Asia's Rising Middle Class: Not a Force for Change

The ethic that has governed the East Asian Miracle and formed its middle class is antithetical to pluralistic liberalism -- and to change.

Issue: Winter 1994-1995

In a recent issue of The National Interest, Eric Jones cast a skeptical eye over the Singapore school of authoritarian rule. Concluding his timely critique, Jones reassures those of a liberal disposition that the creation of a new middle class will ultimately transform the prevailing social and political reality of East Asia. "Some elements of that class," Jones argues, "start to demand those effete and non-material things which are associated...with Western lifestyles and philosophies. The items include political participation, multi-party politics, an end to corruption, a freer press, environmental clean-up. Already these things and others can be seen emerging on the East Asian scene."

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