Russia vs. Reality: Round #427

If I had 10 rubles for every time a Russian politician, publication, or pro-Kremlin political analyst crowed triumphantly about BRICS, I’d have a pretty nice amount of money. It wouldn’t be nearly as much as I’d have prior to last year’s ruble flop, but I could definitely afford a new gaming laptop at the least. The fundamental problem with Russia’s understanding of BRICS is that they think it is some kind of alliance, aimed at creating a “multipolar world” in opposition to the United States and the European Union. Hardly a day goes by on the Russian social networks that you don’t see some cartoon or meme suggesting that Russia’s part of a global team of America-haters who will soon turn the tables on Uncle Sam. The poor things. They won’t know until it’s too late.

Here in the real world, the very concept of BRICS is highly flawed. It wasn’t anything even remotely like an alliance in the beginning (nor is it now). It was simply a term to describe emerging markets with rapid growth and which were attracting a lot of foreign investment. And again, based on that criteria, Russia is out. Therefore it is BICS.

None of this keeps the Russian press from charging ahead with their fantasy that BRICS is a reality that is here to stay. In Ufa, BRICS leaders are getting together to finalize the creation of their own development bank to rival the World Bank and IMF. This might sound like a great idea, but Russia, being increasingly isolated from the West, has more of a stake in this than its “allies.”

This article highlights this and other problems with the whole BRICS concept, and note that the author pays special attention to Russia’s misconceptions about BRICS. I’m no expert, but I’m not sure that the leaders of the other nations, particularly India, Brazil, and South Africa, have any illusions as to BRICS being some kind of anti-US, anti-NATO alliance.

And while we’re on the topic of shattering Kremlin dreams, here’s an interesting article on the topic of Russia’s energy level, i.e. its purported ability to lean on other countries thanks to its control of oil and gas. As we all know, that oil advantage is gone, pissed away by Putin and his pals. Gas is not far behind. One can speculate as to the time frame, but Dear Leader Putin is clearly driving Russia back to the 90’s, and this time it won’t be rescued by high oil prices.


8 thoughts on “Russia vs. Reality: Round #427

    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      I guarantee you they don’t give a fuck about South Africa beyond it being the “S” in BRICS. This is one of the most racist countries in the world, particularly because it doesn’t have any logical reason to be racist. I mean if you look at the United States with its legacy of slavery and white supremacy, at the very least the presence of anti-black racism, as odious as it is, is comprehensible as the left-over of the white supremacist legacy(which really continues to this day in other forms). In Russia the anti-black racism is simply insane- not only did they not have enslaved Africans and Jim Crow, but they had barely any black people and an officially anti-racist, anti-colonial regime for decades. But then that collapses and suddenly it’s: “Hitler’s a pretty cool guy except he attacked us.”


      To be fair, I actually wrote an article about how some of this Eastern European racism is fueled by American portrayals of black America in pop culture. We export this stereotype-laden shit with zero context and act surprised when it leads to negative attitudes towards black Americans. HURP!

      1. gbd_crwx

        Unfortunately, I think racism is does not need a sizeable minority population to flourish.

      2. Paul Canning (@pauloCanning)

        Also, one of the things I recall from communist propaganda was the anti-racism! So that’s trashing your USSR ‘heritage’ right there. I would guess that there are now black African students in Russia because of that legacy. Poor them.

        Mind you that is forgetting the fate of US communists, back and white, who actually made the trip …

        And one of the items I recall from RT when it actually used to cover Russia was about a black farmer somewhere out there. Great story. His neighbours all loved him. That was the old RT though.

        Can you point me at this post of yours on, I assume, rap? I may have comment. My Bulgarian friends love rap and repeating (moronically, endlessly) the lines about hos and lapdances. For them I think it is about being transgressive, but I can guess your point.

        Your line about Russia being the most racist country made me giggle because I just did a post about one of Britain’s most well known leftie comedians, who has, of course, been on RT, claiming that title should go to … Australia. Made my effing blood boil

        For more on SA check the Zambian vice president. For Zuma see the cartoonist Zapiro.

  1. Strykr9

    I noticed how the media of the other BRICS countries contrasted with Russian media when it came to the Ufa conference. Even in the CCP-sanctioned Chinese media and the incredibly sensationalist India media, BRICS is simply being treated as another Free Trade Agreement or a measure to increase global trade. I doubt most educated Indians or Chinese consider this to be an anti-Western alliance.

      1. Strykr9

        Eh not really. The roughly more than half of Chinese and Indian citizens see America positively according to a PEW poll and those that don’t mostly ascribe to a “neutral” view of the US. There is this latent feeling among China and India that the West doesn’t pay enough attention to the needs of developing countries and that was the true reason that BRICS was born. This feeling is starting to fade as both Asian countries become more developed though.

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