Next week, Russia assumes the presidency of the BRICS for 2024, and five new countries—Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—assume full membership on January 1. The Atlantic Council has already established a so-called “Dollar Dominance Monitor,” reflecting their central fear, the inescapable moves of the BRICS-10 to de-dollarize, and to make financial arrangements around actual trade in the physical economy. The fantasy game of a dollar, issued by a country with $34 trillion of debt—and debt rising at an increasing rate—is over. Time to cut up the country’s credit cards.
But the immiseration of populations from the decades of the domination of a post-industrial society is not so easily dealt with. While the Gaza Strip is not the only case of enforced backwardness, Israel is just now discovering that beggaring its neighbor has created a serious threat of invasion. Prior to Oct. 7, 2023, and for at least the last 17 years, Israel—more and more dominated by a clique determined to destroy Judaism, turning it into a blood-and-soil cult—has controlled and administered Gaza with disdain. The impoverishment, the living on the edge, the malnutrition, the lack of fresh water, etc., has taken its toll. One simple factor, the lack of sufficient antibiotics, causing the Gazans to treat infections with minimal doses, has resulted in anti-microbial-resistant infections embedded in Gaza land itself. Israeli soldiers are now getting infected with a deadly fungus, with the first known death reported this week. With some horrible irony, Gaza’s invasion of Israel has begun.
Worse, the rampage of hunger, lack of nutrition, and growing starvation amongst Gaza’s 1.9 million displaced people, combined with diseased water, inadequate shelter during winter, and mounting sewage and human waste, has created a vast Petri dish of breeding organisms that still lack names. The present fungus invasion into Israel from Gaza is just the one enemy whose name is known. Did it have to get to this point to realize that beggaring one’s neighbor does not make for a happy ending?
Then, how is it possible that the Global Majority of countries around the world have optimism, have hope? The wheels are turning not just for “de-dollarization,” but for the “poverty elimination” projects, proven by the U.S.’s TVA model and celebrated by China’s massive infrastructure projects. Taking the U.S. long-impoverished South into the 20th century, or taking over 800 million Chinese out of severe poverty, is hard to gainsay. Today’s meetings and contracts of India and Russia, Iran and Russia, Afghanistan and Iran, Egypt and Iran, etc., and the plans of Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for next week’s BRICS activities, won’t be derailed by bribes or blackmail. The “Belt and Road” projects are real and offer a march out of poverty. Gnashing one’s teeth over the demise of colonial, enforced backwardness is to no avail. Make America good again.
The souls that have perished recently in Israel and Gaza, and the ones condemned by every day of inaction, deserve no less.