Two such prominent clubs are the BRICS group of developing economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and the new Eurasian Union (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to soon follow). And there's a lesser known group formed in 1996 but just now becoming prominent: the Arctic Council, comprising Russia, Canada and other nations with Arctic interest ... with China and India aiming for observer status.
Notice a pattern here? Who's the compulsive club joiner? Who's the little Nikolai No-Mates shoehorning his way into every club, no matter the cause? Russia. And that's not counting its recent joining of the World Trade Organization, its participation in NATO exercises last year when it isn't a member of that club, and its creation of a special club with just Russia and China. I doubt this club-joining enthusiasm is because Russia has the biggest hearts, although Vladimir Putin may try to prove me wrong with a photo if I press the issue.
And why would China and India want to "observe" a club consisting of countries interested in an Arctic region that those two countries are nowhere near? Because they're as interested in the environmental sanctity of the region as the other club members! Feelings! Huge hearts! And China was really upset when one of its billionaire businessmen -- a self-proclaimed poet and mountaineer -- was unsuccessful in his bid to buy 0.3 percent of Iceland to build a nature resort. He says that if he keeps failing in his attempts, he'll try Denmark, Norway or Sweden -- all Arctic Council countries. The man's going to get his polar bear park if he has to move every ounce of oil out of the way to see his dream become reality.
Globalization has forced everyone to be seen as open, meaning secrets have to be kept and stored under the very words one speaks. In this new era of grotesque pretexting, the club joiners with the resilience to withstand a constant fire-hose blast of verbal sewage to the face will be most revered.
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