Picture: Kerstin Joensson / AFP – The flags of the G7 countries, the European Union and the 2022 G7 summit are seen behind a lectern on June 28, 2022 at Elmau Castle, southern Germany. In 2020, the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) created history by overtaking the G7 countries by their larger share of global GDP (based on purchasing power parity; a huge victory for the developing countries and the combined spiritual equivalent of every imperialist defeat in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the writer says.
By Jugraj Singh
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently released data on global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2020, the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) created history by overtaking the G7 countries by their larger share of global GDP (based on purchasing power parity, PPP).
This is a huge victory for the developing countries and the combined spiritual equivalent of every imperialist defeat in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: Italian defeat in Libya, French defeat in Dien Bien Phu and Algeria, and American defeat in Korea, Vietnam, Somalia and Afghanistan.
GDP Data from the IMF indicate that beginning in 1992, the G7’s share in global GDP has continuously declined and the BRICS countries’ share is continuously increasing. In 2019, the shares of global GDP were G7 31.5 percent, and BRICS 30.7 percent. In 2020, BRICS (31.4 percent) overtook G7 (30 percent).
The G7 stands for Group of 7, an informal grouping of seven super capitalist and western democratic countries: the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom; in addition to these members, the European Union is a “non-enumerated member”. G7 is mathematically a misnomer for imperialist countries. To be numerically accurate, G7 should be called G31. Since the FIG countries (France, Italy, Germany) are both G7 and EU countries, they can only be counted once.
G7 (technically G4) was formed by four Finance Ministers (the US, UK, France, and West Germany) in the White House library fifty years ago (1973). Later in 1973, Japan was added and G5 was formed. Italy joined in 1975, forming G6; Canada joined last in 1976.
The G5 was doomed from the beginning since it carried a curse for its members, the G5 imperialist curse: French President Georges Pompidou died from Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia (blood cancer); American President Richard Nixon (Watergate), Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka (Lockheed bribery scandal), and West German Chancellor Willy Brandt (his close aide was exposed as a Stasi agent) all resigned due to embarrassing scandals; and the February, 1974 general election in the UK led to a hung parliament with an unstable minority government, forcing another general election in October, 1974.
Since the G31 countries are all imperialist countries, their birth rates have been plummeting for the past 70 years, and the sperm counts of their male citizens have been continuously decreasing, nearly to the point of sterility. Hence a more appropriate name for the Group of 31 is Gelded-31.
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others.” – Nelson Mandela
During my time as a medical student, I had the privilege of listening to many distinguished professors. In his introductory lecture, the Department Chair of Dermatology ended his presentation with a photograph of him standing next to a window with metal bars in a small room. He explained that this was the prison cell in Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years.
Even in developed countries, many people see the struggles of leaders of third-world countries against oppression and injustice as heroic and honourable. It is shameful that the leaders of developed countries do not understand this: the American government classified Nelson Mandela as a Terrorist, and his party the African National Congress (ANC) as a terrorist group, for decades, only dropping the designations after a bill was passed in 2008.
What do BRICS countries have which is causing five countries to beat the combined economic, technological and military might of 31 developed countries? Culture, civilisation, respect for nature and humility. Although many developed countries of the G31 have culture and civilisation, they are forced to follow the American model of development and bow down to American Exceptionalism. It is the American establishment’s belief that culture and civilisation are unnecessary, the sole purpose of human existence is accumulation of capital and material wealth, nature can be conquered by science and technology, and arrogance is the supreme virtue. It is because of this belief that American decline is inevitable.
“America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilisation in-between.” – Oscar Wilde
America truly is exceptional: over 81 percent of American adults weigh more than what is considered a normal weight for a given height: 30.7 percent are overweight, 41.9 percent are obese, and 9.2 percent are severely obese (Stierman et al, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey); if gun violence, mass shootings and school shootings were Olympic events, America would get gold medals every time: the US has more deaths from gun violence than any other developed country per capita.
Research from the Small Arms Surveys, 2018 and 2020, comparing G7 countries is startling and dismal. Civilian gun ownership per 100 people: US 120.5, Canada 34.7, Germany 19.6, France 19.6, Italy 14.4, UK 4.9 and Japan 0.3.
Violent deaths by firearm per 100,000 population: US 7, Canada 0.9, Italy 0.4, France 0.4, UK 0.1, Germany 0.1, and Japan 0.03 The difference between violent deaths by firearm per 100,000 population between the US and Japan is over 233 times.
The age-adjusted firearm homicide rate in the US is eight times greater than in Canada, 13 times greater than in France, 22 times greater than in the European Union and 23 times greater than in Australia (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 2022).
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy
Russian literature has helped me and my family gain a unique perspective on life, and learning from the rich human and cultural experiences of the great Russian civilisation has given us courage and inspiration to search for and present the truth. When my Father was in the final year of medical school, along with studying for his examinations, he read Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov’s 4-volume novel And Quiet Flows the Don.
I have tried to follow in my Father’s footsteps. When I was preparing for examinations in medical school, I read Leo Tolstoy’s short stories. Tolstoy’s story How Much Land Does A Man Need? has profoundly affected my life and has changed my thinking about the world. While travelling in America, I have shared this story with friends in diners, restaurants, and homes, and I am always pleasantly surprised how many people sitting nearby compliment the story afterwards and tell me how much they relate to it. I conclude with an excerpt from Sholokhov.
“When swept out of its normal channel, life scatters into innumerable streams. It is difficult to foresee which it will take in its treacherous and winding course. Where today it flows in shallows, like a rivulet over sandbanks, so shallow that the shoals are visible, tomorrow it will flow richly and fully.” – And Quiet Flows the Don
Jugraj Singh is a medical doctor and healthcare administrator. He is concerned about the moral and ethical decline of society. After studying different religions and Marxism, he has concluded that the positive elements of all philosophies should be combined for an ethical, moral and spiritual revival of society.