Jun 262022

Edward Hopper Excursion into Philosophy 1959



It was Jim O’Neill, Goldman’s chief economist at the time, who coined the term BRICS in 2001 for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Little did he know. He was talking about emerging economies. 13 years later, they no longer are. They are good for about 40% of the world population, and some 25% of global GDP. The world has not stood still since 2009, and it’s moving faster now.

Ironically, the BRICS countries never looked to be as prominent economically as they are today, they were happy to build up one step at a time. But then NATO decided to move east at a pace that Russia found intolerable, and now the BRICS have taken on a whole new meaning. 25% of global GDP may not seem that much, but the 5 countries hold a much bigger share of -essential- global resources and/or raw materials than that, and China moreover delivers an outsize part of finished products.

And we now know that they won’t be BRICS for much longer. Many countries choose to be affiliated, in one form or another, with the BRICS rather than the “west”. They see that Russia is winning in Ukraine, and they see the damage the sanctions do. It’s just practical considerations. Saudi Arabia and Argentina are interested in joining BRICS. So are Uruguay, Iran, Egypt, Thailand, and a number of post-Soviet States. They see where the real economic power resides.

It’s amusing to see that for this week’s G7 in Germany, the host country has “invited the leaders of India, Indonesia, Senegal, Argentina and South Africa to the summit..” They will not join the G7 instead of the BRICS. Why would they? The world is moving away from unipolar US/NATO power. And as Russia and China have repeatedly said, this move is irreversible. It’s all because of what happens in Ukraine. The west is losing militarily AND economically. Look at where the ruble is. We were “promised” it would dissolve, but it did the opposite.

The US became the no. 1 world power because it had the oil. Now, it has some left, but it has to use energy-intensive processes to produce it. Russia does not. Nor does Saudi Arabia, which therefore has no reason to stick to the petro-dollar system. They’re better off with the BRICS, which moreover plan to introduce a resource-based basket of currencies, which could benefit the Saudis greatly. The world is being rearranged rapidly, a process mightily accelerated by Russia’s special operation in Ukraine.

And NATO can’t even keep up militarily. From Scott Ritter today: “Ukraine is requesting 1,000 artillery pieces and 300 multiple-launch rocket systems, more than the entire active-duty inventory of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps combined. Ukraine is also requesting 500 main battle tanks — more than the combined inventories of Germany and the United Kingdom“. Another headline: “Czech Republic Has Exhausted Its Arms Reserves Supporting Ukraine, PM Reveals”.

Perhaps even more telling is that last week, Ukraine’s President Zelensky addressed the African Union in a virtual session, and only 4 out of 54 invited African Heads of State attended (plus some lower ranked folks). They don’t care about what they see as a European conflict, they don’t believe it’s all Putin’s fault (because: sanctions!), and they won’t commit to a potentially losing side. They have bigger fish to fry at home. Look for many to become a BRICS member.


Africa Is A Hostage Of Russia’s War On Ukraine, Zelensky Says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called Africa “a hostage” of Russia’s war during an address to the African Union (AU) on Monday. Russia’s invasion, and its blockade of Ukraine’s grain exports, have sparked grain and fertiliser shortages and put millions of people at risk of hunger. The chair of the AU commission said there was an “urgent need for dialogue” to restore global stability. Western countries have urged Russia to release Ukraine’s vast grain stores.

The blockade has sent food prices soaring. “Africa is actually a hostage… of those who unleashed war against our state”, Mr Zelensky said in his speech. He said his government was engaged in “complex negotiations” to unblock grain reserves trapped in Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. “This war may seem very distant to you and your countries,” he told the AU. “But the food prices that are catastrophically rising have already brought [the war] to the homes of millions of African families.”

I think it’s priceless that the BRICS countries took O’Neill’s term and ran with it. In 2016 the BBC said: “Brics ‘grew more than I thought’, says Jim O’Neill”. And so last week we had the 14th BRICS Summit. They are now -arguably- more powerful than the G7, they indeed ‘grew more than I thought’. Unlike in our present -post-WWII- economic system, there is not ONE leader, it’s multipolar. The best of everyone, for everyone. That sounds very idealistic, obviously, and at some point China may try to control it all, like the US does today, but right now that is not the case.


Putin Suggests Way Out Of Global Economic Crisis

The West’s selfish attempts to blame the entire world for its own mistakes have led to the global economic crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted on Thursday, appearing via video link at the 14th BRICS Summit. “Only on the basis of honest and mutually beneficial cooperation is it possible to find a way out of this crisis situation that has gripped the global economy due to the thoughtless and selfish actions of certain states,” Putin explained.

The Russian leader stressed that today, as never before, the leadership of the BRICS countries is needed in order to develop a unifying policy for the shaping of a truly multipolar system of intergovernmental relations, and that it ought to be based on the universally recognized norms of international law and the key principles of the UN Charter. According to Putin, the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have a truly enormous political, economic, scientific, technological and human potential.

Their influence on the global arena is increasing with every year, he pointed out. “Russia is ready to continue developing close multifaceted interaction with all the [BRICS] partners and contribute to the enhancement of its role in international affairs,” Putin promised.

As I wrote earlier: “The west is not the future. That time is behind us. And many countries recognize this.”


China Promotes ‘Non-Western Multilateralism’ at BRICS Summit

China hosted the first day of the fourteenth annual BRICS Summit—a series of meetings involving the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—on Wednesday, amid a series of major shifts in the global world order and rising geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe and East Asia. Chinese president Xi Jinping opened the summit on Wednesday, emphasizing the five nations’ “shared desire to meet challenges together through cooperation,” according to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency. The Chinese leader also urged the countries in attendance to “embrace solidarity and coordination and jointly maintain world peace and stability.”

The BRICS group comprises the five largest developing economies; together, its members constitute forty percent of the world’s population and one-fourth of global gross domestic product. The group includes the two most populous nations in the world, China and India, as well as Russia, the largest in terms of land. Chinese state media has praised the role of the five-nation grouping, claiming that ties between the BRICS countries had increased “multilateral cooperation with non-Western styles, forms, and principles [of government”—marking a positive contrast to the actions of the United States, which it accused of “pulling its Western allies to ‘rebel’ against globalization.”

Despite considerable internal differences within the bloc, including a decades-old rivalry between China and India, all of the BRICS countries have resisted full political alignment with the West. Of the five BRICS nations, only one, Brazil, voted in the United Nations General Assembly to condemn Russia for invading Ukraine in February; Russia voted against the measure, while the other three countries abstained. Even Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro refused to personally condemn Putin, whom the West has widely framed as the driving force behind the Russian invasion. In his remarks on Wednesday, Xi appeared to criticize the United States and NATO, describing the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a “wake-up call for all in the world.”


From Bradley Blankenship, American journalist, columnist and political commentator, published at RT.

BRICS Members Represent The Best Hope For A Fairer World Order

The 14th BRICS Summit in Beijing is just wrapping up amid a turbulent international geopolitical landscape, which highlights the importance of the organization in general. Given the combined challenges of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, global conflict, a looming economic crash and climate change – the current international system is failing and a new, multi-polar alternative must take its place. It’s worth noting the context of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) format. Started in 2009 amid a financial crisis, the main goal of that year’s first BRICS (or BRIC as it was then) summit in Yekaterinburg was to improve the global economic situation and reform financial institutions.

Although these countries are not joined by any particular ideology, each saw the need to democratize the global economic system that had been crashed pretty much single-handedly by the United States in an extraordinarily irresponsible – even illegal by US law, in some instances – manner. The head of China’s Central Bank bluntly called for abandoning the dollar as the global reserve currency in 2009 because of a lack of faith in US monetary leadership. That was 13 years ago, yet the necessity of a new reserve currency could not be more relevant these days. In fact, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on June 22 just ahead of the latest BRICS summit that the group was indeed developing its own reserve currency based on a basket of their currencies. With this, Putin said the group is hoping to develop alternatives to the existing international payment scheme.

While this could be seen as provocative in the West, it is actually for the betterment of mankind and is not aimed strictly at one country or one coalition of countries. To note, India pushed back against any “anti-US” rhetoric in the group’s joint statement, being a country that is considered part of the Global South, e.g., a developing country, and also has strong relations with the West. Yet, at the same time, it’s clear that all BRICS states, including India, would benefit from a democratized global economic and financial system. That is why New Delhi has not joined Western-led sanctions against Russia over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, because doing so does not serve India’s economic interests – and it would also establish a bad precedent where countries could essentially be excluded from the international community over political disagreements.

Indeed, BRICS and its members have gone a long way to pursue zero-strings-attached development cooperation. China alone had already replaced the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank as the world’s largest net creditor at the beginning of the last decade, expanding investments in tangible assets across the Global South (and beyond) through the Belt and Road Initiative. But in a direct challenge to these two previously mentioned US-led institutions, which have morphed into weapons of economic coercion, BRICS established the New Development Bank in 2014.

[..] At a minimum, BRICS has a serious role in balancing out the malignant influence of the US, NATO and the prevailing Western-led world system. Finance and economics are no small part of this, and BRICS’ drive to establish alternatives to the dollar-based Bretton Woods system, providing credit to the Global South without political conditions and establishing a new reserve currency, is an extraordinary push toward a multi-polar future.

The question is of course how the reigning order will react to losing its power. Will they drop nukes? If they do, it would every likely be suicidal. But some people are very particular about control, and about losing it. Thing is, it’s already lost, they just don’t realize it yet.

While you were watching the abortion debate, and Zelensky’s heroics, the entire world order has changed. How about that?




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Home Forums The Entire World Order Has Changed

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    Edward Hopper Excursion into Philosophy 1959     It was Jim O’Neill, Goldman’s chief economist at the time, who coined the term BRICS in 200
    [See the full post at: The Entire World Order Has Changed]


    On theme, Re. France, one ex.

    ‘Sky’ (nickname) on Thinkerview interviews August Cole (US author, futurist, ex….)

    Thinkerview goes ‘in depth’ and Sky often asks very tough questions.

    Title: Does Science Fiction predict War?

    The questions are in French. Cole answers in Eng. — 2 h 10 min.

    (T-V has no time limits, up to 3 hours.)

    Cole shows he believes in the 9/11 myth and swears Russia Bad and Putin is some kind of Mad Vampire. He lets slip that in his humble opinion Snowden must have been part of a Putinesque Intelligence Op.

    Sky is clearly dismayed and surprised at the lack of imagination (Science Fiction is Cool, Right?) and the pure Amerikana PTB posturing. Sky tampers his irritation / agression (which most ppl do handle OK..), finally coming down to asking him, what are the most important issues today, for the US, for China, for Europe? To ‘META’ the whole thing …

    The answers are pretty dull and superficial, from one pov only, but I guess they represent a certain branch of ‘clued-in’ Americans so it was interesting to me. I don’t reco. it for the content, only as indicative of what is going on world-wide.

    The French have always enthusiastically admired the creativity of US ‘fantasy’ and ‘SF’ and — other creative – > novels, music specially, movies’ — so this was a huge come-down for the audience. (Comments are usually plentiful there but for this int. they were closed.)

    US ‘creators’ can’t even step up with some interesting, fascinating, stuff, be it on spot or off the charts… the pressure to conform is that strong…


    In the end, Neoliberalism was nothing more than a modern, re-packaged ‘manifest destiny’.

    Neo-liberlism has run out of rope and run out of time. Hopefully they don’t take us all down.



    Alina Lipp (journalist, say) is being prosecuted by the German Gvmt. for the crime (it is a criminal offense, up to 3 years prison) of ‘supporting the Special Operation by Russia in Ukraine’ while imho she only gave info… vid

    2 min 47 sec. Eng. https://youtu.be/J8Dsd1HiuE0


    The German gov’t is not the only one persecuting its citizens for providing information.

    The now gloriously-defunct neolib Australian federal gov’t started a neo-Stalinist, secret show trial of a man AND his lawyer who revealed that the feds bugged the embassy of Timor Leste to gain an advantage during sea boundary negotiations. Oil or gas is in the disputed territory.

    The worry is that the new Labor gov’t, a thus-far much kinder and gentler regime, isn’t moving to stop the farce.

    So disappointing. One faction of the empire fighting another?

    Three state governments in Australia have passed laws criminalising dissent by anyone who protests against biosphere-destroying “development.” The neolibs and endless-growth fantacists are getting truly desperate.


    G7 have agreed not to trade their worthless dollars for Russia gold.
    That is going to hurt those people who cannot buy from China or India


    Support the gay community to reduce child births and to reduce abortions.


    First post (long time lurker from the days of TOD). I’m in Australia but have relatives in Egypt (via wife). I follow the news from Egypt closely and Egypt is remaining neutral to the conflict and keeps relations with both Russia and Ukraine. They need to as those 2 countries are the main suppliers of wheat and oilseeds as well as the main 2 markets for Red Sea tourists.
    Egypt was a prominent guest at the recent St Petersburg forum and the Egyptian president spoke highly of Putin. Let’s just say Egypt is furious at the crap that the US stirred up in the Ukraine.
    Now Egypt is about to boost its Russian tourist numbers by allowing the Russian payment system MIR as they can’t use Visa and Mastercard. Seems like every sanction is boosting the swing away from the US control.
    Now the jackasses think that stopping Russia selling gold through London and NY will cripple Russia. Gee, some of my relatives in Egypt own gold shops, I’m sure they (and the Middle East gold souks) will take any gold that the Chinese and Indians don’t want. If anything Russia has a problem with a rising Rouble so selling less gold (and using it to back their reserves) won’t be a problem.
    The less gas and oil the west let’s Russia sell just means they get a higher price for the tight supply. Seems like Europeans like scoring own goals and want to freeze this winter. Has Lithuania thought through their blockading that Russian enclave? They say they will get power from Poland instead of Russia but where does Poland get its power from? Come winter as blackouts occur Im not too confident that EU solidarity will hold as each country keeps its limited supplies for itself.
    Sounds good except this all plays into the hands of China and as bad as having US and EU controlling the world is being a vassal of the CCP will be worse. So will being part of the BRICS moderate China or will they dominate it?


    Loss of reserve currency status is the only chance America has to de-fang the military industrial complex.

    How I would love to see a candidate come out promising:
    1. To dissolve NATO
    2. To abolish the Espionage Act
    3. To abolish the Patriot Act
    4. To conduct target practice on the NSA facility in Utah that stores all of our data
    5. To close 90% of the US bases overseas
    6. To give amnesty to Assange and Snowden
    7. To collapse our two dozen intelligence agencies into a single agency, and to cut the budget 90%

    But as that’s never going to happen unless and until the loss of reserve status, I will instead pray for loss of reserve status first. Which will be a great thing for the average person in the US, and for the average person in any other country, but a terrible nightmare for the 1% elite.

    D Benton Smith

    The continuing saga of the Great Western Empire of Befuddled Thinking vs Russia reads like the Uncle Remus Stories. Ukraine is the Tar Baby and Western sanctions (like banning the import of Russian oil/gas/gold ) are the Briar Patch.

    Br’er Putin , well, he be hollerin’ “Oh , please PLEASE don’t throw me into the Sanctions Patch!”


    @Boogaloo, much as I support and admire your wish list I can’t see it happening without a great deal of pain (both for the US and the world) as we go from here to there. How will the average bottom feeder in the US react when their EBT and other welfare is cut off? Or the retiree finding his pension or 401 or bank account frozen? Sure eventually things will sort themselves out once all the 30 trillion federal debt plus all the local and corporate and private debt is adjusted for. Because loss of reserve status means nobody will want to hold that debt and everybody will be demanding to get what’s owing them.
    And worldwide what happens when China finds its western investments are worthless, it’s western (and world) markets are super depressed and a billion Chines demand that their government do something (war, Taiwan, Japan, India).
    So how does the world peacefully and with modest economic pain get to the end of US domination? Certainly not possible with the “statesmen” currently running western governments

    V. Arnold

    The question is of course how the reigning order will react to losing its power. Will they drop nukes? If they do, it would every likely be suicidal. But some people are very particular about control, and about losing it. Thing is, it’s already lost, they just don’t realize it yet.

    While you were watching the abortion debate, and Zelensky’s heroics, the entire world order has changed. How about that?

    Great post today Ilargi. You covered all the bases; at least the ones I deem to be internationally important…
    It remains to be seen how the U.S. responds…hopefully without nukes…

    D Benton Smith

    The thing about Germany is that it’s perfectly alright to BE a Nazi, ya just can’t say the verboten word out loud or do anything to obstruct their ubermenschen world domination thing.

    Veracious Poet

    Dr D Rich

    Scott Ritter beware Marine Intel…

    Scott, marine intel, knows U.S. military forces should always be supported by the full, complete, entire U.S. arsenal no matter who, in this case the Proxy Requestor Zelensky, makes the request. World War THREE should be fought in such a manner, all hands on deck, GQ- general quarters so to speak. Hyperwar has been U.S. battlefield policy since Colon Powell and Norm de Schwarzkop executed Desert Storm, Ritter knows.

    Yet, our host quotes Scott marine intel as follows:
    “”” From Scott Ritter today: “Ukraine is requesting 1,000 artillery pieces and 300 multiple-launch rocket systems, more than the entire active-duty inventory of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps combined. Ukraine is also requesting 500 main battle tanks — more than the combined inventories of Germany and the United Kingdom“””

    Only to see Scott Ritter marine intel have it explained to him by a paper of record or to paraphrase it “we’re at war with Russia and Zelensky The Proxy Requestor of Weapons isn’t fooling the NYT as to the recipient of those weapons.”

    “””Yesterday, as Joe Biden was en route to the G7 summit in the Bavarian Alps, the New York Times published an article saying the CIA and Pentagon special forces are organizing and conducting the NATO war effort from a secret operation center in Kyiv.”””


    @Neal The good thing about collapse is that it will put an end to Triffin’s Dilemma. At least then then we can start to rebuild. But yes, we risk deepening overty, civil unrest and nuclear annihilation on the way from here to there.

    By the way, I forgot to comment on today’s provocative art piece. What a great title!

    Dr. D

    “For the first time we came across white people who treated us as equal beings.”

    Ouch. Way to go, Sweden.

    “Russia’s invasion, and its blockade of Ukraine’s grain”

    Wars are disruptive, but we will never know how blockading they will be because the reason there’s not grain is UKRAINE mined the whole Black Sea. Accidentally, but still. Russia IS shipping grain, but obviously there are a lot of obstacles. If they’re shipping and increasing, it’s not a blockade, it’s a lie. But it’s BBC, so I repeat myself.

    “Western countries have urged Russia to release Ukraine’s vast grain stores.”

    By cutting off all shipping insurance and telling them to plow through mine-invested waters. Sounds like your “Blockade” is run out of Llyods of London.

    “The [NOT] blockade has sent food prices soaring.”

    That’s funny, since Russia is still shipping to Africa and Ukraine is not. Explain, Mr. Ze?

    Yes, being in the U.S. and having read Asimov-class SF, I can state that imagination is gone right now. Another thread commented on US War thrillers like “2030”, like Clancy, are supposed to describe/admit what is real and what actual tactics we have. They say two things: all our tech will fail like garbage. But second, the U.S. will merely fall back to old, i.e. WWII tactics and win which is industrially ludicrous. To say nothing of manpower, which we neither have, nor is anyone in shape enough to carry a pencil box across Ft Dix without getting out of breath. That is, a great example of total lack of imagination on the battlefield, and total lack of reality in describing ourselves.

    You see this in all things American. Meme-Berries, 100% nostalgia channel, all the time. Old comic book characters. Star Wars. That 70s Show. Supernatural boys driving around in muscle cars into small wooded towns like it’s 1980. Retro swing, Retro rock. Charlies’ Angels. Once Upon a Time in LA, promoting, selling “Friends”, “Seinfeld”. Anything but what America actually IS. Because you’d probably lose your mind and kill yourself for despair, country, city, and suburb, The Geography of Nowhere. The reason to take drugs is to blot that out in denial and survive another hour here, and we’re probably the most drug-addled state on planet earth, the “Pharmacopia” of Revelations.

    “Like: Everyone?” “Yes, everyone” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OG6HZMMDEYA What is it, like 2/3s of Americans are on anti-depressants? The rest don’t have health care, so they buy direct off the street. And you wonder why we think we’re awesome and unbeatable: the U.S. is just on the equivalent of constant Cocaine. We’re high as a kite, every minute for 40 years. And wonder why we can’t think straight and think we can win a war with no tanks and no men? GET OFF THE SAUCE.

    We can and will accomplish that checklist because we must. That’s because the currency will fail because mathematically it must. Good luck, suckers, although they’ve been doing pretty well milking it so far.

    John Day

    I enjoyed reading all of this first thing this morning, but left no comment to that effect.
    It’s good to see that othrs see this change in the global economic format taking place, OUT of financial colonialism.

    It should have a pretty good 15 years in there somewhere after things go very bad, and before they go bad again, because cheap fuel and good ores are still running out.
    A commodity-based currency is a resource0based currency, isn’t it?
    Maybe the BRICS+++ will hammer out a new financial paradigm wherein money and reality inherently have more in common, some kind of reality-anchor, like beans, rice and corn…

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