as if they were in the middle class, demanding...

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Senior Member
Hello everyone,

From the book Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman.

Sadik Yildiz’s story—and I have met so many others like him in the past decade—is a vivid example of how education plus connectivity plus supernova means that “more and more people are being empowered at lower and lower levels of income than ever before, so they think and act as if they were in the middle class, demanding human security and dignity and citizens’ rights,” explained Khalid Malik, former director of the U.N.’s Human Development Report Office. “This is a tectonic shift. The Industrial Revolution was a ten-million-person story. This is a couple-of-billion-person story.” And we are just at the beginning of it.

Sadik Yildiz is a man from the city called Batmen. With the help of new technologies (Internet, bug data, etc.) he created a successful company in which he works himself with the members of his family.

I can't understand what "as if they were in the middle class, demanding human security and dignity and citizens’ rights" implies and refers to.

Does it imply as follows: in the past, members of the middle class demanded human security, etc. And now low-income people act as if they were members of the middle class? But using opportunities offered by new technologies for starting a business is not the same as demanding (with almost no technologies) for civil rights etc. So I can't undersand how one can compare such different things.

Thank you.
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The middle classes are average people, typically with a decent level of status and a steady income/financial security, which gives them dignity and the courage to stand up for their rights. People with little or no money miss out on those benefits. The point being made here is that thanks to all the recent technological leaps, even poor people now have the opportunity to improve their lot in life.
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