More on India and inequality

In: Uncategorized

3 Nov 2007

In the discussion on India mentioned below (see 28 October post) I argued that it did not follow from widening inequalities that the poor were necessarily getting poorer. On the contrary, what seems to be happening is a rise in absolute living standards for the bulk of the population at the same time as a widening of inequalities. However, it is also true that greater inequality can lead to tensions within a society. This seems to be the case in a march to Delhi of 25,000 landless workers, indigenous tribespeople and “untouchables” covered in an article in the Financial Times this week.

The relationship between widening inequalities and political consciousness is less straightforward than often assumed. It is a subject I want to discuss in my introduction to the discussion on the new global working class at the ICA later in the month (see 30 October post).

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