Politics in emerging markets: The new middle classes rise up | The Economist

Marx’s revolutionary bourgeoisie finds its voice again

This focus on corruption suggests that, at the moment, middle-class activism is a protest movement rather than a political force in the broader sense. It is an attempt to reform the government, not replace it. But that could change. In most middle-income countries, corruption is more than just a matter of criminality; it is also the product of an old way of doing politics, one that is unaccountable, untransparent and undemocratic. Ashutosh Varshney, at the Institute of Social and Economic Change in Bangalore, also argues that richer Indians resent corruption less because of the money wasted—which they can afford—than because they want clean government for its own sake: “the middle class is asserting its citizenship right to get government services without a bribe.”

Politics in emerging markets: The new middle classes rise up | The Economist.

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