperialistas. Ambos são atores políticos globais que são membros permanentes do Conselho de Segurança da ONU com poder de veto. A China se tornou o mais importante desafiante dos EUA – a potência imperialista hegemônica há muito tempo. A China é a principal potência econômica do BRICS e foi responsável por mais de 70% do PIB combinado das alianças em 2021. [6] Embora essa participação agora diminua para 63,4% devido à expansão do bloco, ela continua sendo, de longe, a força dominante. [7]

 

A Rússia é outro ator político e econômico importante dentro da aliança do BRICS, embora seja mais fraca do que a China. [8] No entanto, é uma das principais potências militares, com um estoque de 5.889 ogivas nucleares - ainda maior que o dos EUA [9]

 

Foram essas duas grandes potências que imprimiram sua marca na aliança do BRICS. É revelador o fato de que a expansão do bloco de 5 para 11 países membros foi iniciada por Pequim e Moscou, que pressionaram fortemente por isso, enquanto os governos dos outros três países se mostraram bastante relutantes. No entanto, Xi e Putin estão determinados a expandir o BRICS como uma aliança política, pois precisam de um contrapeso eficaz aos blocos dominados pelo Ocidente, como o G7.

 

Em resumo, podemos dizer que, embora o BRICS seja composto principalmente por países semicoloniais do Sul Global, ele é dominado por duas grandes potências imperialistas - China e Rússia. Portanto, trata-se de uma aliança liderada pelo imperialismo.

 

 

 

"Um acrônimo sem sentido"?

 

 

 

Enquanto alguns observadores ocidentais inteligentes estão preocupados com a expansão do BRICS, muitos outros minimizam a importância do bloco. A Bloomberg, uma importante agência de notícias do capital monopolista americano, publicou um comentário bobo intitulado "O BRICS mostra que é pouco mais do que um acrônimo sem sentido". Ela afirma que os "feitos e as falas" dos líderes das alianças na cúpula de Joanesburgo "variaram de uma meia-farsa ao sem sentido". [10] Essas declarações refletem a complacência arrogante das potências ocidentais, que são incapazes de reconhecer sua própria crise e declínio. Essa abordagem iludida lembra a tola mentalidade "Herrenmenschen" dos nazistas alemães, que se recusaram a reconhecer, mesmo em 1944, que os "Untermenschen" eslavos estavam prestes a derrotá-los.

 

É claro que é verdade que o BRICS ainda está em um processo de formação para se tornar um bloco político totalmente funcional - em contraste com uma aliança estabelecida como o G7. Também é correto apontar várias contradições internas dentro da aliança do BRICS. Alguns dos países-membros ainda têm relações mais ou menos fortes com o imperialismo dos EUA e não estão fortemente comprometidos em ficar do lado da China e da Rússia contra seus rivais ocidentais. Além disso, existem tensões de longa data entre a China e a Índia que, ocasionalmente, resultam em confrontos nas fronteiras.

 

Embora tudo isso seja verdade, não se deve ignorar as tendências fundamentais por trás da expansão do BRICS. Como analisamos repetidamente em nossos trabalhos, os antigos Estados imperialistas do Ocidente estão em um processo de declínio a longo prazo, uma vez que a produção de valor capitalista está se deslocando cada vez mais para outros lugares (principalmente para a China). Como resultado, a maior parte da produção industrial e das exportações de mercadorias do mundo não ocorre mais nos países ocidentais. Além disso, os EUA já foram ultrapassados (ou quase) pela China quando se trata de indicadores-chave, como o número de corporações líderes globais ou de bilionários. [11]

 

Além disso, não se pode esquecer que a aliança ocidental do G7 também tem se caracterizado repetidamente por várias contradições. Pense na luta pelo poder econômico entre os EUA e o Japão na década de 1980; pense nas ameaças de Trump contra os "aliados" da Europa Ocidental em 2017-20; ou na sabotagem de Washington aos gasodutos Nord Stream em 2022.

 

Claro, atualmente o G7 está relativamente unido em sua política de sanções contra a Rússia (e, em menor grau, em sua oposição à China). Mas, em primeiro lugar, isso pode mudar facilmente com as próximas eleições presidenciais nos EUA, em novembro de 2024, se Trump entrar na Casa Branca novamente. Em segundo lugar, a unidade relativa dos Estados do G7 baseia-se em seus interesses compartilhados de impedir a ascensão das novas potências imperialistas do Oriente.

 

No entanto, os mesmos interesses opostos unem os membros do BRICS, bem como aqueles que desejam fazer parte dessa aliança: eles estão determinados a romper a hegemonia d