Lost society: the middle class was the main victim of the crisis
Photo Plainpicture RM / bobsairport / Diomedia
The decline in living standards pushes the inhabitants of the developed countries into the arms of populists
The phenomenon of Donald trump, who a few months holds a leading position in the race for the presidential nomination, reflects the spirit of the time.
A tiny part of what allows himself a billionaire before would be enough to bury the campaign once and for all. That there is only one requirement to ban entry of Muslims in America. This is contrary to the axioms of openness and religious freedom, on which from time immemorial is the national identity of the United States. And suddenly it becomes clear that most Republican voters are in solidarity with this idea.
A hero of our time — an ordinary citizen who doesn’t know what’s happening and therefore experiencing a growing irritation.
He get bored of the same policy, which, replacing each other in a circle, do not bring any fresh ideas or new approaches. The average man instinctively fears to entrust the purse to the opponents of the mainstream, but the soul reaches for their candid slogans and simple solutions.
The situation in the leading countries resembles that which arose in the post-Communist world in the early 1990s. the collapse of a vital device, and confusion was used by the master of outrageous. Today something similar is happening on a global level.
The scale of the economic, social, political shifts does not allow to count on the fact that the old way of life will survive, but society there is more feel than understand. The ideal soil for a consolation populism, which offers recipes and manifests the fears and insecurities many people. Including the middle class — seemingly a guarantor of stability and moderation.
What the middle class is the main victim of the socio-economic disasters, it is clear from the start of the financial crisis in the second half of the 2000s.
Francis Fukuyama in the article of 2012 feared conceptual vacuum — there is no ideology that could offer solutions on the background and not Vodianova left and sags neoliberals.
In Germany, the most stable country of the European Union, speak about expanding the lost layer. It slips even below the lower segment of the middle class, those who have recently considered themselves to be prosperous estate, but is not able to hold their positions. These people (estimated, not less than 15% of the population) seriously none of the parties, as in welfare society electoral activity has always been focused on successful middle peasants. The impoverished layer is the support group of protest movements. Moreover, the problem was visualized. This newcomers — refugees, terrorists…
In non-Western countries have not yet formed the habit of great wealth and stratification. Populism has left a more familiar guise — for social justice in the spirit of the late Hugo Chavez. There are many slogans, but few practical programs. China’s “new normal” — low growth — requires public compensation for the expense of economic expansion and managed nationalism.
In the post-Soviet space your answers. The response to the request of the population — appeals to external factors. In Ukraine, for example, or in Moldova, saving panacea declared Europeanization. (In the latter case, however, the farcical nature of politics certainly makes anything.)
In Russia feeling the exhaustion of development models present in society in 2011-2012, was crushed by the Ukrainian crisis. Public mobilization around the opposition abandoned calls canalizes doubt in Patriotic enthusiasm. The essence of the processes are similar it is with the West — end of the consumer society, the decline of the middle class and the lack of clear schemes of development in addition to the current survival of the economy.
From a surge of discontent holds the type of the Board — the charisma of the leader based on the perception of him as “one of us”, being understood by the masses instincts. In this way, and the secret of the popularity of the Russian President in the world — the image of a reliable and simple man, who reacts like a normal person. What causes outright rejection of the intellectuals and mainstream politicians, is winning in the eyes of the layman.
This type of support protects the head of the political field from the success of demagogues, but ties his hands. To take “unpopular” measures that do not fit in the current image, is dangerous, because it undermines the very basis of perception. So there is a risk (as, by the way, and the ruling establishment in all other countries, which chases the radicalization of the public) to get involved in the fight against the populists, to become one of them. The winner of the dragon, as you know, he risks becoming them.