Saturday, April 7, 2012

So far from Bandung, hunting their "place in the sun"

My notes on this informative article appear below it in the form of 'notes'.

BRICS summit opposes intervention in Syria, Iran
By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire

New Delhi, India, was the venue for the fourth BRICS Summit, which convened on March 29. BRICS stands for Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa, which together house 43 percent of the world's population and are playing a greater role within a world economic system still dominated by the capitalist mode of production and social relations.

The Republic of South Africa was incorporated into the organization in 2010, the only African state among the group. Brazil is the only country from Latin America.[a]

One of the key points of departure for the BRICS Summit was its disagreement with the United States and NATO over the resolution of the current situation in Syria. [*[b]] The New Delhi gathering categorically opposed Western military intervention in Syria and issued statements related to the ongoing threats against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The New Delhi Declaration said: "We express our deep concern at the current situation in Syria and call for an immediate end to all violence and violation of human rights in that country. Global interests would best be served by dealing with the crisis through peaceful means that encourage broad national dialogues that reflect the legitimate aspirations of all sections of Syrian society and respect Syrian independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty." (Delhi Declaration, March 29)

In Section 22 of the declaration, the BRICS Summit took up the current threats being made by the U.S. and other Western states toward Iran. It said: "The situation concerning Iran cannot be allowed to escalate into conflict, the disastrous consequences of which will be in no one's interest. Iran has a crucial role to play for the peaceful development and prosperity of a region of high political and economic relevance."

BRICS further stressed, "We recognize Iran's right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy consistent with its international obligations, and support resolution of the issues involved through political and diplomatic means and dialogue between the parties concerned, including between the IAEA and Iran and in accordance with the provisions of the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions."

This declaration contrasts with the proceedings of the so-called "Friends of Syria" meeting in Istanbul on March 31-April 1, when the U.S. and other imperialist countries escalated their threats against Syria and openly admitted they would supply military assistance to Syrian opposition groups that are fighting the government in Damascus.

Character of the BRICS states

The BRICS states are playing a greater role in the areas of manufacturing and world trade. All of them, with the exception of the People's Republic of China, are thoroughly capitalist.

Brazil, the only Latin American BRICS country, has a government led by the Workers Party,[c] but its economy is heavily dominated by private capital. India has made tremendous strides in industrial and technological development over the last three decades but remains a capitalist society with great extremes of wealth and poverty.
South Africa, which made a historical contribution to the global struggle against racism when the masses overthrew the apartheid system in 1994, has remained integrated into the world capitalist system. Nonetheless, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) maintains strong links with the masses organized within the trade union movement and strong civil society and youth organizations.

Although capitalism has been restored in Russia, there remain serious contradictions between Moscow and the U.S. as well as the imperialist states in Europe.[d] Russia opposed the war against Libya that began in March of 2011, although it did not use its veto to stop the U.N. Security Council resolution used by the imperialists to attack Libya. Since the disastrous conquest of Libya by the U.S. and NATO, Russia has vetoed similar efforts to provide a pseudo legal rationale for war against Syria and Iran.

Economic agreements of the BRICS summit

The BRICS states have laid out ambitious plans to coordinate economic development strategies that are designed to lessen dependence upon the imperialist states. There are efforts underway to facilitate trade outside the dollar and the euro.

Section five of the New Delhi Declaration points out that "while the BRICS recovered relatively quickly from the global crisis, the growth prospects worldwide have again got dampened by market instability, especially in the eurozone."

The Summit placed the blame for the ongoing economic crisis on the Western industrialized states. [e]
Within the capitalist states themselves, the workers and youth are becoming more class conscious and active. The general strikes in Greece, Portugal and Spain, along with mass demonstrations and rebellions in Britain and France, illustrate that the crisis is not subsiding. [f]

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My notes:

[a] Both Brazil and South Africa are part of this pro-capitalist organization because they are the only ones who have carried-out to completing the brutal neo-liberal turn in their economies.

[b] BRICS coming into conflict with US/Nato must be understood as part of a larger process of inter-capitalist competition and inter-state rivalries: between those like the US and its Nato allies who have a "place in the sun" and the BRICS states who want, and feel they deserve, their 'place in the sun.'

[c] A petty bourgeois radical organization of social patriots well-known for their embrace of a neo-liberal program in deeds while giving this course left cover in words.

[d]  It is necessary to state here that today's rivalry between the US and Russia is not a 'remainder' from the Cold War. Rather, conflict and rivalry today, and for much for the last twenty years, between Washington and Moscow, is based upon competition by two capitalist ruling classes for the riches [labor and resources] of the world.

[e] Blaming "Western industrial states" [a historical abstraction indeed] provides no class clarity. Since of course we do not expect the BRICS statement to have such clarity, we must reply upon articles like this one in the Marxist press to provide such clarity.