We have seen that BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) was established in 2009 for the purpose of promoting commerce among its members, and that it has evolved to active support for South-South cooperation (see “BRICS advances to South-South cooperation” 7/29/2014).
Beginning in 2013, BRICS began to move toward the development of alternative global financial structures. On July 15, 2014, on the opening day of the Sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, the BRICS Bank of Development was established. Its headquarters will be in Shanghai, and it will have an initial authorized capital of 100 billion dollars. With its initial funding coming from the members of BRICS, the Bank of Development will provide financing for projects as well as credit to countries in development.
Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, asserted that the BRICS Bank of Development “will help Latin American countries to free themselves from the speculation and financial extortions of neoliberalism and neocolonialism.” In a similar vein, Cristina Fernández, President of Argentina, noted that the BRICS Bank of Development will promote development “without the hostile intention” of the established organisms of credit.
We have seen that the peoples of the Third World, historically colonized and today for the most part neocolonized, are taking decisive action in the development of alternative structures of political-economy within and among nations. These alternative structures form the foundation of a potential alternative more just and democratic world-system, which could replace the reigning neocolonial world-system, which has been in crisis since the 1970s and which cannot resolve its contradictions within the context of its logic of domination, which its leadership, blinded by parochial assumptions and by short-term interests, cannot escape.
The potential alternative of a more just and democratic world-system has been emerging since 1995, when popular movements in opposition to the global neoliberal war against poor nations and peoples began to emerge. In nations like Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Nicaragua, popular movements, or coalitions that include popular sectors, have taken control of states, which have taken steps to enable national control of natural resources. They have utilized income generated by the sale of raw materials in the global market to provide for the social and economic needs of the people and to develop forms of production that are more profitable. They have sought to put into practice the historic Third World vision of non-alignment, developing structures of South-South cooperation, in which trade is mutually beneficial, and in which exchanges among people include not only the economic and the financial but also the social and the cultural (see “The fall and rise of South-South cooperation” 7/24/2014. They are seeking to develop alternative financial structures, like the Bank of the South and the Bank of Development, so that global financial resources can be used to provide support and impetus to the projects that are necessary to move forward in the construction of a more just and democratic world. They are making real the dreams of Bolívar, Martí, Nkrumah, and Nyerere. In this global process, Cuba, persistent in its socialist revolution, is an important symbol and participant. And China, overcoming the serious problems that it found in its socialist road, has emerged to play a significant leadership role in the building of a more just and democratic world-system. That the Chinese leadership is prepared to play a leading role in this time of crisis for humanity is evident in the July 15 interview of Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China.
The notion of a world-system on a foundation of justice and democracy is not merely a good idea. It is an idea that is being developed in practice by global political leaders with understanding of global dynamics and commitment to universal human values. And it is an idea that promises the survival of humanity, seeking to detour humanity from its present road of self-destruction (see “A change of epoch?” 3/18/2014; “The alternative world-system from below” 4/15/2014).
In order to understand global dynamics and to do what is right, we who form the peoples of the North need to encounter the movements of the Third World and to cooperate with them in the construction of a more just and democratic world-system (“What is personal encounter?” 7/25/2013; “What is cross-horizon encounter?” 7/26/2013; “Overcoming the colonial denial” 7/29/2013). If the history of revolutions is a guide, intellectuals must play an important role in this process, establishing the subjective conditions that would enable an alternative political leadership to emerge in the nations of the North, displacing the ruling political parties and leaders that have demonstrated their incapacity to respond constructively to the challenges that humanity confronts.
Key words: Third World, revolution, colonialism, neocolonialism, imperialism, democracy, national liberation, sovereignty, self-determination, socialism, Marxism, Leninism, Cuba, Latin America, world-system, world-economy, development, underdevelopment, colonial, neocolonial, blog Third World perspective, South-South cooperation, China, CELAC