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In remote areas, it was found that all peasants consider themselves poor and socially deprived, whatever their circumstances (Rehbein 2007, p. 65). In well-to- do villages, more than 50 percent of the farmers and peasants reckon their social position to be high, while in villages on the outskirts of urban areas more than 50 percent consider their social position to be in the medium range (Simmalavong 2010, pp. 160–3). Under socialism, the peasants were praised as heroes of the class struggle, but now they are classified as underdeveloped by state-sponsored programmes for the eradication of poverty.

The quote Marx uses in his address to the National Labor Union of the United States after the Civil War has an eerie contemporary ring to it, and can be read as a description of the present United States as well as the rest of the world. Marx highlights the dynamic aspect of poverty. Although the immiserization thesis has been much criticized, treating the world as a single society, the rising trends in income inequality force one to reevaluate Marx’s thesis. Is pauperism increasing faster than population in the contemporary world?

CD Dramatic developments took place in the four Asian tigers comprising a little over 75 million or so people. Korea was the only country with a sizable population of around 45 million in 1995. Taiwan had 21 million, Hong Kong 6 million and Singapore 3 million. Rapid economic development began in earnest with China’s takeoff in 1978. As Deng Xiaoping consolidated his power, he supervised a second revolution in China. China and India are not only the two giants in the world accounting for 40 percent of the world population between them; these two countries also have been sites of rapid economic development.

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