Brics fall like dominoes: sooner or later the others will rage ...

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Brics fall like dominoes: sooner or later the others will rage like SA

The ingredients have been present for many years in India and Brazil, and they’ve only become more toxic recently

Pankaj Mishra

Two decades ago, a Goldman Sachs executive coined the label Brics to describe four big emerging nations: Brazil, Russia, India and China. Rapid growth and expansion of the ranks of the wealthy in these countries vindicated the faith of investors. Their leaders started to hold annual summits and even established their own development bank. They invited SA to become a member in 2011, conveniently completing the catchy acronym.

But conceits devised by Western boosters of globalisation had become obsolete well before the pandemic dramatically altered global realities this past year. China, for instance, long ago graduated from “emerging” status. With its hydrocarbon-dependent and isolationist economy, Russia never belonged in the group.

Today, the heedless celebration of fast growth and wealth creation seems to belong to a naive and unreflective age. Meanwhile, evidence that post-pandemic inequality will be lethal to everyday social order, let alone democracy, in emerging economies is mounting...

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