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Chapter 4 - Rich and Poor – Still Just as Different

from Part I - Political Plasticity and Behavioral Continuity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 January 2023

Fathali M. Moghaddam
Affiliation:
Georgetown University
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Summary

Despite the war on poverty declared in different ways by various politicians in different countries since World War II, the rich–poor divide continues as it has been more or less the same for the last ten thousand years or so. Also, the rich–poor divide continues across revolutions and across societies that describe themselves using different labels, such as communist, capitalist, socialist, liberal-democratic, and Islamic. For example, the number of billionaires in communist China rivals that in the capitalist United States, and the rich–poor divide in Islamic Iran is even great than in most European countries. Various legitimizing ideologies are used to justify the rich–poor divide, with the rich using their power and resources to shape education, the media, religious ideology, and the various other avenues for socialization and communication. The tendency for both the rich and the poor to believe in a just world and to blame the victim is discussed in this chapter, in relation to false consciousness and legitimizing ideologies, to explain the continuity of societies with enormous rich–poor divides.

Type
Chapter
Information
Political Plasticity
The Future of Democracy and Dictatorship
, pp. 37 - 47
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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