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Washington Post: Why the Elites Are Rising Up

Author: Jackson Diehl
December 22, 2013


"[G]lobalization is not merely an economic story. It is accompanied by the spread of freer and more inclusive elections to dozens of countries where they were previously banned or rigged. That has enabled the rise of populists who cater to globalization's losers and who promise to crush the old establishment and even out the rewards. In country after country, they've succeeded in monopolizing the political system. Hence, the elite revolt."

We live in an era in which globalization is said to be benefiting elites in countries around the world while leaving behind the masses who lack the education or skills to compete. And yet, 2013 will be remembered as the year in which the streets of many a capital were filled with angry and dispossessed elites.

The crowds who called for revolution in Cairo, Istanbul, Bangkok and Kiev this year are not the impoverished losers of globalization. They are, for the most part, the economic winners: middle-class, educated, secular, English-speaking. They've had the backing of big businessmen who have been enriched by trade, and, as often as not, the sympathy of the Obama administration and other Western governments.

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