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Thanks to modern communications, most citizens of the globe can observe each other’s lives in real time, even though they may be separated by many centuries in terms of political and economic development. This often leads to impatience and resentment in the developing world, and a revulsion at the brutality and backwardness of the poor world in the eyes of the rich. To accuse the new Indian middle class of being complacent and antisocial, as our cover does, might seem like an extraordinary example of the latter—judging the whole world by the social standards of 21st-century Europe. Even allowing for…

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