The secession of the middle classes to outer space

Specific nuances and cultural references aside, this analysis by Indian writer Arundhati Roy of middle class ‘victim’ politics may apply to certain urban elites in many African countries, including some of their diasporas in the West:

You know, I keep saying this, the most successful secession movement … is the secession of the middle and upper classes to outer space. They have their own universe, their own andolan, their own Jessica Lal, their own media, their own controversies, and they’re disconnected from everything else.

There is something clerky and calculating about our privileged classes. They see themselves as the State or as advisors to the State, rarely as subjects … columnists and editorials, most have a very clerky, “apply-through-proper-channels” approach… I think it worries them that I’m not a victim and that I don’t pretend to be one. They love … victimology …


H/T Binyavanga Wainaina.



Sean Jacobs

Also goes by Hasan Wazan. Life President.

1 Comment
  1. It doesn't help that "applying through proper channels" includes having a well-placed middle/upper class cousin/uncle/aunty who will a) push your app. to the top of the queue; b) terrorise those around her to get things done for favourite petitioners; c) make sure people kow-tow to her because they know they have to go to her one day to get things done.
    If you don't, then go wait in the line.

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