BRICS in Africa and Underdevelopment: How Different?

  • Ian Taylor
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


Barely a week passes without some new official report, media article, or conference eulogizing Africa and its growth figures, this then being automatically and uncritically extended to announcements about the unlimited potential for capital accumulation and profit to be made in this new frontier. This is natural, given the ongoing dominant social system and its normative values where the underlying logic and driving force of capitalism and capital is the accumulation of profits; in the words of Marx, the “boundless drive for enrichment” and the “passionate chase after value” (Marx, 1867/1976, p. 254). It is this “dynamic of endless accumulation” and quest for “accumulation for its own sake” (Brenner, 2006, p. 80) that makes capitalism such a pioneering and productive economic system, albeit intrinsically and pitilessly exploitative. Played out in Africa, “Business conferences are filled with frothy talk of African lions overtaking Asian tigers” (Economist, March 2, 2013).


International Energy Agency Debt Relief BRICS Country African Economy United Nations Economic Commission 
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