Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Decommissioning of the Middle Class

MAVROZACHARAKIS, EMMANOUIL and DIMARI, GEORGIA (2018): The Decommissioning of the Middle Class.

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: The euro crisis has threatened the balance of social structures, through the impoverishment of the middle class, in almost all countries of the Old Continent. This trend has not only posed a threat to social cohesion, but it also threats the very nature of the so-called Western-style Democracy. The reason for this is that there is a class that has always been a "cushion" that absorbs both the vibrations of competition and the confrontation of the social elite with the socially weak, offering the latter the ability to overcome their misery. In most capitalist economies, the middle class label is based on an economic definition that is largely based on a lifestyle that is based on a certain economic robustness and endurance. With the deepening of the crisis, however, the diversity of the middle class not only has it been jeopardized, but rather, it has gradually been replaced by a new demographic category called the prekariat. This new category consists of a group of people once in the middle class and currently marginalized. All of this leads to generalized uncertainty and totally unstable political attitudes, with intense mobility at the extremes. The rapid rise of right and left-wing populism is an aspect of the threatened subjugation of the middle class strata. The consequences for societies when their layered center is lost are obvious and significant.

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