Written by: Aesop Bordoloi
The last few years have been marked by a significant surge in collective
consciousness of nations. From Europe to America- the epitomes of development
and democracy in the last century- the political dimensions of these two
continents have shifted completely. This has sent ripples across other emerging
economies as well. Populism is on the rise in Europe and a similar pattern has
engulfed the United States as well. Protectionism has taken over most developed
economies in modern times, which is all the more contrary since we live in an age
of hyper-connectivity and a collective global identity. Out of all this, if there is one
common thread binding these nations is the collective anger of the middle class.
The global middle class no longer feels safe in their own countries. They no longer
feel needed anymore. The middle class of America and Europe feel estranged.
We don’t need to look too deep as to why Trump won the Presidential elections
despite the unpardonable activities carried out by him. We don’t need to bang
our heads as to even why the United Kingdom chose to leave the EU. The answer
lies in their backyards. From Brexit to Trump’s victory, the results were nothing
but a collective emission of anger by the working class towards the establishment.
Among them, there is a strong feeling of being disavowed by the people in power-
political and economic- and it is this sense of being disenfranchised that has led to
a cry for acceptance. From Kentucky, USA to Leeds, United Kingdom, the growing
disparity between the global metropolitans and rural natives is the primary
reason for the huge disconnect among people in the big cities and the ones in
other pockets of the country. An Asian passing out from an Ivy League university,
working in Chicago or New York as an executive and earning enough to own
houses in three grand cities of the world fails to understand the situation of a
working class person who has to grind every day to make ends meet, let alone
afford an Ivy League education or meet the rising prices of things. The global
citizen technically belongs everywhere because his/her affordability gives him/her
the liberty to stay wherever it suits him/her.
A top executive in London with South East Asian origin is taking the top jobs in the
UK while leaving the natives in rural England almost scavenging for survival jobs.
The alienated middle class are becoming strangers in their own countries which is
the reason behind the global disconnect. London or New York or Chicago or San
Francisco are all catering to the global citizens. With sky rocketing real estates and
rising standards of living, things are becoming all the more out of reach for the so
called middle class, as if pushing them into an oblivion of an uncertain future. The
identities of these global cities have become so disparate from suburbs/places in
close proximity that the rest of the populated no longer finds a common platform
to relate to. Everything that they thought was once theirs has been brutally
snatched away. At least that is what they feel. The global rich are becoming all the
more distant from the working class leaving them feeling hapless, disgruntled,
angry and frustrated. It is a herculean task to address such a growing divide
worldwide and one of the answers could be the middle class themselves. Uplifting
them and ensuring opportunities of growth- personal and professional- could
certainly be a way. As of now the middle class is in the middle of nowhere and
they can hope the sun will one day shine in their horizon.
About the author- The Author, Aesop bordoloi is a trainee journalist in India Today Media Institute
Published by: Anurag Sharma
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