As a two-day Brics summit got underway in South Africa, Democracy Now! spoke to author and analyst Vijay Prashad about whether the bloc – which comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – can meaningfully challenge US and Western domination in world affairs by building an alternative forum for countries of the Global South.
Brics countries represent 40% of the world’s population and a quarter of the world’s economy, and the group is now considering a possible expansion to more than 20 other countries.
“Brics is an instrument to push forward their political views, which they feel are not taken seriously,” says Prashad, director of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.
Prashad explains the history of Brics and its New Development Bank and responds to criticism that Brics falsely portrays itself as an anti-imperialist project. The BRICS countries “are not a socialist bloc,” says Prashad, but they “don’t want to do what the West tells them – they’re driving their own agenda.”