5 Reasons America Should Fear the Global Middle Class

July 2, 2015 Topic: Economics Tags: Middle ClassEconomicsTrade

5 Reasons America Should Fear the Global Middle Class

The rise of the global middle class could prove to be even more harmful than climate change...

When social revolution occurs in states that are pivotal to U.S. interests, the resulting political instability and frequent ascendance of anti-U.S. leaders threaten American interests, whether economic, energy, security and/or geopolitical in nature.

It is impossible to predict when and where social revolution will occur and what new societies and governments would look like. Francis Fukuyama speculates that we may see a new brand of ideology or regime-type that does not fit neatly into the liberal democratic, communist, fascist and military dictatorship paradigms of the past. He warns that Greece may be ripe for social revolution because of its economic crisis’ toll on the middle class, which Huntington believed was the most revolutionary social class. Other possibilities are that the Islamic State could stage a top-down social revolution with a Sunni Salafi-Wahhabi character. Even less likely: a successful Islamic social revolution launched by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Both terrorist groups would be challenged to acquire and maintain control over their entire states, as opposed to a few key cities.

Brenda M. Seaver is a National Security Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The views expressed here are her own and do not represent those of the U.S. Government.

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